Back again. My top 100 movies. Once more, with feeling.
There will be a countdown once a week until we are finished. Ten movies at a time. Don’t take the order too seriously. I move them around constantly. And if you read any of my previous blog post about my top 100 films the placement may be slightly different. If you were patiently waiting for me to continue the list, I apologize and hope you stick with me, as this will be completed.
On to the list…
#90 – Inherit the Wind (1960)
At #90 is Inherit The Wind, a 1960 film, directed by Stanley Kramer. The film stars Spencer Tracy, Fred March, and Gene Kelly. It’s a movie about the infamous Scopes Monkey Trial in 1925, except it’s really about McCarthyism and intellectual freedom.
Inherit The Wind, is a fascinating look at the ramifications and potential pitfalls of zealous religious ideas trumping over free thought and science. A film as relevant today as it was 55 years ago.
“I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.” – Thomas Jefferson.
#89 – High Fidelity (2000)
High Fidelity, is a 2000 film, directed by Stephen Frears. The film stars John Cusack, Jack Black, and Iben Hjejle. It’s a movie about love and the top five, side one, track ones.
This is a film I can’t help but love. It’s about a guy in his thirties, who owns a record store. Talks music with his weird friends. Creates top 5 list, before they were the thing to do on the internet. Hell, there is no mention of the internet at all. He pretends to talk to Bruce Springsteen about what came first; the break-up song or the break-up? Did the fact he enjoyed sad, pop music, make him sad? These are questions I have had to ask myself as well. Did the music I listened to, influence me so much, that it affected my life in negative ways? I don’t know, and this is not my psychiatrist office, so I will move along.
#88 – The Naked Gun (1988)
The Naked Gun is beyond analysis. It is to be enjoyed not studied, which presents a problem when counting down my top 100 films and analyzing the reasons why a film is on my list. How do I express my love of a movie, besides just saying it made me laugh my ass off? Especially, my thirteen-year-old self. So much so, that it inspired, along with other Zucker brothers films, my friends and I to make blatant rip-offs with my buddies parents VHS camcorder.
#87 – Pan’s Labyrinth (1994)
Pan’s Labyrinth, is a modern fairy tale by the talented director, Guillermo Del Toro. The contrast between the Fairy Tale and the extreme violence of the real world, makes this film stand out. Ofelia discovers a hidden world where she is destined to be a princess, while her mother has brought her to live with a sadistic Army officer. This story is beautiful and sad. The ending is, apparently, up for debate, which I never understood. I thought it was pretty clear what the film was trying to say; that there is no definitive reading of the ending. See the video above for a fantastic analysis of the film.
#86 – Seeking a Friend for the End of the World (2012)
Seeking a Friend for the End of the World is another film that surprised me. One of those, I guess I will check it out, movies that I really enjoyed. It is right up my alley. An end of the world film which makes you laugh, cry and just enjoy the wonder of life.
When an unstoppable asteroid is on a collision course with the Earth, Steve Carrel has to decide what he wants to do with the time remaining. He meets up with Kiera Knightley, and they go on one last adventure. I just loved this movie.
#85 – Dead Man (1995)
A dream? A look at death? Jim Jarmusch’s Dead Man is a surreal nightmare. A wonderfully hypnotic, dream-like film about a dead man. This is a western, that deconstructs the classic western while evoking all of its tropes. A masterful film, with Johnny Depp in his prime, playing a blank slate. From Edward Scissorhands to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Johnny Depp acted in some great films, and this is one of his best. It is also, in my humble opinion Jim Jarmusch’s best film and with a score by Neil Young and his solo guitar, it ranks as one of the best films of the nineties.
#84 – The Goonies (1985)
When I was nine or ten, I told my parents, I only wanted one thing for my birthday: a copy of The Goonies, on high-quality VHS. Now, at the time (1985) I was unaware that purchasing a VHS tape cost in the neighborhood of $79.95 to $89.95. Yes, you read that correctly. Of course, when I found out, I still begged my parents to get it for me, promising that I would never ask for anything else the rest of the year. I got my VHS copy of The Goonies, and I was forever grateful. I guess I am trying to say, that I loved this movie and I still do. I can see its flaws, but it doesn’t matter.
#83 – The Fighter (2010)
Christian Bale is a talented actor. One of those actors, who can combine fame and still disappear into a role. The Fighter shows off this acting display in dramatic fashion. Based on the true story of Micky Ward, and directed by David O. Russell, this is a powerful film about family and what it means to be in a broken family and a final shot at redemption. Amy Adams is terrific as well in this movie.
#82 – Her (2013)
This film is wonderfully shot and is a joy to behold. Everything from the clothes to the futuristic, modern, Los Angeles skyline is well done. Spike Jonze creates a vivid and frighteningly possible future. I could go on and on about this film, the depth of the performances by Joaquin Phoenix and Scarlett Johansson the way the music plays an integral, yet subdued part in the film, the myriad of questions it asks, but never answers. This is the type of film I love.
The scene above is the most crucial scene in the film.
A side note: After what happens with all the operating system’s in the film, the sequel would be Terminator 2.
#81 – Reservoir Dogs (1992)
I have a weird relationship with Tarantino films. Everyone loves Pulp Fiction. Yet, it is one of my least favorite films he has made. In fact, I sometimes wonder if Tarantino tried not to make a Tarantino film, what greatness he could create. His dialogue can be pointless, yet amazing.
Reservoir Dogs is the perfect balance of Tarantino and storytelling. While it’s not my favorite Tarantino movie, it is the one I enjoy watching the most. The characters, the setting and the acting are all top notch. What works for me, is it’s completely dialogue driven. Like a play. The fact that this was his first film makes it all the more impressive.
Thanks for reading. Think I wouldn’t know what a good movie was if it hit me in the face? Leave a comment below. #80-71 next week.