Monday, April 10, 2006

List crit

The Writer's Guild of America did a list of 101 Greatest Screenplays and it's pretty horrible, almost to the point of being laughable. Let me start at the bottom and work my way up to the "top" (and no, I haven't seen all the movies on the list so I will limit my complaints to those that I have seen):

- Forrest Gump at 89? That has to be the only Best Picture winner I've seen that I think is less deserving of it than Crash.

- Raging Bull at 76. I rewatched this a few months back and was really bored by it; it's a terribly plain biopic (I'm really tired of the "fast-forward to the highlights of their life" format) that is only remarkable for the realistic boxing scenes and De Niro's performance.

- Star Wars at 68. Yes, one of the greatest movies of all time. No way in hell, one of the greatest screenplays of all time.

- The Sixth Sense at 50? Sure, it's creepy and accessible but would it be as good in the hands of a different director? Absolutely not, which tells me that the directing has more to do with its quality than the writing.

- I really can't get why Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and Pulp Fiction aren't in the top 10. It seems almost silly to have Eternal Sunshine sandwiched between Gone With the Wind and Wizard of Oz, two movies that are more cultural monuments than they are films.

- Casablanca at #1 is undercut by the note that In the 1980s, this film's script was sent to readers at a number of major studios and production companies under its original title, Everybody Comes To Rick's. Some readers recognized the script but most did not. Many complained that the script was "not good enough" to make a decent movie.

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