• Best Movies Ever

    From my old website, this was never updated but I may update now that I’m moving to this new site design.

    These are the Best Movies Ever. At least as I originally composed this list several years ago.
    Harry [Knowles] had another, more considered opinion than I do, but I can’t find it on his site. Maybe some day I’ll put up his and the AFI’s list, or links to them I mean.

    So far these movies are my all-time favourites for the Following Reasons:

    Apollo 13

    Two reasons:

    “We can put a man on the Moon…”

    Never…say…die…

    Braveheart and Contact

    Both demonstrate the true nature of mankind and provide great examples of politics.

    Citizen Kane

    I didn’t quite get this in film school. But I think it was hailed because, like Star Wars, Orson Welles had to Invent some technology to get the film made. Like, he cut a lens in half to get one of the shots with a Long Depth of Field and he did some Magic to do a crane shot through a sign, skylight and down into a room. Stuff that had never been done before. However, unlike Star Wars, this was his First Film! Also, he took on William Randolph Hurst (and suffered the consequences) while making a sweeping epic of passion, power and the means and motivations that drive someone to rise to The Top of their profession. Much, in my opinion, like Julius Caesar, or Bill Gates today. So these are the reasons I list it here. He not only accomplished a few technical miracles, but he also stood up and made a social statment and a good one that was well done and well told. The fact that this was his first try and filmmaking only exposes his genius. One of my great professors, Charles Ramirez-Berg, said that one of Orson’s mistakes was that he said he was going to make the best film ever made. He did. This Really made some people mad.

    Star Wars, True Lies, Forest Gump

    These represent ground-breaking state-of-the-art technological advances in Film. Star Wars demonstrated clearly that movies could do surprising things. It foreshadowed that some day movies would do “anything.” True Lies and Forest Gump did do “anything.” Anything (OK in two dimensions anyway) can now be done on film.

    Metropolis, Singing in the Rain

    Both demonstrate Movie history. Metropolis was a state of the art Silent Film. VERY impressive. Singin’ in the Rain explains how the coming of sound affected the motion picture, which should be all the more evident if you’ve just seen Metropolis. This is my “movie history lesson.” I should probably add The Jazz Singer but I am not familiar with it. I suspect it would make a great illustration of “Great State of the Art Silent Film vs. New Groundbreaking Sound Film” but I can not be sure.

    Harry Knowles’ Aint-It-Cool-News as advertised on Earthlink Billboards for example. A Great site for TV and Film reviews, opinions, and news. He was once the 101 1/2 most powerful person in Hollywood according to Entertainment Weekly magazine, and he lives right here in Austin, Texas. Halelujiah!


  • Good Movies

    Good movies I liked and why:

    Movie Title Why
    The Princess’ Bride Love, True Love…
    Batman Begins  Serious treatment of The Dark Knight
    The Dark Knight  The Dark Knight! I didn’t like some of the liberties but the atmosphere was very well done
    Star Wars (episode IV)  Groundbreaking technical work and positive story
    Forest Gump  Groundbreaking technical work and positive story
    The Matrix  Groundbreaking technical work and great story
    Lady and the Tramp  Sentimental favorite. Excellent date movie.
    Starship Troopers
    Like Water for Chocolate
    Dances with Wolves  Respect for Native Americans, beautiful photography
    The Hunt for Red October  Sean Connery mostly
    Lawrence of Arabia  Classic
    Superman I and II with Christopher Reeve  You could believe Superman could fly
    Big  Awesome, great story, Tom Hanks was great
    Escape from New York
    Predator  Great story
    True Lies  My abs hurt when I left the theater I was laughing so hard. Didn’t remember it as funny though. Should have been a franchise!!!!
    Commando  Arnold!
    Lord of the Rings animated Ralph Bakshi version  Spellbound me as a kid, sentimental favorite. Would have liked to see part II…
    Peter Jackson’s AWESOME Lord of the Rings Trilogy  Outstanding. Nearly flawless. Well done.
    Star Wars Episode V  I loved Han. I wanted more Star Wars. But V doesn’t hold up under close critical scrutiny and I was mad that Han was frozen!!! It should have had more Han!

  • Movie Class

    Watch Metropolis, the height of Silent Film.

    Watch Singing In the Rain, notice the transition to “talkies;”
    Watch Batman (1989) and see how it borrowed from Metropolis;
    Watch these 3 to see how technology makes anything possible:

    • Forest Gump
    • The Matrix
    • Jurassic Park

    James Cameron has an Ace.

    • See 3D go Big Time in Avatar and notice how this story robs Ferngully and Dances with Wolves (I think, I wrote something at the time but can’t find it now).
    • Watch Titanic and see how badly Leonardo DiCaprio handles an accent for example but this movie still sets records. A handpuppet could have done that role apparently.