(Occupy) Wall Street

With the flames of Occupy Wall Street growing brighter, thanks in part to the unprovoked violence of police, I figured it would be timely for me to talk about the 1987 classic: Wall Street.

The movie exposes corporate greed in its purest form. It shows how much power the financial elite have and how wealth corrupts.

Michael Douglass portrays a powerful Wall Street player who isn’t afraid to step on people’s backs as long as it makes him money. His blatant disregard for the well-being of his employees and stakeholders is a perfect picture of what Occupy Wall Street protesters are angry at. Michael Douglas’ portrayal of the greedy Mr. Gekko was so compelling, it landed him the Academy Award for Best Actor that year.

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All the President’s Men

Throughout the history of America, there have been important watershed moments that dramatically affected the future. Some of the biggest moments in the 20th century include the World Wars, the assassination of JFK, and certainly the Watergate scandal.

All the President’s Men (1976) is the true story of two reporters’ investigation of the Watergate scandal. The movie captures your attention and runs with it as we are swept up in the unraveling scandal. Each minute of the movie raises the excitement level as new details are unearthed, and more high level government officials are exposed to be involved in the scandal.

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

This is a movie every person needs to see again, considering the political unrest sweeping America. Much of the Occupy Wall Street protests center on corporate greed and selfish decisions from financial leaders. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is about one man’s stand against political corruption in the U.S. senate.

You know the movie is important by the controversy surrounding its release. The 1939 movie portrayed U.S. senators as being greedy, selfish, and drinking too much. It was such a big deal that some real senators walked out during the movie’s screening. Great Britain even asked that it not be shown there because it may decrease positive perception of Americans during a time when they were at war with Nazi Germany.

Many argue the corruption is not exaggerated and that it deserves attention. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington is relevant now more than ever.

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Scarface: More Important Than You Realize

movie posterThere seems to be a resurgence in popularity of the 1983 drug cartel movie, Scarface. It’s rare to go into a college dorm room and not find a Scarface Tony Montana poster hanging on the wall, often with one his iconic quotes.

Tony Montana, played in the movie by the legendary Al Pacino, has become an iconic figure for money and wealth. Scarface shirts, posters, and accessories all glorify the pursuit of wealth. Lebron James is even releasing a Scarface-inspired line of shoes.

The ironic thing is, the movie is about the folly of giving up everything that matters for money and power. It’s also about how easy it is to lose all the material things we accumulate and how pointless they are.

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

Everyone loves an underdog. That’s why we’re left cheering for Jack Nicholson‘s character in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest the whole time.

The movie, like the book, is a commentary on the injustices committed against people who are mentally anable to care for themselves. Patients at the fictional mental institution are subjugated to an extremely regimented lifestyle and are kept constantly in a state of fear and reverence of the diabolical Nurse Ratched (played by Louis Fletcher.) The act of lobotomy is a reoccurring theme, as it is seen as a cruel last ditch effort to bring patients to conformity.

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Blade Runner Makes You Think

Blade Runner is one of those quintessential movies of the 80’s, and nobody realized it until now. It was a commercial and critical bust upon its release in 1982, but later critics praised it for its dark imagery and director Ridley Scott’s painstaking attention to detail. This is largely because a couple new cuts of the movie were released since then with new material.

Blade Runner is an important movie with an important message. Its obscurity is off-putting to most people, but it raises some of the most important philosophical questions we can ask. It forces us to think about our own mortality.

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12 Angry Men: A Masterpiece

12 Angry Men is one of my all-time favorite movies. It’s a movie that every young person alive today should see. It helps the viewer develop an appreciation for what makes a truly great classic movie work.

Synopsis

A jury deliberates the fate of a young teenager from the slums of the city who is charged with murder. In the beginning, the entire jury is ready to hand out a verdict of guilty, thereby condemning the teenager to the death penalty.

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