Thursday, January 28, 2010

Our Favorite Movies: M.E.'s picks

Wow, everyone - I am impressed with and very grateful for the response to the Our Favorite Movies project so far! Some of you went even more all-out than I expected. Compared to a couple of the lists you submitted, my original 10 looks pretty measly now. Guess I better get  crackin' on No.s 11-20!

But that's for a future post. Now it's time to show how the other side of this works. It's time for me to start commenting on your lists. Two-way street, ya know. I'll take them in the order submitted.

First up to respond is a longtime friend and colleague of mine who goes by the name of M.E. (for short). She's quite well versed in movies, and I thank her for being first out of the gate. Her pic(k)s are:

The Philadelphia Story: Cary Grant. Katharine Hepburn. Jimmy Stewart. Does any movie without a large cast bost more potent star power? And yet, little Virginia Weidler came along and damn near stole the picture from the lot of 'em.

Some Like It Hot: Along with Singin' in the Rain, this is the movie I turn to most whenever I need a pick-me-up. No matter how many times I see it, Billy Wilder's comedy, the funniest movie ever made, never fails to asphyxiate me.

Modern Times: Outstanding Chaplin. As previously stated, my top choice is City Lights, but this might be my second or third favorite, depending on where I put The Great Dictator

Anatomy of a Murder: Very fine courtroom drama with an outstanding lead performance from Jimmy Stewart and a memorable turn from the always striking Lee Remick. As far as courtroom movies go, I personally prefer Twelve Angry Men or To Kill a Mockingbird, but Ottto Premenger's drama is probably a close third. 

Rear Window: One of my very favorite Hitchcocks. Probably more so than any film he made, this one speaks the most to the pure visual power of the cinema, because so often, we are the camera. Oh, and it features this lovely entrance too. Ah, Grace ....

The Wizard of Oz: Indeed, there is no place like home.

The Sound of Music: A lot of people call this movie sappy, and it is, but that's part of it's charm. It's a little long for me, and has too much repetition of some of the numbers. When it comes to Robert Wise musicals, I gravitate to West Side Story, but on the whole, its charms are irresistible.

Casablanca: Yeah, I can hardly believe it didn't make my list either, but as sterling as this masterpiece is, I couldn't kick out any of the 10 for this one. This would probably be number 11, though.

To Have and Have Not: See this and witness Bogie and Bacall falling for each other. Great stuff, although my favorite B&B is The Big Sleep, as little sense as it makes.

Segueing to more modern choices:

The Lord of the Rings trilogy: Indeed, one of the greatest film achievements of the past decade, although I think the theatrical version of The Two Towers was cut too severely - it plays much better in the extended version.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: Also my choice for the best of the Potter films.

No Country for Old Men: One of the Coen Brothers best, if not their best. It certainly has the most chilling villain of the past decade.

Poltergeist: You've heard of the Poltergeist curse, right? How very, very eerie that M.E, should pick this the very day it's announced that Zelda Rubinstein has died.

Toy Story 2: I consider this Pixar's greatest achievement. Well, either this or WALL-E, depending on what day you ask me.

Up: I sense a theme here. My second favorite movie of last year, and probably Pixar's third-greatest achievement. 

So that's how it works, folks. You list em, I opine on them, and we turn each other on to our favorites. Check here if you want to see my list and grasp the premise a little more.  We're off to a fine start. Submit MORE and let's keep the momentum going!


Allison Dickson said...

This was a great idea, Eric! I'm going to really enjoy this! And I also love that entrance in Rear Window. Think I'm going to have to watch that one again soon. :)

Molly said...

Do you by any chance know the name of a modern film set in the deep south in america involving a court case? I vaguely remember watching it a few years back and I didnt get the title and would love to watch it again. I know this a broad spectrum - Sorry! :S

Allison Dickson said...

A Time to Kill?