Yet Another Listal Member's Top 50 Fave Movies
135 6.9 6.950. The Contender (2000)
Back in the year 2000, the new millennium in cinema got off to a politically incorrect start with The Contender, a film about the appointment of the first VeePee with a vagee within the White House.
A story involving simplistically drawn party lines but with a tightly written political script & featuring great performances all around from each of it's lead actors. Particularly by Joan Allen, who just completely pwns this movie.
Now feel free to exercise your freedom of speech and insert a snide comment about Sarah Palin or Hilary Clinton (depending on your own particular partisan tastes) here.
751 7.8 849. All the President's Men (1976)
Not only is Deep Throat a codename for a central figure in All The President's Men, it's also the name of one of the first x-rated flix I ever watched, back when puberty was knocking at my adolescence.
Now here I am, years later, wasting my life away in front of the computer, if not spending vast amounts of time downloading onion booty porn,
then I'm either posting up classless ghetto girlfight videos on youtube
or I'm here on this site, aimlessly commiseratin' with all of my fellow Listophiles.
I know exactly where that particular "left turn" was that led me down the empty road of existance that is currently my life.
Which I know has almost next to nothing to do with this movie, but I guess that term "Deep Throat" sparked off a nerve or something.
back to the list.....
1012 7.2 7.548. An American Werewolf in London (1981)
Before the lead character in this movie was a werewolf, he was a Pepper. And for some subliminal reason, that made me want to be a Pepper too.
(Sorry kids. I know that the majority of you most likely won't understand that comment, b'cuz it's before your time. Look it up on youtube if you don't wanna be left in the dark.
And you don't wanna be in the dark.
Because the dark is where werewolves like dwell.)
the best werewolf movie ever.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
210 7.5 7.747. The Verdict (1982)
One of my favorite court dramas of all time.
With almost a seasoned ease, Paul portrays a disheveled, aging, never-has-been, malpractice lawyer who finds within himself the humanity which never really had a chance to surface due to the layered weight of his chronic alcoholism.
The movie & Newman's performance sets up very well the desolation & loneliness that the main character moves his life thru as he goes up against the legal system that giganticly favors the "big guys" over the "little guys". One can really get the sense that Newman knows that he stands no chance of winning the case, but continues moving on forward because he is, for the 1st. time in his barely neglible career, fueled by the honesty & goodness of what is right. A feeling that is so new to this character, that, combined with the realizaton that a human life is totally dependent him for justice, it becomes emotion exhilirating enough to keep an almost broken old man to keep fighting on, no matter how high the price.
One of those rare times when the performance comes thru real enough to make us (oh, what am I'm talkin' about this "us" bullsh#t? What I really mean is "me") almost believe that even under the most insurmountable odds, there is always some kind of hope.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
5327 6.4 7.146. The Matrix Reloaded (2003)
2355 8.5 945. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
At the outset of the first western movies, the cowboy characters had been categorized between two basic types: Those who wore the white hats, & those who wore the black ones.
As time passed though, the hat colors began to blur between who was good, who was bad, & then to eventually who was just plain ugly.
Inspired by the samurai of the east & fueled with the advent of the spaghetti westerns (despite the simplicity of the dialogue), the icon of the gunslinging cowboy had begun to evolve into a more complex figure, of the quiet lone wolf who's only personality traits were marked by the mystery of his identity & by the grit of his character.
3952 8.1 8.544. WALL·E (2008)
It seems like these days, every season, an animated movie comes out displaying the next level of computer-generated visuals. For the year of 2008, it was this film & Kung Fu Panda. While not so surprising in that I (we?) expected the details in the graphics to be as detail & realistic as they were, it's still quite stunning to behold.
And even though Wall-E contains the basic formula elements one would expect from such a family film, it's still quite surprising how often & consistantly filmmakers are able to intergrate the amazing graphics into the quality of the storytelling in a manner that seems fresh & keeps the messages from feeling too cliche. At the rate that these types of highly sophisticated computer animated flicks are being released, it's remarkble that the ratio has been so much more good than bad.
A futuristic story that despite it's epic themes of environmentalism, technological over-dependence & the effects of idleness on the soul of humanity when it is stripped away from the natural strife of life, at it's heart, it's also an effective story of loneliness & longing between two computer-animated robots that despite their mechanical make-up, offer up enough heartfelt human emotion that is depicted with just a simple vocabulary that consists of nothing more than their names & a directive.
1353 8.4 8.643. Modern Times (1936)
Before there were special effects, CGI graphics & matrix-style action sequences in film, there was human physical talent.
And in the early 1900's, the height of this talent was displayed to movie viewing audiences through the almost impossible stunt routines of Charlie Chaplin.
back then, watching his ability to choreograph & incorporate his crazy stunts into the props & background sets (particularly in this film, with the complicated set designs of the factory) must've been the equivalent of watching a summer blockbuster of today.
1587 8.1 8.342. Raging Bull (1980)
3497 8 8.541. Alien (1979)
Ridley Scott directs a tale of "in-your-face" first contact, followed by a fatal game of hide and seek between a interstellar search party crew and a xenomorph, just one of what will turn out in following sequels to be a hive-race of double-mouthed acid-blooded slick black visitors who take the role of their hosts quite literally.
Never have the film genres of horror & science fiction been so perfectly blended as in this stylish, dark and damp first entry into the franchise which first introduced what is, IMO, one of the most unique & simply bad-@ss alien life-forms ever produced for film.
2992 8.1 8.640. Apocalypse Now (1979)
The "2001: A Space Odyssey" of the war genre in that it's a story of a long journey that culminates into a meeting with a strange godlike figure. And even though you might not know what it all meant, what you do know is that whatever it was, it was pretty damn epic & pretty damn cool.
The imagery & the surrealness of the film all lead up into a piece of work that could've easily been a number one film fave on any other director's filmography. And yet, for Francis Ford Coppola, the fact that there are still two more movies that IMO, are even better than this grand "arty" war epic (The Godfather Parts I & II) , is a great example that the 70's was a period of time that showcased the abilities of a great director during his prime.
BTW, Hearts Of Darkness: A Filmmaker's Apocalypse, a documentary that follows the true story of how Apocalypse Now was made, is not only a great companion piece to this film, but a also a great work of cinema on it's own (definitely worth it's own watch).
2143 7.4 8.139. Rocky (1976)
While I tend to agree with the general consensus that the original Rock shouldn't have beaten out other contenders like All The President's Men or Taxi Driver for the Best Picture Oscar, I still consider it to be my favorite of 1976.
One of the main reasons is just the nostalgic connection I have to this movie. I remember watching this first installment of the Italian Stallion franchise as a child, & even at an age when I believed that the female side of our species was rife with cooties, still finding myself adoring the love story between the two "loser" types of the painfully shy pet shop attendant (Adrian) & the slow-witted boxer/leg-breaker. And this was probably the first movie I ever watched that literally hand me jumping up & down at the end.
Rocky's plot just seemed to be able to pull all the right heart-strings for me, that even to this day, I still tend to feel a slight jitter in my chest whenever I watch this flick.
Either that, or maybe I've developed a life-long heart murmur. I dunno.
780 8.2 8.338. Ran (1985)
Before movies like Crouching Tiger/ Hidden Dragon & Hero came along & added the artistically flair fantasy elements to these types of epic movies, there was Ran. Some of the most beautiful & grand visuals ever in an Akira Kurosawa film. The fact that his name was associated with this project guaranteed this film's sweeping quality. And, the added high budget seemed to compromise his vision not in the slightest. Instead, it seemed to open up the potentiality that Mr. Kurosawa had holding in his already abundant visionary dreams.
Definitely my favorite of his works.
573 7.9 837. Duck Soup (1933)
A comedy classic, with the Bros. Marx carrying on with their timeless mayhem antics & spouting out lines like "I could dance with you till the cows come home. On second thought, I'd rather dance with the cows till you came home."
For any of you who haven't yet seen this, IMO, the best of the Marx movies, but have decided to give it a view for the first time, I envy you. It will truly be a gala day for you. And if you're anything like Groucho, the Marx's head hermano, a gal a day is more than enough for you. You probably couldn't handle any more.
4853 8.2 8.436. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
For me, this movie exemplifies everything that I like about all things Kubrick. IMO, he tends to make movies that are an inch away from being abstract beyond understanding, but yet keeps the flow of the film reeled in just enough to make it seem like it makes sense on some kind of creative level. And while I don't mind discussing what the underlying meaning(s) of ACO might be, I find that too much discussion on it tends to get in the way of the enjoyment that I get from noticing things like how colorfully crafted the art-direction is for a movie that doesn't bat a single lashed eye towards subjects like ultra-violence & the old in-&-out.
Visually, a beautifully crafted film with such a bite in it's theme that it acts as a well-balanced counterweight against the brightly set designs. Seldom do we see the contrast of light & darkness stitched on film in a manner that is instinctual, crazy & perfect all at the same time.
1772 7.3 835. Dances with Wolves (1990)
500 7.5 834. Sling Blade (1996)
For my money, Billy Bob Thornton's portrayal of the mentally handicapped Karl Childers is one of the most unique characters to come onto the silver screen in a long time.
And BTW, after watching this movie the first time, I went out and bought a can of potted meat, just to see of it's true what they say in this movie.
And gosh darn it if it isn't right there on label....it actually say's so right on the list o' ingredients..... "pork shoulders, lips, peckers & intestines....".
1091 6.9 7.633. The Abyss (1989)
"Close Encounters Of The Under-Water Kind".
Or maybe even "The Day The Ocean Stood Still".
We humans are a species capable of our own destruction. Or of our own salvation.
And though sometimes, it's can seem like we're going down the road of total annihilation, there's still enough within us to choose otherwise.
At least, that's the kind of hope the water-breathing life-forms from outer space in this film seem to hold about us.
Personally, I think this is James Cameron's masterpiece. And it's actually two stories in one. The alien storyline that provides the twist for the film, crossed over with the tension building plot involving the conflict between the scientific crew & the naval SEAL team. And both plots, while differently paced, are still very excellently executed. Now, while the edited version that was originally released into theatres is a fine film, for my money, the uncut version is what truly reveals the kind of glorious light that can emit from The Abyss.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
658 7.2 7.632. Malcolm X (1992)
In my opinion, this is the role that should've won Mr. Washington the Oscar, even more so than Training Day. In this movie, Denzel is Malcolm X. This is one of those rare instances where an actor actually becomes the person whom he is portraying. Denzel Washington tranforms himself into the man who went from being a small-time crook named "Little", to become the larger than life civil rights leader named "X".
A great biopic that intrinsically depicts the various transitions involved in one man's spiritual journey that led a singular letter in the alphabet to become a definitive part of American history books.
Definitely my favorite Spike Lee Joint.
3372 6.6 7.231. The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005)
By far, my fave of the Apatow comedies. Like Knocked Up, his best films seem to be the ones in which he does triple duty as director, writer, & producer.
In this case, this triple-combo results in a movie whose strength lies not just with the high level of comedy (which probably would've been enough), but also for the fact that at it's core, this is a story of a "late bloomer" that is handled not just intelligently, but even more importantly, with a genuine heart.
Ofttimes, many of the characters seem to deliver their punchlines with a tempered sense of sympathy towards the plight of the lead character, even when the results lead to a an exasperated situation of disintegrated success (a tried & true formula of the genre).
This movie can be touching & even socially in-depth at times, but without any cost the number of out-loud laughs.
6091 7.5 8.230. The Sixth Sense (1999)
saying that this is M. Knight Shyamalan's best film (by far) may sound overly obvious (by far),
it is (by far).
A very good from-the-beyond-yarn that starts out by depicting the debilitating effects that may result from being able to percieve ghosts. Then, almost completely, turns it around to show how this paranormal ability can be more of a help than a hindrance, if we just gave the spooky spectres a chance.
Maybe seeing dead people ain't so bad.
Though when I think about it,
if I had to deal with any kind of communication with lost spirits,
I'd rather just stick to commiserating online with all of my fellow "Listalolites" on this site.
3656 7.2 8.229. Jaws (1975)
3174 8 8.428. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
The very 1st. incredibly realistic portrayal of a sci-fi story. Great visuals back when this stuff was incredible difficult to create (without the help of computers). Also, a suspense thriller plotline that is masterfully & almost quietly delivered.
Plus, if you're not on drugs whilst viewing this film, by the time you get to the ending, you will you feel as though you are.
Definitely a movie that you wouldn't want to just say no to.
693 7.2 7.527. Dead Man Walking (1995)
A movie that excellently shows both sides without taking either one.
When Susan Sarandan's character exposes to Sean Penn's the real extent of his racism " ... so it's lazy people that you don't like...?"
& then when she finally has him take responsiblity for his sins as a "true son of God", are two of my favorite scenes in any movie, ever.
3418 6.1 7.226. Dumb & Dumber (1994)
4170 7.7 8.625. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)
One of those rare exceptions when a sequel is better than the original.
James Cameron, you are a god (...and, yes, I'm still still saying that even with bloatedness of hype surrounding Avatar.....!).
This movie is one of those rare times where an original that was already pretty bad-ass is followed up by a sequel that is even more bad-asser.
As someone who enjoys the category of science fiction probably more than any other genre when it comes to films, I seriously think that Judgment Day, along with his efforts on Aliens, shows why there should be a law that states that James Cameron should be in charge of directing all sequels from now on.
After a going thru a summer this year that has been epitomized by listlessly plotted blockbusters such as the other movie known as T-2 (Michael Bay's), this T-2 is a reminder that even though a certain degree of suspension of belief is required from one's brain in order to accept a movie about battling robots, you do not have to completely revert to the mind level of a five-year old in order to enjoy it.
I wish I was made outta liquid metal.
3223 7.6 8.124. Million Dollar Baby (2004)
The chemistry that results from Clint Eastwood's & Morgan Freeman's presence in this movie epitomizes the main thing I like about Million Dollar Baby. These are two seasoned actors so comfortable in their craft, that they both simply move in this film with a flowing ease of two veterans of their field who are just willing to allow the emotion of the story & the naturalness & trust of each other's acting ability to drive the momentum of this movie. And their chemistry of friendship, as cliche as it sounds, truly belies on the phrase of that "indescribable something" & yet, it's so tangible that the much younger yet equally talented Hilary Swank can't help but to follow suit in doing. It all leads to an overall performance from the trio that makes this a film whose power stems not from the boxing themes that one would usually expect from a boxing flick, but more from the emotions that weave & tie the characters together & allows the plot to unfold at it's own volition. In the end, it seems almost overkill to describe Million Dollar Baby as anything other than a boxing film that focuses on the female contingent of the sport directed by & starring Eastwood, along with Hillary Swank & Morgan Freeman.
Or in other words, this is a film that had me at "Mo Cuishle".
3461 8.5 8.823. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
Whenever I watch this movie, I'm always reminded that, for me, this is about as good as it gets (...sorry). Randall McMurphy is a mischievious criminal who first ends up becoming a leader of squirrelly rebellion & then, eventually, a friend to Billy & the rest the cracked eggs residing in the Cuckoo's Nest.
Jack's performance in this movie is not of a self-centered man of a salty background who becomes overly or angelically transformed, but as someone steeped in his own irresponsibility, with a hard to reach ability to care that is gradually bought up to the surface by the only type of people who could cause such a subtle & internal catalyst: a group of guys who are crazier than he is.
1794 7.8 822. Let the Right One In (2008)
Good horror movies come so rarely into my life. The same with good vampire movies. And the same also goes for good love stories (I refrain from using the term "romance movies" since I find Hollywood's idea of romance is always so impossibly & ridiculously fairy-tale-like). This movie is 2 outta 3 (Though there is some, it's very light on the horror).
Told more in an adult manner, yet still with enough of an escapist sensibilty that is respective to the genre, this is a soft, beautiful & beguiling story (which is really saying something since I don't know what that word means) of two 12 year olds finding love for the first time thru the flaws of each of their separate (& sometimes desperate) life situations.
The lead actors for this movie portray their characters with a true down to earth awkwardness that is usually found with kids at this age, along with a longing that is both sincere & convincing.
As far as vampire love stories go, I find myself agreeing with those who compare this one with another teen-human-falls-for-teen-bloodfeeder film that was released around the same time :
the 15 year old girls can have their Twilight. I'll take LTROI.
5394 7.5 821. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004)
Only two words can be used to describe this movie: Bad @ss.
Not only is this Quentin's homage to martial arts flix, but it also includes homage's to anime & those funky, grainy 70's Bruce Lee's wannabe's that made us laugh with their unsynchronized voice-overs, jagged camera movements & b-level musical sound effects. And yet, he was able to combine all this campy characteristics in a manner that was just plain...
this entry is for both volumes I & II, since I am one of those who categorize both films as one movie.
( which they are, y'know.... )
1630 8.6 8.920. 12 Angry Men (1957)
12 Angry Men is such a good courtroom drama, that for me, it simply blows the majority of every other film in this genre out of the water (okay, technically this isn't really a "courtroom" drama because the entire film happens in the jury-room. But let's face it, the plot's purpose is one that leads into the most important part of the courtroom process, the verdict).
The combination of a tight script with a solid ensemble cast (oh, & lets not forget a big screen directoral debut for Sidney Lumet) make for a tense, compelling movie that even though it keeps 99% it's entire length within one room, a viewer can't help but to be spellbound.
5637 7.1 819. The Incredibles (2004)
So far, this is my favorite animated feature of all time.
One of the best voice castings for the lead roles I've seen (or is it heard?) & it has a great story, full of charm, wit & family chemistry. I always thought that Hollywood never seem to be able to put out 100% in any feature dealing with superheroes, but they really did with this one. The effects are incredibly cool, the over-all visuals are stunning & the characters are all drawn with an equally high level of quality & dynamicism (.... is that really a word?). Added with the "Jack Jack Attack" story on the DVD, & I know that it will probably be a long time before the family "I's" get dethroned from #1 on my list of fave computer animation movies.
174 7.3 7.218. The Joy Luck Club (1993)
The year that this film was released, I had a girlfriend who liked to go out with me, but only when she planned it & was in control of the date. On one week-end night, I was supposed to go see Joy Luck Club with her, but since it was at my suggestion, she, as always, phoned me to tell that she felt like maybe she was (conveniently) coming down with something. Now don't get me wrong, she wanted us to see this film, just not at my suggestion (I'll skip any psycho-analyzations as to why she was always like this).
Well I had finally had it, so I called her bluff, & told her that if there was a chance she'd get sick or somethin', we should just call the whole night off.
Before she could respond, I hung up the phone & then went to go see this movie by myself, more to piss her off than anything else.
By the time this stunningly moving, mother-daughter generation-crossing epic-fare was over, my hairy pimp-ass found it quite difficult to refrain from repeatingly dabbing at that "something in my eye" that seemed annoyingly persistent during the final two sob-strewn scenes. Because of my gf, there I was sitting alone in a theatre, effeminately misty-eyed over a god@mn chick-flick.
Right there & then, I knew that my relationship with my then-girlfriend was over.
Cuz no one makes me cry my own tears.
726 7.3 7.417. The Bridges of Madison County (1995)
A truly romantic story of how the escapist fantasy high/feeling that initially results with falling in love must eventually be realistically dealt with, as the conditions & responsibilities of one's current situation come quickly creeping back in. This movie always reminds of something I heard once: that couples pairing up for the sake of true love is still a relatively young concept in the context of human history. That we as both a society & a species over-all, have not evolved enough yet to be able to deal & accept each other in a manner that would be considered as total unconditonal love (which is the only real love). And it is because of this that the world population has yet been unable to formulate an effective means of discussion that would truly begin a process of unity between it's racial, social & in this case, gender factions. Maybe, like this film depicts, this is why so many make decisions more for the sake of a security based on social & financial reasons than what is right for us on an emotional level. And as they impeded on Robert Kincaid (Eastwood) & Francesca Johnson (Streep), decisions which may impede on our ability to follow our hearts & therefore sway us, individually and socially, from a path that would lead to true love before it's too late.
5806 6.7 7.416. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
In this one, Peter Parker roughs thru his dilemas with the same down-to-earth fustrations as in the comicbooks, his relationship with Mary Jane convincingly reaches it's next level, & Doc Ock is portrayed much better as a villian than he ever was on the printed age.
As a hardcore nerd of this genre, I was pretty satisfied at Marvel's initial effort at trying to do what Burton did with the Batman; introduce the webhead as a serious legitimate property for film.
The most I could've hoped for this sequel was that it be at least half as good as it's predessor.
Instead, Spidey-2 turned out to become one of my favorite movie adaptations of a comicbook superhero ever.
Which I guess I should've anticipated since before I even entered the theatre, my spider-senses didn't go off, all atingling an' sh*t.
1550 8 8.315. Unforgiven (1992)
"That's right. I'm Will Munny and I've killed women and children. I've killed everything that walks or crawls at one time or another. And I'm here to kill you, Little Bill......"
He was once a real tough hombre who was good with a gun & never hesitated to use it.
But now, after so many years of trying to build a "normal life" away from that of a gunslinger, Will Munny comes to realize that when times get hard, old habits in old people die hard.
The manner in which the icon of the ol' western gunslinger is portrayed here,
as an aged man with a mysterious past which he would preferred forgotten, yet soon ultimately, comes to rely on for the survival of the redemptive life he has built, shows how this film could've also been called The Final Chapter Of The Man With No Name, But Now We've Given Him A Name.... Punk.
5359 7.2 7.914. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
This movie has gotten such a stigma attached to it, that I easily forget how much I enjoy watching it. After several years of this movie collecting dust on my video collection, I watched it with my 6 yr. old niece a couple of months ago, & I'll be honest with you: I don't know which one of us was left sitting there with more childlike awe & wonder on our faces.
Her, b'cuz as a child, she thought that E.T., was one amazing tale.
Or me, b'cuz as an adult, I thought that Elliot's mom was one amazing tail.
Seriously, though, as a kid or as a grown up, I think that this is Steven Spielberg's sci-fi masterpiece. With the exception of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, of course.
An extra-terrestial becomes trapped on our planet & befriends an Earthling boy who shares it's love for Reese's Pieces. From there, these two beings "from different worlds" (one of the rare times that this phrase is used in the most literal sense possible), begin to share each other's experiences in a bond that can only result from unconditional acceptance.
A moving picture which teaches that when it comes to a deep longing for love in the form of kindness & friendship, we humans are not alone.
And all we have to do to get it, even on a universally galactic level, is to just simply "be.... good".
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
3158 7.4 813. The Exorcist (1973)
First of all, movies don't scare me all that easily. A few did when I was a kid, but not anymore now as an adult. Therefore I rarely watch "scary" movies with the idea that I'm going to get frightened in any way. These days, I just judge 'em based more on the quality of entertainment that I get from the story, art direction, acting, blah blah blah....
this is film that tried to "realisticly" (for it's time) entertain the idea of possession not just by a demon, but by the Devil himself (I know that in the book version, it wasn't Satan himself, but, at the young age when I first saw the Exorcist film, the line "she think's she's the Devil himself" had me convinced that it was truly the Prince of Lies who was responsible for this whole vomit-inducing, head-twisting debacle).
Boy, when I think of the time that this movie was first released & watching it as a kid, I know now why there hasn't been a horror movie since, that has been able to induce within the fright that the intention of such films. This one got it all out of my system in one shot (my mentality is probably still scarred from this flick in a manner that I, even as an adult, have yet to realize). From here on end, all other horror flix are just a step down for my traumatized pimp-@ss.
Even before I saw the movie, I remember catching a preview of this on T.V., as it depicted the scene of when the young girl inflicted with the soul-violating "ailment" was struggling on her bed, cryin for help as it violently shook on it's "own" volition. That night, at bedtime, I was scared as hell to go upstairs to my f#ckin' bedroom.
That f#ckin' movie.......
3356 8.6 912. The Godfather: Part II (1974)
After lightning struck once with the first Godfather, it was almost impossibe to believe that it could strike twice in the same series, especially with the absence of Marlon Brando, James Caan & Abe Vigoda (oh c'mon! Y'know his presence added a certain dimension to the whole of the movie.....).
Yet strike it did.
And with even more intensity than could be expected.
Francis Ford Coppola continues the saga of la famiglia Corleone, along with an interjecting prologue story starring a Sicilian speaking Robert Deniro.
I know that the rest of the planet says that this one is the superior film, but I myself like the first one better. Now don't get me wrong, G-2 is practically a perfect movie. However IMO, G-1 is just a bit more perfect. That being said, if only all sequels could match the quality ratio that this one did with its predecessor, then I bet that there wouldn't be any more wars in the world.
6810 8.3 911. Pulp Fiction (1994)
4588 8.1 8.810. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Ba... (1980)
For the movie itself, what can I say about it that hasn't already been said?
Instead, I'll just relay my opinion on the experience of this film.
This was back when movies would stay in theatres, not for weeks at a time, but for months.
I think that, on the majority, audiences today have been so desensitized from so-so blockbusters being released every other week-end, that they will never get to experience the feeling a big movie-event like Star Wars. The year of Empire was one of my fave summers ever as a kid. It was really cool knowing that I could hop on the city bus at any point during the season & go watch TESB. And every time that I did, the other audience members were just as excited to be seeing this film at the end of the summer as they were at the beginning. Every year that one of the 3 original films was released, you could not only feel the power of the "Force" within the air, but also, you could feel it in the air all season long.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
1065 7.5 8.19. Gandhi (1982)
1368 7.1 7.58. House of Flying Daggers (2004)
Growing up, it always frustrated me whenever the majority of big budget action flicks or martial arts movies of the time often seemed to sacrifice on story to make room for the expansive bangs & the expensive effects. It was generally said, that in these types of movies, you couldn't really have both, particularly, at a consistent high level. And I was one those kids who always asked "Why not?"
And then came the House Of Flying Daggers. And with it's beautiful story of love & intrigue, combined with lavish costumes, great performances & unique individually themed action sequences (which combined with the vivid colors, gave me the same effect as when reading a really kick-ass comicbook) it seemed to asked the very same question.
So far one of my favorite in the burgeoning genre known as wuxia.
4251 8 8.77. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ar... (1981)
3095 7.6 8.26. Good Will Hunting (1997)
Wait, what's this? The usually overblown Mork wins an Oscar for his portrayal of a down to Earth therapist from South Boston & with a sympathetic ear?
Well, how do you like them apples?
And on the other end of the psychiatrist's chair is Will Hunting, a "wicked smaht" young Southie who must come to terms with his past, his brawling behavior, his therapist, his extra-ordinary talent & his tendency to continually talk himself away from responsibility.
And in the process, finds that sometimes, the best way to heal old wounds,
is simply, to go see about a girl.
This was one of those films that really surprised me when I watched it,
not just cuz it turned out to be my favorite movie of that year, but also one of my favorite top ten films ever.
And if any of you out there reading this can't seem to come eye to eye with my over-all assessment of the high quality of this story,
It's not your fault.
3176 8.3 8.85. GoodFellas (1990)
"You know, we always called each other goodfellas. Like you said to, uh, somebody, 'You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a goodfella. He's one of us. You understand?' We were goodfellas. Wiseguys."
When it comes to gangster movies, you just can't beat this one for charismatic energy. Goodfellas is my favorite Martin Scorcese film, for several reasons, but one of the main ones being the manner in which he pays close attention to the minute details that the members of a 60's-70's mafia family engage in for the sake of maintaining the lifestyle that they have so become accustomed to. Also, the way that the accomplished director progresses the story as to show how that type of self-contained lifestyle can only eventually crumble as the "normal" world outside of the Cosa Nostra continually changes & evolves.
What it comes down to is, no matter how much of a goodfella you think you may be, in the end, you will always end up either in prison, getting whacked, or the worst of 'em all, living the rest of your life like a schnook.
2582 7.8 8.54. Aliens (1986)
In this sequel to the non-plural installment of the series, Ripley, believe it or not, is back. And this time, she arms herself with some big guns & with an even bigger attitude, of instead of squaring off against just one xenomorph, she's taking on a whole hive full of them. And their momma too.
This movie has everything that I look forward to in a sci-fi adventure. Suspenseful action, solid story, distinct characters (with great chemistry), great visuals, kick-@ss aliens, a turning plot-twist (we all thought for sure, that Bishop couldn't be trusted), & of course, a catch-phrase that made the entire theatre that I saw this movie in to roar ("Get away from her, you b#tch!").
This second chapter is the high point of a franchise that features what is, IMO, one of the most unique & simply bad-ass alien life-forms ever produced for film.
Mannnn.... I wish I had acid for blood.
The Mighty Celestial's rating:
1673 7.2 7.73. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
My favorite Sci-fi film of all time.
For me, this movie represented the most realistic handling of a story of aliens up to that point in time, (inspiring films like Contact & Signs, both which tried admirably to emulate the "validity" of Encounters). So much so that, at the time, it made it almost believable for me that the idea of extra-terrestrials could be a reality. Also, it was done with such a sense of awe-inspiring hope & beauty, that it almost makes me wish now that they did indeed exist (& maybe aliens do, but that's an entirely different website, altogether).
In this this Speilberg classic, the otherworlders have made contact.
And at first, that makes us humans afraid.
But when we finally come face to face with 'em, we realize that the fear we felt was based more on own insecurites than it was on these bug-eyed long-fingered lil' grey angels from space (though, you have to admit, the fact that they have a knack of kidnapping a few of our jet-fighters, not to mention a kid or two, & then instill mental images of their landing site in own minds, urging us to ruin a plateful of perfectly good mash potatoes, doesn't help much to quell our apprehension of the little buggers).
To this day, even with jaded eyes overwhelmed with modern CGI gimmicktry , the special effects in Close Encounters, combined with their elegant integration to the story's premise,
this film still leaves me with a sense of awe after each viewing.
The kind of awe that I used to feel as kid whenever I would look up all the stars in the sky on clear summer night, & wonder at all of the possibilities that must've been up there.
I wish a UFO would come down & fly my pimp-ass away into the limitless potential of space.
(Sans anal-probes, of course.)
1441 6.9 7.32. Superman (1978)
Yep. The fact that this #2 of my favorite movies ever is evidence that I am a huge comicbook nerd. And since admitting that usually doesn't garner much respect, I only expect the best when a project interprets my favorite medium up on the big screen. We comicbook fans don't need any more ammunition to makes us seem any more goofy
that we already are. We can do that all by ourselves.
ALL by ourselves.
And no matter what anyone says, Ka-El is the original gangsta of superheroes. So it is only fitting that the last son of Krypton's big-budget movie debut should turn out to be the one that all other comic-book based superhero movies must be measured by. And while I know that this movie does have it's dated flaws, it was, just like the character whom it portrayed, the one that started on how epic the idea of a superhero could truly be.
4833 8.7 9.21. The Godfather (1972)
I could go on & on with why I agree with so many people of why this is such a great movie, but instead, I'll do a top ten within a top ten.
Top 10 reasons why I think The Godfather is such a great film:
10. The late great John Cazale.
9. Marlon Brando is back with a performance uniquely his own.
8. James Caan. IMO, his best performance ever & the best character in the movie.
7. All the "oranges=death/violent act" scenes.
5. Vito Corleone's "...And that I do not forgive" speech during the meeting of the criminal masterminds.
4. Lines like "Sleeping with the fishes" or " Time to take out the mattresses", phrases that have since become part of popular culture.
3. Sonny's death scene.
2. The theme song.
1. Francis Ford Coppola's masterful use of foreshadowing.
Example:When Luca Brasi ( the guy who ends up sleeping with the fishes) goes to make a deal with the rival crime-family, he walks thru a glass door that leads to the bar where he will meet his end. As the door closes, the scene is shot looking at Luca from behind, setting up the shot to so that you will notice fish designs that have been engraved into the glass & give the impression that they are surrounding Luca's body.
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