Five Things I Think: The Best Movies of All Time

Perhaps you’ve read my past rants regarding holiday specials, the best scary movies I’ve seen or the warnings I’ve given about the films you need to avoid. As we wind down 2011 it seems only fitting that I’ve saved the best for last. So I’ll use this post to inform you of what I believe are the greatest movies of all time.

Let’s be honest right up front: I’m no movie mogul. I have no degree in movie watching and for the most part I can sit through pretty much anything. I like the thriller, comedy and action movie all equal. In other words, I’m not a hard person to entertain (I mean, I watch Godzilla for goodness sakes).

My judgement on these movies has nothing to do with box office success either. Truth be told I didn’t care much for Avatar (way too long) and Titanic and Transformers didn’t make my list either ( no offense Mr. Cameron or Mr. Bey). The criteria I use to determine if a movie is great or not is simple, much like me:

#1 – The film must have a fantastic story line. (as most great films tend to do)

#2 – The movie must not drag on and on. There are plenty of movies that are worthy of being called great but they seem to drag on longer than they should (Avatar and Batman: The Dark Knight both quickly come to mind). I prefer movies that tell the story quickly and makes you want to watch it again.

#3 – I’ll give bonus points to a movie that meets the first two criteria and also has a twist or is unique for the year it came out. For example, according to the American Film Institute’s list of the 100 greatest movies of all time the #1 film by far is Citizen Kane and I would tend to agree with that statement. For a film that came out in 1941 there’s no doubt it meets all of my criteria to a tee. Everything about it deserves top honors. But since neither I nor my parents were around in 1941 to witness this masterpiece first hand I’ve instead created my own list with some information from Wikipedia included.

So dim the lights, grab some popcorn and let’s go:

5. The Sixth Sense (1999): This film made my list because I, like most others, fell for the twist at the end. I love movies that get you thinking one way and then pull the rug out from under you at the end.  Hollywood tried to copy the twist from this movie many times since but always came up short.

This film also gave director M. Night Shyamalan a green light to make a half-dozen bombs following it’s release. (See, well on second thought DON’T see, The Happening, a film which made my WORST list).

4. Raiders of The Lost Ark (1981): Harrison Ford at his finest. This film is an adventure of biblical proportion. It pits Indiana Jones (Ford) against a group of Nazis who search for the Ark of the Covenant because Adolf Hitler believes it will make their army invincible. Contains non-stop action, a love story and even the Nazi’s getting an ass-whooping. What more could you ask for?



3. Forrest Gump (1994):
Tom Hanks was a freaking genius. One of the first actors to for go his salary in exchange for a take of the box office. The story depicts several decades in the life of Forrest Gump, a native of Alabama who experiences firsthand, and contributes to, some of the defining events of the latter half of the 20th century while being largely unaware of their significance due to his below-average intelligence. Run Forrest, RUN!


2. Star Wars (1977): Episode 4 for those keeping score, this film clocks in at 90 minutes and is the movie that started the whole Star Wars craze. I’ll even give props to Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as far as coolness goes but nothing beats the original.

and by now you should already know….

1. JAWS (1975):  Without a doubt the greatest movie ever made. The only film that if I can (and have) watched every day and it never gets old. I used to be able to quote this entire movie line for line, much to the chagrin of my parents and siblings. “You all know me, know how I earn a living…”

JAWS won three Academy Awards and should have won the Best Picture but lost out to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest when the academy had a Jack Nicolson bias. Don’t get me wrong, Cuckoo was a good film but certainly not better than JAWS.

Honorable Mentions: These are films I highly recommend you see. Right now if possible. You have my permission to take the rest of the day off.

In no particular order:

Platoon (1986), The Usual Suspects (1995), The Green Mile (1999), Memento (2000), The Lord of the Rings Series, Groundhog Day (1993), Can’t Buy Me Love (1987), Fight Club (1999), A Christmas Story (1983).

Your turn. What are some of your favorite movies of all time?

Five Things I Think: The 5 Worst Movies of All Time

I’m no film aficionado by any stretch of the imagination but I think I know a thing or two about bad movies when I see them (or make the attempt to see them). I’ve always been a huge action, adventure and horror/suspense junkie but over the years my will has been tested as I’ve seen some real doozies with things like pesky kids (Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom), horrendous acting (Friday the 13th Part what ever you want) and plot lines that would make your sick to your stomach (try watching the movie Alive – the only movie that made me nauseous and claustrophobic).

But I don’t base my opinion on character, the film score or even directing. Nope, for me only one of two criteria must be met in order for a film to be dubbed HORRIBLE:

One: If during the course of watching the movie I want to literally get up and leave.  Something not really smart considering you may have shelled out a bunch of money to see that you thought would be much better.

This actually happened to me on two occasions and on one of them I was successful in walking out. That was the wonderful film Hellraiser II. If you ever get a chance to see it, don’t. It sucks. But I still get a chuckle thinking about walking out of the 25th Street Theater yelling “THIS MOVIE BLOWS!”

The second movie I wasn’t so lucky at escaping from mainly because I was with a company of people. Hence, that particular movie has been dubbed my Worst Movie of All Time (as you’ll see).

The other criteria that indicates a bad film to me is if while watching the movie I fall asleep. I can probably name dozens of movies where this occurred but I’ve narrowed down my list to five to keep from dozing off again.

You may notice while reading this list that a lot of my stinkers ended in 2008. I take pride in knowing that my viewing habits seem to have gotten better.

Let’s get to the heart of this post. I present to you the FIVE most horrible movies of ALL TIME:

5. Wes Craven’s New Nightmare (1994): There was a time when I would see every single Nightmare on Elm Street as fast it came out. I’m still not sure why as they were all pretty terrible. I definitely reached my limit when this atrocious movie came out and I still to this day have absolutely no idea what it was about. And I don’t plan on watching it again any time soon to find out.

4. Jaws: The Revenge (1987): If it has anything to do with JAWS you know I’m there. This was the first movie I saw being a high school graduate. After that mistake they should have rescinded my diploma and made me repeat 12th grade. Who in their right mind would believe a shark would follow someone from the northeast to the Bahamas? Apparently the same people who’d construct the most fake looking shark ever caught on film and try to pass it off as real.

3. The Happening (2008). I wanted to like this movie. I mean, I REALLY wanted to like this movie. I loved the Sixth Sense and kept trying to give director M.Night Shyamalan a pass. But since the “I see dead people” movie he has continued to disappoint.  In fact several of his movies including Unbreakable, Signs and The Village could all be listed here. But I chose The Happening because it is quite possibly the worst acting I’ve ever seen in a movie.  I’m not kidding, it’s bad.

2. Twilight (2008). I will NEVER understand why women love these films so much. I forced myself to read the first book. I forced myself to watch the first film at home on DVD. I fell asleep 1/4 of the way through. Now you KNOW a movie is bad when going to bed at 8:30pm on the weekend sounds more appealing than watching a movie with awesome microwave popcorn.

Drum roll please?….. I now present to you the worst movie of ALL time…..

1. Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997). Without a doubt the most atrocious film ever made. I really enjoyed the original Speed and the whole notion of a bus blowing up if it goes under 55 mph. But Sandra Bullock on a boat? Eh, not so much.
It was a warm summer evening in 1997 when I saw it and I wanted to leave SO badly. I could not leave. I was with people and it would be embarrassing. I forced myself to stay. In retrospect, I probably would have been better off saying I had to go to the bathroom and hanging out next to the urinal all night. That’s how bad it was. I still lament losing every one of those 121 minutes of my life I’ll never get back. In fact, just me reminiscing about how horrible it is has cost me an additional ten more minutes of life. So I’m finished discussing it.

So there you have it. The five worst movies of all time as dubbed by me. I’m sure there are plenty of movies that meet this criteria for you as well.  So please feel free to add your own or challenge my list. I’m always interested in learning about movies I need to avoid.