Sunday, May 23, 2004

5 Best, 5 worst Movies of All Time
(a [short{fairly lax}] paper i did for film class)

I have seen a lot of movies, and I seem to enjoy more movies then hate them, so to string together both lists was hard, considering there were many movies I love (and own), and many movies I cant stand or don’t want to remember. For the Greatest movies of all Time I obviously had to go with what I have seen, therefore only one of these movies is from the classic Hollywood era, and most of them are post 1997. These movies must have a certain amount or ‘replayability’ and long lasting affect, and must fulfill the hard task of keeping me interested and intrigued. I had to exclude some of my favorites, including a plethora of Jackie Chan movies, and a handful of John Woo movies, because it seems the proper movie etiquette requires more then just mesmerizing cinematography, thus the movies on this list have a considerable mix of all elements.
1. Citizen Kane
When I began watching this film I figured I would get the same overrated feeling I got when I watched Casablanca. I didn’t. For a second I thought I was watching of movie from the late 20th century, because almost every element was in stark contrast to Casablanca. The cinematography Is brilliant and tells its own story, and this movie cannot be written better or acted more superbly, there is no single fray in this movies fabric, it tells a character study like no movie ever has, the rise and fall of a man, a Shakespearean tragedy. Even the title of this movie invokes power.
2. The Thin Red Line
Not only one of the greatest movies of all time, it is by far the most underrated and has received the most unneeded criticism. Many felt bored with the existentialism and poetry that lines this window into life, around the battle of Guadalcanal in World War II. I was disgusted to find how reviewers had forgot that movies is the stuff of life, and that its ok to not have a climax or resolution, because that doesn’t happen in everyday life. This movie’s beautiful cinematography and captivating score left me wordless, and because it is hard to put the metaphysical into language, it is equally hard to put vision of this movie into a paragraph.
3. Fight Club
The symbolism and social commentary of this fast paced, psychological adrenaline rush play well into its ironic title, leading people to believe it is as simple as it sounds. The cinematography in this movie is great, montages and heart-pounding music put you square in the word of our manic protagonist, tormented by his ever-present muse, the soap-peddling Tyler Durden. This movie is greatly acted, Ed Norton gives a performance on par with his stirring American History X, and Brad Pitt has definitely the best performance of his career.
4. Punch Drunk Love
If there is one movie that gives you the psychological imprint of its leading man, no movie does it better then Punk Drunk Love’s Barry Egan, a man tormented by his sisters and completely subversive and suppressed. The music and strange scene transition make you feel manic, and it is by far one of the greatest love stories and by far Adam Sandler’s greatest performance, if not on of the best characters in movie history. Paul Thomas Anderson has perfected his craft and made a movie gem that’s symbolism I’m still trying to figure out.
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
I am glad that this is was first Charlie Kaufman Script, because I never need to read or see another one again, Another manic story about the importance of memories, told by people who would like them erased. I felt I was watching a magic show, because the cinematography and special effects were absolutely amazing, which hard to find among the easily done, overly pixilated Trite that is so over-used and overly cared about. The acting overall is some of the best I’ve seen, there wasn’t one person who didn’t do a more the superb job acting. This movies message about life and love sticks with you.

Bad Movies are bad for a handful of fundamental qualities, they are: overbearing, disgusting, terribly acted, stupidly conceived, have no logical message or real point, and have bad, bad, bad cinematography. Things I had to leave out were: every Jean Claude Van Damne movie, every Hulk Hogan movie, Every Steven Segal Movie, And every Jerry Bruckheimer movie.

1. Natural Born Killers
It pains me to even remember seeing the last half or so of this “ultra-modern Bonnie and Clyde”, what pains me most is the most horrendous cinematography known to man. Playing of the MTV-esque shaky camera ‘Journalism’ as such shows as Real World, the movie basically consist of terribly composed low angle shots of our protagonists, sometimes in black and white, for no reason. I am under the assumption that constant bad movie maker Oliver Stone was under the influence of heavy medication or illegal narcotics, because this movie makes no real point with its ultra violence, except some sort of ‘Mass Media caused apocalypse’, which this movie doesn’t seem to prevent, just plays upon. Juliette Lewis gives her worst performance (which is hard to pinpoint, since most of her movies have been bad), and Tommy Lee Jones annoyed my so much I wanted to cry, I forgot why I finished watching this movie.
2. Space Mutiny
This would be number one, if it wasn’t for the boys (and robots) at Mystery Science Theatre 3000, whose rendition of this movie goes up there with one of the best comedies. Using the special effects entirely from Battlestar Galactica, this movie is just composed of interior shots of some large boiler room with windows and sun coming through. I never could sting together a plot, I guess there was mutiny and some weird telepathy women who did yoga in randomly inserted shots, and a lot of people falling over railings in fight scenes. More then poorly edited, one women supposedly ‘dies’, and is found back at her computer a few scenes later. And of course this movie has the worst acting of all time; I just don’t want to talk about it. The main male character has some weird smirk on all the time, and delivers his lines like he’s reading directions to build a bicycle. Terrible.
3. Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.
Or the movie that brought about the reason why special effects are ruining movies. I am not entirely sure, but I think this movie had the first fully computer animated character next to live action actors, and not intended to be animated. This overall technique (along with it being the most hated character in movie history), made me feel sorry for the movies that still do this, I am much more impressed by real actors in suits because I know they’re there, this makes movies like Predator and alien much more cooler than any one of today’s movies. The new Star wars Trilogy is a mistake, and more then poorly casted.
4. Bowling for Columbine
Sure, this movie looks nice, but never have I felt more insulted as person then by watching this movie. Somehow, I, mild mannered John Ganiard, am responsible for slavery, the NRA, and the KKK because of the color of my skin, and I should feel guilty. Never has a movie been so wrong, annoying, or more over appreciated then this. The biased editing and yellow tactics employed by the hypocritical and self-righteous Michael Moore don’t even help make a coherent, logical thesis, for I have yet to find one in this rambling, self serving documentary. I hate this movie, but it is too ‘chic’ to put at number 1.
5. Van Helsing
This movie is included purely because I wasted 7 dollars on it, the rest I had seen for free one way or another. Like Menace, this movie is composed of maybe 10 actors, and 40 CGI monsters. The settings and cinematography can be nice, but it’s annoying and extremely unwatchable, what’s worse is that it is making money. Kate Beckinsale is staring in increasingly bad movies and doing increasing bad movies, and Hugh Jackman is annoying and a generally creepy guy. If this is how movies are headed, I don’t want to be around for any more.


Blogger Byron said...

Well at least the list started out well. If you haven't already seen them, check out Dr. Strangelove, The Right Stuff, Glengarry Glen Ross, Do the Right Thing, This Is Spinal Tap and The English Patient.

11:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

8:16 PM  
Blogger John Servo said...

Posted as anonymous and got mad at blogger..

-im not into spike lee movies, i never have found them very interesting(saw parts of 25th hour, and k.o.c, although thats not really a movie, just plain hillarious. etc.), but the new york noir is cool shit, i should give it a rent after they de-flood my local blockbuster
-spinal tap is the greatest comedy every, in fact, thats my next post, the 10 greatest comedies ever (howabout t.v sitcoms too)
-big kubrick fan, its dumb i havent seen strangelove yet.

8:36 PM  
Blogger David said...

Do The Right Thing is one of my favorite movies ever - I highly recommend it, nothing else he's made has come close.

Bowling FC I like a lot, but not as far as its filmaking techniques or anything - I just like the extremely inclusive mass-leftist politics.

I think Fight Club is a tad overrated. The (Post-OK Comp) Radiohead of film, if you will.

5:55 AM  
Blogger John Servo said...

really? I find everything about Fight Club, from its mis en scene to its score and complete absurdity brilliant, if anything you should say Drunk Love or Spotless mind are overrated, but i guess i allready talked about that..

i hope you just get a kick out of the mass-leftist stuff, half of the things he said were lies anyways (the boys didnt bowl before the shooting; Lockheed Martin makes rockets for nasa satalites, not WMDs; The free-gun-for-checking-accounts was staged). i think someone should invest in putting MMoore in Trimspa and getting him help for compulsive lying.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Fitz said...

I think Fight Club is ridiculously overrated. It doesn't even make sense, once you find out that the two guys are merged personalities, there are huge logic holes and plot gaps. Punch Drunk Love is very good, but its PTA's worst movie...what about Magnolia or Boogie Nights?

11:08 AM  
Blogger John Servo said...

Magnolia was great, aside from tom cruise.

Boogie nights was...i've only seen half

this list is poorly titled, execpt for the worst, that is my honest opinion.

I cant really see and plot holes in fight club, and regardless, i hate when people say that, somtimes a movies message lies beyond wheter or not it makes coherent and scientificly possible sense. Fight Club is a character study, not a court case. or as the MST3K theme songs im watching on t.v right now puts it, "if your wondering how they eat and sleep, and other sceince facts, you should keep in mind its just a show, and should really just relax"

1:57 PM  

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