11 February 2007

100 Films

I suppose the AFI can have their 100, so I get mine, admittedly biased. I guess it is not quite fair to the books, poems and songs, but this seemed a better cross-section, and since I have been seeing movies since before I could read (I understand that 'Jaws' was the first movie I was taken to in a theater... I don't remember... the first movie I remember is 'Star Wars' at age 4, which, by then, I had been reading for a year).

So, due to my love of films, and it is Oscar season and all that, I give you, my dedicated readers, 100 films that affected me in how I saw the world or in what I wanted to be... or I just liked them a lot, and while in a particular order, know that outside the top 10, the order could change at a whim :)

I will also try and keep the commentary on these to a minimum lest my post start resembling the prior short story posts :)

1) The Empire Strikes Back- I am not sure I need to explain this :) One of the main reasons I am still a sci-fi nerd.
2) Star Wars- Without it, I would have no #1.
3) Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers- Ok, so I am a big fan of middle movies of trilogies
4) Almost Famous/Untitled- Something about this film always inspires me... and it was set in a very good year (1973). Oh, the director's cut (Untitled) is worthy though significantly longer.
5) Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring- I should point out that when I mention the LOTR movies, I mean the extended versions :)
6) Glory- Such an amazing, stirring soundtrack... contrasting the stark realism of the film itself.
7) Last of the Mohicans- If ever a soundtrack made a movie light years better...
8) Return of the Jedi- Would be higher were it not for Ewoks.
9) Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King- Would be higher if the movie did not feel like it was going to end 4 times in the last half hour.
10) Aliens- The best hard sci-fi movie ever... mmm... pulse rifles.
11) Raiders of the Lost Ark- Weren't the early 80's great?
12) Dances With Wolves- The cinematography really made the film come alive, aside from it also being amazingly good.
13) Unforgiven- 'Deserve ain't got nothin' to do with it.' -- As good a line, to me, as 'Go ahead, make my day'.
14) Ben-Hur- More epic than other films when epic was a going concern, but what really set the film apart was its acting, something a lot of epic films lacked at the time.
15) Letters From Iwo Jima- One of the best films I have seen in years, and such an amazing look at the hopelessness of war and the contrasting ideals of duty. While it will probably lose, to me, it deserves Best Picture this year.
16) Superman- There is only one Superman.
17) We Were Soldiers- Forget the Mel Gibson bias, this was simply an excellent film that told the stories of the soldiers involved in the Vietnam War with little bias on both sides.
18) Spartacus- What 'Gladiator' wanted to be... ok, that's not fair. 'Gladiator' was a great film in its own right, but 'Spartacus' was able to transcend the spate of films that imitated it, while 'Gladiator' had no real competition.
19) Full Metal Jacket- The first half, with the amazing R. Lee Ermy, was almost perfect... the second half, while good, was a little bit of a let down.
20) The Last Samurai- As much as it pains me to put anything up with Tom Cruise :) Thank goodness for Ken Watanabe.
21) Real Genius- Orbital lasers, nerds, liquid nitrogen, a house full of popcorn, no other cheesy 80's movie could top that :)
22) Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan- I don't even need to say the line.
23) Schindler's List- I still get choked up every time I see it.
24) Batman- Jack Nicholson as the Joker, 'nuff said.
25) Excalibur- Merlin has the best lines...
26) Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home- Kirk and Spock doing their best Laurel and Hardy it seems... just amazingly funny.
27) The Outlaw Josey Wales- A little dated, but one of Eastwood's best.
28) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade- Can't wait for 'Indy 4'.
29) The Untouchables- Speaking of Sean Connery.
30) Somewhere In Time- Ok, so I like sappy quasi-sci fi romances set in the early 1900's. But it stars Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour... how could that be bad? (and some music by Rachmaninoff)
31) The Fog of War- A documentary, true, but released in the theaters... about the life and regret of Robert S. McNamara. Highly recommended.
32) The Shootist- John Wayne's last film, but one of his best performances.
33) Dirty Harry- Ah, the vigilante cop craze... and the obsession in police forces with the .357 or .44 Magnum.
34) Braveheart- Might be higher if it had some sense of historical accuracy, and if I was still married (we used the music from the film in my wedding... yay.)
35) Clerks- The original and still the best, though the new one was pretty funny.
36) Field of Dreams- I still need to visit the cornfield in Iowa.
37) Robin and Marian- Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn... need I say more?
38) Alien- Scared me stupid when I was 6.
39) Ghostbusters- I probably watched this too much as a kid.
40) Poltergeist- Ibid.
41) The Cowboys- John Wayne at his best (would not say his prime, but certainly his best).
42) Hoosiers- We used to watch this before many a game to get inspired... sadly, we still lost a lot of the time.
43) Henry V- I sort of liked Kenneth Branagh's version better... so sue me.
44) Wizard of Oz- Many of the films above owe a lot to this film.
45) 2010: The Year We Make Contact- I liked this better than 2001... I also liked the book better than 2001.
46) 2001: A Space Odyssey- but not much better.
47) Caddyshack- Would be higher were I a golf fan... since I am not, it still is darn funny thanks to some great comedians in their prime.
48) Platoon- Well done... one of the few Oliver Stone films that does not feel like an Oliver Stone film.
49) A Bridge Too Far- A fantastic film, and had quite the cast at the time... Robert Redford, Anthony Hopkins, Sir Laurence Olivier, Michael Caine, Sean Connery, to name a few, plus directed by Richard Attenborough.
50) Eight Men Out- The reason Shoeless Joe goes to Iowa.
51) And the Band Played On- Another film with an excellent cast, about the early struggle and history of AIDS.
52) 300- when history and fantasy collide, fantasy always wins it seems :) but a great movie nonetheless.
53) Batman Begins- One of the most well-written superhero films I have seen.
54) Jurassic Park- Loved the book, but the dinosaurs weren't bad :)
55) A Time to Kill- Some intriguing questions about justice and vengeance in this film.
56) Thunderball- Still my favorite Bond film.
57) The Muppet Movie- A movie for lovers, dreamers and me :)
58) Outland- A lot of Sean Connery films on this list...
59) Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- Johnny Depp is no Gene Wilder :)
60) The Ten Commandments- Were I more religious, this would be higher... but I'm not.
61) Borat: Make Benefit etc, etc,- Sascha Baron Cohen is a disgusting, revolting genius. I laughed my self silly.
62) Gladiator- It won a lot of Oscars in a thin year, nonetheless enjoyable, though.
63) Troy- I know, one of about 100 people that liked this, but I'm a fan of the period.
64) The Insider- The movie Russell Crowe should have won his Oscar for.
65) Boogie Nights- Burt Reynolds was great in this... plus some fantastic music too.
66) Mystery Men- One of my favorite Geoffrey Rush films.
67) Die Hard- When you need cheesy action in the late 80's, call Bruce Willis.
68) Bloodsport- Or Jean Claude Van Damme :)
69) Better Off Dead- One of those really quirky 80's films that never took itself too seriously, and it worked.
70) Richard III- A 1930's fascist England version with a very evil Sir Ian McKellan.
71) Revenge of the Sith- The prequels will be on the list... just face facts. I'm too big a Star Wars nerd to not let that happen. Besides, there were things I liked in all of them.
72) Grave of the Fireflies- One of the best, and most harrowing animes ever made. About two very young siblings trying to survive the firebombing of Tokyo.
73) Seven Samurai- I admit, I have not seen a lot of Kurosawa, but I have seen this one.
74) Hotel Rwanda- A tough film to watch, but worth it.
75) The Last King of Scotland- See it if only for Forest Whitaker's stellar performance as Idi Amin.
76) Akira- Still one of the best animes ever.
77) Much Ado About Nothing- Ah, nothing like a good Shakespearean comedy...
78) Top Gun- Blast Tom Cruise...
79) Tombstone- 'I'm your huckleberry...' Val Kilmer should have at least been nominated for his performance as Doc Holliday... robbery I say.
80) The Phantom Menace- Darth Maul...
81) Star Trek: First Contact- One of the few TNG movies that actually worked and did not feel like an overblown TV episode.
82) Airplane!- Such a great spoof of disaster films.
83) The Final Countdown- I wonder if it inspired the 'Guns of the South'?
84) Gettysburg- While 4 hours long, I rather enjoy it, especially Jeff Daniels as Col. Joshua Chamberlain... and Martin Sheen is great as Robert E. Lee (though Robert Duvall portrays him slightly better in 'Gods and Generals').
85) Major League- One of the funnier baseball movies around... though the Cleveland jokes aren't as fresh anymore. Maybe if they made one about the Rangers.
86) Princess Mononoke- Another fabulous anime from Hayao Miazaki, and some great voice acting in this one.
87) My Neighbour Totoro- If you have kids, make them see this... see it even if you don't have kids.
88) The Silence of The Lambs- Anthony Hopkins is still so chilling in this... never gets old.
89) First Knight- Sean Connery as King Arthur... very cool.
90) Big Trouble in Little China- How do you describe this film?
91) Dogma- I enjoyed it more for the jabs at organized religion than Smith's humor.
92) The Longest Day- Fantastic film about the invasion of Normandy... much like 'A Bridge Too Far' in its casting... too many to list.
93) In the Mouth of Madness- One of the few 'horror' films on the list, and this one has a bit of Lovecraft in it to make it better :)
94) The Matrix- More for what it changed in special effects than anything else... good plot twist too. But it loses spots thanks to its sequels.(actually, mostly 'Revolutions')
95) Planet of the Apes (1968)- 'Don't look for it, Taylor. You may not like what you will find.' I know I was surprised when I saw it the first time (but I was seven, sooo...)
96) The Sting- I can sort of play 'The Entertainer'... about the only thing I can play on the piano.
97) The Thin Red Line- Much praise was given to 'Saving Private Ryan' over this film, but the dreamy, hazy quality contrasting the realism of battle was intriguing.
98) Jaws- How could I leave the first film I saw off the list?
99) Rocky- Or the second? (whether I remember them or not).
100) Attack of the Clones- I told you I would put all the prequels on the list... besides, I like Tyranus' fighting style (Form II for the uninitiated :).

Ok, if you made it this far, I thank you for you might even be braver than I.



Lyndon said...

What an awesome list, definitely more entertaining than the one AFI did. Of course I'm a bit basised, considering I've seen most of the movies on your list :-)

Sayre said...

Big Star Wars and Star Trek fan here - and I liked Alien and Aliens. I have never been a big war movie buff though, so I haven't seen a lot of those.

Wrath of Kahn? Shatner shows his real chops in that one... I cry every time. Love that guy!

Veronica said...

I cannot believe you wrote all that out.

MadameBoffin said...

Wow, when I saw 100 films I thought you meant metaphorically not literally! How on earth did you sort out your 100 top films? I consider myself quite the movie goer but I'm not sure I could come up with 100! (Top 50 maybe).

You're Top 10 is good but I say ditch no's.4 & 5 and replace with no's.12 & 23

ChickyBabe said...

We share a few faves here, all the Star Trek movies, Top Gun (not for Tom Cruise), Thunderball...

Amber said...

Interesting choices, Jedi. Or maybe more so because of the reasons you picked them.

I have even enjoyed a few of them that are listed!! But, sorry, I don't really like the sci-fi ones :(. My dad is into all of that and we grew up having to watch all the episodes... now I'm just... burnt, lol.

M said...

interesting list, I share favourites in a few of these too. Clerks, indiana jones, wizard of oz, original star wars', fog of war, willy wonka to name a few.

Kate said...

wow. i am so impressed that you did this. good list. there's quite a few on here that i agree with.

jedimerc said...

lyndon: appreciate it man, and I prefer this one over AFI as well. Funny, there were a few films I thought of later and perhaps should have put them on there... ah well.

sayre: I did not want to do the obvious and scream 'Khaannn!!!' , but since I did now :)

veronica: me neither, but once I got going, I had to finish :)

madameboffin: #12 used to be a top 10, and 23 would normally circulate near the top as well. But I cant ditch 'Almost Famous'... Fellowship could drop, but I like my top 10... for now.

Oh, I'm pretty much a literalist when it comes to lists.

chickybabe: I always preferred Val Kilmer in Top Gun, and Thunderball had one of the better plots of the Bond films (apparently good enough for a second film, 'Never Say Never Again').

amber: Come back to sci-fi, come back... :) I promised myself I would not comment on all the films, but once I got through 50 and saw I had... well, it had to be done.

m: Wow, someone else who's seen 'Fog of War'... I think anyone who wants to get into politics or government service needs to see that film.

kate: thanks, kate. Nice to hear from ya again :)

Thanks for the great responses y'all, and I will be sure to drop by later this afternoon and return the favor as I try to do :)

ChickyBabe said...

Jedimerc, Val Kilmer IS the reason I liked Top Gun! :)

jedimerc said...

He did have the best character, didn't he? :)

SQT said...

I don't think I could come up with a 100 films like that. But that's more of a reflection on my lack of patience.

Speaking of Val Kilmer, I fell in love with him watching "Real Genius." That faded over time, but I still remember some great lines from that movie.

(as best as I can remember) ...Was it dream where you were standing in God-like robes on top of a pyramid with thousands of naked women throwing little pickles at you?


Why am I the only one who has that dream?

Phil said...

No Annie Hall?

Hee Real Genius is a much underated film. Who doesn't want to walk around in bunny slippers?

Janet said...

This is a great topic and I'm SO with you on And The Band Played On. I was so moved by that film. I just wish it got the credit that it deserved.

Janet said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Rav`N said...

Great list. most of your top 10 would be on mine too. Hehe I'd be too lazy to go think up a top 100 tho.

jedimerc said...

sqt: ah, what a great line... I also like the 'god' exchange: 'Kent, this is God' :)

phil: I have liked some Woody Allen movies, but I get annoyed by Annie Hall. It was the movie that denied Star Wars its rightful Best Picture Oscar :)

janet: There's actually two versions to the film. It was released in 1992 I think, but on the DVD version it talks of late 90's research at the end, plus has a longer 'Last Song' montage... which gets me every time.

rav'n: my top 10 has some quirks (Almost Famous being the most notable compared to the rest), but I like it :) though I was originally only going to do 50 films, then it kept rolling... and I know of another 25 I left off I could have put on there, too...

Becky said...

Whenever I finish the AFI list, I plan on doing my own, which will include many of these. I'm hoping to get to Letters this weekend.

Bartez said...

You made a great movie list. It is even better because a lot of movies from that list is my favorites ones.
I have some reviews of war movies on my blog. Check it out when you have time. http://allwars.blogspot.com/