“The American Film Institute’s list of the 100 Greatest Movies was selected by AFI’s blue-ribbon panel of more than 1,500 leaders of the American movie community to commemorate 100 Years of Movies”. Every weekend(ish) during 2015, I’ll review two(ish), counting them down from 100 to 1.
“Hell, these guys deserve to go home as much as I do. They’ve fought just as hard.”
For the last 15 or so years, pretty much all war movies have been shot and edited in a very specific way. And not just war movies and big battle scenes, but one on one fights in action movies as well. The camera doesn’t just watch the action now, it’s in it, being rocked by explosions, knocked around by combatants, with shots edited to keep the viewer a little disorientated. When done right, you get cool, visceral action like in the Bourne movies. When done wrong, you get incomprehensible shit, like in The Transformers movies. Right or wrong, they all stole their style from one man and one movie. Steven Spielberg and Saving Private Ryan.
In one of the most famous scenes of the last two decades of movie making, Saving Private Ryan opens with the storming of the beach at Normandy, the beginning of the allies final push to take Europe back from Hitler. I hail of bullets and explosions, we focus on the platoon of Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks). Against all odds, they survive the invasion and are given their next assignment. When a War Department Colonel (Bryan Cranston) back in America finds out that there’s one poor mother in Iowa who’s about to get four telegrams on the same day announcing the death of four of her five sons, he decides the fifth boy will be sent home safely. (more…)