Xanadon't does du 30 days of movies too!
The best movie you saw during the last year
1193 8.2 8.51. The Lives of Others (2006)
Watched this on the strength of jaytoast's recommendation and absolutely loved it. I immediately bought a copy, which I wound up giving to my father, then purchased another one off Amazon... and gave it to my brother. It's the kind of film that so good that you make sure your loved ones see it too.
The most underrated movie
549 7.6 7.62. After Hours (1985)
While it's generally appreciated by those that have seen it, After Hours gets largely forgotten by casual movie fans and Scorsese-freaks alike. It seems like a lot of people just don't know what to make of this one, and it receives general, unfocused approval simply because it's a Scorsese movie so it must be good, right?
Truthfully, After Hours is about as good as black comedy gets, one of the best cult-films of the 80's, and probably the best nightmare-of-a-night ever told on film.
A movie that makes you really happy
744 7.2 7.43. Say Anything... (1989)
''Say Anything'' depends above all on the human qualities of its actors. Cusack and Skye must have been cast for their clear-eyed frankness, for their ability to embody the burning intensity of young idealism. A movie like this is possible because its maker believes in the young characters, and in doing the right thing, and in staying true to oneself. The sad teenage comedies of recent years are apparently made by filmmakers who have little respect for themselves or their characters, and sneer because they dare not dream. -- Roger Ebert, from his Great Movies essay
Well said Mr. Ebert. And that has much to do with how this movie makes me so happy.
A movie that makes you sad
502 7.4 7.54. My Life Without Me (2003)
Favorite love story in a movie
1306 7.8 85. Before Sunrise (1995)
Favorite friendship movie
8213 8 8.86. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the... (2001)
The most surprising plot-twist or ending
616 7 77. Martyrs (2008)
Movie you've seen countless times
404 6.8 7.48. Swingers (1996)
Best soundtrack in a movie
1361 6.9 7.29. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)
Other highlights not mentioned above, or in certain cases appearing in the film only include "Nowhere to Run" by Martha and the Vandellas, "It's Alright" by Adam Faith, and a few rockin-good tunes from the Beach Boys. A brilliant collection that strengthens the film in ways rarely seen.
Favorite classic movie
306 7.9 810. Beauty and the Beast (1946)
Not in fact my favorite classic movie, as I'm saving that title for the end of the list. But this fantastic french gem doesn't get talked about much here on listal, and is certainly one of my very favorites of the era. It's magical, inventive, lyrical, and mesmerizing. The set-pieces are among the most impressive of its time and even the camera work at times is a wonder to behold.
A movie that changed your opinion about something
6 6 6.511. Waiting for Armageddon (2009)
I used to think the earth was flat, that the sun revolved around the earth, and that religious fundamentalism wasn't an absolutely terrifying and dangerous social force. Now I can see that these are all terribly out-dated ideas.
Hah, but seriously this documentary is a real dose of scary when it comes to the way some people think. Even if it's far from the best doc out there.
A movie you hate
597 5.4 5.912. Splice (2009)
Could've been the best sci-fi/horror film to hit theaters in years. The trailers were promising and when was the last time Adrien Brody picked up a bad script? Well the marketing team fooled me, and someone duped Brody too. Or he was blackmailed. Simply put, Splice is one of those cloning/genetic engineering pics that rely more on topical, cutting-edge science-y gene-O babble than thoughtful writing. Video store shelves have been infected with a rash of such films lately and Splice is the most recent reminder that the malady doesn't look to be retreating anytime soon.
A movie that is a guilty pleasure
3416 6.1 7.213. Dumb & Dumber (1994)
A movie that no one would expect you to love
476 6.8 7.114. Waitress (2007)
A character you can relate to the most
262 6.6 7.115. Beautiful Girls (1996)
If you haven't seen it, it's tricky to explain. Timothy Hutton's character, Willie Conway, has at the age of 29(?) just moved back home because, well he just didn't know what else to do. He's a good guy, but can't quite get his life on track, and can't really become the "grown-up" he's supposed to be. He has left (another-- we assume) long-term relationship mostly because it was coming to a time where there were only two things left to do: get married or leave. He once again surrounds himself with his old friends who are also either stuck in a strange, perpetual state of adolescence, or whose lives are just a mess.
Willie is a romantic and an idealist at heart, a dreamer who refuses to face the responsibilities of reality. Rather than address his own sources of developmental paralysis he channels his mental and emotional energy toward things outside himself. So he's not a bad guy, in fact he's a very decent human-being and has potential to become something far greater than the current version of himself, but for much of the film he's unable to begin to occupy that life.
Hah, I suppose this doesn't paint myself in a very attractive light but I'd be lying if I didn't admit to seeing much of myself in this character.
A movie you used to love but now hate
167 5.6 5.216. Son in Law (1993)
A movie that disappointed you the most
4746 6.1 6.517. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
A movie you wish more people had seen
91 7.9 7.718. My Winnipeg (2007)
It's like the most impressive and moving piece of mixed-media artwork you've ever seen, but in movie form.
With My Winnipeg, Guy Maddin offers audiences an intensely personal, poetic, and passionate film. The mood of this work wavers from bitterness, nolstagia, regret, blissfulness, and estrangement, but in the end evokes more feelings of LOVE--the real kind, at times murky and complex, at others luminous and simple--than the last 10 films I've watched combined. For in the end, that's what My Winnipeg is- a true labor of love from a serious artist. Viewers will recognize hints of German expressionism, French surrealism, Citizen Kane-esque shots, an entire history of film technique that Maddin employs as he tries to unravel the fibers of his soul, the heart-strings that bind him to his beloved town in a knotty, tangled mess. This is a film that investigates cause and effect, nature and nurture, the truths and untruths we carry with us, how they've shaped us and we them. Please do not take all this to mean that this is one of THOSE CEREBRAL ARTHOUSE FLICKS, the kind most people only pretend to truly enjoy. Instead view this film as an invitation to revisit your own life story, your own geographical and spiritual landscape. Because as Maddin tells us, "the truth is relative".
Favorite movie from favorite female actor
2473 7.8 7.919. Mulholland Drive (2001)
Favorite movie from favorite male actor
3645 8.2 8.520. Taxi Driver (1976)
Favorite action movie
2013 7.8 8.321. Heat (1995)
Straight up "action" movies may be my least-favorite genre of film. A favorite SciFi-action, action-comedy, comicbook-inspired action or something a bit more specific like that would've been much easier to come up with. But action-action has never really been my thing. I guess the original Die Hard came to mind right away, but I'm gonna go with Heat anyway.
Besides it's sheer star power, one of the things that set this film apart for me is director Michael Mann's attention to setting or location. He's great at bringing a real city like L.A. to life, and the sense of place the viewer has amidst all the gun-fire and broken glass is really extraordinary.
214 7.6 7.922. Crumb (1994)
I've watched a lot of documentaries that deal with subjects I have far more personal interest in. But none of them moved me like this. There's an undeniable power to fascinate going on here that I'm not sure how to describe, but if you watch this film you'll know just what I mean.
1251 7.6 7.823. Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)
Growing up I loved Roald Dahl so I met this film with a lot of excitement. That one of my favorite directors made it happen was just gravy. This sums up my feelings very well:
Most overrated movie
1486 8.2 8.424. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)
Now normally a writers credit page that looked like this would indicate a confused, ungodly mess of a movie. And Once Upon a Time in America is no exception.
The fact that this was director Sergio Leone's last film probably has much to do with the inexplicable praise for this movie. The impressive cast probably accounts for much of the rest. But if anyone would ever bother to separate the art from the artists they'd discover that this movie really isn't very good.
The most hilarious movie you've ever seen
2284 6.9 7.625. Superbad (2007)
A movie that you love but that everyone else hates
481 7 6.826. The Brothers Bloom (2008)
Just about everyone I've talked to had serious problems with this movie... I just don't understand it. I will say that this movie is almost guilty of being too in love with itself, but beyond that I thought there was very little to dislike. It's funny, eccentric, clever, and a refreshing break from the tired predictability Hollywood often feeds us. Plus I'm a sucker for brother stories.
A movie that you wish you had seen in theaters
2229 7.7 827. Star Trek (2009)
I'm not gonna pine over the myriad great films that were released in theaters before I was even born and that I haven't been fortunate enough to see on the big screen for a special screening since. Instead I'll use this space to kick myself for a far more recent missed opportunity, and a total lack of judgement.
Had I only not been so busy being a cynical movie-snob asshole making fun of what I considered "A desperate major-studio attempt to rake in on a dead franchise" I could've had the pleasure of watching this funny, exciting, action-packed visual virtuoso fun-ride on a big-ass screen with dolby digital surround! Sheesh I can be an idiot.
Favorite movie from your favorite director
1922 7.8 8.228. Casino (1995)
Taxi Driver, Raging Bull, and Goodfellas all rank extremely close (and are all "better" and more "important" contributions to cinema) but while I'm sitting down watching it, I find I truly enjoy Casino more than all the rest.
Or maybe it's just that to me the only thing better than a two-hour Martin Scorsese film is a three-hour Scorsese film!
A movie from your childhood
1955 7 7.429. The NeverEnding Story (1984)
Your favorite movie of all time!
799 7.8 8.230. Notorious (1946)
In my mind this will always be Hitchcock's greatest work and for years has remained my favorite movie of all time. As a film it is nearly flawless and it entertains and captivates from start to finish.
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