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Your Top Movies From A-Z
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: Your Top Movies From A-Z Reply with quote

Over at FilmFreakCentral's blog, Bill Chambers introduced a cool thread to list all your favorite films from A-Z, and the result were some truly cool, unexpected choices (like the godawful You've Got Mail getting cited!). Would really like to see what makes the list with our staff and readers here.

Mine:

Alien (1979, Scott)
Blue Velvet (1986, Lynch)
Creepshow (1982, Romero)
Die Hard (1988, McTiernan)
Endangered Species (1982, Rudolph)
Flesh and Bone (1993, Kloves)
Groundhog Day (1993, Ramis)
Hopscotch (1980, Neame)
The Invisible Man (1933, Whale)
Jaws (1975, Spielberg)
Kingpin (1996, Farrelly Bros.)
L.A. Confidential (1997, Hanson)
Mike's Murder (1984, Bridges)
Nobody's Fool (1994, Benton)
Once Upon a Time in America (1984, Leone)
Patti Rocks (1988, Morris)
Q & A (1990, Lumet)
Red Rock West (1994, Dahl)
Se7en (1995, Fincher)
The Terminator (1984, Cameron)
Up the Academy (1980, Downey)
Videodrome (1983, Cronenberg)
White Hunter, Black Heart (1990, Eastwood)
Xtro (1983, Davenport)
Year of the Dragon (1985, Cimino)
Z (1969, Costa-Gavras)
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Rob Gonsalves
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Amores Perros (Inarritu, 2000)
Bad Lieutenant (Ferrara, 1992)
Clockwork Orange (Kubrick, 1971)
Do the Right Thing (Lee, 1989)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Gondry, 2003)
Funny Games (Haneke, 2008)
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (Jarmusch, 2000)
Heavenly Creatures (Jackson, 1994)
Inland Empire (Lynch, 2006)
Jaws (Spielberg, 1975)
Koyaanisqatsi (Reggio, 1982)
Last House on the Left (Craven, 1972)
Miller's Crossing (Coen, 1990)
Night of the Hunter (Laughton, 1955)
Out of Sight (Soderbergh, 1998)
Pulp Fiction (Tarantino, 1994)
Quiz Show (Redford, 1994)
Rushmore (Anderson, 1998)
Solaris (Tarkovsky, 1972)
Taxi Driver (Scorsese, 1976)
Unforgiven (Eastwood, 1992)
Vertigo (Hitchcock, 1958)
WALL•E (Stanton, 2008)
X2: X-Men United (Singer, 2003)
Y Tu Mama Tambien (Cuaron, 2002)
Zodiac (Fincher, 2007)
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brianorndorf
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:08 pm    Post subject: Re: Your Top Movies From A-Z Reply with quote

Jack Sommersby wrote:

Patti Rocks (1988, Morris)


Wow...My brother was a P.A. on that movie. He had some great stories about that frigid shoot - back when a movie shot in Minnesota that wasn't Prince related was a huge deal.
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Jason Whyte
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Interesting topic. Pulled from some of my lists on my Flixster page. Probably not my all time favorites on some of these letters but still:

Apocalypse Now
Band of Outsiders
The Color Purple
Dr. Strangelove
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial
F For Fake
Grave of the Fireflies
Hamlet (Branagh)
In The Mood For Love
Jackie Brown
Kiki's Delivery Service
Lawrence of Arabia
Magnolia
Network
Once Upon a Time in America
Pulp Fiction
The Queen
Rififi
Stop Making Sense
2001: A Space Odyssey
United 93
Vertigo
Woodstock
X2
Your Friends and Neighbors
Zabriskie Point (or Zapped! if I'm feeling a bit 80's)
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Collin Souter
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

All the Real Girls
Brazil
City Lights
Dazed and Confused
Empire of the Sun
Fearless
Gimme Shelter
Hard Day's Night
Iron Giant
Joe Versus the Volcano
King Kong (original or Jackson)
Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Matinee
Night of the Living Dead (original)
Oldboy
Picnic at Hanging Rock
Quick Change
Red
Sunset Blvd.
True Stories
Unstrung Heroes
Vertigo
White
X-Men
Y Tu Mama Yambien
Zelig
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin, White was my runner-up pick. My goodness how original and quietly enthralling it is and definitely the best of the Colors trilogy. And Joe vs. the Volcano is one of my favorites as well as it being one of the most criminally-underrated films of the '90s.

Jason, Once Upon a Time in America is my favorite film of all-time. Hope it's yours, as well. And, pray tell, is [/i]Jackie Brown[/i] your favorite Tarantino? It sure is mine. As for Zapped! -- pro: immortal dialogue like "Your mother fixed her specialty: Spam with cream sauce."; con: those aren't really sex kitten Heather Thomas's boobies (even though I bet if she knew what a nothing-of-a career she was bound to have she wouldn't have had any qualms about showing them for real!).

Brian, I saw that film opening night at an art-house theatre in Dallas and was simply astounded at the stunning characterizations and galvanizingly-colorful dialogue. Unfortunately, I've never been able to locate its prequel on home video starring some of the same people. Don't think it's ever been available on home video, just like Rocks has yet to debut on DVD.

Rob, is Heavenly Creatures your favorite Peter Jackson film? I've never been able to get through any of the Lord of the Rings entries, and Creatures is my second-favorite just behind Jackson's best, The Frighteners -- which jerkoff Ebert unfathomably gave it a mere 1 star. Also, it appears that Miller's Crossing is your favorite of the Coen Brothers; mine, too. As for Quiz Show, it was the best of the Best Picture nominees of its year -- infinitely better than the jerkoff Forrest Gump.
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Rob Gonsalves
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Heavenly Creatures is indeed my top Jackson film. Miller's Crossing is also my top Coen film, and Quiz Show literally had me at hello — that great opening scene with Rob Morrow looking at cars, which sums up all the movie's themes in miniature.

However, some of the stuff on my list isn't necessarily my favorite film by a particular director. Jaws, while a great film, is on there primarily due to the lack of great movies starting with J. My favorite Spielberg film is Raiders, but I wanted to leave a spot for Rushmore, my favorite Wes Anderson film.
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- Iris Barry, Let's Go to the Movies, 1926
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Collin Souter
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, I tried to make sure most of my favorite directors were represented somehow, even if I didn't necessarily put my favorite of theirs on the list (although I just noticed there's no Scorsese on there...Doh!). And I actually meant to replace White with Wall-E after replacing Blue with Brazil.

And Joe Versus the Volcano does, indeed, rule. I'm bracing myself for all the forthcoming reviews of Doubt, whereby many critics will use it as an excuse to slam Shanley's misunderstood masterpiece.

This was fun... except for that damn letter X!
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David Cornelius
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 12:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Putting far less thought into this than you guys, making it a far less interesting list:

The Apartment
Back to the Future
Casablanca
Die Hard
Ed Wood
A Few Good Men
Ghostbusters
His Girl Friday
In the Line of Fire
Jaws
King Kong
Lawrence of Arabia
MASH
North by Northwest
October Sky
The Philadelphia Story
Quiz Show
Robocop
Star Wars
2001: A Space Odyssey
Unforgiven
The Verdict
West Side Story
X: The man with X-Ray Eyes
Yi Yi
Zero Effect
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Jason Whyte
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 2:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack Sommersby wrote:
Jason, Once Upon a Time in America is my favorite film of all-time. Hope it's yours, as well. And, pray tell, is [/i]Jackie Brown[/i] your favorite Tarantino? It sure is mine. As for Zapped! -- pro: immortal dialogue like "Your mother fixed her specialty: Spam with cream sauce."; con: those aren't really sex kitten Heather Thomas's boobies (even though I bet if she knew what a nothing-of-a career she was bound to have she wouldn't have had any qualms about showing them for real!).


Once Upon a Time is one of my all time favorites, for sure my favorite Leone film. It's also one that I'm aching for on Blu Ray as I'm sure they can easily fit the entire four hour feature onto a BD50, or at very least split it at the intermission instead of at the 115 minute mark on the DVD.

Jackie Brown and Pulp Fiction are by far my favorite Tarantino films. It's a bit difficult to compare with Pulp Fiction, although PF film is pretty much the reason I am here today.

And as for Zapped, it's all about fuckin' Charles in Charge doing the world's worst DeNiro Taxi Driver impression.
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, thanks to David we now have an Altman entry; and "MASH" still remains my favorite of his. And rack up another "Jaws" for this list.

(Interesting story: In the wonderful making-of book of "sex, lies and videotape", Soderbergh wrote that his favorite film of all-time was "Jaws", which, he noted, would cause people to be surprised being that he was an actual filmmaker and his all-time choice should have been something "more serious and prestige".)

As for "The Apartment", I had a 5-hour Greyhound layover a few years back in Oakland, and in their downtown area there's a theatre called the Paramount, and they were showing a prestine print of that film, and it was pure bliss. Great sound and a balcony and all the fixings.
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David Cornelius
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 6:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack Sommersby wrote:
Soderbergh wrote that his favorite film of all-time was "Jaws", which, he noted, would cause people to be surprised being that he was an actual filmmaker and his all-time choice should have been something "more serious and prestige".


Anyone who's seen Jaws more than once would realize just how silly such a view must be. The damn thing's a masterpiece, popcorny or not.

And I'm kicking myself over forgetting both Empire Strikes Back and Raiders - despite Rob's mention of the latter (and his icon!).
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aladdin
Back to the Future
Casablanca
Die Hard
The Empire Strikes Back
The Fugitive
Ghostbusters
A History of Violence
Invasion of the Body Snatchers ('56 version)
Jurassic Park
King Kong (2005)
Love's Labour's Lost
M
Network
On the Waterfront
The Princess Bride
The Quick and the Dead
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Sunshine
Toy Story
Unforgiven
Vertigo
The Wonderful, Horrible Lift of Leni Riefenstahl
XXX
Young Frankenstein
Zatoichi

Looking back now... that is a weird list...
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 10:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

David, don't sweat it, for I myself totally forgot about High Plains Drifter, which isn't just my favorite Eastwood but the best Western of all-time.

mseaver,

Back to the Future was definitely runner-up in my "B" category (by the way, the eclectic critic Armond White called it's screenplay the best of the '80s decade), and it's not everyone who prefers the '56 Invasion of the Body Snatchers to the '78 version. I still give the slight edge to the '78 version because it's atmosphere is just so palpably creepy and nerve-jangling. I just wish Ferrara's Body Snatchers were better (though I've read where it was studio-interfered-with). And bravo to citing Quick and the Dead, which is my pick for the best of the post-Unforgiven Westerns.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 2:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A.I. Artificial Intelligence
The Big Sleep
Cold Comfort Farm
Dead Again (Dark City is a close runner-up)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Freshman, The (Harold Lloyd)
General,The (Buster Keaton)
Hidden Blade, The
In America (On many days, Infernal Affairs)
JSA: Joint Security Area
King Kong
Little Mermaid, The
Muppet Movie, The (there was a time when it would have been Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and I need to see Memories of Matsuko again to decide whether it's worthy of "favorite" status)
Notorious (or North by Northwest)
October Sky
Philadelphia Story, The
Quiet American, The
Rear Window
Star Wars
Thin Man, The (The series as much as the first individually)
Untouchables, The
Vertigo
Wall-E
X-Cross (a thin letter, so the crazy thing I've seen once gets it)
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Zodiac
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Rob Gonsalves
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 3:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack Sommersby wrote:

Back to the Future was definitely runner-up in my "B" category (by the way, the eclectic critic Armond White called it's screenplay the best of the '80s decade)


Yeah, but Spielberg produced it, and Armond White would praise a bag of dog shit if it were a Spielberg bag of dog shit.
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But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams.

- Iris Barry, Let's Go to the Movies, 1926
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Rob Gonsalves
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The Wonderful, Horrible Lift of Leni Riefenstahl"?


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But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams.

- Iris Barry, Let's Go to the Movies, 1926
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

True, true. After all, this is the guy who gave a positive review to the godawful *batteries not included. Would just love to read his defense of the Spielgerg-directed "Kick the Can" episode in Twilight Zone: The Movie. At least he broke stride by criticizing De Palma's Mission: Impossible, Carlito's Way and Redacted, believe it or not.

(By the way, I sent an e-mail to New York Press's editor yesterday over some glitches and shoddy presentation of their revamped site, especially the Film page, and was promptly e-mailed back that it'll be bettered and that they're working to get all of White's reviews there available.)

Jay,

You've perked my interest with JSA: Joint Security Area and October Sky, both of which I've never gotten around to seeing. And, hey, I'm so glad you cited The Little Mermaid, which Disney after all of these years has yet to equal or better.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 4:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

White had to slam Redacted, as it criticized White's sacred Iraq War.

This is a list of White's top-tens since 1997. Note that two Spielberg films make the '97 list — yes, the interminable and dull Amistad made #1.
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Jack Sommersby
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. White's pro-Iraq-War-2 is undeniable, so it really was out of left field when he championed probably the most critically-panned of those anti-I-W-2 films, Lions for Lambs. I mean, sheesh, White hated Ordinary People and Quiz Show yet praised not only a Redfrod-directed film but one with Tom Cruise, who he's never been a fan of. In all fairness, though, I do agree with his praise for Lambs.)

2. Don't forget 2002 when he put 2 Spielberg films in the top-10, too: Catch Me If You Can and Minority Report.
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Rob Gonsalves
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 7:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah, but at least Catch Me If You Can and Minority Report were good films.

Top-ten worthy? I dunno. Among Spielberg's best? Well, only if you measure 'em against the recent stuff. But still decent flicks.

Amistad, though, when was the last time anyone rented that for pleasure? If you take out the slave-ship footage, the whole movie is white guys arguing in court — just shockingly boring.

Fuck, I forgot a good 'J' flick — Oliver Stone's JFK, the prime example of how to make loads of courtroom scenes (and talking-heads scenes) engrossing.
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But I wish the public could, in the midst of its pleasures, see how blatantly it is being spoon-fed, and ask for slightly better dreams.

- Iris Barry, Let's Go to the Movies, 1926
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jack Sommersby wrote:
You've perked my interest with JSA: Joint Security Area and October Sky, both of which I've never gotten around to seeing. And, hey, I'm so glad you cited The Little Mermaid, which Disney after all of these years has yet to equal or better.

I see Dave mentioned October Sky as well, which makes me wonder if it's a widely-loved film or if "O" is just kind of thin. I do love it, though - as much as I consider myself very lucky to be living in the time I do, I envy my parents having a front-row seat to the space race.

Joint Security Area is something that looms larger to me now, in retrospect: As much as people gripe over Spielberg and Smith working on Oldboy (which has an eight-volume manga as source material and can likely be adapted any number of ways), it's the idea of a remake of JSA that's been kicking around Hollywood for the past few years that scares the hell out of me - this is a fantastic movie, but it doesn't work away from the Korean border. Can't. And while director Park Chan-wook has gained the most fame this side of the Pacific, he remembered Lee Yeong-ae for Lady Vengeance, and it's also the launching bad for Lee Byung-hun, who could have a breakout year in the west in '09 if someone thinks to release A Bittersweet Life alongside The Good, The Bad, and the Weird, especially considering he has two English-language films coming then, too.

And while I'm not quite that effusive in my love of The Little Mermaid (I may love Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin more), it's difficult to express how happy I am that Clements & Musker are finally doing another film for Disney, and it's only a year away.
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 30, 2008 8:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Abyss
The Bad News Bears (1976)
Conan the Barbarian
The Dark Crystal
E.T.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Grosse Pointe Blank
Heathers
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Jerry Maguire
The Killer
La Femme Nikita
Map of the Human Heart
North by Northwest
Open Range
Point Break
Quick Change
Rushmore
Superman (1978)
Trust
The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
Velvet Goldmine
Wayne’s World
X2
You Can Count on Me
Zoolander

That's one hard challenge...
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rob, for great courtroom scenes I'll have to go with "T" for 1989's "True Believer". Joseph Ruben has always been unfairly underrated (hell, he managed to make that whacko cop-buddy pic "Money Train" work!), and he should've been the one hired to helm "Red Dragon".

Brian, cool beans for selecting "Temple of Doom", which is my favorite of the series. Regarding "The Abyss", is this the theatrical or the extended-cut version? Just got through watching "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" again just last night (Ohhhhhh, narly!). There's a DVD of "The Dark Crystal" at my library that I really need to check out, apparently. And kudos for such dark-horse picks in the "P" and "Q" categories.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2008 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I could spend longer on this, the list may be different, but this seems about right.

About A Boy.
Back to the Future.
City of God.
Dr. Strangelove.
E.T.
Fight Club.
The Great Escape.
Hoop Dreams.
It's A Wonderful Life.
JFK.
King Kong (30s or 00s).
Lord of the Rings (if I can't take the entire trilogy, then ROTK).
Magnolia.
Night of the Living Dead.
On Her Majesty's Secret Service.
Picnic at Hanging Rock.
Quiz Show.
Road to Utopia.
Se7en.
The Thing.
The Untouchables.
Vertigo.
X-Men 2 (yeah, I really haven't seen that many films beginning with X).
Young Frankenstein.
Zulu.
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