I’m a movie fanatic. No, wait…that doesn’t sound right. Movie buff? No, that won’t do. Movie freak? Yeah, that sounds more like it. What does my movie collection look like? I’ll show you mine if you show me yours:
I’ve often been asked what my “Top 10″ movies of all time are. Well, my top five have been pretty solidly locked in place for years now, with the six through ten slots changing a bit over time.
If you were to ask me today what my top ten movies are, this is the list I’d rattle off:
1) Fight Club
“We have front row seats for this theater of Mass Destruction. The Demolitions Committee of Project Mayhem wrapped the foundation columns of a dozen buildings with blasting gelatin. In two minutes, primary charges will blow base charges, and a few square blocks will be reduced to smoldering rubble. I know this, because Tyler knows this.” And so begins this modern tale of confusion, mistrust, empowerment, schizophrenic behavior, and soap. Beautifully filmed and very nearly loyal to the novel, David Fincher captures the alienation and minimization of the individual in the face of a corporate, materialistic world, and how it sends one man over the edge.
2) The Warriors
Based on the ancient Greek story Anabasis, about a group of mercenaries trapped deep behind enemy lines, The Warriors follows a street gang after a botched truce meeting in the Bronx as they bop their way back to the safety of their home turf of Coney Island. This 1979 film is highlighted by imaginative gangs and costumes (go Furies!), and from what I’ve read was actually considered controversial for its time. Any movie that Pop Will Eat Itself sampled heavily from is okay in my book.
3) 12 Angry Men (1957)
Throw some of the finest actors of a generation into a room, lock the doors and let the cameras roll, and you have the makings of one of the finest films ever captured on celluloid. Henry Fonda leads the cast as the lone holdout on a jury who, over the course of the film, gradually sways the eleven other jurors over from their impetuous guilty judgements. This is the very definition of a character driven film.
4) Repo Man
It’s hard to imagine a time when Emilio Estevez had a viable career, but in 1984 he starred as Otto in this movie about (surprise!) repo men. Part schtick, part social commentary, a dash of conspiracy, and a heaping pile of musical goodness, Repo Man not only stands the test of time, it forms a cornerstone of cool in an era of self-importance in the “Me” generation. It’s 4 A.M., do you know where your car is? Oh, and +1 for the inclusion of Harry Dean Stanton!
5) The Matrix
Locked in a prison we can’t see, ruled over by Agents we can’t defeat, leading lives we have no control over. This is The Matrix, and Neo wants to free humanity from it’s invisible shackles. Ground breaking for its time, the Wachowski brothers forced the red pill down our collective throats, allowing us to see what binds us, and what will eventually set us free. The Matrix is the one movie all other science fiction movies wish they were.
My top 6-10 movies are very fluid, with a few jostling for position, and a couple that have fallen out of favor, replaced by new/old comers. These movies are, in short:
If I had to recommend one of these as a “must watch” film, it would have to be The Dish. It’s a lighthearted film about the Australian contribution to the first landing on the moon and the subsequent television broadcast of Neil Armstrong’s first tentative steps on the surface. Brilliantly cast is Sam Neill as the head of the Parks team, and Puddy (er, sorry…Patrick Warburton), as the U.S. liaison. An absolutely charming movie, perfect family fare, and an essential part of any movie collection. Just go watch it already!
So….what are some of your favorite films?