Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sunday Showdown: AFI vs. IMDb (#76 & #75)

Sunday Showdown double feature and late… again.  The AFI vs. IMDb battle continues:
#76: Forest Gump vs. Cinema Paradiso
#75: In the Heat of the Night vs. Raging Bull

Really, I don’t want to talk about In the Heat of the Night vs. Raging Bull.  I didn’t like either of those movies. I appreciate In the Heat of the Night for what I envision it was at the time of its 1967 release – smack in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement.  But now it’s more of a movie that you’re sure was powerful 35 years ago, but today…

And Raging Bull? Well, Robert DeNiro is just bat crazy. But I had to choose one of the two so I chose Raging Bull. That’s all I have to say about that.

Speaking of… Forest Gump vs. Cinema Paradiso. I have been told by one of my film aficionado friends that if I choose Gump over Cinema Paradiso that he’s going to blow up Mount Rushmore or kill all the fish in the Atlantic Ocean or something like that.  

Forrest Gump & I met a few months ago in L.A.
Forrest Gump is a great story. Truly. I defy anyone not to tear up when Forrest and his Jenny are reunited in the Lincoln Memorial reflecting pool. Or when Lt. Dan has his showdown with God on the shrimp boat.  Or Jenny throwing those rocks at her father’s house.   These are all gorgeous, heart-wrenching and even iconic moments. Forrest Gump is one of the best loved American films of all times, and will probably continue to be for decades to come. Forrest Gump is an absolutely wonderful story.

But it’s not necessarily a great movie.  

You will fall in love with this kid, I promise
As much as I hate to give in to cinematic terrorism... I have to agree with my film enthusiast friend.  Cinema Paradiso is the better movie.  I had never seen it, and apart from the Sunday Showdown challenge, I’m not sure I ever would’ve – and what a terrible pity that would’ve been.  Such a fabulous film. It is foreign, with subtitles, but it’s still beautiful – perhaps even more so – because of that. Undoubtedly one of my favorites so far. If you haven’t seen it, you definitely should.

And hooray, Mount Rushmore and all the fish in the Atlantic get to live another day.

AFI’s Top 100
IMDB’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)

The Gold Rush (1925)
Memento (2000)

In the Heat of the Night (1967)
Raging Bull (1980)
Forrest Gump (1994)
Cinema Paradiso (1988)
All the President’s Men  (1976)
Singing In the Rain (1952)
Modern Times (1936)
Some Like it Hot (1959)
The Wild Bunch (1969)
The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957)
The Apartment (1960)
Rashomon (1950)
Spartacus (1960)
All About Eve (1950)
Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (1927)
Amadeus (1984)
Titanic (1997)
Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Green Mile (1999)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Platoon (1986)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Sixth Sense (1999)
Braveheart (1995)
Swing Time (1936)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
The Apartment (1960)
Up (2009)
Goodfellas (1990)
The French Connection (1971)
Downfall (2004)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Metropolis (1927)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
The Sting (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Gladiator (2000)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)

Next week, finally a fair and equal match: Silence of the Lambs vs. Pan’s Labyrinth.  Spooky and more spooky.


  1. You choose wisely!!! Yeah!!!! You even called ITHOTN vs RB correctly. You need to suffer through them both.

    You defy someone not to get teary eyed at FG? Watch it with me someday. I shall defy you. I have raging disdain for that movie. Perhaps I should watch it again and see if it can melt my heart of stone. But, I doubt it.

    Didn't help that it was up against CP. that film is awesome. Another I need to watch again. I might need to seek out a copy.

    Next week... More difficult. But hard not to give it to Silence.

    1. You do have a heart of stone - as also exemplified by your dislike of Serenity. Btw, CP is presently on Netflix Instant.

      Have you seen The Secret in Their Eyes yet? You will love that movie. Seriously.

  2. I did watch Secrets in their Eyes. It was great.

    My random foreign recommendation (currently on NF) is "Fish Story."