Wednesday, November 30, 2016

SCENT OF A WOMAN



(December 1992, U.S.)

Man, I just love it when one Al Pacino film follows another! I love SCENT OF A WOMAN, and yet even as I write this post, I am somewhat disappointed to learn that this is an American remake of a 1974 Italian film of the same name called PROFUMO DI DONNA. It seems that nearly every time I think a major Hollywood studio has actually put something out there of original quality, it turns out that someone else did it first (why does this always happen to me??).

Oh, well. I'll try to put aside my disillusioned feelings and concentrate on Al Pacino, my favorite actor of all time, and the unique qualities he brings to his Academy award-winning performance in this film. As Colonel Frank Slade, it safe to say that he's more than just a little rough around the edges. Fact is, he's a blind and bitter raving alcoholic who could make a hater our of Gandhi, and as circumstance would have it, he needs someone to look after him during the Thanksgiving weekend while the rest of his family is traveling. Charlie Simms (played by Chris O'Donnel), a student at the New England Baird prep school who lacks self-confidence, is that very someone who will have to put up with Frank in order to earn enough money to fly home to Oregon for Christmas. But even before any of that has started, there's a situation at school in which Charlie and another student George Willis Jr. (played by the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman) witness three other boys setting up a nasty prank above the brand new Jaguar of the headmaster, Mr. Trask (played by the late James Rebhorn). Following the prank that resulted in paint all over his new car, Mr. Trask presses both witness to divulge the names of the pranksters. Both boys, for the time being, manage to talk their way out of it, but Mr. Trask is not willing to let the matter go, suggesting that an emergency meeting of the disciplinary board be called first thing after the holiday weekend.

Still silent, Charlie is conflicted about what to do. What better way to decide than to spend an unpleasant holiday weekend with Frank Slade (not!)! Before Charlie can understand what's happening to him, he's been whisked away to New York City with Frank on what will be an adventurous weekend for Frank who also has a plan for himself, which includes staying at the famous Waldorf-Astoria hotel, eating dinner at the Oak Room, seeing his older brother, making love to a beautiful woman and then blowing his brains out. Is is, perhaps, only Charlie that questions whether or not Frank is serious about his intended suicide, but I think we as the viewers no better. Frank is a lost man in the dark who sees no hope of any future for himself. At the home of his brother on Thanksgiving day, Frank proves once and for all why every family has at least one asshole in it. Though, in all honesty, when you see just how prim, proper, reserved and nervous the rest of the family is, you almost can't blame Frank for having the irresistible desire to shoot off his mouth just for shock value alone. Of course, it's during the dinner scene that we learn just how Frank came to be blind when one of his relatives finally speaks up in defense of the entire family.

Having finally completed all of the items on his so-called "bucket list" (including an unexpected and spectacular tango with a beautiful girl in a restaurant), Frank is despondent by the middle of the weekend. Trying to raise his spirits, Charlie convinces him to take a test drive in a Ferrari Mondial T. Despite being blind, Frank handles the car quite well and gets a joyous rush from the whole experience. But at the crucial moment when Frank wants to end his life, Charlie finally decides to grow a pair and stop the man before he can do it. I'm honestly never sure if it's just Charlie's humanity taking over in stopping another person from taking his life, or if he has come to have some genuine feelings for Frank (perhaps it's both). Nonetheless, there's a bond of understanding that has formed between the two of them over the weekend, and it surely manifests itself when Frank unexpectedly comes to Charlie's aid during the disciplinary board meeting that Monday morning, in which Frank, during one of his traditional rants, convinces the board to pardon Charlie for having the integrity to not sell out his soul against others just to save his own ass and his future. There's a lesson learned there somewhere; what it is, I'm not entirely sure. Is it let the asshole pranksters who look down on you because you don't come from wealth win, perhaps?

SCENT OF A WOMAN was the film that finally won Al Pacino his Best Actor Oscar for 1992. And while it's great to have finally seen that happen, I still can't help but feel that it was the wrong film to bestow that honor upon him. How he didn't win it for THE GODFATHER-PART II, I'll never understand! Still, it's a pleasure to watch Pacino in a role that truly brings out the hard edge in his acting talents, particularly if you get to hear him scream and shout, because nobody does that, in my opinion, as well as he does (and really, can you picture anyone else in Hollywood repeatedly saying, "Hoo-ah!" the way he does?). But even as we watch his dark side, we know the lighter side exists somewhere and it perhaps displays itself best when Frank his describing his passion for women. Not just their physical beauty, but the seemingly high pedestal he puts them on in terms of respect and worship. In the end, it's because of a woman, a political science teacher at Charlie's school, that we can all finally see a glimpse of hope for the future of Frank Slade.

Favorite line or dialogue:

Frank Slade: "It's three o'clock and the goddamn Flintstones haven't left yet!"


















Friday, November 25, 2016

SCARFACE (1983)



(December 1983, U.S.)

It's almost impossible not to feel that my post for the original 1932 version of SCARFACE was merely something to just get through and get over with in order to work our way up to the real deal. Director Brian DePalma's remake of SCARFACE has become embedded in out popular culture since its release and an effective gangster film that has stood the test of time with its audience. It's a piece of work that has gone beyond the cinema and into extensive reference within video games, comic books and rap music (I don't even think THE GODFATHER ever went that far). And of course, when discussing SCARFACE, we must remember THE GODFATHER (the first two films) with great affection because it's surely the memory of Michael Corleone that weighs heavily on our minds as we watch the great Al Pacino take on the alternate role of Cuban gangster Tony Montana.

Beginning in the year 1980, we're informed of a small piece of American history (which, by the film's release and timeline, happened only three years prior). Fidel Castro, having opened the harbour in Mariel, Cuba, intended to let groups of his people reunite with their relatives already in the United States. This so-called "exodus" not only included relatives, but also the criminal scum that filled the jails of Cuba. A clip of Castro himself is quoted as saying, "We don't want them! We don't want them!" Following some authentic color footage of Mariel harbour in 1980, we're inside the refugee camp where Tony Montana (Pacino) is being interrogated by our local officials. Pay attention to the dialogue and you'll note a verbal homage to Humphrey Bogart and James Cagney (a couple of our best original and classic gangsters of the movies) as Tony enthusiastically declares his admiration for such men. Tony and his friend Manny (played by Steven Bauer) are granted green cards and released from the camp in exchange for assassinating a former Cuban government official and communist. Following a very short stint as dishwashers in a local grease trap, Tony and Manny are given the opportunity to take part in a cocaine purchase in the name of wealthy drug kingpin Frank Lopez (played by Robert Loggia) by his henchman Omar (played by F. Murray Abraham). The deal itself becomes disastrous when their third companion Angel is violently and very bloodily dismembered with a chainsaw. It's this scene, by the way, that almost got SCARFACE an X-rating at a time when NC-17 didn't exist yet. The moment itself it quite chilling and disturbing and I cannot even begin to imagine what it might have looked like had it been released completely uncut (geez!). Tony is rescued before he can be killed, and it's this initial victory over Frank's drug cartel enemies that promotes Tony and Manny to a higher level within this Miami criminal organization. Like the flying blimp says later in the film, "The World Is Yours". Tony knows it, believes it and will let nothing stand in the way of it.

Much like the original 1932, Tony's love interests and personal conflicts echo the black and white classic. Tony's attraction toward Franks wife Elvira (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) is immediate and he appears to have no reservations about moving in on the big boss' wife. Tony also loves and irrationally protects his younger sister Gina (played by newcomer Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and is treated with disgust by his mother who cannot accept Tony's criminal life choice. Frank suspects not only Tony's moves on his wife, but also his aggressive ambition to make a name for himself in the Miami drug world despite Frank's warnings. An attempt on Tony's life by Frank's command fails, and Frank pays the price later when Tony has him killed. There is a rather unique moment that takes place in the film following Frank's death in which, rather than kill Frank's bodyguard Ernie right then and there, he offers him a job instead. This is part humorous because it's quite unexpected, but it also possibly suggests that Tony Montana has a heart...not a very big one, but one that can occasionally reveal itself if the moment is right. Tony marries Elvira and seems to love her, but inevitably becomes disgusted with her mundane existence in life, seeking to do no more than drink, take drugs and have sex (I personally have no problem with the third part!). The evidence of Tony's heart is also apparent when, in a fit of ranting and venting, he declares that he would love to be a father, but cannot because his junkie wife has polluted her body with too many drugs.

These brief moments of evidence depicting Tony's heart are almost worthless in our eyes because it's become very clear that he is "the bad guy". The bad guy, as is totally expected in any gangster film, enjoys the fruits of their lives as they rise to ultimate power. And like any rise to such power, there's the ultimate downfall that will inevitably follow. By the time Tony has not only made it obvious to his audience that he has an incestuous feeling toward his sister Gina, he's killed Manny for marrying her and is so hopped up on his own supply of cocaine that he can barely see the army of his drug cartel enemies entering his (supposedly) secure compound who have come to kill him. The film, however, uses this opportunity to feature Tony, if only for a brief moment, as a demigod. Tony's body is now so filled up with cocaine, that he not only sees himself as invincible against all his foes, but can physically repel his enemy's bullets for a time. This classic image of a snarling Al Pacino with his gun (or his "little friend" is definitive proof of such a powerful image of one's self...


Of course, as I said, as any such indestructible figure rises, he must fall, as well. Tony's last stand is striking and piercing to our eyes as senses as we watch his body get riddled with bullets and he's still standing! The blow that ends his life is slow, careful and effective as it's a simple and single bullet to the back of his head by an assassin sneaking up behind him that falls "the bad guy" to his end in the fountain below, the blood red water visually confirming his demise.

If ever there was the motion picture that has gained fan and critical appreciation and cult following years after its initial theatrical release, it's SCARFACE. Although a financial success, critics were very negative about it at the time, citing too much controversy over the film's violent, language and drug use. I find this puzzling because we know full well that this is a gangster film and we cannot expect its content to be sugar-coated in any way, especially by the early 1980s. Al Pacino brings his usual riveting performance capabilities to a character, though not at all uncommon to his past career, is a harder and edgier personality with a greater punch than the simply quiet and deadly youngest male of the Corleone family. SCARFACE is about true and deadly criminals and not about the traditional clich├ęs of the gangster film, even a modern one. We are meant to genuinely be afraid of a monster like Tony Montana; afraid to cross him, afraid to say the wrong thing to him, and especially afraid to go anywhere near his beautiful sister. In the end, of course, "the bad guy" loses and crime surely doesn't pay. Well, it does pay for a while and we can't help but have some real decadent fun for a while in watching it do so. We can chalk that up to the streak of barbarism that lives inside us all, I suppose.

As I've often spoke of before, remakes (in general) don't hold much clout with me. Some are good, some are great, some even outweigh their original films. That small group of films that have fallen into the third category option have often been scary films such as INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS (1978), DRACULA (1979), THE THING (1982) and THE FLY (1986). SCARFACE, however, is a different ballgame. Pacino and DePalma are not afraid to take things to the limits of drama, excess and ultra-violence to the point where a viewer such as myself concludes that SCARFACE is not only a worthy remake, but may just be the best damn remake ever made, in my opinion! What do you think?

Favorite line or dialogue:

Tony Montana: "What you lookin' at? You all a bunch of fuckin' assholes! You know why? You don't have the guts to be what you wanna be! You need people like me! You need people like me so you can point your fuckin' fingers and say, "That's the bad guy." So...what that make you? Good? You're not good! You just know how to hide, how to lie. Me, I don't have that problem! Me, I always tell the truth, even when I lie! So say good night to the bad guy! Come on! The last time you gonna see a bad guy like this again, let me tell you! Come on! Make way for the bad guy! There's a bad guy comin' through! Better get outta his way!"




Friday, November 18, 2016

SCARFACE (1932)



(April 1932, U.S.)

When I was a high school kid growing up in the early 1980s, it never occurred to me or anyone else that I knew that Brian DePalma's 1983 film of SCARFACE was a remake. Turner Classic Movies didn't exist yet, and I don't recall it being shown on television or available for VHS rental. I'm not saying it wasn't, it's just that we didn't know about it. So to properly appreciate and write about the original 1932 classic black and white version of Howard Hawks' SCARFACE (and produced by Howard Hughes), it becomes necessary to put all previously-known elements of Brian DePalma, Al Pacino and "say hello to my little friend!" completely out of your mind and remember a time when the violent crimes associated with the era of Prohibition were the source of a film like this.

In the city of Chicago during the 1920s, Italian immigrant Tony Camonte (played by Paul Muni) is a mob enforcer acting on orders from his Italian boss Johnny Lovo. While he has no reservations about taking out the competing lead crime boss of the city's South Side, he has his own aspirations of taking control of that very territory himself, even if it goes against the wishes and demands of Lovo. Through intimidation and violence, Tony and his men push large quantities of their illegal beer to the local speakeasies and muscle in on such establishments run by rival proprietors. Ignoring all orders from Lovo, Tony makes a reputation for himself by shooting up and exploding bars belonging to his enemies all over the city. He inevitably declares all-out war to take over the entire North Side of the city and even kills his own boss Lovo when a failed attempt on his life by Lovo drives him to revenge.

Tony is also a man obsessed with his younger sister Francesca (played by Ann Dvorak), unable to stand the very thought of her being with another man. Although this film is a Pre-Code gangster film, any ideas or insinuations about incest are completely hidden from any realm of possibility. We can sense otherwise, however, and it's probably due to the fact that most of us who have seen the original version of SCARFACE very likely saw the 1983 remake first, so such an implication is evident. However, unlike the remake, by the time Tony has taken over just about all of the city of Chicago and finds himself with his back against the wall defending himself against the bullets of the police, his sister is actually there by his side to fight his deadly battle with him. We're not sure if it's just a matter of little sister standing up alongside big brother or if, perhaps, she realizes that she's also experiencing the same forbidden taboo feelings for her own brother. Again, this film at such a time in cinematic history would never give such an idea to its audience.

(Take note, by the way, of the electric billboard that says THE WORLD IS YOURS, obsessing Tony's aspirations of power and control. You've seen it before on a large blimp.)

SCARFACE, which by the way, paid reference to a large scar that real-life legendary gangster Al Capone had on his face, was released just about one year after two other popular gangster films, LITTLE CAESAR and THE PUBLIC ENEMY (both 1931). All films were meant to directly address the growing epidemic of crime and violence associated with the illegal flow of liquor in America. They were a public call to government and citizens alike to not only acknowledge the problem, but to take action against it, as well...


By that reckoning, such films may be regarded as genuine pieces of American history as well as escapist entertainment of the time. Certainly, SCARFACE, above all others, may be considered the most violent of the bunch, as it seems that the bullets never stop flying and the buildings never stop exploding. Pre-Code films of the time could get pretty nasty before film censorship stepped in and had its way with things.

Favorite line or dialogue:

Tony Camonte (pointing to a Tommy Gun): "There's only one thing that gets orders and gives orders...and this is it! That's how I got the South Side for you, and that's how I'm gonna get the North Side for you. It's a typewriter. I'm gonna write my name all over this town with it, in big letters!"







Saturday, November 12, 2016

SAY ANYTHING



(April 1989, U.S.)

Every once in a while, a movie is so perfectly timed in its relation to your own life, though you sometimes may not realize it until long after it's happened. Released in the spring of 1989, Cameron Crowe's directorial debut SAY ANYTHING is a simple story of a post-high school summer romance that can potentially blossom into something a lot more. I didn't know it at the time, but I was a couple of months away from my own romance with a young woman (not my wife) during the summer of 1989 that, for a time, had the potential to become something a whole lot more (it didn't). Still, it's impossible to deny those moments when life does imitate art, and vice versa.

SAY ANYTHING was surely the film that rescued my opinion of John Cusack as an actor, because in between this film and THE SURE THING (1985), I was unconvinced that his career was going to become anything significant. From the moment the film opens, we know exactly where Lloyd Dobbler's heart is and what he's going to do about it. We know coming in that this is a romantic comedy-drama, and the story wastes no time about it because the dialogue immediately lets us know that Lloyd is going to ask out the girl he's fallen for, Diane Court (played by Ione Skye), the class valedictorian who's high above the educational think ladder as compared to Lloyd's average student status. She's a beautiful girl who is, though not unpopular, someone outside of the temporary social system of traditional high school of the 1980s. When she accepts Lloyd's invitation to go out together to the town's hottest post-graduation party, it's likely for no other reason than she feels she should finally be able to get out from her shell of isolation and join in with the crowd. Though they spend hardly any time together at the wild party, Diane is able to recognize potential in Lloyd's sincerity. By the time they've spent the entire night together talking and driving around the city of Seattle, they're ready for their second date and what will turn into a summer romance before Diane leaves for an awarded fellowship in London.

As a backdrop to the story, Diane's father (played by John Mahoney), who also happens to be her best friend and confident, is dead-set against his daughter's romance with her new boyfriend because he can clearly recognize just how beneath his daughter Lloyd really is. For his future, Lloyd can't see past trying to get into professional kickboxing, which I have to admit sounds pretty lame, even for a guy who doesn't want to sell anything, process anything, or process anything sold...or whatever. Her father is also under investigation by the IRS for allegedly stealing cash from the senior citizens he takes care of in his nursing home. All of this pressure finally builds on Diane to the point where she finally breaks up with Lloyd in his own car, urging him to accept a pen from her so he can write to her while she's in London (again, life imitates art because my own summer romance eventually dumped me for some stupid, bullshit reason sometime later after we started dating and tried to continue it later). But if there's at least one thing Cameron Crowe taught us, is that if you want to win back the heart of the woman you love, the simple act of standing outside her house with a 1980's boombox raised above your head playing Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" will likely do the job...


I know this moment has been parodied to death, but I wonder if it's ever actually worked between two real life people? One thing I know does often happen in real life is that even after you've been dumped by the girl you love, she's likely to come running back to you as soon as she feels she has a reason to need you (bitch!). This is exactly what happens when Diane realizes that her father is guilty of his crimes. Does she need Lloyd or does she just need someone? Like so many of us, Lloyd only wants his girl back and doesn't care too much for her motives (geez, why do we men do that??). And so, after having watched boy meet girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy and girl break up, boy and girl get back together, and finally, boy and girl fly off to London together, we're left wondering if Lloyd Dobbler and Diane Court, two genuine characters we've come to care about, are going to make it together?

Okay, that last question requires some thought and in-depth investigation. The young woman who was my real-life summer 1989 romance actually wrote a college paper for a film class a year later in which she decided to answer the very question of what would become of Lloyd and Diane once that No Smoking sign went out aboard the plane they were flying in and the film ended. I never found out what she thought or what she wrote, but I'm going to answer that question for her (and for my readers) right now. In my humble opinion, Lloyd and Diane don't make it. In fact, I don't even give them one year! I think after a little time settling in London, Diane finally begins to realize just how much of a crutch an underachieving young man like Lloyd is in her life while she's constantly among those of a much higher think tank organization. The two of them break up for the second time and Lloyd is forced to fly back to Seattle on his own (with money she has to give him) to face the emptiness of his life without Diane by his side. He likely gives the world of kickboxing a try but eventually realizes that he's not going to make it in that sport. So what he ends up doing is something very close to all of the examples he gave of what not wanting to do that night at the dining table in front of Diane's father and his guests. Many years later, he and Diane run into each other in New York City, and although they exchange common pleasantries, the tension between them is thicker than anyone can imagine. Their pasts and the ghosts they each carry are heavy and they're left standing there on the sidewalk, wondering what they should do next. Do they say goodbye and move on with their own lives or do they go for that symbolic cup of coffee that likely carries greater potential with it?

That, my friends, is how I continue the story of SAY ANYTHING. What do you think?

Favorite line or dialogue:

Lloyd Dobler (leaving Diane Court a phone message): "Maybe I didn't really know you. Maybe you were just a mirage. Maybe the world is full of food and sex and spectacle and we're all just hurling towards an apocalypse, in which case it's not your fault. I'm been thinking about all these things and...you're probably standing there monitoring. And one more thing...about the letter. Nuke it. Flame it. Destroy it. It hurts me to know it's out there. Later."

Friday, November 4, 2016

SAVING PRIVATE RYAN



(July 1998, U.S.)

For my previous post of SANDS OF IWO JIMA (1949), I briefly mentioned a book I'd been reading called FIVE CAME BACK by Mark Harris, which told the story of Hollywood filmmaking during World War II. Key points that were consistent throughout the book were not only the timing of feature films and documentaries, but also content. How much was too much and how much was too realistic for American audiences to be exposed to during those war years? What would directors of American propaganda and war dramas, as well as the United States government and Hollywood producers have thought of such a film as SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, quite possibly the most realistic and graphically-detailed movie about World War II combat ever made? Quite simply, such a graphic and disturbing film would never have gotten the green light back then. It would be more than fifty years before a gifted director like Steven Spielberg would bring the war, particularly the Invasion of Omaha Beach on June 6, 1944, to the big screen for our generation to fully understand the depth and perception of the American soldier as he faced the unspeakable evil of our German enemies.

Following the opening sequence of an elderly World War II veteran (whom we learn at the end of the film is James Ryan in the present day) and his family visiting the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial in France, we are immediately taken back in time to the beaches of battle. Combat is neither glorified, nor is it exciting, as it was often depicted in many John Wayne war films of yesterday. From the moment the door opens on the assault craft, many of our young boys are barely able to make it off of the craft before they are shot to pieces by the unseen German infantry and their artillery fire on shore. The first wave of soldiers is lead by Captain John H. Miller (played by Tom Hanks in his first role with Spielberg). Though Miller survives this first assault, he is haunted and horrified by the extensive and violent casualties that take place around him (Spielberg effectively uses slow motion action to emphasize this). Eventually, Miller's team is able to penetrate the German defenses and finally establish victory for this invasion, which history records as a major successful turning point for the American foothold in the war. This opening sequence of battle is nearly thirty minutes long and although difficult to watch, it's essential, nonetheless, to tell the tale of such an important piece of American history that no textbook or previous film could ever do (not even THE LONGEST DAY, which I still regard as one of the best war films ever made).

Back home at the U.S. War Department in Washington D.C., it's discovered that three of the four brothers named Ryan were killed in action and their mother in Iowa is due to receive all three telegrams of her son's death on the same day. The fourth brother, James Francis Ryan (played by Matt Damon), is still missing in action and presumed alive somewhere in Normandy. John Miller and his team are given the mission to find Private Ryan and get him home to his mother. Immediately, the idea of risking the lives of many to save one man seems completely illogical (Spock would have said, "The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one." in STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN). However, it's impossible not feel the unique example of human spirit and sacrifice behind such a mission, as well as the genuine empathy for a mother who has lost three of her sons to the war. This is the feeling we must harbor as we journey with these men to find one man, essentially "a needle in a stack of needles", as Miller puts it. Along the way, there is, of course, more battle and moments where the humanity of the American soldier is tested. When are they justified to shoot a German soldier who surrenders? When is it simply "an eye for an eye" form of justice? These are questions only true men of war can answer. As viewers of film, we can only watch and try to understand and appreciate the moral dilemmas and paradoxes that exist for such men on the battlefield.

Predictably, when the team finally does find Ryan, he refuses to leave the men he considers to be the only brothers he has left in the world. James Ryan himself, despite his rescue being at the heart of the film, is not a character we're meant to know or understand too well, other than a brief story he tells of the last wild night he spent with his brothers before they were separated by military enlistment. He is almost no more than the means to an end in which John Miller and his men will meet their ultimate destinies, be it life or death. Some, even the ones as tough as nails, cannot withstand the power of a German's bullet. Others who are on the battlefield as a mere interpreter and prove to be cowards when it comes to time to approach a situation of danger to save a fellow soldier from a German's knife, end up surviving in the end. There is little compensation for such cowardice even when such a man justifiably shoots the same German soldier he sympathized with earlier and helped to survive. War is, no doubt, confusing and complicated, even to the watcher from the outside.

I went to see SAVING PRIVATE RYAN the very night it opened at a small neighborhood movie theater in Westhampton Beach, Long Island. As much as I loved the film (who wouldn't??), I had the severe misfortune of sitting in front of two elderly woman who were making verbal noises of shock and dismay throughout the entire film. Although I repeatedly asked them to be quiet, they had the audacity to react as if I were the problem (just one of many examples of why I barely go to the movies anymore!). But even as I was watching the film and trying to tolerate these women behind me, I couldn't but wonder what these two old bats honestly expected from an R-rated war film? Even if the internet and social media were not yet effective tools to research the content of a film, they had to have known that a war film would not be a pretty day at the beach. Modern war films of the 1990s have blood, guts and violence, ladies! If you can't handle that, then don't go to the movie! And if you do go to the movie, don't sit behind me!

Finally, to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, I offer a sincere, heartfelt FUCK YOU. And to SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE, I offer an even bigger, more sincere and more heartfelt FUCK YOU! There's no way in hell you deserved the Oscar for Best Picture of 1998 over SAVING PRIVATE RYAN! I'm glad Steven Spielberg got the Oscar for Best Director, but it wasn't enough! So again, to all who were responsible for the greatest Best Picture Oscar screwing since OUT OF AFRICA over THE COLOR PURPLE in 1986, FUCK YOU!!!

Favorite line or dialogue:

Private James Ryan: "It doesn't make any sense, sir. Why? Why do I deserve to go? Why not any of these guys? They all fought just as hard as me!"
Captain John Miller: "Is that what they're supposed to tell your mother when they send her another folded American flag?"
Ryan: "Tell her that when you found me I was here and I was with the only brothers that I have left and that there was no way I was gonna desert them! I think she'll understand that. There's no way I'm leaving this bridge!"