Wednesday, March 23, 2011

My top 10 favorite films (and honorable mentions)

This is just what it sounds like. My top 10 favorite films of all time, and my honorable mentions.

#10. Scream. I am a huge Horror fan. When a horror film is done right, I adore it. So, the fact that Scream is a satirical/self-parody of the horror genre, I being the horror fan that I am got a lot of the jokes and adored them. Plus, if a film kick-starts another age of the slasher film it's pretty good.  Props to Wes Craven for coming up with another horror masterpiece. I pray that Scream 4 will be good.

#9. The Usual Suspects. I saw this one and immediately loved it. I unfortunately knew the ending, but that didn't take away my appreciation of how good it was. Kevin Spacey was amazing in this film and this film (along with American Beauty) showed me how great he is. He won Oscars for both so...The rest of the cast did an excellent job as well. And the plot...well, it was great.

#8. Hope and Glory. Who knew that a film about the bombing of London during WWII could be as funny as this one. Of course, it isn't all funny. It has some sad and touching moments too. It's based on the director's experiences in London during this time period. The ending is one of the best that I have ever seen and I laugh so hard I almost cry every time.

#7. The Dark Knight. This film deserves a spot on any top 10 list. The performances of the rest of the cast are overshadowed by Heath Ledger's performance as The Joker. Of course, we all know that though. Since this movie came out so recently and since everyone and their dogs have seen it, There's not much to say that hasn't already been said a million times.

#6. The Night of the Hunter. Harry Powell is...evil incarnate. Satan hiding behind the cross as one person in the film accurately puts it. His performance overshadows the rest of the superb performances. Mitchum said later that it was his favorite role. It's a dream role for anyone. It's a horror film that for people that I have shown this film today, it scares them still. Or at least, they are on the edge of their seats.

#5. The Shining. HEEEERREEESSSS JOHNNY!!!! I love this one. It hasn't fared too well with the top critics, but it is one of the best horror films that I have seen. Nicholson does an outstanding job as do Shelly Duvall and Scatman Crothers. But Nicholson steals the show. It is a great horror film that we will soon be dissection in my film class.

#4. The Sting. I love this one. This is another film with a really great ending. I was totally surprised the first time I saw it. I don't know why some people thing that this one didn't deserve to win Best Picture. I thought it totally did. The Academy might give the Award to The Exorcist today, but I think this one is the best. And if you don't, I'll have to kill you and everyone you know. You fallah?

#3. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. This film is excellent. Nurse Ratched is another excellent 'evil incarnate' character. seeing her and McMurphy battle for dominance really adds excellent tension to the film as to who will win out. It totally deserved it's 5 top Academy Awards. I wouldn't have said no to Brad Dourif winning Best Supporting Actor for this one either. He did an amazing job. They all did.

#2. The Silence of the Lambs. Anthony Hopkins' performance as Hannibal Lecter is, to me, the greatest performance of all time. Seeing as how I feel that Hannibal Lecter is the greatest fictional character of all time screen or print, he's any actor's dream role. Jodie Foster also does an amazing job as do Scott Glenn and Ted Levine "It puts the lotion on it's skin" A fantastic film that I would recommend to anyone.

#1. The Godfather Part I and II. I originally had Part I over Part II because it came first, but then I decided to just put the two of them together because I really can't decide between the two of them. Both of them are utterly amazing. If you look at my Oscar f*** up Awards blog, you will see that the fact that Coppola lost out to Bob Fosse for Cabaret was voted as the biggest best Director mistake. It's true. The acting is probably the best parts of these films. Duvall, Caan, Shire, Pacino, De Niro, Brando, Gazzo, Strasbourg, they all do amazing. There were only two acting Oscars for these films though. Too bad. If you haven't seen them, see them now. Not the third one. we do not speak of the third one. Also, ignore the people who call this film overrated.

Honorable Mentions. These are in no particular order. There are a lot of them so bear with me. Do I have too many? Yeah probably. Or not. Judge for yourself.

Misery. Kathy Bates won the Academy Award (and probably a plethora of other awards) for her role as Kathy Bates in this film. Anyone who has seen this one knows why. She was absolutely nuts. That hobbling scene...*shudder* the only time that I did not cringe was because I was on Oxycontin on account of staples I had gotten that day. I mean, you feel just as trapped as Paul Sheldon is. You can't do anything to stop what is happening to him any more than he can. It is extremely well done.

Kill Bill vol. 1 and 2. I think I prefer vol. I over vol. II. It just works more for me. Plus that Crazy 88 fight scene is unbeatable. I haven't seen Uma Thurman in much other than Pulp Fiction (She was up for Arwen in The Lord of the Rings though) but this is my favorite role of hers. The whole cast was great. Tarantino sure knows how to make a film. These two were my first films of his that I saw.

The Lord of the Rings trilogy. This is another one that belongs on any favorite films list. It's pretty much the greatest 12 hours of film ever and certainly the best fantasy films ever. Peter Jackson can certainly make a film and I am excited for The Hobbit.

Terminator 1+2. This was back when James Cameron actually wrote a story with his special effects. In fact, the story came first. Nowadays...well...we'll get to that later I suppose. These two films (along with Aliens) are his best. T1 was great T2 was amazing and naturally, despite the fact that Cameron pretty much did his best to end the series after 2, they made a third one. Here's what I thought of that:

But before 3, the films are incredibly original action-packed fun films that keep you interested the whole way through. 

Alien/Alien. I don't care what others say, Contamination can't be better because this came years before that did. I loved how original the plot was. The whole idea of the Alien and what it does is excellent. Plus it just looks friggin cool. You are never entirely sure where the film is going to go next. Plus, the second one was just as good as the original. However, like with Terminator 2, Cameron had the whole thing end so that there shouldn't be a sequel but there is. And the sequel sucks. Not Fincher's fault though. 

The Lion in Winter. in my review of Sling Blade, I mentioned that a lot of actors have one role that is "take everything that you know they are capable of and just ignore it." That is this role for Peter O' Toole. No one can deny that he was amazing in Lawrence of Arabia. Well, he was better in this. Katharine Hepburn does an amazing job as well as do Anthony Hopkins and Timothy Dalton. I would highly suggest this one.

The Color Purple. Again, an actor usually has one role that is their masterpiece performance. It is even more impressive if it is their first role. That is this one for Whoopi Goldberg. she did absolutely amazing in this film. So did Oprah Winfrey of all people. As any of you who saw my Oscar f*** up Award winners blog, you will know that Oprah's Best Supporting Actress loss was voted as the biggest Best Supporting Actress mistake in Academy History. This is one of the 3 movies that makes me cry. It's the second to the last scene that does it for me.

Crash. For the life of me I cannot understand why people thought that this one was a huge mistake. Brokeback Mountain had good acting but to me it had little beyond that. It just wasn't on the same level as crash was. I think that people hate Crash because they were so shocked when Brokeback Mountain lost. I for one adore this film. It's very powerful and it asks a lot of the right questions. This is the second movie that makes me cry. The scene on the cover does it for me.

Psycho. The father of all slasher films. Without this film, we wouldn't have Black Christmas, Halloween, Scream, Leslie Vernon, and the plethora of other slashers that came out during the ages that followed the Psycho age. The shower scene is obviously the best scene in the movie. it's one of the best scenes in cinema history. Nowadays I know that Best Picture and Director would have gone to this one in 1960. Hitchcock was (and in many ways still is) the master of horror and psychological thrillers. if people didn't believe it before Psycho, they believed it afterwards.

There Will Be Blood. There's more to this film than the milkshake line I promise you. Daniel Day-Lewis does an absolutely stunning job in this film. Paul Dano does a great job too (Where's his Best Supporting Actor nom!?) but it was Day-Lewis who stole the show. The film was as close to perfect as a film can get and I would not have been upset if this film had won Best Picture for '07. It was really close.

Schindler's List. Thank god the Academy saw fit to give this one to Spielberg. If this one had lost out like Private Ryan did (voted the worst Best Picture f*** up by you) If this one had lost...I would have been furious. But he won thank God. History looked well on this one. It's ranked in the top 10 in the Best films of all time list by the AFI. It deserves that spot. This film won 7 Oscars. It should have won 9. Neeson and Finnes should both have won. I get why Hanks won because the Academy is incredibly pro-gay, but I don't get why Lee Jones won. Weird. But, this one is a true masterpiece that will stay one throughout the ages.

It's A Wonderful Life. George Bailey might be the quintessential everyman. we can all relate to him because we have all been in seemingly impossible situations against insurmountable odds. I love the ending of this one.It's one that we all would like to have happen to us, knowing that you are an invaluable part of other people's lives. I felt that this one deserved Picture, Director, and Actor (it lost them all to The Best years of Our Lives) the whole film is superbly made.

Saving Private Ryan. I don't need to tell you again that this film losing to Shakespeare in Love was the worst mistake in Oscar history. Not since All Quiet on the Western Front has a film been this brutally powerful. Last year I decided that every June 6th I would watch this movie. I hope it is a tradition that I do every year. it was a fantastic film. Everyone needs to see it or at least the first 26 minutes of it.

Life is Beautiful. This film is the happiest sad movie or the saddest happy movie that I have ever seen. The first half will have you rolling on the floor laughing while the second will have you almost in tears. I totally agree with Begnini's Best Actor win for this even if others do not. I highly enjoyed this film.I would suggest it to any who have not seen it.

Four Weddings and a Funeral. This '94 best Picture nominee is pretty fun to watch. Hugh Grant is surprisingly likable in this one. It's a funny film overall. Not perfect, but still very likable. It's not a kind of film that I would like overall, what with it being a romantic comedy, but the smart humor makes up for it.

Airplane! Man this movie is absolutely hilarious. I re-watched it and loved just as much the second time. The highlight of the film has to be Leslie Nielsen as Dr. Rumack. Wait...some of you haven't seen this film!? Surely you can't be serious! "I am serious, and don't call me Shirley" Hilarious. 

No Country for Old Men. As much as I like There Will Be Blood, I like this film just as much and I am not at all sad that this film won Best Picture. I am especially not sad that Javier Bardem won Best Supporting Actor for this film. He was excellent at being the creepy, heartless killer. It's a very well done film and I'm glad the Coens finally got their Oscars for this one.

Fargo. Fargo was not a film that I laughed at the first time I saw it. It was very dark and bloody. But the second time I saw it. I found the humor in it. This movie is pretty hilarious. Very well done. "Oh yah"

Inglourious Basterds.  If there is one highlight to this film, it is Christoph Waltz as the gleefully evil Col. Hans Landa of the SS. But, there is no one highlight to this film. You have Landa, you have the ending that had everybody cheering, you have Brad Pitt who does extraordinary, you have the famous Bear Jew, it's just an all around good job. Tarantino does it again and I would not have been sad if this film had won.

Donnie Darko Directors Cut. I didn't understand this movie the first time I saw it. I've seen it 3 or 4 times now and I still don't understand all of it. I don't think anyone does. But, this film is incredibly well made. This one is deserving of its cult classic status. Frank is pretty freaking cool.

Dead Poets Society. While I recognize that Daniel Day-Lewis totally deserved his Oscar for My Left Foot, I would not have been upset at all if Robin Williams had won for this movie. I'm pretty sure that if My Left Foot had come out another year, (like 1988. I would have been interested to see him go up against Dustin Hoffman for Rain Man) Robin Williams would have won. It is a very inspiring movie and I would like to teach the way he does (not entirely, I would like to be as good as he is).

1408. The ultimate haunted room/house film. This film started the tradition my mother and I have of going to see a great horror film if one comes out. This film (if watched in the right setting) is really scary. It is an incredibly well done and effective horror film.

Good Will Hunting. The masterpiece performances of Robin Williams, Matt Damon, AND Ben Affleck? The film that got all three of them Oscars? Yeah, it is actually that good. Robin Williams' monologue in this film is one of the best I've seen. It was incredibly well done.

Raising Arizona. This is another film that got better when we dissected it in my film class. This is my third Coen brother film that I own. It is absolutely hilarious. Nicholas Cage gives what, to me, is his finest performance and Holly Hunter and John Goodman are also absolutely fantastic as well. It is a great film that I would suggest to anyone.

Shaun of the Dead. In a lot of ways, I would say that this film is better than Zombieland (which is is an excellent film as well). Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do an excellent job in this film. I was laughing the whole way through. It wasn't all comedy. It had some well done non-comedic performances. But it is a film that I would suggest to anyone.

Hot Fuzz. Frost and Pegg do it again. This film also had me laughing the whole way through. Frost plays pretty much the same role he played in Shaun of the Dead, but Pegg plays a completely different role. He has some range as an actor and I can't wait for the third one in this trilogy. This film had me laughing my head off at almost everything they said. It is an excellent film.

Scream 2+3+4. We all know that Scream 2 is widely considered to be an excellent follow up to the giant hit that Scream was. In fact, the Scream trilogy takes all three top spots in the highest grossing slasher films list. In order. I know that I'm justified in liking Scream 2 since it is a good film, but Scream 3 was not well received by critics. I like it. It's a guilty pleasure of mine. I loved the 4th one right after I saw it. It was a great end to the trilogy.

A Nightmare on Elm Street-If it wasn't for Scream, this would be my favorite slasher series. I really love this film. To me, Freddy is a more original monster than Frankenstein or Dracula since those movie monsters were based off of books and I know that if Freddy was around back in the 30s, people would be fainting because of how scary he is. Great film with an excellent killer.

Wes Craven's New Nightmare. I love the Nightmare on Elm Street series. I am a huge fan of the original and 2 and 3 weren't horrible. 4, 5, and 6 were as was the remake but Freddy vs. Jason wasn't horrible. If I was around when all of the Freddy films came out and followed them all the way, I would have been pretty disappointed with the fact that 6 ended it. But Wes Craven clearly felt the same way because he made this film. I really liked this film. It is an excellent and fresh take on the NOES films. Very well done Mr. Craven.

Behind the Mask: The Rise of Leslie Vernon. I only saw this one about a month ago and I loved it so much I bought it. This is an incredibly original and well done Third Age Slasher. It combines some elements of scream with documentary style. It was an incredibly smart film and being the horror lover that I am, I got all of the jokes and references. It was great.

American Beauty. This is a recent addition. I liked this film a lot more the second time I saw it because we dissected it in film class and I realized how well Sam Mendes made this film. Plus, I liked Kevin Spacey a lot more. He did an excellent job in this film.


  1. Great list dude!
    I am especially very happy to see "The Night of the Hunter" in there!

  2. Thanks! Yeah, it's pretty amazing.

  3. Wow.Good list Lord but you talk and care too much about Oscars.Saving private Ryan sucked.Glad it didn't won.Totally agree over whatever you said over Crash.I made me cry too.I can't understand why snd how can anyone hate such a beautiful film.
    Didn't like the Shining was just so-so for me.Never seen any Scream.

  4. What!? What don't oyu like about Saving Private Ryan!? I can understand if you say that it isn't the type of film that you particularly enjoy but 'sucked'? Why do you think it sucked!?!?

  5. Great blog post naseby. Some very amazing films in there. You have a new follower :)