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Added by Xanadon't

on 5 Jun 2011 10:26

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Xanadon't does du 30 days of movies too!

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Day 1

The best movie you saw during the last year
People who added this item 1353  Average listal rating (818 ratings) 8.2  IMDB Rating 8.5 
1. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 2

The most underrated movie
People who added this item 639  Average listal rating (377 ratings) 7.5  IMDB Rating 7.7 
2. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 3

A movie that makes you really happy
People who added this item 834  Average listal rating (452 ratings) 7.2  IMDB Rating 7.5 
3. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 4

A movie that makes you sad
People who added this item 532  Average listal rating (280 ratings) 7.4  IMDB Rating 7.6 
4. My Life Without Me (2003)

Rather than having that one big moment that makes the whole audience sob uncontrollably, the entire premise of this film is heart-wrenchingly sad. Luckily it's also thoughtful and sweet, and filled with strong performances.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 5

Favorite love story in a movie
People who added this item 1534  Average listal rating (931 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating 8.1 
5. Before Sunrise (1995)

As far as romance stories go, I'm not sure anything else even comes close for me. An absolute gem.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 6

Favorite friendship movie
People who added this item 8835  Average listal rating (5489 ratings) 8.1  IMDB Rating 8.8 
6. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the... (2001)

I was first inspired by the remarkable friendship between Samwise and Frodo when I read the book. And if people could stop making immature "gay-jokes" for a second I think they'd find a pretty damn incredible portrait of friendship in the movie too.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 7

The most surprising plot-twist or ending
People who added this item 728  Average listal rating (435 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.1 
7. Martyrs (2008)

I was shaking too hard to pick my jaw up off the floor!
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 8

Movie you've seen countless times
People who added this item 445  Average listal rating (279 ratings) 6.8  IMDB Rating 7.4 
8. Swingers (1996)

Probably about 15 times start to finish, a dozen of those viewings coming between 1998 and 2004. It was a sickness, really but my best friend and I still know the movie by heart.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 9

Best soundtrack in a movie
People who added this item 1475  Average listal rating (915 ratings) 6.9  IMDB Rating 7.3 
9. Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

Editorial Reviews
Nineteen eighty-seven's Good Morning, Vietnam was a turning point for Robin Williams, garnering the comic his first Academy Award nomination and leveraging him into the first rank of American film stars. As directed by Barry Levinson, Williams imbues the "true life" story of Armed Forces Radio rebel Adrian Cronauer with his patented machine-gun comic banter, undercut by dollops of now equally familiar tragi-comic bathos. But contrary to the tired hit parade we've come to expect from period soundtracks, the '60s music Williams's character spins here is often a refreshing surprise, drawing from trashy garage-band chic ("Liar Liar" by the Castaways), underexposed British Invasion hits (the Searchers' "Sugar and Spice," "Game of Love" by Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders), and relatively obscure American chart hits ("Five O'Clock World" by the Vogues, the Rivieras' "Warm California Sun"), all of it gratuitously punctuated by Williams's manic DJ rantings. The inspired revival of Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" also became one of the 1980s' most unlikely hits. --Jerry McCulley

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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 10

Favorite classic movie
People who added this item 349  Average listal rating (187 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
10. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 11

A movie that changed your opinion about something
People who added this item 7  Average listal rating (4 ratings) 6  IMDB Rating 6.3 
11. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 12

A movie you hate
People who added this item 673  Average listal rating (434 ratings) 5.4  IMDB Rating 5.8 
12. 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.

Brody's character is dull, dull, dull. The strongest point of interest surrounding Clive occurs as we the audience wonder what ironic, edgy t-shirt he'll wear next. He lacks any intensity, courage or mystery required to carry the audience through a film. Opposite we have Elsa (Clive's girlfriend? Fiancee? Wife? Lab-partner, anyway). Elsa is the stupidest person with an advanced degree in micro-biology you've ever met. Really. Just a big ball of dumb, delusional naivety dressed up in a mother complex. Her actions and decisions (along with Clive's spineless, reluctant, "I guess I'll just humor her; how bad could things really get, ha-ha" response) are utterly unbelievable, effectively rendering most of the plot equally absurd. Usually when I suspend my disbelief I do so assuming that I will get something in return, namely scares or thrills. Splice doesn't even attempt to hold up its end of the bargain. Instead I'm offered a ridiculous, pretentious story about a couple and a Girl-nimal attempting to play house.

In what feels like a last-ditch effort (and I'm trying not to give anything away) the director abandons any credibility left and goes for DARING. (As in, "but he's a man and she's a...uh-oh"). I almost admired this plot-turn til the after-math shows up in all it's underwhelming mediocrity. Splice's only brilliance lies in its ability to acutely demonstrate why NOT to rely on stunning visuals alone.

-- Xanadon't (that's me) right after watching this piece of garbage
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 13

A movie that is a guilty pleasure
People who added this item 3663  Average listal rating (2500 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 7.3 
13. Dumb & Dumber (1994)

I refuse to think of this as a guilty pleasure, because I think this is comic cinema gold, but I'll admit that I've probably seen this film more times than anyone really needs to.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 14

A movie that no one would expect you to love
People who added this item 520  Average listal rating (317 ratings) 6.7  IMDB Rating 7.1 
14. Waitress (2007)

At first glance this might appear to be a bland romantic-drama-comedy, but I found it intelligent, creative, and sincere... but maybe I'm just easily charmed?
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 15

A character you can relate to the most
People who added this item 296  Average listal rating (151 ratings) 6.6  IMDB Rating 7.3 
15. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 16

A movie you used to love but now hate
People who added this item 181  Average listal rating (112 ratings) 5.5  IMDB Rating 5.5 
16. Son in Law (1993)

I thought this movie was so funny and edgy when I was 12. Now I can't get past the Paully Shore factor or the lazy, uninspired, overly-contrived "humor".
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 17

A movie that disappointed you the most
People who added this item 5085  Average listal rating (3422 ratings) 6.1  IMDB Rating 6.6 
17. Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

Ask me if I've seen the other two. Yeah, well that's how disgusted and mortified I was with this epic brain-fart from the mind of George Lucas.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 18

A movie you wish more people had seen
People who added this item 98  Average listal rating (41 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating 7.7 
18. 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".

--Xanadon't (that's me)
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 19

Favorite movie from favorite female actor
People who added this item 2761  Average listal rating (1603 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating
19. Mulholland Drive (2001)

Surreal, mysterious, thrilling, bizarre, and wonderful. What an intense, mind-bending cinematic experience and what a luxury to have the marvelous Naomi Watts as our bright-eyed turned mystified guide through it all.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 20

Favorite movie from favorite male actor
People who added this item 4047  Average listal rating (2493 ratings) 8.2  IMDB Rating 8.4 
20. Taxi Driver (1976)

Robert De Niro at his most potent, dangerous, desperate, and compelling. With early roles like this it's of little wonder he became the legend he is today.

*Fun trivia-- The sequence depicted in the above photo was unscripted.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 21

Favorite action movie
People who added this item 2239  Average listal rating (1460 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 8.3 
21. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 22

Favorite documentary
People who added this item 255  Average listal rating (123 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating
22. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 23

Favorite animation
People who added this item 1413  Average listal rating (860 ratings) 7.6  IMDB Rating 7.8 
23. 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:

Review by JxSxPx
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 24

Most overrated movie
People who added this item 1657  Average listal rating (920 ratings) 8.2  IMDB Rating 8.4 
24. Once Upon a Time in America (1984)

Writing credits
Harry Grey (novel "The Hoods")

Leonardo Benvenuti &
Piero De Bernardi &
Enrico Medioli &
Franco Arcalli &
Franco Ferrini &
Sergio Leone

Stuart Kaminsky (additional dialogue)

Ernesto Gastaldi uncredited

-- lifted from IMDB

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.

Xanadon't's rating:

Day 25

The most hilarious movie you've ever seen
People who added this item 2513  Average listal rating (1723 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.7 
25. Superbad (2007)

I'm sure I'm forgetting a number of titles, but shit did I laugh hard and all the goddamn time during this movie. HILARIOUS.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 26

A movie that you love but that everyone else hates
People who added this item 517  Average listal rating (289 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 6.9 
26. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 27

A movie that you wish you had seen in theaters
People who added this item 2557  Average listal rating (1764 ratings) 7.7  IMDB Rating
27. 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.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 28

Favorite movie from your favorite director
People who added this item 2104  Average listal rating (1387 ratings) 7.8  IMDB Rating 8.2 
28. 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!
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 29

A movie from your childhood
People who added this item 2124  Average listal rating (1370 ratings) 7  IMDB Rating 7.4 
29. The NeverEnding Story (1984)

Loved it then, love it now! I think of the crap kids grow up with today (And sure, I watched a lot of junk too) and I begin to feel truly fortunate. But yeah, that goddamn G'mork is still terrifying.
Xanadon't's rating:

Day 30

Your favorite movie of all time!
People who added this item 899  Average listal rating (543 ratings) 7.9  IMDB Rating 8.1 
30. 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.

One of Hitch's last black and white features, this one is as timeless as it was innovative. Admire for instance the crane shot that begins as an overhead view of mingling party-goers, then swoops down from above the balcony, and finally ends in a close up of a small key inside Alicia's (Bergman) clutched hand. Or the clever way Hitch shoots the extended kiss that broke all the rules in Hollywood at the time, without actually breaking them. These are things that had never been done before.

Aside from style, this film is teeming with substance. Notorious is of an extremely rare breed in that it is an exceptional thriller, romance, drama, and espionage film all at once. Unbelievably, it also employs some of the most razor-sharp comedy in the Hitchcock library. Carey Grant gives the most hard-edged, while at the same time, most vulnerable performances of his career. And there's nothing not to admire about the lovely Ingrid Bergman as she plays the hard-drinking, fun-loving socialite with a dubious (one might say notorious) romantic reputation. Despite her history, her character emerges as a woman of profound courage, integrity, and warmth. She's THE quintessential "hooker with a heart of gold." And perhaps the most complex of all the characters is the "villian", Sebastion (Claude Raines). His allegiances and actions paint him the villian, but his emotional motives and stakes in the story are genuine, and invite empathy. A truly rich character, closely informed by his tyrannical mother. (what is it with Hitch and moms?) This story will entice you, anger you, thrill you, break your heart, and piece it back together. In short, it will move you like few films can.

--from Xanadon't's (that's me) review

Xanadon't's rating:


Inspired by: So many of the thoughtful listal users around here.

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Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Jun 9 13:08
Expect Once upon a time in America agree with you
good list
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Jun 10 0:09
Great list & a great read! You've encouraged me (in some cases even more so than you already had) to check out the ones I haven't seen yet.

I still like Splice though. :P
Posted: 3 years, 2 months ago at Jun 10 0:47
Great list, as usual. I've been meaning to watch My Winnipeg for a while now.
Posted: 2 years, 8 months ago at Dec 2 3:35
You have many wonderful selection, I'm adding Beauty and the Beast to my watch list and thank you for convincing me not to even bother with splice, :D I love Fantastic Mr. Fox too.
Posted: 2 years, 6 months ago at Jan 26 21:18
Great list.Mulholland Dr. is one of my favorites movies.

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