(T13’s taking a break today just so y’all won’t be overwhelmed with the listage. Unless you wanna be. Let me know.)
31. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
When you, and the majority of your entire senior class in high school, can quote a movie backwards and forwards, that is probably a sign of obsession. Is this the best movie in the world? Well. No. But is it hilarious? Absolutely. The Pythons were a comedy group in Britain who made several movies and a TV show back in the ’70s and ’80s, and like any good Brits their sense of humo(u)r is random and dry and bizarre. They take the King Arthur legend and make it as ridiculous as possible, and that’s great as far as I’m concerned. Best watched late at night, with other people.
32. Moulin Rouge!
It’s the rebirth of the movie musical! Some of the visuals get a little insane at times, but the music is inspired (everyone from U2 to The Police get quoted here), and goodness, Nicole Kidman and Ewan McGregor (*swoon*) can sing. There are also echoes of the Orpheus and Eurydice myth here, with a good man going into the underworld to rescue his love–only this time, he’s a poet and she’s a prostitute in 1900s Paris. Love it. Some sexual stuff, obviously, it taking place in a bordello and everything, but man, it’s so good.
33. No Country for Old Men
This movie scares the ever-living daylights out of me. No kidding. The villain, Anton Chigurrh, (played by Javier Bardem, who deserved that Oscar, by the way), follows the protagonist, Llewellyn Moss, who has taken some money from a drug deal gone bad. Chigurrh leaves a trail of bodies in his wake, leaving Sheriff Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones, who should’ve gotten an Oscar) to figure out what the heck is going on. The thing is, you never know why Chigurrh is so intent on getting this money, which makes him all the more terrifying. He’s basically evil for evil’s sake, and that is scary as hell. But there are glimmers of light, small sparks in all that darkness.
34. The Patriot
Look, if you’re an American colonist and you have seven kids, and a war threatens the lives and wellbeing of those kids, you go and fight. Which is what Mel Gibson’s character does, and just happens to help win the war. Some really funny moments in this movie, as well as some utterly heartbreaking ones–so, basically, it’s war. It’s life.
If you’ve been around the blog a while you know that one of my passions is AIDS advocacy, and this movie is part of the reason why. Tom Hanks puts in an astounding performance as Andrew Beckett, an HIV-positive lawyer who gets fired because of his illness, and Denzel Washington as the lawyer who represents him in his case against his old law firm. Seriously, Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington in the same movie? You know this is going to be good just because of that. But add in a real look at AIDS in America at the end of the 20th century, and it becomes that much better.
36. The Philadelphia Story
Let me see if I can break this down: Cary Grant and Katharine Hepburn get married. They get divorced. She gets engaged to a society man. Cary Grant helps journalist Jimmy Stewart get into the pre-wedding festivities to cover it for a gossip column. Cary Grant still loves her. Jimmy Stewart falls in love with her. Hijinks ensue. Intrigued yet? Here’s a clip. (Yes, Dave, it’s the same as yours, but it’s the best one I could find on YouTube.)
37. The Princess Bride
The best description I can come up with for this comes straight from the movie: “Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles…” But seriously, if you haven’t seen this yet, what is wrong with you?
38. Pulp Fiction
This is basically the pantheon of Bad Things In Movies: Sex, drugs, violence, language, and, yes, a little bit of dancing. Shocking. But the story is so good, man. And there’s a little bit of grace involved, too, in the form of Bruce Willis’ motorcycle and a missed bullet. It also contains some of the best dialogue in a movie, like, ever. For example (language warning):
39. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
I will always recommend this movie just because of the line “WE THOUGHT YOU WAS A TOAD!” But if you dig on ancient mythology, you’ll probably like it because of the Odyssey-esque qualities of it. Besides, who doesn’t like a little bluegrass every once in a while:
Yes, it’s a love story, but not in the way you’d imagine–their love story is intertwined with their love for music and for life. The funny thing is that our guy and girl don’t have names; they remain anonymous, which means that this could be anyone, anywhere; they have a near-mythic quality about them. I once read that the movie’s named for what the director would hear friends say: “Once I get this off the ground, I’ll be successful…once I find the girl…once I get this recorded…” It’s a movie about love, about dreams, about desire. Add a great soundtrack and the consideration that these are amateur actors, and you have yourself a movie.