Category Archives: My Top 100 Movies

“Gentlemen, I think if we lose this fight, we lose the war.”

GettysburgI haven’t done a movie post in a LONG time so I thought that I would post about one of the BEST movies to be filmed about a “bad” time in American history.  There are very few movies that are based on books that you will actually hear me say the words “the movie was better.” but Gettysburg is one of them….Hands down.

Honestly, I could not think of the “right” words to put in to this review to make it even come close to what it is that I LOVE about this movie….so I found this review that you are about to read and I think it does a better job than I ever could have.

“One need not be a lifelong student of the Civil War to appreciate the themes threaded throughout Gettysburg. As did Shaara’s novel, the film uses the battle to explore duty, patriotism, comradeship and devotion to a cause. Of these, perhaps duty is the one theme that stands out best in all its forms.

Lee (played by Martin Sheen) has placed what he sees as his duty to his home state of Virginia over his duty to the United States and leads the South’s forces against his former comrades in arms (or, as Lee refers to his Union adversaries, “those people”).

Union cavalry General John Buford (Sam Elliott) has only a small brigade to hold off an entire Confederate infantry corps as it advances toward Gettysburg on the battle’s first day – a potential suicide mission. But Buford knows that the Army of Potomac’s only chance is to occupy the best defensive ground before the enemy can reach it. Buford’s duty is to stand fast and hold as long as he can.

Lee’s principal subordinate, General James Longstreet (Tom Berenger) feels Lee’s plan for Pickett’s Charge is sheer suicide and argues repeatedly against the action. Yet in the end, Longstreet executes the futile plan since Lee is in command and it is therefore Longstreet’s duty to carry out the orders.

Chamberlain (Daniels) fears his outnumbered regiment will likely be destroyed trying to defend the key hilltop, Little Round Top. Yet he knows his unit anchors the far left flank of Meade’s entire position and therefore he understands that it is his and the regiment’s duty to try to hold the line at all costs.

Finally, in what might be termed a “corporate” expression of Soldiers’ devotion to duty, 10,000 Confederate troops in a mile-long line step off at 2 p.m. on July 3, 1863, and march toward the center of the Union line a half mile away. Most know that the assault is likely to be a one-way trip. Yet faithful to their duty as Soldiers – and their duty to one another – the men go forward into the bloody shambles of Pickett’s Charge.

Maxwell frames the story chronologically over the three-day period while depicting the action through the eyes and relationships of key players. The viewer feels Lee’s frustration with his flamboyant cavalry commander General J.E.B Stuart, whose untimely absence during the prelude to battle denies Lee vital intelligence and ultimately robs the Confederates of the high ground – and yet one can’t help but marvel at Lee’s self-control during Stuart’s midnight “counseling session.” And for insight into what motivates Soldiers – even today’s Soldiers – pay particular attention to Chamberlain’s low-key entreaty to the 120 mutineers from Maine’s 2d Regiment: “What we’re fighting for, in the end, we are fighting for each other.”

The film’s cinematography is wonderful, the dialogue moves the drama along effortlessly, and the depiction of Civil War-era maneuver is admirably accurate. In particular, this is the first film of this genre to correctly show artillery combat. Dozens of cannon and their re-enactor crews were gathered to depict this extremely important – but too often poorly filmed – aspect of Civil War battles.

Yet awesome combat scenes aside, the dramatic story is what holds the viewer’s attention. The drama surrounding the 20th Maine’s defense of Little Round Top on the second day of the battle is a prime example. After watching the Confederates assault Little Round Top repeatedly, each attack nearly breaking Chamberlain’s thin line, his audacious command of “Bayonets!” comes across as a powerfully dramatic portrayal of brave men in desperate combat. Seeing Confederate General Lewis “Lo” Armistead (the late Richard Jordan’s final role) lead Pickett’s men from the front and hearing Longstreet’s clairvoyant description of the event about to unfold helps viewers fully appreciate the futility, courage and remarkable dedication exemplified by Pickett’s Charge.

In sum, Gettysburg is the best depiction of the carnage of combat and the drama of this brother-against-brother war – America’s most deadly conflict – that filmmakers have yet put together.”



Movie Numero 11 ~ P.S. I Love You

P.S. I Love You

On a country road somewhere in Ireland over 10 years agao, it was love at first sight for Holly, lost young American tourist, and Gerry, a very charming local lad.  Holly’s mother, disapproved of the couple, worried that her high spirited daughter was too young for marriage (Holly was 19 when they got married).  As time goes by, the once fearless Holly has become unsure of herself and her own identity.  When tragedy strikes and Gerry passes away of a brain tumor, Holly is left a widow shortly before her 30th birthday.  Her family and best friends are worried that Holly may never again emerge from her take-out container  strewn apartment.  After holing herself up in her apartment for weeks, watching olds moves, a birthday cake and a tape recording from her late husband Gerry mysteriously shows up at her apartment. Thus, marking the beginning of a series of letters instructing her to perform unusual requests. With a little help from her girlfriends, Holly begins a year of wild adventures and a life journey that Gerry has planned for her, helping her to discover who she is without him and reminding her – p.s. I Love You.

Movie Numero 7 ~ Mr. Holland’s Opus

I haven’t done a movie post in a little while so I thought that I would introduce my readers to another movie that I think you should see before you die. The movie I’ve chosen this time around is Mr. Holland’s Opus. AWESOME movie!

Richard Dreyfuss plays Glenn Holland who is a professional musician who would like to spend more time working on the piece that he is composing, so in 1965 he takes up teaching music at a local high school. Little does he know that there won’t be very much “free time” as a teacher.

In the beginning, Mr. Holland is frustrated that he is unable to connect with his students, but over time he becomes very successful at his profession. At home though, he is struggling with with a major “issue” surrounding his son and struggles through the years to develop any kind of relationship with him. When the music program is cut after 30 years, Mr. Holland wonders what, if anything, he really has accomplished in his life.

Movie Numero 6 ~ Facing The Giants

My blog giveaway is right HERE….Not to late to get in on the action!

Here is movie number 6 on my list of “Top 100 Movie’s I Think You Should See Before You Die” Facing The Giants. This movie was made by the same production team as Fireproof and is another movie that has religion as a major “focal point.”
For this review I’m actually going to borrow a review that I found on Amazon about the movie. I hope after reading these reasons to see this movie…..You will want to see it too.
There are basically 10 reasons “Facing the Giants” is a movie that every family in America should watch together:
#1. This is a movie about overcoming great obstacles, something every family faces.
#2. This is a movie that does not rely on sex, violence, or profanity to carry a weak or boring plot.
#3. This is a movie that examines the relationships between family members, and offers sound Biblical advice on how to make those relationships more successful.
#4. This is a movie void of famous actors with large egos to build upon, which means cast was able to focus on the overall production and not worry about the performance of one actor or actress.
#5. This is a film that stirs all kinds of emotions and can definitely clean out clogged up tearducts.
#6. This is a movie with some great football action scenes that rival any larger, Hollywood, big-budget film.
#7. This is a movie written and produced by Christians dedicated to their work of reaching out to a lost world with the message of hope and love.
#8. This is a movie that celebrates the power of the human spirit to rise above what we think is possible.
#9. This is a movie that just seems to have the Lord’s blessing on it throughout the post-production, production, and distribution.
#10. The DVD has many extras that give the viewers a taste of the amazing character and the pure hearts of the people who helped make this film a success!
I’ve just listed 10 very good reasons to purchase “Facing the Giants”. It is not my goal to write a review of this movie that spoils the plot, declares one actor better than an other actor, or compares the storyline to another movie. My review is to let anyone who reads it know that this is a movie worth owning and sitting down to view with the family. See ya next review!

My favorite scene in the movie

Movie Numero 5 ~ Fireproof

Don’t forget about my giveaway! Not too late to get in on the action!

Here is movie number 5 on my list of Top 100 Movie’s I Think You Should See Before You Die” Fireproof. I’d already seen one of the other movie’s that was made by this group of people, which will also be making this list too. I was kinda luke warm at first about this movie….It deals alot with religion and I realize that there are some out there that don’t really care for that sort of thing when they go to see a movie. But after watching it I was really happy that I took the time to watch it.

Lt. Caleb Holt (played by Kirk Cameron) is a firefighter who lives by the old adage: Never leave your partner behind. Inside burning buildings it’s just one of his natural instincts. In his marriage, not so much. After being married for a decade, Caleb and his wife Catherine (played by Erin Bethea) have drifted so far apart that they are ready to move on with their lives….Without each other. Yet as they prepare to enter divorce proceedings and a certain Dr. tries to make a move on Catherine, Caleb’s father asks his son to try an experiment: The Love Dare. While seriously hoping that The Love Dare has nothing to do with his parent’s newfound faith, Caleb commits to the 40 day challenge. But how can Caleb even attempt to love his wife while avoiding God’s love for him? Will Caleb be able to demonstrate his love over and over again to a person who is no longer receptive of his love? Is this just another marriage destined to go up in smoke?

Operation Petticoat

The next movie on my list is Operation Petticoat. A comedic war-time movie starring Carey Grant and Tony Curtis. If you love a good laugh you will definately enjoy this movie.
Cary Grant is the Commander of the Sea Tiger, a submarine with more problems than crew members.
His troubles begin when the sub sinks before even leaving the harbor during a Japanese raid. Commander Sherman (Grant) and his men begin working to repair and bring up their beloved sub despite the fact that their requisition orders rarely are filled.
Due to the fact that some of his men were reassigned to other duties after the raid, Sherman is granted some “replacement’s”–enter Lt. Nicholas Holden (Tony Curtis).
Holden is in the Navy not for the purpose of country but for the uniform so he can impress his rich girlfriend back home. Since he is no longer winning the rumba championships with the Admiral’s wife he must settle into a role on the Sea Tiger–scavenging for items to repair the sub.
With new and inventive ways of obtaining supplies the Sea Tiger once again becomes sea worthy– just barely.
But none of Holden’s scavenging compares to the unexpected “guests” that are brought aboard the Sea Tiger….I’m not going to give it away….See this movie!
Cary Grant is charming as ever and deals with the many, many problems and situations thrown at him in such funny ways. Tony Curtis is equally charming and lends very much to this film.
Highlights of the movie: “Sea Men Hornsby,” the unusal color of the sub
Best line of the movie: “Get that THING out of my engine room!”

A scene from the movie

Movie Numero 3 ~ Friendly Persuasion

Here is movie number 3 on my list of movie’s that I think you need to see before you die. Friendly Persuasion is another one of my favorite movies also….It’s actually my grandma’s ALL TIME favorite movie that doesn’t star Shirley McClaine.

Gary Cooper and Dorthy McGuire play Quaker farmer’s and devoted parent’s Jess and Eliza Birdwell, who happen to be living in Indiana during the height of the Civil War. The Birdwell’s religion opposes all forms of violence and war, but as the Confederate forces move closer to home — looting and burning homes as they go — the community around them prepares to defend themselves.

To make things a little more difficult for Jess and Eliza, their daughter Maddie (who wants to remain a Quaker) has fallen in love with a dashing Calvary officer, a love that doesn’t exactly make Maddie’s mom happy at all. Then their oldest son, Josh, announces that he wants to go and fight for the North, putting the families nonviolent stance to the ultimate test. The Birdwell’s youngest son, Little Jess, is constantly at war with Eliza’s pet goose named Samantha. Eliza thinks Little Jess is just teasing her but if you see the movie, well, just see the movie to see who win’s this battle, I don’t want to give it away.

Highlights for me: Samantha the Goose, When the Confederate’s show up at the Birdwell’s farm

Favorite Line: “A man’s life ain’t worth a hill of beans except he lives up to his own conscience.”