viernes, 12 de febrero de 2016

My 20 Favorite Movies (ENGLISH)

Egun on guztioi and welcome to the written and translated version of my 20 favorite movies. I have to thank my audience for letting me change styles and genres to make newer and better stuff. These are the 20 movies I like the most to date, the list will probably change overtime and the order doesn’t actually make much sense. Most of the places don’t differ much and I won’t detail if I plan to do a full review on something.

20º Spider-man 3

A friendly reminder that this is personal and subjective, my top and not yours, the movies that influenced me the most and not the best I’ve ever seen. Starting with this one explains a lot what type of top is this. Forget about what the mainstream community thinks about this one, I love it and even could make an independent analysis scene by scene to show how overhated it is.

I already explained a lot of this one on my “Hateful Comparisons: Spider-man vs. The Amazing”, so my regular viewership has an idea about this. This movie had mixed receptions when it came and got totally negative when hating on the Internet became a trend. It came too late because the next year had Iron Man and The Dark Knight. Those make Spider-man 3 almost a Genre Killer for the cheesy tongue-in-cheek superhero flick. Mentality changed and people started to criticize what was there since the first movie, which was released only five years before. More details in a proper review eventually.

19º “Frankenstein” & “The bride of Frankenstein”

Two in one because they are very short movies and feel like two halves of one story. The first movie is a classic and had a lot of impact on pop culture, but differs a lot from the book. The sequel introduced many elements from the novel that the first installment rejected while doing its own thing.

Dracula and Frankenstein were the scariest movies of their era, 1931, and this one has a warning in the beginning. Nowadays is pathetic on the horror, but the atmosphere can’t be beaten. The Gothic style inspired Tim Burton and many science-fiction writers. Even if nowadays it doesn’t scare, every scene has something amusing to watch or laugh at.

Surprisingly, it raises such interesting ideas that I bet they could be even more interesting nowadays. But the adaptations from today focus in the wrong aspects like the monster, horror or action. There are more sequels and reboots, but they feel more like filler films because studios made Universal Monsters movies at the same time to cash-in.

These first two installments are the funniest, most creative and entertaining. If you aren’t sold, watch Cinemassacre’s Monster Madness. James Rolfe made so many reviews of these franchises that I can’t say anything he hasn’t. I discovered this series thanks to him and his analysis made watching the movies even more substantial. Perfect movies to watch back to back on Halloween if you don’t like scary films.

18º Rocky

Speaking about classic films, this is probably the most beloved one from the list, probably the only “obligatory” movie that every expert agrees on being one of the best. But experts can fuck themselves, every cinephile should have its own identity. Outside of the great soundtrack, this movie doesn’t glorify violence neither sells itself as an obvious story of personal achievement.

Everything in this movie feels real and dirty. Even the actors don’t look like the typical Hollywood pretty faces, which is a plus. Rocky Balboa is such a charismatic guy that you can enjoy watching his life. He’s happy on his misery making silly jokes, he is the ultimate underdog.

So many movies are ruined by the overused parodies, but the montage is still one of the highlights. The ending is awe inspiring too, Rocky screaming Adrian’s name in the crowd is one of the most heartwarming scenes ever. The sequels characterized the opponents almost as villains who just want to beat Rocky, but Apollo Creed is indifferent until the sequel. Even he is likable!

The love story and the fact that they aren’t attractive or popular people is also something I would love to see more in media. Rocky doesn’t want the prettiest girl and they are so sweet together that upgrade the movie from outstanding to almost perfect. Best movie of the top, not my most personal.

17º A clockwork orange

This is my favorite Stanley Kubrick film and, even if I’m against of the “obligatory movies of the top”, any cinephile should have at least one of his. It is necessary knowing how each of his works improved cinema, he was a genius worthy to analyze. Fun fact: A friend pirated this movie for my way before I could access to Internet and later Lugosi Lavery made a cover for the CD.

So this is the first Kubrick movie I’ve ever watched and influenced me when I was a preteen. If this top would had been made then, this would be the number one of a list filled by violent and foul-mouthed films like Nightmare on Elm Street, Saw and Scary Movie. I still maintain it for being the first movie starring a horrible character you don’t want to meet in real life but creates art trough it.

Who else but Kubrick could do that? Nowadays, I can analyze how the direction and color were chosen to “hypnotize” the viewer with long scenes that never end. After watching many Kubrick documentaries, I don’t even want to imagine how many takes he repeated until he got what he wanted.

Even as a Kubrick fan, I can tell you the director hasn’t a single movie with a consistent tone beginning to end. It’s all about a great first or second half, or having the meat in the middle, but never the entire more. Ironically, I like the first part and the ending way more than the famous jail scene. There are like twenty minutes that make me suffer a bit of boredom.

16º Closer

This is probably the obscurest movie on my list. I would be surprised if someone actually knew this one. I originally watched it on TV, but just the second half, which dialogue was so catchy that I had to look for it online. It’s the dialogue. I put this film over a Tarantino movie even if he is one of my favorite directors.

The movie is about a love square, something you don’t see much, most of the time is a triangle. The dialogues undress the affairs between those two couples and letting the situation flow. The cinematography, acting and music are downplayed, but still do their job.

It could be hard to watch, especially if you had a bad relationship. I only suggest it because the dialogue for people free from love and to hear that dialogue. You may don’t like it, maybe you think it’s not that good, but each time I watch it I get so many reactions that deserved a spot in the list.

Nobody is the good guy, nobody is the bad guy, everybody make mistakes and you can root for whoever you want. It’s called Closer because it puts you “closer to them” and at least is something new you can enjoy… and Natalie Portman’s boobies, of course.

15º The Goonies

Everybody has an 80’s film in their list: Die Hard, Hook, Gremlins, Back to the future… Those movies you don’t even have to check the date to know they belong in the 80’s (or early 90’s). Being born in 1995, I’m in the middle of two generations: millennials and natives from the 90’s. I wasn’t born with a computer on my house neither I had a mobile phone at the ten years old.

This movie is for people who “savored the street” and needed to ring the entry phone to play football. Those little moments you miss too much when you are older for how simple they used to be. So Goonies returns me to that time, it makes me a child again. I don’t feel like a viewer, but a member or the group.

I also love the atmosphere, maybe subconsciously because reminds me of where I live, but just the town involves me instantaneously. You can’t make a mainstream movie like this nowadays and a sequel couldn’t be the same. It’s as simple as some kids wanting to find a treasure as far as possible from technology. I wonder if kids of today could identify. Also, Chunk’s tits.

14º Unbreakable

Known as “The Protected” in Spain, this is M Night Shyamalan’s second feature film. For those who don’t know him, he was told being the new Spielberg, but I think he could have been even the new Kubrick. He made The Sixth Sense with one of the most quotable twist endings ever made and established a signature feeling. I love how slow and uncut this movie is, you really don’t know what is happening at the first view.

Without spoilers, it’s about a man who survived too many accidents. It’s like a Nick Fury prequel with Samuel L. Jackson playing the doppelganger, a man who everything “breaks” him. They meet and every scene with both characters is great, but the ending feels so wrong and right at the same time that I can’t believe how it hasn’t been parodied that much.

The final scene makes this film one of my favorites, one of my favorite roles from both Bruce Willis and Jackson. I could say this movie came too early for its own good, today it would be more beloved. Just skip the rest of Shyamalan’s filmography and watch these two.

13º The Prince of Egypt

For me, you are going to hate me, surpasses Lion King on hugest 2D animated film. First of all, art direction, every background is CGI and looks like paintings of Egypt. They render perfectly with the hand-drawn characters and the great cinematography. Hans Zimmer’s score, same as Lion King, leaves it to the next level and gives the “biblical proportions” the Exodus deserves.

Some people hate him just for being religious or family friendly. Just rate it as HOW it is told instead of what is based on. You can feel the emotion and character development unlike any other adaptation. They don’t act like good or bad guys, just people who don’t know what to do in a universe where God is an on-screen character.

DreamWorks abandoned too early the 2D artstyle just to sell more in CGI and I miss that even if then I felt like they were just ripping-off Disney. They totally lost this spark for the most part, even if I like plenty of their CGI films. Thank that veteran animators still have ideas and try to bring them back trough crowdfunding. If 2D animation had followed this route, I think that nowadays animation would be taken as a medium instead of a genre.

Even the overly criticized “childish scenes” don’t even manage to complete a minute of screentime. It’s rewatchable for the songs, animation and great designs like the Angel of Death. For example, the plagues were abridged in just a song to both develop the story and character. They knew were to focus and it paid-off way better than we all expected.

12º South Park: Bigger, longer and uncut

It’s a bit embarrassing going from Prince of Egypt to South Park, “that cartoon about kids insulting”. Yes, I put it over classic films because it succeeds en so many levels. I suggest watching it in English because, at least in Spain, was dubbed before the series with a different cast who don’t sing well.

This movie was released at the end of the Disney Renaissance, so they parody that style of storytelling and tropes with plenty of Les Miserables tributes. It’s so well written and smart that you don’t have to like the show to enjoy it. It’s not about simple shock humor, the commentary is great and truly holds up today as long as you pay attention to what they are saying.

11º Super

Even if it looks like a Kick-ass rip-off by Venga Monjas, it’s something indescribable. I think it’s one of the best superhero films ever made and still the most “realistic”. It mixes everything, you don’t know to laugh or to cry, or to be afraid thanks to a hentai-tentacle scene.

The main character is pathetic at full force and the movie isn’t afraid to go surreal. My only complaint is the first scene because it’s too long and looks childish, it would have worked better as the ending credits. Watch it open-minded and expect the worst because it will play with your feelings. It has one of my favorite climax that rally takes it to the next level.

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