Saturday, November 20, 2010

Movies I've Liked

First off: I watch movies, I don't hang out at an art theatre to watch films or the cinema.  So take these on that level.  These are Chuckie Movies: movies to be enjoyed, not to show off with.  I don't go into cultural or moral pretentions.  These are not to edify, but to be entertained with.

1.  Stripes -- Bill Murray, Harold Ramis, and Warren Oates in what has to be the classical service comedy.  I can watch it over and over.

2.  The Boondock Saints -- Two nice Irish boyos from Boston put the hurt on the criminal element there.  William Devane plays a gay FBI agent.  Think Walking Tall Goes to Southie.

3.  Bring It On -- The quintessinal cheerleading comedy, with snappy dialogue and a great story line.  It dukes it out to the anti-cheerleader crowd as well as satirizes the cheerleader culture, thus being a little more fair than the reflexive cheerleaders-are-bad-airheads that tends to be the usual fare that panders to the teen crowd.

4.  The Kamikaze Girls -- A Japenese comedy, with a lolita girl and a biker chick finding that they have an unlikely friendship in common.  It's a feel-good buddy comedy.

5.  Leon: The Professional -- Jean Reno and Natalie Portman costar in this fantasy about an unsuccessful hitman who takes care (sort of) a preteen girl.

6.  Sixteen Candles -- This is one of the reasons why John Hughes may have been the great American director of the 1980s; he is the only one to sympathetically and honestly portray typical teens as they are, not as adults would like to imagine themselves as being.  Molly Ringwald starred. A classic line, "I can't believe I gave my panties to a geek."  The wedding scene is a classic.

7.  Dirty Harry -- Harry Callahan is a San Francisco cop who is rather hard on crime.  Great action.  I first saw it in a theatre in a crime-ridden neighborhood; after it was over, the audience cheered the movie.  That was the only time I saw people cheer a movie, and it told me a lot.

8.  Animal House -- I don't know how many times I've seen this comedy set in a college setting; each time was great, repeats do not cause it to lose its luster.  John Belishi shined in it.  Tag line:  "Being fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life, son."

9.  The Frisco Kid -- Gene Wilder and Harrison Ford star in this buddy comedy featuring an unlikely pairing of a hapless rabbi and a bank robber.  Damn it, I'll call it heart-warming.

10.  Patton -- George Scott played in this biopic; it's worth viewing.

11.  Thunder Road -- You can call it a hillbilly film noir if you want; Robert Mitchum produced and starred in a movie that spoke to Southern males in the 1960's.  He even recorded the title song!

12.  Tampopo -- The first noodle western!

13.  The Magnificent Seven -- This may be the quintessinal western.  Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner recruit five other gunmen to rescue a Mexican village.  Memorable theme music by Elmer Bernstein.

14.  What's New, Pussycat  -- A slapstick comedy from the 1960's, starring Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, Woody Allen, Peter O'Toole, and others.

15.  Broncho Billy -- This movie of Clint Eastwood's is overlooked; but nontheless is great!

16.  And God Created Woman -- You can enjoy it on different levels.  Don't do it as cinema.  I don't do Traffaut.  Curt Jergens is surprisingly unintentionally funny; and, of course, there's Bardot.

17.  Adventures in Babysitting -- Elizabeth Shue starred in this comedy that was absolutely hilarious.

18.  The Loved One -- A black comedy about the Hollywood way of death, loosely based on the book of that title by Evelyn Waugh.

19.  Red Dawn -- A fantasy in which high schoolers from Colorado fight against Russian and Cuban invaders.  Its politically incorrect script puts some people's panties in a knot; thus it's worth it in itself.

20.  Twelve O'Clock High -- Gregory Peck starred in this black-and-white movie about the Army Air Corps in World War II.  It was the first to sympathetically portray posttraumatic stress disorder and was well-acted.

21.  The Three Musketeers -- A slapstick rendition of Alexandre Dumas's book.  It can't be better done.

22.  The Outsiders -- A teen melodrama.  Okay, take it as documentary if you wish.

23.  The Lady and the Tramp -- Possibly Disney's finest: well-drawn dogs, sentimental and romantic story line, mandatory happy ending.  No, they learned in an earlier movie that offing Bambi's mother was a BAD idea.

24.  Breaker Morant -- Based on a true incident from the Boer War in which Australian soldiers served as scapegoats for an alleged atrocity.

25.  Godzilla  -- The best of the Japanese monster films of the 1950's.

26.  Blazing Saddles -- A western classic, with Cleavon Little.  Great dialogue.

27.  Paths of Glory  -- Movie about the pity of war, set against the mutiny in the French army in 1917.  Kirk Douglas played the lead.

28.  Fast Times at Ridgemont High -- It has more to offer than Phoebe Cates.

29.  The Caine Mutiny -- Humphrey Bogart starred in this military drama based on Herman Wouk's book.

30.  The Sweetest Thing -- Cameron Diaz, Christina Applegate, and Selma Blair star in this raunchy comedy.  'The Penis Song' is a real hoot, even if they won't do it on television.

31.  Witness -- Harrison Ford among the Amish, with Kelly Gillis.

32.  The Searchers -- John Wayne excelled in this western of a man obsessively hunting his niece.

33.  Monty Python and the Holy Grail -- Brit comedy.

34.  No Country for Old Men -- Tommy Lee Jones established himself as the Great American Badass in this one.

35.  The Ref -- Dennis Leary as a burglar in this satiric comedy.

36.  Inherit the Wind -- Drama based on the Scopes trial; though quite more bombastic than the real life version.  Frederic March and Spencer Tracy were the protagonists; with Gene Kelly as the asshole Menckenesque figure.

37.  Kelly's Heroes -- Clint Eastwood in this military comedy.

38.  Napoleon Dynamite -- One for the nerds.

39.  Hoosiers -- Sentimental, yet action-packed.  I liked it.  Gene Hackman at his best.

40.  Bullitt -- Steve McQueen kicked serious butt in this one.

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