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Alright. Now we're at movie review # 499 so let's review the movie everyone feels should've won best picture in 1990 instead of Dances With Wolves: Goodfellas.
Plot: Henry Hill narrates the story of the film saying that he basically always wanted to be a gangster and thus always wanted to be a part of the Lucchese crime family. So he quits school and goes to work for them and eventually is taken under the wing of Paul "Paulie" Cicero and his associates Jimmy "The Gent" Conway and Tommy DeVito. The rest of the film goes through the rise of the Lucchese family and the experiences Henry has between his work, his associates and his life at home with his wife.
Now one of the reasons I decided to finally fully see this movie is that I first saw a really good portion of it at film school and I was really hooked. But sadly I had to stop because I needed to get home, so I kept waiting for a good oppertunity to finally fully see it myself. But from how so many people felt about the movie, I felt I should've tried to stay just long enough for the end of the movie so I can give my honest two cents. The biggest thing everyone says about this movie as I just states in the beginning of this review is that everyone finds it to be a huge Oscar screw up for Goodfellas to be defeated by Dances With Wolves for best picture. Now as I've stated in my review for Dances With Wolves I have to admit that I can understand and can agree that it really just won because of the political statement that it made. And I still stand by it when I say that even if Goodfellas should've won, Dances With Wolves isn't the worst movie it could lose to. But for the most part I do agree with everyone else that it's Goodfellas who should've won. Rather then focus on the main leader of a crime family and his personal family like The Godfather movies, it focuses on just one of the wise guy members who just always wanted to be a gangster because of how you and just about do or be anything. People like Henry would have to rob or rough up people and deliver some goods, but that aside, they would just hang out and live like kings. And this film shows it all with its violence, language and...well just about anything you would expect from a gangster movie. And of coarse you have your memorable performances such as Ray Liotta as Henry, Robert DeNiro as Jimmy and more commonly praised, Joe Pesci as Tommy who won best supporting actor for his performance.
And that's my review for Goodfellas. It's a great movie with a story that keeps you interested, with it's characters that were very well acted and give another violent yet fun take at the world of gangsters. If any film should've won best picture that year instead of Dances With Wolves, it's definitely this one.
Here's my review for Awakenings and boy is it quite a movie.
Plot: Dr. Sayer is a dedicated and caring physician at a local hospital where he especially works with Catatonia. Sayer begins to discover certain stimuli that reaches beyond the patients' states except for one particular patient named Leonard who is able to communicate via Ouija board. But when he hears about the L-Dopa drug and what it does for people with Parkinson's disease, Sayer decides to use the drug on Leonard believing that it can be used as a breakthrough for all the patients.
Wow. Just wow. This tells a remarkable story about what it means to be alive and to be free making it very moving and heartwarming. And nowhere is that spectacularly shown then in the performances from Robert DeNiro and Robin Williams. DeNiro did an excellent job with how he spoke, moved reacted to what was happening around him. When I brought up that I finally saw this movie to my brother Tommy, he expressed how this movie expresses that Robin Williams is a very underrated actor. And he's absolutely right. This is a Robin Williams that we should really see more often: a great dramatic actor. In this film he does no voices, says no jokes, just doesn't try to be funny in any way. It's just pure dramatic acting and he does a wonderful job at it to the point where it's just doesn't make sense to me that he wasn't even nominated for his performance at the Oscars that year. This is a side of Robins Williams as an actor that I think we should see much more of. Heck, I recently found out that he's in the upcoming movie The Butler later this year and it looks like he'll be serious in that one too which would be awesome. The rest of the performances are very well done as well, Julie Kavner seems to be the most notable aside from DeNiro and Williams (fun fact; she's Marge Simpsons from The Simpsons.) And of coarse the story just draws you to want to know more about what happened to the character and what is being done today with Cantonia or things related to that.
And that's my review for Awakenings. It tells a dramatic and moving story with wonderful performances from DeNiro and Williams and a message that expresses what it means to be alive and interest you more about what is happening today about a subject like Cantonia. It's a great movie, highly recommended.
So as I am reaching 500 and am almost done with going through all the best picture winners, I decided to get closer to 500 by reviewing most of the best picture nominees from 1990. I'm doing this for three reasons. One, 1990 is the year I was born, so I thought why not make that year the first one where I've reviewed both the winner and all the nominees. Two, I've heard some good/mixed things about some of these nominees to the point where one of the for sure should've won instead of Dances With Wolves. And finally, the last reason you'll just have to find out when I get to the last nominee eventually. But enough talking about that, let's move on with my review for Ghost.
Plot: Sam is a banker who just recently moved in with his girlfriend Molly. But on the way home from a play, an armed thug kills Sam while trying to get his wallet which results in his ghost arising from his body. Eventually Sam finds out that the same thug is now after Molly, so he teams up with a psychic who is able to hear him to try to find out what the thug is after and save Molly.
Okay I'm not completely sure with I would agree this movie would be so good as to be at least nominated for best picture, but at the same time I can see why it would be. The story is very simple in that it doesn't go farther then what happens in the story or what the characters go through. For the most part it just is what it is as a story and as a film as a whole. This also goes for the concept of ghosts in this movie as there isn't a whole lot of things different from what we would mostly think of when we think of ghosts. But for the most part the way they showed us what ghosts can do and how they can do that was well done for the most part. But what seems to really make this films enjoyable are the characters. And while none of my hearts strings were pulled or anything, I will admit that that they were acted pretty well. Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore gave very good emotional performances as Sam and Molly. And Whoopi Goldberg did a very good job at being the comedy for the film while also performing some very good dramatic moments herself. I don't think it was so great that she completely deserved to win best supporting actress per say, but it's still neat that she did win.
And that's my review for Ghost. It's a very nice story about love, death and ghosts that generally doesn't really try to be anything more then it really needs to be and has some very good emotional performances from from its star actors. Even if being nominated for best picture might've been much to be, it's still a pretty good film and I think you would have a nice time enjoying.
So after I saw The Lone Ranger with my friend Blaine, he realized that I didn't see this film all the way yet. So he decided to fix that by showing me the film and now here's my review for Pan's Labyrinth.
Plot: Set in post- Civil War in Spain, Ofelia is a young girl who travels with her pregnant mother to meet her stepfather, Captain Vidal. During her stay she comes across a fairy who takes her deep into the labyrinth where she meets a fawn. He tells her that he believes that she is actually Princess Moanna of the underworld, who lost her memory due to going to the human world out of curiosity and eventually died. The father of the princess believes that her spirit would return, and so believing that Ofelia is Moanna, send her to these three quests before the full moon so that her essence may stay intact.
This was an excellent movie to finally see after hearing so much about it. It has a very sad, and dark story that has all these kinds of symbolism/similarities to other fairy tales and fantasy stories like Red Riding Hood and Alice in Wonderland. But what makes it really unique is how they put all the similarities together to make this story that is different. There are some things that you think will happen, but they might do something else entirely which makes it more original. The actors gave terrific performances, the most memorable would be Ivana Baquero, Sergi López and Doug Jones as Ofelia, Captain Vidal and The Fawn. And this movie is also known for having great cinematography, make up and art direction. And why not? All three of them are great. This film has great shots, the design is very creative, and I just really like how much work they really put into the makeup above everything else. Blaine showed me the special features for this film and that just impressed me all the more with why they deserved the Oscar for that particular category. They did an awful lot to bring a character to life or make a certain cut or wound look very real. And the process that they went through for creating the Fawn and the Pale Man and make them look very creative and unique to creating those certain types of creatures.
And that's my review for Pan's Labyrinth. It's a great movie with a very well written story, excellent acting, and as it's more commonly known, shows a great sense of art with its cinematography, art design and makeup. It's a very enjoyable film despite how particularly sad and dark it can be, but if you haven't seen this movie before, you should check it out.