The Best Movies
That I’ve seen
These are absolutely in no particular order due to their age, format, and genre differences.
The Apartment - 1960
Shirley MacLaine plays an elevator operator - well a driver, since it’s the olden days where you could smoke in offices and elevators didn’t automatically stop at each floor. This movie is in black and white which was well on it’s way out in the 60’s but still, great, almost cozy considering the premise. Jack Lemmon plays an office clerk who is trying to climb his way up the corporate ladder by letting his bosses and their friends use his nearby apartment to hook up with their side girls after work so their wives don’t find out about them. MacLaine’s character ends up being one of the side gals that’s brought to the apt and things snowball from there.
Wings - 1927
Alright this one is also in black and white but was filmed before the abomination of film known as the Hays Code. This movie was filmed in San Antonio of all places and has the best aerial dog fighting scenes you’ve ever seen. Top Gun has nothing on this movie and I will defend it until the end of time. One little bit of info, this movie is also silent so a chunk of it is made up of those fun dialog cards that pop up after something happens. It also has baby Gary Cooper.
Gone in 60 Seconds - 2000
The greatest soundtrack to any movie ever set to a dollar store version of an Ocean’s movie where they just steal cars. It’s a remake of a movie from the 70’s with canned dialog and big name actors from the time. The movie itself is just a fun mess to watch and everyone in it looks like they are just having a blast. Besides the movie being pure car theft entertainment the big winner here is the soundtrack which they had Moby set up for them and every single song is an absolute winner. (A close second to the Fast and the Furious and Blade soundtracks.)
Tombstone - 1993
You’re no daisy at all. Just about every line from this movie is quotable. Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday steals every other scene. Every actor seemed to be trying to win a bet for best mustache even though Sam Elliot is in it. Hands down the best modern western ever produced. Nobody will be able to touch this for a while. Oh, it also has Billy Zane.
Koyaanisqatsi - 1982
Koyaanisqatsi translates to “life out of balance” in Hopi. This entire movie is a mashup of various bits of b-roll, slow motion capture, and timelapse cinematography of various places and people in the United States. The isn’t any dialog, there is no plot, just pure theme and aesthetic. If you are one of those goodreads reviewers who throws a fit when a book has “no relatable characters, no plot, and nothing happens!” then this is NOT the movie for you. It’s pure visuals set to music, and not just any music but over an hour of PHILLIP GLASS. You’ve probably heard the Pruit Igoe and Prophecies pieces because they get used in the Watchmen movie as well as a few others. This movie is where that orchestral circus music was born, and also why it needs no dialog, one does not talk over Phillip Glass music.
Blade Runner - 1982
The cyberpunk masterpiece. Based on Phillip K Dick’s “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” and depending on what version you are watching, you have a techno film noir movie with a bounty hunter who is tracking down rogue androids who look no different than actual humans. That’s all the setup you need to know what goes down further. Visually, and I think it’s obvious at this point in the movies I’ve shown so far that visuals are extraordinarily important to a film because that’s the meat of the medium. This was done just at the apex of manual visual effects following Star Wars and Alien… oh yeah this one was directed by Ridley Scott and has Harrison Ford as a main character. The big bit here is ethics behind using/creating/ending robots who are so close to being human we can’t tell what characters may or may not be one.
Akira - 1988
The ANIMATED cyberpunk masterpiece! Which, to me, is harder to do. Hand painted anime is always better than the washed out digital versions seen today. While this movie does have some CGI elements sprinkled in, just like Ghost in The Shell, it’s the hand painted backgrounds and feel of the vast cityscapes that bring this film to life. Every dark skyscraper lit with thousands of meticulously placed windows, every bit of dirt and smoke slathered on a crumbling high tech metropolis is complete perfection.
The mothership. They gave Fritz Lang money and a camera and just turned him loose. You have to understand the Germany this was made in, the Weimar Republic was astronomically different from the Germany it turns into a few years later. You want some hardcore symbolism just before a world power loses its mind you came to the right place. This sucker is not only a silent black and white film but as it is currently missing entire chunks. As usual, when adapting something to an American audience they had to cut out anything with any mention of a working class because that’s “communism” or religious symbolism because that’s “against the church” or anything that is too hard to understand while eating popcorn and peanuts and so the originals were either trashed or ruined. Y’all, go rent this thing right now, rent it on something, just go watch it.