It’s my 100th post! It’s hard to believe that in summer of 2015, I launched Donttalkaboutmovies.net with my review of Jurassic World. I want to thank everyone who’s followed my site since then, and I have a special treat.
I took a voting poll last month on what my readers wanted between an about me story and a top 10 all-time favorite movies countdown. Since I honor the popular vote, let the countdown begin!
10) Drive (Dir. Nicolas Winding Refn) (2011) – I saw this film in theaters, expecting a cool thriller with Ryan Gosling as a charming criminal. Drive is more than that. It’s a tribute to 80’s Neo-Noir, the French New Wave era, and even Slasher films. Gosling has received criticism for playing quiet characters, but his facial expressions highlight a number of the Driver’s emotions. He’s charming, awkward, protective, loyal, sad, and violent, making the Driver one of the most complex characters in recent years.
9) Blade Runner (Dir. Ridley Scott) (1982) – Blade Runner is a science fiction film I see something new about every time I watch it. It’s not only an artsy hybrid of science fiction and Neo-Noir, it’s a commentary on death, life, and existentialism. Harrison Ford’s on-set misery bolsters Deckard’s own moral ambiguity. Without Blade Runner, we wouldn’t have been introduced to Christopher Nolan or Denis Villeneuve.
8) Se7en (Dir. David Fincher) (1995) – Okay, so I like Neo-Noir, but Se7en is more a horror film to me. Brad Pitt and Morgan Freeman’s buddy cop chemistry adds much-needed charm to this grim tale of nihilism. Special shout out to the iconic “What’s in the box?” scene, and its legacy.
7) The Dark Knight (Dir. Christopher Nolan) (2008) – I honestly have nothing special to say about The Dark Knight that other people haven’t already said. I will say it’s an epic superhero film that set the standard for modern superhero and action films, but you probably heard that already.
6) Aliens (Dir. James Cameron) (1986) – Aliens is the action film that both thrilled and terrified me. I first saw Aliens when I was nine, and my dad regretted letting me watch it then (lots of nightmares). From today’s standing point, I admire Aliens because it pulled off the near-impossible task of topping Alien. Alien is a brilliantly artistic horror film, while Aliens is a nonstop action-packed ride. Sure, it’s funnier and lighter than Alien, but it still maintains Alien’s fierce horror and shocking gore effects. Game over, man!
5) The Thing (Dir. John Carpenter) (1982) – The Thing, along with Carpenter’s other films, is part of my annual October horror marathon. It’s sad Carpenter’s career nearly ended due to The Thing’s financial losses. This is a horror film with gruesome effects, a cynical tone, and one of my favorite morally ambiguous endings.
4) Boogie Nights (Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson) (1997) – Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest filmmakers. He makes an epic ensemble comedy reminiscent of Scorsese and Kubrick’s finest works. Anderson also has a talent for taking rather mediocre actors and directing top-notch performances out of them (Mark Wahlberg and Burt Reynolds in this case).
3) True Romance (Dir. Tony Scott) (1993) – My compatibility test film is also Quentin Tarantino’s best film of his filmography. I know he didn’t direct True Romance, but this Bonnie & Clyde-esque film has his charm, dark humor, and sharp dialogue. It’s a brilliant blend of romantic comedy, crime, and action genres, and it’s also my favorite romantic comedy.
2) The Big Lebowski (Dir. The Coen Brothers) (1998) – Jeff Bridges’s The Dude is my movie role model. The Coen Brothers combine Film Noir with Stoner Comedy and Art-House film, creating a surreal and hilarious experience. I’m still grateful my mom showed me The Big Lebowski. The Dude abides!
1) Fight Club (Dir. David Fincher) (1999) – Fincher made Se7en, Zodiac, and The Social Network, but Fight Club is his masterpiece. It’s a transgressive work of art, bringing out the best in both Brad Pitt and Edward Norton. In a way, it’s underrated because without Fincher’s vision, we wouldn’t have gotten other great works like USA’s Mr. Robot. I wouldn’t have gotten into film without Fight Club.
Honorable Mentions: The Departed, Toy Story, The Shining, Inglourious Basterds, Shaun of the Dead, and There Will Be Blood.
Thanks again for taking the time to read this post, along with the remaining donttalkaboutmovies posts. Stay tuned!