Sunday, September 16, 2007

My Ten Favorite Movies

I picked this idea up from RW: To list my ten favorite movies.

In keeping with the idea, please note: these are my favorite movies. The ones I have copies of and actually still watch when I want to.
This is not, and is not intended to be, a list of all time greatest films. Some of these have won awards,while some were never worthy of any. These are just my personal favorites, emphasis on personal. I've left several off the list for brevity. Maybe I should do another posting about them others. Maybe. We'll see how this one goes first.

Rocky: His whole life was a million-to-one shot. You know the story.

There's Something About Mary:I generally avoid comedies, but this one is just too goddamned funny.

A Clockwork Orange: "the adventures of a young man who's principle interests are rape,ultra-violence and Beethoven". Much can be said about this cult favorite, but I especially love the poetry of it. From beginning to end, pure poetry!

The Professional/Leon:Originaly released stateside as 'The Professional', and later known as 'Leon'(I think this was the overseas title), and now they just put both titles together. Inspired by,and based on, a marginal character (The Cleaner) from the classic La Femme Nikita. It's become a Father-Daughter night favorite in my house.

Irreversible: This is pure art house. I've watched it 20 times. The film plays in reverse, opening with the last scene, leaving the viewer wondering just what brought him to this point. It takes you on a journey that is about love,brutality and revenge. And the camera doesn't blink. Not once. I'll say it again. The camera doesn't blink. I saw this in theater, and after the opening(ending) credits rolled over the screen, the audience, myself included, just sat there in stunned silence. This is a powerful film, unlike any other, and NOT for sissies or children.(French, with subtitles.)

Braveheart: You know this one, so you also know why.

Excalibur: The legend of King Arthur, done right, with all the magic and romanticism , with out over done special effects.

Rob Roy: a Scottish themed swashbuckler released at the same time as Braveheart, and unfortunately overshadowed by Mel Gibson's chest-thumping extravaganza. But bigger is not always better. In my view, this is a far better work, both dramatically and artistically.

True Romance:from Tarantino. A wild, romantic, violent ride, without apologies. True romance was never like this. Watch it, and then listen to your inner Elvis.

Unforgiven: my kind of western, where there are no white hats or black hats. Just a whole lotta grey hats.

Before Sunrise/Until Sunset: OK, it's actually two films, the sequel done nine years after the original. About two twenty-somethings who meet on a train in Europe, and spend the day getting to know each other intellectually and emotionally while killing time til the next departure. Shot on location in Vienna, 95% of the film consists of the couple strolling and conversing, baring their souls to each other with the streets of Vienna as a backdrop. That's it. Just two actors. Nobody else. And the sequel lives up to the original.


Palm boy said...

Rocky and Braveheart, I've seen those two. :D

kingdavid said...

I could not even tell you his name; but I always like seeing that guy who starred in The Professional. I liked him with De Niro in Ronin.

This would take some work on my part to narrow it down to 10. I might try it myself.

Brian said...

None of these made my top 10, but they are all very, very good.

"Irreversible" actually completely changed the way I think about violence in films. I haven't been able to watch *anything* ever since that didn't seem to me like it was utterly trivializing the awfulness of violence by sanitizing it. Definitely not a film for the squeamish...but very well done.

Gino said...

palm boy: you need to add a few of these to your list.

KD: he's jean reno. big in france/euro, and does a variety of roles, even comedic.

brian:ahh, a fellow traveler. you are the only other i know who has seen that movie.
none made your top? i'd love to see your list. if you seen irreversable, you seen some good stuff.

RW said...

Unforgiven is on my top 10 - in fact it is in my top 5. In fact... oh well wait... that comes later...

Gino said...

you got too much old stuff in yer favs, rw.
nothing wrong with that, its just that i cant relate.
although i am a little shocked 'clockwork' hasnt yet made yer list. its a literate thinking man's film.

Jade said...

You havew 11 in your top ten? :)

*Loved* "Something about Mary" and "The Professional" (Jean Reno also rocked in "French Kiss") "Braveheart" was excellent, and I remember liking "Rob Roy" although I can't remember much of the movie now. ("Unforgiven" as well... I know I've seen it, can't remember much though)

"Clockwork Orange"... I have major issues with that movie... the rape scene really bothered me, gave me nightmares.

Gino said...

oops, yer right.

the rape scene in clockwork is classic. it defines the character better than anything else in the movie. so evil, yet so happy with it all.
and the song 'singing in the rain' always brings that scene to mind.

i think its the most important scene in the whole film.

RW said...

Well I can't win. If I went with just "new" stuff (whatever the hell that means), someone would say I was too narrowly focused. So I decided that "new" and "old" - which are relative terms anyway - should take a back seat to "good". Now I know you don't think anything before 1970 is no good because I happen to know you are not an idiot.

But people "relating" to the list is not the point. Here's a case in point; I've never seen Irreversible" but now I think I really should. I am hoping there are some things in my top 50 that you would want to now see.

Thing about myself is - i love movies and I don't care when they were made. Good is good. I have 3 silents in my list and they are worth seeing right now.

I looked at the list free of prejudice.

RW said...

Another example; I can't imagine you not liking FREAKS, made in 1932. And I think if you took a look at Peckinpaugh's The Wild Bunch, made in 1969, you wouldn't kick it out of bed.

Gino said...

but i like high noon.
and i think the wild bunch i may have seen. cant member the title, but it was bout butch and sundance.

i gotta name the next 10...
the fisrt ten is too restrictive.

and now i know why to went/had to go, to 50.

Brian said...

Gino--I think I posted the first 10 or so that came to mind over at RW's but I could probably go into more detail and think of a few more.

Re: "new" vs. "old" vs. favorites...I'm pretty sure I can't list anything as a genuine favorite until I've liked it for at least 10 years or so. Staying power matters a lot for me. "Something About Mary", for example, I laughed my ass off the first time I saw, and enjoyed the next 2-3 times, but really don't feel like I ever need to see again.

I may do a list of favorites and another of probable future favorites from the last 10 years.

Brian said...

...and it's worth pointing out that I didn't start watching French movies (or any other foreign movies) until the last 10 years. Very few of my favs from the last 10 years were made in the USA...

*~*Cece*~* said...

You're such a guy! lol I've never seen any of them except, surprise!, Something About Mary. And even then I don't think I saw the whole thing. lol

Gino said...

my list is heavily weighted to the last 20yrs for an unintential reason. seeing a film on the big screen gives you the full effect of the effort.

when you see a film on dvd after experiencing it the way it was meant to be, in the theater, with all the smells and sounds that go with.... well, you bring that experiential memory with you to every successive viewing, even if it is at home.

such experiences are not a pre requisit to making a film a favorite for me, but i cant deny its effect on my viewing pleasure.

as for staying power: i dont think any of mine, cept irreversible, is less than 5 years old.

Gino said...

post yer list, and i'll see what you and the ladies have to say. is it possible to list steel magnolias 10 times? LOL :)

i may learn something here.

Jade said...

I agree the rape scene in "Clockwork" is important to that film, I just have issues with that sort of graphicness (blood and guts I don't have as much problem with... it's the emotional trauma that I can all too easily imagine and get disturbed by - which I suppose was the entire point of that scene)

I'm thinking I'll have to post my list later tonight.

Jade said...

I may have gone a little overboard in my list, I think I have about 22 or so. Hopefully nothing too girly for you ;)

Mercy Now said...

I love Braveheart and Unforgiving. Have you seen 3:10 to Yuma? I haven't but looks like something along the lines of Unforgiving.

Kris said...

I'm with you on the Rocky series. Did you see Rocky Balboa?

Two words: Fucking Awesome!!!

kr said...

I've seen, of your favs, Rob Roy (loved it) and I think Excalibur (not so impressed). I meant to see Unforgiven, but I only see about one movie a year in theatres and maybe one or two more on video, so I haven't gotten around to it. Your last pair of movies look like things I'd like ...

I love Jean Reno (for his acting), but I get nightmarey pretty quickly from people-acting-awful and avoid a lot of movies (several of your list) for that.

I like (would watch again):
Don Juan de Marco (Johnny Depp). The LOTR trilogy. The original Star Wars. The Man in the Iron Mask. The Matrix. Strictly Ballroom (BRILLIANT--plus it's a dance movie). The Breakfast Club. The original (Japanese) version of Shall We Dance?, which is really quite lovely and I think even guys would like it. Schindler's List.

And of course the sneaker-wave that was Serenity. (Serenity you can maybe catch on a small-venue big-screen in late June; I guess there were like 60 theatres worldwide last year ... . It's worth it. And this I say despite it leaving some Very Bad Pictures stuck in my head : P.)

'Never did manage to see Steel Magnolias ;).

Gino said...

mercy: saw 3:10 to yuma this week. you'd like it.

kris: the sixolgy of rocky isnt bad as a collection. but the 1st kicked so much butt, it stands alone. rocky balboa: yes, good movie

kr: you'd love the sunrise/sunset kit. its pure chick flick.
and the professional has strong chickish elements as well. my daughter loves it. it would be in her top 3. she even has the poster on her wall.
you never saw steel magnolias? tsk,tsk... what kinda woman are you?

kr said...


Vanesa Littlecrow W. said...

Good taste in music and movies. WOW!

Guitarman said...

Gino.... I'm a friend of King David's. Are you kidding me... Unforgiven??? I though Pale Rider was a much better show..

Have you seen The importance of being Earnest?