Review – Apocalypse Now

Apocalypse Now (1979)
Genre: War
Director: Francis Ford Coppola
Main Cast: Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall

Plot Summary:
The film takes place in 1969 during the height of the Vietnam War. Our protagonist U.S. Army Captain Willard, who is a drunken mess, is assigned by his superiors to carry out a confidential mission. He is tasked with finding Colonel Walter Kurtz, a man who the army believes has gone absolutely insane. Kurtz has a number of loyal followers that he has turned into his own private militia. They have crossed into Cambodia, from Vietnam where they worship Kurtz like a god and will carry out whatever tasks he gives them without a second thought. Willard must travel up the Nung River on a Navy patrol boat with only a few other squad members. On his journey deeper into the untamed jungle he encounters the same horrors that drove Kurtz mad and the evil of humanity. By the end of his journey he finds it hard to distinguish the differences between himself and the man he was sent to assassinate.

Brief Review:
The movie is based heavily on the novel “Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad, it follows the same structure and themes. Has similar dialogue (some lines taken straight from the book), similar characters, the only real difference is the time period the film is set in. However this is a review about movie, not how it compares to the novel, so lets get right into it.

Apocalypse Now as a whole is a fantastic war movie, however it is also so much more than just “another war movie”. It is a philosophical and psychological study of man as a whole. I will try not to spoil anything for you, just inform. Its memorable opening scene alone lets the viewer now that they are in for an extraordinary experience. While the movie can be long (2 hours and 33 minutes, the redux version adding an extra 40+ minutes on top of that) and have some slow parts, it manages to keep the viewer engaged into what is going on the entire time. Despite the film being released in the late 70s, it has some of the best sound, editing, and cinematography that I have ever seen. In addition the actors all deliver exceptional performances. A star studded cast of Robert Duvall, Marlon Brando, Martin Sheen all are there own unique characters and make the viewer feel for all of them in there own way. Sheen has some of the best narration that actually works well and flows with the movie. This film can be challenging to watch for some, however it is most certainly worth it if you can find the time to sit through it. The ending offers no clear answers or conclusions and wants the viewer to interpret it in there own way. I can not recommend this movie enough, it is most certainly one of the best movies of all time and needs to be seen by anyone who enjoys film. I recommend seeing the original version, and not the redux version for the first time viewing.

Review – Silence of the Lambs

Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Genre: Thriller
Director: Jonathan Demme
Main Cast: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Scott Glenn

Plot Summary:
An unknown serial killer has been terrorizing the Southeast United States skinning his victims. Coined as “Buffalo Bill” by the media and police force, it is not long before the F.B.I. gets involved. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) leader of the agency’s Behavioral Science Unit, assigns Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a brilliant but disturbed man who cannibalized his patients. Lecter is able to offer insight on the case, and the killer himself, but only if Starling is willing to share personal details of her life to him.

Brief Review:
The movie was adapted from the “Silence of the Lambs” novel written by Thomas Harris. For a movie that came out in 1991 it has still aged extremely well and stands up with the best movies of our current decade. While this movie is classified as a thriller, it could easily be seen as a horror movie to some. This is due to its dreary and unnerving soundtrack (by Howard Shore) that is perfect for building up tension in the brooding and sullen environments that the protagonist constantly find themselves constantly in. The actresses and actors all deliver exceptional performances, there are no weak showings, even from the minor characters. As an audience member it is easy to get sucked into the story and become fully engrossed in what’s going on, even during the slower sections of the movie. However one actor shines above the rest, Anthony Hopkins depiction of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, is phenomenal. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor, and it is well deserved. He sure to give any viewer the chills the first time around. For anyone that enjoys thrillers, horror, or crime dramas this movie is a must see. This film is one of my personal favorites, definitely standing strong within my top ten. All aspects of this movie blend together so well to deliver an unforgettable and unique story.

My First Blog Post – Movie List

Here is the 200ish movies that I believe are some of the greatest of all time. However I am just one person, I know I have missed some great movies out there (especially foreign films). I want your feedback, any movie that you think I should remove from the list or add to it, reach out to me using the contact page.  The movies below are in no particular order and I will most likely review them at random, or if one is requested.

Raging Bull (1980)
Schindler’s List (1993)
Casablanca (1942)
Citizen Kane (1941)

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)
Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Vertigo (1958)
Psycho (1960)
Godfather (1974)
On the Waterfront (1954)
Sunset Blvd. (1950)
Westside Story (1961

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)
2001: A space Odyssey (1968)
E.T. the Extra Terrestrial (1982)

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Chinatown (1974)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
Singing in the Rain (1952)
It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)
Dr. Strangelove or: How I learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
Ben-Hur (1959)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Amadeus (1984)
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003)
Gladiator (2000)
Titanic (1997)
From Here to Eternity (1953)
Unforgiven (1992)
Raider of the Lost Ark (1981)
Rocky (1976)
A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
The Philadelphia Story (1940)
To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)
An American In Paris (1951)
The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)
My Fair Lady (1964)
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
Doctor Zhivago (1965)
The Searchers (1956)

Jaws (1975)
Patton (1970)
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
The Apartment (1960)
Platoon (1986)  
High Noon (1952)
Braveheart (1995)
Dances with Wolves (1990)
Jurassic Park (1993)
The Exorcist (1973)
The Pianist (2002)
Goodfellas (1990)
The Deer Hunter (1978)
Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
The French Connection (1971)
A Place in the Sun (1951)
Midnight Cowboy (1969)
Rain Man (1988)
Annie Hall (1977)
Fargo (1996)
Giant (1956)
Shane (1953)
The Grapes of Wrath (1940)
The Green Mile (1999)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Nashville (1975)
Network (1976)
The Graduate (1967)
American Graffiti (1973)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Terms of Endearment (1983)
Good Will Hunting (1997)
The African Queen (1951)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Double Indemnity (1944)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Taxi Driver (1976)
Rear Window (1954)
The Third Man (1949)
Rebel Without a Cause (1955)
North by Northwest (1959)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Scarface (1983)
Heat (1995)
Se7en (1995)
American History X (1998)
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
Fight Club (1999)
The Dark Knight (2008)
The Shining (1980)
Gaslight (1944)
The Longest Day (1962)
Blade Runner (1982)
Alien (1979)
Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)
Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
A Beautiful Mind (2001)
The Matrix (1999)
L.A. Confidential (1997)
The Usual Suspects (1995)
No Country for Old Men (2007)
There Will Be Blood (2007)
Blow (2001)
Donnie Brasco (1997)

The Big Lebowski (1998)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Twelve Monkeys (1995)
Remains of the Day (1993)
Hannah & Her Sisters (1986)
The Ice Storm (1997)
The Thin Red Line (1998)
District 9 (2009)
Inglourious Basterds (2009)
The English Patient (1996)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Ordinary People (1980)
Magnolia (1999)
The Sweet Hereafter (1997)
In the Name of the Father (1993)
Badlands (1973)
21 Grams (2003)
Cool Hand Luke (1967)
Crimes and Misdemeanours (1989)

Trainspotting (1996)
Inception (2010)
Memento (2000)
Oldboy (2003)
The Elephant Man (1980)
Gran Torino (2008)
Manchester by the Sea (2016)
Paths of Glory (1957)
Spirited Away (2002)
Crazy Heart (2009)
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
Prisoners (2013)
Million Dollar Baby (2004)
American Gangster (2007)
Seven Samurai (1954)

The Martian (2015)
Minority Report (2002)
Spartacus (1960)
Lincoln (2012)
Crash (2004)
Whiplash (2014)
JFK (1991)
Toy Story (1995)
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Leon: The Professional (1994)
The Departed (2006)
Casino (1995)
Munich (2005)
The Untouchables (1987)
Inside Out (2015)
American Psycho (2000)
The Machinist (2004)
The Truman Show (1998)
Iron Man (2008)
The Iron Giant (1999)
A Few Dollars More (1965)
City of God (2002)
Grave of Fireflies (1988)
Up (2009)
The Breakfast Club (1985)
Life is Beautiful (1997)
Die Hard (1988)
La La Land (2016)
The Hurt Locker (2006)
The Lion King (1994)
Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
The Lives of Others (2006)
Django Unchained (2012)
WALL-E (2009)
American Beauty (1999)
Back to the Future (1985)
Das Boot (1981)
Witness for the Prosecution (1957)
Amelie (2001)

Requiem for a Dream (2000)

Like Stars on Earth (2007)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
The Sting (1973)
Bicycle Thieves (1948)
Birdman (2016)
Monty Python and The Holy Grail (1975)
Pans Labyrinth (2006)
Central Station (1998)
Happiness (1998)
Raising Arizona (1987)
Do the Right Thing (1989)
Children of Heaven (1997)
Skyfall (2012)
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
Moonlight (2016)
Boyhood (2014)