The Greatest Movie of All Time
By Arthur Kohoutova
Truth be told. Hollywood hasn't come out with a great movie for a long time. The last great, completely solid motion pictures in the last decade were films like Braveheart, American Beauty and Saving Private Ryan. Unfortunately, the rest of the films that were offered to us movie fans always found a way to fall short of perfection.
In recent years, there were films such as Lord of the Rings that relied heavily on special effects and the already great fan base that the novels generated. Crash was an independent film that almost made it to the classics category, but the lewd essence and "rough around the edges" quality of the filmmaking cut its chances in half.
Quentin Tarantino wasn't able to duplicate his masterpiece tour-de-force Pulp Fiction with his following tries. Jackie Brown was too talky and it lost its audience's attention after the first 10 minutes and Kill Bill was the exact opposite and could never be taken as a serious cinematic work.
Sixth Sense was an innovation in the world of cinema but it didn't have enough solidity through out its whole body to complement the great conclusion. The Usual Suspects had the same situation by having a powerful ending but nothing so impressive leading up to it.
How about all those comic book adaptations? It seems like filmmakers these days make films to make money and there is really no drive toward creativity and taking risks. One of the films that was recently nominated for the Oscars was Lost in Translation - which although so small managed to stand on its own too feet. It was a breeze of fresh air and it didn't feel like two hours; it felt like a casual and satisfying conversation with a person across the dinner table.
Machiavelli Hangman achieved that magic even though it was also swimming in the same low-budget waters as Lost in Translation. When there is so much at stake, there seems to be an awkward sense of restriction placed on how far the film can take you. The high budget and production values place that limitation on risk and spontaneity and it doesn't leave the story any room for breathing.
Napoleon Dynamite was made just like Machiavelli Hangman, on a thread-thin budget but it felt real and that's the reason for its tremendous success. The irony is that no matter how many of these "real" movies prove successful at the box-office, studios continue to make motion pictures that depend mainly on special effects and visuals.
Learn from the amateurs. Focus on story.
About the Author
Arthur Kohoutova is a movie reviewer.
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