Top Six: Favorite all-time movies
You can stop shitting your pants with eager anticipation, loyal and true Movie Chutzpah readers. I’ve finally — after weeks of painstaking preparation, blogging and figuring out what this whole biz-nasty is all about — decided that now is the perfect time to unleash the untamed beast that is the Ultimate Top Six column:
The Movie Chutzpah’s own Andy Reid (that’s me, in case you were wondering) will unveil his six favorite movies ever. Trust me when I say this — tears will be shed, laughs will be heard, friends will be made and lost and everyone everywhere will probably disagree wholeheartedly about the list. But you know what? That’s the great thing about this new-fangled internet-doohickey: anyone anywhere can post this kind of stuff, and there’s not a damn thing anyone else can do to make them stop. So if you don’t like my list, create your own Movie Blog and post a new, probably much better, list. Or just shoot back in the comments section below (that’s a win-win for both of us. Comments pretty much make my day).
Can you feel it? That special electricity in the air? I’ll tell you what that is; That’s the makings of a kickass, epic Top Six column. I mean, my grandkids are probably going to be like, ‘Pappi, can you tell us the story about how you (insert crazy, unbelievable line here, ex. ‘ended the Iraq war’ or ‘became Emperor of Earth’) by writing about your six favorite movies on the internet?” And then I’ll sit back in my armchair and wow them with a stunning rendition of the greatness of this freaking piece. Now I’m just rambling. Sometimes I get like that — it’s not ADHD, I promise.
Side note: I struggled for a really long time about whether or not to throw “The Dark Knight” in there. I finally, after some serious self-deliberation, rested on “No.” Honestly, I love this movie. I’ve seen it three times, and I want to see it more, but I need to know if it has staying power; I need to know if it’ll be as good on DVD as it is in the theaters; and I need to know if the rewatchibility will extend past a handful of viewings into that the-DVD-is-getting-worn-out realm. I’m going to give it some time. Maybe in a year or two when and if I revisit this column idea. Without further ado, biggity bam (note the subtle Jay and Silent Bob reference. They’ll probably make an appearance on the list).
6. Rear Window, 1954
The voice and vision of Alfred Hitchcock are sorely missed in the film world these days. I mean, the dude took a movie about a wheelchair-ridden guy stuck in his apartment and made if one of the most suspenseful, nail-biting movies ever made. Imagine making that pitch now — “Yeah, it’s, uh, about this guy, and he’s, like, stuck in his apartment, so he just watches people” — and see how well the Hollywood bigwigs take it. But Hitchcock not only made it work, he hit it out of the park. My grandpa showed me this flick when I was but a wee lass, and it was totally a gateway movie, a catalyst for a Hitchcock addiction that didn’t end until I had seen all the classics. But in my mind, “Psycho,” “Birds,” “Vertigo,” they all pale in comparison to this Thriller masterpiece.
5. Bottle Rocket, 1996
This movie introduced the world to a lot of freaking talent. For starters, the Wilson brothers (including a writing credit for Owen) made this movie. Dignan is a completely hilarious character, and Luke’s Anthony is the balancing yin to his yang. And then, of course, it’s Wes Anderson’s directorial debut. He’s one of my favorite directors right now. And I know, being a college-aged male, that’s a very stereotypical thing for me to say, but I can’t help that I love his movies. And above all his flicks so far, “Bottle Rocket” has the most rewatchability. I still crack up like a seven-year-old laughing about a poop-joke when Kumar “loses it” during the big heist. Add the fact that no movie in the history of cinema has done so much for my fleeting hope that fuzzy collared shirts will, someday, explode in a huge fashion trend, and you have yourself a movie that totally belongs on this list.
4. A Clockwork Orange, 1971
“Singing in the Rain” is such a good, warm, wholesome song. I dare you to watch Gene Kelly strolling down the street, singing that song and not smile. Seriously, it can’t be done. Well, that is until you see “A Clockwork Orange,” because Stanley Kubrick’s dystopian masterpiece completely fouls your opinion of that song forever. If you haven’t seen the movie, I really don’t want to spoil the scene for you.
This movie has an interesting dynamic, because as much as I enjoy watching it, I also have a hard time sitting through it, because of its brutal, no-holds-barred grittiness. It’s real, it’s gruesome and it’s terrifying. In a time when the world is becoming more and more connected to the various forms of media that have become so prevalent in our everyday lives, “A Clockwork Orange’s” cautionary tale about the bitter social effects that are tied to media is more important that ever.
3. Dogma, 1999
It took a long time for me to decide which Kevin Smith movie I wanted to put on my list. My original draft had “Clerks” in this spot, but then I realized that, while that movie is freakin’ fantastic, “Dogma” is a much more complete film. It’s got that unrivaled Kevin Smith scriptwork (like “Clerks”); it’s got some powerfully emotional scenes (like “Chasing Amy”); it’s got much better visuals and camera work that his other work; and, unlike most of his movies, stuff actually happens. Plus, if you get hundreds of Catholics all over the country so upset about a movie featuring a giant, rubber Shit Monster that they resort to sending you death threats, you pretty much know you’re doing something right.
2. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, 2004
I don’t like throwing the word “perfect” around lightly, but this is just about as close to it that a Romantic Comedy can get. Combining the brains of one of the best writers in Hollywood (Charlie Kaufman) with on the most visually creative directors around (Michel Gondry), the movie shirks the usual formulaic, tepid style that Rom-Coms have adapted recently, and the end result is the most jaw-droppingly original movie I’ve seen in a long time. The visuals are stunning, the storyline is impeccable, the character development is such that you get completely caught up in these peoples’ lives and the acting is 100-percent spot-on. I love, love, love this movie.
1. Brazil, 1985
My favorite book of all-time is “1984.” So doesn’t it make logical sense that “Brazil” would be No. 1 here? After all, Terry Gilliam tossed around the idea of calling the flick “1984 1/2” before settling with the final title. I’m a sucker for dystopian stories that tell how depressingly terrible the world is going to be in the future, which is kind of weird (even to me) seeing as how I usually like to stay as optimistic as possible — it doesn’t matter though; give me a million “Brave New Worlds” before a copy of “Island” any day. And “Brazil” is unique in that — yes, it is dystopian, and yes, the future looks incredibly bleak, BUT — Gilliam’s quirky, goofy style shines in the flick in a way that just isn’t present in any other dystopian literature. I could watch this movie every day for the rest of my life and not get bored of it. But if you try to hand me a “Love Conquers All” version, even if you’re just doing it to be funny, I will have not reservations to totally bitch-slap you.
Whew. That was an intense experience. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy writing. Let me know what you think of the six above-mentioned pictures, and what movies you’d have them with, in the comments section below.
Entry filed under: top six. Tags: Alfred Hitchcock, Bottle Rocket Wes Anderson, Brazil, Charlie Kaufman, Dogma, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Kevin Smith, Michel Gondry, Rear Window, Stanley Kubrick, Terry Gilliam. A Clockwork Orange.