The Princess Bride - a cult classic I discovered while in college. This movie will surprise you with its wit, humor and charm on many levels. You may find yourself playing it back in your mind decades later. It is a fairytale love story that has everything: giants, fighting, pirates, and most importantly it has that which all of us hope for and very few lucky ones do find: True Love. By the end of this movie you too “won’t mind the kissing part”. This film is loaded with actors who later stared in renowned films. I've watched this movie on so many occasions, that I've practically memorized the whole script. Oftentimes in everyday conversation, especially with friends who have watched the movie with me, I quote lines from this classic. Something about this movies makes it so charming and unique that you just want to watch it again and again. (1987)
Gladiator – I have a great affinity for war movies. Even though this film only has one battle scene at the very beginning of the movie it provides intense, graphic and visually stunning fight scenes throughout the whole plot. It chronologically follows the fate of its main character: a roman general, who became a slave, turned into a gladiator, who became a hero and defied the emperor. Loosely based on historical facts, it illustrates form multiple viewpoints and in amazing detail what life was like during the reign of the Roman Empire. This film is a perfect mix of action, dialogue, intrigue, and a very well written storyline that along with amazing cinematography and a moving soundtrack makes it a real masterpiece.(2000)
Forrest Gump –If you’re an American and you haven’t seen this movie, I suggest you buy it online or run to the video store right now. This movie is a classic. Best picture of 1994. It received 14 Academy Awards Nominations – and won 6 Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor. It’s a great piece of Americana honestly and with a great sense of humor portraying main socio-political events of the last three decades. The storyline follows the life of a slow witted but righteous and wise protagonist: Forrest Gump. He will entertain you, he will make you laugh, he may make you cry… but he definitely will make you think. This film will force you to reflect on life from a completely new angle – through the eyes of someone who is not that stupid after all.(1994)
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest – best film of 1975, nominated for 8 Oscars with 4 wins in major categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Adapted Screenplay, 6 British Academy Awards, 6 Golden Globes and then some. Louise Fletcher and Jack Nicholson collide on screen as the hateful Nurse Ratched destroys McMurphy’s attempts to bring normality, friendship and fun into the life to his fellow inmates at a mental institution. Both come out victorious with an Oscar each. It’s a deep, sometimes disturbing movie with great performances from practically everyone. All the loonies from this ward went along to establish themselves as fruitful productive and in a several cases famous actors (Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Vincent Schiavelli, et al) (1975)
Chicago – is a musical comedy about murder, booze and most importantly jazz. With all the amazing musical parts it makes for awesome entertainment. It even makes Richard Gere look like a real singer. It has a superb soundtrack, solid acting and overall it’s an enchanting movie. Nominated for 12, it won 5 Academy Awards including Best Sound. All the signing parts with exception of Richard Gere's are outstanding, charged with energy and perfectly coherent with the plot. The movie is visually stunning. Choreography is great. Overall it is a very well made film. (2002)
Braveheart – it is in my opinion Mel Gibson’s crowning achievement. This movie revolutionized the genre. A series of similarly themed epic war movies followed, utilizing the same ideas, special effects, theme, and even cast members. Nominated for 10 Oscars, it was awarded 5 – including best picture. The movie is action packed, has deep emotional content and a very good plot that is both interesting and for the most part historically accurate. Beautiful cinematography shows gorgeous highlands of Scotland in all their magnificence. The actors are very well cast. Every main character delivers a grand performance. This movie will take you on an emotional roller coaster, and by the end of it you will feel like you're one of the rebelling warrior poets taking field to fight for your freedom and the freedom of your land. (1995)
True Romance - What do you get when you cast Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Michael Rapaport, Val Kilmer, Dennis Hopper, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt, Tom Sizemore, Christopher Walken, Samuel L. Jackson, Saul Rubinek, James Gandolfini, Bronson Pinchot, and Chris Penn all in one movie? You get an action packed roller coaster ride from Detroit to L.A. so intense and so cool you’ll never forget it. This movie rocks. It got me so mesmerized that years later when I came across Sonny Chiba’s “Street Fighter”, “Return of the Street Fighter” and “Sister of Street Fighter” I bought all of them! This is one of the best scripts Tarantino has ever written and Tony Scott did an excellent job of directing it. (1993)
Romper Stomper – Before he was a Roman General or a Commander of a British war vessel Russell Crowe was a skin head neo-Nazi leading a group of wretched punks on a crime spree. This movie is intense to say the least. The plot goes a lot deeper than the wild punk lifestyle and violence. This is a quality film that emotionally sucks the viewer into its reality. It shocks. It angers. It makes the viewer reflect and think. The finale is especially effective in underscoring a mode of reflection. I would go so far as to state that this tragedy rivals those of Aeschylus. (1993)
History of the World Part One – this is a Mel Brooks comedy… and the truth is the more times you’ve seen it the less funny it becomes. However I distinctly remember that the first time I saw it I was laughing so hard my stomach hurt. My eyes were tearing… no they weren’t just tearing… I was crying laughing. You know the term ROFL? Rolling on the floor laughing? Well this is genuinely what was happening to me. Even if you consider this type of comedy silly, vulgar or stupid… you will have a good time. If you’ve never seen it, then it should be very high on your "to see" list.  (1981)
Zulu – this historically accurate war movie is a classic if not a masterpiece. The film is British and the action is set in Victorian times. A regiment of army engineers holds fast, fighting off an army of marauding Zulus after a disastrous defeat of a British battalion earlier in the day. This movie is intense from the beginning to the end. The dialog and acting are superb. The soundtrack is excellent; some vigorously argue that it should have won an Oscar.  Considering there was no computer imaging and animation at the time the violence portrayed is sufficiently realistic to get the point across. The lack of obvious blood and gore actually makes it more persuasive. It doesn’t glorify the fight making it into a Hollywood action spectacle. It shows the emotional content, the thought process of the participants, and their motivation. It shows courage, desperation, fear, and reason on a canvas of an intense military and ideological conflict. When watching it I still get the same chills running down my spine as when the first time I saw this picture. Except now in the sing off between the Zulu’s and the British, with watery eyes I chime in loudly: “Men of Harlech stop your dreaming. Can't you see their spear points gleaming? See their warrior pennants streaming… To this battlefield….” (1964)

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