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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Dirty Dozen Favorites After 1990

           My first Dirty Dozen Favorites are time tested films that were made before 1990.  Today's list includes some of my favorites between 1990 to the current date.  As with the previous list, these are films that made a particular impression upon me that synced with my taste in films.  There are some moral issues in some of these picks such as language, sex, and violence that one might consider before viewing, but I am not going to address those issues here today.

Arlee Bird's Newer Movie Dirty Dozen Favorites:


The Count of Monte Cristo (2002) -- Very satisfying version of this story that is suitable for family viewing.  It is a story about justified revenge.










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.










Being John Malkovich (1999) -- One of the funniest movies on either of my lists, this is truly an original film concept.  The film is mostly funny because it is so bizarre and absurd.  John Cusack plays the part of a puppeteer who, while working at a job as a file clerk, discovers a portal behind a file cabinet.  Anyone who enters this portal is transported into the mind of John Malkovich.  The craziness ensues from this point to become a somewhat tragic story. The cast of characters is strong and John Malkovich is excellent in the role of, well, an imaginary John Malkovich.  This is a thought-provoking, mind-bending philosophical film.





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.










Gods and Generals (2003) / Gettysburg (1993) -- These films are companion pieces based on source material by the same author, directed by the same director, and with some of the same actors.  Based on the Civil War battle at Gettysburg and events leading up to the battle, the films depict the leaders of both sides as godly men caught up in doing what they believe is right.   There is no real good or bad depicted here other than what comes from war.  The generals question God and themselves as to what they should be doing.  Very faithful look at this tragic era of American history.











          Men With Guns (1997) -- This is a film by the excellent director John Sayles.  The story takes place in an unnamed Latin American country where there is guerilla activity in the back country.  A professor hears that some of his former students are missing and may have been killed by guerillas.  He decides to find out for himself.  From here the film becomes a road journey movie as the professor picks up fellow travelers along the way.  The film is allegorical and spiritual.  It is mostly in Spanish with subtitles except for some American tourists who offer some comic relief.





        Come back the rest of the week as I look at favorite show biz and musical movies, scary and other darker films, and a debate question on Thursday about moral issues in film.    Next Monday June 28 I will be offering a chance to join me in listing 10 FAVORITE LOVE SONGS AND 10 FAVORITE BREAK UP SONGS.   Sign up on the Linky list if you'd like to participate.







25 comments:

  1. Ach! Being John Malcovich! MASTERPIECE! LOVED LOVED LOVED that film! :o)

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  2. I don't go to the cinema often Lee, all the films I reviewed were mostly my pre mother days, the last time I went to the cinema was 42 yrs ago so all the modern films unless seen on TV I haven't seen,
    I have promised myself I will go one day.....
    Great post.

    Enjoy your day,
    Yvonne.

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  3. Now I am on a more familiar territory :) Thank you Arlee. Enjoyed knowing what you like.

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  4. Well I will say that there are several movie's there that my husband likes! Sorry that I haven't been by but he's still home!
    I loved this "War of the World's", better than the old version!
    Love Di ♥

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  5. Being John Malkovich is effing fantastic! The Count of Monte Cristo would have made my top 12. Mulhulland Drive is also very awesome. So many good movies and I own at least half! I'm going to have to watch them soon now. :)

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  6. You've got some great ones here, Lee! I particularly love the time bending of Pulp Fiction and am ALWAYS a David Lynch fan.

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  7. Thanks for your comments so far.

    Yvonne -- I too haven't been to the cinema in years, but every week end I try to watch at least 2 movies. However a lot of those are older movies.

    Diana-- I went back and watched the original War of the Worlds after watching the remake. I still like the original a great deal, but I think maybe the remake might be better, especially from a special effects standpoint.

    Hannah-- Being John Malkovich is such a unique and creative film. And some of the absurdity is so laugh out loud funny-- I saw it in the theater and there were points when I was laughing so hard I was in tears.

    Tart-- David Lynch is one of the greatest directors. Twin Peaks really got me hooked.

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  8. What a great list! I can't believe I forgot God's and Generals, Gettysburg and Being John Malcovich. The Patriot is also a very good movie.

    I haven't seen the rest. This would be to difficult in real life - I could make another to 12 list with just the movies i forgot!

    I found the Gladiator to be to slow and boring for me - I just didn't like it. The wife loves it, she drug it out the other day and made me sit and watch it with her. Of course sitting close to Irene on our comfy couch is reward enough.

    I did not like the Passion. I saw it and decided first, I for one, do not like any image of any sort concocted for the Godhead.

    I know it probably squeaks by the 2nd commandment since Christ took on the form of a man - but it does trouble me; 2) too much emphasis was given on the emotional and the painful beatings vs the aspect of what we should really reflect on. Christ did not satisfy the Father's wrath, anger, righteousness and judgment by his pain, but by the fact that the sin of the elect was imputed to Christ, He who knew no sin became sin on behalf of God's elect. The anquish of knowing that He who was absolutely holy and sinless would soon become soon caused him to sweat great drops of blood and to ask if the cup could pass from him, of course knowing it could not nor would not.

    There are other issues with the film I won't go into here, but I can not recommend it.

    By the way it was Chrit's death as a propitiatory offering that satisfied the Father. The beatings and tortue as horrible, painful, dispicable as it was did not kill him nor lead to his death - he said, no man can take his life, he laid it down willingly and took it up again. Would I have lasted, certainly not, and I am not impervious to his suffering - the balance comes with meditating on the fact that my sin was imputed to him by the Father and Christ's righteousness was imputed to me by the Father and I am forgiven by his death, burial, and resurrection. That blows me away!

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  9. Good choices, Arlee. Count of Monte Cristo was excellent. And Pulp Fiction does inprove with rereated viewings. Samuel L. Jackson is the man!

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  10. The Count of Monte Cristo was actually great! It's one of my fav books too. Have you read it? Different ending (the Robin Buss version). BTW, great music too.

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  11. Ah yes, I relate better to this list! And love so many of these movies. I have yet to see Knowing so I'll add that one to my list of movies to watch in the next few weeks.

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  12. a couple of these are in my favorite movies.

    btw...i love the Gladiator soundtrack you included!

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  13. That's a great list of movies. Gave me an idea to watch a couple of them again...soon!

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  14. Some interesting choices. We have Apocalypto but never watched it.

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  15. Gregg -- I was very impressed by the way the Christianity of those great generals was portrayed in Gods and Generals -- especially in a movie funded by Ted Turner. Interesting take on The Passion of the Christ

    Alex -- Pulp Fiction has so many layers and digressions that you cannot watch it once and really get it.

    RaShelle-- Have not read The Count... book yet. Have not seen any of the other movie version either. My said the book is very popular in Ecuador, where she came from, and they used to read it on the radio.

    Jennee-- there were so many end of the world movies to choose from, but Knowing really impressed me.

    Bud and Pat -- Thanks for stopping by.

    Diane --Apocalypto has some great visuals. I've watched it several times because it's so amazing to watch. Having to read the subtitles is not that bad because the story is mostly in the action.

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  16. OOOh! How could I have left The Count of Monte Cristo out??? I love that movie, too! But to narrow all my loves down to 12??? Ugh...

    I like the feel of all the movies you've listed, they're my faves, too!

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  17. Pretty darn cool Dirty Dozen list there, Arlee - I love a lot of those movies too!

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  18. I've only seen a couple of these ones (I liked those!) - I really have to make more time to see some movies!

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  19. I haven't seen any of these movies but my husband has, he would enjoy your picks indeed! I watch comedies!

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  20. when it comes to DVD you have to see "Letters to God" I bet you will add it to this list. :o)

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  21. Some interesting choices on this one. Thanks for sharing your list.

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  22. thanks for all the comments.

    Elizabeth-- I wasn't really able to fairly narrow favorites down to 12 so instead I decided to do different lists all week. I could go on with more lists for weeks but I won't-- at least I'm not planning to yet.

    Cheryl-- I enjoy comedies, but primarily as just entertainment-- they usually don't end up on my favorites lists. It's kind of funny--well not funny like a comedy.

    Kimberly -- I've heard that Letters to God is good. My wife and I both liked Fireproof and some of the other church produced movies. We like inspirational uplifting movies.

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  23. "Being John Malkovich" was an amazing film - big thumbs up!

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  24. A wonderful list of the post '90 films. I also loved The Patriot, Passion and Pulp Fiction (though I loved Pulp after the first viewing). It seems we have very similar tastes with a lot of movie genres!

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Lee