See Numbers 80 – 76 HERE.
75. BATMAN RETURNS (1992)
“The Bat, the Cat, the Penguin.”
Director: Tim Burton
Starring: Michael Keaton, Danny de Vito, Michelle Pfeiffer
Theme Song: Face to face – Siouxiee and the Banshees and Danny Elfman
Plotline: Gotham City faces two monstrous criminal menaces: the bizarre, sinister Penguin and the slinky, mysterious Catwoman. Can Batman battle two formidable foes at once? Especially when one wants to be mayor and the other is romantically attracted to Gotham’s hero?
This is the best Batman movie ever! Me and Patring used to fight over who is the real catwoman. Meow. Michelle Pfeiffer is so fatally seductive you’re going to fall for her when she says “Be gentle.. It’s my first time”. Or when she uses her femininity after Batman hits her in a fight on a building rooftop.. “How could you? I’m a woman!” This dark portrayal of Gotham City can only be pulled off my Tim Burton. The greed of Penguin and the egomaniac businesmman Shreck who pushed Selina to the window after saying “Did you know what curiosity did to the cat?” and Michael Keaton’s lips and eyes are so sexy behind the mask I can feel the eroticism between the Cape Crusader and Catwoman! Dark. Very dark.
Favorite scene: Catwoman enters a department store, whips everything she sees, sets the gaspipe on, caterwauls out of the building towards Batman and Penguin who are currently having a confrontation. The store blows and she says “Meow”.
74. DOG DAY AFTERNOON (1975)
“The robbery should have taken 10 minutes. 4 hours later, the bank was like a circus sideshow. 8 hours later, it was the hottest thing on live T.V. 12 hours later, it was all history. And it’s all true.”
Director: Sidney Lumet
Starring: Al Pacino, John Cazale, Chris Sarandon, Charles Durning
Quotable Quote: “Attica! Attica!”
Plotline: It’s a robbery and hostage drama gone wrong. A man robs a bank to pay for his lover’s operation; it turns into a hostage situation and a media circus.
I just stumbled upon the dvd of ‘Dog Day Afternoon’ in Quiapo a few years back and didn’t watch it until a few months after when I was bored to death. Turns out, I like the film because it is fun in a not so fun sort of way. Based on an actual event, ‘Dog Day’ justifies the crime Sonny (Al Pacino) and Sal (John Cazale) made without really justifying at all. That’s sort of an unclear statement but I think the point is there. And to know that Sonny robbed the bank for the sex operation of his lover. Wow. Not to mention, Sonny has a wife and children. All throughout the film, I feel for airhead Sal who follows everything Sonny tells him even up to his death in the airport.
Favorite scene: Agent Murphy shoots Sal in the head. The ending shows Sonny looking at Sal’s dead body being taken from the car to a stretcher. Sad.
73. BEND IT LIKE BECKHAM (2002)
” Who wants to cook Aloo Gobi
when you can bend a ball like Beckham?”
Director: Gurinder Chadha
Starring: Parminder Nagra, Keira Knightley, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Shaznay Lewis
Plotline: A tale of two young London women from different backgrounds who share an aptitude for football (soccer) and pressure from their families to conform. One is a British Indian Sikh girl who struggles against her family’s orthodox mindset to fulfill her dream of playing professional football; the other is a white girl who has to combat her mother’s stereotypes about athletic prowess and lesbianism.
Back in UP, my classmates were raving about this film. It’s a coming-of-age story of going for your dreams and nonconformity. It has the usual formula of light romantic comedy and energetic youth film but what the heck where the main character does what she wants despite her parents’ resistance. True to its nonconformist theme, the fathers of the two girls are the ones who are very supportive of their dreams to play football while both of their mothers insist on living with tradition. This film was made in an era before Keira Knightley became a vixen.
Favorite scene: After her father gives his permission, Jess skips her sister’s wedding party and plays football instead.
72. RAGING BULL (1980)
Director: Martin Scorcese
Starring: Robert de Niro, Joe Pesci, Cathy Moriarty, FrankVincent
Quotable Quote: “I’m gonna open his hole like this. Please excuse my French. I’m gonna make him suffer. I’m gonna make his mother wish she never had him – make him into dog meat… He’s a nice, a nice kid. He’s a pretty kid, too. I mean I don’t know, I gotta problem if I should fuck him or fight him.”
Plotline: An emotionally self-destructive boxer’s journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring, destroys his life outside it.
Compared to “Rocky”, this is a slow film shot in black and white, an allusion to the self-destructive nature of its protagonist, Jake La Motta. The boxer is a bull in the ring, as well as in real life. He is irrational, beats his blonde wife and almost kills his brother. Despite its pace, boredom is not even in place. Well-directed, the film doesn’t castigate Jake La Motta nor worship him. The ending doesn’t even make me feel compassion nor detachment towards him. He’s there, a man wanting to be great but self-destruct in the process. The transformation of Robert de Niro in this film is amazing. And yes, this is way, way better than ‘The Departed’.
Favorite scenes: Paranoid that his wife Vicki has an affair with his brother Joey, he beats her and in the next shot, Jake storms at Joey’s house and beats him wildly. Near the ending, Jake pursues Joey and tries to make amends. Joey ignores him but Jake insists, giving the former a tight hug that Joey doesn’t reciprocate warmly.
71. CLUELESS (1995)
” Sex. Clothes. Popularity. Is there a problem here?”
Director: Amy Heckerling
Starring: Alicia Silverstone, Stacey Dash, Brittany Murphy, Paul Rudd, Elisa Donovan, Donald Faison
Quotable Quote: “Duh! As if!”
Theme Song: I’m Gonna Be A Supermodel – Jill Sobule
Plotline: Jane Austen’s Emma meets Beverley Hills 90210 in US West Coast teen lifestyle parody.
Alicia Silverstone was thin and Britanny Murphy was fat. And not blonde. ‘Clueless’ is an iconic film that paved the way for youth flicks thereafter. It’s a portrayal of the 90s generation like what ‘Rebel Without A Cause’ did in the ’50s, ‘West Side Story’ in the 60s, ‘Grease’ in the 70s and ‘Breakfast Club’ and ‘St. Elmo’s Fire’ in the 80s. It’s like the portrayal of the ovah-rich kids of Beverly Hills where the only solution to their problems is shopping. And more shopping. At that time when gadgets can only be bought by the ovah-rich, the characters in ‘Clueless’ had cellphones THIS small. Imagine, that was 1995! I just love this film. And oh, Josh and Cher look good together!
Favorite scene: Mr. Hall and Ms. Geist’s wedding. Buwahahaha.
Soon: Numbers 70 – 66.