(Unless you get hit by a bus or some other random freak disaster...in that case, just watch what you can!)
(by Randy E. Halprin)
seems that everyone on this planet is writing a book of things you
“must do” or try “before you die”, and after recently reading a really
neat graphic novel along similar lines, I thought, “Hey! Why don't I
throw my two cents into the mix?” I began to write down titles of movies
that over the course of my life, really impacted me. Not so much
written as critique or cultural significance, but instead, what they
meant to me at various stages in my life, and how they sit in my memory
bank. They are in no particular order...
1. Superman: The Movie (starring Christopher Reeves. Arguably, the best Superman to date...Handsome, charming...down to earth, and ALL American)
to begin? Whilst the movie is extremely dated, and was one of the first
to use (what it was known as at the time...) the “Blue Screen”, we
finally got to see a person in flight, and it was actually believable! I
watched it for the first time shortly after I was adopted, and it
really captured my imagination. I'd wrap a beach towel around my neck,
like a cape, and stick my fists out in front of me; then I'd “fly”
around the place excitedly.
my mom asked what I wanted to be for Hallowe'en (the very first
Hallowe'en I can remember...) I was torn between being Luke Skywalker or
Superman. My mom, being a bit of a seamstress as a hobby, made me a
Superman costume. Blue sweatshirt, with a large red cape sewn to the
back of the shirt, and a hand painted “S” on the front. All topped off
with bright red underwear over the top of blue sweatpants...I was
Superman, and ran around the house saving the world. Somewhere, there
are photographs of this moment in my life...
though, I decided on being Luke Skywalker for that Hallowe'en (by way
of Princess Leia – a story to be told soon!) but why couldn't I be both
of the coolest people in the universe at that time? In my six-year-old
mind, I was.
2. E.T. : The Extraterrestrial
movie kicked off my curiosity about life beyond earth. Since my very
first viewing of Star Wars, I fell in love with the cosmos, and whilst
Star Wars had aliens galore, none of them were as believable and
relatable as E.T., and his relationship with Elliot. I can remember
being in the movie theater, crying my little five-year-old eye balls out
when I thought the alien had died. There were also themes in the movie
that I think I could relate to even if I didn't fully understand them at
the time...That feeling of being alone; wanting a complete family,
way in which Spielberg easily put you into the mind of Elliot, and had
you BELIEVE everything that was happening, is nothing short of
brilliant. And, of course, it gave us that old and long running joke
that kids still repeat today...“URANUS!” It's just a magical movie that
still holds up today, and I often find myself humming the musical score
to the movie – that's how deeply the movie has managed to penetrate my
connection and fond memory I have of this movie is when my parents took
my brother and I to Universal Studios in California - it was magical!
As a kid, I was always picked out of the crowds at various shows...I
don't know why, because being the shy kid I was (and still can be!) I
loved it, and my inhibitions would soon go right out of the window! So,
when I was picked to play the part of Elliot in a live action refilming
of the famous flying bicycle scene, I threw my whole being into it. I
sat on the bike as the “director” started yelling, “Pedal! Faster!
Faster!”, and then “Cut!” They replayed the scene for the crowd...Me on
the bike, E.T. in the basket, and the film played out with the bike
lifting magically against the sky, and across the backdrop of a large
moon. There I was, Randy as “Elliot”...Pretty freakin' cool!
3. Indiana Jones And The Raiders Of The Lost Ark
kid didn't want to be Indiana Jones? I think I actually saw “Temple Of
Doom” first, but I didn't think it was as good, and honestly, the scene
where that guy pulls the heart out of a sacrifice's chest, kind of
freaked me out. But “Raiders Of The Lost Ark?” From the opening boulder
chase scene to the melting Nazi faces at the end of the movie...this is
what adventure was all about!
4. Indiana Jones And The Quest For The Holy Grail
second best Indiana Jones movie, in my opinion. It had that same sense
of puzzle solving and adventure as Raiders had. Plus, we were introduced
to Sean Connery as Indiana's father, and the way he and Harrison Ford
played off each other was just brilliant! Funny as shit stuff...Indiana
was all business and his father had seen so much in life that he learned
to take none of it too seriously anymore. That was the lesson he was
trying to impart on Indiana: have your adventures, but enjoy yourself in
the process. Life is too short to take it too seriously, and the quest
for immortality? It's a fool's errand! Enjoy the life you have.
5. Disney's Pinnochio
my first months of being adopted, I was thrown into the world of
Disney. My parents loved all things Disney, and practically smothered my
brother and I with it. I embraced it wholeheartedly, and became a
Mickey Mouse guy over Bugs Bunny...Still am. And whilst I love all the
things Disney do to this day, few resonate with me more than the story
of Pinnochio...The wooden boy who wanted to be real; to have friends and
to be loved by his “father”. In a lot of ways, even though Geppetto
made Pinnochio, I could relate to him. That sense of being adopted and
wondering if people really loved me or wanted to be my friend, when I
was such an outsider. I might as well have been made of wood...There
were other themes in the movie as well; some my dad would pound into my
head as a young child. The most important, and one I wish I had really
paid attention to, was the whole sequence of events when Pinnochio
befriends the wolf (or was it a fox? Might've been a red fox) and is
seduced by the fun of “Pleasure Island”. I, too, had been seduced by
being popular and Pleasure Island, and just like Pinnochio I was turned
into a jack-ass. I didn't really understand what it meant then, but I do
6. Star Man (starring Jeff Bridges)
“Alien Comes To Earth” story, but also a beautifully shot film. I
remember first seeing it when I was young, and my mom loved this movie. I
have to admit, my mom had GREAT taste in movies and really shaped my
film mind. The main character – a woman who had lost her husband – is
surprised when the alien takes on the shape of her late husband. At
first it freaks her out, but as she's helping him hide from the
government, I think she learns that even when we're most vulnerable and
lonely, there is always someone out there for us. We're never truly
“alone”. I've always wanted to visit the crater they run to (I think
it's in Arizona or Nevada) to meet up with the alien space craft.
7. The Wizard of Oz
more needs to be said about this film? State of the art in its use of
technicolor, over 80 years ago. The music never gets old, and it is
still a magical film. 'Nuff said.
8. Some Like It Hot (Starring Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis)
mom always watched Turner Classic Movies while she was either folding
laundry, or sewing. Sometimes I'd go into the sunroom and help my mom
fold laundry; the sunroom was a sort of enclosed patio area that was
supposed to be a place for relaxation, but with four kids and mountains
of clothing, it soon became a de facto laundry room with freshly dried
clothes piled up on the wicker couch and chairs! Mom often watched these
old black and white movies, and I enjoyed watching them with her. When I
first watched “Some Like It Hot”, I thought it was a bit strange...guys
dressing as women to hide out. My mom used it as a chance to explore
gender roles, and being gay, and we had many discussions. When I was
young, my parents always told me there was nothing wrong with gay people
- it was neither a choice, nor a lifestyle, and my dad even went as far
as saying that if I ever “came out” they would fully accept me. I've
always appreciated that in him...Of course, in my teens, I fell into the
same homophobic traps and slurs that most teenage boys did, and said
things I'm ashamed of to this day. But looking back...I'm really glad I
had parents who said it was perfectly okay to be gay...We shouldn't
judge people; we should respect human beings no matter what their
sexuality, race or color.
Besides the film being really progressive and waaaaaay ahead of its time, it's a damn funny movie! A classic.
was something about '80s and early '90s teenage adventure movies that
later movies just couldn't capture. Goonies was an example of that
“lightening in a bottle”. A group of kids, all very different to each
other, find a treasure map and embark on an adventure. There was an
Asian kid, a fat kid, a nerdy kid, and a douche bag teen; but in the
end, it was so cool to see how they all worked together to get
themselves out of the mess they were in, relying on and trusting one
another in order to survive. Even the mistreated/disfigured man who was
abused by his own family, ends up saving the day for the group of kids.
Another fantastic adventure movie!
the years there's been talk of remakes, or a sequel, but the general
response is moans and groans from those who consider this movie to be an
'80s classic – it is! In my mind, if a remake were ever made, I'd bring
back the original cast, all doing their adult thing...A family member
dies which brings them all together for a funeral, and after the funeral
they're digging around an attic and going through past memories, and
stumble upon another treasure map buried in junk. Sean Astin's character
would light up, and Josh Brolin's older character would be like,
“No...Hell, no!” But...then there's another adventure, and they're off!
It could be really funny to see these middle aged people go on another
adventure. It would be so cool to see what kind of inventions the Asian
kid could come up with in the 21st century. Would it live up
to the original? Of course not! But it would still be fun to see...I'm
not too precious about a sequel if it's done well, although, if the
remake of Red Dawn is any indication...maybe Hollywood should leave its
paws off it!
10. Red Dawn (the original)
kid in the '80s didn't daydream in their class room about Russians and
Cubans invading the US, after seeing this movie? Another classic about a
group of kids with different social/economic backgrounds coming
together to resist an invading force. I'd sit, staring out the window,
waiting for foreign paratroopers to drop out of the sky. How would I
react? How would we fight back? Would I, along with my nerdy band of
friends, have the muster to fight back? My best friend, Chad, and I,
would often run through this scenario, and it never became more real in
our imaginations until the first Gulf War...We had a plan in place! We'd
hop on our bicycles and ride a few blocks to Target; then we'd start
grabbing camping gear like tents, propane tanks (they'd make excellent
bombs if we needed them) and then we'd go to the gas station near his
house, and load up on snacks and food. Could I grab a gallon of milk? It
might be the last milk I have in a long time, and I'll miss it...Chad
said it would spoil, and plus, it's too heavy to carry around. Then I'd
say, “I'll chug it on the spot. I'll miss milk!” I really loved milk!
The movie holds up...And it's great!
11. Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory
you grew up knowing only the Tim Burton/Johnny Depp version of this
movie (based on the Roald Dahl classic children's book, “Charlie And The
Chocolate Factory”) you have been sadly deprived! Gene Wilder's take on
Willy Wonka is superior in every way, whereas Johnny Depp's acting was
just creepy and weird...I say this loving many of Depp's performances,
but this just wasn't one of his best! I'm not really sure how Tim Burton
got stuck in this rut of making Disney movies when obviously he doesn't
have the artistic freedom he would have making one of his own movies.
But forget all of that...Let's talk about the magnificent Gene Wilder!
His performance was perfect: strange and aloof. But behind the facade of
being only interested in the company, and caring about nothing else
(including the well being of the children he allowed to visit the
chocolate factory) we learn that he really DID care, and he wanted to
make sure that his business fell into the hands of someone not motivated
by profit or greed. The kids who won the golden tickets were spoiled
brats. They could not have cared any less about meeting the reclusive
Willy Wonka, and how his chocolate was made, and only cared about what
they could gain from being invited. And then there was Charlie, and his
working class family...A grandpa who would sacrifice the only money he
had to try to get him an expensive bar of chocolate that may or may not
have a golden ticket. Who was more deserving? From the production to the
music numbers, this movie is perfect, and I often find myself singing
or humming many of the songs in the movie. Who can make a rainbow...???
The candy man can! Oh and did I say that Gene Wilder's performance is
magical? It really is!!
12. Silver Streak
to my mom, I grew up on a healthy dose of comedies – especially Gene
Wilder and Richard Prior movies, and this, in my opinion, was the best
they did together. Most of the movie takes place on a train, and how
they could pack so much comedy into a small place was nothing short of a
miracle! Only they could pull it off. A great comedy classic that I
highly recommend, if you haven't already seen it. I don't know if some
of the jokes and comedic mechanisms would work in today's PC
environment, but even the overtly racist jokes (approved and written by
Wilder and Prior) work, because Prior then flips it around on its head.
Yeah, tell the racist joke, but then I'll hit you back over the head
with the same joke, to show you what an idiot you are for being
racist...It works! That's what Prior did best. Wilder is great, but
Prior stole the movie.
13. Officer And A Gentleman
those eyebrows if you must, but this movie is great! Sure, everyone
remembers the classic romantic scene after Richard Gere becomes a Naval
Officer, and carries the love of his life off in his arms to the song,
“Love Lifts Us Up Where We Belong”, but the movie is a great drama as
well. From his friend who commits suicide, to Louis Gosset Junior's hard
pushing instructor, “Why don't you just QUIT?!”, “'Cause I ain't got
nowhere else to go!” This movie is about overcoming the obstacles in
your life, and persevering. And...you may just get the girl in the end
14. The Three Amigos
Saturday Night Live legends all coming together for a screwball comedy
with a heart = comedy gold! Starring Steve Martin, Martin Short, and
Chevy Chase, as three silent movie stars in the early 1900s. They were
best known for the film “The Three Amigos!” in which they played
mariachi dressed heroes. A real life Mexican town is overrun by bandits,
and a woman sees them being played in a church as she goes to pray. She
believes these men (not knowing they are actors...) can save the town's
money, and hires them to run the bandits out of town. The actors take
the job, believing they've only been hired to put on a
“performance”...Shennanigans ensue. In my opinion, one of the best
sequences in the movie is the “My Little Buttercup” number they perform
in front of a bunch of drunken outlaws, at a dusty old cantina. I
remember seeing this movie with my best friend, Chad. We were probably
about 10 years old, and we'd act out the entire movie...This movie is
15. Flight Of The Navigator
'80s Disney Classic! I was well into my obsession with outer space, and
this was a movie that sent my imagination into over-drive! The movie
starts out in the '70s, at a 4th of July party. The boy (who
is the centre focus of the movie) goes out to look for his dog, when he
falls down a ravine. He wakes up moments later, to the sound of a train
rushing down the tracks, and he gets up, brushes himself off, and heads
back home to find that nothing is the same...It's the year 1988. Oddly
enough at the same time, a spaceship has crashed and NASA is hiding it
at a base...The boy is questioned by NASA, and they want to run tests on
him when the spaceship starts to “call” him. Sarah Jessica Parker in an
early role, works as an aid at NASA, and helps the boy escape and get
to the spaceship...
course, the movie is an adventure movie, but the deeper themes of just
wanting to get back home to the people you love, is the heart of the
movie. Paul Reubens (AKA Pee-Wee Herman) does the voice of the
artificial intelligence that programs/flies the ship, and is pretty
funny. He and the kid have great chemistry together. There are two
scenes that would send my imagination into over-drive...One, when the
boy finally figures out how to fly the ship, and takes off to the music
of the Beach Boys...I imagined myself flying around, just jamming out!
Another, and probably the funniest scene in the movie was when the
spaceship stops at a gas station...The boy jumps out of the ship,
meanwhile, a fat gas station attendant freezes, jaw dropped to the
ground as a family of tourists begins to take pictures. “Is this an
attraction?” the dad asks, then the boy runs up to the fat guy and asks
for a quarter to make a phone call. Still, jaw hanging down, the man
reaches into his pocket and grabs some change, and absent mindedly hands
it to the boy...The boy runs off to make his call as the ship's robot
yells out, “Oink! Oink! Too many Twinkies!” The boy runs back to the
ship, the door closes and off it goes...the family is stunned and the
gas attendant says in disbelief, “He just wanted to call home...” ha ha.
recently read that Disney was thinking of remaking this movie, and I
thought, “No...Please leave this one alone.” I am way too precious about
16. Back To The Future Trilogy
you haven't seen these movies, then I really, really feel sorry for
you! The first two are perfect films...the way they intertwine together
with the different timelines, is flawless. I love the third movie as
well, and the wild west theme was cool, and done very well. I'd never
suggest you watch the first two without also including the third,
because it does wrap everything up nicely. I know whole chunks of
dialogue from this movie, and it never gets old. My favourite line,
however, has to be when Doc Brown tells Marty when they first test out
the DeLorean, “By my calculations, Marty, when this baby hits 88 miles
per hour, you're going to see some serious shit.” Never gets old.
17. Ghostbusters (The original, and only one that really matters)
don't even know where to begin with this movie! Another stellar
(mostly) SNL cast. Ghosts, science, prick politicians...that fine
balance of horror and comedy. There's a reason it still holds up and
can't be touched. It's funny because I so relate to Dan Ackroyd's
character when they're facing the literal apocalypse and are told that
whatever they think of will manifest itself to destroy them. They all
try to clear their minds when the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man comes
stomping through New York, and Dan Ackroyd is like, “I couldn't help
it...” Yeah, totally me, because I wouldn't have been able to clear my
mind and suddenly a giant Yoda or Chewbacca would be destroying earth.
What can I say?
know this is a head scratcher, but I can make a strong argument that in
terms of an entire action movie, it's pretty much damn near perfect. It
doesn't get bogged down in myths (as later Predator movies do), and it
doesn't have an overblown plot either...It's literally in and out.
Arnold is on a mission for what he thought was to rescue some hostages,
realises he and his buddies are being used for something else, everyone
is slowly being picked off...They realise they're being hunted by
something sinister, and they fight back. End of movie...It really is a
great film – forget the rest!
classic...The slow build to terror, isolated in space. Evil
corporations using a crew at their expense. It has that worn-in “dirty
space” look, and one of the first female “action” stars in Sigourney
Weaver. She wasn't dolled up; she didn't have a love interest, and she
just wanted to survive.
20. Star Wars Trilogy (The original, of course!)
were wondering when I was going to get to this, weren't you? Ha
ha....Slow build! I don't even have to explain these films...If you
don't know the movies, or haven't seen them, I really, really, feel
sorry for your existence! There are so many reasons I love these movies,
and how they affected me as a child, and every person who has loved and
grown up with these movies has their own reasons for loving them. From a
purely cinematic viewpoint, these movies changed everything. You can
thank Spielberg (Jaws) and Lucas, for the blockbuster. This movie showed
that you could use practical effects to build believable worlds. New
cinematography was developed, and special FX were taken to another
level. THX sound and Dolby sound were created so that movies no longer
sounded like they were playing out of tin cans...It just made everything
so much better.
these films, George Lucas created characters that you actually cared
about. He added elements of different religions (heavy on eastern
religion, light on western practices) and he used the narrative
structure of the “The Heroes Journey” for Luke Skywalker (and arguably
Darth Vader as well). As a kid these movies captured my imagination like
no other! I wanted to be Luke Skywalker...escape from my first five
years of life, hop in an X-Wing and take on the bad guys. And Yoda...my
all time favorite character. Wise, calm, compassionate...He is what we
all strive for. His words of wisdom from, “Wars not make one great” to
“Do. Or do not. There is no try”...I get goose bumps just thinking about
the little green fella.
Return Of The Jedi is the one I always gravitate to the most...I think
it was because it was released when I was 5 years old, and I was going
through an adoption process, and my life became all things Jedi...After I
was adopted, my very first remembered birthday party was at a place
called Chuck E. Cheese, a pizza parlour, with games etc. I remember
getting all of these cool Star Wars books and toys. For my first
remembered Halloween, I decided I'd be Luke Skywalker...My dad went to
K-Mart to buy me one of those disposable costumes, and he got me “Luke
on Endor”. It was supposed to have a Luke mask, and the camouflage
poncho they wore on the moon of Endor, but something looked “off” about
the mask...It kind of looked more like Leia than Luke, but because those
things were made so cheaply back then, I wasn't exactly sure until all
the kids at school started to ask me why I dressed up like Leia!
Shrug...Breaking the gender mold since 1983! (ha ha).
Just watch the movies and have your brain blown!
so you're seeing a theme here with my '80s movie choices and the kind I
gravitated towards as a child. This is another movie that just set fire
to my imagination...A group of kids begin to have strange dreams
calling them to space...One of the kids – with an engineering mind –
created a computer program that makes this controllable sphere that can
safely envelope them. They build a “spaceship” out of an old amusement
park ride, and other things, and take off to space to greet the aliens.
It turns out the aliens are just kids who stole their dad's spaceship. A
really fun movie with some young stars that went on to be big stars
22. Summer Rental
the late, great, John Candy...This is a movie that was a big hit in our
family. My parents took us to Florida quite often, so we could relate
and laugh at the misfortunes of the family who were also on vacation to
Florida. I can't remember when, but some time in the late '80s, my dad
had the idea to buy a small colour TV and VCR, and rig it up in the back
of our Chevy Suburban, and just let us watch a bunch of videos...This
movie always came along with us. I think in a lot of ways it was so
funny to us because my dad's personality so mirrored John Candy's in
this movie...A really great movie!
23. The Right Stuff
movie about the Space Program in the late '50s/early '60s, focusing on
the Gemini missions...This movie was like a religion to me! I wanted to
be John Glenn or Chuck Yeager...Even though Yeager never went on to be
an astronaut, he's still remembered as one of the greatest test pilots
in the history of aviation and space...Dude was the first to break the
sound barrier for crying out loud! Beautifully shot, perfect acting, and
nail biting sequences that made you feel as if you were one of the
first in space as well. A must-see movie!
24. The Little Mermaid
of my favourite Disney animated movies/musicals...All of the songs
still hold up (I can sing them still!) and it's just perfect in every
way! I hold no embarrassment in loving this film soooo much, and I can
still remember the first time we watched it. We were in Florida...it
was raining, and the day we had planned to spend on the beach was
ruined. The family decided to go and see a movie, and we picked this
one...I came out singing and dancing in the rain!
25. The Secret Rats Of N.I.M.H.
'80s animated classic! I'm not sure which film company made this movie,
but it was very much a statement against cruelty to animals and very
much pro-environment. The “rats” were laboratory creatures with
sentience, who escape from their confinement. It's about wanting to live
normal lives, have family, and take care of their surroundings. There
are a few tear jerker moments as well...I think this one flies under the
radar a lot of the time, but it's golden in my eyes.
26. An American Tale
movie...ugh! An animated tale produced by Steven Spielberg...A small
family of Jewish mice escaping the pogroms in Russia, and headed to the
promise that is America. The young Fievel is separated from his family
and spends the whole time trying to survive in a foreign land that sees
him as nothing more than an immigrant, and he wants to return to his
family. Some parts of the movie are just sooooo heartbreaking, but the
movie is beautiful, and something American kids should really be
watching now because we need to know that at one point in our families'
history, we were ALL immigrants, and people didn't want us here either.
27. Short Circuit
This is one of the coolest '80s movies there is! I can still remember
the first time I watched this...Some of my friends in school were
talking about it and it had been out for a while, but I hadn't seen it.
One weekend afternoon, mom was having a baby shower for my little
brother, Jimmy, just before he was adopted; he would soon be joining our
family, and there was a lot of excitement. While my mom was with her
friends, my dad took Wesley and I out for the afternoon, and he asked us
what we would like to do. I said, “Let's go see Short Circuit!” We
drove around looking for a theater that had it on, but we couldn't find
one...I was crushed! Then dad said, “Well, there is a dollar
movie...maybe they still have it on...Last shot, and then we'll give
drove out to the Dollar Theatre, and lo and behold, there it is! And it
was just about to start! I went in feeling excited, and I left having
had my mind blown...“Johnny 5 is alive!” The movie is about a military
robot used for defence. In training, a mission/display is struck by
lightening and gains sentience. Steve Guttenberg was at the height of
his career in this movie, and this was one of his more “serious” acting
roles after the Police Academy movies which I LOVE, but sadly won't make
this list...Anyway, the movie is funny and delightful, but it also asks
the questions: What is life? What is worthy of life, and to be treated
as life? Just because we are humans, is “lesser” life less valuable?
There was a sequel that was funny, but it doesn't hold up to the
original movie...The ending of the movie is so cool, and unique. Another
one of those “OMG...he's dead!” and you're crying over a freaking
robot, but then...just watch it!
Steve Guttenberg movie. Directed by Ron Howard, strange cocoon like
objects are in the swimming pool of a retirement home for safe keeping
by mysterious people...Suddenly, the old folks begin to act younger and
more wily. A movie about immortality and life, done in a really
heartfelt way. I can't say much about it 'cause I don't want to spoilt
it all, but it's one of Ron Howard's best, and a real tear jerker in the
end. This movie is NOT what you expect it to be...
29. Mississippi Burning
on the true story of young civil rights activists who go missing in the
deep south of Mississippi. Another movie that young people need to
watch! FBI agents go looking for these young activists...The acting is
superb, and it's a shame that this is another chapter in American
history that is still going on 60 years later.
30. Blade Runner
pretty much love anything sci-fi related, if done well. I also love
Harrison Ford. Pair him up with Ridley Scott, and good things are bound
to happen. The movie takes place with him in the not-so-distant-future
where artificial intelligence has been created, but once the androids
“life span” has been reached, Blade Runners, as they are called – a sort
of police group – are sent to terminate them. They're not allowed to
live as human beings. Questions of life and death and who is deserving
of life, abound. A really deep movie based on Philip K Dick's “Do
Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” My friend, Jason Goldberg, told me
about this movie as we were both really geeky. I hadn't seen it and
honestly didn't make a big effort to watch it, but after a push scooter
accident that sent me to the hospital with bruised ribs, I was out of
school for over a week and just laid on the couch, barely able to move,
watching movies. It's a time I remember well because my dad, working out
of the house, would regularly check on me and bring me something to eat
etc. We'd have conversations, and I felt really loved and cared for.
So, when this movie is talked about, or I read about it, I'm always
taken back to that memory. It came on one day, and I watched it, laying
on the couch...Mind totally blown....!
31. Robo Cop
I don't know why I like this movie so much...It's a political satire of
sorts, and gets into the whole subject of privatisation and
corporations running prisons, the police etc, but it's also just a cool
flippin' movie. I think most of the effects still hold up, except maybe
ED-209, a killer robot. That always looked a little wishy washy, but
Robocop? It still holds up.
always kind of giggle to myself when I think about this movie because
one night we went to Blockbuster video to rent some movies – it was just
me and mom, and she picked a few out, and I grabbed Robocop. At first
she was like, “I don't know...I heard it was extremely violent...” but I
made the argument to the effect of “C'mon! You let me watch Lethal
Weapon, and that's violent!” and she relented. So, we're in the living
room watching the movie, and violent is an understatement!! It's very
graphic in nature, and even I was getting a little squeamish, and my mom
is like, “Uhhhhh...” :)
32. Batman (1989)
are only two '80s super hero movies that matter: the original Superman
movie, and Tim Burton's take on the Dark Knight. I was obsessed with
this movie! From the cool visuals/plot, to Jack Nicholson as the
Joker...Danny Elfman's movie score (he'd become one of my favourite
composers) to Prince's cool soundtrack...This movie is flawless! And
while I've not seen it in over 20 years, I bet it still holds up. I
loved the Christopher Nolan Batman movies, but this takes the cake! Who
would've thought that Michael Keaton could play being so moody and
serious? Who would've believed that Jack Nicholson could let loose and
just not care? In 1989, Batman was the only thing that mattered to me.
Burton directed Michael Keaton as the “ghost with the most”...a creepy,
fun, and brilliant movie! Tim Burton really let loose in his
imagination and world building in this. I think it also started an
obsession for me with Wynona Ryder. Geeze...she was hot! Ha ha.
34. Mr Mom
Michael Keaton in the early '80s, with Terry Garr. A real classic; and
socially progressive in that it flipped the patriarchal role on its
head. Terry Garr was the career driven “bread winner” of the family,
whilst Michael Keaton was an out of work stay at home dad...It's really
funny and heart warming, and very ahead of its time.
35. Ferris Beuller's Day Off
Another movie that if you haven't seen it, I feel really bad for your existense 'cause its perfect!
36. The Breakfast Club
mom had this on VHS in the late '80s, and I remember thinking it was
just a chick flick and I was really dismissive of it. Sure, it was
always brought up in critic circles, and by fans, but for whatever
reason, I was dismissive of it. I didn't want to see it! Didn't care to
see it! Then, in 1994, some friends were talking about it and its social
commentary, and how they applied it to themselves, and the whole
“clique” culture in schools and how we separated and divided
ourselves...It piqued my curiosity, so after returning home on a school
break, I dug out the copy of the movie we had, put it in the VCR in the
games room and watched it! I was late seeing it, but man...did I ever
get it! I wish I had seen it sooner, and maybe I would've understood my
own school years a little better. And it has an amazing soundtrack!!
Never mind that John Hughes knew how to make a movie; that man knew how
to put together a movie soundtrack!
37. Killer Klowns From Outer Space
had to add a B-movie to the list, only because this movie is so
bonkers, and so freakin' funny, that it has always been a favourite of
mine. The title says it all: Killer Clowns From Outer Space! (ha ha).
That is all you need to know about this movie. My best friend and I
watched this one late night on Cinemax, when I was spending the night at
his house. We loved it instantly...The next time it came on, we
recorded it. I've easily watched it over a hundred times.
38. Adventures in Babysitting
was a household favourite, and another that we always took with us on
vacations. There are so many lines that I still remember from this
film...some I still repeat like, “Get outta my house!” or, “Ain't nobody
leavin' 'til they sing the blues...”. And the most famous from the
movie: “Don't fuck with the babysitter!” Another movie they talked about
remaking (or may have already remade!) but you'll never be able to
match the original. It was lightening in a bottle.
39. Coming to America
Eddie Murphy classic about an African Prince that comes to the US and
tries to pass himself off as a regular guy. Chad and I would watch this
one over and over. It was a favourite for us, and made us laugh every
time. It was also one of the first movies that really showed how broad
Eddie Murphy's acting skills were. He played numerous (disguised)
characters in that movie!
40. Hell Raiser (Parts 1 and 2)
didn't first see these movies until about 1993 in boarding school...My
friend Wayne and I were spending a night in Mr Gibson's apartment, and
he let us rent some movies. He was a Christian, but not fundamental like
so many other staff and teachers at OBI, and he let us pick out the
movies. Quite honestly, I'm not easy to scare, but these movies
were...pretty frightening. Pin Head never really scared me, but some of
the other sequences in the movie were just too...gross?...graphic?
Still, I ended up loving them, and Clive Barker in general, and many of
his books. He had a way of world building that not even Stephen King
could touch, and he was just much more cerebral with it. Only see these
two movies because the rest are rubbish! I mean, c'mon...Pin Head in
space? PLEASE STOP, HOLLYWOOD...!
Sam Elliott, and a young Eric Stolz...if anyone has read the book
“Wonder”, this movie predates that story. A young teen with the same
disease, and Cher playing his junkie mother, with Sam Elliott, the motor
cycle gang step-father. It's a really good drama, and a tear jerker at
the end, but I think I could relate to it growing up, feeling like the
outsider, and just wanting to fit in with everyone. It also taught me
early on to not judge someone by their appearance, but by their heart.
now...for the '90s...I think I could keep going on with movies of
earlier eras, but there was just so many good movies in the 1990s, and I
spent so much time in the theaters...These movies bring back so many
Scorsese classic, and just an all round great “mobster” movie. This is
probably heresy, but movies like the Godfather, or even Scarface, never
did it for me. Sure, there were memorable scenes and great acting...a
good story even, but I find them terribly dated for some reason. For me,
they just don't hold up. But movies like Goodfellas, or even Casino?
They're just different. Maybe it's because they are based on true
events, and are narrated...The story-telling, and the way you follow the
characters as they grow up in the mob...Such a great movie!
See #42...Same kind of movie, but Robert De Niro and Sharon Stone are phenomenal in this!
44. Disney's Aladdin
was debating on whether or not The Lion King should make the list, but I
ultimately decided this was just a better, funnier movie. Yes, it's
true, the music numbers in The Lion King are better than in Aladdin, but
Aladdin, along with Robin Williams's Genie, is so strong, and so funny!
Disney was on a creative roll in animation until PIXAR's Toy Story
CHANGED EVERYTHING! This movie was Disney's high point.
45. Toy Story
fact: A lot of people thought this was originally a Disney movie, but
it's not. It was created by Steve Jobs' (yes, THAT Steve Jobs!) budding
computer animation company, PIXAR. They are partnered with Disney for
distribution rights, but Disney wasn't ready to take the gamble with
computer animation, and were still having relative, although waning,
success with traditional animation. Toy Story was the first full length
computer animated movie. Like Star Wars, and Jurassic Park, Toy Story
was a game changer. I remember being in Kentucky and talking to my mom
on the phone in 1995, when I asked if she'd seen any good movies
recently with my little brothers, Kevin and Jimmy. My mom was always
telling me which movies I should see or weren't worth my time, and she
said Toy Story was an amazing movie. I was eager to see it, and when I
did see it, my jaw was on the floor the whole way through! The animation
was beautiful, the story was powerful, and it was made all the more
brilliant with Tom Hanks as Woody, and Tim Allen as Buzz
Lightyear...They were the perfect duo! This movie forever changed
animation, and Disney would ultimately end up buying PIXAR.
46. Edward Scissorhands
is another all time favourite. Wynona Ryder was as gorgeous as ever –
even /with her blonde hair! Johnny Depp was freakish and naïve as
Edward, the created “boy”. A kind of bizarre retelling of Pinnochio in a
way, but beautiful all the way around. From the cinematography, to the
beautifully haunting Danny Elfman score....A classic!
47. Tim Burton's A Nightmare Before Christmas
Tim Burton's name was attached to a movie, you could bet anything that I
was going to see it. His later Disney movies turned out to be a bit
iffy, but Disney really allowed his freak flag to fly with this movie!
Visually stunning, creepy, and funny. The music numbers – all written by
Danny Elfman – were brilliant, and this is all round jaw dropping
animation at its best! This movie always brings back a particular memory
of when I first saw it...I was staying with my friend Wayne and his
family for Thanksgiving 1993, in Englewood, Ohio. My girlfriend at the
time lived in Huberheights, not far from Wayne, but we were doing our
own thing. Wayne's mom decided to take us to the movies and we picked
Nightmare. I jokingly said to Wayne...
“Wouldn't it be crazy if Amy popped up?”
And he said, “No, she's here...”
“Get off it, dude...” I said
“No, really, she's right over there!”
turned, and sure enough, there she was with her mom, who I'd never met
before. Wayne's mom was upset because she thought we set this whole
thing up, and I was like, “This really is a coincidence!” I ran over to
her, hugged her, and we sat down. Her mom said, “You look better in
person than your pictures”, and I thought, “Ouch...”, and then she said,
“Go get me some napkins”. Ooooookay. Nice to meet you too!
So, every time I see an advertisement for the movie, I think of that moment.
48. Terminator 2: Judgement Day
I'm going to be honest here...I've never been a fan of the first
Terminator. I thought it was cheaply made, and bit “meh”...The concept
was cool, but the delivery just fell flat with me. It feels terribly
dated as well. When the movie was first advertised, I really didn't have
any interest in seeing it, but Chad insisted we go and watch it. I was
glad he dragged me to see it 'cause it was amazing! Better yet? Several
decades later I believe it still holds up. The plot is brilliant, the
film is gorgeously shot, and the action sequences are top notch...The
writing was just so good too. James Cameron actually fleshed out the
mythos and world building. This is a movie that makes you think...I love
this movie, and I've seen it a billion times...It just never gets old.
49. Forrest Gump
don't think I've ever met a single soul who has seen this movie and who
doesn't love it. It gets me every time...But it's a movie I almost
was home on a break, and Chad and I were going to see the movie True
Lies – another Cameron directed film, and my mom said it was really
funny. We were both 16 at the time, and so we went to the theater, but
True Lies was rated “R” and the girl at the ticket booth said we needed
an adult to accompany us. We were both like, “C'mon! We look 17...Let us
in!” She just said she couldn't, but told us Forrest Gump was about to
start...sure why not...and in we went. And while we both did eventually
see True Lies, and thought it was a cool movie, I think we both agreed
we were really glad it ended up being Forrest Gump that night 'cause
life is truly like a box of chocolates...
50. True Romance
Tarantino wrote the script...A really cool movie starring Patricia
Arquette and Christian Slater, and some really cool cameos by
Christopher Walken and Gary Oldman (easily one of my favourite actors)
as a drug dealer/pimp...you won't recognise him.
51. Pulp Fiction
love of Tarantino movies began with this one...I didn't see it until a
year after it came out, and then I back tracked through his movies
(Resevoir Dogs, True Romance, Natural Born Killers – a movie he hates
and disavows even though he wrote the script, and Oliver Stone directed
it...) and it blew my mind. The disjointed story telling, the different
“chapters” that stood alone as individual acts, but with a running plot
thread that connected everything together...Just a perfect movie. I fell
in love with the way he wrote dialogue – few have been able to come
52. The Professional (aka Leon The Professional)
is art house stuff disguised as an assassin's tale. A beautifully shot
film, starring a young Natalie Portman, and Gary Oldman, whose
brilliance shines as the crooked cop...Definitely a favourite.
53. 12 Monkeys
always loved Terry Gillam's otherworldly and bizarre way of making
movies. They can be disorienting, but equally mind blowing. Just see
Brazil, and you'll understand what I mean. But 12 Monkeys? I knew
nothing of this movie but what I had to go on from a cool poster, which
gave nothing away. What the hell was “12 Monkeys?” So, on a Saturday
evening in January 1996, braving a blizzard in Louisville, Kentucky,
because I couldn't spend any time with my girlfriend (well, actually a
sort of ex, but we were still seeing each other...typical teenage
confusion) I decided to go and see a movie. I saw the poster and
thought, what the hell...I sat through the movie and it was like the top
of my head had been blown right off! Mankind being eradicated, a virus,
crazy people, future prison, and time travel...It was too much to
process in one sitting, and yet I was in total love with it! It gave me
goosebumps! I left the theater, went outside, bought another ticket, and
watched it again...Pay attention to the ending, I'm always surprised
when people don't catch it or put the pieces together, but it's worth
54. Dumb And Dumber
classic! That's really all I can say. I was never a big fan of Jim
Carrey; I always thought he relied too heavily on shtick and slap stick,
but this movie has me in stitches every time. It's perfect!
grew up with the Coen Brothers' movies because my mom was a fan. Dark
comedy at its best, and this movie...It's dark, it's funny, it makes you
feel cold in your bones...But every actor is 100% perfect in this
56. The Crow
realise that this movie may not be to everyone's taste...I'm kind of
laughing now, because as I write this, I am remembering when I asked my
girlfriend to watch it, and she initially thought it was a horror movie,
and was scared (ha ha)...It's not! Yes, the movie is dark. Yes, it's a
revenge tale...but it's a piece of art in my opinion. Beautifully shot,
and if you love music, there are few films that so beautifully pair
music with the scenes of a movie. Just watch as Eric Draven transforms
himself as The Cure's “Burn” plays in the background, or as he runs
across roof tops, as NIN covers Joy Division's “Lost Souls”...The
soundtrack is amazing! The film is amazing! Sadly, Brandon Lee, the star
of the movie, was killed in a freak accident on set as they were
filming the movie, but he'll go down in memory as playing one of the
most iconic characters in film, in my opinion.
57. From Dusk 'Til Dawn
by Tarantino (as well as starring in the lead roles with George
Clooney) and directed by Robert Rodriguez. What more can I say? It's
funny. It's dark. It's bloody good!
58. Home Alone
can repeat every line of this movie! At home, we watched it
incessantly. Not only a Christmas classic, but just a classic in
general. Keep the change you filthy animal!
59. Apollo 13
saw this movie the summer of 1995, and loved it. Tom Hanks really never
looked back in terms of brilliant acting after Forrest Gump, plus it
was about the space program. Something that has always been near and
dear to my heart.
60. The Burbs
a cult classic, and starring Tom Hanks (before Forrest Gump) as a
middle aged man, along with his buddies, who think there's something
fishy about the creepy family next door...Dark comedy at its best.
61. Jurassic Park
was another movie that was recommended by my mom when I was away in
Kentucky. There was a lot of hype around the movie, and I remember
asking my mom if it was just another stupid dinosaur movie, or worth the
time...She said it was amazing, and my little brothers were going crazy
over it – especially Kevin. I was excited for summer break in between
summer school at OBI, as I was busy taking extra classes to make up for
the year of the 7th grade I failed. The school I went to was
very fundamentally Christian, and I remember before even seeing the
film, attending a mandatory Sunday school, and the farm manager “Poppa
T” was teaching class that morning...He said, “Some of you fellas might
have heard of that movie that just came out “Jurassic Park”, and it
might be cool...but be careful! It's Satan's tool to deceive you
guys...Dinosaurs never existed.” We were all like, huh? So, this guy,
one of my friends, “Digger” asks, “Then where did the bones, you know,
the fossils come from?” To which Poppa T replied, “Satan planted them to
deceive man.” Ooooookay!
so I finally get home for a school break, and the family goes to see
the film again so I can watch it and...wow! Not only were the FX
fantastic, but it was just a cool story. Steven Spielberg had done it
again! How many times has that dude captured lightening in a bottle?
62. Schindler's List
again....this time with the heaviest topic he could possibly film: The
Holocaust...I remember crying throughout this movie. There are two films
that I think should be mandatory viewing in schools... “Roots” and
“Schindler's List”. Sadly, I don't think there has been a movie made yet
that properly addresses the genocide of Native Americans...it's about
time someone made that movie! Until then, however, kids should be
watching this movie.
63. Mrs Doubtfire
people are thinking, “C'mon! Really?” But I love this movie! Robin
Williams playing a guy going through divorce and a custody battle...and
all he wants is to spend more time with his kids, so he dresses up as an
older nanny named “Mrs Doubtfire”. It really is a funny movie, and
showed how talented and funny he really was. We lost one of the greats
when he took his life...
64. Silence of the Lambs
genuinely scary thriller. A perfect cast too...It forever changed the
thriller genre, and it showed you could use psychological scares to
greater effect than just showing a bunch of blood gore scenes. The
scenes that had the gore were not gratuitous either...it was just enough
to scare you, but the majority of the scares came from Anthony Hopkins'
performance, and the guy who played “Buffalo Bill” - I don't think he
got the credit he deserved because it was a masterful performance! No
doubt this movie still scares and holds up. I mean, really, it's still
popular all these years later.
65. Saving Private Ryan
up, I wasn't that big a fan of war movies. I'd seen some decent ones
but I didn't get too excited about them. Hell, I didn't even see Full
Metal Jacket until the 21st Century, but this movie – another
directed by Spielberg, is sooooo good. The first 45 minutes and the
storming of the beaches in Normandy, are numbing, but the movie itself
is just a heartbreaking movie. It really opened my eyes and gave me a
greater respect for what we call our “Greatest Generation”. Tom Hanks
was fantastic as the captain! It's a difficult movie, but a perfect one
movie came out at the height of the Seattle music scene, and the music
is a heavy presence throughout the film. The soundtrack is phenomenal,
and the movie is just the most perfect Generation X movie!
67. Reality Bites
68. Empire Records
I consider this a cult classic! It bombed in the theaters, but I freakin' loved this movie and soundtrack.
69. Mall Rats
know a lot of people refer to Clerks as being the greatest film by
Kevin Smith, and I love it. However, for me, Mall Rats was funnier, and
be honest with you...My first time seeing this movie, I didn't like it.
Not that it wasn't well done, it was. But it took a couple of viewings
to really appreciate and respect it, and I think it really is one of the
better psychological thrillers out there. Kevin Spacey was genuinely
creepy, and Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt had great chemistry. It's a
movie worthy of respect, for sure.
great psychological thriller that doesn't get the respect it deserves.
Brad Pitt as a sociopathic hill-billy is one of his best performances on
film. If you haven't seen it, it's definitely worth your time.
72. Mortal Kombat
Before you judge me, let me explain why I picked this movie...As a
Generation X-er, we had to suffer through horrible attempt after
horrible attempt to turn video games into movies (Super Mario Brothers,
anyone?). Hollywood just couldn't get it right. They were awwwwwful! And
then, this movie came out and changed everything! It showed that you
could faithfully adapt a video game to the big screen, and it was fun!
The soundtrack was awesome with its techno tracks, and the fight scenes
were very faithful – and tasteful – to the video game. It's a fun movie
and I've always had a soft spot for it.
73. The Original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie
head scratcher right? However, being a huge fan of the cartoon, and the
fact that cartoons were extremely hard to adapt to the big screen, this
movie was the best! It captured the Turtles' personalities perfectly.
It was well produced, and not at all cheesy (unlike the sequel...Really,
Vanilla Ice???) and just a damn good movie. It was a favourite around
the Halprin household, and in my mind, nothing can touch it.
74. The Matrix
I first saw the preview for this movie, I honestly didn't think it was
going to be that good. I was never a big fan of Keanu Reeves outside of
the Bill and Ted movies...but I was wrong to judge it. Another movie
that just blew the top right off of my head. Sure, the groundbreaking
special effects were amazing, but the existential questions throughout
are what really spoke to me in the film.
75. Chicken Run
British stop motion film about chickens being raised to go into
“chicken pies”...When the chickens discover the awful truth about their
existence, they decide (with the help of a cocky American Rooster) to
break out of their pen...A very funny movie.
always been a fan of historical dramas, and this one is top notch! The
story of William Wallace is fascinating, and the Scottish fighting
against British Colonialism is a very interesting part of history. The
battle scenes are exciting, and the story of the fight for “Freedom!” is
epic...Mel Gibson really did a good job in both directing the film, and
playing the lead role.
77. Rob Roy
Scottish story. Not heavy on the fight against colonialism, but a true
tale of Rob Roy reclaiming honour for his clan, after being subjugated
and humiliated by a British Nobleman (played by the great Tim Roth) with
Liam Neeson as Rob Roy. There's much more story and drama to this
movie, and a lot of people don't know about it, but it's great! The
ending, when Rob Roy reclaims his “Honor”, is one of the finest climaxes
there is in cinematic history...
78. Monty Python And The Quest For The Holy Grail
it's an early '80s movie, but I didn't see it until about was about 15
years old, along with my friend, Chad. We'd been hearing about its
status as a “cult classic”, and its being super funny. Chad and I grew
up on a healthy dose of British programming because our local PBS
station spent most of its weekend airing British comedies and
dramas...We were big fans of Doctor Who as well as other shows - Monty
Python's Flying Circus being one of them – but we'd never seen any of
the movies! So, we rented the video, and spent the entire time laughing
our asses off! It really is an absurd movie, with each act getting a bit
crazier on the quest for the Holy Grail. Chad and I would re-enact
certain scenes, and our parents would look at us like we were crazy.
This may not be to everyone's taste, but it was to ours. Bring out the
holy hand grenade!
79. There's Something About Mary
movie came out at the tail end of the '90s, and it was probably the
last great Farely Brothers' (the makers of Dumb & Dumber) film. It
is ridiculously funny and absurd, but it also has a lot of heart. If you
want to laugh and piss your pants, this is the movie for you! If you
subscribe to any political correctness, it probably ISN'T the movie for
you...Franks and Beans!
80. The Last Of The Mohicans
don't just love this movie...I freakin' love this movie! It's one of my
all time favourites. It stars Daniel Day Lewis, and Madeline Stowe (in
the '90s she was my other crush besides Wynona Ryder). It takes place
during the French/Indian war against the British. Daniel Day Lewis plays
an adopted “Indian” scout who is tasked with escorting Madeline Stowe,
and her sister, into safe “British” territory. Beautifully shot in the
mountains of Appalachia, with great writing, and a heart-sweeping
score...This is a movie for the ages!
81. School Ties
movie is about a Jewish high school football player who is given a
scholarship to a prestigious Prep school. He initially hides his
identity, but when it's discovered that he's Jewish, he begins to get
harassed by some of the other students. Matt Damon plays a great douche
bag, and when he's expelled for his anti-Semitism, there's a great
exchange between his character and Brendan Frasier who plays the Jewish
kid. A car pulls up to Brendan Frasier, and the window rolls down...Matt
Damon stares him down, and says something to which the Jewish kid says,
“You'll always be a loser...” Matt Damon replies with pure disgust,
“And you'll always be a Jew...”
went to a Baptist boarding school, and I could totally identify with
this movie. I don't remember being exposed to the same vitriol and
hatred, but I could definitely tell that I was not liked by some
students and teachers, and I was quite often asked, “Why did you kill
Jesus?”, or, “You know you're going to hell, right?” I remember coming
home one fall on a school break, and attending High Holiday services at
our synagogue; I was talking to my friend, Mindi, and she asked me,
“So...is going to school there like that movie School Ties?”...
movie that might not be to everyone's taste...It's a stoner movie, and
just...funny! It's hard to explain it because there's so much going on,
but it is really funny. Another movie I kind of stumbled upon at the
Midnight Movies in Lexington, Kentucky; they played these movies in this
old beautifully renovated theater from the '20s or '30s, and I'd go and
see the late night Friday movies, if I could make it.
great movie that came out at the tail end of the '90s, and it's just
beautifully filmed, with amazing acting all the way through!
now into the 2000s...Because I've not seen TV since 2001, due to my
current predicament, I've been forced to listen to movies on my
radio...In a lot of ways, the strength of a movie lives or dies on the
plot and dialogue, the nuances of a performance, and sound design. I
have to be able to focus intently on the movie, and let my imagination
fill in the blanks to “see” it in my mind's eye. Only a good movie could
allow this to happen, and so these movies have made my favourites list.
I could be wrong...the cinematography could be crap, but for me, these
movies have made the list!
84. American Beauty
A mid-life crisis and a fantastic Annette Benning and Kevin Spacey...I really enjoyed it.
85. Pay It Forward
had read the novel of the same title, and thought it was a great story,
but the movie added even more emotional punch, and I admit...I was in
tears by the end of it. Get the Kleenex box ready!
86. Darkness Falls
is a horror movie, and normally I wouldn't know what was going on
because of all of the screaming, but I thought the plot was very
original! The dialogue was more than enough to know what was going on,
and the sound design was excellent! My imagination totally took over.
87. Blood And Chocolate
horror movie, but not really?? It's hard to explain, but I really
thought it was original, and the acting was great. I've seen it get bad
reviews in various magazines, but I've always said this about critics:
what the hell do they know? Art is subjective...Plus, the soundtrack is
amazing. Great bands throughout!
88. True Grit (the remake by the Coen Brothers)
not a big fan of Westerns. There are a few that are fantastic, even if
they didn't make the list (Unforgiven, Tombstone) but this one with Jeff
Bridges and a young Haylee Steinfeld? Unbelieavable! The dialogue is
just top notch! Jeff Bridges as Rooster Cogburn was amazing, but it was
also the sound design that took me back to the “old west”. From the
howling cold winds of the plains, the horses, and footsteps that crunch
on cold grass...I was there. This is one for the ages...It really,
89. Inglorious Basterds
there are long parts of dialogue that are in German and French, and I
was lost until I got to see the translation. But the movie is fantastic,
and the (English) dialogue is perfect Tarantino! Loved it!
90. The Hateful Eight
Tarantino instant classic. Funny, irreverent, isolated, and bloody
good! Definitely one of Samuel L. Jackson's better performances, as well
as Kurt Russell's.
91. Wonder Woman
Yep, made the cut! One of the best “superhero” movies made in years...Fantastic in every way!
92. The Dark Knight
Ledger as the Joker...Nobody thought he could be better than Jack
Nicholson, but he was! I still think Batman 1989 is a better movie, but
this is a favourite in the Batman movies, for sure!
93. Star Wars: The Force Awakens
heard The Last Jedi as well, and I really liked it, but after listening
to The Force Awakens numerous times, this is up there with the original
trilogy! This is the movie that Star Wars fans both needed and wanted
after 40 years, and to focus on a woman as a potential Jedi that saves
the galaxy??? Pretty awesome!
94. Zero Dark Thirty
didn't think I was going to like this movie, but Jessica Chastain does
give a masterful performance. I kind of have a problem when we celebrate
military actions post 9-11, but it's a harrowing story...the hunt for
actually read the short story this was based on by Tim Chiang, and so I
had an idea of what it was going to be like, but man...the movie? Amy
Adams gives a great subtle performance, the writing is excellent, and
it's a tear jerker when you put the pieces together. Don't be fooled by
the sci-fi premise. It's not a science fiction movie in the sense of
what you would expect out of a Hollywood movie. It's smart, it's
Man...A heart-pounding movie!
97. Hell Or High Water
Rural Texas has never been better portrayed. Great acting all the way
around, great dialogue – funny at times, and heart-breaking as well. The
ending is one of the best endings in a movie.
98. Baby Driver
the life of me, I don't get the popularity of the Fast And The Furious
movies...Maybe they're cool to see, but the acting is horrible, and the
dialogue is cheesy! Just not good at all, in my opinion. But then a
movie like Baby Driver comes around and makes a “smart” fast and
furious, with Tarantino-style-dialogue...(I'm not sure who wrote the
film) and an amazing soundtrack that syncs up perfectly to each scene. I
loved it!! It's just a hip movie! (ha ha).
99. Ex Machina
Another really smart sci-fi movie about artificial intelligence. I really enjoyed this movie.
100. Jungle Book (Live action version)
heard the CGI in this movie is amazing, but I found it to be just a
wonderful and faithfully done version of the Disney animated classic.
The movie made me giddy – if that's possible. The voice acting was
great, and the kid who played Mowgli was a heart stealer! Disney has
really been on a roll with it's live action “remakes” of their animated
classics, but whilst I've liked every one that I've heard so far, this
one was the bees knees.
101. It's A Wonderful Life
Christmas classic! I've always enjoyed this movie growing up, but it
didn't carry the emotional weight for me back then that it does
now...When I first came to death row, there was a part of me that just
wanted to die...Not willingly, obviously, and definitely not any kind of
suicidal idealisation either, but more of a resignation and concession
that this was my fate, and I had no one to blame but myself. The thought
of possibly winning my appeal wasn't a thought I entertained, and I
sure as hell didn't want to live the rest of my life under a life
sentence, stuck in a cell for 23 hours per day. That seemed worse than
death by execution!
broadcasts this movie each year around Christmas, and it's an annual
tradition now...I listen to it every year and each year becomes more
significant to me as I've come to recognise the value of my own life.
Yes, I've made mistakes, and should be held accountable for those
mistakes; I no longer am willing to concede or accept that any mistake
is worth death - to willfully hand over my own life...I feel like I have
a life to live and many ideas to help others and effect change in a
positive way...I have goals and dreams. I want to keep people -
especially young and at risk teens - from making the same mistakes as I
have made, and to encourage families to never give up on their children
no matter how difficult they become, or how many mistakes they make.
I'll happily live a life in prison if it means that I can save a life or
lives, in turn. I no longer want to be George Bailey standing on the
bridge, ready to jump...After all, it really IS a wonderful life...
I could go on talking about movies forever...Movies, like music, have
always been dear to my heart. They've been a driving force in my
creativity and imagination, and they've kept me sane for most of my
life...They've been a place of refuge. I hope you've enjoyed this
“journey” as much as I've enjoyed sharing it.