On Seventeen Movies

In the spirit of Dayton Ward and Entertainment Weekly, I’m going to offer up a list of seventeen movies I can watch again and again. And again. And so on and so forth.

These are in no particular order. Some may duplicate those from the article at EW. So be it.

  1. A Hard Day’s Night
  2. Contact
  3. The Lord of the Rings trilogy. It’s a single movie.
  4. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  5. King Arthur, the Clive Owen movie.
  6. The Natural
  7. The Shawshank Redemption
  8. Dave
  9. V For Vendetta
  10. Good Night and Good Luck
  11. The Bride of Frankenstein
  12. The Rocketeer
  13. The Hunt for Red October
  14. The Princess Bride
  15. Alien 3
  16. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  17. Grosse Pointe Blank

Some random commentary.

You can tell some of my interests. There’s an Arthurian vibe, with King Arthur (#5), Monty Python (#4), and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (#16). Oh, and The Natural (#6).

(I don’t often remember my dreams, but I remember dreaming about Malamud’s book The Natural last night. That’s super-freaky.)

Definitely into politics. See Contact (to some extent), Dave, Good Night and Good Luck and V for Vendetta.

I had to flip a coin for Grosse Pointe Blank. The other option was Say Anything…. (If you watch these together, and squint your eyes just right, they can almost go together as a single story. Which is why I want to see War Inc.)

A Hard Day’s Night was never not a choice.

Why King Arthur and Alien 3, since neither movie is highly regarded?

King Arthur is, I think, a pretty sharp movie that accomplishes what it set out to do, only the Disney marketing machine didn’t know what to do with it. (Much like The Rocketeer a decade earlier.) A better promotional campaign would have done King Arthur wonders. I like the acting, the story is compelling, there are some fantastic visuals. The weakest part of the movie, honestly, is Keira Knightley.

Alien 3. It’s a David Fincher movie, so it’s naturally visually interesting. He has a fantastic cast. And the story is utterly bleak. I don’t think Hollywood had ever made a movie this nihilistic before. Everyone you care about dies. People who are like “I don’t like that they killed Newt and Hicks!” are missing the point, because that is the point — the universe doesn’t care about you, and it will fuck you over every chance it gets.

The Bride of Frankenstein is traditional Halloween viewing, much as Santa Claus Conquers the Martians is traditional Christmas viewing.

I could seriously skip work and watch any or all of these movies today.

5 thoughts on “On Seventeen Movies

  1. Now granted, this is your personal list. Its hard to understand why someone would like all the movies on it, but then, that’s why its your list and not mine.

    King Arthur was bad on so many levels … Knightly being only one of them. How can you kill the guy with the bird? He was the coolest dude in the film! Bah … King Arthur. How does an Arthur fan not put Excalibur on the list? Now THERE’s a Arthurian Legend story. And it has Patrick Stewart in it .. win/win!

    If I had to do my own list, it would be pretty darn difficult, but let me give it a go…

    1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (agreed)
    2. The Professional (Leon)
    3. Point Break (Patrick’s best movie, though my wife would tell you it was Road House)
    4. The Original Star Wars Trilogy (unedited, unremastered, or otherwise fucked up by George after the fact!)
    5. Ronin (what’s in the case? we still don’t know)
    6. Aliens (since you’re bringing Aliens 3, we’ll have the two best in the trilogy)
    7. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (thank you AMC, I’ve watched it 5 times this week)
    8. Excalibur (A real move about King Arthur that rocks!)
    9. Shawshank Redemption (for when we wear out your copy)
    10. Field of Dreams (to remind me how much I love my Dad)
    11. Grosse Point Blank (yeah, I love this movie too … don’t know why … its not personal)
    12. The Replacements (with Keanu .. one of those movies you have to watch when its on)
    13. The Matrix (there is no trilogy)
    14. The Unforgiven (replacing In the Line of Fire, which I also love, but I love this one more)
    15. The Wizard of Oz (cause I feel we need a musical)

  2. This sounds like fun. Lemme give it a shot. My list is a lot different (a lot of much newer movies), so I will defend my choices. In no particular order…

    1) On The Waterfront: Brando in his finest role (if you ask me, anyway). Every minute is great.
    2) Garden State: All-around good movie. When I first saw it, I went nuts trying to find more like it, but really, nothing else captures the same tone (not to mention Zach Braff’s extremely artistic framing), so I’ll have to settle for watching it over and over and over again. Besides, Natalie Portman!
    3) V For Vendetta
    4) Shaun of the Dead: Might be the perfect script. I’ve seen this movie many more times than anything else on my list, and I’m still catching new jokes. Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost may just be the most clever writers in mainstream film.
    5) Die Hard (the entire series): No one dies harder than John McClane. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and Live Free or Die Hard is the most successful rehash of a movie franchise I can remember — at least as good as the original.
    6) Hard Boiled: The birth of modern action movies, and with an honestly compelling story.
    7) Pan’s Labyrinth: I think the movie speaks for itself, but I’m always surprised at how many people didn’t ever bother to see it. The 2-Disc edition remains one of my favorite purchases, period.
    8) Band of Brothers (the whole series): I have a soft-spot for WWII anyway, but this is just… great. There are so many great actors, so many great scenes… and it’s all as true to life as it could have been. Plus, Marc Warren and Simon Pegg are both in it (Warren has his own episode, while Pegg only has bit parts, but still), which connects the series to Doctor Who, and that’s just fantastic.
    9) Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang: Sorry, I like Robert Downey, Jr., and this is just a great flick. I hope you’ve seen it.
    10) The Dark Knight: Really, I could watch Batman Begins and The Dark Knight over and over, but Heath Ledger was still such a fantastic Joker that I had to list this movie. Also, as a series, these new Batman movies have even more hope: David Tennant has expressed interest in playing The Riddler in the next one, which could mean truly great things.
    11) Star Trek: Yes, I’m talking about the new one. Don’t look at me like that, I really liked it. Really.
    12) Iron Man: What can I say? Robert Downey, Jr., plus an that wonderful after-credits scene hinting at an Avengers movie? Fantastic.
    13) Pulp Fiction
    14) A Christmas Story: Grew up on this one, and as a result, I could watch it forever. It’s just fun all around.
    15) Titus: Okay, I am a Lit nerd, so right off the bat, the Shakespeare makes me happy. But then, Allan Cumming! And the sets and costumes! What a movie!
    16) Collateral
    17) Role Models: I like Paul Rudd… and this movie is infinitely watchable. Seriously, try not to enjoy it.

    By the way, all of this David Tennant as Riddler stuff? I would really love to see that happen.

    1. Carey, some random thoughts…

      4) I love Shaun. I love Hot Fuzz more. And have you seen Spaced, Pegg’s Britcom? You gotta see Spaced.

      8) Nothing to do with Band of Brothers, but everything to do with Marc Warren. Do not do not no not ever watch the Dracula movie he starred in for the BBC. It is beyond awful. I’m not sure at all what the movie has to do with Bram Stoker’s story. Syphillis? A secret cult? Even Sophia Myles can’t salvage this turkey. Life’s too damn short to waste it on this crap.

      10) I considered, I really did, a Batman movie, but I’d have gone for either the original Tim Burton Batman or, my personal favorite, Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. Had I put a Batman movie on my list, I’d have jettisoned Good Night and Good Luck most likely. But if I were jettisoning that, Dead Poets Society would have plugged right in.

      11) What’s wrong with the new Star Trek movie? I enjoyed it a lot, for multiple reasons. Yeah, the story’s a little nonsensical, but it’s done with real energy, something you can’t say about any of the Next Generation films.

      14) Still haven’t seen it.

      15) Nothing wrong with Titus; I have it on DVD myself. In fact, I think I loaned my DVD set to Rachel, back when she worked for me. Scratch that, on second thought I think it was another one of my employees. And Alan Cumming is on my list of actors who should have played the Doctor. Unlike most of the others on that list, he was a near-miss.

      17) Paul Rudd is on my list of actors who could play me in a biopic.

  3. That’s not you, Carey. It’s a “feature” of WordPress.

    Note to self: Fix the underlying code for that when I get home from work tonight. Since that’s a smiley I never ever use. :)

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