Always a Critic, 2008

I have seen more movies than you. You might think you have seen more movies than me, but you are wrong. Of the AFI Top 100 Films of all time I have seen all but 20 of them. Films are my life. It is what I do. I can remember every movie I have ever seen, where I first saw it, who I saw it with and sometimes even where I was sitting. Movies, along with books, are the great joys of my life. I like EVERY genre. I love horror, westerns, musicals and dance movies. Who doesn’t like a good comedy? Fantasy and Sci Fi? Bring it. Action Adventure? Yes please. I am an equal opportunity critic. Yes, that’s right. CRITIC.

Whether I am seeing Knocked Up or There Will Be Blood I view the movie not as a consumer, but as a critic. And movies have gotten lazy. We have gotten lazy. We don’t ask for much when it comes to “entertainment”. As long as there are explosions, nudity, and a good soundtrack – we the people will be happy. We don’t seem to care if there is a plot, a story, or good writing. We just want it shown to us. 

I know what you are thinking – Not every movie has to be important. Movies can just be fun. I totally agree. There is room for Armageddon and Grindhouse and Juno, but there should NOT be room for I Now Pronounce you Chuck and Larry, White Chicks and NUMEROUS bad sequels. (i.e. Shrek the Third, Pirate’s of the Caribbean at the World’s End, and Rush Hour 3) Do you see the difference? We need to hold film makers to a higher standard by not paying for shitty shit films.

When I go see a movie, I view it within the confines of the genre. For example, when I see a slasher movie like Halloween or The Hills Have Eyes I expect a LOT of blood and carnage. I expect an awesome amount of gratuitous violence. I expect a vile villain, and I expect him to kill people in a new and creative fashions. Now, within those confines you can have a shitty film (SAW 5, The Ring) or an awesome film (Carrie, Texas Chainsaw Massacre). Understand? no? Here…

The Ring (the remake) was 100% pure poo. Now, before you chop my head off let me explain why. You thought it was “scary”. You are wrong. Sure, you might have jumped a few times, but there is a BIG difference between being SCARED and be STARTLED. I can hide behind your bathroom door and yell “BOO!” at you for much cheaper and give you the same reaction. The Ring was not scary. It was the story of a cursed video tape – in 2002 mind you – who the fuck still had video tapes then? Anyway, a cursed video tape containing a seemingly random series of disturbing, grainy, black and white images. After watching the tape, the viewer receives a phone call in which a voice condemns the viewer to death in exactly seven days. OOOOOOH! Scary! Um, Hey! Don’t watch the fucking tape! End of movie. And don’t get me started on the girl crawling out of a tv. Seriously. Are you honestly worried that would ever happen? Aside from the movie leaving about one hundred unanswered questions, and having a longer ending than Lord of the Rings 3 – it was just not frightening. Do better than stringing together a series of “spooky images” with a loose story and plot. I have a brain and it still works even in the darkness of a movie theater.

And that my friends is my point. Just because the film maker is TELLING you their movie is scary or funny does not mean it is. Start thinking again. I think we can begin to expect more from our films than…um… Dark Water. Did you see this? I am now supposed to be afraid of a LEAK IN MY CEILING. Honestly. My sink gurgles every once in a while, should I be concerned that a small child will emerge from it and look at me with spooky eyes?

All of the above is useful for you in order to read the following. I get asked ALL of the time to recommend movies to people, or what the “best” movie is. Well folks. Here it is. I give you my TOP 5 in each genre! Picking only 5 is hard… so I cheated. Deal with it. As always, In no particular order.
* A caveat – These are not necessarily THE BEST films in the genre, but my favorites. Big Difference there, but I will spare you that lesson. So just know, that when I choose a movie – a lot goes into it. Consider this an early Christmas Gift.

SPORTS: (I hate sports but I LOVE sports movies!)
1. Rocky
2. Bull Durham – of all of Costner’s baseball movies this is the best
3. Hoosiers
4. The Natural
5. A League of Their Own


MUSICALS: (Actual singing and dancing in the movie)
1. Grease
2. Cabaret
3. All That Jazz
4. Singing in the Rain
5. Wizard of Oz/ West Side Story 

TEEN/HIGH SCHOOL:
1. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
2. The Breakfast Club
3. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
4. Sixteen Candles
5. Mean Girls/ Rushmore 

WESTERN:
1. Unforgiven
2. High Noon
3. Pale Rider
4. Magnificent Seven/Seven Samuri
5. Shane/Tombstone 

COMEDY: (this was TOUGH!)
1. Dr. Strangelove or How I stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Bomb
2. Bringing Up Baby
3. The Jerk or Caddyshack
4. This is Spinal Tap – ANY Christopher Guest movie. I picked the 1st.
5. Tootsie

ROMANCE
1. An Affair to Remember – Cary Grant version
2. When Harry Met Sally…
3. Secretary
4. The Way We Were/The Ghost and Mrs. Muir/Harold and Maude
5. Wuthering Heights (1939)

HORROR: (Straight up horror – not thrillers and this was REALLY HARD!)
1. The Exorcist
2. Halloween (1978)
3. Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)
4. Dawn of the Dead – either version rocks – And Shaun of the Dead!
5. The Thing/Carrie/Psycho

THRILLER/SUSPENSE:
1. Rear Window
2. Gaslight
3. Silence of the Lambs
4. The Sixth Sense/The Usual Suspects
5. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)

SCI FI:
1. Alien
2. Star Wars/Empire Strikes Back
3. Blade Runner
4. Repo Man/The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension
5. ET/A Clockwork Orange

ANIMATION:
1. Cinderella
2. The Little Mermaid
3. The Incredibles
4. Shrek
5. Up!

FANTASY:
1. Willow/ Hugo
2. Lord of the Rings (all of them)
3. The Goonies
4. The Princess Bride
5. The Dark Crystal

GANGSTER:
1. The Godfather & The Godfather 2
2. Goodfellas
3. Pulp Fiction
4. Bonnie and Clyde
5. Scarface

HEIST:
1. The Thomas Crown Affair
2. Reservoir Dogs
3. Bottle Rocket
4. Ocean’s 11 (both versions)
5. Inside Man

COURTROOM DRAMA:
1. To Kill a Mockingbird
2. A Cry in the Dark
3. Presumed Innocent
4. The Verdict
5. The Jagged Edge

EPIC:
1. Braveheart
2. Dances with Wolves
3. Gone With the Wind
4. Schindler’s List
5. Lawrence of Arabia/Citizen Kane

FOREIGN:
1. Life is Beautiful
2. Belle de Jour/the umbrellas of Cherbourg
3. Persona
4. Jules et Jim/The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie
5. City of Lost Children/ Amelie

ACTION:
1. Die Hard
2. Kill Bill & Kill Bill Vol 2
3. Lethal Weapon
4. THE BOURNE SUPREMACY
5. The Road Warrior

COMIC BOOK:
1. X Men
2. Unbreakable
3. Spiderman
4. Batman Begins/The Dark Knight
5. American Splendor/Ghostworld

DANCE:
1. Fame
2. Flashdance
3. Dirty Dancing
4. Saturday Night Fever
5. Strictly Ballroom

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4 thoughts on “Always a Critic, 2008

  1. Hey Alicat! I enjoy your blog. Thoroughly. I think you may enjoy knowing about my club in Prague. The newest and sexiest fetish club in town called Sinless. (www.sinless.cz)Forgive this intrusion, my intent is not to spam…only to find people who seem open-minded and like-minded.(I found your blog from your post entitled “I’m shy. Stop unzipping my skirt”) Much respect to see Buckaroo Banzai on your list…

  2. Been waiting for the “you left out…” comments. And yes, I did.Groundhog Day is fab…and I must say underrated as far as films go. I just gave myself 5 so a few had to go missing. Maybe I’ll add an “underrated Gems” category. 🙂

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