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Friday, July 11, 2014

My Top Ten Favorite Films of All Time

So here it is, after watching movies for over 30 years, I have now have compiled for you, my absolute top 10 favorites. You'll notice that these selections are essentially from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Well, that's my era I guess (as well as just an honest, personal preference). Enjoy the list and I welcome all comments. Here we go:

1. Boogie Nights (1997) * * * * Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 92%
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore
Quote: "Oh, that's Cosmo... he's Chinese."
My quote as a critic: "Showgirls meets Goodfellas meets Pulp Fiction meets Citizen Kane meets Nashville."

2. Aliens (1986) * * * * Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 98%
Cast: Sigourney Weaver, Michael Biehn, Bill Paxton
Quote: "Drake, we are LEAVING!"
My quote as a critic: "Aliens is the blueprint for what a sequel can accomplish. Its got everything you want in a movie period. Great characters, exceptional expansion on the story of a franchise, breathtaking action, and Sigourney Weaver hitting it out the park with a triumphant performance."

3. E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982) * * * * Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 98%
Cast: Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace
Quote: "E.T. phone home."
My quote as a critic: "So let's face it, director Steven Spielberg can do no wrong. And in E.T., he does what he does best, he becomes cinema's great manipulator. Look out for the ending. If you don't tear up, you might as well not be human." Link: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial- AFI's top 100 ranking: 24

4. Pulp Fiction (1994) * * * * Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 94%
Cast: John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson
Quote: "That's how you're gonna beat em' Butch. They keep underestimating you." Link: Pulp Fiction- AFI's top 100 ranking: 94

5. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) * * * * Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 91%
Cast: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman
Quote: "Get busy living or get busy dying." Link: The Shawshank Redemption- AFI's top 100 ranking: 72

6. The Towering Inferno (1974) * * * * Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 74%
Cast: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway
Quote: "It's out of control and it's coming your way."
My quote as a critic: "The Towering Inferno came out during a wave of other disaster flicks like Earthquake (1974), The Poseidon Adventure (1972), and Airport (1970). Safe to say it's the best one of the bunch. It's truly one of the reasons I love watching movies as well as reviewing them."
Click the following link to see the on-site review: The Towering Inferno

7. Apocalypse Now (1979) * * * 1/2 Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 99%
Cast: Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando
Quote: "I love the smell of napalm in the morning, smells like victory." Link: Apocalypse Now- AFI's top 100 ranking: 30

8. Days of Heaven (1978) * * * 1/2 Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 94%
Cast: Richard Gere, Brooke Adams, Sam Shepard
Quote: "You know how people are. You tell them something, they start talking."
My quote as a critic: "As a connoisseur of many types of films, I am confident when I say that Days of Heaven is one that touches greatness. It's a movie's movie and is film making in its most purest, not to mention most exposed form."
Click the following link to see the on-site review: Days of Heaven

9. Se7en (1995) * * * 1/2 Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 79%
Cast: Brad Pitt, Morgan Freeman
Quote: "What's in the booxxxx, what's in the booxxxx!"

10. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) * * * 1/2 Stars
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 95%
Cast: Harrison Ford, Karen Allen
Quote: "I don't know I'm making this up as I go."  Link: Raiders of the Lost Ark-AFI's top 100 ranking: 66

Honorable Mention:

Rain Man (1988)
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 90%
Cast: Tom Cruise, Dustin Hoffman
Quote: "I'm an excellent driver."

The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974)
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 91%
Cast: Gunnar Hanson, Marilyn Burns
Quote: "What's that stench."
My quote as a critic:  "Brilliantly horrific, imitated but never duplicated, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre represents the purest form of terror known to any cinema buff. Thousands of countless ripoffs and average remakes have tried to capitalize on its success, but with minimal gore and a grainy, sadistic edge, the original 1974 "Chainsaw" is still untouchable."

Escape from New York (1981)
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 83%
Cast: Kurt Russell, Harry Dean Stanton
Quote: "Call me Snake."
My quote as a critic:  "Escape from New York benefits from being quirky, action packed, and full of great one-liners courtesy of Russell. Yes, the film's special effects are easily outdated, but it's not about the effects per se. It's about Carpenter's terrific direction. He does an adequate job of filming with hardly any light (the shots of light he does use are soft and gleaming which look eerie as can be) and his synthesizer soundtrack (which he composed by the way) is tops all around (the opening title music is awesome, no joke). And as in most of his films (including the one I'm reviewing), he is methodical in character build up and setting up scenes for monster payoffs."

A Simple Plan (1998)
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 90%
Cast: Bill Paxton, Billy Bob Thornton
Quote: "Do you ever feel evil."
My quote as a critic: "With tension that is calculated with every searing minute, A Simple Plan is a thriller to be reckoned with. No one is safe in this movie. With a few nasty twists and turns, you get some brilliant tooth and nail film making from Sam Raimi."  

Heat (1995)
Rotten Tomatometer Score: 86%
Cast: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino
Quote: "Told you I'm never going back."
My quote as a critic: "And finally there is the ending. Possibly the greatest film ending of all time.  Echoing the Steve McQueen classic Bullitt (1967), it's a standoff between good and evil for the ages at where else, the airport. I don't care if you are a grown man or not, you'll probably shed a tear or two. Heat is a movie for people who love movies. I consider it one of my all time faves."

List compiled by Jesse Burleson

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