Sunday, December 17, 2006

My Top Ten Movie List

Yes, I'm the kind of guy who keeps a top ten movie list, even have it on my Palm so I can revise it as needed. They are in no particular order except Casablanca which definitely takes the number one position:

The only movie I've seen more than 3 times, I can watch this one all the time and never get tired of it. When AFI did the top 100 movie lines of all time 6 of them came from Casablanca. No need to name them, we all know what they are. This is the most classic of movies.

2-Last of the Mohicans
So well done many scenes gave me chills and the last ten minutes are some of the best movie making ever done, entirely without dialogue yet I was riveted.

I liked this movie so much I actually went out and got books on Scottish history to read. At least half the movie is true, which is pretty good for Hollywood, the other half is simply not known. Few records of William Wallace survived, most of what people think they know came from a ballad created centuries later. But he really did throw the Brits out of Scotland and was its military leader for a few months, and he really was drawn and quartered by Edward Longshanks.

4-Spirited Away
I love animated movies but this should not be looked at as one, it really stands in a category all it's own. It's a wonderful, mythic tale of a girl who learns she is both brave and resourceful, and done with amazing imagery and fantastic ideas. Miyazaki is a film maker like no other and all of his work should be seen differently than other movies, and Spirited Away is his best.

5-Maltese Falcon
What can I say, I'm a Bogart fan. This is the classic film noir detective movie, the one that created and defined the genre and with a top notch cast. Hard to get better. "You're good, you're awful good."

I can't tell you how upset I was that this movie got such little recognition, it only got one Academy Award for Supporting Actress when it should have gotten Best Movie and Best Actor as well. Ed Harris was remarkable both in front and behind the camera, a true masterpiece.

I don't think I need to say much about this one, it too is a Classic with a terrific cast. Harrison Ford's best role and the set design has been adopted by just about every sci fi movie since then because it was so well done and struck a deep chord about how all of us feel the future will look.

8-Kill Bill 2
A pure act of genius by Quentin Tarantino. This was every kung fu movie and every comic book I've ever seen done perfectly. The plot was assembled just right, the dialogue brilliant. In most movies I'm mentally rewriting parts of it in my head where they could have done it better but not with this movie. Even the music was genius and I hope everyone who saw it noticed his use of it. But Tarantino's greatest talent is his ability to make an actor great. Who else could make Michael Madsen a top notch actor and David Carradine brilliant. Carradine should have paid Tarantino for this role.

9-Return of the King
This is just about the most perfect movie ever made. I read Lord of the Rings first as a teenager then reread 3 times since then, the problem with movies about books like that is they can never match the vision I already have in my head about it, but Peter Jackson not only matched it but improved on it. And despite the fact that I knew the story quite well I was still on the edge of my seat as the war, and Frodo and Sam's journey, all reached a crescendo.

10-Sin City
The only movie more overlooked than Pollack. With this movie Robert Rodriguez takes his place as one of the modern greats, alongside Tarantino and Jackson. This is the most original movie I've ever seen, have the critics forgotten that movies are an art form? They must have or they could not have failed to recognize that this movie is art in it's highest form, pure genius. It's film noir on steroids and acid, visually powerful and unique with great performances from all involved, especially by Mickey Rourke as Marv. This should have won best picture for that year or at the very least have been nominated, and Rodriguez should have gotten Best Director. Everyone should see it but beware that it's very bloody.

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