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Thursday, June 30, 2011



Edward Scissorhands is a 1990 dramatic fantasy film directed by Tim Burton that centers around a man who has, well, scissors for hands. When local suburban AVON representative Peg (Dianne Wiest) can't find anyone in her neighborhood to whom she can sell her products, she makes her way to the abandoned and mysterious mansion on the hill overlooking the town. What she finds is a young, scarred man named Edward (Johnny Depp) who has scissor-like contraptions in place of hands. Filled with compassion, Peg brings him to her home in suburbia, where he immediately becomes the talk of the town, despite his apparent handicap. He easily assimilates into Peg's home, quickly earning the trust and admiration of her husband Bill (Alan Arkin) and son Kevin (Robert Oliveri) after using his "hands" to create beautiful lawn art out of the bushes. When the neighbors start to take notice, they also fall in love with his skill, which he quickly expands into hair styling. However, things start to change after Peg and Bill's daughter Kim (Winona Ryder) comes home from a camping trip with her boyfriend Jim (Anthony Michael Hall), and Edward starts to develop feelings for her.

I could probably go a little further with the above synopsis, but I think cutting it there leaves a little bit of intrigue for those of you who may not have seen this film just yet. I know that it's taken me much too long to give this one a gander, and I've actually taken quite a bit of flak for waiting this long. Because I'm a bit of a fan of Burton's stuff - he ranks at number eleven on my list of favorite directors - I knew that I'd have to see it at one point or another.

Edward Scissorhands definitely has that Tim Burton feel to it, and it's absolutely unmistakable from the very first moment. I can't quite tell you just what makes Burton films so magical, but they're undeniably so and in the best way possible. Despite having that special stamp on it, however, I wasn't entirely impressed with the film's screenplay. It's definitely something special, but I felt like it sorta just started without giving a terrible amount of exposition. For some films, that works incredibly well, but in the case of this movie, I wanted a little bit more at the beginning to establish the overall setting. Once the film gets going, however, it's definitely captivating. The atmosphere presented in the suburban town is both ironic and bitingly funny. The contrast between Edward's Gothic exterior and the pastel coloring of the suburbs is astonishingly hilarious, and it sets the stage for the ultimate shift that occurs as the film progresses.

The acting does well to balance the screenplay, especially from our lead in Johnny Depp. It's a very reserved role, with his best moments coming when he's not saying anything at all. A lot is told through his eyes, which is just a testament to his effectiveness as an actor. The rest of the cast fills out nicely, with the aforementioned characters doing a very good job. I'd also like to give some credit to some minor characters, including Kathy Baker and a wonderfully fantastic Vincent Price in his last on-screen role in a theatrical film. If anyone ever needed to be in a Tim Burton film, it's the perennially brilliant Price, and even though he only spends a few minutes on-screen, his mere presence resonates throughout the entire film.

Overall, Edward Scissorhands is definitely an enjoyable film. Although I had a little bit of issue in the early going, it works itself out rather nicely and proves to pack a rather emotional punch at the end. I don't want to give too much away, but if you find yourself getting entrapped in this movie, then I think you're going to appreciate it all the more.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: B+
1.5 Thumbs Up


It's been five years since the last Mission: Impossible film hit theaters, but Hollywood has decided to bring the franchise back to the big screen with Tom Cruise reprising his role as the lead Ethan Hunt. He'll be surrounded by an impressive cast, so I'd say we could be looking at the makings of an interesting return to the franchise. The film's first trailer was released this week with the opening of Transformers: Dark of the Moon, and I thought I'd break it down for you and give you the skinny on what we should probably expect. Below is the trailer, and after the jump, you'll see my breakdown. Enjoy!

And now for the questions that entered my mind while watching the trailer:

1) What is Ghost Protocol?
Because it's the film's subtitle, it must play a relatively important part within the film itself. I know that there was never going to be an explanation within the actual trailer, but Tom Wilkinson's mention of it makes me a little more intrigued to find out exactly what this "Ghost Protocol" may be.

2) The trailer sets this film up to be extremely fast-paced. Will it deliver on that promise?
For much of the trailer, we get to see a number of sequences of intense action scenes that will hopefully stay off the cutting room floor once the final product is released. Now, I know that the Mission: Impossible series is an action-oriented franchise, but in the past three films, I can't really remember anything truly stellar about the level of action that makes them stand above similar films. In a way, they're just not all that memorable. Still, there's no reason that Ghost Protocol won't change that standard. They even managed to throw in a big-time effect at the end of the trailer, like I mentioned all action film trailers do in my breakdown of Fast Five.

3) What was the reasoning behind bringing this franchise back to theaters?
I know that money was definitely a driving factor in bringing Mission: Impossible back to the big screen, especially considering that the three previous films all surpassed the $100 million mark to be considered "blockbuster" films. That being said, the most recent installment in 2006 spotted the lowest domestic gross of the franchise. Add in the fact that Tom Cruise has had a bit of a shaky personal image in the past few years, then you could start to question the reasoning for bringing this one back.

4) On that note, is Cruise still right for this role?
It'd be tough for Cruise not to come back to a franchise he dominated for ten years, and had he not been asked to return, there would have been quite an uproar from fans. That being said, I simply wonder if he's a little too seasoned to be playing Ethan Hunt yet again. And while I don't think his personal image is as scared as it was a few years ago, I'm pretty sure there's still a good number of people who would avoid this film just because he's starring in it. I just don't know whether Tom Cruise has the star power to draw a massive audience anymore. I personally think he's a great actor (he's nabbed wins in my personal "Best of" awards in 2004 and 2008), but his portrayal of Ethan Hunt was never one of my favorite of his roles. Still, it'd be strange not to see him in the film, so I guess we'll have to live with it.

5) Can the all-star cast around Cruise help give this series a fresh breath of air?
All that being said about Tom Cruise, I'd have to say that whoever was in charge of casting did a great job with this one. The aforementioned Wilkinson brings some serious acting chops to the film. Bringing back Simon Pegg is a huge plus as he's sure to bring some much-needed comic relief to the screen. The addition of the beautiful Paula Patton also brings a level of grace to the screen that I'm not sure the Mission: Impossible franchise has had to date. However, the biggest signing has to be of Academy Award nominee Jeremy Renner, who in the past two years has proven himself twice over that he has the potential to be a great actor. Throwing him into the mix with a legend like Tom Cruise should play out very well, and I'm definitely excited to see Renner delve more into the action side of things.

6) Can director Brad Bird succeed in making this live-action film?
Before this film, all of Brad Bird's previous films have been of the animated nature. His debut feature film was 1999's The Iron Giant, and he followed that up with the Pixar endeavors The Incredibles and Ratatouille. He hasn't directed a movie since that 2007 film, so I'm interested to see how his creative tendencies will translate to the live-action format. The fact that he helmed The Incredibles is a little reassuring, considering that was an action-packed film despite being animated. Still, I think the jury has to remain out until the final product can hit theaters.

Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol will hit U.S. theaters on December 16, 2011.

Movie Review: BAD TEACHER


Bad Teacher is a 2011 comedy directed by Jake Kasdan that centers around the livelihood of one, well, bad teacher. When Elizabeth Halsey (Cameron Diaz) gets dumped by her ultra-rich fiance, she has to revert back to her days spent as a junior high teacher. Rather than using her job as an opportunity to enrich the lives of children, however, she takes the chance to attempt to woo a new colleague named Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake). When she learns that Scott has a bit of an affinity for large breasts, Elizabeth dedicates herself to raising enough money to fit into Scott's type, so to speak. At the same time, she starts to engage in a bit of a rivalry with another teacher named Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch), who is both vying to be the best teacher in the school as well as for Scott's affection. When Elizabeth learns that the teacher whose class scores the highest on the state-wide standardized test will earn a respectable bonus, her battle against Amy shifts into high gear.

As my readers will know, Bad Teacher landed a spot on my list of this summer's most anticipated movies, falling in at number ten. I think it's safe to say that I had relatively high hopes for this one going into its theatrical run, and even after it started to garner negative reviews, I kept my hopes up that we'd be in for quite a laugh-fest. After finally seeing the film, I can honestly say that my first emotional reaction was disappointment.

Now, I don't want to go as far as saying that the movie is horrendous. There's definitely bits and pieces that will get you laughing - or at least chuckling - from time to time. However, the screenplay on the whole really isn't all that impressive. The basic storyline is rote and predictable, so there's nothing there that grabs the audience's attention. Because of this, the film's potential for success was forced to rely on the jokes and gags more than anything else. For any movie, that poses quite a problem, especially when you get a film like Bad Teacher. The jokes and gags we're given aren't nearly enough to drive along the film, and that's where this movie truly gets hurt. It tries to rely too heavily on raunchy and shock-value humor rather than finding a way to blend it with an equal amount of genuine humor. In a way, you can make the argument that Bad Teacher is really targeted at an audience of teenage boys rather than the mass public.

Some of the actors do their best to save the ship, but there's not a lot to be done when they're given a screenplay this awful. I was hoping that Bad Teacher could serve as a resurgence for Cameron Diaz who I thought desperately needed a winning role to re-start her career. While she has her moments during the film, I mostly found her to be a little whining and annoying. She does just enough to make her character appealing enough to be our lead, but that's as far as she takes it. I personally couldn't stand either Timberlake or Punch throughout the film, as their characters were much too over-the-top for my own liking. I understood the direction they were taking their characters, but it really seemed to be much too much. If anyone's worth seeing, it's Jason Segel, who plays the school's gym teacher who lusts after Diaz. His comic timing is, and has always been, simply brilliant, and he almost makes this movie watchable. We also get some okay performances from some smaller players like Phyllis Smith, John Michael Higgins and Thomas Lennon. Also be on the lookout for an appearance by Molly Shannon.

As much as I hate the fact that I'm throwing this film under the bus a little bit, I can't rightfully tell you to spend your money to see Bad Teacher. I had high hopes for the film, but as I stated earlier, I was utterly disappointed with the final product. Segel might be worth the price of admission, but it'd be a long-shot. I'd say wait for this one to hit NetFlix before you give it a view - otherwise, I think you'll simply be wasting your money.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: D+
Thumbs Sideways

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Movie Awards: BEST OF 1998

Here's a throwback to 1998 with my personal awards list for that year. These nominees and winners are based on the 40 films from 1998 that I've been able to see. I hope you enjoy this walk down memory lane!

Best Visual Effects



Best Original Song
"I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," by Aerosmith from ARMAGEDDON
"I Want to Spend My Lifetime Loving You," by Marc Anthony & Tina Arena from THE MASK OF ZORRO
"I'll Make a Man Out of You," by Donny Osmond & Ensemble from MULAN
"The Prince of Egypt (When You Believe)," by Mariah Carey & Whitney Houston from THE PRINCE OF EGYPT
"Time of Your Life," by Randy Newman from A BUG'S LIFE



Best Original Score
James Horner for THE MASK OF ZORRO
Jerry Goldsmith for MULAN
Randy Newman for A BUG'S LIFE
Stephen Schwartz for THE PRINCE OF EGYPT



Best Cameo or Brief Appearance
Jon Lovitz in HAPPINESS
Lawrence Taylor in THE WATERBOY
William H. Macy in PSYCHO



Best Young Star
Giorgio Cantarini in LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
Kirsten Dunst in SMALL SOLDIERS
Lindsay Lohan in THE PARENT TRAP
Rufus Read in HAPPINESS



Best On-Screen Couple
Ben Affleck & Liv Tyler in ARMAGEDDON
Jeff Daniels & Joan Allen in PLEASANTVILLE
Jim Carrey & Natascha McElhone in THE TRUMAN SHOW
Mulan & Shang in MULAN
Nicoletta Braschi & Roberto Benigni in LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL



Best Villain
Geoffrey Rush in LES MISERABLES
Miguel Ferrer (as Shan-Yu) in MULAN
Tom Wilkinson in RUSH HOUR
Vince Vaughn in PSYCHO



Best Hero(ine)
Antonio Banderas in THE MASK OF ZORRO
Bruce Willis in ARMAGEDDON
Jeff Bridges in THE BIG LEBOWSKI
Roberto Benigni in LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL



Best Voice Acting
Chris Rock (as Rodney) in DOCTOR DOLITTLE
Eddie Murphy (as Mushu) in MULAN
Kevin Spacey (as Hopper) in A BUG'S LIFE
Rose Marie (as Norma Bates) in PSYCHO
Sylvester Stallone (as Weaver) in ANTZ



Best Supporting Actress, Comedy
Cynthia Stevenson in HAPPINESS
Fairuza Balk in THE WATERBOY
Natasha Richardson in THE PARENT TRAP



Best Supporting Actress, Drama
Beverly D'Angelo in AMERICAN HISTORY X
Jessica Steen in ARMAGEDDON
Julianne Moore in PSYCHO
Natascha McElhone in THE TRUMAN SHOW



Best Supporting Actor, Comedy
Henry Winkler in THE WATERBOY
John Goodman in THE BIG LEBOWSKI
Philip Seymour Hoffman in HAPPINESS
Steve Buscemi in ARMAGEDDON
William H. Macy in PLEASANTVILLE



Best Supporting Actor, Drama
Anthony Hopkins in THE MASK OF ZORRO
Edward Furlong in AMERICAN HISTORY X
Edward Norton in ROUNDERS



Best Actress, Comedy
Catherine Zeta-Jones in THE MASK OF ZORRO
Jane Adams in HAPPINESS
Julianne Moore in THE BIG LEBOWSKI
Kathy Bates in THE WATERBOY
Reese Witherspoon in PLEASANTVILLE



Best Actress, Drama
Anne Heche in PSYCHO
Claire Danes in LES MISERABLES
Laura Linney in THE TRUMAN SHOW
Nicoletta Braschi in LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL



Best Actor, Comedy
Adam Sandler in THE WATERBOY
Antonio Banderas in THE MASK OF ZORRO
Dylan Baker in HAPPINESS
Jeff Bridges in THE BIG LEBOWSKI



Best Actor, Drama
Matt Damon in ROUNDERS
Roberto Benigni in LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
Vince Vaughn in PSYCHO



Best Screenplay, Comedy



Best Screenplay, Drama



Best Cast, Comedy



Best Cast, Drama



Best Sequel or Prequel



Best Foreign Language Film



Best Animated Film

Winner: MULAN


Best Horror/Thriller

Winner: PSYCHO


Best Action/Adventure



Best Comedy



Best Drama



Best Picture of the Year


Other Awards:
2010 (Best) | 2010 (Worst)
2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005 |
2004 | 2003 | 2002 | 2001 | 20001999



Transformers: Dark of the Moon is a 2011 action film directed by Michael Bay that serves as the third and final installment in his Transformers trilogy. The film starts with a flashback to the 1960s, where a spacecraft has crash-landed on the moon, spurring the space race of the 1960s. The movie posits that the Apollo 11 lunar landing was actually a mission to recover information about the crash itself. Fast forward to present day, and we have the Autobots, led by Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen) working with the United States. The franchise's main hero, Sam Witwicky (Shia LaBeouf) has graduated college and is now desperately trying to live his life to the standards he set for himself after achieving the status of "hero." He lives with his new girlfriend Carly (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley) and struggles with their relationship as well. One day after finding a job at a high-end company, a Decepticon attacks and tries to kill Sam, forcing him to seek refuge with his Autobot friends. The team then learns of the government cover-up from the lunar landing, sending Optimus into a fit of rage for having not been told the information earlier. He awakens Sentinel Prime (voiced by Leonard Nimoy), who was piloting the spacecraft that crashed on the moon, to try to collect devices called "Pillars" that will supposedly help defeat the Decepticons once and for all. As time continues to pass, however, a number of allegiances fall into question, and a full-on, climactic battle for the planet ultimately ensues.

You know, when I was watching this film last night at a midnight showing, I couldn't quite put my finger on what wasn't completely right with it. After writing that synopsis, however, I think I've hit the nail on the head. There's definitely some issues with screenplay with this most recent of Transformers films. It's not that the story they're telling isn't compelling; rather, I think that the filmmakers tried to intertwine one too many stories within the context of the film. Even at over two-and-a-half hours long, the plot seemed very, very crowded, and it gave me the sense that Bay wanted to throw as much into the film as he possibly could, considering this is supposed to be his last Transformers flick. When you take the screenplay all the way down to the actual story, then we're actually given something rather compelling, with a number of twists and turns to keep us guessing. But because there's so much excess weight bogging everything else down, it all just seems a tad convoluted.

While I'm on the subject of over-use of a certain facet of a film, I'd like to talk about the number of big-name actors that appear in this third Transformers movie. As is expected, we see the return of LaBeouf who actually performs better than I expected. In my breakdown of this film's trailer, I pondered whether LaBeouf's performance would exceed what he had done in the past, and while he's not blowing anyone away, you can definitely see that a level of maturation has occurred. The introduction of Miss Huntington-Whiteley is actually a very good one, and I'd dare to say she's a step up (acting-wise) from Megan Fox. We could all debate about the sex appeal of the two women, but when it comes to straight-up acting, I think I'd take Rosie any day. We do have a couple of our cast regulars, with the likes of Josh Duhamel, Tyrese Gibson and John Turturro returning; however, because of the flood of other big-name stars, I felt like their roles were pushed a little towards the background. When you've got the likes of Patrick Dempsey, Frances McDormand, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong and Alan Tudyk making appearances this time around, it'd be tough for any actor to try to push their way into the spotlight. I did think that the cast was a little over-crowded in that no one really had the chance to excel to the best of their ability. Still, it was nice to have an extra splash of flavor now and again.

As usual, some of the intangibles are rather stellar. The visual effects continue to blow me away even if they are a little too fast-moving at some parts. The action sequences in these films move so quickly that it's hard to get any real bearings on how spectacular the visuals are. Also, the musical score by Steve Jablonsky continues to impress me - he knows how to craft an excellent, action-oriented score.

Overall, I actually thought that Dark of the Moon was the best Transformers film to date. Sadly, with how unfavorably I reviewed the past two films, that's not really giving this one much credit. Still, despite it's obvious flaws, there's still plenty of entertainment to be had with this one. Just go in expecting your typical Michael Bay picture, and I'm sure you're going to have an enjoyable time.

Movie Review Summary:Grade: C+
1 Thumb Up

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks!

It's birthday time again! This time we're celebrating the 85th birthday of the king of spoofs, Mel Brooks! Over the course of his career, Brooks has created films that have played on some of the biggest movies that history has ever seen. What separates his films from other, more recent spoofs (like the Scary Movie franchise or any of those not-so-great off-shoots) is that Brooks' films are actually intelligent and bitingly hilarious. Sure, they delve into goofy humor now and again, but they're always entertaining. So below, I've listed my five favorite (and best-rated) of Mel Brooks' directorial efforts and have given a little snippet from each of them. Help me celebrate Mel Brooks' birthday! I hope you enjoy!

5. History of the World: Part 1


4. Spaceballs


3. Robin Hood: Men in Tights


2. Blazing Saddles


1. Young Frankenstein




Bridesmaids is a 2011 comedy directed by Paul Feig that centers around one woman's struggle to be her best friend's maid of honor. When Annie's (Kristen Wiig) lifelong friend Lillian (Maya Rudolph) asks her to be the maid of honor at her wedding, she immediately accepts the offer. When she starts to meet the rest of the bridesmaids at the engagement party, however, Annie starts to realize that the path to Lillian's wedding might be a bit more interesting than she had originally imagined. Rounding out the bridal party are innocent newlywed Becca (Ellie Kemper), bitter mother Rita (Wendi McLendon-Covey), Lillian's soon-to-be sister-in-law Megan (Melissa McCarthy) and Lillian's apparent new "best friend" Helen (Rose Byrne), who believes she should have been chosen as the maid of honor. The tension between Annie and Helen begins almost immediately and permeates throughout all of Annie's duties as the maid of honor. To add to the problems, Annie's personal life starts to spiral out of control. Her bakery went out of business, forcing her boyfriend to leave her. She offers herself physically to a man who doesn't reciprocate her deeper feelings. All of her problems make it all the more difficult for her to accept that Lillian is moving onto the next chapter of her life and just might be leaving her behind.

At first glance, I didn't think that Bridesmaids was going to be my type of movie. With a female-dominated cast that delves into much of the women's side of the wedding process, I wasn't quite sure whether there would be anything to which I could relate. However, when the film started to garner rave reviews from critics, I figured I'd give it a shot when I had the opportunity. That chance came today, and I can say that I was delightfully pleased with what was brought to the screen.

The story is a rather simple one, but there's something about the screenplay that just amps it up. We do get a bit of raunchy humor - that seems to be what sets Bridesmaids apart from other female-centric romantic comedies - mostly at the expense of Melissa McCarthy's character, and I think she's the one that drew me into the story the most. However, written within the raunch was a story with a lot of genuine laughs and definitely a lot of heart. There's definitely a very human element throughout the entirety of this film, and it all culminates in some of the final resolutions towards the end. I have to give screenwriters Annie Mumolo and Wiig herself a lot of credit for finding a perfect balance between all of those different facets of humor.

The cast is also superb and should definitely be applauded. I've been a Kristen Wiig fan for a while now, finding her quirky humor to be rather appealing and refreshing. She wrote her character's part exceptionally well and in a way that only she may have been able to pull off successfully. It's definitely Wiig's vehicle, and her presence is so strong that it's hard to deny the fact that she should now be considered a bona fide movie star. I'm also a bit of a Rose Byrne fan, and she does extremely well with her role as our main antagonist. From the first moment she appears on-screen, she oozes this personality that's so easy to hate, and that makes her all the more effective. The verbal sparring between Wiig and Byrne throughout the film is comic gold and should be viewed as such. I can't really say enough about the rest of the cast, especially the bridesmaids themselves. McCarthy brings the most outright laughter, but Kemper and McLendon-Covey definitely throw in a couple of brilliant one-liners as well. I'd also like to commend Chris O'Dowd, who works as the most prevalent male character in the film. In a movie dominated by women, he definitely holds his own.

At the end of the day, Bridesmaids may not be a movie that every guy is going to enjoy. Still, it definitely has quite a few parallels to "guy" films like 2009's The Hangover, and I personally found quite a bit to laugh at. If you're in the right mood, Bridesmaids can definitely be one of the betters comedies you've seen in a while, so I personally think you should give it a view if you've got the chance.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: A-
1.5 Thumbs Up

Monday, June 27, 2011

Movie Review: CARS 2


Cars 2 is a 2011 animated film directed by John Lasseter and Brad Lewis that serves as a direct sequel to the 2006 film, Cars. The film picks up the storyline seemingly a little while after the events of the first film, with Lightning McQueen (voiced by Owen Wilson) now the winner of four Piston Cup Championships. When Sir Miles Axlerod (voiced by Eddie Izzard), the maker of a new alternative fuel, announces the formation of a World Grand Prix, McQueen's best friend Mater (voiced by Larry the Cable Guy) inadvertently gets McQueen to agree to join the race, the two embark on a trip around the world as they try to win the title. However, while they're in Japan for the first leg of the race, Mater finds a way to get caught up in a conspiracy looking to take down Axlerod and his line of alternative fuel. Mater teams with a couple of British spies, Fin McMissile (voiced by Michael Caine) and Holly Shiftwell (voiced by Emily Mortimer), both of whom mistake him for a trained American spy. As they trio tries to solve the mystery of who wants to take down Axlerod's empire, it becomes eerily apparent that the evildoers' plot intertwines with the World Grand Prix itself.

I do have to say that I was having some reservations going into this film. Of the eleven Pixar feature films released prior to Cars 2, all have managed to score at least a 74% approval rating on the online critical aggregate (Note: The 2006 film Cars scored the 74% approval rating - the other ten films have all achieved higher than a 91% approval rating.). Because the first Cars film was the least well-received, I probably shouldn't have expected critics to be terribly kind to this new installment. The fact that it plummeted to a 33% approval rating definite gave me a moment's pause simply because of the monumental drop. It marks the first time that any Pixar film hasn't been positively received by critical consensus. So you can imagine my hesitation, especially considering that my tastes often tend to stay in line with what the "professional" critics think. I did enjoy the first Cars film - I gave it a 'B+' grade, and it nabbed three nominations in my "Best of 2006" awards, so I did have a little bit of hope for this one.

And I can honestly say that I enjoyed this second installment almost as much. While the coming-of-age tale presented in the 2006 film would have been difficult to pass, I personally thought that Cars 2 came rather close to meeting those expectations. I think one of the knocks against the Cars story has always been that it lacked a little bit of the magic that other Pixar films have brought to the screen. However, when you have to compete with toys coming to life and anthropomorphic animals, it's tough to find a niche. At the end of the day, the Cars franchise will still be remembered as head-and-shoulders above the majority of animated films that hit theaters. Unfortunately, we almost automatically start to compare any Pixar film to the other films they've produced, and that's where the negativity is going to stem for Cars 2.

We actually get a decent, multi-faceted storyline this time around. On the one hand, we have the story of the World Grand Prix, with Lightning McQueen doing his best to beat out his newest rival in Francesco Bernoulli (voiced by John Turturro) for the world's top spot. However, the race - as well as McQueen himself - truly takes a back seat to the drama unfolding behind the scenes, so to speak. This film is definitely more Mater-centric than anything else, taking us on his adventure rather than sticking with the humdrum existence of an established race-car because we already got to see the ins and outs of that in the first film. Add to the fact that Mater's storyline has a very James Bond feel to it, and you've got the makings of an action-packed flick that's sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Now, because the film is more centered around Mater's story, you really do have to kind of like Larry the Cable Guy's brand of humor. I know he might be a little polarizing for some, but in the constructs of this movie and his character, I think it works exceptionally well. As the funniest character in the film, he needs to be consistent, and that's exactly what Larry conveys throughout the movie. The film actually benefits from the bringing in of some new voice talent, especially in the inclusion of Caine and Mortimer, who complement one another quite well throughout the film. Also be on the listen for the likes of Brent Musburger, Thomas Kretschmann, Jason Isaacs and Bruce Campbell in smaller roles.

Oh, and the visuals are simply astounding. I know that Pixar has truly outdone themselves in the past, but this film is equally brilliant. I could go on and on about the action sequences, but I personally thought the races were simply astounding. At times, I felt like I was watching real-life races because the cars' movements were so realistic. I had to give Pixar massive amounts of kudos for always upping the ante a little bit when it comes to their animation. They also found a way to bring out the life of each of the film's main settings (Japan, Italy and England). We definitely get a strong sense that we're actually there, whether it be the off-beat Japanese humor we Americans have taken a liking to or the grand family-oriented parties in Italy. Good job, Pixar, on bringing all that to life in Cars 2.

Overall, I thought that Cars 2 was a rather good continuation of the story set forth in the first film. I think if you're going to see it, you should try to view it for what it is, rather than compare it to the classic films of Pixar past. If you look at it through those tinted glasses, then you're going to have a tough time enjoying this particular movie. It's definitely a good one, and it definitely deserves your attention.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: B
1.5 Thumbs Up

Thursday, June 23, 2011

DVD Challenge #13: TOY STORY

Toy Story
Run-time: 1 hour, 20 minutes

Directed by: John Lasseter
Starring: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Wallace Shawn, John Ratzenberger, R. Lee Ermey

After 2010's Toy Story 3 completely blew me away, I quickly made my way to the nearest DVD vendor and bought the first two installments of the Toy Story franchise. If my memory serves me correctly, I don't think I've seen either of the films since their initial theatrical runs in 1995 and 1999, respectively. Sure, I've seen snippets here and there over the last fifteen years, but I think today marks the first time that I've actually sat down and watched the original Toy Story film in its entirety since my childhood.

Those of you who have been reading my blogs as of late will know that a number of the original Toy Story characters made my list of favorite Pixar characters of all time, with Buzz Lightyear reaching the highest spot at number five. If that's not enough to show you how much the franchise has affected my life, then I'm not quite sure what else could. The first Toy Story film is easily one of the most iconic films from the 1990s, and it marked a drastic shift in the future scope of animated film. As was depicted in the 2007 documentary The Pixar Story, Toy Story blew the lid off anything that anyone had ever seen before, sending animation into a completely new realm that has yet to let up.

Had the innovations presented in Toy Story been the only keys to its success, then it would still be lauded as a fantastic achievement in the halls of computer generation. However, the brilliant minds at Pixar found a way to craft an equally brilliant screenplay to balance the dazzling visual spectacle. They took a very simple - and utterly common - thought and ran with it. What child hasn't ever wondered what their toys doing behind locked doors? Children have such a vivid imagination that they transplant onto their toys that it's hard for them not to imagine them continuing their imagined existence when we leave the room. As I child, I always wanted to know what battles my Star Wars toys would wage against the Barbies my sister had, and to think that it could happen was exhilarating. Pixar brought that fantasy to life, and they did so by making a very human set of toys.

I could probably go on for hours about the brilliance of the voice acting in this film, giving plenty of credit to the likes of Hanks and Allen especially. They brought the characters to life, but a lot of the credit does need to go to the writing and the animation. These characters are given very human emotions with which to deal, and the quality of animation conveys their emotions extremely well. In a way, the plot - which is relatively standard, when you think about it - takes more of a back seat to the character-driven storyline that shows fantastic arcs for our two leads. Yes, Buzz's is a little more extreme, but it's undeniable that Woody doesn't also go through a massive transformation. Even some of the lesser characters grow to some extent. The completeness of the characters, as well as our ability to relate to them, is what truly sells this movie.

From the dazzling visual display to the solid screenplay that focuses on character development, Disney and Pixar brought a vastly new cinematic experience to the screens in 1995. Even to this day, Toy Story remains a classic, and even though I personally think that Pixar has made better films since, there's no denying that this one was a trailblazer that set the immediate standard for animated films.

Best All-Time: #98

Previous DVD Challenge: SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER & UNCUT (1999)

Saturday, June 18, 2011



Bonnie and Clyde is a 1967 crime drama directed by Arthur Penn that tells a rather romanticized tale of the real-life bank robbers, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow. When Bonnie (Faye Dunaway) catches Clyde (Warren Beatty) trying to steal her mother's car, she learns that he is a small-time thief recently removed from prison. After he knocks over a small market, Bonnie decides to join Clyde and leave her dull existence as a small-town waitress. The two start to work together performing small robberies here and there, but their luck begins to increase after they meet a young gas station attendant named C.W. Moss (Michael J. Pollard), who works as their getaway driver. The group starts to rob banks, and they start to bring in more and more money. Along the way, they bring Clyde's brother Buck (Gene Hackman) and his wife Blanche (Estelle Parsons) into their team. The crew continues to raid the countryside, always managing to stay one step ahead of the law that's chasing them. However, as time continues to pass, the bank robbers start to get more and more reckless, letting the coppers get closer and closer to doing them in.

I've always known that Bonnie and Clyde was an iconic film, and because of that, I've always wanted to see it. The film's final scene - if you don't know it, I won't spoil it for you - is one of the more iconic scenes in cinematic history. Aside from that, however, I honestly didn't know much about it going into the film. Still, it's a cinema icon, so I was going to watch it eventually. Thanks to some of my faithful Facebook followers, I had the opportunity to watch it tonight.

The screenplay is actually relatively basic, but it works extremely well. In a way, it's brilliant in its simplicity. We jump straight into the action (in this case, the relationship between Bonnie and Clyde) from the film's first moments, and we never really get a chance to stop and wait. Because it's relatively common knowledge as to the film's finale - or, at least it was for me - the movie worked as a rather interesting build-up to that final climax. There's not a ton of storyline other than the inclusion of different members in the bank-robbing gang, and there's a couple plot devices that work as some twists and turns, but when you know how the film is going to end, it's tough to fall completely into the story presented. Maybe that's just me, but it's how I feel.

The simplicity of the screenplay works so convincingly because the film truly works as more of a character study than anything else. And to be fair, Bonnie and Clyde presents as much over-acting as I've ever seen in a legitimate film. The thing is, I think the over-acting finds a way to work within the constructs of this particular film. Normally, I'd be berating performances like this, but for whatever reason, the actors in Bonnie and Clyde just click. Beatty and Dunaway are fantastic as our leads and both garnered Academy Award nominations for their performances. Yes, they're over-the-top, but the whole film is a little bit over-the-top, and that's why they fit seamlessly into the constructs. Some of the supporting characters also deliver some classic bits of over-acting, the most blatant of which is Estelle Parsons who actually nabbed an Academy Award for her role in the film. I'm really not sure what else to say about the acting. I just felt like it was over-the-top, but for whatever reason it worked for this particular movie.

Is Bonnie and Clyde the most amazing movie I've ever seen? Of course not. Is it an entertaining piece of film? Absolutely. It's definitely worth giving a watch if you've got a chance to do so. I know this hasn't been one of my better reviews, but I'm at a little bit of a loss for words at the moment. I think that my ratings below the picture give enough information about my praise for the film, considering the fact that I'm sure this review probably sounds a bit convoluted. Bonnie and Clyde is a very good film that borders on greatness, and it definitely deserves its spot in cinema lore.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: A-
1.5 Thumbs Up



Green Lantern is a 2011 superhero action film directed by Martin Campbell that tells the origins of Earth's first addition to the Green Lantern Corps. When hotshot fighter pilot Hal Jordan (Ryan Reynolds) manages to destroy a new fighter jet during a simulated dogfight, he comes under heavy scrutiny from his superiors and his peers, especially his wingman (and love interest) Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), for being reckless and irresponsible. Later that night, Hal is whisked to a remote swamp by a mysterious ball of green energy. Once there, he meets an alien who has crash-landed on Earth - the alien soon bestows a mysterious green ring and lantern to Hal and tells him that the ring has chosen him to succeed him. Confused, Hal takes the items home and begins to ponder their power. He soon learns the basics of their use, but as soon as he discovers the ring's hidden power, the same ball of energy takes him to a faraway planet called Oa, where thousands of Green Lanterns reside. Hal begins to learn the ways of the Lanterns via a crash course from lead Lantern Sinestro (Mark Strong). Meanwhile, back on Earth, an aspiring scientist name Hector Hammond (Peter Sarsgaard) receives the honor of conducting the autopsy on the aforementioned alien. In the process, however, he becomes infected by another alien source hidden inside the creature's body. Almost simultaneously, the Lanterns learn of an old enemy named Parallax spreading throughout the galactic sectors in the form of a new type of evil that threatens to take over the universe.

To be fair, I'm selling the storyline a little bit short with the synopsis I've given above. There is a little bit more going on than what I've posited already, and it actually comes off as less confusing than what I've written. However, I don't want to delve into too many details lest I give away the entire storyline before you have a chance to give it a gander. We actually get a relatively interesting story to follow. Sure, it's not brilliant, and it's lack in anything truly unpredictable, but it does well enough to keep the audience engaged in something more than the characters. There are holes here and there, but for the most part, the screenplay works relatively well considering the genre.

If anything's really selling the movie as a success, it's the level of acting. It's nothing truly spectacular, but the cast does a decent job with what they're given. Reynolds always finds a way to be engaging and charismatic in his own off-beat way, so he does well as our central lead. There are a few bigger names that are given screen-time but don't necessarily bring much to the table (here's looking at you, Miss Lively and Tim Robbins). We actually get some semi-strong performances from Sarsgaard (whom I never would've recognized aside from his voice) and Strong (who I also probably wouldn't have recognized), two actors who generally bring a higher standard to their roles. We are also graced with some rather good vocal performances from some of our CGI characters. Be on the listen for the likes of Michael Clarke Duncan and Geoffrey Rush as two of the Green Lanterns who aid Hal in his training.

We also get a rather well-crafted soundtrack for the film, and although it's not the most stellar score I've ever heard, I would like to tip my hat to James Newton Howard for his work.

Overall, Green Lantern has its moments, but it never truly pushes itself beyond a level of "good." I think it had the potential to be something more, but for whatever reason, the filmmakers decided to hold back a little too much, going for something rote and a little contrived instead. In different hands, this movie could have been a smash-hit, but as it stands, it will probably be a fun once-view that will quickly fade into obscurity. Although, they did leave a set-up for a potential sequel - be sure to stick through the credits for an additional scene (it comes halfway through the credits, so you don't have to wait all the way through).

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: C+
0.5 Thumbs Up

Friday, June 17, 2011



An American Werewolf in London is a 1981 horror comedy film directed by John Landis. When David Kessler (David Naughton) and Jack Goodman (Griffin Dunne), two American backpackers traveling the English countryside, stumble upon a small-town pub, they receive a rather lukewarm reception from the locals when they ask about a pentagram scrawled on the wall. After being thrown out into a storm, the two begin to hear howls around them in the countryside, and after a few moments, they are viciously attacked by a massive beast. Jack is killed in the attack, but David manages to survive but finds himself awakening three weeks later in a hospital. David learns that the local townsfolk had told the authorities that a crazed lunatic killed Jack, but he knows it was something more like a gigantic wolf. As he takes time in the hospital to heal with the help of a beautiful nurse named Alex (Jenny Agutter), he begins to receive visits from Jack, who tells him that he has become a werewolf. Jack also mentions that he will be doomed to roam the earth as the living dead until the werewolf bloodline can be destroyed. Initially, David doesn't believe Jack, but as the next full moon approaches, he begins to question his sanity and his inevitable future.

Although I have known about this film for quite a long time, I had never really heard much about it aside from its iconic werewolf transformation scene. Those particular cinematic moments, which helped visual effects expert Rick Baker nab an Academy Award for Best Makeup, was always the first thing I ever heard mentioned about the film, so in a way, that's part of the reason I decided to give the movie a gander. What I didn't necessarily know that it received rather universal acclaim when it hit theaters back in the early 1980's, and after watching the film, I can see why.

We're actually given a rather effective horror-comedy, although it's not as much of an outright "comedy" as, say, 2004's Shaun of the Dead. Instead, the comedy comes in clumps, and it's definitely a little bit on the darker side. For example, there's one particular scene where a number of David's victims sit around him in a pornographic movie theater and contemplate the vast variety of ways he could commit suicide so that they may be put out of their collective, undead misery. It's bitingly sarcastic in a dark and twisted way, but that type of dark humor is right up my alley. When we're not laughing, the film actually serves as a rather effective thriller, giving a number of jump-out-of-your-seat thrills. Sure, they may be prefaced by loud spikes in music, but the close-up of the snarling werewolf is sure to get some viewers' hearts a-racing.

While I'm on the topic of music, I'd like the say that the film's soundtrack is simply stellar. We do have an original score composed by Elmer Bernstein that works rather effectively, but it's the string of pop hits from various artists that really emphasize the comedy of the film. Every single song directly references the moon - an obvious play on the fact that werewolves only come to life during a full moon. Whether it be the many renditions of "Blue Moon" or Van Morrison's "Moondance," each subsequent moon-related song caused me more and more laughter as the film progressed.

Now, the acting in the film isn't anything to truly rave about, but it definitely fits the movie's mold rather well. Naughton is serviceable as our lead protagonist, and Agutter does well as our main female lead and love interest. A couple of the minor characters deliver decent performances - I'd like to give a special shout-out to David Schofield (whom most of you will recognize from the first three Pirates of the Caribbean films) who does well with his limited role. However, if anyone's delivering the best performance, it's Dunne after his death in the beginning of the film. As he continues to come back to "haunt" David, Jack brings a lot of the film's sarcastically comic relief and breathes an inspired bit of life into the film. Ironic, considering his character is actually dead... But I digress.

Overall, I'd have to say that An American Werewolf in London outdid my expectations. I was expecting a film that relied solely on its fantastic special effects (all of which appear real enough to still be considered legitimate today), but we actually get a decent screenplay and some decent acting to aid the movie along. I'd say that it definitely deserves the title of "horror classic" that it has garnered over the past thirty years. I'd say give it a watch if you've got the time.

Movie Review Summary:
Grade: B+
1.5 Thumbs Up


South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut
Run-time: 1 hour, 21 minutes

Directed by: Trey Parker
Starring: Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Isaac Hayes, Mary Kay Bergman, George Clooney, Minnie Driver, Brent Spiner

In the wake of one of the most talked-about episodes of "South Park" in recent memory, there's many a fanatic pondering whether last week's mid-season finale marked the beginning of the end of the franchise. I know that I've been debating the meaning of the melodramatic ending to that episode, and it's gotten me thinking about the series as a whole. One of the brightest moments in "South Park" history was the release of its first - and to date, only - feature length film in 1999's South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut. Because the show has been on my mind, I decided to give the movie another gander as part of my DVD Challenge.

Now, I was a fan of "South Park" long before I had the opportunity to see the film (I didn't first see it until about five years ago), so I may be a bit biased in my love towards the film. I have yet to find a fan of the series that didn't like the film, but I don't know if I've ever talked to anyone who has seen the film but isn't a fan of the series. Because of this, I'm not sure whether the film has staying power outside of avid fans, but for me, it's one of the greatest films I've ever seen.

In terms of the vocal acting, there isn't much to say about our normal string of characters that can't be said about every single episode. Parker and Stone handle most of the lead voices throughout the film, but we are introduced to a number of new characters during it. We get to meet Satan (voiced by Parker), who plays an incredibly important role in the film, and there are a few other characters that make nice appearances. However, some of the little tidbits that fans might enjoy are the inclusion of big-name celebs like George Clooney (as Dr. Gouache), Minnie Driver (as Brooke Shields) and Brent Spiner (as Conan O'Brien) lending their vocal talent to the film.

You're also going to notice that the film is, in fact, a musical. We're given a slew of original songs that only add to the hilarity of the movie, but a lot of them have in-jokes that only fans might recognize. For example, the song "What Would Brian Boitano Do?" is a direct reference to the Brian Boitano appearance in the early stages of the television show. Also, the song "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch" was used in an earlier episode and was expanded for the film. However, some of the original fare proves to be the best, even garnering the film an Academy Award nomination for the song "Blame Canada," which was wonderfully performed by Robin Williams at the actual awards show:

My personal favorite song from the film, however, has to be our opening number simply entitled "Mountain Town." It sets the stage for everything that's going to happen.

Now, not a lot of credit is given to the film's screenplay, which proves to be rather brilliant. In a way, it's extremely metatheatrical. At the beginning of the film, the boys go to see an R-rated film called Asses of Fire that's essentially an analogue for the film the audience itself is watching. It's chalk full of insensitive and irreverent profanity, just like the movie we get to see. We're basically having the same experience that the boys are having within the film, minus the havoc that it ultimately creates. The rest of the film serves as the filmmakers' statement about American over-sensitivity with vulgar language whilst having the double standard of under-sensitivity when it comes to graphic violence. Sure, they drop their usual goofy gags and "potty humor" throughout the film, but there's something more profound about their message than just that. It's a little difficult for me to explain here, but fans of the film will know what I'm talking about.

Overall, South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut is easily one of the greatest animated films I have ever experienced. Whether that can be said by many is uncertain, but I know that it was a fantastic addition to the annals of "South Park" history, if nothing else.

Best All-Time: #81

1999: 5 nominations, 4 wins

Previous DVD Challenge: DR. HORRIBLE'S SING-ALONG BLOG (2008)


A lot of people ask me what I think the greatest movie of all time is, and considering your personal opinion and taste, any given individual's answer is going to be different. Once it gets into what I believe the top ten films of all time happen to be, things become slightly more clear, but it's still a difficult decision to make. So what I've done is comprise a comprehensive list of the top 150 films I've ever seen. These films are taken from the 1521 films I've seen to date, and I think they give a rather eclectic range. I've written reviews for some of the films, so you'll be able to check out my in-depth thoughts on the subject. That being said, enjoy this list of the best films of all time (according to me).

(For a look at the films I consider to be the worst of all time, click here.)


150. Crash - 2005
149. Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde - 1920
148. Bride of Frankenstein - 1935
147. Chicago - 2002
146. The Lives of Others (Das Leben der Anderen) - 2007
145. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford - 2007
144. O Brother, Where Art Thou? - 2000
143. Full Metal Jacket - 1987
142. Little Shop of Horrors - 1986
141. Amélie (Le fabeleux destin d'Amélie Poulain) - 2001
140. Crazy, Stupid, Love. - 2011
139. The Ides of March - 2011
138. Exit Through the Gift Shop - 2010
137. The Adventures of Robin Hood - 1938
136. Warrior - 2011
135. Juno - 2007
134. Hot Fuzz - 2007
133. King of California - 2007
132. Blue Valentine - 2010
131. Das Boot - 1982
130. Tangled - 2010
129. The King's Speech - 2010
128. The Social Network - 2010
127. The Reader - 2008
126. Get Low - 2010
125. Boy A - 2008
124. The Aviator - 2004
123. The Muppets - 2011
122. Platoon - 1986
121. The Princess Bride - 1987
120. Requiem for a Dream - 2000
119. Once - 2007
118. Black Hawk Down - 2001
117. Saving Private Ryan - 1998
116. Girl, Interrupted - 1999
115. Cinema Paradiso - 1990
114. Awakenings - 1990
113. The Kids Are All Right - 2010
112. The Prestige - 2006
111. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom - 1984
110. In the Name of the Father - 1993
109. The Departed - 2006
108. Jesus Camp - 2006
107. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - 1975
106. Burn After Reading - 2008
105. Milk - 2008
104. American Psycho - 2000
103. Citizen Kane - 1941
102. Shrek - 2001
101. Finding Nemo - 2003
100. Wristcutters: A Love Story - 2007
99. Snatch. - 2000
98. Die Hard - 1988
97. Dial M for Murder - 1954
96. Forrest Gump - 1994
95. Scream - 1996
94. Toy Story - 1995
93. Casino - 1995
92. Collateral - 2004
91. Whale Rider - 2003
90. Rosemary's Baby - 1968
89. Clerks. - 1994
88. 50/50 - 2011
87. Carnage - 2011
86. Super 8 - 2011
85. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back - 1980
84. Up - 2009
83. Drive - 2011
82. A Clockwork Orange - 1971
81. I'm Not There. - 2007
80. Fargo - 1996
79. Gone with the Wind - 1939
78. Beauty and the Beast - 1991
77. Road to Perdition - 2002
76. The Lion King - 1994
75. Shaun of the Dead - 2004
74. Alien - 1979
73. Back to the Future - 1985
72. Dark and Stormy Night - 2009
71. Brothers - 2009
70. Waking Sleeping Beauty - 2010
69. Amores perros - 2001
68. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra - 2001
67. Clue - 1985
66. Rango - 2011
65. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade - 1989
64. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind - 2004
63. Fantastic Mr. Fox - 2009
62. Aladdin - 1992
61. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly - 1967
60. South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut - 1999
59. Finding Neverland - 2004
58. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl - 2003
57. Following - 1999
56. Dirty Harry - 1971
55. No Country for Old Men - 2007
54. The Shawshank Redemption - 1994
53. Mystic River - 2003
52. The Silence of the Lambs - 1991
51. 127 Hours - 2010
50. Who Framed Roger Rabbit - 1988
49. Terminator 2: Judgment Day - 1991
48. Memento - 2000
47. The Wizard of Oz - 1939
46. American Beauty - 1999
45. Casablanca - 1942
44. The Bridge - 2006
43. United 93 - 2006
42. Inception - 2010
41. Moon - 2009
40. It's a Wonderful Life - 1946
39. Goodfellas - 1990
38. L.A. Confidential - 1997
37. Let the Right One In (Låt den rätte komma in) - 2008
36. The Dark Knight - 2008
35. Inglourious Basterds - 2009
34. Blazing Saddles - 1974
33. The Usual Suspects - 1995
32. The Nightmare Before Christmas - 1993
31. The Breakfast Club - 1985
30. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington - 1939
29. Taxi Driver - 1976
28. Star Wars - 1977
27. Hugo - 2011
26. The Cove - 2009
25. (500) Days of Summer - 2009
24. Singin' in the Rain - 1952
23. Black Swan - 2010
22. Fight Club - 1999
21. WALL-E - 2008
20. 2001: A Space Odyssey - 1968
19. American History X - 1998
18. Ordinary People - 1980
17. 12 Angry Men - 1957
16. Young Frankenstein - 1974
15. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - 1975
14. Se7en - 1995
13. To Kill a Mockingbird - 1962
12. Once Upon a Time in the West - 1968
11. Schindler's List - 1993
10. Moulin Rouge! - 2001
9. Pan's Labyrinth (El laberinto del fauno) - 2006
8. Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb - 1964
7. The Godfather - 1972
6. Jaws - 1975
5. Brokeback Mountain - 2005
4. The 400 Blows (Les quatre cents coup) - 1959
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark - 1981
2. Manic - 2003
1. Psycho - 1960

(Updated: January 1, 2012)