Tuesday, January 1, 2013

My Favorite Movies: #100-91

I'm starting the new year off with a countdown of my favorite movies. I love a lot of movies (currently at 234) and had to narrow them down to the usual 100. It was much easier than I thought, except for spots 95-100 where I kept interchanging several titles (some of which ended up not making the list). But, I'm hoping this ranking gives an insight into my cinematic tastes. I'll update the list every four months. Hey, I love making lists, especially when they concern movie related things (I need to get a letterboxd). Let's begin!

100. Touch Of Evil (Orson Welles, 1958)
Much regarded as a B-movie, this film is far too underrated. Orson Welles was a genius. The opening shot of this film features a long take sequence that is legendary, and rightly so. That sequence held me on edge, oh my God! It's often compared to the Third Man, but I find Touch Of Evil far superior. There isn't a dull moment; I ended up watching the movie three times in one day. Orson Welles is not only a brilliant director, but a fantastic actor as well. This movie is testament to that.

99. Death Proof (Quentin Tarantino, 2007)
This movie is a joy ride. The first half and the second half mesh so well together, despite being very distinct. It also features the best car scene I've ever seen on film. I simply love every single character. The ending had me and my sister cheering and rewinding it several more times for additional cheers. I don't know why Planet Terror, the other title in Grindhouse, is more highly regarded than Death Proof, but it needs to be fixed. Like it or not, I find it to be a true feminist film.

98. On The Waterfront (Elia Kazan, 1954)
The cinematography, the mood, Karl Malden, Eva Marie Saint, Lee J. Cobb, Marlon Brando. There are literally no flaws in this movie.

97. Witness For The Prosecution (Billy Wilder, 1957)
The dialogue in this movie is gold. I also did not see the twist coming, even as it was playing out right before my eyes. Everybody nailed their roles, and Marlene Dietrich should especially be given credit for playing such an unlikable character and giving her depth.

96. Breakfast At Tiffany's (Blake Edwards, 1961)

I didn't have high expectations when I first saw this movie last year, but it really deserves its iconic status. Audrey Hepburn played her role to a tee. I've yet to see any of her other movies (well, I did see some of Wait Until Dark) but I do know her reputation for playing characters who are starkly different from her role in Breakfast At Tiffany's. What she delivered in this film carried so many nuances, especially given the simplistic storyline. The characters were all great, right down to the minor ones. Even the character of the cat had a lot of attitude and personality.

95. One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (Milos Forman, 1975)
All of the awards for this film. Every single actor is fantastic. Even the ones that I should have hated (Nurse Ratched, the snitch who snitched out McMurphy), I actually understood the reasons behind their actions. Truly heart breaking stuff.

94. Persepolis (Marjane Satrapi, Vincent Paronnaud, 2007)
Gah, I love this film. It's an extremely relatable coming-of-age tale. Being that I'm also a foreigner who traveled from a third-world country to find better opportunities in a more socially and economically advanced nation, I find the story moving. It's poignant yet retains an element of ease about it.

93. The Mad Miss Manton (Leigh Jason, 1938)
A dazzling screwball comedy that has the first screen pairing of the lovely Barbara Stanwyck and the talented Henry Fonda. I have got to get around to see their next pairing, The Lady Eve, because this one is hilarious. Probably one of the funniest movies that will feature on this list. It showcases both leads' versatility from their other more well-known roles. This film also possesses some elements of the mystery genre, which fits in perfectly with the other romantic and comedic elements. Rarely seen, but a true cinematic treasure. Seriously, go see this. It's wildly entertaining.

92. Lost In Translation (Sofia Coppola, 2003)
I didn't like this film on first viewing. Yet, I kept thinking about it months after, so I borrowed it from a friend and re-watched it. Boy, was I floored. I don't know why it did not click with me at first, but all that matters is that it does now. A truly moving piece with characters facing isolation in a unique way as only Coppola can. Bill Murray is the most amazing thing about this movie, with a close second three-way tie between Scarlett Johansson , Coppola's direction and the cinematography. The ending needs no explanation and feels strangely fulfilling.

91. Kill Bill, Vols. I & II (Quentin Tarantino, 2003 & 2004)
I know it's kind of a cop-out to include them as one movie, but that was originally Tarantino's intent, so, gotta honor the man's wish, right? I can't really say more about Kill Bill than has already been said (that goes for every single movie on this list tbh). Back in 2004, before I became a cinephile, I often named it as my favorite movie of all times. That it has fallen so far down the ranks is not an indication of my decreasing love or admiration, because this movie is perfect. It unfortunately occupies this spot because I have not seen it in four years. Instead, that my love for it still endures after all these years and all the to-be-unveiled cinematic discoveries on this list is what should be telling.


  1. Great post, some great films here.

    1. Thanks man! I hope you keep following the countdown as I think there are some great movies still ahead.