Posts Tagged ‘top’


40 Most Likable Movie Criminals

Major omissions on this list.  The Player?  Conan the Barbarian?  The In Laws? I could go on.


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.


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

Roger Deakins’ List of 10

Posted: September 23, 2013 in -
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#10. The Joker
(The Dark Knight)


Why?  The psychotic glance was enough, not to mention all his dirty doings.  He would have ranked higher if Batman didn’t kick his ass so easily.

#9. Darth Vader
(Star Wars IV)


Why?  Of course the dark Lord of the Sith had to make an appearance. Taking no shit whatsoever, strangling mother fuckers without even touching them, terrorizing his own intergalactic imperial force?  That’s some powerful juju.

#8. Hannibal Lecter
(Silence of the Lambs)


Why?  As far as creepy undertones go, Lecter is unmatched.  You know there’s a damned good reason he’s behind thick glass or his mouth covered over by a metal guard.  Lecter proves cunning enough to go where normal mortals just wouldn’t go in order to escape.  A killing force that terrifies normal people, they know they could never be that sick.

#7. John Doe


Why?  His handiwork speaks for itself.  Without appearing at all for most of the film, this character upsets the notion of morality and of human nature by the specifically-choreographed nature of his atrocities.  A behind the scenes puppet master, his plot is just plausible enough to freeze your guts.

#6. T-1000
(Terminator 2)


Why?  He’s as unstoppable as they come.  Shooting him has no effect.  He can melt and reanimate at will, with perfect hair, and a creepy cold persona inspired by studying insects.

#5. The Biker of the Apocalypse
(Raising Arizona)


Why?  Batman would not have kicked his ass.  Plus, Leonard Smalls represents more than his biker exterior would suggest.  The man accessorizes with hand grenades, so I wouldn’t suggest fucking with him.

#4. Bob Roberts


Why?  He’s an anti-hero in this character study cum mockumentary.  He is the embodiment of Wall Street /political fanaticism, the ugliest American, the one they elect into office based on image and a track record of making money, preaching greed and blaming scapegoats.

#3. Dick Jones


Why? He’s the Enron, Dick Cheney, Republican corporate boss who plays dirty.  Dealing with terrorists and cops, hiring mobsters and simultaneously owning the police force, Jones and OPC represent everything wrong with the modern age.  Jones is so dead-on perfect, a malignant natural product of American capitalism and corruption, a master of exploitation.

#2. Brig. General Jack Ripper USAF
(Dr. Strangelove)


Why?  The lunatic warmonger who would blow up the world to rid it of his enemies.  Perhaps the most dangerous of them all, his psychotic episode mirrored the Cuban Missile Crisis standoff that brought the planet to the actual final edge of annihilation.

#1. Thulsa Doom
(Conan the Barbarian)


Why?  James Earl Jones, a Viking snake king, with magical dark powers unseen before: what more do you need to know?  James Earl Jones is mesmerizing, literally, as that is one of his dark powers.  His presence is so captivating, so menacing yet subtle, that he elevates this sword and sandals bloodbath to new heights.


Was I negligent to omit Caligula?  This oversight has irked me since I first posted.  My alternate pick, in case one of the other villains is unable to perform his duties, needs to be Emperor of Rome, Gaius Caligula “Little Boots.”




Included as many trailers as possible.  Still images don’t cut it here.

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

It’s not what you’re expecting.  Tom Tykwer is a great director, and he’s on here twice.

Enter the Void

Gaspar Noe on more than good will.  The Tibetan Book of the Dead brings psychedelic reincarnation into some kind of hallucinogenic existence.


Noe again, not for the faint of heart.  Backwards storytelling… and leave grandma at home.

Liquid Sky

Mostly to fuck with your head.  Has to be seen to be believed.

Dirty Duck

Trailers From Hell explains.


Pink Floyd’s The Wall

Not sure if this movie damaged my brain.  Probably not.  You’re okay.  Go ahead: Trailer.

Jacob’s Ladder

Review here.


Review here.


I love this film,and it could be Cronenberg’s best mind messing.  Blew my mind when I saw it in the theater.  What an ending.

The Naked Lunch

Not for everyone, this is getting downright disturbing.

The Skin I Live In

Needed to include this because it’s such a damned good movie, and bonus WTF factor.

Time Crimes

Time travel anomalies, paradoxes? Review here.

Tetsuo the Iron Man

Like with Mulholland Drive, I swear there’s a logic there somewhere that can be articulated, given enough time and review.  But I don’t think most people are going to agree.

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Manages to stay fun, heartfelt and somehow even real.

Mulholland Drive

Lynch finally got his insanity to work magic.  Not sure how or why, but Naomi Watts goes a long way toward keeping this thing fascinating.

Yeah, there’s more…

Excruciating decisions — many lists like this exist, and so what are the criteria? A political movie needs to say something, say it well and deliver theatrically. To me political struggles are about power and injustice, the organization of society. I’ve seen a lot of films, not as many as some but more than most.

Best / Most Impact

Bob Roberts

This may be the best American political movie of all time.


This may also be the best American political movie of all time.

Chinatown (Collector's Edition DVD)


Emotional punch, rawness that isn’t apparent until the very end.

All the President’s Men

I felt obligated to watch this again, but it sure does slice deeply, if a little short on action.

Full Metal Jacket

The military culture opened up like a festering wound.

Potemkin POSTER 12
Battleship Potempkin

Classic for a reason, quite useful to study.

I Claudius

Noticed this on another list, and was instantly sold. It’s a TV production, a mini-series but why not? This deserves to be here.

The Tudors

Similarly a mini-series, set in the court of Henry VIII, done with such perfection it has to be recognized.


The most chilling, raw film on the entire list. Mad Caesar, the fitting heir to a mad culture, the pinnacle of absolute power and atrocity.

Dr. Strangelove

The cold war in a nutshell.


A favorite of mine, and we quote it often. America continues down this path every day, and it is unlikely to ever seem dated, barring nuclear annihilation.


The US military as its own universe.

The Handmaid’s Tale

The correct take and the correct villains.

Miss Bala

How a corrupt narco empire intersects with the people under its dominion.


Fascism, absurdism, escapism.

The Player

Hollywood as a class system.

American Psycho

Ivy league Mansons: the masters of the universe.


Elite self-loathing, power disparity and the obscenity of unrestrained capitalism.

The Thin Red Line

Another take on the military, war as conquest and thought the enemy of soldiers.

A Clockwork Orange

The state vs. crime, an experiment not so difficult to imagine.

Raising Arizona

Recidivism, ethics, morality and love.


Ethics vs. morality.

Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

The rot at the center of American politics, pervasive corruption, social manipulation.

Thirteen Days

Nuclear brinksmanship and the madmen clamoring to wage war at any price.

The Pianist

Warsaw Ghetto, the politics of survival.

28 Days Later

At the edge of civilization, humanity is stripped away.


Corporate takeover of policing and government.

Aguirre: The Wrath of God

Fools rush in.

How to Get Ahead in Advertising

Society necessitates a personality split, and can only continue in its present form by destroying.


Society as a high school.

The Road Warrior

The forces of civilization vs. the forces of anarchy, and one man caught in the middle.

Eyes Wide Shut

Elite depravity and unaccountability.

Bridge Over the River Kwai

Stockholm Syndrome, myopia, desperation clouds the mind.