25 Favorite Movies, Airplane, Amadeus, Batman, Beetlejuice, Cabaret, Chicago, Death Proof, Grindhouse, Inglourious Basterds, Jaws, National Lampoon's Vacation, Planet Terror, Poltergeist, Pulp Fiction, Purple Rain, Reservoir Dogs, South Park Bigger Longer & Uncut, Star Trek, The Avengers, The Exorcist, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Return of the King, The Two Towers, Thelma & Louise, There Will Be Blood, Top 25 Movies, Top 25 Movies of All Time, West Side Story, What's Love Got to Do With It, Working Girl
It’s still Tuesday somewhere. Actually it is here in California, but I’m just now posting this. Sorry for the delay.
Remember that time I posted my Top 100 Favorite Movies!? Well it’s since been deleted, and I re-ordered the list with plans on posting my Top 100 once again. I hadn’t done it yet, and I actually totally scrapped the idea, but it dawned on me that I should post at least the Top 25 for #TopTwentyFiveTuesday. I’m planning another Movie related post this week, and I thought it might be cute to have #TopTwentyFiveTuesday and #TopTenThursday be Movie themed.
So here goes, my Top 25 All Time Favorite Movies.
This corporate RomCom from 1988 is one of those Movies I’ll watch whenever it’s on. There’s something about the whole working class versus business class angle that appeals to me. Add to that there’s great comedic turns from the female leads Melanie Griffith, Sigourney Weaver and Joan Cusack that make this a film that wins on all fronts. It’s also an inspiring story. I’m no female, but Tess’ struggles for empowerment in male dominated business makes her an easy character to root for and fall in love with.
Bob Fosse‘s Directorial debut is so classic, so sexy, so dark, and so ahead of it’s time. When I first saw it, I was actually shocked at the topics they covered – Bisexuality, Abortion, Violence – and unlike some musicals, Fosse never sugar-coats anything. The tone, the feel, the look of the movie is appropriately dark and gritty and ultra-sexual, but the performances by Liza Minnelli and Michael York provide a lightness and create characters you truly feel for. Great story and of course amazing dancing and songs.
The clip below I posted just because it’s the song that stuck with me on my most recent viewing of the movie. It’s from a pivotal moment in the movie, but it doesn’t lead where the characters think it will.
23. “South Park : Bigger Longer & Uncut”
Being the big “South Park” fan I am, all I have to say about this movie is that it’s Hilarious, Classic, Witty and Smart, just like the show. Another thing I’ll say… How about a sequel though (and please don’t let Randy Marsh take over like he’s been doing on recent episodes of the show – he gets on my nerves)
Here is one of the more hysterical songs in this off-kilter musical. It addresses the main topic of profanity and censorship that drive the Movie.
Tim Burton at his weirdest and funniest. This dark comedy about the after life has the Burton stamp by being funny, kooky and visually engaging. Add the inimitable acting job of Michael Keaton as the title character, and actually the great acting by the entire cast including Catherine O’Hara, Winona Ryder, Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis, and even Glenn Shadix as the snobby Otho. They each bring their own spark to the film, matched with the great visual it’s a fun time Movie.
And of course, the most popular “possessed” scene in the Movie.
21. “Reservoir Dogs”
As you’ll see, I’m a big Quentin Tarantino fan. This film, his Directorial debut, is a master class in his Film making expertise. It’s very simple with hardly any frills, but there is true horror and suspense in just the things the characters say, showing that one can be effective in great storytelling without showing every single thing.
I love this scene, because that’s one thing in my opinion that Tarantino excels at… writing dialogue that feels and sounds like REAL people talking. Also, there’s some exposition here that is so subtly placed, another one of his gifts.
20. “Star Trek”
Not only is the casting great here, but the genius idea to take this beloved franchise and put it in a parallel universe was original in a time when originality seemed dead. JJ Abrams did a bang up job with the pacing, the look, and again the casting which is the movies biggest coupe. Go Read my Original Review, which I wrote after I was blown away the first time.
I love this scene because it was a great, intense, fast paced, and actually kind of funny scenes (like the Red suit guy being all amped!) in the whole Movie. One of many thought.
This classic was a really big deal when it was first released in 1989, and watching it all these years later I see why. Spike Lee, in his finest Movie ever, gives us vivid characters and a colorful backdrop to address issues of race. In the end, viewers are forced to have discussions about what happened in the Movie and what is happening in our world. In that respect, Lee succeeded in a major way. Almost 25 years later, people still have heated discussions about this hot summer day in Brooklyn.
18. “What’s Love Got To Do With It”
Tina Turner had a hell of a life. Ups, Downs, Triumphs, Struggles, and while this Biopic seems to only scratch the surface of her volatile marriage to Ike Turner and her Epic comeback, it’s damn entertaining and has become a classic. It’s well-paced and features some great music, but most importantly it features two incredibly strong performances from Angela Bassett and Laurence Fishburne.
And of course, the highlight of the movie Music-wise is the “Proud Mary” montage which is one of the best Musical moments in Film.
This is undoubtedly a Horror movie, and one of the Best, it’s full of ghosts and slime and terrorizing clowns. But what makes it great, is the humorous and satirical commentary on suburban living, and the laughs that come from a seemingly very normal and relateable family. It’s an interesting layer to the movie that adds to the fright.
16. “The Avengers”
This EPIC could have easily failed. If it was from bad casting, trying to do too much with the visual effects, adding a sappy love story, or if it was directed by Michael Bay. Luckily, the Marvel Universe picked the perfect Director in Joss Whedon, managed to draft the perfect script, and casted the perfect actors to bring these comic book heroes to life in a huge way. Flawless film.
And this is my favorite action sequence in the Movie, Thor versus Iron Man in a true “knock down drag out” fight.
15. “There Will Be Blood”
I’m a big Paul Thomas Anderson fan, and the genius he displays with this Excellent film confirms he’s one of the modern greats. Not only does Daniel Day Lewis act his ass off, with Paul Dano being a worthy nemesis, but the risk taking Direction from Anderson makes this his finest movie. The opening scene which has no dialogue, the horrific beauty of the oil eruption are cinematic art. There’s also lots of layers and complexities with the characters, it’s undeniably engaging and intriguing. It’s a perfectly done movie that speaks to many a issue.
This scene is one of my favorites, and one I think back and analyze over and over, shows the supposedly “godly” Eli trying to humiliate Plainview. Really powerful scene that says a lot about both characters.
14. “National Lampoon’s Vacation”
The Griswolds and their road trip to Wally World is an 80’s Comedy Classic, and one that I can watch over and over and laugh every single time. Chevy Chase was really in his prime playing this goofy suburban dad who is pushed to the brink of insanity trying to give his family the best Summer vacation ever, but failing hilariously at every step.
This collection is underrated among both Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez fans, but both films are actually incredible on their own. Put together with those hysterical mock-trailers, this was a creative idea that pays homage to classic B-rate cinema. “Planet Terror” is nearly perfect with it’s casting, one liners and b-movie gore, Rodriguez definitely succeeded in emulating that ohn Carpenter style of Movie while putting together an great story with stand out characters. Tarantino’s “Death Proof” has some of the best car stunts you’ll ever see, along with some great writing. Oh and Kurt Russell is both menacing and hilarious in maybe one of his best performances.
This scene is an example of the greatness of “Death Proof”, and Ill admit I have a sick side… I cracked up laughing the first time I saw this, because it was too good and unexpected.
Though it still gives me chills to this day, I remember being 9 years old watching this movie for the first time. A week after, I still couldn’t sleep, making it the scariest Movie I’ve ever seen (“The Shining” probably gets the runner up prize). Watching it as an adult, you have to appreciate the fine performance by Ellen Burstyn and the suspenseful direction that William Friedkin took with the heart stopping story.
11. “West Side Story”
The quintessential Musical, the Musical that showed all the other Musicals how it’s done. The opening scene (below) sets the tone perfectly. With the ultra-cool choreography from Jerome Robbins, reality is gone and the viewer is sucked into this violently tragic love story set to beautiful and legendary songs and dancing.
The amazing thing about Steven Speilberg‘s box office classic is that even with the limitations of technology at the time, the titular Great White Shark is still scary as hell. It’s because Speilberg is such a creative Director, armed with a great cast and down to earth script that put the viewer right on the beach with the people in the film.
9. “Inglourious Basterds”
The casting in this movie is phenomenal, the script is flawless (okay except for one thing – ask me in my comments what that one thing is), and the Direction is genius. But at this point, what else would you expect from the Master Tarantino? I honestly thought I’d be let down for some reason, but once you experience the tour de force performances from Christoph Waltz and Melanie Laurent (who was robbed of at least an Oscar nomination), once you dig into the meaty and highly entertaining script, there’s no way you can say this isn’t a Masterpiece.
This is one of Tarantino’s most well-written scenes, it includes one thing I can’t figure out, I love how suspenseful and unpredictable it is, and how it turns out.
This is the scene I was talking about in that post.
7. “Pulp Fiction”
Though I’ll admit, some parts of this Classic are hard to watch, overall you have to appreciate the genius of Tarantino in his big breakthrough flick that changed the entire Movie making industry.
One of my favorite scenes, and this is a fairly early scene to set the tone.
It’s a Road Trip Movie, it’s a Car chase Movie, it’s a Female bonding Movie, it’s a coming of age movie. Ultimately it’s just an Amazing movie with two fine actresses giving us their best work, and a new screenwriter showing Hollywood that sometimes you have to look outside of the machine to bring something truly timeless and groundbreaking to the table. This Movie always gives me that combination of laughter and sadness and terror and edge of my seat action, and all perfectly balanced and handled expertly by Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis.
5. “The Lord of the Rings Trilogy”
Like “The Avengers”, this Trilogy had so much potential to fail, but thanks to Peter Jackson, WETA and Andy Serkis , along with the rest of the cast of course, these three Masterpieces will definitely stand the test of time.
This is probably my favorite scene from all three, I only wished I could have seen it on the big screen. (I’m sure that time will come again though, just hopefully not in a botched re-release a la Lucas!)
This is the definition of Slapstick, a quintessential Comedy flick that should be studied. It’s the FUNNIEST movie you ever will see, with so many hilarious running gags and one liners and parodies that have stood to the test of nearly 40 years.
This is what I’d call a Modern Classic, and that’s because it’s excellent any way you look at it. An amazing cast with strong characters, a constantly unpredictable script and story, Amazing dance numbers and staging. Great songs, great costumes, great cinematography. Everything about this Musical is excellent and I can’t get enough.
And obviously if I’m picking scenes to highlight why one should watch said Movie, “Cell Block Tango” is gonna be the one. Just amazing, truly one of the Best Musical Sequences of All Time… and High on the list.
Read about this in my “Best/Worst Comic Book Movies“, but I’ll just quickly say that Tim Burton’s version of “Batman”, and his dark take on the Comic Book world was so different it blew my mind as a child and made me want to become a Director. Not many Movies have that influence, just great ones. Clearly this is a Great one.
What can I say? I Love music, I Love Movies and I Love Prince. This semi-autobiographical Movie about the Purple one, though lacking in any real acting talent or screenwriting skills, remains a highly entertaining Movie I can enjoy, reminisce and dance my ass off with. The amazing music and performance sequences seal the deal, laced with some humorous bits, it’s great because it’s a true time capsule of that time of Music and a peak into who the “mysterious” Prince was.