Monday, September 1, 2014

Our Own Top 250 (My 20 Favorite Films)

A couple weeks ago, I announced that I would be putting together a list of 250 films that we (my readers and I) consider the best. As of today, you all have 19 days to get your votes in. I hope you are all giving this some good thought and swiftly moving through your movie collections at home to add to this list. Some of you have already sent me lists in and I am loving them so far. I am glad so many of you are really embracing this little exercise. This can be something we update every year, something we constantly look back at, something we are constantly updating and shifting. Most of all, this will be a list that you won't find anywhere else on the internet, and that is pretty cool.

Now, as I said in my original post, I didn't want to write the whole thing myself. I like being able to include my readers and you guys seem to enjoy being part of the action around here. I like working in a democracy and not be a dictator and you guys make that decision several times sweeter. However, I do want to set a barometer for this list. I want to at least show my readers where I am coming from and highlight what I chase every single time I sit down to watch a movie I haven't seen before. The list below is my list of the twenty films that mean most to me. Movies I would have put at the very top of a 250 Best list, had the entire list been up to me. 

What makes these films so special? Well, they feel like magic to me, they feel like magic every time I watch them. These are movies that get me high, no matter what mood I am in before I sit down to watch them. These are movies that have impacted my life in some way, either by holding a mirror to my face or challenging or confirming my belief system. It is amazing how powerful cinema can be, and it is equally amazing how encompassing they are. These twenty films stick out in my mind more than most, and for a guy that sees hundreds of new films a year (old and new), that is a rather impressive feat. I will admit, that this list didn't just shake out in twenty minutes. My top five was pretty clear, my top five are utterly transcendant in they way they inspire, evoke, and create. The other fifteen films were harder to order. Obviously, there are way more that just twenty movies that mean something to me, but to narrow those movies down to a pack of twenty was a real exercise. All I had to do was listen to my heart, and the result was a list I am emmensily proud of.

I wanted to write this list to inspire, maybe point toward a film, or director or genre that you haven't been thinking of yet. I hope this list inspires you to dig deep in your thoughts of what makes a movie great. Together, we are going to create a massive list of Bests that we all can enjoy.

My Twenty Favorite Films of all Time
1. The Maltese Falcon (1941)
2. Ghostbusters (1984)
3. Young Frankenstein (1974)
4. To Kill A Mockingbird (1962)
5. Crimes And Misdemeanors (1989)
6. The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
7. Duck Soup (1933)
8. Fight Club (1999)
9. Goodfellas (1990)
10. Pulp Fiction (1994)
11. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
12. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
13. Smokey and the Bandit (1977)
14. The Sting (1973)
15. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
16. The Blues Brothers (1984)
17. The Big Lebowski (1998)
18. Rio Bravo (1959)
19. The Public Enemy (1931)
20. Braveheart (1995)

So that is my top twenty, and I like I said, it was a tough list to create. Especially when there are movies like "The Godfather," "The Big Sleep," "Psycho," "The Lion King," "The Usual Suspects," "Christmas Vacation," "Batman," "Alien," "2001," "Metropolis," "Abbot and Costello Meet Frankenstein," "The Breakfast Club," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off," "Lawrence of Arabia," "The Last of the Mohicans," "Dr. No," "Wait Until Dark," "Toy Story," "The Terminator," "Citizen Kane," "The Seven Samurai," and about a dozen other movies I thought about over this long weekend. But I am proud of this list.

I hope this helps you brainstorm and I hope this provided some enjoyment. You have until the September 20th to provide your picks for the Our Own Top 250.

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