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Showing posts from February, 2012

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #405: Dirty Dancing

“Dirty Dancing” (1987) has been described as “Star Wars” for women. That may be true in terms of popularity, but story-wise we are talking about apples and oranges here. Just like “Footloose” and the “Footloose” remake, “Dirty Dancing” has a paper-thin plot that serves as an excuse to see well-toned people hit the dance floor and make it look improvised whereas they have been practicing for weeks. Of course it didn’t hurt the film that the male lead was Patrick Swayze, who, while not the best actor of all time, was one of the best on-screen dancers of all time.
So why did I decide to watch this movie? Two reasons: first, it’s on Empire Magazine list of Greatest Movies of All Times and I like to cross things off a list, even though I am not sure why it’s on the list. Second, when I saw it a year ago it was available on iTunes for 99 cents and I was low on cash. I was finishing my second semester in Journalism-New Media at Sheridan College, living off a student loan, and trying to save e…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #406: Iron Man

When I was growing up, I knew of three super-heroes: Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man. Yet Jon Favreau’s “Iron Man” (2008) showed me a hero that is, if not as interesting, even more entertaining than these three put together. Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) has the money of Batman, the brains of Steve Jobs, but also the libido of Hugh Hefner. The scene that says it all in terms of characterisation is the one when he is flying to Afghanistan in his private jet with his Air Force friend James Rhodes (Terrence Howard). As they drink and talk shop, polls descend from the ceiling and the stewardesses begin to…well you know.
This movie was one of the highlights of the 2008 summer seasons. I was on vacation from Sherbrooke University and was working a summer job in Quebec City. But when the week-end came, man did I have some choice cuts at the Cineplex: “The Dark Knight,” “WALL-E,” “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” and “Tropic Thunder.” “Iron Man” was one of the first out o…

Empire Magazine Greatest Movies List - #407: The Jungle Book

It’s fair to say Walt Disney provided me with a great deal of entertainment while growing up. His colourful characters were in my storybooks, Saturday morning cartoons, and in some of the first movies I saw as a child. “The Jungle Book,” produced by Disney and directed by Wolfgang Reithermann, is filled with talking animals, hand-drawn animation, and song and dance numbers. That’s all you needed back in 1967, when the movie was made. There is no 3D, no big movie stars providing the voices, and no pop-culture references.
This is one of those movies that bring me back to a simpler time, when I couldn’t go to bed past 10:00pm and when grandma’s apartment was the best place in the world. That’s probably where I first saw this movie. Either that, or someone read me the illustrated book based on the movie. You know the kind. There’s a whole catalogue of short books filled with what are basically stills from Disney movies with about five sentences on the right page to add narration. I might …