Monday, December 29, 2014

100 Things I Love About Films (Vacation Repost)

Well, I'm off visiting my family in Illinois for most of this week. Tune Ins will still happen on T/Th as scheduled (those are easy to write ahead of time) but the rest of this week, we'll be reposting a few of my most popular blogs ever.

This particular one was first posted on March 27, 2011. Nonworking picture/video links have been removed, since my Internet is being crazy and not letting me find good replacements.

Blogger and FlickCharter Travis McClain posted this on his blog. It was originally a Facebook note composed by a friend of his (Beau Kaelin - credit where credit's due) but it's also been spreading to the blogosphere. (May that be the first and last time I ever use that word.) Here are the instructions:

Rather than posting your 100 favorite films (which has been done and overdone), you simply post your favorite things about movies. I dig the concept, because instead of obsessing over whether the films you put on a list are "objectively good enough" to put on said list, you simply jot down 100 moments/lines/visuals that have made a lasting impression on you or sneak their way into running gags between you and your friends. Just read below and you'll get the idea.

1. "La Marseillaise" in Casablanca.

2. The fact that every single line in Napoleon Dynamite is quotable.

3. When live Broadway shows are filmed and released on DVD. There needs to be more of that.

4. The scene in The Fisher King where Robin Williams follows Amanda Plummer through Grand Central Station and the entire place turns into a ballroom.

5. The first half hour of Wall-E and how it evokes such strong characters and story without dialogue. Or live actors.

6. Tom Baxter from The Purple Rose of Cairo.

7. Watching Jack Lemmon and Walter Matthau interact in pretty much everything they've ever done together.

8. The soundtrack for Love Actually. The gleeful Christmas cheesiness of "All I Want For Christmas" fills me with joy every time I watch it. "Both Sides Now" was an amazing, heartbreaking choice of Emma Thompson's discovery of her husband's affair. "God Only Knows" is the best possible song to choose to end this movie. The love theme has made me cry quite a few times.
8b. I absolutely love the "Here With Me" moment in that movie, as Mark walks away from his apartment... then turns back... then keeps turning, until he finally decides to keep walking away.

9. The Woody Allen opening credits. They make me feel at home every time I watch one of his movies.

10. The angry dance from Billy Elliot. (The linked clip has some adult language.)

11. Similarly, the angry warehouse dance from Footloose. There's just something about people releasing so much pent-up emotion through dance...

12. "I do love eating with a spoon, don't you?" -Cold Comfort Farm

13. All of Sinbad of the Seven Seas. My all-time favorite so-bad-it's-good movie. The fact that Sinbad keeps drawing his sword to fight and then throwing it away. The wonderfully awful dialogue ("Gosh, you're beautiful"). The humor that makes absolutely no sense. Sinbad inflating an entire hot air balloon by blowing it up manually. The expressions he makes when fighting the Ghost King.

14. The entire dream city folding in on itself in Inception.

15. How a premise like "Guy falls in love with a sex doll" can turn into something so surprisingly sweet like Lars and the Real Girl. I would never have thought that story would be as good as it was. It gives me hope for other movies whose premises are unimpressive.

16. "You always see the glass as half empty."
"No, I see it half full, but of poison." -Scoop

17. When I watched Shattered Glass and realized Hayden Christiansen could act.

18. The king's speech. In, er, The King's Speech.

19. I take the same emotional ride as the title character in the 1995 remake of Sabrina. Every single time, even though I know how it ends, I fall in love with the guys in the same order and at the same time she does. That's what every romcom should do and almost never does.

20. Anton Yelchin in Charlie Bartlett.

21. "Under the Sea" from The Little Mermaid. IMHO, easily the best animated musical sequence of all time.

22. The final act of Bug. Eeeep.

23. "Sardines! I've forgotten the sardines... No, I haven't. I haven't forgotten the sardines. I remembered the sardines. Well, what a surprise; I guess I'll just go into the kitchen and fix some more sardines to celebrate!" -Noises Off

24. The over-croweded cabin in A Night at the Opera.

25. Twist endings that take me completely by surprise.

26. Scott Pilgrim vs. the World - probably the most fun I've ever had at a movie theater.

27. Recognizing actors I know and love from TV shows or musical theater in bits parts... an especially bright spot in not-very-good movies. ("Oh my gosh! That's Chris O'Dowd as the blind swordsman!")

28. All of The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra. One of the best genre spoofs I've ever seen. It involves skeletons, meteors, aliens, and several different forest animals turned into a single woman.

29. "After that it got pretty late, and we both had to go, but it was great seeing Annie again. I realized what a terrific person she was, and how much fun it was just knowing her; and I thought of that old joke, you know, this... this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, 'Doc, my brother's crazy; he thinks he's a chicken.' And, the doctor says, 'Well, why don't you turn him in?' The guy says, 'I would, but I need the eggs.' Well, I guess that's pretty much now how I feel about relationships; they're totally irrational, and crazy, and absurd... but, I guess we keep going through it because most of us... need the eggs." -Annie Hall

30. The "Moses" dance from Singin' in the Rain. There's absolutely no reason for this song to be in the movie, other than it is FUN.

31. The imaginary baseball game in Once Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.

32. "El Tango de Roxanne" from Moulin Rouge! Well, and the entire movie, but this part of the movie left me literally breathless when I first watched it. The chaos of sound at the end, along with the barrage of images of the Duke's attack on Satine, just mesmerizes me.

33. When Truman sails into the wall from The Truman Show.

34. "All right, Mr. DeMille. I'm ready for my close-up!" -Sunset Blvd.

35. The sad, sad final scene of The Others. So much atmosphere in this movie.

36. Edward Norton in Fight Club.

37. Speaking of Edwards... the title character of Edward Scissorhands.

38. The tiny Stonehenge debacle from This Is Spinal Tap.

39. Watching a classic movie you've never seen before and going, "Oh! THAT'S where that reference comes from!"

40. The moment in Back to the Future 3 where the characters suddenly switch catch phrases. I missed it the first couple times around.

41. When Broadway musicals are adapted into movies and they don't mess it up, despite casting big-name stars.

42. Han Solo.

43. "We'd like you to meet some of our... friends."
"Yeah. This is Dave Beethoven. And, uh, Maxine of Arc. Herman the Kid."
"Bob Genghis Khan. Socrates Johnson. Dennis Frood. And uh, uh... Abraham Lincoln." -Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure

44. Finding directors whose films I consistently like. Billy Wilder, Woody Allen, Baz Luhrmann...

45. ...and Richard Linklater, who first convinced me with Before Sunrise. Just two people talking for a couple hours, and yet it's more compelling than most romantic dramas with twists and turns of plot.

46. Life is Beautiful: Robert Benigni deliberately mistranslates the German soldier's instructions in the concentration camp because he doesn't want his son to know what's really going on and get scared. Great bit of comedy in the much darker second half of this movie.

47. Ferris Bueller.

48. Watching a film with subtitles and forgetting afterwards that it was in another language at all because you were so wrapped up in it. (I keep forgetting Pan's Labyrinth is Spanish.)

49. In 12 Angry Men, every character's personality can be seen. You can almost predict when each characters is going to be pushed to vote not guilty. None of it's arbitrary, none of it's random.

50. Elwood P. Dowd.

51. The second stabbing in Psycho. I knew the famous first one, but the second one took me completely by surprise. I'm pretty sure I yelped out loud.

52. "The pellet with the poison's in the vessel with the pestle, the chalice from the palace has the brew that is true!" -The Court Jester

53. Finding a movie I love in a genre I hate.

54. The library scene in Wings of Desire.

55. Seeing now-classic actors in the very first thing they ever did.

56. I'm really, really trying not to make this all Woody Allen or musicals-themed, but here are two in a row... John Cusack as the Woody Allen type character in Bullets Over Broadway. Kenneth Branagh, Will Ferrell, and Scarlett Johansson have all tackled the same role, but Cusack is by far the best.

57. The opening of Manhattan.

58. The Lives of Others, which proves that slow-moving movies are not necessarily boring.

59. The talking dogs in Up. Disney's had talking animals in their movies since the beginning, but this was a new and creative way to make it happen.

60. William Daniels in 1776. Everyone else knows him as Mr. Feeny. To me he'll always be John Adams.

61. Actors who seem to be totally different people with every role they play. I'm thinking Amy Adams and Edward Norton right now.

62. The revelation at the end of Tootsie.

63. Marisa Tomei in My Cousin Vinny.

64. Seeing two very different versions of the same character in remakes and discovering you love them both the same.

65. The scene in August Rush when Freddie Highmore first plays around with a guitar.

66. Tiny throwaway jokes that you only catch on a second or third viewing.

67. Jeff Daniels' character in The Squid and the Whale. Such a vivid personality.

68. Natalie Portman in Black Swan.

69. Hogarth's prayer in The Iron Giant. I'm pretty sure I've been to churches who prayed like this...

70. High Fidelity, the best book-to-movie transition of all time. Every character is exactly what I imagined them to be like.

71. Haley Joel Osment in The Sixth Sense. I'm extremely, extremely picky about my child actors. But he not only didn't get in the way of the movie, he made the movie.

72. Buzz Lightyear.

73. Colin Firth in A Single Man. I think he deserved his Oscar this year, but he deserved it even more the year before.

74. Charlie Kaufman. His ideas are the most interesting and original of any screenwriter out there.

75. The interaction between Josh Hartnett and Radha Mitchell in Mozart and the Whale. The two of them are amazing individually, but the way they play off each other is even more amazing.

76. Robert Downey, Jr. can do neither math nor grammar in Kiss Kiss Bang Bang.

77. The first appearance of the T-rex in Jurassic Park.

78. Dean Martin playing a parody version of himself in Kiss Me, Stupid.

79. All the fake trailers that start off Tropic Thunder.
79b. ...And the part where the director explodes. I laughed out loud.

80. "I'm 37. I'm not old!"
"Well, I can't just call you 'Man.'"
"Well, you could say 'Dennis.'" -Monty Python and the Holy Grail

81. How silly and yet completely satisfying John Hughes movies are.

82. The unsentimental ending of The Apartment.

83. Rewatching The Wizard of Oz with my brothers and sisters. We used to watch it ALL the time when we were little, then not at all for years, then we went back and watched it again and found all these things we completely misunderstood the first time around.

84. The song "After Today" from A Goofy Movie. It's one of my favorite Disney songs of all time. The movie itself is kind of iffy, but the songs are fantastic.

85. The trailer for Cloverfield. I really liked the movie as well, but the trailer was one of the best I've ever seen.

86. Unforgiven as an anti-vigilante movie. Watching Clint Eastwood's character fall back into that is chilling.

87. Neo fights a bunch of Agent Smiths in The Matrix Reloaded. Not so crazy about the rest of the movie, but that was just cool.

88. The opening scene between James Mason and Peter Sellers in Lolita.

89. Darren Aronofsky, who portrays obsession on film better than anyone I can think of.

90. Watching the American adaptation of Nick Hornby's Fever Pitch and being greatly disappointed... then watching the British adaptation and LOVING it.

91. The animation in Waking Life.

92. Ellen Page in Hard Candy. What a role.

93. Watching Adaptation a few years after it was made and realizing that Ted Dekker's book "Thr3e" has the exact same plot as the terrible movie Donald Kaufman's writing.

94. "Klaatu barada nikto." -The Day The Earth Stood Still

95. A child receives a shrunken head for Christmas in The Nightmare Before Christmas. Makes me laugh every time.

96. "I know a little German. He's sitting right over there." -Top Secret!

97. Kevin Kline tries to do the live show without his contacts on Soapdish. "It seems that Angelique has a rare case of brake fluid. Bran... fluid. Bran flavor."

98. Identifying celebrity voices in animated movies. (Particularly nice that the most celebrity-studded ones are usually the least interesting to watch. "Who's That Celebrity?" is an awesome game to play to pass the time.)

99. Patrick Bateman kills his co-worker after a long explanation of Huey Lewis' work in American Psycho.

100. The absolute main thing I love about movies, though, is that they let me see through someone else's eyes for a little bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment