You will be unprepared.
That’s a tagline full of promise, all right. Though I have to say, I never felt “unprepared”. There was very little in Zack Snyder‘s Sucker Punch that I didn’t expect in the wake of the trailers promoting this movie. It takes big event movies across multiple genres – a pinch of The Matrix, a heaping helping of Kill Bill, a splash of Terminator, a dose of Rambo, a dash of The Lord of the Rings, a dollop of Fight Club, a touch of Inception – and tosses them in a blender. The result is a movie that certainly looks cool, but with a narrative that may seem as cobbled-together as the visuals if you start to think about it too hard.
A few weeks ago, I erased all of my rankings (over 2,000) after receiving a shocking revelation: Many of the movies that I’d ranked exist in my mind as fragmented, abstract memories that are only tenuously representative of my overall opinion of the actual films. This injection of harsh reality came rushing in after watching the movie Bonnie and Clyde again after several years. It occurred to me that my positive memory of the movie revolved almost exclusively around the amorous feelings I experienced for Faye Dunaway during the initial viewing. Back when I first saw Bonnie and Clyde, apparently I was so stricken by her charms that ranking the film among my favorites seemed like a perfectly legitimate course of action. After a fresh viewing, however, I was surprised to discover how average I found the rest of the movie to be. For years I’ve been placing it above films that I enjoyed for more substantial, empirical reasons than just a superficial movie crush (as opposed to a profound movie crush, like with Trasgredire).
Your mind is the scene of the crime.
So reads the tagline for Inception, the new film from writer/director Christopher Nolan that just dares you to try and summarize it in a few sentences. I’m not sure it’s possible. Here’s a shot at something that barely scratches the surface: Star Leonardo DiCaprio plays Cobb, a man who specializes in entering people’s dreams and stealing their ideas. When he is hired to do the opposite–place a new idea in a man’s mind–he and his team get far more than they bargained for.
Such a simplistic description of such a complex movie. I am in awe of Nolan’s film, and it’s going to rank extremely high on my Flickchart; so high, that I’m almost shocked.
If you’re an avid Flickcharter, you’ve no doubt got a list of hundreds — if not thousands — of films ranked. From your all-time favorites to the dregs of cinema that you only wish you could un-see, to those middle-of-the-chart, ho-hum, so-so films whose ranks, while fun to try and get into their proper order, become somewhat interchangeable as they all share a common air of mediocrity.
Indeed, when it comes to your Flickchart, do you truly care whether Movie #667 is better than Movie #668? Does it even matter if Movie #236 is better than Movie #247?
What about global rankings? Does it matter to you if Flickchart’s users have V for Vendetta ranked higher than There Will Be Blood? Or that District 9 ranks higher than Best Picture Oscar-winner The Hurt Locker? Be honest: Does it really, really concern you that The Dark Knight outranks Star Wars as the #1 movie of all-time? As a movie fan, you know this fact to be either true or false; global rankings can be very useful in helping you find good movies that you haven’t seen yet, but when it comes to the films you do and don’t like, they aren’t necessarily going to sway your opinion.
In fact, I’d be willing to bet that, for most Flickcharters, the only list that really matters is that one that stares you in the face every time you come to the site: your personal Top 20. It’s the list that’s on-screen every time you rank; either causing you to constantly question it, or reaffirm that yes, yes these are, in fact, my favorite movies of all-time. The cream of the crop. The films that will smack down any others they come against in your Flickchart rankings.