Tuesday, May 18, 2010

My Top 20 Favorite Movies

Back in 2008, I posted my top 10 favorite movies list. Seeing as how that was quite some time ago, and people's tastes tend to change over time (with me being no exception), and the fact that I've sen a lot of really great movies since then, I'm going to post my Top 20 favorite movies. Why Top 20? Because there are just so many movies I love, & I'd kind of feel bad leaving a few underrated movies out of the list.
Well, here it is!
My Top 20 favorite movies!

20: The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra

This is one of the funniest movies that I've ever seen. It's unbelievably quote-worthy, it's a great send-up of 1950s B-movies, & the attention to detail of the films it's parodying would make even Quintin Tarantino jealous.

19: The Producers (2005)

One of the few remakes that, not only I like, but that I also consider to be better than the original. Now, most of the time, I don't like musicals, but the songs in this movie are so damn funny that I can't help but love it as much as I do.

18: The Wild Bunch

One of the great Westerns, The Wild Bunch features some of the best shoot-out scenes put to film. It's also a great story about crude, violent, & old fashioned men struggling to survive in a rapidly changing world.

17: Star Wars: A New Hope

I don't think that I need to explain why I love this movie. Everyone's seen it at some point. The characters are great, the story's great, the special effects still hold up, the score by John Williams is amazing. Whatever I can say to praise this movie has been said a million times, so I'm just going to continue.

16: Changeling

This is probably the greatest movie that I never want to see again. Clint Eastwood successfully creates a haunting story of a world losing its innocents. Normally, I don't like Angelina Jolie, but she's amazing in this film.
If you decide to watch this movie, then be warned; this is a haunting, stomach-turning piece, & you might have trouble sleeping after seeing it.

15: The Godfather

"I believe in America." Upon hearing this first line in the movie, I was hooked. No film buff should go without seeing The Goodfather. It's just too amazing to miss out on.

14: The Wizard of Oz

To be honest, I'm not really putting this on the list because of how good the movie is, as much as I am putting this on the list because of the nostalgia value. Whenever I watch this movie, I end up feeling better about myself, & the film always puts a smile on my face, so how can I not like it?

13: Gran Torino

Another great Clint Eastwood movie from 2008! 2008 was a good year for good old Clint.
Gran Torino tells a great story of redemption, growing older, & sacrifice. It's a must-see.

12: Superman: The Movie

One of the few comic book movies to improve upon the source material. The comics were decent, but the movie's script was witty, action packed, Christopher Reeve & Gene Hackman kicked ass, and the score was awe-inspiring. See it!

11: Once Upon A Time In The West

This is what great Westerns are supposed to be. Not just shoot-outs upon shoot-outs, but civilization trying to tackle the harsh wilderness (in this case, the recurring theme of the railroads), the civilized men versus the violent men, & the old ways versus the new ways.

10: Monty Python & The Holy Grail

Easily one of the funniest movies that I've ever seen! This is one of those movies were almost everything uttered is quote-worthy, so you could get a whole group of film geeks (such as myself) & have them reenact the film. If you haven't seen it yet, then see it ASAP, but if you have seen it, then watch it again, there are probably a billion jokes you haven't noticed yet.

9: Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned To Stop Worrying & Love The Bomb

I love dark comedy. I'm not gonna lie. When it comes to the subject, most people wouldn't admit to liking dark comedy. However, I'm not most people, so I admit to love watching dark subject matter being turned upside-down & become comedic.
In this case, Dr. Strangelove takes the fear of nuclear annihilation during The Cold War. What makes it great is how serious it seems to be with its atmosphere, & yet manages to be completely goofy at the same time.

8: Robocop

This is probably my favorite science fiction film that comes to mind.
Aside from being an ultra-violent 80s action movie, Robocop features great social commentary of the American popular culture, in which the American public has been dumbed down, keeps watching the same crap over & over again, constantly get into wars, acting as if it's completely normal, and lets corrupt businesses run the Law. I'd say that Robocop is a very socially relevant film today for its satire of the mass media.
But it's also a great story of an innocent man (Robocop) who, despite being surrounded by corruption, does the right thing, & rediscovers himself.

7: Rocky

I don't know how to describe how great this movie is. I just love it.

6: No Country For Old Men

Javier Bardem gives a chilling performance as Anton Chigurh, a hit-man who kills very casually & without mercy. His character is almost apocalyptic in the sense that he's a warning of dark times to come.

5: The Dark Knight

This is the comic book movie that took chances. This is the comic book movie that made a leap from action movie, to Greek tragedy.
What makes this film great is The Joker; he's easily the best version of the character, because he's pushing Batman to his limits, instead of just trying kill him.

4: Dirty Harry

Clint Eastwood is downright amazing in this film as Harry Callahan. The film has similar themes to both Robocop & No Country For Old Men, in which there's a killer who kills casually, as well as the theme of the main character being stuck in a world of corruption & evil, but manages to find the courage to do the right thing, & stop the criminals.

3: Raising Arizona

This is a brilliantly funny comedy by the Coen Brothers that manages to not be a mindless spoof. The film is a genuine story of redemption, & is paints a great portrait of how hypocritical society can be. In this case, the main character, H.I. (played by Nicolas Cage), is a repeat offender who robbs stores. But because he doesn't use live ammo, he can't be charged with Armed Robbery. But, despite being a repeat offender who never uses live ammo (until the movie's climax), all of the "normal" people around him are more trigger happy than John Rambo in a shooting gallery.
An overall great story of redemption, rebirth, & the hypocrisies of society.

2: Fargo

They should have called this movie "Murphy's Law", because what ever could possibly go wrong does go wrong, & at the worst possible moment. Much like the Coen Brothers' later film, No Country For Old Men, Fargo is a grim reminder of what human beings are capable of doing, especially when motivated by greed.

Well, here we are! The Number One spot! You might be thinking; "Those are some big name movies! What the hell else could top all of them??????" Well, the answer might surprise you.
(Drum roll) And now, my favorite movie to date is..........

1: Alone In The Dark

This film shows that Uwe Boll is the greatest filmmaker of our generation. Everything about this film puts other classics such as The Godfather & Citizen Kane to shame. Every shot is just exquisite! But most of all, the film teaches us the meaning of life.......

Okay, I'm just kidding. Here's my real Number One pick.

1: Inglourious Basterds

Yeah, you may be suprised by this choice. Aside from being a really recent film, but if you know me well, chances are that you know that I've dismissed the film as being "evil" and "morally reprehensible".
Well, yes, I did hate it. Did. When I first saw the film, I looked at it as a well made action film. The second time around, I hated it for its scenes of violence & torture. But for some reason, I was motivated to watch it a third time (when you're motivated to watch a movie multiple times before you can make up your mind, that's a really good sign), & I then looked at it as an Anti-War movie disguised as a revenge picture.
The film shows how good men can be turned into cold blooded killers when motivated by revenge, & how war corrupts the human spirit. This is one of those films were everyone is an awful person, but that's how the point is able to go through.
The film also challenges the American mentality towards WWII, in which people think that there's no crossing the line when it comes to revenge against Nazis. But when you see the disgusting acts committed "The Basterds", you start to think otherwise; that there is a point when you cross the line in the conflict against evil.
Granted, I'm not sure if that's what Tarantino wanted, but that's just how I look at the film.
It's an overall astounding multiple-layered film. You can enjoy it as an action film, a dark comedy, a thought provoking story of corruption, maybe all of them. Which is why I pick Inglourious Basterds as my favorite film to date.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Three reviews in one! Avatar, Sherlock Holmes, & Invictus

Hey, as you can see, I'm back. Now, I've been very busy recently, so these reviews are going to be short.

AVATAR

(See Plot Description Here)

Wow! This is James Cameron's first non-documentary film since Titanic! So, naturally, there's a lot of hype. Sadly though, this film is a bit disappointing story wise. The problems are that the film is predictable, the environmentalist themes can get cheesy at times, & I really felt that the film's morality was really flawed; the seems to paint an image were either you're on the environmentalist side of the conflict, you're either on the destructive Capitalists' side of the conflict, but there's no shades of gray.

But here are the positive aspects; THE FILM MIGHT BE THE AMAZING LOOKING FILM EVER MADE! I CAN'T THINK OF A FILM THAT IS A BETTER VISUAL EXPERIENCE THAN THIS!

So, go see the film in theaters, but I wouldn't recommend expecting a mind blowing story.
AVATAR: 6.5/10

Sherlock Holmes (2009)
Link
(See Plot Description Here)

Man, this movie was fun! Not only do Robert Downey Jr. & Jude Law make a great comedic duo, not only is this movie a great update on the Sherlock Holmes series, but it's also a surprisingly faithful adaptation of the original books. Go see it!

One problem, though. For some reason, I don't think that Rachel McAdams was right for the role of Irene Adler.
Sherlock Holmes (2009): 8.4/10

Invictus

(See Plot Description Here)

I don't think that I need to say much here. It's directed by Clint Eastwood, & stars Morgan Freeman; of course the film is great! Morgan Freeman, as usual, gives an awesome performance in the film, & Matt Damon gives a notable performance as well. The film, despite being a studio funded film, has that distinct feeling of an independent film (particularly 1970s independent films).

The only problem that comes to mind is that the film just isn't perfect, & as good as Gran Torino or Changeling.
Invictus: 9/10