Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sight and Sound Movie List - Der Mazur

Wow, this was hard. I've watched a lot of movies, and had a lot of VERY STRONG opinions on movies, but I actually don't like to rank movies into top 10 lists because my opinions will change the more I watch a movie. Working my way through the AFI's Top 100 list, makes me even less inclined to come up with a "best" or "favorites" list. And while this list will contain 10 movies that I love, it's necessarily in ranked order.

You already know that The Godfather, and the 1978 Dawn of the Dead, and Taxi Driver are good movies, so putting any of them on a list would be pointless. With that in mind, this list is more of a "Top 10 Movies I Love, that Don't Normally Appear on Top 10 Lists," or if you prefer, the "Top 10 Under-Appreciated Movies." Obviously, if any of these movies showed up on anyone else's lists on this blog, I make no apologies for not having read their list, instead, I applaud their exquisite taste in cinema.

Honorable Mentions: 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1989, dir. Robert Zemeckis) - Sparked my love of film noir, and still the best use of live action and animation together. Suck on THAT Space Jam. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqTMk6RSssw

Blazing Saddles (1974, dir. Mel Brooks) - My favorite Western. The campfire scene gets funnier the older I get, the crazy anachronisms and 4th wall breaking works, unlike in some other movies, and for some reason I even love the crazy ending. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upvZdVK913I

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989, dir. Steven Spielberg) I like this one better than Raiders of the Lost Ark. The interactions between Ford and Connery are hilarious, and Dr. Schneider was way hotter than Marion… even if she was a Nazi. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WMeesE4Nlhg

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988, dir. David Zucker) One of the great period comedies. Yeah, it's dated but the jokes are still funny. It has a special place on my list because my grandfather's brother played Enrico Pallazzo. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eJEmtLxkEoI

Army of Darkness (1992, dir. Sam Raimi) - Perhaps the best example of a B movie that's so GOOD it's good. Slapstick comedy, great practical special effects, and endlessly quotable. This is why nerds love Bruce Campbell. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeLUi_20Nrg

The List:

10. Ocean's 11 (1960, dir. Lewis Milestone - Not to be confused with the George Clooney "Ocean's Eleven" this movie features the Rat Pack robbing 5 casino's simultaneously. Spoilers: they lose the money, leading to an iconic ending shot of the gang walking away dejected.

9. Tampopo (1985, dir. Juzo Itami) - The first Ken Watanabe movie I ever saw. A satirical look at Japanese culture and foodies made in 1985. You'll never watch Anthony Bordain, or the Food Network the same way again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6WrkdTrrwew

8. Repo! The Genetic Opera (2008, dir. Darren Lynn Bousman) If you like Rocky Horror, The Nightmare Before Christmas, or rock and roll and musical theater, you'll like Repo! Paris Hilton plays a stupid spoiled whore drug addict. It's the role she was born to play!

7. Monty Python's Meaning of Life (1983, dir. Terry Jones) - I always thought the Pythons worked better in vignettes than in a standard three act structure. The ending of Holy Grail never really worked for me, and Life of Brian can get really slow in the middle. Not every sketch is perfect, but I think it all works.

6. Grave of the Fireflies (1988, dir. Hotaru no Haka) An amazing Japanese animated movie about 2 orphans living in Kobe at the end of World War II. I know World War II movies are kinda a cliche, but watch it anyway.

5. Oldboy (2003, dir. Chan-wook Park) - A Korean "revenge fantasy" about a businessman who gets kidnapped and held captive only to be released 15 years with no explanation. Badass action, stunning camera work. If you liked Kill Bill or any Stephen Chow movie, you should like this.

4. MIrrorMask (2005, dir. Dave McKean) - A Neil Gaiman screenplay that I'm betting was made so Dave McKean could do the visuals. The soundtrack is another strong point, and it includes the creepiest version of "Close to You" I've ever heard.

3. The Iron Giant (1999, dir. Brad Bird)- A clever movie, full of subtle relationships. A boy and his dog story, except the dog is a 50 foot alien robot. Vin Diesel's best role ever.

2. Pan's Labyrinth (2006, dir. Guillermo del Toro) - Like MirrorMask, this movie is all about amazing visuals. Del Toro sets a fantasy adventure against the backdrop of 1944 Fascist Spain.

1. The Secret of NIMH (1982, dir. Don Bluth) - Don Bluth (who did American Tale and Land Before Time) made this movie about mice trying to escape danger. It's dark visually and thematically, and despite being a "children's movie" it never treats the audience like dumb kids.

1 comment:

  1. Iron Giant is an especially good call. Of all animated movies, and even movies in general, it has one of the highest merit-to-appreciation ratios.