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Monday, July 14, 2003

Movies that don't completely suck.

I love film. Nothing makes me happier (or sadder) than a brilliant movie. That said, my favorites list is an eclectic one, and not without some conflicts. (I've left out all SW and LOTRs because of the obvious factor).

1. Magnolia
- one of the most moving 2 1/2 hours I ever spent. Went alone to the theater and cried like a baby. BTW, going alone to the theater is really fun!

2. The Princess Bride - Rob Reiner's classic tale of true love, giants, and swordfights. It's one of those movies I know all the words to, and am always highly disappointed when people don't get my references.

3. Austin Powers-Goldmember
- Surprisingly enough, I wasn't in love with the first two in this series. I loved the third. There's nothing funnier than this movie. I generally think that people who don't agree with me are axe murderers.

4. The Breakfast Club
- I saw this movie in 1986, a year after it was released. It was R rated, and I knew my parents would be mad at Kari Wallerstein's parents for letting me watch it, so I didn't tell them. Always takes me back to being an 80s kid and lusting after Molly Ringwald's dance moves. Don't even talk to me about John Hughes' other stuff. BC rules all.

5. High Fidelity
- A wonderful love story/John Cusack masterpiece. Who doesn't love a good John Cusack? Damn, if you know what it's like to have loved and have lost --that's all of us, weep weep-- you'll relate. Also a must-see for music snobs across the world (we're better than you, nyah!)

6. Being John Malkovich
- Because of this movie, I love Cameron Diaz (even after Charlie's Angels). Spike Jonez never ceases to amaze. I really want a porthole. Please let me know where I can find a good one.

7. Monty Python and the Holy Grail - This is silly English humor at its best. Walk, don't run, to your nearest video store and get your laugh on, trick.

8. Amelie
- Possibly the most beautiful and positive film I've ever seen. Audrey Tatou is luminous and her performance made me want to change my life for better. And who doesn't want happiness in Paris? Awesome, awesome. And the DVD has some killer cinematography extras. Go rent it or I will cry.

9. Snatch
- It's very hard for me to give props to my least favorite entertainer's husband, but hello! This movie is sooo awesome, and features my favorite actor in a, shall we say, less glamorous light...which is exactly how I love my men. And diamond heists are da bomb. And I've always wanted to be a gypsy. I'm pretty sure I am.

10. The Sound of Music
- I've loved this movie since before I was born. It's undoubtedly a musical to end all musicals. I've converted many men to the Julie Andrews way. You can't tell me you don't like "Do Re Mi." The very best part is when he messes up and calls her "Captain" instead of "Fraulein" after they come back in their drapes/playclothes. I'm convinced it was a line flub and they left it in.

Yes, my list slightly changes from time to time, but these are pretty much my trieds and trues.

I'm listening.. tap tap tap....

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I'm gonna have ta say no to #1, I just couldn't get into it. The whole coincedence (sp?) thing had promise, but it seemed to lose it for me.

As Far as Monty python, My fav has to be "And now for something completly different".

I agree on all others, and add "The Usual Suspects", it blew my mind the first time I saw it. And Poo on anybody who tells the ending, before one has seen it.

"Last Night" a nice little Canadian film from Dirctor/Actor Don Mckeller (http://us.imdb.com/Title?0156729)

There are alot of great movies out there, for me way to many to list.

PS - goin to the moves alone IS awesome. I do it all the time.


MTDCS for me are:

1. Die Hard - a movie that start up and keeps you revving.

2. Old School - wear a pair of cotton absorbent shorts, you will tinkle.

3. Star Wars - need I say more.

4. Knotting Hill - great date movie. Makes you go aweee

5. Star Trek: First Contact - Fire quantum ploton torpedoes

6. Prince of Darkness (John Carpenter) - Boo! Ah!! boo! Ahhh, hey is that a commadore amiga?

7. Matrix - You just have to think that shoving that very long and sharp interface rod into the back of your skull would have to hurt.

8. War Games - just the beginning of what you can do with the internet.

9. Sneakers - More cool things of what you can do with computers, but I really don't think that a bunch of old guys can use them that well.

10. The Rocky Horror Picture Show - Ok, this is a movie to watch when you feel like yelling at the screen and wearing fish net stockings.


good list! most of my favorites are there too. i think i'll try to see all of those.

and hey, who needs company to go sit in the dark. and frankly, other patrons seem to like it when i'm alone: theres noone for me to make annoying comments to!


I've gotta add a few to the list (I'll try to avoid some of the more obvious choices):

"Jaws": My favorite scary movie. Proof positive that what you don't see can be so much more terrifying than what you do.

"The Castle of Cagliostro": Even after "Spirited Away" and "Finding Nemo," this is still one of my favorite animated movies. No musical numbers, no cutesy sidekicks, no anachronistic pop-culture references, just pure fun.

"Delicatessen" and "The City of Lost Children": Two more classics by Jean-Pierre Jeunet (with Marc Caro). They're sick, they're twisted, and they're strangely beautiful to look at. (Even though I still haven't figured out what exactly is going on in "City".)

"The Manchurian Candidate": Maybe the best political thriller ever - John Frankenheimer was one of the coolest filmmakers around. Still is.

"The Fugitive": All together now ... "I didn't kill my wife!" "I DON'T CARE!"

"Fast, Cheap & Out of Control": I had to throw in an Errol Morris film somewhere, and this seemed a good place to start. Four strange and strangely compelling individuals try to make sense of things that maybe aren't supposed to make sense. At once funny, insightful, and even a little moving.

Just a partial list. E-mail me if you're not bored to death by my ramblings yet. :)



I've seen all of them except Amelie and Snatch. And I've liked all of the ones I have seen, some more than others. The Princess Bride is one of my favorite movies, and I have my own version of "as you wish," but so far she hasn't realized what I'm really saying. In any case, may I add a Peter Sellers movie that you might want to try out? "Being There." I may be biased to it, but you might like it as well.


I used to shiver in dark shadows of computational inadequacies, but now with spybot, winpatrol and winner tweak I'm feeling pretty cocky. Thanks Sarah. I especially like the dog. What maniacal programmer stole our Foo mascot and replaced him with a mad scientist? What was he thinking? Everyone needs their Foo! Who could forget his culinary masterpiece the infamous Foo burger? Or his all meat diet that people all over the world are literally dying to sink their teeth into? Foo's right, salad is for wimps. Foo is the man. Foo for president. Use the force Foo. Give us back our Foo!

lord of the rings is on. I never manage to watch it all. Is Mr Smith one of the elves?

Space Monkey

Well, color me an axe murderor. I think Goldmember is the worst movie I've seen in years, and I've seen a lot.

A decent list overall. A few addendums:
Adaptation - A simple move about flowers
Fight Club - You are not the DVDs you own
Waking Life - Beautiful animation and philosphy stuff


Amelie is my favourite movie. I felt the same way after I watched it.


Awwww come on, everybody knows that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the greatest movie of all time. No?


You know, my friends thing I'm a wierdo/loser for going to the movies alone. But everytime I try to get them to go it just screws the plan all up, we end up late, missing previews, and then they act like jerks in the theater and embarass me (not too hard to do) but I've never seen someone say they actually liked going alone. I like going alone.

Okay, no particular order.. I just couldn't do that it would be like naming a favorite cd.

1. Southpark: Bigger Longer Uncut. Really no description needed, any movie with the phrase F,F'ity, F F F, in it gets my vote. The soundtrack is classic.

2. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Hunter's my hero and Johnny Depp is one of my favorite actors (Pirates of the Carrabean kicked so much butt) but anyway Fear and Loating never gets old to me.

3. Scream. This movie saved horror movies. I'm a huge horror fan, hense forth I loved this movie. It's so smart and funny, plus ghostface is extra creepy and Jamie Kennedy is hilarious as a movie geek.

4. Beetlejuice. Michael Keaton is NOT batman, Michael Keaton IS beetlejuice. This movie also never gets old to me. Oh jesus its by far Tim Burton's best movie and Danny Elfman's score.

5. Dead Alive. I'm a big peter jackson nut. Anyone that thinks he should be known for the lord of the rings movies really has no idea what his early gore filled romps are all about. "I kick ass for the Lord!!" Now I need not say more.

6. Evil Dead 2. Sam Raimi is the king of all action horror directors. Ash is the king of all movie heros. This movie works on so many levels, its fast, its funny. Its a classic to any true horror fan.

7. Spiderman. Back to Sam Raimi. I'm not even a huge comic book nut, but once again wonderfull score by Danny Elfman.

8. The Frightners. Back to Peter Jackson. Obviously the best of his big budget studio pictures (although no one else seems to like it) great story (written by jackson) great acting by Michael J Fox. This movie is fun no matter how many times I see it. Danny Elfman helps out once again.

9. Dead Man on Campus. Okay I don't go for stoner college movies that much (go figure, being that I'm a stoner in college..) but once again we have a movie I never tire of watching. The character of Cliff was hilarious.

10. Army of Darkness. Back to Sam Raimi once again. Ash returns in a more kid friendly and compeletly different sequel to Evil Dead 2. Hey, if you don't think seeing Bruce Campbell fight off an army of skeltons with a sword in each hand while spurting out great one liners like "come get some" then you....have my sympathys. But just like most all the movies on my list its an acquired taste.

Honorable mention: Sleepy Hollow, Back to the Future, The Crow, The Wall, The Craft, Road Trip, ANY Indiana Jones Movie, Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Cowboy Beebop the movie, Toy Store and Pirates of the Carrabean.

See, I knew I couldn't limit it as much as I needed! lol.

Brently Gasper

What about Blazing Saddles? Or Airplane to me those are the funniest movies ever made!


How can a top 10 movies list not include Strange Brew?


All the John Hughes movies ruled. Especially wierd science.I actually live in the area most of those John Huges films were made.

Other faves: Goonies, The original Grease, St Elmo's Fire. blah blah blah


..and I left out Nightmare on Elmstreet, and made SO many spelling mistakes. Sarah try not to get sick reading my typos :oP

But honestly if you like LOTR you should really check out the peter jackson movies Bad Taste and Dead Alive.. just not if you have anything against movie gore and lots of it.

That's why its a shame to see him neutered by a PG13 rating on the LOTR movies. God Hollywood tactics suck.


I've seen most of those, and they are good choices. Being more of a horror movie geek myself, here is a little bit darker of a list of ten:

"John Carpenter's The Thing" - Great movie, so-so game. More interesting the more you watch it.

"The Beyond" - Italian horror at one of its greatest points. Beautiful and disturbing.

"Alien" - Requisite for most geeks, I know, but that doesn't diminish its greatness.

"Silence of the Lambs" - Please, tell me if you were not weirded out by this movie when you first saw it. I was 10, and it freaked me out.

"The Exorcist" - Creeped me out. Watched it alone, when I was 11, at night, empty house. Plus, I'm Catholic, so multiple whammy. Brilliant.

"Night of the Living Dead" and "Dawn of the Dead" - George Romero's greatest movies. Night was one of the scariest movies I had ever seen when I watched it, later replaced by Dawn. Both great and scary, but also with a great political awareness. Actually managed to write a college term paper on them.

Now for a lighter component:

"Clerks" - To truly appreciate the genius, you must have been a movie store or convenience store clerk. Saw so much of myself in Dante and Randall.

"Monty Python and the Holy Grail" - Totally agree.

"Young Frankenstein" - The greatest movie Mel Brooks ever made. "Blucher"

"Unforgiven" - Greatest western I have ever seen. Clint Eastwood is one of the coolest people ever.

Love your blog, Sarah. Tell Morgan to update hers. Yeah, I know my list shows I am messed up in the head. Apologize for my wordiness.



Try this.
1. Grosse Point Blank
2. Airborne
3. Pump up the Volume
4. Last of the Mohicans
5. Spaceballs
6. SlingBlade
7. Pulp Fiction
8. A Beautiful Mind
9. Christmas story
10. The Full Monty

ryan l

my movies in no particular order are jaws, the first jurassic park, fight club, memento(awesome indy movie that everybody should watch), clerks, the matrix, and the star wars movies of course. sorry to anybody that hates this next part but i think im the only person in the world who doesnt like the lord of the rings series.


Braveheart anyone?

It's my favorite movie of all time.



I am kind of ashamed to admit this...
But I am a big Steven Seagal fan as well.

He is a horrible actor... but one of the most talented Aikido practitioners that has ever lived.


Tony H don't forget Day of the Dead :o) but agreed.


...and memento was awesome! Just remembered One Hour Photo that movie is haunting.


It is obvious that you are a freak. And I, of course, mean that in the nicest way possible.

I am so not a movie buff, but I like some of the ones you mentioned. I don't know how I missed the "movie gene", but it apparently escaped me along with the "car gene"...lame, I know. But the good news is that I got the "music gene" in spades. Who asked? No one. Yes, I realize that and I'll move on now. **a-hem**

I am interested to hear more about how you loved The Sound Of Music before you were born and any of the other things you may have done then. Fascinating.

What about Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?? Where is that on your list??? It seems to be missing. Okay, well maybe I DO like a movie or two...or maybe just one, yeah, one.

And lastly...I don't want you to cry so I wanted to let you know that I am going to see Amelie VERY soon, okay??? I've heard it is very good.


I was amazed that our top movie list is so similar. And instead of just giving a list of my favorites here is a list of movies I recommend.
-The Crime of Padre Amaro
-Drumline (because I was a band geek DRUMMER)
-Emperor's Club
-Roger Dodger
-Happiness (laughed my butt off!)

Oh and I love my Netflix account. I found "Croupier" by looking through their independent films list.


Best Monty Python Movie - Life of Brian

If you loved Snatch, you've gotta see Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels.

If you loved Being John Malkovich, you have to see Adaptation and maybe Human Nature.

My favorite movie of all time, Blade Runner.
Favorite action movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark.
Favorite comedy, A Fish Called Wanda tied with a few others.
Favorite drama, The Shawshank Redemption.


Any list for me would have to include The Philadelphia Story. The Man With Two Brains is really an overlooked film.

My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.


hey Sarah,

Do you think you could explain why you think going to the theaters alone is fun. I think it would SUCK!



I NEVER overlook The Man With Two Brains.


That movie is not only funny, but at the same time offers powerful insight about true love and the degradation of our society.
Not to mention highly advanced surgical procedures that have still gone undiscovered by non-theatrical surgeons.
What a waste.



A clockwork orange is a must see too.


Princess Bride was always a big fave. As one point I knew most of the dialog, but knowing it now is just inconceivable. Still lot's of fun.

Personally, I guess I am also an axe murderer...I thought the second Austin was better...the jokes were kind of re-re-recycled by the third. Your mileage may vary.

I would also nominate as best/silliest: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the Eighth Dimension. Peter Weller, John Lithgow, Jeff Goldblum, et al. Truly an either love or hate choice.

Sarah, you rock!. Keep up the great work and smile more, please? We like it when you smile.


Movies that will change your life:

Harold and Maude (if you don't rent anything else on this list, PLEASE rent this, ok? :) )

Bagdad Cafe

Rain Man

American Beauty

Almost Famous

About a Boy

New York Stories


Hey Sarah,

At this point most of my favs have been thrown out there. I vote for a worst movies of all time list. Surely Being John Malkovich would make my list. I just hated that flick for some reason. All your other choices are dead on IMHO.

PS - and bring me a shrubbery !!!!!!!!!!


I agree with going alone. With my family, I have Sis, Neph, Mom all talking. With "friends" I get ragged on for making noises of disgust... Better going solo.

These are in no order:

Thirteeth Floor (great movie- before Matrix)
Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
Monty Python's Meaning of Life
Monty Python's Holy Grail...(just a flesh wound!)
Army of Darkness
The Rock....(No! the the WWE guy.)
Time After Time...(good H.G.Wells like story)

Okay more...

Spiderman and DareDevil= Love the 2 movies, tragic figures who find love but loose it. Makes my life brighter some how..

Last of the Mohicans, Patriot, Braveheart, Elizabeth, Lady Jane= All well done historically based movies. *sniffle*

And last but not least...
FastTimes at Ridgemont High= cool movie, filmed at my high school (Van Nuys, Ca) and Pheobe Cates!! nuff said.

Oh, Sarah. Love your Blog and webcam. You soo Rock!.... but about Morgan ;) why no blog or cam?
don't they allow stuff like that in the Xplay cellar??


Attack of The Killer Tomatoes... Not on the list

Chris Inman

Hmmm, very interesting. This is actually very hard. Without stating the obvious. Sorry Mr. Lucas, you've become eccentric and wouldn't be in my list anyway. :D I had to open the comments in a new fullscreen window on this one.

01. BACK TO THE FUTURES even though they progressively worsened it's my small obsession with time travel and reflection of myself. How can you not like Dr. Emmitt Brown?
02. LETHAL WEAPONS an excellent balance of action, comedy, and drama.
03. PATCH ADAMS a nice drama check it out.
04. MASK another nice drama
05. LIFE with Eddie Murphy and Martin Lawrence. Possibly the funniest comedy.
06. GREEN MILE had to list this meaningful drama.
07. POWDER don't know something about these types of movies grabs me.
08. MILLENIUM MAN very meaningful to me. I definitely wouldn't want to live forever.
09. HACKERS outdated and fictional, but I would still love to have someone piss me off enough to post their personal information to a bunch of fetish bulletin boards and the like.
10. TOMB RAIDER really appreciate the work A.J. put into it and look forward to the next. She really is talented almost moving up to the John Stewart level.

Other opinions: I agree there's too many good movies to list everyone experience something new and spend QT with a good movie. Adaptation and Fight Club were good. Oh yeah, Goonies. There are just so many. And some listed I haven't seen before. I think I'll rent some tonight or over the weekend. All the movies like clerks and mallrats were great comedies too. Sorry Steven Seagall is a horrible martial artist. I've seen better Aikido from kids. There's definitely a lot I haven't seen yet. I'd like to see some other suggestions.

The not nearly omnipotent enough,
Hyper Smiley :D


Mostly all good movies listed so far... A couple others worth mentioning that many might not have seen (I do like the weird ones so viewer beware...)
Leolo - French-Canadian masterpiece about a boy who's family is going insane. Highly stylized, funny, with a handful of disturbing scenes.
'In the Company of Men' & 'Your Friends and Neighbors' - Two GREAT flicks by Neil Labute that will make you laugh and then wince
Clerks - obvious but had to be mentioned
Naked Lunch - mmMMMMmmm Burroughs
'Pi' and 'Requiem for a Dream' - by Darren Aronofsky. My brother told me that Requiem was like being hit in the face with a baseball bat for an hour and a half. I would have to agree. Especially the last 45 min.
12 Monkeys - any Terry Gilliam is good Gilliam
Drugstore Cowboy - from the man himself Gus van Sant and featuring my one of my favorite authors (see Burroughs drool above)

And some good documentaries:
The War Room - in the Clinton-for-Prez campaign of 92. REALLY good.
Barraka - Incredible doc shot on 70 mm, in 24 countries on 6 continents. The scene with the japanese baboons chilling in the hot springs on the side of a mountain in the dead of winter is hilarious.
Paradise Lost 2 - another obvious one
Crumb - again obvious
Startup.com - makes me glad I didn't get that job I interviewed for in Austin in 98
Anthem - (or was it American Anthem? - the one without Wayne Gretzky's wife in it) 2 female filmmakers trek across the US asking many people (celebrities and not) their take on the American Dream. Highly entertaining.

I'd recommend cafedvd.com for renting these and other indie dvds btw... :)

ok back to work for me.


How about The Godfather? And the French Connection... I can't turn this movie off if I watch just one scene.

For laughs, its hard to beat Airplane! and of course, Austin Powers.


UHF starring "Weird Al" rocks!

Bunny Emerald

Cinema Paradiso (the original, not the director's cut!)
Like Water For Chocolate
Out Of Africa
The Natural
Pulp Fiction
The Crying Game
American Beauty
Planes, Trains & Automobiles
The Shawshank Redemption


i have only heard of #3 #4 and #9

dunno the rest =P


Oh yeah, one more word: Chocolat. Johnny Depp rarely gives a bad performance.


sarah...you mentioned John Cusack.

best. actor. ever.

high fidelity = awesome

better off dead = quintessential

one crazy summer = classic

sixteen candles (the geek with the headgear) = too close to home.....

say anything = lloyd dobbler = best character ever.

hell, he even made "serendipity" watchable. barely.


Sarah, not a bad list but please do not forget the all time classic film.....BIO DOME!!! Pauly Shore & Stephen Baldwin as 2 losers that think the Bio Dome Experiment is a mall. They have to take a leak "at the mall" and get locked inside for the 365 day experiment!! As they say, "Viva las Bio-Dome!!" Rent it!!! Its so dumb its great!!


My favorite movies would have to be anything by Kevin Smith, anything with Johnny Depp, the Hellraiser series, House of 1000 Corpses, the Monty Python series, Orange County, the Evil Dead series, and I know it's not a movie but the Tenacious D TV show was hillarious.


Good list Sarah, here are some you should consider if you haven't. FYI Most are older movie, but still some of THE best.

1: Father Goose
2: Glass Bottom boat
3: I was a male war bride
4: Bringing up Baby
5: Lover come back
6: Mans favorite sport
7: Operation Peticoat
8: That touch of mink
Those are some really good movie, but here is my my top 10.

1: Father Goose
2: Gone With the Wind
3: Dude wheres my car
4: Mans favorite Sport
5: How to lose a guy in 10 days (Yes, I am male, I am 17, and no, I am not gay. LOL)
6: The Fast and the Furious
7: Operation Peticoat
8: X-2
9: Spider Man
10: LOTR Series


Just remember, Sarah...

If all else fails, a good vorpal bunny will do wonders at problem solving.


My favorites are
1.Patch Adams
2.National Lampoons Vacation
3.Spaceballs or any Mel Brooks film
4.Return of the Jedi
5.Bless the Child

There is a lot more LOTR, Monsters Inc. and such.

Going to movies alone is fun

Matt C

Damn, I love coming in at the tail end of things.

Hmm. movies... :)

Yes to the entire Evil Dead series (I wish they'd do another movie, but I think Sam has gotten to big to be able to do it now.) We have an ED movie marathon every Halloween, and last year was even better because Bruce Campbell brought his book tour to our campus. Great book (if chins could kill) too.

Reservoir Dogs - why do I gotta tip?

The Professional - Oldman at his classic demented best

Princess Bride - after you see the movie, read the book by William Goldman. Even better.

Usual Suspects - yes. and if you don't agree, I will kill your family, friends, neighbors, people who owe you money, etc, etc

Memento: It has Carrie Anne and Joey Pants. No Keanu, so I was the one saying "Whoa."

anything from Python - I love Meaning of Life

Nightmare before Christmas - So, so, so, so cool.

the Kevin Smith filmography - Clerks intro'd him, Mallrats was pure fun, Chasing Amy was the one with some meaning, J&SB strike back was a good commercial ending.

Office Space - don't TOUCH my stapler

Fight Club and Snatch - and not because they both had Brad Pitt. Ed Norton was awesome and don't forget "Zee Germans"

I could go on and on, but I won't. Well maybe...

nah. :)

oh wait...one more...Neverending Story. AAATREYYYUUU!


Great contributions from everybody. And if you're going to include "Buckaroo Banzai" (and how the hell did that not make my list?), then I have to add "Big Trouble in Little China," my favorite Kurt Russell movie ("You know what Jack Burton always says at a time like this?" "Who?").

Then, two more love-it-or-hate-it choices, these from the Coens: "The Big Lebowski" (Jeff Bridges rocks) and "The Hudsucker Proxy" (classic hula-hoop scene. And look closely for cameos by Bruce Campbell and Sam Raimi.)


..you know they are making a Tenacious D movie due out in 2005 and ben stiller is supposed to direct!! They need another album but I guess that'll do.


I guess I'm an axe murderer. :P Here's Johnny!!

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