ExpDel Top 100 – 2017 Revision Part 2

“As you recall, I was talking thru my updated Top 100. Let’s do this thing

50-South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut 39
Whodda thunk that our favorite foul mouth animated mountain kids would spawn a movie musical that has held up for nearly 20 years? Maybe the same people that woulda thunk that movie would lead to an Academy Award nomination for Best Song. I can still crack up at this movie after all these years and however many times the songs have come up on my iPod. Personally, I blame Canada.

49-Goodburger Return
My nostalgia knows no bounds, and Goodburger is a total embodiment of my love of the 90s. The 2:00 AM rule still holds true for this movie. Watch it too early, and it’s dumb. Watch it too late, and you’re too loopy. Hit that sweet spot, and it’s the funniest thing you’ll ever see. At least it is if you’re a child of the 90s.

48-The Fast and the Furious (franchise) 27
This is the rare franchise that has actually improved with every installment. Most drop off sharply once they hit 4 or 5, whereas that’s when Fast just hit its groove. Hmm, if you made me, 7 > 6 > 4 > 5 > 1 > 3 > 2. Yeah seven got me really emotional saying goodbye to Paul Walker, but it also stepped up the action so much (the car flying between buildings?!). I also don’t think I’ve ever been as giddy for a future movie as I got when I saw the end of 6 tease the addition of Jason Statham. I’m still amped up.

47-The Little Mermaid -21
Yup, still a Disney kid. Maybe I don’t wish I was a mermaid as much as I did when I was three, but ya gotta respect a princess who is strong-willed and ambitious about being more than just a princess.

46-Snatch -15
So apparently, this is a TV series now? Not sure how that will work, but this movie will forever be a classic to me. I know, I know, so many of my entries have touted clever/brilliant/smart dialog, and this is likely to be yet another one. What can I say? I know what I like in a movie, and this one is very much it.

45-Planet Terror -8
It’s a shame the Grindhouse thing didn’t take off, because I would have totally eaten up more movies like this one. Hmm maybe “”eaten up”” isn’t the best choice of phrase when talking about a zombie movie. It’s true though, I loved how absolutely bonkers this movie was, and it could have launched a whole new subgenre of B movie.

44-Toy Story 3 -5
Still the only movie I will ever admit made me cry, and it happened on multiple viewings. This is simply Pixar magic at its best. So. Many. Feels.

43-Terminator 2: Judgement Day 45
My one definitive answer to a sequel that’s better than its predecessor. T1 was good, but T2 is mind blowing. I much prefer Ahnold as a good guy, and Sarah Connor is one of the most badass and iconic strong female film characters of all time. It’s the perfect popcorn movie, and few blockbusters have been able to match it.

42-Memento 21
Brilliant. A concept that can never (or at least should never) be replicated. Originality goes a really long way with me, and there is nothing else like this movie. It’s still haunting.

41-Mrs Doubtfire Return
Remember when family movies were enjoyable for the whole family? They don’t make ’em like they used to, and there ain’t ever gonna be anybody like Robin Williams. That man’s talent knew no bounds, and this was one of his best showcases.

40-Frailty -15
Aww Bill Paxton. His directorial debut is still my go to every Halloween (assuming I think to watch something). It’s such a disturbing and dark film (like we know I like ’em) and it just sucks me in every time. It also has yet to be dethroned as the best movie I ever impulsively bought from a bargain bin.

39-Death to Smoochy -6
When I hear the term “”dark comedy””, Smoochy is the first example that comes to mind. Who even thinks of this stuff? It’s such a messed up concept, and that shock is exactly what draws me in. And it’s brilliantly funny, in a does-it-make-me-a-bad-person-if-I-laugh-at-this sort of way, and you don’t care how offensive it may potentially be because it’s still just that funny and clever.

38-Whiplash New!
I don't think any movie gives me a bigger rush of adrenaline, and it's not even an action movie (at least not in the traditional sense). The acting is masterful, the music is energizing, the plot is incendiary, and I even learned some about editing and other technical aspects of film. Just, wow.

37-Clueless 6
Think there's a more quotably classic 90's comedy than this? As if!

36-Almost Famous -25
I just find this movie to be so beautiful and moving. I dare you not to get emotional during the “”Tiny Dancer”” scene. Kate Hudson has never been better, nor has much of the rest of the exquisite cast. And I love a story where your socially abnormal teenager finds acceptance with an unexpected crowd.

35-Cabin in the Woods -6
I can't stress enough how brilliant this movie is. It's not a straight up genre mashup, but the tongue in cheek humor is certainly what elevates it above all the other horror films in this genre it pays homage to. Sometimes, the answer isn't to tweak the tried and true formula, but instead to play into it fully. Also, cast. Yes.

34-A Clockwork Orange 15
There are few movies darker than this (and they’re likely higher up on my list), and we all know that I love a film that’s truly disturbing. The book is even more intense, and if you can get thru the language, it’s absolutely worth it. Who says I don’t appreciate classic cinema?

33-Father of the Bride -1
This was one of the few movies that me and both parents could agree on. Obvs getting me to agree with my Daddy was easy. Mom? Not so much. I feel like whenever I do get married, much of that process is going to have been informed by this film. Namely, keep it simple, and leave Franck out of it.

32-Kill Bill -9
I’ve explained it before, but if you could this as two movies, then Vol 1 is likely my fave Tarantino. However, I believe it’s more correct to think of it as one, in which case Vol 2 brings it down for me. I’m just all about the action from the former, and less about the revenge of the later. Still, both halves are pretty freakin’ great.

31-Home Alone 10
I don’t even think of this as a Christmas movie because the whole thing is fantastic year round. A couple years ago, I showed it at a movie night at the old job. Co-worker brought his 5-year-old who laughed hysterically throughout. Those are the moments that make life worth living.

30-Boondock Saints -17
Aw I miss Boston, and this movie capture’s the city’s energy so well. The mix of DGAF and loyal to the nth degree. Even if the rest of the world forgets about this movie, it’ll always live on the banks of the river Charles.

29-Battle Royale 19
Still completely enthralled with the concept and the raw violence of this movie. It’s not one you get over easily, and every subsequent rip-off just makes me that much more enamored with this original.

28-Interview With the Vampire -14
It might not hold up too well, and there may have been a plethora of vampire movies in the past 20+ years, and some of them may have been better than this. However, this is still the movie that gave us Lestat (well after Anne Rice wrote him) and for that, this movie will linger on. Remember, at the time, it was rather revolutionary to get a story from the vamps’ perspective instead of just seeing them as the blood lusting villains.

27-Drop Dead Gorgeous 20
All the times so far that I’ve praised clever dialog in a movie, ain’t got nothing on this one. I have never played this film for an unsuspecting audience friend and not gotten hysterical laughter from them every five minutes. It’s just bizarre enough to be brilliant.

26-Requiem For a Dream -9
Am I still the only person you know who has willingly seen this movie multiple times? And would put it on again in a heartbeat? Yeah, I thought so.

25-Mean Girls 13
Not only is this one of the funniest movies of the new millennium, it’s also one of the most important. It so accurately captures the frenemy relationship between most high school girls, and highlights how dangerous that can be. And did I mention it’s really really funny?

24-Magnolia -4
I still say that no other interconnected story ensemble movie has done it as well as Magnolia. Each story could hold its own movie, and the intricate connections between them all are so beautiful. The whole thing is perfectly cast as well. Some of these stars have never shone brighter.

23-Reservoir Dogs -4
I still say Tarantino’s first was unequivocally his best. It’s so raw and gritty and intense and iconic. You see so many of what are now his signature elements start here and propagate throughout his career, but that first spark of madness was the brightest.

22-Psycho 22
I think for me, it isn’t so much that I love the film as a whole as it is that I love Norman Bates. Nice Guy Serial Killer, not a concept we encounter too frequently, and certainly never as effective as here. Of course, Hitchcock is the master of horror, and his accomplishments with this film are outstanding. Still for me, it’s all about Norman.

21-The Martian New!
I’ve talked about movies that are perfectly “”me””, but this is more one that is perfect FOR me. Every element of it is perfection, and I love how much this film warrants nerd-ing out. Can I give it any more of an endorsement?

20-The Godfather 61
There are those that argue this is the best movie ever made. I don’t know exactly what I’d pick, but I would never argue against this one. On all fronts, it really is among (if not absolutely) the best. You can’t not be completely absorbed in this film whenever you watch it.

19-The Goonies 81
I don’t know what I was thinking dropping this so far down the list last time. The first time I watched this movie is still one of my happiest memories ever, and to do this day even thinking about it gives me warm fuzzies. I proudly gave a copy of this to my little cousins last Christmas, and I really hope they can appreciate it the way that I do.

18-Die Hard -3
Still the greatest action movie, and not even because the action is that great. It’s all about the attitude. John McClane is the OG DGAF hero, and he should be on everyone’s Christmas list. Yippie Ki Yay!

17-Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 60
I took my Mom to see this at Fenway Park and she actually enjoyed it. That should tell you something about this movie right there. My day in Chicago a couple years ago recreating favorite scenes from the film with the BFFF was one of my best days ever. I’m totally a Cameron, and I’m okay with that.

16-Elf 5
I could never have anticipated how much this film would have permeated into my life. It seems like I’m always finding an appropriate opportunity to reference it. It’s so sweet and sincere and perfectly gets me into the Christmas spirit every year.

15-Harry Potter 20
Oh God, I’m not even gonna try and rank them all, but It’d start with 4 > 3. This franchise (books included, obvs) has meant more and more to me in recent years, I guess since rereading them before my first trip to the Wizarding World. There’s always a new layer to discover, and they’re just so poignant yet fun. Magical doesn’t even begin to cover it.

14-Serenity -4
Hard to believe that a short lived cancelled TV series spawned such beloved characters, but my coat will be brown till I die. Star Wars vs Star Trek? Bitch please. I aim to misbehave. Always and forever.

13-Forrest Gump 5
Servers at Bubba Gump hate me because I’m not match for their trivia questions. It’s not my fault I watched this movie non-stop for about a year. Nor is it my fault that seafood is my favorite, and the fact that there’s a seafood chain based on a top 20 favorite movie means that I visit frequently, esp now that I actually live near a couple.

12-Lord of the Rings 4
My favorite book, so of course among my favorite movies. I may not leave the extended editions constantly running in the background like I did back in college, but now it’s like a new discovery every time I do rewatch them. Comforting like visiting an old friend, one that’s still always full of surprises.

11-Muppet Christmas Carol 1
Oh the feels. The warm and fuzzy feels. It’s a story that’s been done a million times in a million formats, but nothing tops Muppets. Not only is it the best Christmas Carol, it’s also the best Muppets. And it’s no wonder that Rizzo’s my fave Muppet after his performance here. No, I’m not still bitter that he was mostly cut out of the reboots, idk what you’re talking about. No, I didn’t confront Jason Segel about it at his book signing… (okay maybe I did)

10-Clerks -3
Kevin Smith’s masterwork. He’s had some incredible movies since (although most of them were in the 90s) but none have ever topped the sharp and insightful and very much relatable screenplay he wrote here. Anyone who has ever worked in any kind of customer service role knows that feel bro, all too well.

9-21 Jump Street 18
I am declaring this the best movie night movie of all time. I’ve shown it at several different movie nights and it’s always a hit. And I laugh hysterically every dang time, no matter how well I already know it. Brilliantly self-aware, carefree, and inventful. The sequel may not have been quite as awesome as the first, but it’s not too far off either.

8-Heathers 0
You can tell a lot about a person if they describe Mean Girls as Heathers without a body count, or describe Heathers as Mean Girls with a body count. I’m generally the former, although based on context, I could use either. This original way of dealing with one’s teen angst bullshit makes for one of the most cathartic high school movies around. Big fun!

7-Zombieland 2
Runner up for best movie night movie ever, and one of the best ever examples of a genius genre mashup. This one nails the balance between horror and comedy, making it one of the absolute greatest movies of all time according to me.

6-American Psycho 0
I was really close to moving this into the top five, but the two ahead of this are just too meaningful to me. Mr. Patrick Bateman here is more of a dangerous obsession. I just can’t help myself around him, in any incarnation: film, book, or even stage last year.

5-Angus 0
I don’t remember if I first encountered Angus in high school or later, but I’ve never found a character that has been so inspiring and hopeful to me in dealing with the struggles I faced then. He’s vulnerable but brave and faces his enemies head on, no apologies. He’s exactly what I needed, and he makes me laugh every time.

4-SLC Punk! 0
I’ve identified with characters before, but here I simply identify with the attitude of the film as a whole. The idea of personal rebellion, and fighting to make your own way in this world, and not caring one little bit what anyone else thinks about you. These are all philosophies I live by to this day, and they are fully embodied in this movie.

3-Donnie Darko 0
In all the years since I’ve seen this movie, it’s stayed with me and still haunts me. I can debate and discuss it for hours on end without getting bored, and I love the connection I feel with anyone who feels as intensely about this movie as I do. Some people just don’t get this movie at all. Those that do are my people.

2-Fight Club 0
This movie has so many different meanings to so many different people. For me, it’s about non-conformity and rebelling against the norms of society. It’s about making your own way, and what happens when you go from blindly following one leader to another. Oh right, I’m not supposta talk about it.

1-Aladdin 0
Nope, this movie is never going anywhere. I feel like I’ve doubled down on this one over and over again, with bday movie nights and Disneyland trips, and bday Disney trips. No movie makes me happier, and I doubt any ever will.”

ExpDel Top 100 – 2017 Revision

“I was long overdue for another revamp of the Top 100 list. Since I recycle posts for this list (you really think I’m gonna watch all 100 again?…well I guess I wouldn’t put it past me), I figured I should at least give a quick blurb on each this time about why it’s there. It also gives me a chance to clarify where an entry is inclusive of an entire franchise or just meant for a specific film. I’m alshto indicating where it lands compared to the previous year, or if it’s completely new to the list, or back on after missing an iteration or two.

I won’t go into my extremely tedious process of how I put the list together, but I do want to at least point out that I don’t know where they line up with previous years until the list is set and I’m actively comparing. And of course, five minutes earlier or later and we may have had a completely different placement. Except for my #1. That ain’t ever changing.

Shall we?

100-The Babadook New!
I’m sure I’ve made this comment before, but spot 100 tends to be kinda special. Once I’ve finished the list, if I find there’s one movie that dropped off that I just gotta squeeze in, it’ll usually sneak into this spot. I really wanted to include this movie because I keep coming back to it as an example of what makes a really good horror movie. And the sound the Babadook make still freaks me out to think of it.

99-The Faculty -20
I know it’s bad. I keep it around for nostalgia purposes. For the lines I still quote, and the incredible cast it assembled. I wouldn’t subject the uninitiated to it, but do feel a twinge of happiness whenever someone recognizes the source of my saying “”I don’t believe a person should run unless they’re being chased””.

98-Cabin Fever -33
Can I even justify this other than declaring my love of Eli Roth yet again? It’s simple and solid and subtly brilliant in some ways.

97-Revolutionary Road -45
I still feel a wave of emotion whenever I think about this movie. It’s not as flashy or nostalgic as some of my other choices, but it’s stayed with me. Say what you want about Titanic, but I think this is the better pairing of Leo and Kate.

96-Inception -46
It’s hard to find such a unique film, and I love how the concepts are stuck in our minds to this day. I still hear it referenced regularly, and I forget how groundbreaking the visuals are. I really need to watch it again soon.

95-Funny Games -2
This keeps hanging on because we know I love my movies messed up, and they don’t get any more demented than Funny Games. I may have become slightly desensitized over time, but I can guarantee you that this movie will still shake me up. Even as other disturbing fare has emerged, none are as ruthless and unapologetic as this is.

94-Scream -23
Still my favorite slasher movie. What can I say, I’m a child of the 90’s, and the classic 80’s killers don’t do it for me. Give me some meta commentary on the genre any day!

93-Birdman New!
Unofficial rule, if you’re my favorite movie of a given year, you’re likely to end up on the next revision of this list. The initial excitement I felt towards this movie may have faded in the past two years, but I can’t forget the brilliant and skillful filmmaking behind it. And the way that it’s just on the cusp of making perfect sense. Love that.

92-Repo: The Genetic Opera New!
It was inevitable. This movie has gone from being too weird for me to a slowly building obsession. Forget Rocky Horror, this is the movie that I want to be watching Saturdays at midnight with a shadow cast. Bonus points for Anthony Head singing!

91-Lars and the Real Girl -15
I can’t let Lars go. This small and simple movie has more heart that the majority of what you’ll find in the theater. It’ll likely always be my favorite Ryan Gosling role, and we can’t forget about the massive creativity points it earns.

90-Final Destination 9
I know the franchise gets really stupid. But the first one really freaked me out, and the later ones were really creative. And I still can’t get over the twist at the end of the last one. One of my favorite ever Shyamalan-esque turns.

89-Masterminds Return
I can’t believe I let this drop off the list last time! I mean yes, it’s a really dumb movie, and everything it does, Die Hard does better. However, on a nostalgia level, you don’t get bigger than this for me. I bet I can still recite every line of dialog…

88-V For Vendetta Return
This may have been surpassed by better action films, but it hasn’t been beaten by a better rebellion. V has lived on and is still the man I’d want to have lead me to revolution.

87-Dumb & Dumber New!
I love how a movie called Dumb and Dumber is actually really smart. So much of the humor is pure genius, and I still love it after all these years. Who’d have known when this was first released that it’d become such a major part of the pop culture landscape.

86-Stay -19
It’s like I hope that by keeping this movie on the list, more people will discover it. Yeah, it’s sort of a Donnie Darko rip-off without the rabbit, but I still find the psychological twists and turns of this movie absolutely fascinating. And I could look at emotionally tortured Ryan Gosling all day.

85-The Lobster New!
My 2016 fave makes its way onto the list! I still hold that this is one of the most unique films I’ve ever seen. I love the quirky and bizarre tone, and the way that it raises so many questions about their world and ours with such a simple concept.

84-Selena New!
Nostalgia wins again. This is quite possibly the only movie that can ever make me miss south Texas. I love how people that didn't grow up in that culture and didn't know who Selena was until she was embodied by JLo still discover and appreciate this film in all its 90s glory. There's a reason music biopics are so popular, and I'd argue that this is among the best.

83-Sin City -53
Remember a decade ago when this film was absolutely revolutionary? It's faded from memory (and the sequel did nothing to bolster it), yet it's still worth praising for the visual miracle that it was. We've seen every sort of comic make its way to the screen since, but none have looked as bloody good as Sin City.

82-John Wick: Chapter 2 New!
Last minute squeeze in after I'd supposedly finalized the list. I realized that I did end up seeing this twice in the theater, and thus it was eligible, and it was also visually superior to the film that I knocked out of this slot. This is the level of action movie my daddy raised me to love, and what every other dude who kicks butt should aspire to be. I'm mostly counting this for Chapter 2, but a lil love for 1 factors in as well.

81-Tucker & Dale Vs Evil New!
This is as “”me”” as a movie gets: laughs and blood. Specifically, weird but clever meta humor mixed with gruesome horror. I am all about this.

80-Hostel Part II -10
What I’ve loved about this one is that it transcends torture porn, because you see both sides of the (I guess) knife. We go one step further than we did with the original, and it adds a lot more internal conflict within a couple key characters. And if we are gonna talk torture porn, nobody (except maybe Jigsaw) does it better than my boy Eli Roth.

79-American History X -22
The sad thing is that I don’t know if there’ll ever be a time when this movie isn’t utterly important, and it’s now more relevant than ever. There are scenes that still haunt me

78-Mulholland Dr New!
It was only a matter of time until this movie made the list. It’s started to make more sense to me lately, and the initial wonder I’ve felt towards it has turned into full on giddy excitement. I still love picking it apart and trying to be at peace with the strangeness of it all. I think this is the gold standard for the weird and confusing yet twistedly enjoyable film that other films rarely manage to hit.

77-Mission Impossible 7
4 > 1 > 2 > 5 > 3. I love how each has a vastly different vibe from the others (particularly those three I listed first). Each movie pushes the envelope even further, coming up with an even more bonkers set of action sequences mixed with that classic espionage thrill. The franchise may be on its last legs, or it may just pull out another surprise like Ghost Protocol. Time will tell.

76-The Sixth Sense New!
I’m really surprised this wasn’t here before. I could have sworn it made a past iteration, but apparently, it hadn’t. I love that Shyamalan’s getting his groove back, but nothing is ever going to top his masterpiece. Even when you know the twist, it’s still a haunting and engaging movie that’s held up for almost twenty years now.

75-Detroit Rock City -16
Rock and roll plus youthful energy plus a cleverly quotable script. I only wish I was a bigger KISS fan so that I could fully appreciate this movie.

74-Hedwig and the Angry Inch New!
True, my obsession may be more with the stage show than the film, but if I can’t see Michael C Hall (my fave of the 3 Hedwigs I saw on b’way) on stage regularly, I’ll take the original John Cameron Mitchell on film.

73-The Wedding Singer -11
For me, this is Adam Sandler at his best. Not the crude childish characters he insists on playing well past their prime, but his sweet and sincere Robbie Hart. Add in the warm fuzzies from having choreographed the stage musical at MIT, and I’m always gonna think fondly of this one.

72-The Dark Knight -36
This used to be a staple at the top of the list, but I think superhero fatigue has pushed it down, at least until I watch it again sometime. Today we’re inundated in supes, but time was when that was more of a niche genre. We’ve got this movie to thank for doing it better than any others before or possibly since.

71-Catch Me If You Can 3
I think this is one of those movies that is just perfect. It’s a fun and interesting stranger than fiction story. The cast is unbelievable. The production value and music and direction. All of it is spot on

70-Star Wars Saga New!
I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get this franchise on my list. I freaking love Star Wars. I think part of it tho is that they’re not really movies I feel compelled to watch over and over, as much of the rest of this list is. It’s more that I have such love for the characters, and it’s been a shared passion between friends for years. Of course, the resurgence of the films helped give a boost here.

69-Inglorious Basterds -18
I kinda cheated a little bit here. I was holding Pulp Fiction on the list out of habit, when I realized that I actually like Basterds better. So, I just swapped ’em out. Basterds is the rare film that I actually enjoy more and more every time I see it. It’s kind of diminishing returns at this point, but still, I keep finding more magic hidden deeper below the surface on every subsequent watch.

68-Saved! -34
Oh man, remember when this movie was everything for me? I’m a bit more removed from the period in my life that this most resonates with, but there’s some dialog here that is unbeatable. And it’s a sweet story with a fantastic cast that I’m never gonna be able to let go of.

67-Lucky Number Slevin -12
I think the theme we keep running into is that there’s a lot of movies here that I keep forgetting how awesome they are. At one point, this was in my top ten before fading down the list. Every so often, I’ll watch it and remember how sharp and snappy the dialog and the story are with some big names at their best, and then it gets lost in the noise again.

66-Kung Fu Panda 31
This is one of my ultimate happy movies, and I still remember watching it with my roomie to try and hold myself together on one of the worst days of my life. Even then, Po and his friends made me smile, and I suspect they always will (even if they don’t do so as effectively in the sequels)

65-Magic Mike XXL New!
Oh, hello there. I feel like I shouldn’t even need to explain why this is a favorite. It’s the ultimate good time party vibe with some really hot guys rocking even hotter dance moves. What more could a gal ask for?

64-The Shawshank Redemption Return
I feel like this one flops and on off the list the most. No one would argue against it being an incredible movie, with a truly moving storyline and compelling characters. I guess maybe sometimes I take it for granted and other times I appreciate it. Right now, I’m feeling appreciative.

63-Ghostbusters New!
The original Ghostbusters always lurked just outside the list. Take the new one into account, and we’ve finally got enough to propel it to a decent spot. The first is absolutely classic, something I often quote and think fondly on. Still I can’t stress enough how extremely important the new one is for women in comedy and in technology. It does a service to its predecessor while doing its own original thing, arguably giving us characters even more memorable than before.

62-The Matrix -22
Forget that the sequels existed, and this is one of the greatest sci-fi movies of all time. It revolutionized not only the genre, but the entire industry with breathtaking action sequences and a plot that was just crazy enough that you maybe believe it for a minute. I'd be remiss if I didn't honor this movie with a spot. Lord knows it totally changed the game for me.

61-That Thing You Do 29
When I was little, I saw this as a fun movie about a band (at one point, they had me thinking it was true) that falls as hard as they rise. As I got older, when I learned the term “”one hit wonder””, the movie made a whole new level of sense. It’s fun and smart and produced better music than most fictitious bands manage to.

60-The Lion King Return
What? We know I'm a Disney kid, ergo, we knew there'd be much Disney on this list. I think this was the first movie I ever saw twice in the theater. It's also a movie I watched on repeat for about a year straight. Put it on right now and you'll find me bouncing along and singing every word. That's how I roll.

59-Black Swan 7
This might be my favorite Halloween costume ever, and it’s one of the ones I put the least thought into. I love how the movie combines my passion for psychological thrillers with my lifelong passion for dance. It’s another one of those that just seems like it was made only for me, and I’m proud of that association.

58-Jurassic Park New!
I had to beg so hard for my parents to let me see this, and they only acquiesced because I had a longstanding dinosaur obsession. I still love dinos, and they’re certainly at their best here. It’s amazing how well this film has held up, and I attribute that to Spielberg’s genius at the helm.

57-Juno -11
I still say this is one of the most clever screenplays ever written. I stayed pretty faithful to Diablo Cody after, but she never quite topped herself here. And based on this performance, I still want Ellen Paige to play me in a hypothetical movie version of my life.

56-D2: The Mighty Ducks 0
Again, I didn’t know where movies previously ranked. Interesting that this is the only one outside the top 10 that stayed put. My love of this made me a sucker for an underdog sports movie, but none of them have ever matched up to my ducks. One and Three are okay, but Two is where it’s at.

55-Romeo + Juliet -2
Has a more beautiful movie ever been made? The stunning visuals of this are unlike anything else. The imagery heightens the emotion of a story that I prolly wouldn't have cared much about. Plus, Leo is pure perfection.

54-It follows New!
I keep on highlighting this as a genius horror film, that subverts the genre it celebrates. It's such a clever twist on a classic horror trope, and it's really freaking scary. The idea that the demon could come back at any moment if you haven't tracked its movement still freaks me out.

53-Equilibrium 7
Ask me about my all-time favorite action sequences, and I'll still start with the opening sequence in the dark and the one where Christian Bale saves a puppy. Sure, it's a blatant and kinda hokey rip-off off Fahrenheit 451, but it's also unlike any other action movie. Its style is up there with John Wick, it just makes a greater attempt at substance.

52-Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny 16
One of my favorite movie musical soundtracks ever. Put on Kickapoo or Beelzeboss and I know every word for every part. Sure, maybe my love for this movie shows off a vast immaturity. I don't care. I think it's hilarious.

51-Fanboys -9
Funny that a movie about Star Wars fans has done better on this list than actual Star Wars. It’s an underappreciated gem that should be required watching for all fans of the Wars. Trekkers need not apply.

Actually, that’s enough for now. Let’s split this into two posts”

Dumb and Dumber

“So sneak peak, I’m working on revamping my Top 100. Long overdue, I know. The list is pretty much finalized, but I’m doing some work on the post (that will hopefully be completed by the time this one posts). Anyways, I say that because this is the one movie currently on there that doesn’t already have some associated post. What’s the point in being on my favorites list if I’m not gonna use that as an excuse to watch?

I first saw this movie much younger than I should have. There were definitely a lot of adult themes I was rather scandalized by. Yet third grade me could appreciate a lot of the silly sight gags and purely puerile phrases pouring from our leads. Watching now, I get how ironic it is that a film called Dumb and Dumber about two really really not smart people is one of the smartest screenplays that has ever made it to the screen.

I say it’s smart because of how it all fits together. Every misstep the characters take is somehow exactly what they need to advance themselves, and they don’t even realize it. When I was 9, I took everything they said at face value, and laughed at that. Now that I’m, um, older than 9, I see the next layer of the jokes. It’s brilliant.

Also brilliant are the performances from Jim Carey and Jeff Daniels. They play into the script perfectly, and somehow manage to make their characters ones that you root for. They’re over the top, but never too much. It’s such a hard line to toe, and few have ever managed the feat. Over twenty years later, I’m still laughing at everything they do, no matter how many times I’d seen it before.”

T2: Trainspotting

“Let’s just get right to it. I was bored and I didn’t really get the point. True, going in I really had no idea how this would even work as a sequel, but I was curious. Of course I’ll watch Ewan McGregor in pretty much anything since his charisma can carry even the dullest of films (*cough*cough*PhantomMenace*cough*). The original movie had such an incendiary start and it just didn’t let up. Here we had more of a slow build that didn’t particularly seem to go anywhere. The first had some really iconic and creative imagery. Some of that was borrowed and referenced here, but we didn’t quite get anything new that was nearly as inventive. I mean, I guess there were only so many directions you could go with reformed heroin junkies, but this wasn’t quite the journey I wanted to take with them.

T2 Trainspotting – \m/ \m/”

The Belko Experiment

“There are some types of movies that are just very “”me”” movies. I think I’ve finally figured out how to best define that, and it’s usually when you mash up two distinct genres. Action/comedy like 21 Jump Street. Musical/horror like Repo. Comedy/horror like Tucker and Dale Vs Evil or Zombieland. The Belko Experiment seems to fall towards that last combo.

I was sold from the moment the poster caught my eye in the movie theater. It said “”Office Space meets Battle Royale””. Yes, strange and unexpected mashup. Also, total sucker for a Battle Royale ripoff, even if they never come close. Here we’ve got a different spin, adding in a promised element of satire. The American employees at a Columbian office find themselves trapped in their remote building. They’re given instructions over the intercom to kill a certain number of themselves, lest more be killed. You can guess where this goes.

Even though I was completely sold just from the poster, the trailer really put me over the edge. The reason? The cast. It’s led by John Gallagher Jr (from my American Idiot on Broadway obsession). We also recently saw him in 10 Cloverfield Ln. Then there’s Tony Goldwyn, aka Scandal’s President Fitz, and the always radiant Melonie Diaz who we don’t ever see enough of.

My one minimal gripe is that I feel they could have taken the comedy even further. It was really dark and striking humor, but there seemed to be a missed opportunity for even more. That’s okay, because the violence more than made up for it. Sure, it tipped the scales of the mashup balance, but it worked. I certainly had my characters I was rooting for, and the ones I wanted to see die a gruesome death. Obviously one of those desires would win out more often than the other.

So clearly not something for everyone, but absolutely something for me.

The Belko Experiment – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”

Beauty and the Beast

“I haven’t been sold on these live action Disney adaptations yet. Yes, the visuals are always stunning, but they rarely offer up anything new and fantastic enough to justify their existence. The Jungle Book was prolly the most successful thus far, although it’s not really one that I feel that connected to. Beauty and the Beast, however, is right in the second golden age of Disney sweet spot for this 90’s kid. Even then, there are others in that era that I prefer, so I didn’t buy into the hype of this remake.

I was sold seconds into the movie. I just got so giddy watching the prologue play out (Audra!!!) and then the big opening number. And the feels never let up. Mostly it was giddy nostalgia, but the more emotional moments were truly moving as well. I was just swept up in the music and the costumes and the production design. I had chills all through the ballroom scene, and I maybe got a little teary in the scene that followed.

And oh that cast was perfect. MVP’s totally go to Luke Evans and Josh Gad. Can we please get a Gaston and Lefou buddy comedy musical spin off? I could not get enough of those two. Ian McKellan’s Cogsworth was the other big scene stealer for me. And it wasn’t lost on me that Ewan McGregor’s Lumiere did a Fosse move when he sang the words “”culinary cabaret”” in Be Our Guest.

I think part of why Beauty and the Beast never fully resonated with me growing up was that too much emphasis was always placed on the romantic storyline. I did love the supporting characters, but they didn’t endure like the ones from other films. I also never realized how much I actually identify with Belle. The bookish smart girl who doesn’t fit in her small town? Hmm that sounds familiar. I can’t say enough how much I loved that they had her share the inventor/engineer traits with her father this time. Seriously, how did I not register how awesome this chick is? Oh right, because we usually just see her waltzing in the yellow dress.

This is the first movie this year that has had me so excited that I was bouncing on my way out of the theater. Ten minutes in, I was ready to go see it again. If I got this giddy over Beauty and the Beast, can you only imagine what will happen if and when the live action Aladdin ever comes together? Guy Ritchie, I’m counting on you!

Beauty and the Beast – \m/ \m/ \m/ \m/”

Kong: Skull Island

“This is one of those movies that I saw mostly out of a perceived obligation. I respect King Kong as a classic Hollywood character, but his repeated failed reboots feel a little like “”stop trying to make fetch happen””. I also don’t generally care for films that rely too much on CGI monsters for their action, especially in the third act (Transformers, Pacific Rim, Godzilla). It feels like lazy story telling when any plot advancement is suddenly abandoned in favor of cool things beating up other cool things. Still I went because I always see these big event movies (even if a March release indicates a smaller event), but moreso because of that cast. Brie Larson, Samuel L Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, John C Reilly? If you’ve got a great assembly like that, they’ve got to be on to something, yeah?

And oh, they were! First off, yes the cast was the best part of it (MVP shout out to Reilly). I felt like there was some actual substance to their characters, which I’m not sure if it was good acting or good writing, but it was engaging, which is what matters. The lazy action I was concerned about? Not much of a problem. The sequences were developed with a lot of human interaction, and the aforementioned character development kept some weight and high stakes in the middle of the flash. And it did look pretty cool, a lot of really creative shots.

I think I was just mostly impressed at how absorbed I was in it. All the elements came together just like a great blockbuster should. I even found myself feeling a twinge of nostalgia at some classic Kong imagery, despite the fact that I wasn’t ever much of a Kong fan. The success with which this was executed gives me hope for the upcoming summer movie season. I just hope the other studios were as mindful as the team behind this.

Kong: Skull Island – \m/ \m/ \m/ \n”

Personal Shopper

“I think the title and occupation of the protagonist intrigued me as much as (if not more than) the supernatural plot. Here’s a chance to explore a to me unknown occupation and see a supernatural thriller. Cool! When looking into schedule possibilities, I noticed that star Kristen Stewart was lined up to do a Q&A following a screening I could easily attend (plus score some tacos I’d been jonesing after for a few weeks), so that was a no brainer.

Stewart is stuck in Paris, waiting for a sign from her twin brother who passed away three months prior. The two of them were mediums, but he was a much stronger believer than she is. Meanwhile, she fills her time at a job she hates, buying clothes for her rich and entitled boss. While on a work errand, she receives some mysterious communications. Is it her brother? Someone else? And what are their intentions?

The film is being described as a supernatural thriller, but to me it felt more like a modern ghost story (so yes on the supernatural) than a full on thriller. Yes, there were some really suspenseful sequences, but the mystery of the spirit realm permeated the film more for me. I also really did find her job and day to day fascinating, which was a strange juxtaposition with the ghost side of the story. It felt like any other small and simple indie mixed with a mediocre horror (which elevated it just past medicore).

The Q&A was cool because there’s a lot of this movie that’s purposely left ambiguous. Hearing Stewart talk about that ambiguity and how the director wasn’t interested in answers, just exploring the journey calmed any frustration I was feeling in the resolution by providing some proper context.

A friend of mine who saw the movie after me said this was more of a save-for-Netflix type of movie and I’m inclined to agree, assuming that you’re able to devote a decent amount of attention to it, and aren’t playing video games or something as I typically do when watching at home.

Personal Shopper – \m/ \m/ \m/”

Before I fall

“You guys remember Christmas Every Day? This kid is basically the Scrooge of his small town, hating everything about Christmas? He’s then forced to relive the same Christmas over and over until he figures out how to make it the perfect day, at which point he learns to cherish the holiday and time spent with his family? No? You mean you weren’t into made for tv holiday movies on The Family Channel in the mid-90s? Oh. What about Groundhog Day. You know that movie, yeah? Okay, good. Let’s go with that.

Now take Groundhog Day and combine it with Mean Girls. Strip out the comedy element and instead write it as a YA piece. That’s what you get with Before I Fall. Rising star Zoey Deutch is a high school girl forced to relive the same day over again, and it always ends with her and her friends dying in a car accident.

You can kinda guess where some of it is going. Much of the plot here is pretty formulaic. However, there were a couple of shocking moments hidden in there that I really appreciated. The more important aspect though is how it teaches a lot of the same lessons learned from Mean Girls. I’ll admit, I struggled for a while to get into this movie because I found it so hard to sympathize with the popular girls at school. We all know that wasn’t me. But the emotional journey this character went on was a powerful one, and as cheesy as some of it ended up, I was somewhat moved by her arc.

For me though, I’m a little too old for the target demo, and likewise wouldn’t particularly recommend it to anyone else in that category. For the teeny boppers among us though, it is rather appropriate, and I really hope that this movie can have an effect on today’s generation of mean girls.

Before I Fall – \m/ \m/ \m/”

The Machinist

“I hadn’t seen this movie in years, possibly a decade. I of course remember it as being disturbing (love those), but I couldn’t really explain why. Yeah, there’s some messed up events that occur, but that didn’t explain why I get an icky feeling in my stomach when I think about it. Don’t think that icky is necessarily a bad thing. I’ve made the point before that with as many movies as I see, it’s hard to get a strong reaction out of me, so I will take icky over apathy any day.

This time, I think I figured out where it’s all coming from, and I feel like an idiot for taking so long to realize. First off, quick plot interjection. If you’re not aware of what this movie is about, Christian Bale is, um, a machinist with insomnia. He hasn’t slept in a year, and it’s taking a toll on him. Things are getting weird. Bad stuff’s happening around him. He can’t function. The connection I didn’t make until now is that the ick factor that makes me feel really uncomfortable and unbalanced is meant to mimick what our protoganist is feed. (Duh *facepalm*). He’s just as disoriented, if not moreso, and this movie is so incredibly effective in transfering that to the viewer. Proceed with caution, but for me, the payoff is worth the mental discomfort.”