Thursday, May 01, 2008

Top Ten Movies

Haven't done one of these in a while, and I saw Nate Bell's list recently. Anyone care to list their top ten films, and if there have been any changes since last time, list why?

Here's my list from 2004.

Ikiru (Kurosawa, 1952)
High Noon (Zinnemann, 1952)
The Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, 1954)
The Samurai Trilogy (Inagaki, 1954)
To Kill A Mockingbird (Mulligan, 1962)
Sanjuro (Kurosawa, 1962)
Red Beard (Kurosawa, 1965)
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Leone, 1966)
The Matrix (Wachowski, 1999)
The Twilight Samurai (Yamada, 2002)

Here's my new 2008 list:

Top Two:
The Seven Samurai (Kurosawa, 1954)
3:10 To Yuma (Daves, 1957)

The Rest:
High Noon (Zinnemann, 1952)
Open Range (Costner, 2003)
To Kill A Mockingbird (Mulligan, 1962)
Terminator 2 (Cameron, 1992)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (Spielberg, 1977)
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Leone, 1966)
The Godfather (Coppola, 1972)
The Twilight Samurai (Yamada, 2002)

Barely missing out:
The Sting
For A Few Dollars More
The Big Lebowski
Master and Commander
Shaun of the Dead
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Once Upon a Time in the West

As you can see, my list is very entertainment oriented. These are all movies I will watch over and over again. I think they tell good stories and are well-made, of course, but there are many movies that I admire but don't re-watch.

Regarding the changes from 2004 to 2008: The Matrix doesn't hold the luster it once did. It is still an entertaining flick, but the action doesn't seem nearly as revolutionary as it used to, and what's left isn't as interesting. Ikiru, while still a good one, is not that entertaining, and I haven't found myself returning to it. The themes of life and meaning still resonate with me, though. The Samurai Trilogy are still fun flicks, and watching Mifune is always a treat, but room needed to be made for other movies. Red Beard is still fantastic, but it got trimmed in favor a great Spielberg film. I decided to limit the list to one Kurosawa. I wrestled with switching out The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly for For A Few Dollars More or Once Upon a Time in the West, but I ultimately kept it because of Eli Wallach. Man, OUaTitW has got a great cast too, though...

I added Open Range because I watched it again with Amy recently and it's just a darn good movie. Yes, there is some awkward dialogue (Costner acts better than he speaks), and the ending feels a little long (though necessary, I think, in carrying out everything that's been established) but the rest is perfect. The setting, the themes it wrestles with, the build-up, the pay-off, all good. I also added Terminator 2 because it's a near perfect piece of entertainment. Close Encounters is up there for now because it's a really well-made and enjoyable movie that I rarely hear brought up, though it is a tough call between that, Jaws, and Raiders. Saving Private Ryan was also a consideration. The Godfather is up there because I don't know how I left it off the first time. Another perfect movie. I listened to Coppola's commentary on it recently and my appreciation grew further.

It was really tough leaving off The Sting (perfect movie), a Coen brothers movie (like The Big Lebowski -- I'll never get tired of watching that one), and Shaun of the Dead.


jeri said...

Really? The Sting? (Said in tones of Jason Bateman saying, "Her?")

I saw this for the first time last year at a Movies on the Fox event. I enjoyed it but forgot about it. I wonder if it's because of the venue where I saw it. I might have to give it another try.

Ryan said...

Dude! It's a perfect movie! Perfectly entertaining! I probably like it more than Butch Cassidy, even.

The chemistry of Redford and Newman, the music, the set up of the sting and the pay off, Robert Shaw, Charles Durning. The humor, the action, the drama, I love it all.

Ian said...

Amadeus was my favorite for a while (still is), until it got kicked in the nuts by Don Corleone.

Ryan said...

You know, Amadeus is definitely up for consideration, now that I think about it. That's another near perfect movie.

Eric said...

Awesome list Ryan.

I saw 3:10 to Yuma a couple of months ago it blew my mind. I kept thinking, "Why haven't I heard of this before!? Why did it take a remake for this movie to be seen?"

Eric Branscum said...

This is Eric Branscum by the way. I wasn't logged in for the above comment.

Ryan said...

Hey, Eric! Glad you found 3:10. It is such a great movie. Did you get to see the original before the remake? The remake is ok, but after seeing the original it pales.

Eric Branscum said...

I haven't seen the remake. I've heard it's a good action-western but I know there's not a chance of it being as good as the original.