Monday, July 30, 2012

Sunday Showdown: AFI vs. IMDb (#71)

Sunday Showdown... #71 AFI's Saving Private Ryan vs. IMDb's Monty Python & the Holy Grail
I know it’s nearly impossible to believe I had never seen Saving Private Ryan. But for nearly 15 years I have been actively avoiding watching this movie.  Even for Sunday Showdown I avoided it – watching movies all around it on the list rather than just suck it up and watch. Netflix wondered if I was going to buy it, I had it so long.

In my defense, the one thing I remember about when Ryan came out in the theaters is my Great-Aunt Wynell saying that my Great-Uncle Wendell (then in his late 70s) wouldn’t/couldn’t see it because he had served in the Normandy Invasion.  Saving Private Ryan was a scene he knew all too well and had no desire to revisit even fifty years later.  My Uncle Wendell passed away just this past Spring; definitely one of the Greatest Generation.

I didn’t want to think about young men like Uncle Wendell dying. That’s why I had avoided Saving Private Ryan. But I did watch it, and didn’t enjoy it, although I could appreciate it for the snapshot of history it was. It’s hard for me to watch when I know everybody ‘s going to die, it’s just a matter of when. Dealing with suspense is not my strong suit.

But wait… isn’t there another movie I’m supposed to be comparing this with?… Oh yeah, Monty Python & the Holy Grail. Really, there’s no comparison, is there?

Although I can quote probably more lines from that movie than any other film that doesn’t star Harrison Ford, Holy Grail just didn’t really do it for me. Maybe looking at it through 40-year-old eyes rather than 20. Or maybe it’s just that Monty Python is kind of like ex-boyfriends: better remembered with nostalgia than viewed in the present.

After 34 Showdowns, the score stands at AFI -18, IMDb - 16

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

The Gold Rush (1925)
Memento (2000)

Unforgiven (1992)
The Treasure of Sierra Madre (1948)
Tootsie (1982)
Modern Times (1936)

Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Monty Python & the Holy Grail (1975)
The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
Back to the Future (1985)
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid (1969)
The Prestige (2006)
Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
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, more WWII joy with Life is Beautiful vs. the never-pleasant-to-watch Clockwork Orange. Sigh. More Kubrick.

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