Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Let's Do It Again: My 100 Favorite Films of All Time #100 - #91




Let's do it again.

A couple years ago I put together a favorite films list, 100 movies I cherished that I felt compelled to rank. The thing about lists regarding personal taste is that taste changes day by day, week by week. month by month, year by year. Something I may have listed in my top 50 previously may not even make my 100 this time around because perhaps I had just recently seen it back then and was still caught up in my own personal hype machine, the best of the work dancing through my mind as I found it a spot on the list, but I haven't seen it since. Haven't thought about it since, at least not as much as I assumed I would.

My logic behind putting this list together during the middle of the year was, frankly, based on the fact that nothing released during the first half of 2017 was going to threaten their way onto my all time list, so I knew I wouldn't have clouded judgment involving something brand new. So even my favorites of last year, I have at least had quite a few months to let the movies resonate and revisit them and truly decide if my love is as high as I once thought. My top 2 of 2016 do indeed make the cut here.

So here we go, starting with number 100 and working my way down, my favorite films of all time:





100. In The Mood For Love

A gorgeous, sexy, vibrant piece of filmmaking from Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai, In The Mood For Love is one of those films where every frame feels like its own individual piece of art, filled with color and contrast, expertly lit and shot. 





99. Pan's Labyrinth

Not the only Guillermo del Toro film in this specific list of ten, and yes many people will roll their eyes at the one I have listed higher than Pan's Labyrinth. Frankly, I don't give a damn, but let's stay on topic with this movie because it deserves its moment. Pan's Labyrinth is creepy, fascinating and beyond beautiful, a fable that is pure, spectacular cinema. 





98. There Will Be Blood

I know plenty of people will not accept what I am about to say, because he is considered a modern cinematic god (and rightfully so), but this is the only Paul Thomas Anderson picture that makes my list. I know, I know, it's a damn shame but it isn't that I don't appreciate the man or his work, I most certainly do, but typically I can completely admire his brilliance while also never truly loving the stories he tells on a personal level. The one exception to this is There Will Be Blood, a bold, odd, stunning masterpiece.





97. Inception

This is one of those films that I will never forget seeing it for the first time in the theater because the experience was bigger than the movie itself. My daughter was born in 2007 and because of the chaos that goes with raising a newborn and toddler, along with the differing work schedules of myself and my wife, it was basically impossible to get out to a theater. My return to the cinema occurred in 2010 when Inception was released, and it was quite the blockbuster experience on a huge screen. I had viewed the trailer maybe 100 times before actually seeing the film, and despite the hype it didn't disappoint.





96. The Thin Red Line

Somehow a Best Picture nominee managed to fly under the radar in terms of recognition, mostly because it was labeled the second best movie from its own genre the year it was released. That's the problem with being nominated in the same categories with Saving Private Ryan, but count me among those that actually feel The Thin Red Line is the better film and one of the best war pictures ever made. This isn't the only appearance of a film by director Terrence Malick on the list, but you have to wait quite some time to get to his next picture. 





95. Warrior

Never would have believed you had you told me prior to my first viewing of the film Warrior that it would make a favorite movie of all time list. Not only did I not have any interest in MMA fighting then, I remained uninterested now, but that's the thing about Warrior, it isn't an MMA film, it is a powerful, emotional character driven drama that happens to revolve around the MMA world. I am a mess every single time I watch this beauty, destroyed by the relationships and the devastating performances. 





94. Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids

Thought Warrior was a surprise? How about a Justin Timberlake concert film making the cut? The Netflix original concert documentary Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids is an incredible experience, directed by the late great Jonathan Demme of The Silence of the Lambs and, more appropriately for comparison here, Stop Making Sense fame. So many would view this as "just a concert", but the way Demme focuses not just on Timberlake but every single piece of the band around him, along with the way each moment is framed to capture the relationship Timberlake forms with every single person on and off the stage is something to behold. I watched this for the sixth or seventh time just the other night and it gets better each time. 





93. Pacific Rim

I warned you that Guillermo del Toro would make another appearance on this list of ten, and here we are, and hell yes it is Pacific Rim. Action packed, colorful, inventive, exciting fun that is so perfectly, delightfully cheesy in the best possible way. This is a Kaiju film made by a filmmaker who understands exactly what makes such experiences great, featuring characters with absurd names and silly nonsense scattered throughout, but balanced out by real relationship and the strong desire to watch robots kick the shit out of monsters. I can't get enough of Pacific Rim.





92. Whiplash

Now known for his follow up feature to the critically acclaimed and Oscar winning Whiplash, a little brilliant beauty called La La Land (which you will absolutely be seeing later on this list), it might be easy for some to forget about the movie that put Damien Chazelle on the map. Don't. A masterful example of frenetic editing and what true electricity feels like in cinema, Whiplash is dynamite with a final sequence that is pitch perfect. 





91. Princess Mononoke

I love animated films but so many just feel like lazy cash grabs filled with bright colors and characters with silly voices made my studios that know they will put butts in seats solely by kids begging their parents to go see it. It is with this in mind that I try to make sure I never take Hayao Miyazaki for granted, a true master of animation and a man who filled his work with so much meaning and depth and important messages about humanity, complicated emotions and a love for planet Earth. Princess Mononoke is the first Miyazaki on this list, but it certainly won't be the last.



1 comment:

  1. This is so cool, but man does it hurt seeing both Whiplash and There Will Be Blood so low on your list. It definitely makes me more curious as to what your top 10 will be. I certainly hope that The Neon Demon will be in here somewhere.

    ReplyDelete