Wednesday, February 25, 2009

62-80 of the 98 movies everyone should see

Real Genius

Val Kilmer at his early best. No other movie has ever raised geeks to such an awesome level. With lines like the following, you can't go wrong.

Susan: Can you hammer a six-inch spike through a board with your penis?
Chris Knight: Not right now.
Susan: A girl's gotta have her standards.

Silent Running

A rather sad scifi tale that really is not see enough. Fan's of the recent BSG series should check out this take on the human condition in space.

64. 65. 66.
The sixties gave us some great westerns. In the 70s, the rise of the anti-hero and the super violent westerns put the genre on the back burner and Hollywood for the most part stopped making westerns. In the mid 80s to the early 90s a small resurgence of the western arose and gave us some great films. Three that I feel should be viewed are:


A great ensemble cast with a fairly standard plot. The only thing that matters really is that this is a well produced production that you could just tell that everyone had a great time filming it.

Quigly Down Under

Tom Selleck proves that he can carry himself on the big screen just as well as on TV. An interesting western that is actually not set in the standard "west." This one takes place in Australia. Alan Rickman stars as the bad guy.


Wyatt Earp and the gunfight at the OK Corral have been staples of Hollywood for just about as long as the industry has been around. Kurt Russel gives a commanding performance in what I consider the finest film made of this piece of american history. However, as great as the film was and the other performances throughout, Val Kilmer starring as Doc Holiday steals the film.

Silver Streak

The first pairing of Gene Wilder and Richard Pryor. This is your typical "drop the common man into a dangerous situation and see how he reacts" story but it executed very well. Almost an homage to Hitchcock, Gene and Richard manage to keep the film serious but add a wonderful amount of comedy.

68. 69. 70.
If any films could be considered the foundation for my love of cinema, it would have to be these three. The other day the wife was pondering how long had I been into movies. Was it only when I was older did I ever begin to look past the visuals and find the extra bits? Have I always torn movies apart for deeper meaning and connections? Speaking to my mother on this her only answer was "well, when did you see your first Star Wars movie? Because thats when it started"

So thank you George Lucas. I may damn you to the hell of boiling oil these days, but 31 years ago you helped start me on this path. I would like to point out that the only way these films should be enjoyed is in their original theatrical versions. So no Greedo shooting first, no need to see the Wampa or see Vader call for his shuttle, and leave Lapti Nek alone.

Star Wars

Age First Saw: Two years old. This one officially doesn't count because I fell asleep in the movie right after they got to Tatooine and then woke up right when the Death Star blew up. Apparently I cried because I thought the empire were the good guys.

The Empire Strikes Back

Age First Saw: Five years old. This would be the one that really started it all. My mother, brother and cousin went to see it one day but it was sold out. We went to my great aunt's house instead and had coffee ice cream. We went the next day and I carried my Han Solo in Hoth Gear action figure the whole time:

My friends were all into Luke and thought the Jedi were the greatest thing. I knew at 5 that ancient weapons and hokey religions were no match for a blaster at your side. Plus, he got the girl.

Return of the Jedi

Age First Saw: 7 (almost 8) I will fully admit that I was of the appropriate age at the time, but dammit....I love the ewoks. Cute, cuddly and bad ass forest warriors. We saw this at the Fremont (on opening night! I don't know how my dad got tickets) and my friend Ryan and I were allowed to go sit by ourselves near the front away from our parents. We went out for pizza after and Ryan and I ran around the pizza hall re-enacting scenes the whole night.

Repo Man

"The life of a repo man is always intense"

Really, this isn't actually a good movie. I would rate it as fairly bad. However, its uniqueness awards it heaps of praise for me. I do not think anything I can describe about this film would make sense so it just gets the Movie Geek seal of approval as something worth viewing.


As plot wise goes its fairly predictable but this tale gives us a great spin on things. It also helped shepherd in a new era of screen violence.

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Other than one small minor plot hole, this film gets the distinction of being the most perfect film. Action, romance, mystery and intrigue. This one has it all. What Lucas and Spielberg wanted to do was a simple little homage to the action adventure films they grew up on. Little did they know they would create a huge franchise and cement Harrison Ford as a power house performer.

The Quiet Man

The only John Wayne movie one needs to see to experience him. And it is not even a western. Wayne plays an Irish American boxer who after accidentally killing someone in the ring decides to go back to Ireland and reclaim his family land. He of course falls in love and has to deal with being the "yank." A beautiful little film showcasing the Irish countryside. A family tradition of viewing on St Pats day in my house.

Run Lola Run

This film still leaves a smile on my face. Hard to classify but a thrill to enjoy.

Running Scared

The BEST buddy cop film ever made. Who would have thought that Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal could actually pull off being Chicago Detectives? They manage to keep the action serious but still inject an acceptable level of believable humor.


Dickens's classic christmas tale has been told many many times. To me however, this modernization of the tale and Bill Murray's stellar performance ranks it high and gives it a reason to be seen. This film also gets the distinction of the only movie quote with a swear word in it that my mother will use: "The bitch hit me with a toaster."

Shaolin Soccer

Take one part underdog sports story, one part martial arts and one part slapstick comedy. Mix together and you get a great outing from the wonderfully talented Stephen Chow. A team of martial arts students form together with a fallen soccer hero to mix their shaolin style of kung fu to become a superior soccer team. Just imagine the high flying awseomness of Crouching Tiger but at the World Cup.


Just look at that cast. Some major players involved here. A nice little mystery plot surrounding a security company who's only purpose is to break into companies to find weaknesses in their security.

So I Married and Axe Murderer

Oh Mike Meyers, what ever happened to you? After your break out success on SNL you gave us this gem of a murder mystery romance film. At that point we thought you were the second coming of Steve Martin. Smart humor that could approach a broad audience. And then you degraded into a world of shit.

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