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Archive for the ‘Yearly Roundup’ Category

My favorite films, year by year.

Yearly Roundup – 1985

Posted by martinteller on August 21, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

Nothing from my top 100 this year, but Ran used to be on the list, and still resides in the top 250.  It’s a film I go back and forth on a lot… sometimes I’m absolutely carried away by it, other times I’m a little bit bored in places.  Knowing me, next time I watch it, I’ll fall in love with it again and will have to start rearranging my lists.  It is certainly a beautifully composed film with complex drama, perfectly transporting Shakespeare’s story to another place and culture.

*

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

Shoah is a movie I’ve seen only once… not just because it’s so long, but because it’s so affecting.  I’ve seen an awful lot of Holocaust documentaries, and this one (along with Night and Fog) still stands at the top.  One day, perhaps, I will muster up the strength to give it a second look.  A movie I’ve seen a number of times is Brazil, which for me is easily Terry Gilliam’s crowning achievement.  Fantastic production design, dark humor, and a story that is Orwellian and Kafkaesque in the best way.  A Zed and Two Noughts is one of Peter Greenaway’s most cohesive works… his work can feel self-indulgent but here all the Greenaway-isms come together very nicely.  It took a second viewing to really click with me, and now I look forward to a third.

*

Also Love

To Live and Die in L.A.
Lost in America
Vagabond

*

Varying Degrees of Like

Angry Harvest
Back to the Future
Better Off Dead
The Black Cauldron
Calamari Union
¿Cómo ves?
Fletch
Ladyhawke
Liberation of Auschwitz 1945
Louie Bluie
Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
Mask
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
My Life as a Dog
Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
Phenomena
Police Story
The Purple Rose of Cairo
A Room With a View
The Sure Thing
Tampopo
When Father Was Away on Business
Witness

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

Clue
D.A.R.Y.L.
European Vacation
Explorers
The Goonies
Gymkata
Just One of the Guys
Moving Violations
Police Academy 2
A View to a Kill

*

In The Middle

28 Up
Almanac of Fall
Angel’s Egg
The Breakfast Club
Brewster’s Millions
Cocoon
The Color Purple
Come and See
Creator
The Dark Glow of the Mountains
Day of the Dead
The Emerald Forest
Enemy Mine
The Falcon and the Snowman
Fandango
Hail Mary
Insignificance
Into the Night
Mala Noche
No End
Out of Africa
The Quiet Earth
Real Genius
Rocky IV
Runaway Train
The Time to Live and the Time to Die
Vampire Hunter D
Weird Science

*

Uncharted Territory

Agnes of God, The Burmese Harp (remake), Commando, Demons, Fire Festival, Jagged Edge, The Jewel of the Nile, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Last Dragon, Legend, Lust in the Dust, The Man with One Red Shoe, My Beautiful Laundrette, Pale Rider, The Peanut Butter Solution, Prizzi’s Honor, Rambo: First Blood Part II, Rendez-vous, The Return of the Living Dead, Return to Oz, Silverado, Spies Like Us, St. Elmo’s Fire, Subway, Taipei Story, Teen Wolf, Tokyo-Ga, The Trip to Bountiful, Vision Quest, Volunteers, Year of the Dragon, Young Sherlock Holmes

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Posted in Yearly Roundup | 2 Comments »

Yearly Roundup – 2005

Posted by martinteller on June 23, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

I’ve seen a hell of a lot of movies from this year, so it’s no surprise that three of them made their way onto my top 100 list.  My favorite of the lot is Linda Linda Linda, which gets better every time I see it.  Showed it to my fiancée recently and now it’s at the point where it might be top 10 material.  Watching it gives me intense joy.  I wish I’d had the sense to catch Malick’s majestic The New World in the theater.  It looks astonishing on my television, it must be even more breathtaking on the big screen.  The Wayward Cloud is Ming-liang Tsai at his most playful, and most provocative.  Most memorable is that final shot, a shocking image both beautiful and vulgar.

*

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

There are several more treats from the Far East this year.  Lady Vengeance is by far my favorite film by Park Chan-Wook, the height of his “revenge trilogy”.  Dazzling and moving.  Who’s Camus Anyway? is a cinephile’s delight, with references aplenty and a meta story about the creative process and the people who bring ideas to life.  Fantastic ensemble work.  Peacock is a film I’d love to see again, and keep hoping for a stateside release.  Beautifully composed and full of the kind of quiet, gentle drama I cherish.  But there’s little “quiet” or “gentle” about Noriko’s Dinner Table, one of Sion Sono’s masterpieces, a whirlwind of shifting identities and bold techniques.

On the documentary front, we have the endearing and entertaining Murderball, which treats its subject with admirable respect.  Werner Herzog made a big splash with Grizzly Man, possibly his best-known film.  Though Herzog and Treadwell never met, the pairing of such two massively compelling characters is endlessly riveting.

Lastly, two fine examples of fan service done right.  Serenity does a fine job of bringing the aborted series “Firefly” to the big screen, and is probably the best that anyone could hope for in terms of closure.  I can’t say how it plays for newcomers, but for fans it’s a joy to have one last adventure with this cast of characters.  And Wallace & Gromit finally made the leap to features with the delightful The Curse of the Were-Rabbit.  Can we have another?

*

Also Love

Bubble
L’Enfant
The Goebbels Experiment
No Direction Home: Bob Dylan
Our Daily Bread
Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story

*

Varying Degrees of Like

15 Park Avenue
The 40-Year-Old Virgin
After Innocence
A Bittersweet Life
Border Café
Brick
Brokeback Mountain
Broken Flowers
Caché
The Call of Cthulhu
The Cave of the Yellow Dog
The Comedians of Comedy
Dame sobh
Dave Chappelle’s Block Party
The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
The Devil and Daniel Johnston
The Forsaken Land
Funky Forest: The First Contact
Good Night, and Good Luck
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Hazard
A History of Violence
Hostel
Hustle & Flow
I for India
Iberia
The Ice Harvest
Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
Mad Hot Ballroom
Man Push Cart
Manderlay
March of the Penguins
Match Point
Me and You and Everyone We Know
Memory for Max, Claire, Ida and Company
MirrorMask
Mr. and Mrs. Smith
Munich
Pierrepoint: The Last Hangman
Pride & Prejudice
The Protector
Punk: Attitude
Reel Paradise
Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
Sin City
Sophie Scholl: The Final Days
The Squid and the Whale
Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take 2 1/2
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada
Three Times
Tickets
Tideland
War of the Worlds

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

Antibodies
Doom
Elizabethtown
The Fog
Mutual Appreciation
Ringers: Lord of the Fans

*

In The Middle

49 Up
The Aristocrats
Batman Begins
Be With Me
Crash
The Descent
Domino
Drawing Restraint 9
Film Geek
The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Into Great Silence
Jarhead
Junebug
King Kong
Land of the Dead
Lord of War
North Country
Red Eye
The Ring Two
Sarah Silverman: Jesus Is Magic
Saw II
Say Uncle
Shopgirl
Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Thumbsucker
Train Man
Walk the Line
The Weather Man
Wedding Crashers
The Wild Blue Yonder
The World’s Fastest Indian

*

Uncharted Territory

The Brothers Grimm, Capote, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Cinderella Man, The Constant Gardener, Constantine, Corpse Bride, The Devil’s Rejects, L’enfer, Everything Is Illuminated, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, Fantastic Four, Four Brothers, Hard Candy, Hitch, Into a Dream, The Island, Kingdom of Heaven, Last Days, Madagascar, The Matador, Oxhide, The PianoTuner of Earthquakes, Proof, The Proposition, Rent, Sahara, Sex & Philosophy, Su-ki-da, Syriana, Welcome to Dongmakgol, Wolf Creek

Posted in Yearly Roundup | 6 Comments »

Yearly Roundup – 1961

Posted by martinteller on May 6, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

/

My favorite of 1961 is one that I’ve written very little about.  Alain Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad is haunting, memorable, beautiful and strange… and very difficult to get a hold on.  Is it a poetic rumination on the slippery nature of memory, or a look at fragile and fleeting romance, or a mystery waiting to be solved?  To say “it is what it is” feels like the ultimate cop-out, but what it is is a film that casts a hypnotic spell over me.

*

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

Currently on my top 100, Yojimbo is actually ranked one spot higher than Marienbad.  That’s likely to change this summer when I shake up my list, but at the very least Kurosawa’s film will remain in my top 250.  Exquisitely constructed and wickedly entertaining.  One of my favorite noirs is Blast of Silence… a film which didn’t even make TSPDT’s list of 250 “Quintessential Noirs” but caught my attention due to Criterion’s release.  How many other movies can claim such fine use of second-person narration?  Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass Darkly is a given.  One of his most Bergman-esque films, with a powerhouse performance by Harriet Andersson.  Anthony Asquith gives us another of his wonderful dramas with the noir-ish character examination Two Living, One Dead.  And you can’t get irreverent social satire more cynical and hilarious than Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana.

*

Also Love

Chronicle of a Summer
The Human Condition III
Lola
Plácido
Il Posto

*

Varying Degrees of Like

Accattone
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
Divorce Italian Style
The End of Summer
The Guns of Navarone
Hogs and Warships
Homicidal
The Hustler
The Innocents
Judgment at Nuremberg
Komal Gandhar
The Ladies Man
Leon Morin, Priest
Man-Trap
Mr. Sardonicus
La Notte
A Raisin in the Sun
Splendor in the Grass
Teen Kanya
Victim
West Side Story
A Woman Is a Woman

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

none

*

In The Middle

101 Dalmatians
The Children’s Hour
The Colossus of Rhodes
The Misfits
One, Two, Three
Underworld U.S.A. 

*

Uncharted Territory

The Absent-Minded Professor, And Love Has Vanished, Babes in Toyland, The Beast of Yucca Flats, Bitter End of a Sweet Night, Blue Hawaii, El Cid, The Comancheros, The Curse of the Werewolf, King of Kings, Lover Come Back, Mother Joan of Angels, My Mother and her Guest, Mysterious Island, One-Eyed Jacks, The Parent Trap, Pit and the Pendulum, A Taste of Honey, Ten Dark Women, Too Late Blues, Two Rode Together, A Wife Confesses

Posted in Yearly Roundup | 1 Comment »

Yearly Roundup – 1979

Posted by martinteller on May 2, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

/

Before I get into this, I feel I should mention that this year has an especially large number of films I haven’t seen in ages.  Most of the movies in my “In the Middle” section are ones I haven’t seen for 20+ years, and would probably swing towards “like” or “hate” if I were to revisit them.  With that caveat out of the way, there are three selections from my top 100 this year.  Bookended by two of the most compelling musical sequences I’ve seen, All That Jazz is a perennial favorite.  Roy Scheider is utterly riveting.  Francis Ford Copolla’s 70’s quartet of fantastic films is capped off with Apocalypse Now, in my opinion not only his best work but the best movie about the Vietnam War.  And this is also the year of my favorite Tarkovsky:  Stalker.  Difficult to process but hypnotic and fascinating, with gorgeous imagery.

*

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

While many prefer Cameron’s more action-packed sequel, for me the original Alien stands head and shoulders over any other entry in the franchise.  Slick, entertaining, creepy and loaded with psychosexual subtext.  As a fan of The Who since my early teens, it took me far too long to see the movie named after my favorite album by them, Quadrophenia.  A terrific film all around.  Camera Buff wasn’t Kieslowski’s first feature, but it was arguably his first “major” film, with a reflexivity that bridges his documentary work with the artful features that brought him to the world’s attention.  Lastly, Tale of Tales is one of the most beautiful animated works I’ve ever seen, and one I really need to see again.

*

Also Love

Being There
Breaking Away
Ghatashraddha (The Ritual)
The Muppet Movie
Nosferatu the Vampyre
Seeking Asylum
Siberiade

*

Varying Degrees of Like

The Black Stallion
The Castle of Cagliostro
Family Nest
Gloria!
The Hypothesis of the Stolen Painting
The Jerk
The Kids Are Alright
Life of Brian
Love on the Run
Manhattan
The Marriage of Maria Braun
Real Life
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School
Sherlok Kholms i doktor Vatson: Znakomstvo
Vengeance Is Mine
The Wizard of Speed and Time

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

Caligula
From the Clouds to the Resistance
The Tin Drum

*

In The Middle

1941
The Black Hole
Creation
The Electric Horseman
Escape from Alcatraz
Ett anständigt liv
Farodokument 1979
Fascination
The Great Santini
Hair
The Jericho Mile
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
Love at First Bite
Mad Max
Meatballs
Moonraker
Phantasm
Rocky II
Salem’s Lot
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Time After Time
Wise Blood
Woyzeck

*

Uncharted Territory

10, The Amityville Horror, …And Justice for All, Beneath the Valley of the Ultra-Vixens, The Brood, Buffet froid, Bush Mama, Bye Bye Brazil, The Champ, The China Syndrome, The Driller Killer, L’Enfant secret, Graduate First, The Great Train Robbery, Hardcore, The In-Laws, Kramer vs. Kramer, La Luna, Magnificent Butcher, Mama Turns 100, My Brilliant Career, The Nineteen Year-Old’s Map, Norma Rae, The Onion Field, Panelstory, Parashuram, Scum, Tess, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Traffic Jam, The Warriors, Zombie

Posted in Yearly Roundup | Leave a Comment »

Yearly Roundup – 1991

Posted by martinteller on April 23, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

Nothing from my top 250 this year, so I’m going to do something I don’t usually do… I’m giving the honor to a short.  You can read my brief review of Roy Andersson’s World of Glory, or you can watch it yourself on YouTube (hit the “CC” button to turn on English subtitles).  It’s a fantastic piece of work in Andersson’s signature style.  If you’re not yet familiar with the director, this short would serve as a fine introduction.

*

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

There’s great films beyond just my top 250.  Although they had some fine — and well-respected — films before, it was Barton Fink that really put the Coen brothers on the map and rightfully made them critical darlings.  Kieslowski’s The Double Life of Veronique is a beautiful and enigmatic movie, one that seems to hold many buried treasures under the surface.  Jag Mandir is one of Herzog’s best documentaries, despite the fact that so much of it is free of his always compelling narration.  And Isao Takahata’s Only Yesterday is a sweet and melancholy bit of nostalgia from Studio Ghibli.

*

Also Love

Delicatessen
Hearts of Darkness
High Heels
The Lovers on the Bridge
Raise the Red Lantern
The Stranger
Van Gogh

*

Varying Degrees of Like

Beauty and the Beast
La belle noiseuse
Cape Fear
Carne
Dead Again
Defending Your Life
Europa
Homicide
Jacquot de Nantes
L.A. Story
My Own Private Idaho
Naked Lunch
Once Upon a Time in China
Poison
The Rocketeer
Shadows and Fog
The Silence of the Lambs
Solo Con Tu Pareja
Terminator 2: Judgment Day

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

Backdraft
Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey
City Slickers
The Dark Backward
Drop Dead Fred
High Strung
Point Break

*

In The Middle

35 Up
Armour of God 2: Operation Condor
Boyz n the Hood
A Brighter Summer Day
Career Opportunities
Closet Land
The Commitments
Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead
The Doors
He Said, She Said
House Party 2
JFK
Jungle Fever
Little Man Tate
Madonna: Truth or Dare
The Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear
Night on Earth
Only the Lonely
The People Under the Stairs
Rhapsody in August
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
Rush
A Scene at the Sea
Scream of Stone
Slacker
Sleeping with the Enemy
Straight Out of Brooklyn
Thelma & Louise

*

Uncharted Territory

The Addams Family, Billy Bathgate, A Brief History of Time, Bugsy, Chizuko’s Younger Sister, City of Hope, Curly Sue, Father of the Bride, The Fisher King, The Flesh, Fried Green Tomatoes, Goopy Bagha Phire Elo, Grand Canyon, Hook, Hot Shots!, Kafka, The Last Boy Scout, My Girl, New Jack City, Nothing But Trouble, Once a Thief, The Ox, The Prince of Tides, Prospero’s Books, Regarding Henry, Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky, Surviving Desire, The Suspended Step of the Stork, Until the End of the World, What About Bob?

Posted in Yearly Roundup | 2 Comments »

Yearly Roundup – 1927-1928

Posted by martinteller on April 16, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

There are some pretty hugely respected films from these two years, films that repeatedly show up near the top of various canonical lists.  Some eyebrows will probably be raised at the fact that neither Sunrise nor The Passion of Joan of Arc (both in the top 20 of TSPDT’s list) is among my favorites from this period.  To be honest, both are films I really need to see again, it’s been 10 years and my cinematic sensibilities have developed a lot since then.  Or maybe they just aren’t my cup of tea.  My favorite for 1927-28 is another one I’ve seen only once, and that was 6 years ago.  So perhaps my feelings about Napoleon would be different now as well, but at the time I found it gripping and masterful.  Let’s hope the restored version hits Blu-Ray sooner rather than later, I’d love to have a second look at it.

*

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

There was a time when Metropolis made my top 100.  When I watched it a second time, I had a few quibbles that dampened my affection for it a bit, but it still resides in my top 250.  There are some great films from the two titans of silent comedy.  The Cameraman is perhaps my favorite Buster Keaton, and although I’m not a fan of Charlie Chaplin, I truly loved The Circus.  We have a pair of fantastic dramas: Victor Sjostrom’s The Wind and Paul Leni’s The Man Who Laughs.  And what a fine time for surreal and experimental shorts, with my favorites being Ghosts Before Breakfast and La Coquille et le Clergyman.

*

Also Love

The Docks of New York
L’Etoile de mer
The Last Command
The Passion of Joan of Arc
Spies
Storm Over Asia
Sunrise

*

Varying Degrees of Like

7th Heaven
Arsenal
Berlin: Symphony of a Great City
The Cat and the Canary
The End of St. Petersburg
The Fall of the House of Usher
The Life and Death of 9413, A Hollywood Extra
Lonesome
Steamboat Bill, Jr.

The Telltale Heart
The Wedding March

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

none

*

In The Middle

L’Argent
College
The Crowd
The Lodger
The Love of Zero
October
Underworld
The Unknown

*

Uncharted Territory

Champagne, The Divine Woman, Downhill, Easy Virtue, The Farmer’s Wife, It, The Jazz Singer, Jujiro, The Kid Brother, The King of Kings, The Ring, Show People, Steamboat Willie, Street Angel, The Student Prince in Old Heidelberg, Underground, Wings

Posted in Yearly Roundup | 2 Comments »

Yearly Roundup – 2001

Posted by martinteller on April 7, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

/

The early 2000’s were a particularly busy time for me, movie-wise.  I was in a relationship where our weekend routine usually involved at least one movie in the theater.  It led to a lot of mediocre movie viewings.  Interestingly, although there are four films from this year in my top 100, none were ones I saw in the theater, but discovered only later on DVD.  Weird that I didn’t go see Mulholland Drive on the big screen, since Lynch was and is one of my favorite directors.  It’s one of his best works, one that richly deserves a Blu-Ray release.  Although I was familiar with Wes Anderson through his earlier films, it was The Royal Tenenbaums that really turned me into a fan.  I believe What Time Is It There? was my introduction to Ming-liang Tsai, a director I now worship.  And Amelie is simply adorable, the Manic Pixie Dream Girl who takes center stage rather than acts as a catalyst for a male protagonist.

*

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

Here we have one that I did see in the theater… in fact, even waited in line for the midnight opening.  Although I no longer have the same affection I once did for the “Lord of the Rings” trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring still holds up as very entertaining viewing.  And so does the surrealist anime short Cat Soup, a wild and unpredictable ride.  And for courtroom drama that will get your blood boiling, the documentary Murder on a Sunday Morning is a riveting piece.

*

Also Love

All About Lily Chou-Chou
The Happiness of the Katakuris
Japanese Devils
Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India
The Others
Take Care of My Cat
Tape
Zoolander

*

Varying Degrees of Like

A.I.: Artificial Intelligence
Black Hawk Down
La ciénaga
Conspiracy
Donnie Darko
Enigma
Fat Girl
Ghost World
Gosford Park
Heist
Hell House
Invincible
The Man Who Wasn’t There
Memento
Monsoon Wedding
Monster’s Ball
Monsters, Inc.
Moulin Rouge!
My Sassy Girl
Nowhere in Africa
Ocean’s Eleven
The Piano Teacher
The Pledge
Pulse
Scratch
Stanley Kubrick: A Life in Pictures
Startup.com
Training Day
The Tunnel
Under the Skin of the City
Waking Life
Wet Hot American Summer

 

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

15 Minutes
American Pie 2
America’s Sweethearts
The Anniversary Party
A Beautiful Mind
The Curse of the Jade Scorpion
Hardball
Harvard Man
I Am Sam
In Praise of Love
The Invisible Circus
K-PAX
Serendipity

*

In The Middle

13 Conversations About One Thing
25 Watts
The Accidental Spy
Bartleby
The Beaver Trilogy
Behind Enemy Lines
CQ
Crazy/Beautiful

The Devil’s Backbone
Enemy at the Gates
The Fast Runner
Focus
Frailty
From Hell
The Grey Zone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Home Movie
Ichi the Killer
Kandahar
The Last Castle
Legally Blonde
Life as a House
Made
Mademoiselle
Millennium Actress
Millennium Mambo
Monrak Transistor
Session 9
Shrek
Spy Game
Super 8 Stories
Vanilla Sky
Visitor Q
Y Tu Mama Tambien
Winged Migration

*

Uncharted Territory

Ali, Behind the Sun, Big Mama, Blow, Bridget Jones’s Diary, Brotherhood of the Wolf, Bully, Chaos, Children Underground, Dogtown and Z-Boys, Domestic Violence, Evolution, Bubble Boy, The Fast and the Furious, Freddy Got Fingered, Ghosts of Mars, Hannibal, Harmful Insect, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Human Nature, Icon of Cool, In the Bedroom, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Jeepers Creepers, Josie and the Pussycats, Jurassic Park III, The Mexican, No Man’s Land, One Man Up, Pearl Harbor, Planet of the Apes, Pootie Tang, The Princess Diaries, Sex and Luica, Sexy Beast, Shaolin Soccer, The Son’s Room, Spy Kids, Storytelling, Swordfish, Trouble Every Day, The Wedding Planner, Wit

Posted in Yearly Roundup | 2 Comments »

Yearly Roundup – 1997

Posted by martinteller on April 3, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

Although none of my absolute favorites come from 1997, there’s still a lot of really good movies.  Going by my Criticker ratings, Princess Mononoke comes out on top.  It’s been 11 years since I saw it and I was blown away by it.  Why haven’t I revisited it?  Part of me is waiting for a Blu-Ray release, but another part is afraid the magic will be gone.  To be honest, I’m not sure I wouldn’t rather put something from my “slightly less creamy” section here instead, but until I rewatch it, I’ll trust my initial judgment of this movie.  I do look forward to seeing it again, but at this point it’s been so long that I might as well just keep waiting for that Blu-Ray release.

*

Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

I don’t like to use shorts for the “Cream of the Crop”, but tied with Mononoke is Stan Brakhage’s Commingled Containers, one of my very favorites by him.  Jafar Panahi’s The Mirror is a fascinating slice of meta-filmmaking.  I’m not the biggest Paul Thomas Anderson fan in the world, but I’ll always have a soft spot for Boogie NightsMother and Son has some of the most beautiful — and unusual — cinematography I’ve ever seen.  Another beautiful and mysterious film is Majewski’s The Roe’s Room, a haunting bit of filmic poetry.  Lastly, although many are put off by Michael Haneke’s finger-wagging, I find Funny Games to be a remarkably powerful piece of work.

*

Also Love

A Casa
Children of Heaven
Fireworks
In the Company of Men
In the Presence of a Clown
Jackie Brown
Labyrinth of Dreams
The River
Romy and Michele’s High School Reunion
The Sweet Hereafter

*

Varying Degrees of Like

4 Little Girls
Alien: Resurrection
As Good As It Gets
Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery
The Castle
Cure
Deconstructing Harry
Fierce Creatures
The Fifth Element
Fun Bar Karaoke
Gattaca
Good Will Hunting
Gummo
The Ice Storm
L.A. Confidential
Life is Beautiful
Live Flesh
The Long Way Home
Lost Highway
The Spanish Prisoner
Starship Troopers
Titanic
Trekkies
Welcome Back, Mr. McDonald

*

Varying Degrees of Hate

8 Heads in a Duffel Bag
Devil’s Advocate
Face/Off
The Shining (miniseries)

*

In The Middle

Chasing Amy
Contact
Cop Land
The Eel
Fast, Cheap & Out of Control
The Game
Grosse Pointe Blank
Happy Together
Inside/Out
Little Dieter Needs to Fly
Men in Black
Mr. Nice Guy
Orgazmo
Ossos
Private Parts
Running Time
Spice World
A Taste of Cherry
Tomorrow Never Dies
Who’s the Caboose?

*

Uncharted Territory

Affliction, Air Force One, An Ambiguous Report About the End of the World, Amistad, The Apostle, Batman & Robin, Con Air, Cube, Donnie Brasco, Eighteen Springs, Eve’s Bayou, Event Horizon, The Full Monty, Hands on a Hard Body, Henry Fool, Hercules, I Know What You Did Last Summer, Insomnia, Keep Cool, The Kingdom II, Kundun, Liar Liar, The Lost Word: Jurassic Park, Ma vie en rose, Made in Hong Kong, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Nil By Mouth, Pajarico, The Postman, Public Housing, The Saint, Scream 2, Seven Years in Tibet, Smilla’s Sense of Snow, Speed 2, Suicide Kings, Train of Shadows, Ulee’s Gold, Waco: The Rules of Engagement, Wag the Dog

Posted in Yearly Roundup | 4 Comments »

Yearly Roundup – 1942

Posted by martinteller on April 1, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

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Haven’t seen a lot from this year, and there’s nothing left that I particularly want to see at the moment.  I’d call it a pretty “lean” year, except for one little thing.  Casablanca is rightfully regarded by many as one of the greatest movies of all time, and it currently holds the #3 spot on my own list.  I have yet to write more than a couple of brief sentences about Casablanca, but I’ve never felt a need to.  The movie speaks for itself… it’s like some sort of natural phenomenon, a perfect movie that just emerged out of the earth.

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Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

Like I said, it’s a lean year.  The only movie I have for this section is one of several works by Orson Welles that were butchered by a studio: The Magnificent Ambersons.  I’ve stopped hoping for a miracle that will give us the film as Welles wanted it… at this point, I’ll just settle for a decent Blu-Ray release.  Maybe not one of his most distinctive works, but a wonderfully crafted story.

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Also Love

In Which We Serve
Listen to Britain

 

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Varying Degrees of Like

Bambi
Cat People
The Glass Key
Johnny Eager
The Man Who Came to Dinner
Now, Voyager
The Palm Beach Story
Saboteur
The Talk of the Town
There Was a Father
 This Gun for Hire
The Undying Monster

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Varying Degrees of Hate

Street of Chance

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Some Notable Films In The Middle

I Married a Witch
Moontide
Sherlock Holmes and the Voice of Terror
To Be or Not to Be
Les visiteurs du soir
Went the Day Well?
Yankee Doodle Dandy

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Uncharted Territory

Across the Pacific, For Me and My Gal, The Ghost of Frankenstein, Holiday Inn, The Major and the Minor, Mrs. Miniver, The Pride of the Yankees, Road to Morocco, Woman of the Year

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Yearly Roundup – 1980

Posted by martinteller on March 14, 2014

The Cream of the Crop

This is a big nostalgia year for me, with three of my childhood favorites lasting into my current top 100.  Airplane! would likely get my vote for the Funniest Movie I’ve ever seen, jam-packed with gags… and good ones, too.  If it’s not the film I’ve seen more than any other, it’s gotta be in the top three.  Another comedy that I return to over and over again (and always enjoy the hell out of it) is The Blues Brothers, which would get my vote for Best Chicago Movie, and based on my limited experience, Best SNL-Related Movie too.  The Shining is one that I saw at an early age — the first few times in an edited-for-TV version that had all the naughtiest bits cut out — and have consistently returned to every few years.  Best Stephen King Adaptation?  Without a doubt.  Scariest Movie?  Yeah, maybe.  And while it’s not currently on the top 100 listed on this blog, it likely will appear in the next revision… the gloriously campy and endearingly earnest Xanadu.  Since we’re giving out awards, I’m going to call this my Most Hated Favorite.  Because people are dumb.

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Slightly Less Creamy, But Still Tasty

The older I get the less I care about the “Star Wars” movies.  But The Empire Strikes Back is the crowning achievement of the series, a film that remains untainted by its association with the dreadful prequels.  Will we ever get an un-fucked-with version of it on Blu-Ray?  Ordinary People is a touching gem, with great performances all around but especially Mary Tyler Moore.  And Mon Oncle d’Amerique is another wonderfully playful film with an experimental narrative style by the late, great Alain Resnais.

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Also Love

In Search of Famine
Raging Bull

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Varying Degrees of Like

Atlantic City
Bad Timing
Berlin Alexanderplatz
The Big Red One
Breaker Morant
City of Women
The Elephant Man
The Falls
God’s Angry Man
Hopscotch
Kagemusha
The Last Metro
The Long Good Friday
Poto and Cabengo
Superman II

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Varying Degrees of Hate

The Age of the Earth
Altered States
The Apple
Friday the 13th
The Gods Must Be Crazy
Le Roi et l’oiseau

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Some Notable Films In The Middle

9 to 5
American Gigolo
Arrebato
Caddyshack
Dressed to Kill
Fame
Flash Gordon
From the Life of Marionettes
Germany, Pale Mother
Gloria
Heaven’s Gate
Kingdom of Diamonds
Melvin and Howard
My Bodyguard
Out of the Blue
Popeye
Sauve qui peut (la vie)
Stardust Memories
Stir Crazy
Used Cars
Where the Buffalo Roam
Zigeunerweisen

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Uncharted Territory

Any Which Way You Can, Battle Beyond the Stars, The Blue Lagoon, Brubaker, Cannibal Holocaust, The Changeling, Coal Miner’s Daughter, Cruising, The Fog, Inferno, Little Darlings, The Long Riders, Loulou, Maniac, Moscow Does Not Believe in Tears, Motel Hell, The Ninth Configuration, One Day Like Another, Panelstory aneb Jak se rodí sídliste, Satah Se Uthata Aadmi, Spetters, Spokój (The Calm), The Stunt Man, Times Square, Urban Cowboy, The Watcher in the Woods, Zhuang dao zheng (The Spooky Bunch)

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