When I was like 12 I would have picked Gump but as I got older I realized it is just pop culture reference after pop culture reference. Shawshank on the other hand is a great piece of storytelling. I do think Pulp Fiction should have won best picture though, that movie is also filled with pop culture jokes but it feels more important to the movie.
It seemed to me that both Tai's suicide and Maria's mercy killing were intended to make the player feel something for the characters but it had zero effect on me personally. Unlike GTA IV where, most likely because it was the players choice, the dramatic scenes did not seem to carry much weight. The Games whole tone (except for the parts just mentioned) is very light hearted in nature, so when you have The Cole Train tagging fools with grenades in Slow-Mo it kinda diffuses any and all seriousness. Did any of you find that these moments worked for them?