Arlee Bird's Newer Movie Dirty Dozen Favorites:
Pulp Fiction (1994) -- This one gets a pretty hard R rating for violence, language, and sex. Very cleverly directed film that was inspired by Kiss Me Deadly (see my review from yesterday). When I saw this film in the theatre I disliked it intensely at first, but after thinking about it I viewed it a second time and liked it a great deal more. I have since watched this many times. It is a film that holds up well with repeated viewings if you can deal with the violence and language.
The Patriot (2000) -- This film stars Mel Gibson and I am a fan so that's the first plus for me. Heath Ledger also co-stars in this film. It is a story the takes place during the American Revolution and had me cheering for the American patriots. There is some good war action and a decent story.
Gladiator (2000)--My wife loves Russell Crowe but agrees to stay with me as long as I take her to see his movies. This one is a really fine sword and sandal epic with some spectacular scenes of warfare and colisseum battles. Great story that will satisfy with good acting as well. One of my all time favorite films.
The Passion of the Christ (2004) -- Several years ago I heard a radio program where a doctor described what the torture and crucifixion of Jesus Christ would have been like and how it would have affected him physically. I thought to myself that this had never been depicted this way in any of the Jesus movies I had seen and why didn't they make a film that was realistic. Well, this film does it and does it very effectively. In Aramaic, Hebrew, and Latin with subtitles, this is a hard hitting film that can have a highly emotional effect upon viewers.
Mulholland Drive (2001) -- A very strange surrealistic experience from the great director David Lynch, who was also responsible for the bizarre television program Twin Peaks. The film has a hard R rating and not recommended for anyone who is easily offended. In fact I don't recommend this for anyone who has to have a story that is easily explainable and makes sense. This is more like a dream than an actual story. Since I am a fan of this genre, I like this movie a great deal and have watched it several times. However, there are some moral issues with this film.
Knowing (2009) -- I am a fan of apocalyptic end of the world films and Nicholas Cage. This movie covers both bases. Good special effects depicting major disasters and an interesting story.
Apocalypto (2006)-- A film about the Mayan culture before Europeans arrived. In the Mayan language with subtitles, the dialogue is not as important as the spectacle and the action. This is an amazing film that is part road trip and part chase. The scene of the Mayan city is incredible and very realistic feeling.
War of the Worlds (2005) -- The 1953 version is a top notch version that ranks high on my list, but this newer version with Tom Cruise is also very good. The story is set up well with Cruise as just a regular guy caught up in this alien invasion and he must find a way to save himself and his kids. Some really great special effects.