From film noir to blockbuster cinema, The Jambar is ranking movies this week in an analytical top-five list.
Criteria consists of three main elements: actor performance, cinematography and script writing.
At No. 5, the 1939 classic “The Wizard of Oz,” directed by Victor Fleming takes the spot with notable actress Judy Garland as Dorothy.
Contrary to popular belief, “The Wizard of Oz” was not the first color film produced but instead was the first to use color as a storytelling element.
An example of this is the depiction of Kansas as a dull and gloomy place, only to be swept away into “Munchkin Land” with vibrant hues demonstrating a happy place. We see Dorothy skip down the yellow brick road where she meets friends who are references to her brothers back home.
The movie feels ahead of its time and paved the way for several color films which followed.
A surprise entry at No. 4 is the 1995 thriller “Se7en,” directed by David Fincher. It follows two detectives — portrayed by Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt — solving a crime which relates to the seven deadly sins.
“Se7en” won 29 awards and was nominated for an Oscar in 1996 for Best Film Editing but lost to “Apollo 13.”
Throughout the movie, character development is in each crime scene. The camera angles and messages left by the killer give the audience clues to where the detectives will find the perpetrator.
With constant twists and turns that keep viewers on the edge of their seats, the infamous line during the climax — “What’s in the box?” — conveys emotions most thrillers and dramas lack.
The 1994 crime and drama film “Pulp Fiction,” directed by Quentin Tarantino comes in at No. 3. The movie was nominated for seven Oscars in 1995 and walked away with one.
Samuel L. Jackson, John Travolta and Uma Thurman have great chemistry throughout and we see Travolta’s character grow from shy and conservative to happy and carefree toward the rising action of the film.
Although the movie jumps around and occurs at different points of the day, it all comes together for a well-written and entertaining movie.
At the No. 2 spot is one of the most historically accurate films ever produced, “Saving Private Ryan.” The movie was released in 1998 and directed by Stephen Spielberg, with notable actors such as Tom Hanks and Vin Diesel.
The soldiers storming the beaches of Normandy is one of the most emotionally striking scenes in cinematography.
Snagging the top spot at No. 1 is 1968’s “2001: A Space Odyssey,” directed by Stanley Kubrick. Arguably the most highly regarded movie in pop culture, it is still referenced in movies and TV shows such as “Barbie,” “Blade Runner 2049” and “The Simpsons.”
Released at the height of the Cold War and the U.S. attempt to land on the moon, the sci-fi film shows what would happen if we relied solely on technology. The crew embarks on a journey in the “Discovery One” in which HAL 9000, an artificially intelligent crewmate, takes over and eventually terminates the crew.
The visually pleasing film won an Academy Award for Best Effects/Special Visual Effects in 1969.