Heppy New Year

Hey there folks. Well I know I was supposed to have the entirety of my Top 30 Favourite Films finished by now, but it would seem like the final ten movies are going to have to wait until the new year. I'm not one for suspense so please believe that this wasn't intentional. Or don't believe it. Either way, those are your two options. Hopefully everyone has a fun and relatively safe new years celebration. My heart goes out to those who are going to be working, but not really. So when the new year finally rolls around, I will be making a big fuss over my top 10 favourite movies of all time, and no, Titanic isn't on there. Neither is Home Alone. As for what I'll be doing on new years, well, here's a clue.


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#11 Snatch (2000)

#11 Snatch (2000)


Written and directed by Guy Ritchie, Snatch is one of the funnest movies to watch. Brad Pitt as the indecipherable gypsy with one hell of a punch Mickey, Jason Statham as Turkish the coolest character with the worlds dumbest friend, and last but not least real life hardass Vinnie Jones playing the role of Bullet Tooth Tony. With a whole cast of unforgettable characters and even more memorable lines, this film is the coolest thing since sliced bread. Alan Ford's portrayal of the ruthless gangster Brick Top is as vicious as it is hilarious. The only thing better than the dialogue is the music. The music sequence features a song called Disco Science by Mirwais and is one the best things ever put to film. This movie is drunk on cool, wrapping its knuckles with cool, and saying something cool, before knocking the cool right off your face.

#12 Excalibur (1981)

#12 Excalibur (1981)Based on Le Morte d'Arthur, this medieval epic is breathtaking in both scale and humanity. Oh and by the way, Helen Mirren is the sexiest thing alive as the scheming sorceress Morgana. Nigel Terry plays the legendary boy turned king, and wielder of Excalibur, Arthur Pendragon. Getting to see his life as a young squire till his tragic end as withered king is absolutely riveting. I have to say though that the part of this movie that I really hold deep in my heart is the performance by Nicol Williamson as Merlin. One of his lines in the movie, when explaining to a young and naive Arthur the difficulties of kingship, "It's easy to love folly in a child." And I'll be damned if he wasn't on to something with that whole wizardly wisdom thing. The tale of Excalibur has never looked so good. The boy becoming a king. The courtship of Guinevere. The treachery of Morgana. Lancelot's Bridge Toll. There are so many moments that could be movies onto themselves, but are all woven together beautifully. Seeing Percival seemingly throw his life away on a pointless quest of finding the Holy Grail is heart wrenching, especially when he comes upon the fallen Lancelot. The battle scenes are awesome too, seeing all those fully armored soldiers hulking around the battlefield mashing on each other with flails and broadswords is marvelous. Pulling the sword from the stone, is Excalibur at number twelve.

#13 Young Frankenstein (1974)

#13 Young Frankenstein (1974)
Mel Brooks is a comedy god, and Gene Wilder is his messiah. Need proof? Look no further than the legendary classic Young Frankenstein. Peter Boyle's portrayal of the monster was hilarious, and Marty Feldman as Igor is so much more than a funny face. The most pure form of parody, this movie riffs on science fiction and horror genre's masterfully. They just don't make 'em like they used to, and holy hot damn were they good! Although Brooks is not in this movie, his presence is far from absent, and regardless of the genre being parodied there is never a shortage of stale Jewish jokes that never seem out of place. The monster is both afraid of fire, but sits at a fireplace for minutes, almost comforted by it. Igor's character breaks the fourth wall and it seems right at home in this crazy movie. It was a tough call between this movie or Blazing Saddles, and I have to say that the aesthetic of this movie sealed the deal. The black and white footage just charms the paint right off the walls in my opinion. Apart of me wanted to choose Spaceballs, because Rick Moranis is awesome, but as comedy film the gags aren't as rich or well executed (John Candy really held that movie together). Without further ado, here is some footage of the greatest duet in film history.

#14 Sin City (2005)

#14 Sin City (2005)

Goldie. She says her name is Goldie. Mickey Rourke as Marv. Holy shit. From the second the film starts this movie sets itself apart with a masterful orchestra of violence and neo noir presentation, making Frank Miller's Sin City come to life. Dark, drunk, devilish, doubtless life, that takes no prisoners, pulls no punches, and kills anyone that gets in its way. Getting to see Clive Owen as Dwight McCarthy, my favorite character form the book, and those red chucks are the best thing I ever saw. He's Shellie's new boyfriend and he's out of his mind. The dames in this flick are all drop dead gorgeous, and with the girls of old town, drop dead is just what you'll do. The actor who played Cardinal Roark is named Rutger Hauer, and not only was he the leader of the renegade replicants in Blade Runner, but he was also a cursed knight in a great movie called Ladyhawke which also stars a young Matthew Broderick as the most nimble medieval thief ever portrayed on film. But I digress. Sin City has it all, and despite the bleak setup, is an unprecedented hell of a time. It wouldn't be too difficult to go on and on about this movie, but I just can't do it justice, since justice is dead, and all that's left is the revenge stirring in my gut late at night. Again with the digressing. Sin City speaks for itself, at great length, with a lit cigarette, while flying down the highway, in a fast car with a big trunk.

#15 Back To The Future (1985)

#15 Back To The Future (1985)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis, this has got to be one of the best scripts ever filmed. The Twin Pine Mall becomes the Lone Pine Mall after one of the signature trees gets torn down during a chase sequence. It only affects about two seconds of onscreen time, but its that kind of meticulous attention to detail that makes this one of the greatest movies ever made. Michael J Fox plays Marty McFly, the coolest kid 1985 has ever produced. Opposite him is Doc Brown, played by the hilarious Christopher Lloyd, and if you've seen him in Taxi then you know how great he is at being scatterbrained yet brilliant. Crispin Glover plays George McFly, Marty's dad who is a socially inept nerd who reads science fiction and tells bad jokes. Thomas Wilson plays one of the best onscreen villains ever created, Biff Tannen. No matter the era, Biff's character is consistently the winner of the biggest douchebag of all time award. This movie has it all, romance, adventure, time travel, action, music, and most of all humor. There isn't a single line that goes to waste, and anything someone says goes towards crafting another aspect of their personality, be it past or present (or future). One of my favourite moments is the exchange between Marty and Doc Brown from the past where they are discussing the impacts of time travel, when Marty says "heavy." Leading Doc Brown to wonder why he says it so often, asking if there has been some change to the gravity in the future. Too funny. Racing past us at eighty eight miles per hour, Back To The Future clocks in at number fifteen.

#16 Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979)

#16 Monty Python's Life of Brian (1979) I love British humor, and Monty Python were as groundbreaking as they were irreverent. Sure Holy Grail was a hilarious movie (with perhaps the greatest ending of all time, ever) but Life of Brian is the greatest thing the Python's have ever done, save for their live performance at the Hollywood Bowl, but that wasn't a movie. Life of Brian is. And a damn funny one too. This movie follows a narrative more closely which makes it a superior cinematic experience. This story isn't about Jesus, it's about Brian, who was born at the exact same time. Next door in fact. His life is a mirror of Jesus's, but to masterfully comedic affect. Seeing Brian have his Latin grammar corrected by a Roman guard, played by John Cleese, who caught him writing graffiti on a wall is one of the funniest thing I've ever seen. The "message" that Brian spouts off to citizens off the top of his head when put on the spot, becomes the most spiritual movement in ancient history in a matter of seconds! This movie reminds you that even being known as the "son of god" is a matter of being at the right place, at the right time. If you know me, then you know how I have a love for all things blasphemous, and this movie ranks highly by not being crude or accusatory, but by being honest and analytical. Seeing Michael Palin dance around as an ex-leper begging for change is gut-bustingly funny. Graham Chapman as Brian is a great lead character who just wants to be left in peace, but keeps bumbling into worse situations without any idea of how to get out gracefully. Terry Jones plays his high-pitched over protective mother whose easy to love to hate. This movie was divinely chosen to be number sixteen. Oh, and don't forget, always look on the bright side of life.

#17 Beetle Juice (1988)

#17 Beetle Juice (1988)


Geena Davis and Alec Bladwin play an all American newlywed couple in New England, who wind up becoming ghosts in their own dream house after a car accident. several years later an eccentric new york family moves in looking to renovate the entire house, and the ghosts want to prevent that from happening. After several failed attempts at haunting, the charming ghost couple connect with the strange and unusual Gothic daughter Lydia Deetz, played by a young Winona Ryder, who is as pretty as she is peculiar. Their forays into the world of the dead lead them to meet the poltergeist extraordinaire called, say it with me, Beetlejuice Beetlejuice Beetlejuice! Michael Keaton plays the wickedly hilarious and genuinely disgusting horror for hire, in a striped suit with matted hair, he steals the show as soon as his character gets involved. Directed by Tim Burton this movie has so many memorable lines its crazy. What follows is a ghastly fun time through the world of the dead, complete with exorcism, giant monsters, weddings, and possessed house guests, this is a dark comedy you can't miss.

#18 Blade Runner (1982)

#18 Blade Runner (1982)
The dystopian noir future of Los Angeles in 2019, just about eight years away, and it won't be anywhere near as fascinating as the science fiction masterpiece, Blade Runner, directed by Ridley Scott. Harrison Ford plays a lifeless detective named Richard Deckard, whose sole purpose is to find four renegade replicants, cyborgs who have become self aware and incredibly dangerous. His job is the only thing he has left, and its not one he has any affection for. As he pursues the replicants in question, he unlocks numerous questions about what it is that makes people real or synthetic, and if being a cyborg makes any kind of difference in terms of the human condition.Each of the four replicants are remarkable characters, and the scene where Deckard finally catches up to the leader of the renegade cyborgs is breathtaking. I can't say more. This movie is incredible in that it uses very little space to portray an immense world, and makes the audience ponder an array of "big picture" questions, not only about the characters involved, but about themselves as well. This movie boldly strays from the traditional laser spaceship battles and dependence on digestible narratives that science fiction has become over the years, and instead weaves a classic detective plot slowly over time. The directors cut version of the movie is what I feel to be a "truer" experience, and the ending is far superior to the one that the film debuted with. The cinematography is equally as impressive as the score. Without Blade Runner, you wouldn't have Cowboy Bebop. Then where would you be?

#19 This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

#19 This Is Spinal Tap (1984)

The most brilliant mockumentary ever made revolves around the metal band Spinal Tap in the final days of their waning relevancy. Infinitely quotable and with an amazing soundtrack to boot, this movie offers laughs from start to finish. Christopher Guest, Michale Mckean, and Harry Shearer play the band's primary members, as the drummers aren't ever alive long enough to actually get much face time. This movie perfectly captures the arrogance of rock stars with the excess of the eighties, blended with the razorsharp conversational wit that can only be found in Christopher Guest films. If you've seen Waiting for Guffman, than you should be familiar with the kind of dialogue I'm referring to. The pseudo-interview style allows each character to distinguish themselves, as well as reveal just how empty headed they really are, and yet you can't help but feel sorry for characters that continually pour more of themselves into already doomed ventures. As if the film wasn't great enough, watching it again with the band providing voice commentary throughout makes for twice the experience. If you were to ask me how much more this film could be number nineteen on my list, the answer would have to be, none.

#20 So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

So I Married an Axe Murderer (1993)

Mike Myers doesn't get any better than this folks. The nineties beat poet protagonist finds the girl of his dreams, who just so happens to be a black widow as well. Women, am I right? This movie feels like the ultimate tribute to the nineties, and the humor is so natural it seems like they aren't actors at all. With a strong supporting cast, such as Phil Hartman playing the prison guard "Vicky", Amanda Plummer who plays the sadistic Rose, Stephen Wright as the inept pilot, to Alan Arkin as the overly-affectionate police chief, the cast is brilliant. Myers plays two roles in this movie and both are hilarious to see in action. Also, any movie with a bagpipe solo of a Rod Stewart song can't be denied, which is why this movie is number twenty. We have a piper down!

#21 V for Vendetta (2006)

#21 V for Vendetta (2006)

The only thing more captivating than Hugo Weaving’s masterful physicality as V, is Natalie Portman’s gorgeous bald head, in this breathtaking comic book adaptation from the Wachowski brothers of Allen Moore’s “V for Vendetta.” If you don’t remember the fifth of November, then I hope someone burrows a tunnel underneath your house and blows you up, cause everyone should. I remember seeing this movie on my computer screen for the first time, and being blown away by the sound of V’s booming alliteration. Portman as Evey is beautiful, but the character was written originally as a prostitute, so I tried to keep that in mind for the character instead of her being an orphan to enhance the experience of it all. The shape of her skull is entrancing, but maybe I just have a weakness for pretty girls in short hair. The special effects in this move undersell themselves and make it seem as if slow motion is a natural part of life, when paired with the soundtrack, makes for a phenomenal film experience. The verdict? Vengeance.


#22 Caddyshack (1980)

#22 Caddyshack (1980)

Rodney Dangerfield gets mad respect, so does Bill Murray and Chevy Chase, for their unequaled heights of irreverent buffoonery in this film directed by Harold Ramis. This movie is essentially a royal fucking over of “the man”, played by Ted Knight, in his ultimate refuge, the country club, and it just feels better each time you watch it. Sure there’s also the story of a young man trying to get college scholarships, but das no fhanny. Chase’s character Ty Webb is a string of pseudo-enlightened observations which come from a place of honest indifference. Just remember that a donut with no hole in it, is a Danish. Na-na-na-na-na-na. Dangerfield plays Al Czervik, an eccentric high-roller who cares little for taste or class in lieu of having a good time, all the time. Hey everybody, we’re all gonna get laid! Queue standing ovation. And of course my favorite character in this film Carl Spackler, the groundskeeper played by Bill Murray. Perhaps my favorite piece of dialogue ever written, where Murray describes his time caddying for the Dalai Llama, turns out to be completely improvised on the spot. I’ve practiced that bit in the mirror at great length, and yes with the hat and pitchfork. This character stands out in the fact that he is rather harmless and lacks the vulgarity that other characters have embraced, but still keeps the comedy chops going just as much. This movie only gets better with time, and burrows through the ground, popping up at number 22. So I got that going for me. Which is nice.

#23 Annie Hall (1977)

#23 Annie Hall (1977)
This movie is the ultimate portrayal of romantic deconstruction ever written. Allen plays Alvy Singer, a New York comedian who falls in love with Annie Hall, played by Diane Keaton, who is a mid-western aspiring singer. As intelligent and poignant as it is humorous and memorable, this film uses a great many techniques to push it far past the boundary of romantic comedy. Uses meta-cinematic moments to break the fourth wall, Allen addresses the audience and sometimes pulls people into scenes just to prove a point, before shoving them off screen. The chemistry of Keaton and Allen onscreen is truly something to be marveled. The story of their relationship occurs out of order, shifting from present to past to future. I’ve always admired Allen’s ability to make his movies far more realistic than all the others, and his bravery at not taking the “happily ever after” approach to his films, because nothing in life ever works out that way, so I applaud his honesty towards his audience. I wanted to choose Whatever Works because of the pessimistic protagonist, but after some thought, I’d have to pick Annie Hall as Woody Allen’s best work which deserves to be on my Top 30 Favorite Films, in at number 23.

#24 Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

#24 Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro (1979)

The legendary thief Lupin the Third goes on his greatest heist ever in his second movie, which was directed by the animation master Hayao Miyazaki and his unparalleled Studio Ghibli. In this film, Lupin was voiced by David Hayter, the same voice actor who portrays Solid Snake in the Metal Gear series. This animated classic is ripe with charisma, and Lupin’s expressive face makes me wish I was a cartoon. Featuring what I feel to be the greatest car chase sequence ever made, it’s one that has to be seen to be believed. Unfortunately, due to copyright hounds there isn’t a video clip I could provide that would do it justice. This is the ultimate adventure movie. It has action, intrigue, inept detectives, romance, crime, and most notably Lupin’s fantastic sense of humor. The wacky tone that the TV series is known for has been toned down for a more grounded approach, which does a marvelous job of making the characters more lifelike and accessible. It doesn’t beat the audience over the head with grandiose ideas that Japanese anime are known for, and instead plays it cool. And if you’ve ever heard any of the stellar jazz soundtrack, you know cool is the name of the game.

#25 Groundhog Day (1993)

#25 Groundhog Day (1993)

I love Bill Murray, and in Groundhog Day he plays TV weatherman Phil Connors, who is sent to cover his third Groundhog Day event, which he absolutely hates. After covering the event, a blizzard strikes forcing his crew to stay an extra night, and the following morning he discovers is February 2nd again, and again, and again. He’s trapped in Groundhog day without explanation and the comedy ensues. He starts the movies as a remarkably unlikable character, but as the days go on you get to feel for him as he tries to pass each February 2nd in a different way to try and escape the limbo he is stuck in. He goes through a villainous phase where he steals money and has the police chase after him. Then he goes through an altruistic phase, saving as many lives in one day as he possibly can. Then he tries to seduce his producer Rita, played wonderfully by Andie MacDowell, learning a little bit about her each day, and using that knowledge the “following” day to get even further into her pants, but fails repeatedly. Her ability to repeat the same lines, in the same way, over and over again is positively astounding, and feels like movie magic. Enough time passes for Murray’s character to learn how to play the piano and even make ice sculptures. Murray’s range is vast and his comedic delivery is expertly timed. I won’t spoil the ending for you, but if you haven’t seen the various close-ups of the clock timer slowly changing from 5:59 am, to 6:00 am, then you haven’t lived February 2nd nearly enough times.

#26 Wall-E (2008)

#26 Wall-E (2008)

The Pixar masterpiece is as gorgeous to look at, as it is touching to watch. An adorable little trash compactor robot is alone on an abandoned trash heap of an Earth. While digging through the unwanted remains of society, he discovers all sorts of trinkets that he saves as keepsakes, and dances to classic show tunes, longing to know the choreographed romance of his very ancient predecessors. That alone is enough for a whole movie, but when he meets another robot whom he falls in love with, he winds up in outer space trying to save the proof that Earth is still a habitable place to live, while trying to save the robotic object of his affection all the while. Maybe it's because I was intoxicated, but I was a wreck for almost the whole movie. It played my heart strings like Jimmy Page wailing on the guitar. The lack of dialogue make this movie far greater cinematic experience than most others. It was a tough call between this film and The Incredibles, as my choice for Pixar’s entry in my Top 30, but I admit that Wall-E made far greater an impact on me, and has rightfully earned its silent place as number 26.