Top Ten Movie Presidents

Since today is President’s Day, I wanted to be just as cliché and in vogue as the rest of the bloggers and film sites out on the internts! Enjoy, yet another list, from me.

10. Jack Nicholson, “Mars Attacks”


9. Bill Pullman, “Independence Day”


8. Harrison Ford, “Air Force One”


7. Michael Douglas, “The American President”


6. Jack Lemmon and James Garner, “My Fellow Americans”


5. John Travolta, “Primary Colors”


4. Peter Sellers, “Dr. Strangelove”


3. Anthony Hopkins, “Nixon”


2. Jeff Bridges, “The Contender”


1. Henry Fonda, “Fail/Safe”

Dustin Hoffman’s Top Ten Performances

    I’m obsessed with HBO’s new series “Luck”. I was sold on the announcement of the show especially when it’s starring Dustin Hoffman, Nick Nolte and Dennis Farina, and I after watching the pilot five times, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s the best television pilot that I’ve ever seen. Hoffman headlining, as well as producing, “Luck” marks the first time that an A list actor has starred in a television show. Maybe this will pave the way for others like Jack Nicholson, Al Pacino or Robert DeNiro to headline a show? Here are my top ten Hoffman performances.

“Lenny” 1974 Dir. Bob Fosse


“Tootsie” 1982 Dir. Sydney Pollack


“Luck” – Pilot 2012 Dir. Michael Mann


“Rainman” 1988 Dir. Barry Levinson


“Little Big Man” 1970 Dir. Arthur Penn


“Straw Dogs” 1971 Dir. Sam Peckinpah


“Wag the Dog” 1997 Dir. Barry Levinson


“Hook” 1991 Dir. Steven Spieberg


“Marathon Man” 1976 Dir. John Schlesinger


“Dick Tracy” 1990 Dir. Warren Beatty

Top Ten Love Stories

Since Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and many movie blogs and websites will be posting their own lists of “love movies”, which will more than likely consist of mainstream love stories, my list will be somewhat alternative but still, at the core of each film that I picked, the film is rooted in love. Because more times than not, love can be a very strange and wicked game. I will not be reviewing “The Vow”.

  1. “True Romance” 1993. Dir. Tony Scott

    “True Romance” tends to be the against the grain film for most people who admire Tarantino, sighting this as their favorite Tarantino film. While he did write the screenplay, the author of this film is very much Tony Scott. The brazed love of Clarence and Alabama has been told prior in films like “Badlands” and “Bonnie and Clyde”, but the chemistry of Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette make this film the staple for tragic star crossed lovers.

  2. “Brokeback Mountain” 2005. Dir. Ang Lee

    “Brokeback Mountain” is such a beautifully painful film about two men who fall in love. I have never seen a film that has demonstrated a forbidden love as well as this film, that’s directed by Ang Lee. A lot of films strive to be perfect, but “Brokeback Mountain” most certainly is.

  3. “When Harry Met Sally” 1989. Dir. Rob Reiner

    “When Harry Met Sally” remains to be one of my favorite movies of all time. The impeccable comedic timing of Billy Crystal meshes perfectly with the bubbly Meg Ryan. This film is very sweet, charming, hilarious and poetic. I think most romantic comedies nowadays try and reproduce the formula that this film made great, but no film will ever achieve the heart that this film demonstrates.

  4. “Blue Valentine” 2010. Dir. Derek Cianfrance

    I was blown away by this film. I was struck by the realism of a decaying, and destructive love where there isn’t a good guy or a bad guy. Things happen, things change and sometimes we can’t do anything about it. Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams are truly awe-some in this movie.

  5. “Beginners” 2011. Dir. Mike Mills

    “Beginners” was one of my favorite films of last year. Not only did it give us the amazing turn by Christopher Plummer, but it was also a very sweet and funny movie that removed itself from the flock of romantic comedies by its brilliant screenplay and wonderful performances by the leads, including the Jack Russell Terrier, Arthur.

  6. “Blue Velvet” 1986. Dir. David Lynch

    “Blue Velvet” is many things: a masterpiece, a neo noir, a really fucked up trip of a movie, but above all that – this movie is a love story. A very sick and twisted love story of what Frank Booth (Hopper) will do to hold onto the love he has for Dorothy Vallens (Isabella Rossellini).

  7. “Wings of Desire” 1987. Dir. Wim Wenders

    Remade as the dreadful “City of Angels”, this film is the story of an angel named Daniel who chooses to fall from grace because of his love over a dancer. Skip the Nicolas Cage/Meg Ryan remake. It’s pretty awful.

  8. “A Woman Under the Influence” 1974. Dir. John Cassavetes

    Peter Falk plays a construction foreman who is married to Gena Rowlands whose sanity has slipped beyond repair. She’s insane, but the dedication of Peter Falk shows us what true love really is.

  9. “The Crying Game” 1992. Dir. Neil Jordan

    If this film isn’t about true love, I don’t know what is.

  10. “Mona Lisa” 1986. Dir. Neil Jordan

    She was a tart. He was an ex con. Sometimes love really is a strange and wicked game.

Top Ten Films of 2010

I’ve got to say, this may be one of the finest years for film in recent memory. There were so many, many excellent films that came out this year. While I still have yet to see “Fair Game”, “127 Hours”, and “Blue Valentine” I decided to make my list, and if need be, after seeing these films that I haven’t watched yet – I’ll amend my list.

10. “TRON: Legacy”

I know there are a lot of you haters out there. “Oh it’s not Avatar!” or “the screenplay sucks!” Well you know what motherfuckers? No movie will ever be another Avatar, until James Cameron releases Avatar 2 though 10. As for the screenplay – what did you expect? This film is built upon its special effects and branches out from there. The special effects are amazing, and too me – it’s more imaginative than “Avatar”, but that’s just me. I gave this movie a 9/10, and I saw it a second time and my rating still held up. Get over yourself haters. Go eat sushi and talk about how intuitive and deep “The Social Network” is while you try and keep wasabi out of your recycled Urban Outfitter’s scarf.


9. “The Social Network”

This is not the best film of the year. Jesse Eisenberg does not give the best performance of the year. This is not David Fincher’s first of second best film. Andrew Garfield is not getting snubbed for a nomination, Armie Hammer is. What this film does have to offer us, is a story about an uppity little brat who thinks he’s entitled to everything in the world. It displays an air tight screenplay by Aaron Sorkin (I loved him before all you fucks did, so don’t start with me) and a great score. While I did think this was a good film, and I did enjoy it – I think a Fincher/Sorkin collaboration would have been better suited for the Bill Gates/Steve Jobs story. I have a feeling all the people that are banging the drum for this film were the same ones who thought “The Hurt Locker” was an amazing and incredible film. Get over it.


8. “Life During Wartime”

“Life During Wartime” doesn’t deal with a tangible war, it deals with the proverbial war that we fight with our family, our friends and within ourselves. It deals with forgiveness, absolution and retribution. The themes of this film run in toe with the themes of our American culture. I’m so glad that I got a chance to see this film while flipping through the channels late at night.


7. “The Town”

“The Town” is a slick fusion of “Heat” and “Point Break”. It’s a near perfect heist film that was masterfully helmed by Ben Affleck and has a great ensemble. Renner seems to be the favorite for a Best Supporting Actor nomination, but I prefer Jon Hamm in the film. Even though some elements and situations in the film tend to be a bit stretched, I still think this a very effective and taught film.


6. “Inception”

I don’t know whether or not “Inception” is Nolan’s best film. I still have my preference of his smaller films, “Insomnia” and “The Prestige”. “Inception” is the perfect combination of a summer blockbuster and a thinking man’s movie. The climax of the film is incredible, the four simultaneous dream arcs smashing the screen at the same time is flawless and brilliant. The performances in this film are all a great ensemble, and please people – get over Tom Hardy. He served his purpose but nothing more. Still, “Inception” is a landmark film. Nolan also scores major points for not making it 3-D.


5. “True Grit”

The Coen Brothers deliver again. With their second collaboration with Jeff Bridges, they bring us a great authentic western. Jeff Bridges gives the performance of the year, and along with Josh Brolin and Hailee Steinfeld, they deliver a great, great film. Yeah, I do have a Jeff Bridges “bias” but that’s because he’s amazing and doesn’t get enough credit. True Grit is excellent.


4. “Solitary Man”

Michael Douglas delivers one of the finest performances of his career and one of the top performances of this year as Ben – a womanizer, alcoholic and dishonest solitary man. People have compared his performance to the likes of Gordon Gekko. That’s false. His character is Gekko-esq, but he does have a heart. This is a very, very small and ultra cliché riddled film – but it’s near flawless. Michael Douglas deserves a nomination for this film.


3. “The King’s Speech”

Colin Firth has become one of my favorite actors – yet I am not very versed in his back catalog of his performances. With his performances from last year’s “A Single Man” and this year in “The King’s Speech” – everything with Firth seems so effortless. He gives a triumphant performance along with Geoffrey Rush. This is one of the most inspirational films I have seen in a long, long time. This is a rare cinematic treat that blends a period piece epic and a very small character study.


2. “The Fighter”

Everything about “The Fighter” just lightly touches upon perfection. This is a film that I truly underestimated. I thought it would be good, but not great. Marky Mark’s project is incredible and he gives us a masterpiece. He gives his best performance as does Amy Adams and Melissa Leo. As for Christian Bale – he’s nothing less than flawless perfection. He gives us an incredible tour-de-force performance as the main characters crack addicted, once “great” older brother and mentor.


1) “Black Swan”

Speaking of masterpieces. Darren Aronofsky’s “Black Swan” is incredible. I haven’t felt for Natalie Portman’s character like that in a long, long time. I was beyond sympathetic. The eerie and terribly creepy feeling of paranoia was masterfully displayed by Aronofsky. The ensemble cast is a true work of art. Vincent Cassel and Barbra Hershey’s supporting performances were incredible. This film is one dark trip into painfully brutal beauty.


The Actors: Jack Nicholson

 

While I feel that Nicholson hasn’t had a quality performance in many, many years – aside from “The Departed” – I think that he is truly a landmark of an actor.  Coming from the Roger Corman than BBS era of film, he is one of the most important figures in American cinema.  I didn’t include him in my Top Ten Currently Working Actors post, and that was wrong of me.  Jack Nicholson may be America’s finest actor.  Ever.  Where does one even begin to rank his best performances?  I will, so you don’t have too.

  1. Bobby Dupea, “Five Easy Pieces”
  2. Buddusky, “The Last Detail”
  3. R.P. McMurphy, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
  4. Garrett Breedlove, “Terms of Endearment”/”The Evening Star”
  5. Jack Torrence, “The Shinning”
  6. J.J. Gittes, “Chinatown”/”The Two Jakes”
  7. The Joker, “Batman”
  8. George Hanson, “Easy Rider”
  9. Jerry Black, “The Pledge”
  10. Freddy Gale, “The Crossing Guard”

The Actors: Michael Douglas

 

 

With two excellent performances this year – the first being Ben in “Solitary Man” and his second turn as Gordon Gekko – I’ve always felt Douglas is a compelling actor.  I may be disappointed with the film he’s in, but I’ve never been disappointed with his performance.  Some people may see Douglas as a one note narcissistic actor, I see him as something a little more; I see Douglas as the poster boy for masculinity.  His next film is going to be the Steven Soderbergh directed “Liberace” where Douglas will undergo musical training and wear prosthetics to play the title character.  This may be one hell of a swan song.   Here are my top 10 Michael Douglas performances.

  1. Gordon Gekko, “Wall Street”/”Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps”
  2. Ben Kalmen, “Solitary Man”
  3. Dan Gallagher, “Fatal Attraction”
  4. D-FENS, “Falling Down”
  5. Grady Trip, “Wonder Boys”
  6. Nicholas Van Orton, “The Game”
  7. President Andrew Shepherd, “The American President”
  8. Detective Nick Curran, “Basic Instinct”
  9. Nick Conklin, “Black Rain”
  10. Robert Wakefield, “Traffic”

Top Ten James Bond Films

I’m a James Bond superfreak, I own all the Bond films (yes, even “Die Another Day”, and no I don’t own “Never Say Never Again” and if you, you’re an asshole). Roger Moore is my favorite Bond, but I can acknowledge that Sean Connery than Daniel Craig are the best Bonds. I’m undefeated in James Bond Scene It! though only two people have ever played me. I take Bond films seriously and I hope you do too.

10) “Live and Let Die” (1973)

I’ve always felt that James Bond films have always resonated with current events (when each film was being made). This film really embraces hinting upon racism, and really deals with black culture. This film essentially has black villains, and they’re villains that even black people would love to hate. Not to mention, this is the first outing as my personal favorite Bond, Roger Moore.


9) “The Man With the Golden Gun” (1974)

This film pins James Bond up against Chistopher Lee (who was Ian Flemings cousin). That’s pretty awesome.


8) “You Only Live Twice” (1967)

The best villain in the Bond franchise finally gets a face, Donald Pleasance shows up as Blofeld, James Bond’s nemesis, this film was also penned by Willy Wonka’s Roald Dahl. This film ends with an epic action sequence.


7) “Goldeneye” (1995)

This movie really saved the franchise before it was almost destroyed. It also spawned one of the best video games ever made. Fuck ya Pierce, don’t take any shit! Also, a great title song sung by Tina Turner.


6) “Dr. No” – 1962

First Bond. Nough said.


5) “Casino Royale” (2006)

After the Bond franchise turned out the horrible “Die Another Day”, they saved the shit out of it by supplying a solid story (that somewhat drags), but they found the absolute best James Bond they could. Daniel Craig is simply astounding.


4) “The Spy Who Loved Me” (1977)

With a theme song by Carly Simon, Roger Moore kicking ass, Stanley Kubrick helping out with special effects and Jaws. This movie kicks so much ass.


3) “License to Kill” (1989)

This is the first “real world” James Bond film. It deals with a drug cartel leader (Robert Davi) and a scheming televangelist (Wayne Newton). Timothy Dalton is a great Bond, I don’t care what anyone says – plus this is the last Bond film where Bond actually smokes cigarettes.


2) “Goldfinger” (1964)

“You expect me to talk?”

“No Mr. Bond; I expect you to die!”


1) “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service” (1969)

Not only is this the greatest Bond film, but it’s a great stand alone movie. James Bond gets married, and Blofeld kills his wife – this is the only Bond film to have an “unhappy” ending. Get off George Lazenby’s back – he did the best he could filling Sean Connery’s footsteps.

“Don’t worry, we have all the time in the world.”