On the Flickchart Facebook group, Flickchart founder Nathan Chase posted a list of the #1 movie from each of the past 20 years, as chosen through Flickchart's global ranking. I thought it might be fun to compare them with my own Flickchart rankings.
Flickchart: The Avengers.
Me: None. I haven't seen any films from 2012 yet.
Me: Midnight in Paris. No contest. Drive is my #13 out of 32, which isn't too bad, since I liked most of the movies I watched last year pretty well. It sits between Horrible Bosses and The Tree of Life.
Why my choice is better: Two people I know who hate Woody Allen movies loved Midnight in Paris. I love Woody Allen movies and I also loved Midnight in Paris. This movie is just that good. Drive was good but not good enough to overcome genre/actor/director prejudices (at least for me)
Me: Scott Pilgrim vs. the World. The first movie in years I gave a 5-star rating to the first time I saw it. Inception is my #2, however.
Why my choice is better: Well, Inception is so close that I almost don't want to argue against it. But I haven't been as glued to the screen in a long time as I was with Scott Pilgrim. I've now seen it six or seven times, which is so much more than I usually watch movies, and every time I catch something new.
Flickchart: Inglourious Basterds.
Me: Up. I haven't seen Inglourious Basterds (yet) so it's not on my list.
Flickchart: The Dark Knight.
Me: Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Highest-ranked theatrically-released film is Charlie Bartlett. The Dark Knight is #20 out of 59, after Australia.
Why my choices are better: Dr. Horrible has a better track record. Fewer people have seen it, but out of all the people I know who have seen it, the percentage of people who love it is higher than it is for The Dark Knight. And as for Charlie Bartlett... well, I can't defend that choice as well, because it's just an emotional connection for me, with no real justifiable reason. So I'll just say Dark Knight is good, but it goes on so long and I just stop caring.
Flickchart: No Country For Old Men.
Me: Hairspray. No Country For Old Men is #35 out of 63. Wasn't a huge fan. Although Javier Bardem's
Why my choice is better: Well, this is just a clear genre preference. Musical vs. western. I will take the musical every time. Except when the two genres combine and we get unbelievably annoying shows like Oklahoma! and Annie Get Your Gun. Then I just run away.
Flickchart: The Departed.
Me: Bug. MAN, that was a crazy film. The Departed is at #21 out of 87.
Why my choice is better: Although The Departed is quite a good film, Bug is one of those that I'm impressed with because it manages to do so much with a single room and just a handful of actors. It's based on a play that is extremely well-written and tells this incredibly devastating story with so few resources. Wonderful stuff.
Flickchart: Batman Begins.
Me: Proof. Batman Begins is at #21 out of 74, which at first I thought was extremely generous, but then I looked over that list and realized I watch a WHOLE lot of crap from 2005...
Why my choice is better: As I'm sure you have noticed, I am much more likely to choose a quality character-driven script than anything with major action sequences. I watched Batman Begins twice and couldn't tell you a single thing that actually happened in that movie. I just remember Cillian Murphy being once again the most terrifying actor on the planet. His eyes are a soulless, empty abyss.
Flickchart: Shaun of the Dead.
Me: Napoleon Dynamite.
Why my choice is better: Well, I'm unlikely to convince anyone of this, so I'll just say Napoleon Dynamite makes me laugh harder and more consistently, although Shaun is at #5. And should really be at #4 - I definitely liked it better than Garden State.
Flickchart: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.
Me: Love Actually. Return of the Kings is #49, about halfway down that list.
Why my choice is better: Return of the King is fine. It's a nice ending to the story. But I never connect with it the way I do with Love Actually. This silly story with fairly superficial characters manages to win me over in a way that a 9-hour epic fantasy series never does. Maybe I just got tired of caring about them...? Man, this would be so much easier to defend if my #1 from 2003 was The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra (my #2), or Angels in America (my #4)... It's so hard to justify my adoration for Love Actually.
Flickchart: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.
Me: Chicago. Two Towers is at #40 out of 70.
Why my choice is better: The Two Towers is definitely the least interesting in the series. It's just so much traveling. Chicago is funny, entertaining, and has John C. Reilly's rather heart-breaking performance of "Mr. Cellophane." Even the myriad of Hollywood stars doesn't mess this musical up. If I was given a choice between watching these two, I would pick Chicago every single time.
Flickchart: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. Yeah, Flickchart loves its LOTR.
Me: Moulin Rouge! Fellowship is #29 out of 44.
Why my choice is better: Oh, no contest for me here. Moulin Rouge! is one of the most incredibly original movie musicals of all time. It is visually stunning. And it shouldn't have worked. The people involved are not Broadway- or even pop-star-caliber singers. The songs chosen are odd. The jokes are over-the-top and campy. And yet, when it all combines, you get something that truly is magical. This was the last film until Scott Pilgrim that I gave an instant 5-star rating. I watched Moulin Rouge! in 2006 or so, so it took me five years for me to find something that came close to approaching this movie's quality.
Lord of the Rings is nice, but it doesn't come anywhere near that for me.
Our choices are the same. Well done, Flickcharters.
Flickchart: Fight Club.
Me: Fight Club.
Once again, well done.
Flickchart: Saving Private Ryan.
Me: The Truman Show. I haven't yet seen Saving Private Ryan, so no commentary on why my choice wins, although I find it hard to believe it could trump Truman.
Flickchart: Good Will Hunting.
Me: Waiting For Guffman. Good Will Huntington is my #10 from 1996.
Why my choice is better: Working-with-gifted-teen movies are a dime a dozen, but theater mockumentaries are rare and beautiful creatures. That's all.
Me: That Thing You Do!
Why my choice is better: Er. Well, my #1 from 1996 should almost certainly not be That Thing You Do! I do enjoy that movie, but Emma, Breaking the Waves, and Shall We Dance? are all hovering around the top and are all movies I like better. Doesn't matter, though, I like them all better than Fargo, for which I have never understood the appeal. It's at #25 out of 36.
Me: Before Sunrise.
Why my choice is better: I do like Se7en (it's my #3 for the year), but Before Sunrise tells an incredible story through nothing but two people talking. It's engaging and compelling when it could be unbelievably dull. So many indie films attempt to be this one, and they nearly all fail. I haven't ever found a better "talking movie" that wasn't based on a play.
Flickchart: The Shawshank Redemption.
Me: Forrest Gump. Shawshank is my #7.
Why my choice is better: Forrest Gump took all my expectations for what this movie was going to be like and threw them away. It sets you up to make you think it's going to be one of those super-realistic, serious stories about someone with some mental handicaps, and then out of nowhere it's a fantastic tall tale. I'm a complete sucker for that kind of story. Shawshank is good, but it never surprised me.
Flickchart: Schindler's List.
Me: Groundhog Day. Schindler's List is my #9. I saw a lot of good movies from 1993.
Why my choice is better: Although Schindler's List is excellent, Groundhog Day is so much more rewatchable. (Which is a good thing, since my mom does watch it every February 2nd.) Every time I watch it I enjoy it.
Flickchart: Reservoir Dogs.
Me: Noises Off. Reservoir Dogs is my #10.
Why my choice is better: Noises Off is easily one of the funniest movies I've ever seen. Reservoir Dogs is cool and interesting and all, but Noises Off is much more satisfying to watch. Noises Off also has no mutilation torture scenes set to cheery music, although whether that's a point for or against it is probably a pretty subjective decision.