55: THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)
Directors: Joel & Ethan Coen
Writers: Joel & Ethan Coen
Easily the Coen Brothers’ best. Jeff Bridges gives a riveting performance as the Dude, who seeks replacement for his favourite rug with the aid of his quirky bowling buddies. The Dude encounters a lot of different and intriguing characters and deals with several strange and sporadic problems laid in front of him with zen-like calmness, which makes him one of the best leading characters of all time. Sharp writing, excellent characters and a skewed sense of humor makes this one of the most memorable rug hunting movies ever made.
What I Love About It: Jeff Bridges, John Turturro’s Jesus, Autobahn.
Best Quote: “Shut the fuck up, Donny”.
54: THE THING (1982)
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: Bill Lancaster
A remake of a 1951 sci-fi flick The Thing From Another World, John Carpenter’s best film squashes the original under its gory boot. The movie tells a story about a group of scientists working in the icy Antarctic who find a spaceship buried deep under the ice. Soon an alien from another planet terrorizes the group masquerading as one them and taking them out one by one. It’s the best gore-fest movie ever made, by far. And it helps that the movie has tremendous cast, superb effect work by Rob Bottin and an unsettling mood that has yet to be surpassed by any film (well, maybe except one film, but I’ll get to that later). A chilling and suspenseful horror flick that is equally ruthless and relentless.
What I Love About It: Kurt Russell (and I never stop loving that guy!), the creature design, Richards Masur’s beard and Wilford Brimley’s moustache-free demeanor.
Best Quote: “You gotta be fuckin’ kidding!”
53: ED WOOD (1994)
Director: Tim Burton
Writers: Scott Alexander & Larry Karaszewski
Visually talented director Tim Burton makes a black and white biography of Ed Wood, a movie director whose passion far outweighed his skills as a film maker. Johnny Depp gives one of his better performances as Ed Wood, and Martin Landau gives a performance of a lifetime as Bela Lugosi, a has-been movie icon trying to reach back his glory days as the master of horror. Their friendship is bittersweet and ultimately surprisingly reletable. Tim Burton fills this movie with so much love for the craft that it’s infatuating. The struggles to shoot a film is better portrayed here than in any other films about the making of the art of cinema. Ed Wood may have been less than competent as a director, but his passion and perseverance deserves our love. And so does Tim Burton who does his best work here.
What I Love About It: Johnny Depp, Howard Shore’s music, Tim Burton’s visual eye for B&W.
Best Quote: “Karloff? Sidekick? FUCK YOU! Karloff did not deserve to smell my shit! That limey cocksucker can rot in Hell for all I care! “
52: ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND (2004)
Director: Michel Gondry
Writer: Charlie Kaufman
A couple meets, falls in love and break up. And then they surgically remove the memories of each other. You know, a basic formula for a romantic comedy. Shit, this film is original as hell. Charlie Kaufman wrote Being John Malkovich before this, which was sort of great but he really knocked it out of the park with this one. Visually stunning and an intelligent analysis on relationship and love strikes a specific chord in me. Kate Winslet is absolutely adorable as the eccentric Clementine, and the rest of the cast is also stellar. Michel Gondry has plenty of original visual tricks up his sleeve and they’ll make you rub your eyes with amazement. Absolutely memorable and a sweet tale of love.
What I Love About It: The script that’s out of this world, Kate Winslet, Michel Gondry’s direction.
Best Quote: “What a loss to spend that much time with someone, only to find out that she’s a stranger. “
51: L.A. CONFIDENTIAL (1997)
Director: Curtis Hanson
Writers: Brian Helgeland & Curtis Hanson
3 cops in solve crimes in 1950’s L.A. and their individual investigations lead them to a bigger criminal plot dealing with drugs, dames and corruption. The cops who have wildly different MO’s and personalities must learn to team up or parrish against a threat that hits a little bit too close to home. I can’t tell you how much I fucking love this film. The script is everything you’d want from a film noir detective story, the characters and the actors playing them are in top condition and the movie is tight as hell. Just do yourself a solid and watch this immediately, if you haven’t already.
What I Love About It: Kevin Spacey. Russell Crowe. The writing.
Best Quote: “…Rollo Tomasi. “