Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Shining

Up next for review is the Stanley Kubrick film The Shining. The film is based off of the Stephen King novel of the same name, and although the film has been widely praised, King himself felt that the movie was not a good adaptation of his novel, and that it was the only adaptation of one of his novels that he could "remember hating". Currently, The Shining ranks number 49 on the Top 250 list, and is regarded as one of the best horror films of all time. But at the time of it's release, The Shining received a mixed reaction at best and received no Academy Award nominations. It did, however receive two Razzie Award nominations, for Worst Actress (Wendy Torrance) and Worst Director (Stanley Kubrick). Here is a synopsis for the movie, courtesy of

"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" -- or, rather, a homicidal boy in Stanley Kubrick's eerie 1980 adaptation of Stephen King's horror novel. With wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall) and psychic son Danny (Danny Lloyd) in tow, frustrated writer Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) takes a job as the winter caretaker at the opulently ominous, mountain-locked Overlook Hotel so that he can write in peace. Before the Overlook is vacated for the Torrances, the manager (Barry Nelson) informs Jack that a previous caretaker went crazy and slaughtered his family; Jack thinks it's no problem, but Danny's "shining" hints otherwise. Settling into their routine, Danny cruises through the empty corridors on his Big Wheel and plays in the topiary maze with Wendy, while Jack sets up shop in a cavernous lounge with strict orders not to be disturbed. Danny's alter ego, "Tony," however, starts warning of "redrum" as Danny is plagued by more blood-soaked visions of the past, and a blocked Jack starts visiting the hotel bar for a few visions of his own. Frightened by her husband's behavior and Danny's visit to the forbidding Room 237, Wendy soon discovers what Jack has really been doing in his study all day, and what the hotel has done to Jack.

You can view our thoughts and reviews of The Shining in the comments section of this post. Also, feel free to post your own thoughts about The Shining in the comments section.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Movies from the 1980's

Here is the list of the movies we shall be watching and reviewing from the 1980s.

Academy Nominated:  Ordinary People, Coal Miner's Daughter, The Elephant Man, Raging Bull, Tess.
Our Nominees:  The Blues Brothers, The Shining, Dressed To Kill, The Empire Strikes Back.

So now you all know what is to come, and you can look out for a review of your favorite movie of that decade.

Toodles, -Maggie-

(Note: Those with a strike through it means we are watching it now/have already watched/reviewed it.)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Maggie's Raging Bull Review

First of all, De Niro did a wonderful job portraying the character of LaMotta.  

However, I did not like LaMotta.  I thought the way that he, and his brother, treated their wives was beyond terrible and abusive.  Vickie, played by Cathy Moriarty, should have left Jake way before she did.  All he ever did was abuse, accuse, and make her life terrible.  Yet, he never acted that way UNTIL they got married.  Just like Jake's wife before Vickie, he drove her out of the house with his constant yelling and hitting.  However, with Vickie, he also added a giant dose of paranoia.  Every little move she made, he thought she was sleeping with someone. Every little look or word she said was met with physical and verbal abuse.  LaMotta may have been a great boxer, but that's where his greatness ends.

The scene in the jail cell was very haunting, I thought.  It made LaMotta sit there in reflection of himself, and he kept repeating, "I'm not an animal."  Yet, in almost every sense, he was.  When he fought, he was indeed a raging bull, recklessly going into the opponent's reach.  In love, he was a raging bull, rampaging about his house and on his friends and family in a rage.  In life, he was a raging bull, charging headfirst into whatever he wanted and not caring of the consequences.

All in all, I can't say that I really cared a lot for this movie.  The acting is phenomenal, but I just did not like the story or the main character. It dragged at bits, yet the fights were very well done and exciting.  This is the first movie we've seen from the 80s, so I cannot yet say whether I think it deserved it's nomination as best picture for 1980.

I might have other notes to add on to this later, but as of now, I cannot think of anything else to say.  Can't wait to see the rest of the opinions on here!  Toodles, MRW

P.S., are we going to be rating these out of 10?  Cause if so, I give this movie a 6/10.

First Post

Hello, and welcome to the Western Movie Project. I am Jimmy West, and over the next few months or years or however long it takes, myself and my colleagues will attempt to discover which was truly the best movie of a certain year. We will do this by watching each movie nominated for the Oscar award for Best Picture that year, as well as a few other quality films that missed the cut, and then giving our impressions of each film on this blog. After we have watched the movies that we have selected for viewing, we will rank each movie, and try to come up with a consensus for which film was the best for that year. The first year in film that we will undertake is 1980, and the first film that we will watch is Raging Bull, so over the next couple of days or so be on the lookout as we share our impressions of Raging Bull.