I’m trying real hard to be the shepard… It’s the Number One movie on my top 50 list!
Pulp Fiction (1994)
My favorite movie, Quentin Tarantino’s opus. He struck gold in his sophomore effort if you ask me. I don’t need to defend why this is my favorite movie, if you have seen it then you know why. Quentin brought us a fresh take on storytelling, that now yes has been exhausted, but at the time doing out of order sequences that let us know what we needed to at the time was brilliant. It’s fun to go back and figure out what came before what, and find plot threads between all of the stories going on. I also loved how he opened each chapter with a title, making each sequence feel like it’s own short story. The characters of Jules, Vincent, Butch, Mia, Marsellus, Ringo and The WOLF were all just brilliant and well performed. It would be very hard for me to pick my favorite sequence in this film, but I would probably have to say the final scene in the diner which I depicted here in my sketch. Where a bad guy crosses another bad guy. The dialogue in this scene is just so tangible I could touch it. Seeing a BMF take a righteous path over killing him is such a great direction that you don’t expect.
So yes, Pulp Fiction, I have seen this movie about 100 times, and I will never tire of it. I have had it in my collection since 1996 on VHS and it always will be.
Thanks for going on this countdown from #50 to #1, I’m Casey Cas- I mean, I’m Tony Sedani, see you next time when I countdown my top 10 TV SHOWS!
THE #2 MOVIE ON THE LIST IS HERE! AND TO NO ONE’S SURPRISE…
Yes, my second favorite movie is clerks. Go ahead say what you will, but this movie has heart and soul behind it. It has a voice, a true voice that I was on the same level as. I first saw this movie very young in 1996 when my friend Pete borrowed a copy from his brother. This may have increased my vulgar vocabulary by years in advance, but we loved it. As I got older, I related to things in it that were going on with me. Dealing with annoying customers, girlfriends, people not having common sense. This movie pulls no punches in calling out all the jackesses that piss us off on a daily basis. I liked parts of clerks 2, but felt it was missing that hard edge that made this one so real and fresh. I do however look forward to clerks 3 and seeing all these great characters come back.
Like tears in the rain comes the first of my top 3…
Blade Runner (1982)
Here it is, my top 3 favorite flicks, and to start it off is yet another Harrison Ford performance, and yet another Ridley Scott film. I wouldn’t say I am a fan of Ridley Scott, but I sure do highly enjoy a select few of his movies. This being one of them. This movie has everything going for it. A great lead character Deckard. A great futuristic world with practical effects. A great story about robots (replicants) looking just like us, and not knowing who they are. I also love the mystery thread that makes us wonder if Deckard is a replicant or not, and it is never directly answered. The 80’s synthesized soundtrack ads so much to the tone and is in regular rotation in my studio for drawing. Plain and simple, they just don’t make movies like this anymore. Brilliant! And don’t make a sequel Scott, stop ruining your masterpieces.
thats, like, your opinion man… Here’s #4 of 50!
The Big Lebowski (1998)
You either love it, or hate it. Obviously, I am in the love it group. Coen Brothers knocked it out of the park with the “dude” character. The cast is just top notch and the characters are so memorable, Walter, Jesus, Donny, Mr. Lebowski, The Dude. Everything Jeff Bridges does in this film is a riot. All of the little details, including paying for his milk with a check, saying obviously you aren’t a golfer when he asks what the bowling ball is, and when he finds out what was drawn on the pad of paper when talking to Jackie Treehorn. And to end the movie with the hilarious scene of spreading Donny’s ashes. It’s all gold I tell ya!
ONE POINT TWENTY ONE GIGAWATTS!
Back to the Future (1985)
This was the first movie I have ever seen in the theatre. True Story. My mother tells me that she wanted to see this, and brought me along at the young age of 3 1/2 years. She said I was glued to the screen and didn’t look away or make a fuss once. I have since seen this movie about 100 times. The funny thing about Back to the Future, is that it appeals to all ages, but the older you get, the more you understand and pick up on. There are still things I find that I missed such as the Mall being Lone Pine Mall and no longer Twin Pine after Marty destroys one of the pine trees in 1955. I still prefer this over the sequels, as the plot of the original is much more clear, concise, and heavy. “Is there something wrong with Earth’s gravitational pull in 1985”? I decided to depict a fun scene when Marty tries to scare George into asking Loraine to the dance by pretending he is an alien. This film is my happy place!
Take the red pill…
The Matrix (1999)
The Matrix really was the bridge between the 1990’s practical effect action movie, and the 2000’s CGI fest. When I first saw this in the theatre, I was blown away. The marketing was really clever asking all who watched the trailer “what is the matrix” it was one of the first movies to have a website http://www.whatisthematrix.com. And once seeing it, the super fast choreography, the gun play, the mind bending premise, the bullet time. It was all new and exciting. Agent Smith was probably my favorite part about The Matrix. And then came Reloaded and Revolutions. Unfortunately the sequels left me wanting the blue pill, ignorance really is bliss in that case.
Alright Alright Aliriiiight… number 7…
Dazed and Confused (1993)
I was only about 12 when I first saw Dazed and Confused. My friend Peter had a copy from his brother, and we would watch this every weekend that I visited. We yearned to be growing up in the 70’s as depicted in this film. The cars, the clothes, THE MUSIC. We liked this film so much, we constantly quoted it, and even made a fan film that mimicked all of our favorite scenes. This film has so much nostalgia for me that sometimes I think I actually lived the scenes. Dazed features some of our biggest stars right now like Ben Affleck and Matthew Mcconaughey. I also love that the whole film takes place within just one day. Check it out if you haven’t!
The whole bloody affair…
Kill Bill V1 & V2 (2003,2004)
Ok so I lied, this will be the only time 1 spot will fill multiple films. I don’t feel bad doing it as it was supposed to be one film and he had to split them up. I am actually happy they are split up, as they have much different tones associated with them.
Who thought Quentin’s films could get better than his first few entrees? When this 4th film by Tarantino hit the screen, it was just all bets are off. I definitely got the feeling that he did whatever he wanted to do. I just love the simple premise of revenge, and making a list of all the people she is going to kill. And then we get added plot threads that run throughout the two films that add depth to the characters and situations. My favorite thing is that the final battle isn’t even a battle, but a harsh conversation between two ex lovers.
We are down to the single digit numbers of my top 50 favorite flicks…
Star Wars (1977)
I dont know how this couldn’t be on anyone’s top 10 favorite movies list! And this is the original version for the record. Everyone always says “Empire” is the better film. I tell them to get off depressants. This movie feels like it has so much put into it as far as interesting characters, story, effects, locations. And then knowing the story behind the production of the film makes me appreciate it even more. And of course it’s this movie that changed the face of sci-fi movies forever. I depicted Han shooting first, because, god damnit he did!
“I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is”…
The Thing (1982)
Two great things were created in 1982. Myself, and John Carpenter’s The Thing! Take your new CGI remake and shove it up your ass. This movie will kick your butt for 2 hours, and you will wish you could unsee some of the monstrosities that the thing becomes. John Carpenter has a unique way of creating suspense with his brilliant soundtracks, his slow pacing, and long cuts. There are many moments in this film that you just won’t be able to stomach what you are seeing. What made this so visually interesting is that you can actually see that the forms that the thing takes are real, and you are laying your eyes on something tangible, not something imagined and rendered digitally. This plays a big part into why it is horrific. And film makers aren’t realizing that these days. I depicted the thing trying to transform itself into the dogs in the kennel, a real eye opening realization of what you have dedicated yourself to watching for another hour and a half. Oh yeah, and Kurt Russell gives us a hell of a performance as Macready.
Another Kurosawa classic enters the top 50…
Yojimbo is a film directly recommended to me by my friend Derek. I watched it and said, “hey, I’ve seen this before”. Yes it is the same story as “Fistfull of Dollars”. But, Leone was using Kurosawa’s film as inspiration. So I realized this was it. This was the film that started it. Many other films have done variations on this plot of two warring groups and one man playing both sides. It fits the mold for many genres. There is so much I love about this film. It’s funny, it’s violent, it’s heartfelt, it’s got personality. I also love the trim running time, which makes it easy to watch any time. Toshiro Mifune puts in one of many classic performances in Kurosawa’s catalog. Also, I have used it as inspiration for my own comic series on many occasions.
The Coen’s make a mark on my top 50 finally!
No Country For Old Men (2007)
As you can see, my favorite part of this movie is Anton Chigurh. I went into No Country blind in the theatre, knowing nothing other than that the Coen’s directed it. I was blown away at everything this had to offer. Suspense, pacing, cinematography, characters, thrilling story. All I know is that when Anton tells the poor old man running the store to call it, my gut was doing somersaults. Please, turn the lights down, open the windows, and hit play on this instant classic.
Lucky #13 goes to the greatest sequel of all time…
T2 blew my mind as a child. I did not see the original film before this, but I can only imagine how awesome it would be to think Arnold was going to be a bad guy again and have him turn out to be the protector. This film has it all, action and explosions to the roof, time travel, machines fighting each other, and practical effects, with an introduction to CGI effects when they could use them. Arnold gives us the best Terminator performance in the series, and god damnit if I didn’t shed tears when he goes into the lava with the thumbs up. Yes T2 has lots of plot holes in the time travel, but try not to think about that stuff and enjoy Arnold shooting holes in things.
T-U-R-T-L-E POWER…You all knew it was coming!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)
Yes, here it is, on of my favorite movies ever. You all know my dislike for the new TMNT film and this isn’t the forum to bash it. This is a place of happiness and appreciation of a “good” TMNT movie. The original took it’s source material, not from the cartoon, but from the dark gritty comic. We are given a very aesthetically dark New York City, a gross grimy sewer, and a really brutal villain in The Shredder. The story gives us a lot of unique character personalities including Danny who we can follow between the foot clan and the turtles. April has a take no shit personality. The four turtles are all distinct and have a believable relationship amongst each other. Casey Jones, who looks badass. The Shredder who looks doesn’t shed emotion until pushed to the point. And the foot clan, who are traditional ninjas that train kids to join the ranks. It all works together so well, and you get a real sense of fear in the climax on the roof. The sequels were clearly geared toward the cartoon fanbase, but I am so happy that we got this film, this perfect perfect film. TURTLE POWER!
Going the distance to #15…
Heart, Soul, Muscle. That is Rocky. What a damn great movie this is. So many interesting characters. Pauly, Adrienne, Micky, Rocky, Apollo, Cuff and Link! Rocky is just a brute with a heart of gold in this film and wants to prove it to himself and everyone that he has what it takes to be something. The fact that he loses, but celebrates going the distance with the champ is just a piece of storytelling that we don’t have nowadays. The following sequals lost the charm, but were still extremely enjoyable. It wasn’t until Rocky Balboa did I feel like the real Rocky character returned.
Get your ass to Mars! The #16 movie on my list comes all the way from Mars…
Total Recall (1990)
Something is missing from movies nowadays. And that something is what Paul Verhoeven used to be able to capture in his 80’s flicks. I have seen Total Recall so many times, that it gives me comforting feeling when watching it. It brings me back to little Tony watching this when he was way too young on HBO. You know a movie is great when I was literally at a crossroads when deciding what picture would best represent this movie. I was stuck between depicting the image above when he removes the tracker through his nose, The three breasted hooker, the dream sequence in mars when Quaid’s face is exploding, Quaid in the fat woman disguise or Quaid in the Rekall machine. I love the over the top violence, the general evilness of the villain, and Arnold gives us a memorable performance with lots of one liners to quote. I love you Total Recall.
A zombie movie finally makes the list in the top 20…
I remember going to the theatre to see this film, and thinking it was going to be a fun pointless parody of zombie movies. And as most of you know, I was dead wrong! Shaun of the Dead is just as much as dramatic friendship/relationship film. It has heart and soul, mixed with lots of blood and guts. This is also my favorite zombie movie, as it doesn’t hold back when things get rough.I love that Edgar Wright used practical effects in this as well. At the time, Wright’s directorial style was so new and fresh that it stood out from everything going on at the time. Hot Fuzz and The World’s End are also very enjoyable to me, but they can’t touch Shaun.
Michael Myers, no not the Shrek one, the other one!
Let’s talk about scary, creepy, suspenseful, horror. John Carpenter sure knows how to make you squirm, and Halloween does it in various ways. I have been a super fan of Halloween for a long time now, and the simplicity of the Michael Myers character mixed with no explanation as to why he is on a murderous rampage makes it a quite down to earth horror flick. Later sequels will draw ties to other characters giving him a motive, and making him an unstoppable monster. But if you stick with just the original movie, you won’t be disappointed. And maaaaaybe you can throw H20 in there as a true sequel to the original!
Here’s lookin’ at you #19…
Yes. Casablanca is one of the classics. Yes, it is one of my favorite films ever! Even with the build up this film comes with, it still manages to impress me every time I watch it. Trivia fact, my wife and I try to watch this on every Valentine’s Day. And on a few occasions we will see it at the Brattle Theatre when they get themselves a print. I was introduced to this film in college and have grown to build appreciation for everything it does. It isn’t your typical happy ending love store, quite the opposite. And with an setting of World War II it gives the story a real seriousness in the decisions Rick makes. See it, and see it again.