yord's 30 Day Movie Meme List
170 7.4 7.71. My Dinner with Andre (1981)
The best movie you saw during the last year
After seeing Siskel and Ebert's review (@23:00), I knew that I had to pick this one up. I ordered it from Critereon the next day and fell in love with it upon my first watching. Sparks endlessly fascinating conversations when people think about who they really are and what meaning they get from life. Are you an Andre or more of a Wally, or a healthy mix? With such wonderful dialogue, so layered and rewarding, I doubt any other film I see will be watched as often as I've already watched this one.
897 7.4 7.42. Synecdoche, New York (2008)
The most underrated movie
I know of no other film that is so endlessly complex, and I know of no other film that mirrors neurosis so effectively while still managing to be insightful and avoiding pretentiousness. Very sad, very inspired, and very ambitious, more people should give this a chance (and, most likely, a second chance after that).
4853 8.1 8.53. Amélie (2001)
A movie that makes you really happy
A whimsical and colorful adventure of finding love in Paris, as experienced by Amelie--a terribly shy, cute and relatable heroine. For me, it is humanizing and refreshing to see a girl suffer the same problems as I--anxiety, shyness, confronting evils--but use those character traits to ultimately solve them.
4347 8 8.34. Pan's Labyrinth (2006)
A movie that makes you sad
To avoid the risk of spoiling anything, I'll say nothing more than this is at times a hugely uplifting yet ultimately tragic tale. Love it!
2828 8.2 8.65. Casablanca (1942)
Favorite love story in a movie
This was a three-way tie between Casablanca, Me and You and Everyone We Know, and Hitch. However, my recent experiences have brought me closer to the feeling of Rick Blaine's classic tale. How wonderful the past is, how strong the love seems and seemed, and how difficult it is to forget. After all of these years, there is still nothing like it.
1382 8.6 9.66. Band of Brothers (2001)
Favorite made for TV movie
When weighing my options of BBC's Bleak House (2005), Planet Earth, and the Pillars of the Earth, I realized that none of them held me so intensely as HBO's Band of Brothers. The series has a superb story with a rich cast of characters in one of the only wars it's still OK to exploit for heroism, making it a truly timeless piece.
2700 8.2 8.47. Oldboy (2003)
The most surprising plot twist or ending
To call my state of mind "surprised" when the final scenes start to flash by is an understatement. This film does not hold back. Each turn in the story only builds on the last and we see there is no stopping this vengeance. You will be left speechless.
1007 6.5 6.88. I Heart Huckabees (2004)
A movie you've seen countless times
Who knew a screwball comedy could explain so much about the universe in such an entertaining way? It's hilarious, "slapstick existentialism" is probably the best way to sum it up. I love Watts and Wahlberg's performances, but Hoffman takes it home in this endlessly quotable film.
8895 8.1 8.89. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the... (2001)
A movie with the best soundtrack
I almost put In Bruges here for its haunting pianos and violins, until I realized the scope and achievements of Howard Shore's The Lord of the Ring's soundtrack. Everything in the film is brought to life by its own theme. Each territory, each creature, the fellowship itself--they are all imbued with a certain sense or emotion, depending on the time, and you cannot help but be drawn into the mood, whether it's rich strings or frantic timpanis.
1053 8.6 8.610. City Lights (1931)
Favorite classic movie
This is more engaging, funny, and heartfelt than the vast majority of today's releases--and there isn't one spoken word throughout! I was amazed at how little really needed to be said to be able to figure out what was actually going on in a scene. Charlie Chaplin was a true genius and it is by no accident that his works are timeless.
770 8 8.111. La Haine (1995)
A movie that changed your opinion about something
This was a little hard to choose, but I ended up with La Haine for its stance on guns and violence. I was aware of the circle of violence--those with a history of abuse are more often the ones perpetuating abuse--but I guess I never thought of the seriousness of adding a gun to that mix. Made me doubt the black and white nature of the issue and gave me insight on how to prevent such madness--when it's possible.
1026 4.8 4.412. Ultraviolet (2006)
A movie that you hate
Easily the worst movie I've seen to date, shoving its pretentiousness right up its own ass and puking it out with an artsy vibe, as if this sort of glorified experiment in contrast would elevate the material. The first words of the film: "Hello. My name is Violet and I was born into a world you may not understand." No kidding. 88 minutes of jargon mixed with conceited fight scenes. I guess it helps, however slightly, that Milla is hot.
3093 6.1 6.713. Hitch (2005)
A movie that is a guilty pleasure
I attribute this guilty pleasure entirely to Kevin James's character. So funny and warm to see his confidence build as Hitch pumps him up without really doing anything. To me, the film shows that it's easier to deal with such deep-rooted problems than one thinks--just get out of your own way.
2487 7.1 7.614. Collateral (2004)
A movie that no one would expect you to love
I'm kind of known as artsy and picky when it comes to my taste in movies--some might call it pretentiousness. So that a Tom Cruise thriller lands at #4 in my Top 100 Movies does indeed draw some surprised looks. But this is a deep and existential film, one that sees the nothingness inside of Vincent and tries to explain it; to deal with it as only humans can. I love the dialogue, the actors, but especially the directing by Michael Mann. Very slick and cinematic with moody and impressive lighting helps make it the epitome of cool thrillers.
5912 8 8.415. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
A character who you can relate to the most
With all my awkwardness, I turn to Jim Carrey's Joel as my most relatable. Deeply affected by his lonely feelings, but totally stuck inside his own head, he has difficulty putting to words what he wants to say. But unexpected things happen when (you guessed it) you least expect them, and soon you find that you have aid and comfort from someone awesome to help fight off those thoughts and problems.
6611 8.4 916. The Dark Knight (2008)
A movie you used to love but now hate
Well, I don't change my reviews often, but the only movie that could somewhat reflect this criteria is The Dark Knight. Initially, I was won over by the outstanding cast, cinematic camerawork, and the mature, gritty style of the film. However, I read an analysis that compared the plot to the Bush doctrine and found it nearly indefensible. I do not hate this movie. I still recommend it to people, if only just for Ledger's Joker. But the film was made to be analyzed, and this is hard to refute.
4587 6.2 6.717. The Matrix Revolutions (2003)
A movie that disappointed me most
While being slightly let down after seeing Reloaded, I still thought that the Wachowski brothers could have gone someplace awesome with the story they had told so far. Unfortunately, they made all the wrong decisions and turned what was a thoughtful sci-fi franchise into a money-making sequel machine, producing easily digestible yet tasteless gruel.
1068 8.5 8.218. Stalker (1979)
A movie that I wish more people would see
A powerful and entrancing Russian film about finding the physical manifestation of human desire in a Chernobyl-like area. Methodical and vast in its style, thoughtful and penetrating dialogue, this hidden gem will surely surprise and envigorate even the most will-less individual.
5572 8.2 8.519. The Shining (1980)
Favorite movie based on a book/comic/etc.
Let me get this out of the way first: I loathe the statement that "the book was better!" or "the movie was better!" They are two seperate mediums doing two very different things, and they are meant for two very different audiences. You can compare them at a basic level, but anything further would diminish either version. So, on that note, I absolutely loved Kubrick's take on King's novel. The ambiguity of Jack's mental problems and the haunting of the hotel are handled so deftly by Kubrick that it's no wonder that the unease and claustriphobia felt by everyone in the film is so pervasive. Masterful and slow-brooding--the first epic horror film, and possibly the only great one.
2427 8.1 8.120. There Will Be Blood (2007)
Favorite movie from your favorite actor
Not necessarily my favorite actor, but one of them, and this is probably the best male performance in cinema. Absolutely a powerhouse performance, Day-Lewis plays the slowly corrupting Daniel Plainview with menace and fiery determination--from the moment he slithers out of his hole with a chunk of gold to the horrific ending scene, he is mesmerizing.
3719 7.7 8.321. Die Hard (1988)
Favorite action movie
This movie is just a lot of fun, punctuated by gunfire and explosions. Alan Rickman's portrayal of terrorist mastermind Hans Gruber is inspired and memorable, and the game of cat and mouse that he and John McClane (Willis) play gets more tense by the minute. Remember that part where he had to walk across all that glass barefoot? ...that was awesome!
181 7.7 7.822. Encounters at the End of the World (2007)
Merely noting that this was the only direct competition for Stalker in the "Movie I wish more people would see" category should put Herzog's Encounters at the End of the World on everyone's "to watch" list. It brings moments of pure visual awe mixed in with quirky and deep stories by genuinely nice people, all with Herzog's ponderous and playful narration tying them together. Not a traditional documentary by any means, this film will get you seeing connections to the universe, humanity, and this Earth in ways no other could.
3881 8.4 8.623. Spirited Away (2001)
Miyazaki is a masterful animator with a wild imagination, and in Spirited Away, which sets Chihiro wandering into a land ruled by gods, witches, and monsters and a giant bathhouse for them all, he doesn't hold back. The film is filled with deep ideas and wonderfully cute creatures; it's an absolute treat to view at any age.
3927 7.9 824. Black Swan (2010)
Favorite movie from your favorite actress
Again, Natalie Portman is not necessarily my favorite actress, but she is one of them. And again, I'd say this is probably the most powerful female performance in cinema. Portman is completely transformed into the role, in more ways than one, and we are brought into her tormented mind and life and can feel the same intensity and confusion as she. Truly powerful final scene--I will never forget the Black Swan staring back into me with such... I can't even describe it.
3754 7.9 8.225. The Big Lebowski (1998)
Most hilarious movie you've ever seen
My generation's Monty Python and the Holy Grail, I was 17 when I first saw this and have never laughed so hard at a movie since. Jeff Bridges as The Dude is just so likable, you can't help but root for him and his pair of kooky sidekicks to get the Dude's rug back. Walter (Goodman) is a hoot, with his excess rage exacerbating their problems, and a slew of other minor supporting characters show up here and there--always spot-on. But what really holds it all together is the secretly clever screenplay. The dialogue is a thing to behold!
1164 6.3 6.626. Dune (1984)
A movie that you love but everyone else hates
Well, according to IMDB's rating of My Top 100 Favorite Movies list, Valhalla Rising would be the choice, but I think Dune is a better representation because of two things. One, I have not read the book(s), so I have no real frame of reference (other than the Sci-Fi miniseries). And two, I like David Lynch. I can see how a lot of people would not like this film, especially factoring those two key points in, but I loved it (the Director's Cut). Very visual and haunting, epic in scope, I got up feeling simultaneously satisfied and awed by it.
401 6.5 5.927. Valhalla Rising (2009)
A movie that you wish you'd seen in theaters
I was mesmerized by this film. It drops you right into the mud with no explanation and beats the brains out of you, only to lead you on through an hallucinogenic journey across the sea. The profile of a dying holy man against the sky, the mountainous terrains, the jagged pines, the sanguine sequences--I would love to see it on a huge screen. Mads Mikkelsen as the silent warrior One-Eye is a potent force of rage, an unparalleled master of it. He is the only constant, and he will only tell you one thing.
684 8.2 828. Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972)
Favorite movie from your favorite director
This was the first Herzog/Kinski film I had ever seen, and I was fortunate enough to see it on a big screen. From the opening shot, I was stunned and hypnotized into this world of deceit, power, and greed in the jungle--which is a force itself of death or chaos; randomness or eventuality. Kinski is menacing as Aguirre, the hobbled and sinister conquistador bent on rafting down the Amazon to find El Dorado and form a new nation. Yet only Aguirre seems oblivious as to where this river ends...
1402 6.9 7.329. The Land Before Time (1988)
A movie from your childhood
This is the first thing that came to my mind, and then close after was Spaceballs and Milo & Otis. But The Land Before Time was a classic. It always seemed like a dire threat, thinking back and remembering the lava floes, and I was always worried that the trees would all dry up and brown and they would starve... *cough* Great animation and great colors, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it!
3527 7.9 8.230. No Country for Old Men (2007)
Your favorite movie of all time
Leave it to the Coen brothers to come as close to perfection as anyone is ever going to get in a film. Pitch perfect throughout with stellar casting and an ending you'll never forget and you won't see coming. Sure to spark a fire in your brain where there was none before.
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