Tuesday, December 1, 2009

50 - 46

Breaking into the top 50, this almost becomes a whole new list. Since this list isn't a 'Best' or simply a 'Favorites', each spot takes on new significance. The list is "The Films I Can't Live Without" and so as each spot progresses one can say, "If I could only live with 50 films, which 50 would I have. If I could only live with 49 films, which 49 would I have, and so on". I know, it's a nerdy distinction, but it's important to me. Now I'm finally cracking the top 50. Enjoy.

50. Notorious (1946)
Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

My personal favorite of Hitchcock's well known career. While the film can be accused of a certain slowness in the pacing (which Hitchcock film can't?), its still the most rewarding film experience of his career. Ingrid Bergman (better here than in Casablanca), Carey Grant, and Claude Rains give incredible performances. The love story between Bergman and Grant is fabulous and Grant's rescue of Bergman is the spy equivalent of a knight rescuing a damsal in distress. Beautifully shot and filled with suspense, if I could only live with one Hitchcock film (and I would), then this one would surely be it.

49. Duck Soup (1933)
Directed by Leo McCarey
The most critically acclaimed Marx Brothers film is my second favorite Marx brothers film (there is one more still on the list). Everything that is loved about the brothers can be found here in all its glorious absurdity. Everyone gets great moments, scenes, and one liners. Few comedians have ever crafted something as funny and timeless as this film. Unfortunately, some critics read an anti-war message into the film and try to give it some more social significance, don't be fooled, it doesn't feature any such message.

48. Shrek 2 (2004)
Directed by Andrew Adamson

Breaking apart from most people, Shrek 2 is an all around superior film to the first one in my estimation. It's not more accomplished by featuring a deeper message or more epic story, it's just simply a better example of a thoroughly endearing and entertaining animated film. I had a blast watching this in the theatres (coming from someone who didn't initially enjoy the first Shrek film), and I still enjoy watching it again and again. The jokes are fast and furious, the characters iconic and several of the action sequences (particularly the final storming of the castle) are about as good as you'll find in animation. If you could only have one Shrek film, make it Shrek 2.

47. The Matrix (1999)
Directed by the Wachowski Brothers

I remember sneaking into this film (I was under 17) and being blown away by the whole thing. Although it wasn't a smash box office hit, it became a gigantic DVD phenom and has nestled itself into pop culture...and it deserved too. The Wachowski's not only crafted a thoroughly engaging and mind-bending story, but infused that story with such clear artistic vision that The Matrix became one of the most unique action/SciFi films of all-time. It inspired an entire genre of films after it and any film historian would note its influence on nearly all action films in its wake.

46. Toy Story 2 (1999)
Directed by John Lasseter

The second straight 1999 film is also another trilogy series (soon to be) where I enjoy the second entry the most. While the first Toy Story is a masterpiece in itself, I just find myself enjoying Toy Story 2 more. I feel its bigger, faster paced, more emotional, funnier, and has a better ending. I suppose that I just enjoy the whole airport ending more than Sid's backyard or the moving van. Besides, I just don't enjoy that the other toys don't treat Woody nicely at the end of the first Toy Story, it just feels uncomfortable to me.

45-41 Coming Soon!