Rounding Out The Top 10

A while back I did a post on my top 3 films. I was quickly corrected about the proper procedure for counting down, but what the hell, I’ll do what I want (even if it’s a no-no), it’s my blog.

So, as I’d promised, I’ve followed up on the last post with my #4-#10 films. The problem is, there’s so much josseling around in this section that giving them an order would be false, as they’d change around five minutes later. So, I’m going to do the next best thing and I’ll throw them up in alphabetical order.

The Fountain (2006) – IMDB

I remember walking into the movie theater, and having no idea what to expect of this film. I’d only seen Requiem for a Dream at this point, and I knew nothing much about Aronofsky. After the film was over, I heard a lot of grumbling from the audience, and I have to say, I’m not shocked. This was not made for a mainstream audience. The Fountain hit on a topic that we all have to deal with sooner or later. Death. And, the way Aronofsky put the story together, both visually and through words, was nothing sort of magical. Like I said, it’s not a film for everyone, but for me, it shows just how far the medium of film can be pushed and how much can be conveyed in such a short amount of time. Amazing acting. Amazing cinematography. My favorite film score of all time. And, an overall spotless presentation make The Fountain a mainstay in my top 10 films.

In The Mood For Love (2000) – IMDB

Anyone that knows me better than a little bit, knows that I’m utterly obsessed with this film. I’m sure once I’ve surpassed the 30th viewing it’ll slip into the top 3. In the Mood for Love is an amazing work of art, grounded in the subtle day-to-day intricacies of everyday life. The film follows two couples move in to neighboring apartments, during 1962 in Hong Kong. Tony Leung as Chow Mo-Wan and Maggie Cheung as Su Li-zhen bring to life two halves of very different married couples, who find out that their significant others aren’t as trustworthy as they seem. Seems like a simple enough plot, but it’s the little details, and the way Wong Kar Wai uses every day situations and really expands them in to something beyond art. I’ve seen In the Mood for Love on DVD, Blu-Ray and recently the big screen, next to 2046 (the unofficial sequel), and it continues to amaze and entertain me with each viewing.

Jaws (1975) - IMDB

What’s there to say about Jaws that hasn’t been said. It’s the perfect mix of drama, horror and thriller rolled up into one fantastic film. Every actor gives their all and Bruce (the shark for those who don’t know) did us all a favor by continuously breaking on set. The first true blockbuster, Jaws deserves to be watched by everyone. A nearly perfect movie.

Let The Right One In (2008) – IMDB

I heard about a small foreign vampire film called Let the Right One In a few days before it had a minor Los Angeles premiere at the Laemmle Theater in Hollywood (it moved, but that is another story). Just going by the premise, and it coming out so close to Twilight, I wasn’t expecting much (but I was determined not to see the teenie bopper flick). What I got was one of the most amazing horror films I’ve ever seen. I quickly told anyone who would listen I’d just seen the best horror film since Cemetery Man, and maybe even The Exorcist. Tomas Alfredson created a masterpiece, stripping what wasn’t needed from the original Swedish novel, and tightening all the pieces just right, until he had a flawless, and often breath-taking horror/drama film. The two leads were fantastic, the cinematography captures Sweden’s cold, gritty landscape, and the story devolves until you find yourself completely enthralled to the film. With one of the best uses of a pool, and one of the most poignent ‘central’ scenes in a film to date, Let the Right One In is a film that fans of horror, foreign, or just good cinema should watch ASAP.

M (1931) – IMDB

Once I was knee-deep in revisiting the classics, I found M to be one of the first ones recommended by my boss at the time. I bumped it to the top of my list and threw it in the DVD player the day it came in. I had never seen a Fritz Lang film before, so I didn’t realize the surprise I was in for. What followed was a trip into madness. I knew Peter Lorre from Casablanca (and Looney Tunes), but never really gave him much of a thought. This film changed everything I thought I knew about the man. He was genuinely creepy, and insanely sympathetic at the same time. For those that don’t know, the film follows Hans Becket (Lorre), a child murderer, who’s on the run from police and the public, and can’t stop himself from killing over and over. Keep your eyes peeled for a scene that’s been homaged in many, many films (cough Jaws cough). This is truly one of the best films ever made.

Oldboy (2003) – IMDB

Oldboy. Phew. What to say? This film follows a man kidnapped and imprisoned for 15 years, released from his captivity, and given five days to figure out who put him there and why. What sounds like an already killer sequence of events, turns out to be one of the biggest mind-fucks in film history. Chan Wook Park (director of Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Mrs. Vengeance, as well as Thirst) has crafted a visually stunning, darkly focussed film set around revenge and why it doesn’t only affect those involved. There’s been rumors of a remake, and I’m sure it’ll be fine, but I’d be shocked if it came close to touching the original.

Once Upon A Time In The West (1968) – IMDB

Sergio Leone is basically responsible for me not just giving up on westerns. My dad is very into American westerns, but I never found John Wayne et all all that interesting. In fact, I find them dull. So, when a friend recommended Fistful of Dollars. To say I thought the film was great would be an understatement  Then I watched For a Few Dollars More. That blew the first out of the water. Then it was on to The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Boom. Another quality film. Leone had pretty much won me over. Even Fistful of Dynamite was a blast. Get it? But, then I sat down for the epic Once Upon a Time in the West, and that was it. I’d found my favorite western to date. The opening sequence is still one of the best I’ve ever scene, and the character of Harmonica (the great Charles Bronson) had one of the coolest (and creepiest) character themes ever. I’ve seen the film on a newly pressed print at the Aero Theater (Santa Monica, CA) and I don’t think I’ll ever be able to capture that feeling again, but I’ll always have my DVD and Blu-Ray editions of the film to savor whenever I want.

Like I said, the order on these changes constantly between each of these films, and occasionally another film will pop up on the list. I’ll be throwing together lists based on genre, directors, mood, etc later on. For now, I’ll leave you with these and I’ll wait to see what your top 10 films are.

2 comments

  • Kelly July 8, 2013

    Great picks! Oldboy is definitely in my top 10. I loved the fountain, tho I’d say it’s in my top 25, I think. Top ten for me: 1. Amadeus 2. Buffalo ’66 3. Dancer in the Dark 4. Lost in Translation 5. Oldboy 6. Festen (Celebration) 7. Elling 8. Lola Rennt (Run Lola Run) 9. Leon the Professional 10. Ferris Beuller’s Day Off

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    • bonomo July 8, 2013

      Amadeus is amazing. Finally saw that on the screen at the New Beverly a few years ago. I’m about to embarrass myself. I haven’t seen Leon yet. :( Seems like you’re very much into the indie side of things. Is that correct?

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