42) A Bronx Tale (Actor – Robert De Niro)

Robert De Niro both acts and directs this story of a young boy searching for direction living on the same street as a local gangster operation headed by mob boss Sonny (Chazz Palminteri). De Niro plays the young boy’s father trying to save him from being attracted to the lifestyle of the mob, but as a working man with no real power, he is unable to stand up to the threatening gangsters. The atmosphere of the 1960’s Bronx neighbourhood is captured very well and the film was filled with some fine acting. De Niro removed himself from his typical role as the gangster, but I don’t think he was best suited to this new appearance. A few aspects of the film were obviously influenced by previous portrayals of the genre, but that doesn’t take anything away from what is a solid attempt at a commentary on racial tensions in the Bronx in the 1960s and teaches us that our actions can have important consequences down the line. There were lots of morals and life lessons in this film, rather than overblown action and fighting, even though there are parts that do display this violence. Robert De Niro might have had his TALE between his legs after the poor reception at the box office, but this film chronicling life growing up in a rough neighbourhood has since become a fan favourite. (8.0/10)
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41) Vampire’s Kiss (Theme – Vampires)

Nicolas Cage stars in this horror comedy for all the wrong reasons. Before watching this true life story of a man who believes he turns into a vampire after being bitten by a woman on the neck, I knew I would be in for a treat. Vampire’s Kiss comes into the category of so bad its good, and the acting temperament of Cage is unparalleled as he performs the role of Peter Loew with a touch of comedic genius.The story is bad and ridiculous, but its not supposed to be anything else. Nicolas Cage’s accent in this film should have earned him an Academy Award by itself, but they apparently didn’t appreciate the magic his acting can bring into a home. At times the film was difficult to sit through, which is why it took a little while to watch, but some scenes were just plain stupid and it brought a smile to my face so I didn’t mind. (5.3/10)

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40) Up (Theme – Big Adventure)

Up is a great adventure story about an old man called Carl who ties thousands of balloons to his home so he can finally travel to the exotic land of Paradise Falls and fulfill he and his recently deceased wife’s lifelong dream. It’s probably UP there with the best animated films of all-time in my opinion, and although the story got chaotic and was flirting with the danger of becoming just another average movie towards the end, the beginning of the film, before the floating house arrived at Paradise Falls, was an excellent piece of cinema to behold. Make sure you watch this film, it’s sure-fire fun for all the family. The comedy is great, but so is the drama, romance and suspense. Russell is a chubby little character who was hilarious and contrasted beautifully with the misanthropic and cynical yet lovable old man that is Carl. Just brilliant and simple story-telling, beautiful visuals as usual with Pixar, awesome voice work, funny and smart dialogue, beautiful score once again by Michael Giacchino & very, very enjoyable characters. (8.5/10)

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39) Donnie Brasco (Actor – Al Pacino)

Donnie Brasco is the biographical story of FBI agent Joe Pistone (Johnny Depp), who infiltrates a  mob operation while working undercover under the alias Donnie Brasco. However, as Joe becomes further and further involved with the guys he is working with in the mob, he discovers that he is identifying more with the life of a gangster than with the one of a regular guy. He meets Lefty, played by Al Pacino, who becomes his mentor in the mob and lets him in on the operations, without knowing that Joe/Donnie is working undercover. This isn’t just another mafia movie, its an intense emotional roller coaster that shows a less than glamorous portrayal of the gangster lifestyle. The acing of both Al Pacino and Johnny Depp is great because their emotion is so real. Pacino’s role of Lefty is ridden with great deal of sympathy and sorrow who is a very tragic character as he will never progress through the ranks of the mob. You can also see the inner torment within the character of Donnie Brasco, who has developed such a close bond with Lefty that it has become impossible to take him down. Donnie has become so attached to his mafia ties that he no longer has any time to spend with his family. This film is very memorable so it will be hard to FORGET ABOUT IT. (8.0/10)ImageImage

38) Wall-E (Theme – Academy Award for Best Animated Film)

As one of the finest gifts animation has to offer, it is difficult to find many people who will dislike WALL-E. There’s not much you can say about this film other than its an animated dystopian adventure romantic comedy set partly on a spaceship filled with fat people and partly on an uninhabited, desolate wasteland once known as Earth. WALL-E, a lovable robot who is adorable and affectionate, is cleaning up the trash us humans left behind on Earth while were out partying on a spaceship. The trouble is, WALL-E has discovered a small plant on Earth and another robot, Eve, has been sent to collect it. A cute little animated romance evolves and once its time fore Eve to leave, WALL-E isn’t prepared to say goodbye. Chaos and drama ensue in the following spaceship scenes which, although filled with a few cheap gags and annoying characters, provides an interesting take on the future of the human race. The graphics were visually remarkable in this Pixar film, and the beautifully incongruous choices music were also OUT OF THIS WORLD. (8.4/10)

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37) Bicycle Thieves (Director – Vittorio De Sica)

I found it difficult to believe that I would actually watch a film directed by Italian director Vittorio De Sica at all during this challenge, so when I saw that Bicycle Thieves was on Netflix I literally jumped at the opportunity to see it. It was a real emotional rollercoaster that you must see in order to believe the touching simplicity behind the story of a man whose bicycle has been stolen, and the very believable journey he undertakes to try and get back his beloved mode of transport. The ending was sad which I like to see because I want to watch a broken man resort to crime in order to make a living, and this film provided that thrill for me. The father whose bicycle was so mercilessly stolen, looking into his son’s eyes, with tears flooding down his exhausted face will forever haunt me. Now I can pretend I am cool because I have seen a film in Italian. I guess you could say this film really STOLE my heart. (8.3/10)

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36) Hot Rod (Theme – A Film From the 2000s)

Hot Rod is a bit of a silly film following self-proclaimed stuntman Rod Kimble (Andy Samberg) as he prepares for the jump of his life – to clear fifteen buses in order to raise money for his abusive stepfather Frank’s life-saving heart operation. Andy Samberg put in a memorable performance and was really funny in his attempt to prove himself to those who didn’t believe in him. The supporting cast were also pretty funny with the exception of Danny McBride, who is my personal enemy. The plot wasn’t great and although the basic story was charming and an interesting idea, a lot of the other subplots felt forced and lacked any real sense of significance. Samberg proved himself as a top comedy actor in his first starring film role, and to me at least, Hot Rod is definitely watchable and fits into the bracket of films that I would usually be into. (7.0/10)
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