Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Movies

I haven't been to the movies since the Sweeney Todd fiasco of 2007. Johnny Depp albeit an OK actor by my standards was a disappointment and that film was a grand waste of my time and money. I am no film critic but I go off my tastes and what really appeals to me. That visit to the movie theatre was a last-ditch attempt of salvaging what was left of my interests in movies and screenplays. I have since lost all faith and interest in movies. There is the odd one or two that come by as often as a total eclipse that may be even barely OK to look at and then, now there are the once in a lifetime ones that you would watch over and over. I have compiled a list for my personal use of those movies and have made it my point of duty to acquire them and use them to fill the void left by this apparently acceptable lack of creativity that has become cinematography.

What has made it even worse for me is the apparently new craze of remaking remakes of remakes and creating sequels, "threequels" and "quadruquels" (I know you get my point). The Bourne mini-series is proof of this. Matt Damon was ok in Identity, so-so in Supremacy, I however didn't care much for Ultimatum, because by now I, using common sense realised that the concept had been milked to within an inch of its life, so judging from this, one can conclude what my view will be of the fourth incarnation. Matt Damon being a seasoned actor saw it fit not to opt for the for the fourth obviously seeing the ridiculousness of this phenomenon that has taken Hollywood by storm of sequels upon sequels. The idea was a stellar one (certainly not that of making sequels), the Bourne Identity was ok, now leave it at that! Obviously being typecast is not a concern of actors nowadays, he went on to do two other reprints of the same movies with the same name. Am I the only one who sees that this approach is one that stifles creativity and variety, or is it that these once esteemed qualities of the arts have now become extinct and have now been replaced with greed and laziness? Well, the first one worked, so did the second so why not make 5 strings of reprints of the same storyline? Though this may seem like a good formula for making tonnes of money it is certainly not a good formula for creativity and excellence in a field. People with hardly any taste who even have half a brain and who actually use that half a brain to think for themselves and are not left to the mercy of everyday fads will see that this approach means us no good.

An OK non-remake is as frequent as a total eclipse and a very good movie is a once in a lifetime occurrence nowadays. It is sad and has become unbearable, the thought that children will grow up thinking that mediocrity is acceptable and those like myself who yearn for the Arts in its once unadulterated form that dictated excellence and variety will be starved of anything even barely fulfilling of that desire. I have stopped watching movies (don't care for them) I see being advertised as the next big thing because all my experiences have shown that they may be big at the Box Office but they all come up short on quality. Shrek was ok, but whose idea was it to make a 2, 3 and 4 (trust me, this one is in the works if it hasn't yet been released)? Toy Story, Mission Impossible, X-Men, Ice Age, Madagascar - I could go on. They all are the same thing, the first was acceptable (by now standards) but the others are all exponentially terrible. I literally wept when I saw the fourth incarnation of the Indiana Jones Movie, since Hollywood is so big on applying formulae to movies, apply this one: "the quality of an idea is indirectly proportional to the number of sequels it has divided by the number of big name actors in it. Music has gone down that same path sadly, I am a fan of the artistic expression of human culture and if my children are going to be anything like me with a passion for quality expressions of human culture, they are going to grow up in a depressing world.

Movies the likes of these will probably never be seen again, and before I go on, I am not going to be pretentious and include Scarface or the Godfather, they were good but not good enough for my list (no specific order) and isn't it funny how all the Non-American Westerns seem to be better then those idealistic American ones?

1. Casablanca
2. The Shawshank Redemption
3. The Lord of the Rings (one of only two exceptional trilogies)
4. Indiana Jones (the other of only two exceptional trilogies)
5. Star Wars
6. The Bridge on the River Kwai
7. Forrest Gump
8. Gladiator (possibly the last really good movie)
9. The 10 Commandments
10. Ben-Hur
11. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest
12. To Kill a Mocking Bird
13. All the "Dollar Series" movies
a. The Good the Bad and the Ugly
b. For A Few Dollars More
c. Fistfull of Dollars
14. The Harder they Come
15. The Great Silence (Il Silenzio Grande)
16. Dr. Zhivago
17. To Kill a Mockingbird
18. Wuthering Heights
19. Dances with Wolves
20. Waterworld
21. Spartacus
22. The English Patient
23. Sling Blade
24. What's Eating Gilbert Grape
25. All the Bonds before Die another Day
26. Oliver Twist
27. Oliver!
18. The Silence of the Lambs
19. Saving Private Ryan
20. I am Sam
21. Enemy at the Gates
22. The Mission
23. The man in the Iron Mask
24. The Professional (Leon: The Professional)
25. Vanishing Point
26. The Big Red One
27. City of God (you just NEED to see this one)
28. Memento
29. Titan A.E.
30. Braveheart
31. Apocalypto
32. Tim
33. Get the Gringo
34. Machete (so bad it was good)
35. Fire Down Below
36. Maverick
37. Face Off
38. Broken Arrow
39. Chicken Run
40. The Mask of Zorro
41. Sleepy Hollow
42. Desperado
43. Batman and Robin
44. Batman Forever
45. Oh Brother, Where Art Thou
46. The Ides of March
45. Full Metal Jacket
46. The Lion King
47. Pan's Labyrinth
48. Taken
49. Snatch
50. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
51. Heat
52. Hotel Rwanda
53. Outbreak
54. Chill Factor
55. Mahogany
56. Sometimes in April
57. Driving Miss Daisy
58. Django
59. The Big Gundown
60. The Count of Monte Cristo (the remake)
61. The Count of Monte Cristo (the original)

Seeing all these movies and loving them has made me proud!!!