The Breakfast Club

One Saturday, five kids from different social cliques are all brought in for a day’s detention. Over the course of the day, they’ll find that their generic labels – the athlete (Emilio Estevez), the princess (Molly Ringwald), the brain (Anthony Michael Hall), the criminal (Judd Nelson) and the basket case (Ally Sheedy) – may not reveal every detail about their respective personalities.
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Schindler’s List

During World War II, an entrepreneurial member of the Nazi party, Oscar Schindler (Liam Neeson) takes advantage of the mistreatment of Jewish citizens by using them for cheap labour in his enamelware factory. However, as he gets to know his workers better – particularly his right hand man Itzhak Stern (Ben Kingsley) – and witnesses first hand the inhuman brutalities they must endure – particularly at the hand of concentration camp overseer Amon Goeth (Ralph Fiennes) – Schindler begins to realise the change he can make to the people around him.
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Fight Club

This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip series for French Toast Sunday.

At the end of the 20th Century, men have lost there sense of place in the world. With no real sociological problems to concern them, the American working class males wander through life in a daze, controlled by their jobs and their society-spawned desire for the perfect magazine lifestyle. One such man (Edward Norton) finds solace from his insomnia in support groups for people with terminal illnesses, with this contrast to his own lack of problems finally allowing him to sleep at night. However, his world is rocked by the existence of Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), a fellow group-attending faker, and Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a rather bizarre fellow with a penchant for soap, explosives, splicing pornography into family films and, of course, beating the crap out of other consenting men.
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Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) is an introverted guy who has difficulty making eye contact with people, let alone asking them out. One Valentine’s Day, on a random impulse, he ditches work and heads to the beach in Montauk, where he keeps seeing a girl in a bright orange sweatshirt with even brighter blue hair. Her name is Clementine (Kate Winslet) and, despite their vastly contrasting personalities, they spend the day together, and the next. Alas, all is not great in their world, however, and sadly their relationship ends when, on another impulse, Clementine decides to erase Joel from her memory using a little known company who specialises in a very concentrated form of brain damage. Joel opts to undergo the same procedure, but it doesn’t quite go as planned when he decides mid-operation that he might have made the wrong decision.
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The Green Mile

This review was originally written as part of my USA Road Trip series for French Toast Sunday.

Paul Edgecomb (Tom Hanks) was the head prison officer at Cold Mountain Penitentiary’s Death Row, known as the Green Mile, in 1935. Along with having a crippling urinary infection, Paul and his team of good men must also deal with their snivelling bastard of a colleague Percy Wetmore (Doug Hutchison), the governor’s wife’s only nephew, and the various inmates that come through their doors on the way to the execution chair. The most recent of whom, John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan), is a towering, muscle-bound mountain of a man, but with a simple, child-like mind, and something a little special about him that makes Paul doubt whether Coffey has any cause to be on the Mile at all.
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Magnolia

In the San Fernando Valley, a selection seemingly disconnected group of people are going through some fairly heavy moments in their live. Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) is dying in bed, being cared for by his nurse Phil (Philip Seymour Hoffman), who is tasked with finding Earl’s estranged son. Earl’s much-younger trophy wife, Linda (Julianne Moore), is struggling to deal with the imminent death of her husband. Officer Jim (John C. Reilly) is called to investigate a disturbance, which leads to a potential murder case. Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman) is a genius child contestant on the TV Game Show What Do Kids Know?, and is just a few days away from breaking that show’s record of most consecutive wins. Jimmy Gator hosts the show, and has done for decades, but has just been diagnosed with cancer, with just months to live. Jimmy’s daughter, Claudia (Melora Walters), has a difficult relationship with her father, as well as a cocaine habit and various other issues in her life, whilst Donnie Smith (William H. Macy), a former child star contestant on the aforementioned TV show, has seen his fame squandered and life thrown in turmoil when he loses his job at an electronics store. Finally, Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise) runs a self-help seminar on men who wish to be more successful with ladies. Mid-show, he gives an interview to a reporter (April Grace) that doesn’t necessarily go as he plans. All these stories, and more besides, will become interwoven over the course of the film’s next 24 hours.
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HitchcOctober Day 23: Rear Window

L.B. “Jeff” Jeffries (James Stewart) is a renowned photographer, whose latest on location piece resulted in a broken camera and a broken leg. He has been wheelchair-bound inside his two-room apartment for six weeks, with his cast due to be removed in seven days time. He is regularly visited by his acerbic carer Stella (Thelma Ritter) and fashion model girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly), who wants to marry Jeff, but he has deemed her too perfect for him, and is reluctant to settle down from his country-hopping lifestyle. With cabin fever beginning to set in, Jeff spends his days peeping on his neighbours, including a lonely woman looking for love, a beautiful and nubile ballerina, a pair of newlyweds, a composer, a married couple with a dog and a salesman with his ill wife. After piecing together a few out-of-character actions, Jeff begins to suspect that the salesman (Raymond Burr) may have murdered his wife, so he calls in his detective friend Doyle (Wendell Corey) to look into it.722_11_screenshot Continue reading