97: Platoon – 1986
This is the first war film in my top 100 greatest films list. Platoon was written and directed by Oliver Stone, who brings his own experiences into the Vietnam War epic film. The movie is about a 19 year old man named Chris Taylor who is shipped off to Vietnam and has to learn how to adapt to the horrors of war. The movie takes various angles of images of war, and the effects of war within the Platoon. You see the best and the worst sides of soldiers while in the field of battle.
When this movie came out, it spoke about the different attributes of what war meant and how each solder dealt with it. It showed different points of view within the Platoon Chris Taylor played by Charlie Sheen. It showed the background of a middle class American boy, and though his letter writing which is self narrated of the main character really made a different when there is no “Captain America” or ‘hero’ that stands out in the film. Platoon brings the reality and brutality that war brings. It gives all angles of soldier’s points of view and allows the viewer to have there own digressions of what the soldiers try to overcome.
96: Fargo –1996
A film that is based in North Dakota, and is known for breaking the mold of standard storytelling can only be created by the genius and unique brothers/filmmakers, which are known as the Coen brothers. Fargo is a multi-twisted dark comedy-ish film that takes a used car sells man played by William H. Macy and hires two thugs to abduct his wife. His goal is that his rich father in-law can pay the ransom. Straight foreword? This film ends with a wood chipper in the middle of winter and it ain’t that pretty, you betcha!
Normally when you see a movie about hiring thugs to kidnap for money would be simple and to the point. However, give it to Joel and Ethan Coen, and you get the most creative, bizarre, and genius way that a ransom can go wrong. This movie broke the mold of movies and it doesn’t fit in one type of genre. Fargo is a unique film that paves the way for many movies to cross the genre mold between drama, thriller, and comedy. It shows the pure genius of screenplay writing while taking beautiful cinematic imagery throughout.
95: Good Will Hunting –1997
Will Hunting, a young adult who has been growing up with a rough life from the streets of Boston however he has a special gift for mathematics. While employed as a janitor at MIT University, he sees a mathematical problem written on a board outside of Professor Lambeau’s classroom. It was meant as a competition for mathematician students to solve. When Professor Lambeau finds that someone solved the problem, he inquired how a janitor could solve it so quickly. The Professor figures out that Will is this genius and wants to help him use his gift. However Will has a lot of baggage with the judicial system and has to work with a therapist in order to stay out of jail. This film takes a turn, as Will falls in love with Skylar, a student at Harvard. Will has to battle through different personal battles in life in order to know what he wants for his future.
This film takes on age-old controversy, career versus love. It takes the events of opportunity that Will receives and battle his familiarity and comfort level with his family (which are his close friends) and try to resolve them in his everyday living. That risk of a life and his changing opportunities overnight, brings another true testament about live, which is who are we. This film answers questions that many seek, and truly reveals the beauty of solving personal issues of ones damaged past and it can be mended. Robin Williams plays Sean Maguire who is Will’s therapist. This is Williams’s best movie since Dead Poets Society. Matt Damon and Ben Affleck’s script was raw like the movie Rocky, and is make you reflect on ones own life as any movie ever seen.
How you like them apples?
94: All the Presidents Men – 1976
Two young reporters for the Washington Post are writing the story about the burglars caught at Watergate. As the reporters continue to investigate why the burglary took place they find more clues and unveil the biggest cover-up of the century. Even though there lives were threatened, there career going to be tarnished, they continued to seek the truth that ultimately caused the resignation of Richard Nixon.
A movie that has no violence, it was one of the most intense and riveting political thrillers ever in cinematic history. Even through the audience knows what happens at the end of the film, the acting infused with a clever journey for these reporters to solve this massive cover-up of illegal election fraud was compelling. I love the use of shades of black in this film. It really brought out the symbolism of cover-up and heroism. As we watch a film that follows along with the reelection of Nixon, it is a modern classic that is relevant regardless what generation one is from. It also spoke volumes how power is more valuable than money. At the same time, truth and our freedoms through the constitution will overcome tyranny and allows truth to come out. It doesn’t matter who you are, ugliness will surface, and freedom will reign.