Thursday, November 26, 2009

Top 50 Movies finale

As already mentioned this list will be a bit on the boring side, but here is the finish.

10. Boondock Saints
I love this movie. After the Star Wars movies, this is one that I can watch over and over again in a short time period. I find the two Irish brothers to be roll on the floor funny. The pacing, cinematography, and story telling are all stellar. Finally, I really like this movie because at its base (and then covered up with a bunch of bullets, blood, and f-bombs) is the question of human involvement with divine judgement.

9. Attack of the Clones
Every step this movie takes forward: A great portrayal of Obi-wan Kenobi in his prime, spot on soundtrack, Yoda fighting with a lightsaber, and Ankian's first step to the dark side (which I totally called was going to happen with Sand People killing his mom back in 2000) is completely stunted by a terrible love story that could have been done so much better. Still it is a Star Wars movie, and because of that it is one of my top movies.

8. The Matrix
I love this movie. It has a lot going for it. It has an intersting sci-fi premise, incredible style, good plot twist, exciting fights, and [phlisophical questions aobut belief. I watched this movie a ton in college, and The Matrix more than anything else is responsible for the Masked Banditz. It is a shame the sequels for so bad.

7. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King

6. Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring

5. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
The LotR movies have to come in a row because they really are not stand alone movies. Together the three movies tell the epic story. As far as how I enjoy them, it is in this order. Fellowship of the Ring is the slowest, but the Mines of Moria make up for that. The Two Towers is the best to watch because of the Smegol/Gollum interaction and the Battle of Helms Deep.

4. Revenge of the Sith
A while ago I wrote a blog where I ordered the Star Wars movies. At that time, I put this movie over Return of the Jedi. After watching all of the movies in a row, that has changed. The original trilogy really is a lot better than the prequels. However, the opening scene of this movie is so awesome.

3. Return of the Jedi
So Return of the Jedi started a trend in Star Wars storytelling that I am done with, and that is the fact that Tatooine shows up everywhere. With Return of the Jedi, Tatooine became the first planet to show up twice. Because of that, it is everywhere. I have read A LOT of Star Wars books and I promise every single one of them mentions Tattoine in some sort of reference. Luke described the planet as the furthest point from the bright spot of the universe, but apperently the entire Star Wars universe revolves around this planet.

2. A New Hope

1. Empire Strikes Back
If you have read previous Star Wars posts over the several years I have had a blog, then you know why I love this movie. If you havn't . .. then look it up.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Top 50 Movies (29-11)

To be honest the top ten list will be boring (spoiler: 80% of it is Star Wars or Lord of the Rings), so this is where it gets exciting.

29. The Dark Knight
This is the best super hero movie ever. The portrayal of a grittier, less comic bookish Joker, portrayed perfectly by Heath Ledger, really put this one over the top.

28. Army of Darkness
This is without a doubt, one of the most quotable movies ever. I am not a huge fan of "B movies", unless it is a B movie that knows it and rejoices in this fact like Army of Darkness does.

27. Goonies
Three movies went a long way to defining my childhood: Star Wars, Ghostbusters, and Goonies. I can not express how badly I wanted to find a treasure map and a secret cave in my childhood. I remember one time even going into a storage room in the garage and looking all over the place just to make sure there wasn't a hidden map somewhere.

26. The Princess Bride
This movie is made by its excellent characters, simplistic fairy tale story, and witty writing. Just like Fred Savage wanted his grandfather to come back and read the story again, this is a movie that stands up very well to repeat viewings.

25. Serenity
Serenity is the Return of the Jedi of the Firefly story, and it was the end to a universe whose life was to short. Joss Wheadon's "space western" hits on a lot of the same high notes that Star Wars does (a "used" universe, constant hints at a back story, glimpses of a larger universe). However, the Firefly universe is a lot more gritty and gray. Also, the characters in Firefly are all absoluty awesome.

24. Clue
I think this movie is under appreciated. The mix of a "whodoneit?" with a comedy works really well. Tim Curry as the butler is incredibly hilarious.

23. The Rock
I don't really know how to articulate it, but there is a 90's action movie blue print. Many of these movies (The Rock, Speed, Broken Arrow, etc) have a very similar feel to them. In my opinion The Rock is the best of them. The fact that Sean Connery for all intents and purposes played an older James Bond (they just changed his name to Mason) is what really makes this one.

22. The Braveheart
This movie went a long way to spawning "the historical epic" that is common place now. Like other movies already on this list, Braveheart gives a historical looking setting and creates a fiction story using historical figures. Braveheart is the movie that historians love to hate for this reason, because the average American's knowledge of English history probably begins with Braveheart and ends with the Patriot. While not historically accurate in the least, Braveheart is a compelling story of love, loss, and honor.

21. Black Hawk Down
Because of this movie, I have shot countless terrorist on the streets of sandy war-torn cities in numerous video games. This movie is on this list for the same reason as other war movies, it just happens to be with contemporary warfare.

20. Zombieland
This is the newest movie on the list, and it may be artificially high because of its newness. However, I loved this movie. It was laugh out loud funny all throughout, and it had some great Zombie killing action.

19. Die Hard
Smart Mouth action heroes are common, but in Die Hard John McClain created the "every man" smart mouth action hero. This is officially my favorite "Christmas Movie", and Abigail and I try to watch it every Christmas eve.

18. Aliens
As scores of B-Movies and Sci-Fi Original movies will show, Space Marines are hard to get right. That is because every movie that features Space marines is trying desperately hard to capture the magic that is Aliens.

17. Shaun of the Dead
While Zombieland may replace it, this is my current favorite Zombie movie. Like Hot Fuzz the brilliance of Shaun of the Dead is that it makes fun of Zombie movies, while being a legitimate zombie movie.

16. Fight Club
I like this movies unique storytelling and its exploration of some of the dark effects that are consumer culture has on the human soul. I don't know if this is a human trait or just a male trait, but this movie touches on the fact that deep down that all of us want to beat the living crap out of something from time to time.

15. Ghostbusters
As mentioned in the Goonies post, this was one of the defining movies of my childhood. This was only accented by the fact that my favorite cartoon for a lot of elementary school was The Real Ghostbusters. I really wanted to catch a ghost, and one of my favorite books was even a "how to" guide on doing that.

14. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
This is the best Indiana Jones movie in my opinion. The action is top notch, and the interaction between Harrison Ford and Sean Connery is brilliant. I also like the undertones this movie has about faith.

13. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Funniest. Movie. Ever. I have seen this movie many, many times and I still laught at it.

12. 300
From the visual style of the movie, to the fights, to Gerard Butler's intensity this movie is just cool.

11. Saving Private Ryan
The D-Day invasion scene at the opening of this movie is still the most incredible thing I have ever seen in any movie. The story while mostly fabricated is a very good one. For me this is the definitive war movie.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Top 50 Movies (50-30)

A while ago I listed my top 25 video games of all time. Since i have seen more movies, it is only fitting the list be twice as long. Plus, I need this long of a list because if I were to do a top five it would be boring as it is mostly Star Wars (top ten is similar as you will see. I am sure there is a favorte movie of mine that I completely spaced some how and left off, or the order may be slightly variable. However, this should be fairly close to accurate.

50. The Phantom Menance
This makes the list only because it is a Star Wars movie. You could be snotty and ask why The Clone Wars is not on the list for that reason, and that is because that was just a couple of TV show episodes shown in succession. You could be really snotty and ask why the ewok movies are not on the list. If either of those two movies had a lightsaber in them, then they would be.

49. Dodgeball: An Underdog Story
If you can dodge a wrench, you can dodge a ball. I find this movie to be hysterical. Plus if ESPN 8 were a real channel, I would watch it all the time.

48. Dawn of the Dead

This is the Zach Snyder remake not the original. I do like a good Zombie movie, and this is one is one of the best. It is very tense and bleak all throughout.

47. The Passion of the Christ
I try to watch this movie once a year on Easter. It is a hard movie to watch, but it is worth it every time.

46. Kingdom of Heaven
There are not enough quality movies with Medieval battle scenes. This movie has them, and it raises interesting questions about the nature of faith.

45. V for Vendetta

If a movie has at least one or two quality martial arts fights I will probably enjoy it. This does have one. On top of that it has an almost film noir feeling and raises questions about the nature of government.

44. Dead Poet Society

We all want a teacher like Mr. Keating. More over, if anyone has ever taught, it is there secret dream for students to stand up on their desk and call them captain.

43. We are Soldiers

As this list will quickly show, I like war movies. The best war movies deliver incredible visuals, capture the horrors of war, and the honors of war. This movie does all of that.

42. Enemy at the Gates41. The Man Who Knew to Little
A little known movie about a hapless man that is always in the right place at the right time. This movie shows off the comedic genius of Bill Murray

40. Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark

There needs to be more pulp hero movies, and they need to be more like this and less like Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow.

39. Ocean's Eleven

I think this movie may be a little to "smart" for its own good, as I like it a bit less each time I watch it. Despite that, it is always fun to watch the heist go off as planned.

38. Aladdin

One of two Disney Movies on the list. This is mainly here because Robin Williams makes me laugh.

37. Zulu
If there is a movie in the history of cinema that needs to be remade it is this one. 100 British soldiers vs. 4,000 Zulu Warriors and the British win.

36. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
It is a shame Guy Ritchie does not make movies like this or Snatch any more. The set up is great and the dialogue is clever.

35. Fearless
Back to the Martial arts thing. I like a good fight, and if Jet Li is part of it then it is even better. This is a Kung-fu historical epic starting Jet Li and the fights are excellent.

34. Hot Fuzz

While not as good as Shaun of the Dead, this spoof on action movies is very well done. The movie is good because it parodies action movies, while still using legitimately using action movie conventions.

33. Gladiator

Historically, this movie is a huge mess. . . to the point that it should probably be considered fantasy. However, it is an excellent story of a hero.

32. Fist of Legend
I have watched a lot of kung fu movies, and this is probably my favorite. It has several very well done fights, PLUS a plot that is actually worth following.

31. The Lion King
The second Disney movie on the list. The voice acting for Scar is brilliant, but overall I really like the story of losing oneself and then finding it again.

30. Shawshank Redemption

This is not a "fun" movie to watch. However it is an absolute incredible one with great characters, great acting, and an amazing story of hope in a hopeless situation.