Guest Columnist: Chloe the Film Critic

Watching movies with Chloe is fast becoming one of my favorite pastimes, especially now that I’m no longer limited to viewing saccharine-sweet children’s films with her.  We have embarked on an epic quest: making our way through the American Film Institute’s “100 Years 100 Movies” list.  We also have a lot of Oscar contenders to see in the theater before the end of the year.  And we have plenty of schlock to watch on Netflix.  Our viewing tastes run the gamut.

Chloe, unsurprisingly to those who know her, has very strong opinions about the movies she watches.    And as a gift to all of you, she kindly agreed to critique some of the movies she’s seen over the past few weeks.  Here you go, straight from the horse’s mouth:

Godfather I: Unknown to me previously, Al Pacino wasn’t terrible looking as a young lad. I think he bears a strange resemblance to Paul McCartney (in his younger years of course) but nobody seems to agree with me about that. Also, I expected a whole lot more blood with mom talking it up so much. I was pretty disappointed in that respect, but it didn’t matter because the movie was still good. Also, my dad needed subtitles. What a surprise (although I occasionally found myself looking at them too).

Godfather II: Not as good as Godfather I. Eh, maybe equal. Not sure. It had to be watched over two nights with an amazing length of 3.5 freaking hours. Yes, I think I preferred the first one, if only by a little. I felt myself nodding off a couple of times, but that wasn’t because of the movie. That could be attributed to my inability to rest my head on the end of the couch without getting sleepy. Al Pacino is still rockin’ it.

Citizen Kane: The ending was easily the best part. Possibly a knock off of the Great Gatsby. Number one movie of all time (as many lists call it)? Well, maybe, but I don’t think so (although I can see why others think that). I thought the way the story was unraveled was clever. SIDENOTE: Orson Welles really did not look good with a mustache. At all.

Pretty in Pink: In the name of fashion, I am very happy to be living in the years I am today. I think that can also be said for the hair. Overall a bit meh, for a cult classic.

12 Years a Slave: At the beginning with the first slave owner (Benedict Cumberbatch), I thought “Oh, this guy isn’t so bad” and then I thought “Wait – hold the phone. Did I just call a slave owner ‘not bad?'” And no, that is not okay. I mean, it is true that compared to the others he was less brutal, but either way he wasn’t standing up for the cause, and he still used slaves himself. So no matter what kind of slave owner you were it shouldn’t make the slave owner feel better about himself for being nicer. It’s not like they were doing anything to help, so in the end no matter how you treated your slaves, if you weren’t advocating for them you probably weren’t doing squat, no matter how much in your head you thought it was wrong. And I think that is a problem, because no matter how many times you say you think that something is wrong, if you’re not doing anything to fix the problem then it doesn’t really matter what you think, does it? And that is an important message (to me, at least) that was conveyed by Cumberbatch’s character.

And there were a couple of scenes that were just really awful to watch. And I remembered that this is a true story, and it became even more awful. And then I thought that this had happened to thousands upon thousands of people and it became even worse. Especially to see it on screen, because no matter how many times teachers talk about it in school, it’s not the same as seeing it for yourself, or in the case of this movie, as close as you can get to seeing it for yourself.

Captain Phillips: My first observation upon watching the movie: Tom Hanks is getting OLD. My second observation: For a true story, this is pretty damn intense.

Gravity: Honestly a BIT over-hyped. The CGI= AWESOME. Plot, good, but not exactly. I mean, it was just problem after problem, and I guess it makes enough sense because there is only so much that can happen in space, which was my main qualm with the movie. To keep the plot moving forward there just had to be problem after problem.

Children of the Corn: This was a friend’s choice. She had wanted to watch it, what with it being a cult classic and so my friends and I agreed to watch it at our sleepover. And honestly, it was crap. The most exciting part of the movie was when I saw that one of the main characters in the film was played by Sarah Connors A.K.A. actress Linda Hamilton A.K.A. lead in the “Terminator” films (none of my friends recognized her). Mostly we just laughed at the plain weirdness of the concept, and the ultimate stupidity of the story. I’ve been told the book by Stephen King is better – no surprise there. I mean, when a movie is about some weird religious cult, you can’t really set your expectations too high, is my theory.

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