Saturday, February 14, 2009

Craig's Top 50 Movies: Episode 5 - #10 through #1

Here it is, the conclusion to the exciting series of my favorite movies. I'm sure you have all been waiting with baited breath for the final results. So without further ado, the top ten.

10. Pan's Labyrinth - This movie is in Spanish with English Subtitles. It is horribly violent and sort of sad, and yet it makes my top ten because it is just so beautiful. The first time I watched this movie I was in awe, so much so that I had to start it up again and watch it one more time immediately. There is bravery, fantasy, World War II, evil Spanish warlords to hate, a girl with a pure heart and one heck of an imagination, an ending that is confusing enough that you aren't sure if it's true or not, but you desperately want it to be. This thing is good.

9. Gladiator - This one won best picture, and with good reason. It is splendidly acted, wonderfully written, the music is amazing, the story is captivating, you root on the good guy like crazy and despise the bad guy. Plus it's all about Roman gladiators, which is always a cool thing to base a story around. Basically, you can't go wrong with this movie. Russell Crowe will never top this one.

8. Star Wars (The original trilogy) - What can I say about Star Wars that hasn't already been written by thousands of over the top Star Wars fans? Is it a great movie? Yes and no. It's basically a spaghetti western set in space and made in the 1970's. However, the imagination that went into this thing changed movies forever. It has a cadre of devotees that will dress up in costumes and go to conventions about this movie. I am not one of those people, but I do appreciate the brilliance of this trilogy. Yes, technically it is three movies, but my blog my rules, all three share spot number eight. Oh, and Episodes I, II, and III never happened. I refuse to accept that they exist, as IF they did exist, I'm sure they would be terrible and diminish the legacy of the the eighth greatest movie of all time. So we are going to have to agree to just not accept their existence; Great, I'm glad that we have collectively wished them out of existence, I'm happy we could make that happen. Good work, everyone.

7. The Big Lebowski - Although it's subject matter is a little bit cliche and overdone, Never has a movie about Nihilists, Bowling, Cowboys, Ferrets, and stolen rugs ever come together in such a fantastic way. This is definitely a cult movie, and chances are excellent that if you haven't seen it already, you will not like it. I will concede that it has too much swearing and can be a bit brutal on the uninitiated. However, you might have seen this, and if you have seen it and are a member of said cult, you get it. Walter Sobchak is one of the greatest characters in movie history. "Mark that an 8 and you're entering a world of pain." is just too good!

6. Moulin Rouge - This is a controversial choice at number six, as I have heard from many people who have tried to watch this movie that they can't even get through the first half of the movie without shutting it off. I belong to the other side of the aisle when it comes to this flick. I love it. Yes, it's a bit corny and over the top, but it's supposed to be. There are about eighty six things going on every thirteen seconds in the first part of this movie, and it might wear you out, but I encourage you to stick it out because it's got a really cool love story and really fun music, and pretty decent acting. This one got nominated for Best Picture in 2002, and I liked it much more that the winner. (A Beautiful Mind) I've watched Moulin Rouge a bunch of times, and I have yet to get sick of it, so it has earned it's post at #6. While I can respectfully understand the opposition, I must disagree with it as I think this movie is just grand.

5. Shawshank Redemption - This is one of the best movies ever made. It is epic and beautiful. It tells the story of the power of hope in a dark place, and the friendship between Red and Andy in this movie is one of the best in movie history. Although this isn't my number one movie, it is very close and it is probably overall the best movie made in the past twenty years. If you haven't seen it before then you must RUN (don't walk) to the video store or to your Netflix queue (or just turn on TNT as it seems they show this movie three times a week) and remedy this immediately. Just a fantastic movie. The fact that Forrest Gump won Best Picture over this movie in 1994 is simply criminal and in my opinion is the biggest mistake in Oscar History.

4. Big Fish - We are getting into the territory of movies that I can barely think rationally about because I like them so much. This movie tells the story of a misunderstood father who lived his life telling stories, and how his son doesn't really learn to appreciate his father and his stories until right before he dies when he finally gets it. This movie makes me cry, but in a good way. It's not the high calibre movie of a Shawshank or a Gladiator, but for very personal reasons it is easily one of my favorite of all time. It is simply awesome to me.

3. Almost Famous - This movie's cool quotient is off the charts. Kate Hudson has never been better (or even half as good) before or since. Cameron Crowe wrote and directed this flick, and you can tell that it was his baby because of how high the quality of the movie is. It's the story of a kid who is much to young to start writing for Rolling Stone magazine, but does it anyway. He follows a rising rock band as they are beginning to make it big time, but also as they are starting to fall apart as a result of making it big time, and also tells the story of a groupie. It is such a good and enjoyable film that it really needs to be seen by more people. Although it was critically acclaimed it didn't do all that well at the box office, but it has begun to enjoy a second life as more people have begun to see it and understand how good it is.

2. Fight Club - This movie is just mind blowing. It makes you examine what you think is important, and although I don't agree with the world view of the film, it does give you pause. The ending is spectacular, and crazy, and WOW! I don't want to ruin this movie for anyone who has yet to see it, but I do think you should probably check it out if you haven't already. It's just AWESOME!

1. Field of Dreams - How is this for irony? I think Kevin Costner is one of the worst and most overrated actors of our generation and yet he made my favorite movie of all time. I'm a sports fan, and this movie probably touches me more because of that fact, but I don't think you have to love or even like baseball to really dig this flick. This movie always gets me emotional at the end because of the scene when Kevin Costner's character finally gets to play catch with his dad. The magic of this movie is that none of the magic in it is explained or even makes sense, but the spirit of the film catches you up with it and you believe the unbelievable for no other reason than you really want to. It's humorous and touching as well as immensely enjoyable. It isn't the best movie ever made, and I acknowledge that, but it sure is my favorite of all time.


Unknown said...

Moulin Rouge?!?! Ghey.

Craig Dodge said...

So obviously whoever mark is he doesn't like Moulin Rouge. I'm pleased that he was able to make such a sound argument against it. Well spoken, sir.

Scott Haynes said...

The Big Lebowski. Surely a film that should be in more Top 10's.

And Big Fish, a great movie as well.