Friday 2014-01-31

Movie reviewers seem to always suck, usually too artsy and out of touch with the notion of Entertainment. I figure you have already seen The Godfather I/II, Star Wars II, Jaws, and others of the mega-hit/mega-classic ilk, so I'll just recommend good films that you may not have seen.

Must See In Your Lifetime:

  1. Manhunter - Making Art can get a little messy.
  2. Slapshot - Brilliant multi-level satire in a hockey rink.
  3. Hard-boiled - Hong Kong spaghetti
  4. Harold and Maude - An ultra-Romantic film about grief
  5. Chungking Express - It was love, what can you do? Make sure you watch the 2nd half of the film, that's what.
  6. The Shining - good budget + good director + good actors + good story = instant classic.
  7. Ikiru - one man, one life, all in the context of Japan in the first half of the 20th century.

Highly Recommended (i.e. you really should see these ;):

  1. Real Genius - Cal Tech mythology with a silly plot, but I wanted to be like Chris Knight.
  2. To Live and Die in L.A. - compare the "Art is Pain" in this to the "All Night Tool" creation in Real Genius.
  3. Soylent Green - The System is broken
  4. Zardoz - The elitist system isn't so elitist; it's broken, too.
  5. Clockwork Orange - The System is broken
  6. Rosemary's Baby - not scary, just visually fun.
  7. Blind Video Days - if you ever want to see what skating's about
  8. The Usual Suspects - drama, tension, twist
  9. The Sixth Sense - drama, tension, twist
  10. The Abominable Dr. Phibes - Revenge! (probably best if you're in high school)
  11. Airplane - silly boyish humor
  12. The Kentucky Fried Movie - more of that humor
  13. Once Upon a Time in the West - poetic violence
  14. The Killer - Hong Kong's Sergio Leone
  15. The Professional - French Spaghetti
  16. War Games - the film that broke hacking
  17. The Matrix - the film that broke hacking
  18. Repulsion - Catherine Deneuve goes nuts, Roman Polanski directs
  19. Belle de Jour - Catherine Deneuve goes nuts, Luis Buuel directs
  20. Suspiria - The arc from Polanski's Rosemary's Baby to Kubrick's The Shining passes through Suspiria. It's ostensibly about witches.
  21. Secretary - Well-adjusted Sado-Masochists live next door.
  22. Braindead (Dead Alive = US release) - Peter Jackson's hilarious slaughterfest = Evil Dead 2, Down Under. Get the unrated version, the rated version makes no sense, so much was cut out.
  23. Fist of Legend - Jet Li remakes Fist of Fury adding in a layer of thought.
  24. Super Troopers - a documentary about my home state's State Police.
  25. There's more....
  26. Kentucky Fried Movie - awesome scatterbrained high school humour (Catholic High School Girls in Trouble).
  27. The Mist - Unexpectedly Shakespearean film about Cthulhu and the failure to lead. Think "A Midwinter Night's Scream"
  28. Hostel - Unexpected Shakespeare tackles Torture Porn and Justice.

Kentucky Fried Movie...Best. Stupid. Movie. Ever....second only to History of the World Part 1.
If you want to talk Argento, you need Phenomena (AKA Creepers -- US release had kickin' box art) --Rich
Thanks for the tip! I'll check out Phenomena's uncut subbed version. -- Patrick
Super Troopers... man, that film is priceless. In the scene where they drink the syrup, the actors are actually drinking syrup. That's dedication... or err... something. -- David W
I rate Super Trooper's opening scene an instant classic, along with Fist of Legend, and Harold & Maude. Any other Amazing Opening Scenes of Great Films that I missed? -- Patrick.
Brick - Film noir Primer - Amazing sci-fi House of Flying Daggers - Quite possibly the most beautiful movie ever made A Few Good Men - Military legal drama Eat, Drink, Man, Woman - Drama, bordering on literary American Beauty - Literary Watchmen - Action, political commentary Basic Instinct - Murder-mystery Fight Club - Action, social commentary A Streetcar Named Desire - Male-female relationships Se7en - Murder-mystery Training Day - Action, political commentary Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon - Action, Male-female relationships Man on Fire - revenge fantasy A quick note on Fist of Legends. The subtitles on my imported VHS tape are completely different from the ones on any of the DVDs I've seen. The old subtitles are much, much better. I really like the opening scene in: Eat, Drink, Man, Woman Inglorious Bastards Proof of Life -- Theo

wow! nice; listmania rocks ;) The first part of Brick is fun; film noir can veer too close to zombie films (i'm smart and i take stupid risks? ok!). Primer's first bits rock, engineering + hackers + time travel; then time travel device proliferation implies a whole lot more people having fainting fits in that film. TIME TRAVEL RANT: just for a second, imagine that time travel had zero observable newtonian implications and time machines are just object copiers, start your story there. A Few Good Men = I would rank The Scent of a Woman over that; what do you think? American Beauty = subversive call to arms for those who weren't won over by Fight Club Watchmen? Watch V. Basic Instinct? I want the story where some psychotic twit toys with a psychologist who in response becomes hannibal. or Saw. and then reverts back to normal life. you know; like what we expect our soldiers to do. Se7en = yeah, worthwhile. it should have ended with Pitt pointing the gun at Spacey. Man on Fire = fun; although i think the Abominable Dr Phibes trumps it ===== i only commented where i thought i could do so substantively. ;) The opening scene in Lynch's Wild At Heart.

Re. A Few Good Men vs Scent of a Woman. I feel like Nickelson edges out Pachino, although that could just be that I dislike Pachino's constant yelling. IMO, Watchmen was clearly superior to V, although my fondness for the graphic novel could be leaking through. In general, I have a preference for movies that present the non-liberal case well (even if they ultimately throw in support for the liberal cause). A Few Good Men, Watchmen and Swordfish all do this reasonably well. V for Vendetta crushes a straw man. -- Theo

ok, so best non-liberal film? The opening scene in Swordfish = unexpected for me in 2001. -- Patrick

It's not so much that I want non-liberal films, but I'd much rather see an intelligent discussion than propaganda. -- Theo