Saturday, July 17, 2010

100 years, 100 films 21: All Quiet on the Western Front (1930)

I have a confession to make: I don't really like war movies. Or anti-war movies, or whatever All Quiet on the Western Front is. They tend to explore themes and motifs that I'm just not very interested in.Yes, I know war is bad. That's why I'm not going to become a soldier. Why do movies keep thinking I give a shit?

That's not to say All Quiet on the Western Front was bad. Far from it. It was a very good example of a type of film I don't like. It's visuals were powerful and evocative, the performances were solid, the pacing was good. And I know all that, and I appreciate it in an intellectual sort of a way, but I just don't really care.

This isn't the film's fault, it's mine. Lewis Milestone has crafted an excellent movie, and I'm to much of a dipshit to appreciate it properly. And hey, if it was a choice between watching this again and watching, say, Saving Private Ryan, then no contest. All Quiet on the Western Front wins hands down. At least All Quiet on the Western Front isn't just a bunch of tedious douchebags wandering around aimlessly for two hours. At least stuff happens, and the characters are interesting. But yeah, I hated Saving Private Ryan, so I am aware that my opinion on war films is totally irrelevant.

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