Some of my Favorite Movies
While I may not talk about movies much here, I watch a lot of them. I go to the theater once a week and like to squeeze in a DVD when I can. This is a repost from my old blog with some updates done to it of my all time favorite films. What are your favorite flicks? Enjoy! Peace Love and Metal!!
Terror Firmer is one of the most wrong movies I have ever seen and is the only movie on this list I don’t recommend watching. That is unless you lack any form of taste and decency and you’re a fan of Troma Films, then chances are you’ve already seen it multiple times. If follows true Troma fashion with an abundance of nudity and red Karo syrup as a film crew attempts to make a 10 cent movie and the cast is wiped out one by one by a mysterious murder. Over the top doesn’t even begin to describe the wretched depravity of this movie, but the low-budget and sick sense of humor will make it stick with you long after you watch it. If by some chance you come across the censored version of Terror Firmer, it will be one of the funniest things you will ever see.
Drive is an action movie about a stunt car driver that makes some extra cash being a getaway driver on the side. He gets wrapped up in some trouble when he tries to help out the woman who he has taken an affection to by lending her ex-con husband a hand getting out of a sticky mob situation. The acting from Ryan Gosling and Ron Perlman is great, but Albert Brooks steals the show in a role you would never imagine seeing him in. The 80’s styled atmospheric electronic music and saturated visuals also make this a treat to the eyes and ears.
An unappreciated John Carpenter classic. The pacing may be horribly slow and professional WWF wrestler cum actor Rowdy Roddy Piper isn’t winning any awards, but They Live is just a damn fun time. It’s the story of a day worker who comes across a pair of sunglasses that lets him see his surroundings for what they really are and the other worldly beings that keep an eye on human society. It includes one of the best and most brutal bare knuckle fist fights committed to celluloid and is chock full of quotable one liners that you have probably found yourself quoting even if you’ve never seen the film before(Duke Nukem, looking at you).
Harry Potter Series
I’m pretty sure everyone and their grandmother have seen these movies, so no need to go into detail here. I like the fun nature of the movies and they do a great job with the special effects. The music throughout the series was also captivating.
A washed up drunk ex-champion bowler takes a young and naive Amish bowling savant on a journey to win the money he needs to save his village. Along the way they meet up with a girl with big tits and Bill Murray in one of his funniest roles. This Farley Brothers classic is not to be missed, check it out and have a ton of big ol’ laughs.
Lo Chiamavano Trinitá(They Call Me Trinity)
While unknown to people who aren’t from Italy, if you mention this spaghetti western comedy to anyone that grew up on the big boot they’ll be sure to let you know that Lo Chiamavano Trinitá(They Call Me Trinity) is one of their favorite movies. And rightfully so, this and it’s sequel are just a flat-out good time as you join Trinita’ and his gruff brother Bambino as they right the injustice of the wild west. If you can find a copy of this in English(the original language) it is well worth checking out, it’s a great time as well as many other Bud Spencer and Terrence Hill duo films.
What teenage heavy metal music nerd wouldn’t love this movie. There really isn’t much in the realm of plot, but the animation is great, the characters are goofy and bad ass and there is nothing lacking in the cartoon T&A department. Growing up there was no cartoon available that went so far beyond the stereotypical cute that was widely available and so deep into the realm of bad-assery. It was also chock full of early heavy metal music by artist such as Black Sabbath, Journey, and Deep Purple. Too bad the sequel was such a waste of good ink.
There Will Be Blood
Adapted from sections of Upton Sinclair’s novel OIL!, There Will Be Blood tells the tale of a man’s rise from a simple oil digger to his rise as an entrepreneur and his decent into his insanity. There is nothing less than some of the best acting in modern film in here as Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano give outstanding performances. Taking place in the early 1900’s in America you get a harrowing and well researched look into the booming beginning of the oil industry along with a look into the mind of characters that become infatuated with greed and fanaticism. At the end of this movie, I guarantee you will never look at a bowling lane or a milkshake again.
Comedic genius duo of Trey Parker and Matt Stone team up with David Zucker to create one of the best sports movies ever. Baseketball tells the story of two slackers who invent a game that combines baseball and basketball along with a handful of other off the wall rules. If you’re a sports fan or not, this movie will have your sides splitting from start to finish.
Orgazmo tells the story of a young Mormon out doing his mandatory mission work when he unexpectedly finds himself working in the porno industry and turning into the crime fighting super hero Orgazmo with his toy friendly sidekick Choda Boy… Yeah, that plot that can only come from the minds of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Along with writing, they also direct and act in this off-kilter comedic romp. A laugh a minute Orgazmo will have you cracking up and quoting lines for years to come. And I find it comedic genius that one can make a movie about porn and include no nudity whatsoever(besides a quick shot of a mans hairy ass). Check out the DVD for one of the best commentary tracks ever as the commentators take a shot of Jaegermeister every time the word Jesus is said(and it happens a lot).
An adult fairytale told with the backdrop of the Spanish Civil War has Guillermo DelToro’s imagination in full effect. From the gorgeous cinematography to the excellent creature effects and acting this film has more than enough to grab your attention and hold it at edge for the entire movie and will stick with you long after it is finished.
James Cameron’s sci-fi/horror masterpiece will have your heart pounding at full speed for nearly three hours as Ripley and a crew of space marines investigate a colony that has suddenly disappeared. 25 years later the special effects still hold up to many modern films and it has one of the highest levels of nail-biting terror you will ever experience. There really isn’t much to say about Aliens that hasn’t already been said. Check it out if for some reason you haven’t experienced this film yet.
Little Shop of Horrors
The musical version to be more specific. What isn’t there to love about this flick? Great music, funny scenes, Rick Moranis, Steve Martin as a psychotic dentist, a man-eating plant. Even if you don’t like musicals you should give this one a watch it’s a good time.
One of the most bittersweet feel good movies around and in my opinion Tim Burton’s best work, Big Fish recounts the life of Ed Bloom as told by his son while his father is on his death-bed. His son always thought that his fathers stories were always embellishments of the truth and as the story goes on he goes in search of the truth and finds himself a startling revelation as he digs into the truth of his father’s life. This is one of those rare movies that will touch your heart and have you filled with tears of sadness and joy by the end and will have you searching for more in your own life.
Another John Carpenter classic, The Thing tells the tale of a group of scientists on Antarctica who stumble upon a nearby colony of other scientist that are all mysteriously dead and they unknowingly bring something back with them. Beyond having some amazing special and creature effects done the classic way(puppets and bubble gum) The Thing is also a horrifying tale about solitude and paranoia and the extremes people go to to save their own skin. Mr. Carpenters minimalist synthesizer soundtrack also adds a deeper layer of harrowing terror to this already scary ride.
Part comedy, part social commentary, all action. A murdered street cop gets a second chance at something resembling life as a group of scientists and an evil corporation restructures his corpse into the body of a robot designed to fight crime. Robocop does nothing but kick ass and take names(and throw people through windows 🙂 ) from start to finish of this timeless action film classic.
Riding high on his consistent success, Arnold Schwarzenegger reprises his role as the Terminator in one of the few sequels that happens to blow away its predecessor, and given how awesome the first Terminator was, that’s one hell of a feat. Along with mind-blowing action and amazing special effects, T2 also has lots heart matching the sympathy one can hold for an android equal to Roy Batty of Blade Runner. Honestly, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, you need to change that quick.
“That’s shit, this is Shinola. Shit. Shinola. Ahh, you’ll be alright kid” One of the most quotable movies ever and one of the best rags to riches to rags tales ever spun. Steve Martin plays a half-wit sent out to earn himself a living and see the world and finds himself as a successful inventor. Can lovers may be offended by the can hate crimes portrayed in this film all others you may just find your special purpose. So go grab your phone book and Thermos and enjoy this movie with someone you love.
National Lampoon’s “Vacation”
If you were born in America, chances are you completely relate to this movie in many more ways than one. The Clark Griswold and his family pack up the station wagon and embark on an adventure filled with hilarious mishaps on their way across America to the theme park Wally World. Chevy Chase gives a hilarious performance as Clark and that character has gone on to be his most memorable role of all time
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
If being an archeologist is anything like the way the Indiana Jones films portray it, sign me up! Out of all four of the wonderful Jones adventures(yes, even the Crystal Skull, it’s not as bad as everyone says) my favorite will always be Indy’s quest for the Holy Grail. Spielberg’s homage to the adventure and western films of his youth is jam-packed with tons of adventure, action, and humor. The inclusion of Sean Connery as Indy’s father was a great idea given James Bond was a big influence on the Indiana Jones series. They don’t make em like they used to, sigh…
Big Trouble in Chinatown
If you haven’t noticed I have a soft spot for John Carpenter’s work during the 80’s. Big Trouble in Chinatown is just a flat-out fun movie filled with adventure and fantasy as truck driver Jack Burton goes on mission to save the girl with green eyes from the oriental demonic lords that inhabit underground Chinatown. This was one of the movies that I would watch over and over again as a kid/teenager and still pop it in today when I want something fun to watch, a timeless classic.
When I first heard that Tarantino was making a WWII movie I was a bit skeptical. I have great respect for Tarantino and surely he’s above making a movie in an already over crowded genre. Well, I was wrong, Inglorious Basterds threw any of my doubts out the window when I finally saw it in theaters. Everything was so perfectly done and applaud Mr. Tarantino for using original languages of the regions. Christoph Waltz steals the show as his performance as SS Col. Hans Landa, and for the amount of languages he had to act in and how believable he pulled his part off, he deserved every bit of that Oscar he won. After Inglorious Basterds no other WWII/War movie should be made because they will never be able to top this.
Dead Alive (AKA Braindead)
Many immediately recognize Peter Jackson’s name from the Lord of the Rings film adaptation trilogy, but before he hit director super-stardom he got started making B horror movies, which he was quite adept at. Of all his earlier films Dead Alive, Braindead for those who aren’t from the states, is his best work mixing humor and zombies to create a genre known as the Zomedy along with the Evil Dead series. This film is not lacking in the gore department and one scene involves a lawnmower and a room filled with hundreds of zombies, you do the math. While Dead Alive is oozing with glop, it’s never terribly disgusting, except for one scene involving some pus and pudding.
A combination of film noir and sci-fi make Ridley Scott’s story of an android hunter on the hunt for escaped and rebellious androids one of the best and deepest films ever created. Rutger Hauer’s performance as Roy Batty is one of the best in any sci-fi film to date, and Harrison Ford doesn’t do to shabby of a job either. Again, this is one of those required viewing movies and should not be missed.
Schwarzenegger, Mars, questions of reality, the future, action, and one of the highest body counts in any film next to RoboCop, what is there not to love about Total Recall. Total Recall broke the mold of the idea of the action flick being dumb and lacking substance with a twisting tale of a man who believes that his mind has been stolen and escapes to Mars to uncover the truth. Hands down my favorite Schwarzenegger flick.
Scott Pilgrim vs. The World
Slacker and bass player Scott Pilgrim meets and falls in love with the mysterious Ramona Flowers and in order to be with her he must defeat her 7 evil exes to win her over. Sounds like a plot to a video game right. Well, video games are one of the major inspirations behind this amazing film that goes far deeper into what is going on in a modern young persons mind than its outside shell would lead you to believe. It’s a crime that this movie bombed at the box office, but luckily it’s picking up a cult following with its DVD release. This is a movie that really needs to be seen by everyone, especially if you have a love for comic books and video games.
Comprised of two volumes Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill saga tell the story of The Bride and her tale to get revenge on the man who shot her in the head. Kill Bill is a film that is just gushing with style as Tarantino pays homage to various film genres such as martial arts, western, action, and dark comedy. This is a do no miss movie and I consider it one of the best modern classics.
The original trilogy of Star Wars films will go down in history as the biggest and most popular films of all time. You will never find a fan base as dedicated to their fandom like Star Wars fans, and rightfully so, these films were awesome. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why these movies became so big, and if for some reason you haven’t seen them yet, go check out what you’ve been missing out on all these years.
Lord of the Rings
Probably one of the best book to film adaptations of all time, Peter Jackson works magic bringing the perennial Tolkien classic to the silver screen. Lord of the Rings has everything that one would want in a film, adventure, action, drama, dragons, magic, love, you name it, it’s there. For the nine hours it takes to watch the trilogy from start to finish there is not a dull moment as you are left with nothing but awe as you witness the journey to destroy the one ring that will rule them all. I am definitely hyped up for the upcoming The Hobbit movie also being directed by Peter Jackson.
Dumb and Dumber
Probably the most know movie in Jim Carrey’s career is the buddy adventure Dumb and Dumber. Two halfwit friends take their “shaggin’ wagon” across America to bring a suitcase back to a young girl that one of them fell in love with while driving her to the airport. Little do they know that there are mobsters who have a special interest in that Samsonite. A quote a minute and a laugh a second, Dumb and Dumber is one of the most hilarious and memorable cross-country trips you will ever take.
Most likely the best parody movie of all time, Spaceballs holds nothing back as it takes jab after jab at its source material while still crafting an entertaining and adventurous plot. Mel Brooks is a comedic mad genius that is no stranger to parody, but out of all his movies his crack at Star Wars is what gets the most genuine laughs out of me, especially Dark Helmet.
South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut
No one expected the South Park movie to turn out the way it did. Most just expected an hour and a half of typical intelligent dick and fart jokes done in the South Park fashion, what we got was a full-blown animated musical with hilarious dick and fart jokes and a sense that we learned something today at the end of the film. Everything about this movie is a complete riot, from the excellent Broadway style songs to the outlandish story of America waging war on Canada over some dick and fart jokes, this movie has everything one would want in a comedy. Trey Parker and Matt Stone definitely outdid themselves on this one. If you haven’t seen this yet, shut your fucking face uncle fucker and go watch it, even if you don’t like South Park, this is one comedy that should not be missed.
The Naked Gun
Join Lt. Frank Drebin as he kills drug dealers and gets the bad guy. The genius behind The Naked Gun is actor Leslie Neilson(RIP) as his straight face pulls off some of the funniest gags in movie history. It also stars O.J. Simpson as you’ve never seen him before.
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
I have a soft spot for Christmas movies. I don’t know if it’s just the magic of the season, or how almost all the good Christmas films eventually bring a tear to my eye as they come to the feel good life affirming conclusion, but damn, do I enjoy watching them. I also like comedies and Chevy Chase, so what is there not to love about National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. We join Clark Griswald and his family as they host the entire Griswald clan on both sides at their home for the holidays, and in true Griswald fashion, nothing can seem to go right for poor Clark but in the end everything works out for this lovable soul. This movie will make your Christmas “the hap hap happiest Christmas since Bing Crosby tap danced with Danny fucking Kay.”
Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn
Half remake of the first Evil Dead movie and the other half original Evil Dead 2:Dead by Dawn is hands down the funniest horror movie ever made. Join Ash Williams as he is tormented by evil spirits in a cabin in the woods. The hilarity and physical humor of this movie borders a that of a Bugs Bunny cartoon and skyrocketed Bruce Campbell into B-movie stardom. The laughing scene and watching the possessed hand of Ash beat himself up crack me up every time I watch this movie. Well worth watching and also well worth checking out the first Evil Dead(which was more of a straight up horror film, even though it did have some comedy) and the third part to the series Army of Darkness(which ended up being a straight up comedy).
Jim Henson was a man of pure magic captivating my young heart with his puppets from Sesame Street, Fraggle Rock, and most of all The Muppets. On the silver screen it was his master work Labyrinth that mesmerized me(and my sister) the most. You join a teenage girl Sarah as she embarks on a quest in the Goblin Kingdom to reclaim her baby brother from Jareth, The Goblin King(played by David Bowie). Jim Henson’s puppetry magic is in full effect in this film and him and his teams unmatched talent consistently bring a sense of wonder and magic to my eyes every time I watch this movie. Even watching it multiple times as an adult it still mesmerizes me with its childlike wonder.
A Christmas Story
Less a film and more an institution, the perennial classic A Christmas Story never ceases to perfectly capture the essence of Christmas every time I watch it, whether in July or the traditional annual Christmas time viewings. I don’t know a single American who hasn’t seen and loved this movie, and non-Americans, if you want a look into the minds of the Americans during the Christmas season, this is the movie to do it with. Tis the season to be jorry, fa ra ra ra ra, ra ra ra.
The Neverending Story
Being the bookworm and fantasy nerd that I am, this movie completely resonates with me and has since I first saw it in the 80’s. From the imaginative characters and locales to the lovable Bastion and Atreyu this movie has all the wonder and adventure that a kid(or adult) would want in a movie. The Neverending Story will scare you, uplift your heart, and make you cry(don’t even try to tell me you didn’t cry when Artax, Atreyu’s horse, died, I don’t care how tough you think you are, it made you shed a tear, don’t deny it). This is one of the movies that can be truly enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
What kid wouldn’t be enamored by a movie about candy. None, find me one kid that doesn’t get sucked in by the pure imagination of this movie. As a kid I loved the colorful and delightful factory of Willy Wonka and the wonderful songs, as an adult I still love the same things I loved as a kid plus I appreciate the madness of Willy Wonka perfectly portrayed by Gene Wilder. “If you want to view paradise, Simply look around and view it, Anything you want to, do it. Wanta change the world?, There’s nothing, To it.” Wise words sung that will stick around for generations to come, never seen this magical masterpiece, stop reading and go rent(or even better buy) a copy, you won’t be disappointed.
Gremlins is the most adorable horror movie ever made and at the same time the most horrific Christmas movie ever made. It just gets everything right in so many ways, the characters are lovable(who doesn’t want their own pet Mogwai?), the Gremlins are hilarious, the mood is cheerful, humorous, and boding and in the end, it’s just a flat-out fun time of a movie. The Gremlins will go down as the most awesome movie creatures of all time(in my opinion anyways). At the end you are sad that all the mischievous little creatures met their doom because they are just so damn fun, but don’t worry because the sequel Gremlins 2:The New Batch ain’t no sloucher.
Out of all the excellent fantasy films out there, none caught me as hard as Willow did. Willow Ufgood’s quest to save a baby princess from the death clutch of an evil sorceress is nothing less than spectacular. From the casting and acting to the locations and special effects this movie is beyond epic. Willow also marks then end of an age of film making where blood and sweat went into the creation of fantastic journey with handmade creatures, home-made special effects, and minimal use of CGI. While the tradition is still alive in a few select movies of today, it’s an art long-lost that I will miss dearly and remember fondly and Willow will go down as the culmination of all the things that made classic adventure/fantasy movies so great in the 70’s and 80’s.
Do I really need to explain why this movie is so damn awesome? As a kid I prayed for the day me and my friends found a treasure map that we could follow to search for pirate gold. Watching it many more times as an adult it still makes me smile as the Goonies embark on their quest to save their town by hunting down One Eyed Willy’s treasure. The cast is great and looking back, if this movie was today, boy would people be pissed off. A deformed freak chained in the basement, child obesity(how many of you tried to get the fat kid in class to do the Truffle Shuffle, don’t lie 😉 ), raging stereotypes, but for all its non political correctness it’s still a glorious adventure that should be shared by all and all ages for all time to come.
The Big Lebowski
It should come as no surprise that the Coen Brothers film The Big Lebowski is my favorite film of all time. Why, well I can’t really put my finger on it. It’s funny, there’s adventure, and there’s heart, but none of these things really come up after just one or two viewings. It’s after watching it a few times is when the magic of this movie really grab hold, and when you “get it” this movie will stick with you forever and you will find yourself uttering quotes at any possible opportunity. The Big Lebowski is less a film and more of a zen way of life and has sparked a fandom only succeeded by the likes of Star Wars and if you wish you can become an ordained minister of the Church of Dudism. If you don’t like this movie, well that’s just your opinion, man and be careful there’s a beverage here. Aw, fuck it. Let’s go bowling.