Posts Tagged ‘best of’

2013: Top 25 Films

Posted: December 18, 2013 in -
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According to CriticWire anyway (not affiliated)…

Spring Breakers is on there?  Seriously?  And it’s ahead of Stories We Tell?  ...Dorks.  Don’t believe everything you read.  Except here.  Except here.



The List

Okay, I scored 163 on their little tabulator.  Not really happy about half of them though, and don’t find them “great.”  Good to see some on the list that I hadn’t expected.  Most of the ones I missed I am happy avoiding.


Christmas Movies!

Posted: December 1, 2013 in -
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Tis the Season

This is a repost of something I came up with last July.

It’s a Wonderful Life

Some films last as classics because they’re old. Some because they’re mind-blowingly great. This one is the latter. Trust Frank Capra. It’s also free on the web for your viewing enjoyment right now.



Bill Murray does TV executive Ebenezer Scrooge! Pure Murray, pure Christmas – they would play this film every year at a Christmas Eve party I attended several times. You may want to consider it too.


The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Well of course, as they often play this on the networks during holidays, and it has fond memories lodged in my childhood brain. Again, mind-blowingly great and adds an out of left field component to Christmas.

Film Title: Bad Santa.

Bad Santa

She has a Santa Claus fetish, so what can you do? An irreverent, often nasty tale of dumb crime, midgets and a messed-up little porker of a kid.


The Nightmare Before Christmas

Danny Elfman, Halloween kidnaps Christmas, Tim Burton, this is legal lsd for kids.


Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Okay, for the under 10 crowd, I mean they gotta watch something.


Christmas Vacation

Chevy Chase returns as hapless corporate cog Clark Griswold at the mercy of family, cheap ass bosses and the meanest movie squirrel ever filmed.


Friday After Next

Ice Cube returns with his same shtick, but this time in a Christmas story from the hood. Funny characters and Santa may be picking up rather than dropping off.


A Christmas Story

“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!” Quirky little indie kids tale that made the cut. Some odd observations of American culture in the 50s, and usually loved by all.


Monty Python’s Meaning of Life

“It’s Christmas in heaven, there’s great stuff on TV, the Sound of Music twice an hour and Jaws one, two and three.” Only play this if you want to freak the fuck out of everyone in attendance.


Trading Places has a hilarious Christmas moment when wasted Dan Ackroyd in a filthy Santa suit pilfers food and booze from a Christmas party. One of the all-time great drunken roars.


50 Best Opening Scenes?

Posted: November 19, 2013 in -
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korova5(not included)

I would dispute half the list (or more).  It’s useful if you haven’t seen them, as it includes video clips of most of them. The 50 Best Opening Scenes of All Time

Not included…



I sent out a film survey to the PFB contributors, whom you can read by clicking on their names on the sidebar.

1.    What’s the top film(s) of the past decade?

Kieran Kelly had an interesting response: “Antichrist was the most impressive thing I saw, and I hated almost every second of it.  The Proposition was amazingly good and not at all gratuitous even if it was also quite horrible to watch.”

Other answers:

2.    Have movies declined in cultural significance, and no longer all that relevant to society, or is it the opposite?

“Neither.  About the same they have always had.  Just different emphases in different loci.” -Steven Jonas

“I certainly believe that movies remain very relevant for those who are already attuned to their tradition and culture. I do believe however that with the rise of other digital media, the spread of the Internet, etc. (all the usual suspects in other words…) for the younger generations and in the last two decades or so, their impact on social, cultural and political awareness has indeed declined.” -Mark Epstein

“Vastly decreased. Event films have always been around, but now they’re taken seriously – critical discussions of Batman and KickAss and such. My dad has talked about what it was like in 68 when 2001 arrived – and everyone on every college campus in America was talking about it. Fewer people go to the movies than ever before, attention spans are shorter, money is scarce. Good work still gets done but with far less impact.” -Joseph Green

“I’m shocked to report that the once great and groundbreaking film Doctor Strangelove, has lost its fizz.  Wish it weren’t so, but it is.  If you don’t believe me try watching it without watching the clock. On the other hand, Terry Gilliam’s masterpiece, Brazil, has become required viewing on an annual basis. ” -David Price

“Culture has declined in cultural significance, movies have just been sucked down into the bottomless vortex. Seriously, though, television has overshadowed film in several key areas. During the Bush years big TV dramas became the main vehicle for a sense of twisted uncertainty that was sometimes offensive, but definitely fertile. Now, its a bit staler. Now these sorts of programmes are mainly devoted to a violent Hobbesian nihilism, but a lot of them are still much more compelling than what the big screen has to offer. In figurative terms, the television is now the bigger canvas even if only for depicting horror and ugliness.” -Kieran Kelly

3.    Name a severely underrated film(s) that the world needs to see.

Mark Epstein said: “The Big Question, a documentary interviewing cast and staff of that obscenity, The Passion of the Christ, about their takes on religious belief or the lack of it.”

Other responses:

[I stopped attributing every quote, and I jumbled the ordering.  Could be any of the named people…]


4.    Which film and/or scene really pissed you off?

Zero Dark 30 (which pissed me off so much that I did not go to see it — does that count?”

“Christopher Nolan’s career. In general, the willingness of people to accept not just trite but actively oppressive entertainment and enjoy it anyway. It’s depressing.”

“Every sports movie where my enjoyment of the film is calculated to hinge on the outcome of some damn sporting event.

[4.1] What scene from a film in the last decade sticks with you in a haunting way you can’t quite shake?

Opening scene of Melancholia

The Hurt Locker still tops the list. There’s lots of critically acclaimed TV that is utterly repulsive too. If I have time I may watch all of Breaking Bad and write some stuff about it. My hypothesis is that it is this millennium’s version of The Waltons.”

“Too many to list. Since I wrote about it indirectly, Zero Dark Thirty.”

I’m appalled every time the “heroes” get to their time to torture somebody for information cue.   There should be a special torture chamber in hell for people who sell torture as heroic.  Jingoistic nationalism similarly pisses me off.


5.      Thoughts on filmmakers who knowingly deceive their audiences?

“Whores come in an infinite variety and all professions. The real ones (i.e. peddling the sex trade…), as the Romantics used to say, are the most honest…”

“I’d be more interested in sharing some thoughts about filmmakers who have contempt for their audiences, but you can probably guess what they are.”

“Does not compute.  Film is deception.  Does not compute.”

“Anti-humans. Paul Greengrass, go fuck yourself. Tom Hanks, ditto.”

6.      Define exploitation.

“Working against “informed consent/dissent” for profit, power, connivance, presstitution, control, social engineering, creeping totalitarianism, etc.”

“Webster’s’ Dictionary defines ‘exploitation’ as any film I don’t like.”

“Base appeal for its commercial sake without taking the human being into account. Denying humanity is what it’s all about. Tony Scott was much more of an exploitation director than, say, Gordon Parks, in my estimation.”

7.      Does our nature bias us toward hopeful, positive illusion?

“No. That is learned. We learned from movies how to kiss, how to love, how to defend ourselves. Even the gangsters learned from Cagney and Muni how to behave. It’s cultural, not instinctive.”

“Humans are social beings (even when they don’t realize it, or actively try to deny this fundamental aspect in the genesis of their identity and life), and in their better moments they find that common bond again, and work towards constructions that until realized can be thought of as illusory.”


” No. All the Hollywood-ending prechewed-for-easy-digestion morality play junk food for the eyes in cinemas is just escapism for those traumatised by the daily torture our society inflicts on working people. Part of the reason that our current system remains politically stable despite its omnicidal insanity is that the chains that bind people have become their main source of comfort. The worse things get the more people dig deeper and darker dungeons for their own minds, but they kid themselves that they are digging their way to sunshine.”

I threw that one in thinking of religion, afterlife, the development of positive illusions throughout human history all over the planet.  I think with our big brains we want to overcome death and tend to tell ourselves all sorts of stories to make life more livable.  So I guess I’m in the minority on that one.

8.     Which obscure current artist should live on into eternity?

Top 100 Films of the 90s

Posted: November 11, 2013 in -
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Slant Magazine has a list.  Lots of obscure stuff, and some outrages!   Check it out, and send your love/hate to them:

The 100 Best Films of the 1990s

Top Cannibal Movies List

Posted: September 26, 2013 in -
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Meat Is Murder: The 10 Best Cannibal Films

This is Indiewire’s list.  Some good stuff there.  I’m writing an ultimate cannibal script at the moment as well…