I'm making the most definitive list of favorite movies ever.

For every year, I'm listing every movie I've seen and compare them all to each other asking one question; Which movie do I like more. Movies that score in the 80th percentile or higher, advance to the next round: Favorite of the Decade. After each Decade is done, an All Time list will be formed.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Favoritest Movies of 2014

"You're Welcome!"  Marvel is that at the top of their game!

So back in 2012, I conducted an experiment with the movie Prometheus; I avoided the trailers, commercials and most promotional images.  Though Prometheus eventually only placed 41st out of 87 movies at the time of being listed, the experiment was a success.  I enjoyed the theatrical experience more than if I had seen the trailers.

Going into this year of movies I avoided trailers and commercials to every movie I wanted to see: 300: Rise of an Empire, Batman: Assault on Arkham, Winter Soldier, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Dracula Untold, Edge of Tomorrow, Godzilla, Guardians of the Galaxy, Hercules, How to Train Your Dragon 2, Interstellar, Jupiter Ascending, Justice League: War, Maleficent, RoboCop, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For*, Son of Batman, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1, Transcendence, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and X-Men: Days of Future Past. An asterisk is by Sin City since I can't remember avoiding it's trailers, I would of though if I'd ever encountered any.  I used to devour trailers as soon as they hit the net, and analyze each and every frame, now I wait until after I've seen the movie.  The experience of each movie is more pure without the trailers guiding my level of expectation only to result in the movie being disappointing if the trailers have already shown the best stuff.  It especially saved me from this crime...

This is the last shot of the trailer AND the movie.
So, you're sold an epic fight between Spider-Man and Rhino and get... nothing.  I enjoyed Amazing 2 enough to joke that it was the best Spider-Man movie ever, merely horrible.  Spider-Man is a relic of comicbook movies before Marvel Studios showed how it was done with their formula of loving the source material and making that love contagious.  Audiences can now tell when a movie has the stink of being made by people who think comics stink.

Many think the current comicbook movie surge is fleeting, but it's box office dominance is guaranteed until the R rating becomes palpable again.  Expendables 3 proves how the action movies we used to enjoy can't exist in a PG-13 movie world.  When Captain America is in a bloodless brawl, it's expected, he's a superhero.  When Jason Statham stabs, or machine guns someone in a PG-13 way it's less satisfying... no wonder the Web critics went crazy for Raid 2.

This year also represents the changing of the guard of my favorite movie franchise form the /Star Wars saga to:

I've been into Marvel comics since I was 10 years old, and their run of movies is like reading a stack of comics...
But when Captain America The Winter Soldier retconned the hell out of the MCU, transforming things as subtly as Obadiah Stanes speech to an entire subplot in Iron Man 2 it showed Marvel was playing at a different level.  The fidelity to which characters, locations, themes and story are being translated to the screen are impressive, and what readers have always clamored for.

Moreover, Star Wars finalized the albatrossization of the prequels with:
More tearjerking than anything in the cinematic prequel era.
Clone Wars gets Star Wars, so does Rebels

But this blog and these lists are about movies, not television.  We'll skip the pontificating on what is television currently, though the lines are being more and more blurred.  I watched The Interview as a rental on YouTube.  The MCU has Agents of Shield,  and in 2015; Agent Carter, Daredevil and AKA Jessica Jones.  Rebels and retroactively Clone Wars are canon with the movies.  As for the Prometheus experiment,  and the most anticipated, most unlikely certainty in the history of cinema.  I knew I couldn't avoid the first trailer,  that I'd have to drop off the planet to avoid it, so I just hope to avoid the next trailer...

On to the list:
  1. Guardians of the Galaxy
  2. Captain America: The Winter Soldier
  3. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  4. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  5. The Lego Movie
  6. Justice League: War
  7. Godzilla
  8. Edge of Tomorrow
  9. Maleficent
  10. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  11. Batman: Assault on Arkham
  12. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
  13. The Interview
  14. 300: Rise of an Empire
  15. A Million Ways to Die in the West
  16. How to Train Your Dragon 2
  17. RoboCop
  18. Transformers: Age of Extinction
  19. Son of Batman
  20. Interstellar
  21. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  22. The Monuments Men
  23. 22 Jump Street
  24. Vampire Academy
  25. I, Frankenstein
  26. Hercules
  27. The Raid 2
  28. The Amazing Spider-Man 2
  29. Dracula Untold
  30. Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
  31. The Purge: Anarchy
  32. Transcendence
  33. Muppets Most Wanted
  34. JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time
  35. Avengers Confidential: Black Widow & Punisher
  36. The Pirate Fairy
  37. Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
  38. Mr. Peabody & Sherman
  39. The Fault in Our Stars
  40. Chef
  41. Divergent
  42. The Expendables 3
  43. Rio 2
  44. Pompeii
  45. Non-Stop
  46. The Legend of Hercules
  47. Noah
  48. The Nut Job
  49. Annabelle
  50. Sex Tape
  51. The November Man
  52. Grand Budapest Hotel
  53. Earth to Echo
  54. Neighbors
  55. Jersey Boys

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Favoritest Movies of 2013 (Revised, one year on)

59 movies and a year later, 2013 looks a lot different.  Disney delivered their first animated classic since Mulan or Tarzan (1998 & '99) and their best since The Lion King (1994).  Then a Korean director adapts three decade old French graphic novel and makes the closest thing in science fiction this generation has to Blade Runner (1982, the same year Le Transperceneige came out) or Brazil (1985), and truly I feel Snowpiercer falls neatly between the two.  Okay, I need a sit down marathon of the variations of Brazil, I've been meaning to get and consume the different versions side by side and it's been too long since my last viewing of Brazil but until then I'll stand by Snowpiercer.

Only shortly behind the two aforementioned masterpieces stands... an almost overly prolonged entirely too protracted and only, again, ⅓ a movie...

Though, at the time of this writing I've sat through the nine hour marathon of The Hobbit theatrically.  It alone as a singular work is only rivaled by the better two Lord of the Rings chapters, but sadly like with the animated Dark Knight Returns, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows, and Mockingjay... these movies are doomed to hit these lists hobbled by truncation, but these movies are stronger for taking the time to tell their stories.  Though the expanded cuts of the Hobbit trilogy will have a running time at parity with season four of Game of Thrones.  Only their run times and general genre are comparable, Game of Thrones budget is only a tenth of what the Hobbit trilogy cost.

Joining the list at #6; a farewell to the possibly the greatest auteur ever...
His movies never felt compromised, never cheated the viewer and are never selfish all while mixing whimsy

I don't rank documentaries anymore.  They get listed, put on the sheet for record, but not compared, not even to each other.  It would be unfair to pit poignance against pedagogy.  But three documentaries stood out:

Jodorowsky's Dune, and Drew: The Man Behind the Poster for I am first and foremost a space opera / sci-fi movie nerd.  But, the most gratifying was Tim's Vermeer.
When I was in school, it seemed like Vermeer was on the cover of every other art history textbook, accomplished with a taunting mastery of craft that few could ever posses, if any.  Watching a software guy with no art schooling craft a replica of a Vermeer in a way that the artist may have used is a joyful thing.

  1. Frozen
  2. Snowpiercer
  3. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
  4. Ender's Game
  5. Thor: The Dark World
  6. The Wind Rises
  7. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2
  8. Star Trek: Into Darkness
  9. Oblivion
  10. Pacific Rim
  11. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
  12. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  13. Despicable Me 2
  14. Now You See Me
  15. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  16. The Wolverine
  17. Riddick
  18. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
  19. Odd Thomas
  20. Space Pirate Captain Harlock
  21. An Adventure in Space and Time
  22. The World's End
  23. 47 Ronin
  24. Fast & Furious 6
  25. Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues
  26. Evil Dead
  27. White House Down
  28. Superman: Unbound
  29. Escape from Planet Earth
  30. R.I.P.D.
  31. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
  32. Movie 43
  33. Scary MoVie
  34. Monsters University
  35. Jack the Giant Slayer
  36. The Smurfs 2
  37. Turbo
  38. Gravity
  39. The Internship
  40. World War Z
  41. Transformers Prime Beast Hunters: Predacons Rising
  42. The Host
  43. Epic
  44. Phantom
  45. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  46. 42
  47. Elysium
  48. Oz The Great and Powerful
  49. Man of Steel
  50. The Wolf of Wall Street
  51. Rush
  52. Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
  53. 2 Guns
  54. The Great Gatsby
  55. Iron Man 3
  56. Last Vegas
  57. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
  58. Saving Mr. Banks
  59. Planes
  60. 12 Years a Slave
  61. Her
  62. Jobs
  63. Only Lovers Left Alive
  64. Kick-Ass 2
  65. Evidence
  66. The Conjuring
  67. The Machine
  68. Blue Is the Warmest Color
  69. The Purge
  70. This Is the End
  71. Beautiful Creatures
  72. Texas Chainsaw 3D
  73. We're the Millers
  74. Behind the Candelabra
  75. Parkland
  76. Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
  77. Romeo & Juliet
  78. Dallas Buyers Club
  79. Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore
  80. Red 2
  81. Europa Report
  82. Lovelace
  83. Escape Plan
  84. The Last Keepers
  85. The Lone Ranger
  86. The Croods
  87. American Hustle
  88. The Last Stand
  89. Knights of Badassdom
  90. The Colony
  91. Sharknado
  92. Insidious: Chapter 2
  93. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty
  94. Syrup
  95. Trance
  96. Captain Phillips
  97. Fright Night 2: New Blood
  98. The Lifeguard
  99. Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa
  100. All Is Lost
  101. Escape from Tomorrow
  102. Lee Daniels' The Butler
  103. Olympus Has Fallen
  104. Parker
  105. V/H/S/2
  106. Zero Charisma
  107. Prisoners
  108. After Earth
  109. Dealin' with Idiots
  110. Dark Skies
  111. Nebraska
  112. Third Person
  113. The Heat
  114. Age of Dinosaurs
  115. The Last Exorcism Part II
  116. Computer Chess
  117. The Hangover Part III
  118. Jack the Giant Killer
  119. Don Jon
  120. Under the Skin
  121. The Fifth Estate
  122. Grown Ups 2
  123. Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return
  124. Upstream Color
  125. Identity Thief
  126. A Good Day to Die Hard
  127. Pain & Gain

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Favoritest Movies of 2013 (so far)

Ties for first place between Ender's Game and Thor.
Then ties for third between four other movies
and both Ender's and Thor share individual match ties with ¾ of the bottom row.  
2013, is like a good buffet or bad catering, no one selection wins your plate, but there's a bit of everything.  There is no one movie to rule them all.

I made a change to scoring this year, documentaries will no longer be included, nor will they
If this movie were live action
it would have been the
biggest movie of the year
affect the score.  Ties still are going to happen, after much internal debate about whether they're healthy for the system or not.  But, I'd rather admit that a substantial percentage of the time, I like movies equally in head to head comparison.  Thus far this year, no movie dominates the year.  There was a brief Honeymoon with G.I. Joe: Retaliation,  just as there was a long stint of being quite angry with Star Trek Into Darkness.
I hated Star Trek Into Darkness so much that when the Blu Ray arrived for me to watch with the family, I hate it even more... well maybe.  Then, I kept it spinning in the player all of the next day, over and over and over until... it's the poster in the lower right of the collage atop the post here, and I've a 5" model of the USS Vengeance on my desk. 

Planes and Gatsby are the middle of the list.  Both have (at the time of writing, a .5, remakable at only how unlikely it is... or maybe for how likably bland they are...

Three movies though dominated getting talked about this year.  Into Darkness, Iron Man 3 and Man of Steel.  Looking at just the latter two,  I think I hate these two movies as much as I can hate movies in their specific character niches.  They're both angst ridden, unfulfilling, poor examples of their titular characters.  They were both sources of Fanboy rage, where with each, I liked the source of fanboy rage in each... wha?  (SPOILERS:) Yup, Neck snapping and Mandarin... I dig both, but the movies themselves are poor to unacceptable.  THEY basically helped Thor to the top of the list this year, by being the solo follow-up worthy of The Avengers, and by showing how super a guy from an alien place could be in a BRIGHT RED CAPE.   Without them, a movie could have been alone atop this list.  A movie about a small guy taken from the quiet of his home into a group of brash and many cases, less than welcoming peers... something... something... Dragon ... Dragon Army?  Describing Ender's Game sounded familiar for a second there... ;) On with the list for now:

  1. Ender's Game
  2. Thor: The Dark World
  3. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part 2
  4. Oblivion
  5. Star Trek: Into Darkness
  6. Pacific Rim
  7. Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox
  8. G.I. Joe: Retaliation
  9. Now You See Me
  10. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  11. The Wolverine
  12. Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters
  13. An Adventure in Space and Time
  14. Scary MoVie
  15. White House Down
  16. Escape from Planet Earth
  17. Evil Dead
  18. Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters
  19. Movie 43
  20. Epic
  21. Gravity
  22. Superman: Unbound
  23. R.I.P.D.
  24. Jack the Giant Slayer
  25. World War Z
  26. The Smurfs 2
  27. 42
  28. Monsters University
  29. The Internship
  30. Turbo
  31. The Host
  32. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones
  33. Man of Steel
  34. Oz The Great and Powerful
  35. Phantom
  36. The Great Gatsby
  37. Planes
  38. The Incredible Burt Wonderstone
  39. Iron Man 3
  40. Red 2
  41. Behind the Candelabra
  42. The Purge
  43. Iron Man: Rise of the Technovore
  44. This Is the End
  45. Parkland
  46. Beautiful Creatures
  47. The Croods
  48. Lovelace
  49. Europa Report
  50. The Conjuring
  51. The Last Keepers
  52. Sharknado
  53. The Last Stand
  54. Syrup
  55. The Colony
  56. Texas Chainsaw 3D
  57. Fright Night 2: New Blood
  58. Dark Skies
  59. The Lifeguard
  60. Dealin' with Idiots
  61. After Earth
  62. Olympus Has Fallen
  63. V/H/S/2
  64. Parker
  65. Computer Chess
  66. Jack the Giant Killer
  67. The Last Exorcism Part II
  68. The Hangover Part III
  69. The Heat
  70. Age of Dinosaurs
  71. Grown Ups 2
  72. Pain & Gain
  73. Identity Thief
  74. A Good Day to Die Hard
Two Documentaries, were on the list; Blackfish and TWO Flight 800.  I've decided to no longer compare Documentaries with the rest of the population of movies.

I may or may not make an update to this post.  Perhaps if The Secret Life of Walter Mitty or The 47 Ronin or Despicable Me 2  break the logjam at the top in a significant way.  Did I leave anything out?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Favoritest Movies of 2012

Though no year is ever truly closed, now that I've (finally) seen Braking Dawn Part II and 38 other movies since the "so far" list for 2012 later can be at least updated.  True to self fulfilling prophecy, no movie dethroned the Avengers from the top spot, but no movie had the 'genetics' to even come close, and now I've seen all of the top 24 grossing movies of the year (domestically), and 40 of the top 50.  But, if enjoyment of a movie is a self fufilling prophecy, or that this is just an inverted metric of dissapointment for least to most (2013's "So far list coming in just a few months!!!) then why bother watching so many movies?  What's the point of watching something that I'm not looking forward to if I'm incapable of enjoying it as much as a movie I WANT to see?  Surprise.  Finding the movie that you had no interest in, that despite genre preference, desire to see it going into it, target demographic, and every other categorical disadvantage a movie may have... finding one so good that it surprises you, and satisfies you and wins you over... THAT's why I love to watch so many movies.  I WANT to find movies to love that I didn't think I would. 

2012 gave me not only one of the most fantastic, fanboytastic movies ever with The Avengers, it also gave me a movie that provided that sense of surprise, that brought me out of my genre comfort zones.  I rented Pitch Perfect for my daughter on a night when she had a friend over.  They'd requested it.  Though I say I'm a total movie slut, and will basically watch anything, I had no plan or intention of watching this with them or at any point before returning it to the Redbox as soon as possible.  The movie started, and I lingered a few seconds, and by the end of the opening scene I was hooked.  By the end of it, I'd enjoyed a teen oriented musical comedy whose plot structure was closer to a sports movie than anything else.  I still love it and have watched it multiple times now.

How did some of the other movies I HADN'T seen yet fare that I mentioned?

Lincoln:  Wonderful, but I know not when I'll rewatch it again.  Score: 0.604651163

Argo:  I enjoyed it much more than I thought I would... Who'd have thunk anything about Battle for the Planet of the Apes would have ever been connected to an Academy Award!!!  Now, we can't say EVERYTHING about it sucks... I kid, John Huston NEVER sucks, and with 15 Academy Award nominations and two wins, he alone gave at least part of Battle for the Planet of the Apes some respectability.  Score: 0.73255814

Zero Dark Thirty: Definitive. Score: 0.581395

LooperLooper is a mess. It's a complete disappointment.  I know, I LOVE Millennium (and it has "time quakes") and Back to the Future (and it has Marty McFly fading) so why do I hate Looper for a very similar botching of time travel.  Timecrimes has nothing like those movies, shouldn't, by nature of why I HATE Looper, I also dislike Millennium and Back to the Future as well?  Looper has three qualities that the other two don't; First, It practically breaks the fourth wall and tells you to just accept that it works and not to question it.  This same 'explanation' was given for time travel in Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.  I love that movie too, but it's a comedy, not sci-fi.  Second, it litters it's universe with almost as much  availability of Time Travel as Star Trek.  It's easier to travel in time in Looper than it is in Doctor Who with less repercussions (it does the same thing with psionics too).  Lastly;  Looper is cynical and condescending to it's audience.  It's not alone, most bad science fiction dwells on explanation, and wants an audience that is stupid, ignorant and against using their imagination.  I'm surprised I like it as much as I do.  Score: 0.203488

Dredd:  Um, first... I don't dislike Judge Dredd.  It's probably the most I enjoy a movie with Rob Schneider in a prominent role, and the rest of the cast, and the visuals are wonderful.  The new Dredd, is better.  In another year, it could have easily been the best comicbook movie of the year.  This year, it's got to take third place to only Dark Knight Returns Part 1 and The Avengers.  I think Dredd would make better HBO style television than movies, but I think that of many super-heroes.  An installment of screen Dredd every 16 years is too long, and this time the title character is note perfect.  Score: 0.825581

Rock of Ages: Tom Cruise, and the music are this movie.  Score: 0.575581

Breaking Dawn Part II:  Yay!  I did the whole thing!  I'm done with Twilight movies!
Score: 0.412791

The above movies mentioned in the "So Far" entry, and their current percentile ranks average .562, pretty close to the .570 that all the movies on the "So Far" list average with thie current scores.  The movies I've seen since average only .413.  Does anticipation or desire to see a movie increase the enjoyment of it? Or, do more appealing movies, the ones you'd enjoy more anyway have a way of mandating to be seen earlier? 

Either or both, 2012 was a really fun year for movies.

  1. (tie) The Avengers
  2. (tie) The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  3. Skyfall
  4. The Cabin in the Woods
  5. Pitch Perfect
  6. Starship Troopers: Invasion
  7. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1
  8. Cloud Atlas
  9. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
  10. John Carter
  11. Justice League: Doom
  12. Dredd
  13. The Woman in Black
  14. Men In Black 3
  15. Iron Sky
  16. Paranormal Activity 4
  17. Brave
  18. Game Change
  19. Safety Not Guaranteed
  20. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  21. Argo
  22. Django Unchained
  23. Total Recall
  24. The Expendables 2
  25. The Watch
  26. William Shatner's Get a Life!
  27. Dark Shadows
  28. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  29. Snow White and the Huntsman
  30. Ted
  31. Tai Chi Zero
  32. Hotel Transylvania
  33. The Hunger Games
  34. Underworld: Awakening
  35. Lincoln
  36. Mass Effect: Paragon Lost
  37. Zero Dark Thirty
  38. Rock of Ages
  39. The Pirates! Band of Misfits
  40. The Man with the Iron Fists
  41. Prometheus
  42. Resident Evil: Retribution
  43. Rise of the Guardians
  44. The Amazing Spider-Man
  45. Jack Reacher
  46. The Dark Knight Rises
  47. Frankenweenie
  48. The Dinosaur Project
  49. ParaNorman
  50. Sinister
  51. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2
  52. Silver Linings Playbook
  53. Wrath of the Titans
  54. Unicorn City
  55. House at the End of the Street
  56. Piranha DD
  57. Katy Perry: Part of Me
  58. Mirror Mirror
  59. John Dies at the End
  60. 21 Jump Street
  61. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  62. Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
  63. The Campaign
  64. Lockout
  65. The Words
  66. Chronicle
  67. V/H/S
  68. Les Misérables
  69. This Means War
  70. The Raven
  71. Atlas Shrugged II: The Strike
  72. Taken 2
  73. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
  74. Looper
  75. Magic Mike
  76. Ice Age: Continental Drift
  77. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
  78. Life of Pi
  79. Branded
  80. Silent Hill: Revelation
  81. Chernobyl Diaries
  82. Hansel and Gretel: Warriors of Witchcraft
  83. Man on a Ledge
  84. The Grey
  85. Beasts of the Southern Wild
  86. Cosmopolis
  87. The Master

Oh... one last thing.  A movie was supposed to come out IN 2012, and didn't.  G.I. Joe: Retaliation was supposed to be released on  June 29, 2012 against Ted and Magic Mike.  So imaging that G.I. Joe came out in 2012... It's score would be...

92nd Percentile!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Favoritest Movies of 2012 (so far)

I've seen 48 movies from this calender year within the year itself, and there's still a few like Lincoln, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty, Looper, Dredd, Rock of Ages and even Breaking Dawn Part II that I'm yet looking forward to seeing.  But, I doubt any of them stand a chance to top the years frontrunner.  A good number of my favorite movies, not just movies I 'like', but ones that are a shoe-in for being in my pantheon of favorites are historic accomplishments in entertainment.  Star Wars, the most successful film ever (or is someone going to pay a few billion to make sequels to Gone with the Wind?)  Star Trek the Motion Picture, from cancelled TV show that didn't make it to even 90 episodes to being a big budget, high grossing, movie & television franchise spawning, behemoth...  The Lord of the Rings Trilogy ('Nuff said). Tron Legacy, a sequel 28 years later!  What Marvel did with The Avengers, and the movies leading up to it in the prior 4 years...

Just the poster for Avengers still gives me chills, like it's impossible to be real.  It's a Wizard Magazine Casting Call column come to life!  It's what comic fans have dreamed of; the simplest formula for Hollywood to have success with super-heroes.  Don't re-invent the wheel.  Respect the creativity in the comics, and just put them on screen, as uncompromised as possible.

One small disclaimer, on the numbers, The Hobbit tied with the avengers, but it's only ⅓ The Hobbit, so second place... makes the Hobbit : Desolation of Smaug 2013's movie to beat!

  1. The Avengers
  2. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
  3. Skyfall
  4. The Cabin in the Woods
  5. Cloud Atlas
  6. John Carter
  7. Starship Troopers: Invasion
  8. Batman: The Dark Knight Returns: Part 1
  9. The Woman in Black
  10. Men In Black 3
  11. Dark Shadows
  12. Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn
  13. Iron Sky
  14. Django Unchained
  15. Justice League: Doom
  16. Safety Not Guaranteed
  17. Game Change
  18. Paranormal Activity 4
  19. Brave
  20. Seeking a Friend for the End of the World
  21. Total Recall
  22. William Shatner's Get a Life!
  23. The Expendables 2
  24. The Hunger Games
  25. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
  26. Snow White and the Huntsman
  27. The Amazing Spider-Man
  28. Underworld: Awakening
  29. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  30. Prometheus
  31. The Dark Knight Rises
  32. Wrath of the Titans
  33. Lockout
  34. Mirror Mirror
  35. ParaNorman
  36. Katy Perry: Part of Me
  37. Piranha DD
  38. The Raven
  39. This Means War
  40. 21 Jump Street
  41. Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance
  42. Magic Mike
  43. Chronicle
  44. The Grey
  45. Dr. Seuss' The Lorax
  46. Man on a Ledge
  47. Silent Hill: Revelation
  48. Chernobyl Diaries

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Favoritest Movies of 1975

At a convention better than seventeen years ago, a friend and I sat in on a game of GURPS, a role playing game.  Most RPG's occupy a genre; Dungeons & Dragons : fantasy, Star Wars, Traveller, Star Trek and Alternity : space opera, Shadowrun : cyberpunk, and etc.  GURPS isn't a playable universe so much as it is a system, a ruleset like D20 D6 or CODA.  With GURPS, you can blend genres generically, blend games of incompatible rules systems, or make games out of properties yet to be licensed to a game publisher.  It's something, at it's best is very special, and very relevant, it's a distilled blank slate.
Words and phrases can boomerang around a little.  In psychology a blank slate, is the idea that who you are is not set at birth, that you can become anything; tabula rasa.  We throw it into french, and apply it to politics, we get carte blanche, you have absolute freedom of authority, dictatorial power essentially.  It sounds innocent and pure  when applying it to a baby, but powerful when applied to authority.  What was that word you just read twice? Authority.
The scenario of the GURPS session was 'a trip to the lake'.  After all of these years, I still can't imagine why anyone would want to imagine, for recreation, packing up a truck and going to a house by a lake.  If you're thinking that plenty of people do this, yes they do, in actuality.  Role playing games should serve for the participants to imagine something they can't do.  If you're rolling a D20 to see how well you mowed the lawn, you're more than welcome to mow mine.  In that game, there was no UFO at the bottom of the lake, no serial killer of the GM's design (my friend had a different thought on that, to the protests of; "You're ruining our fun!"), no zombie apocalypse, not even monolith monsters.  The GM had carte blanche, and failed to author anything that couldn't be accomplished by any group of people over 21 with at least one credit card and a drivers license between them.
Every film, novel, and comic book as well as every other artistic achievement, everything that is authored, has potential which is only limited by the author itself.
But the genres that take greater advantage of that, that require more imagination, thought, whimsy, or acceptance on the part of the viewer remain outside the mainstream of critical acceptance or regard for their artistic merits.
Our political discourse, and in many media outlets creativity, fantasy, imagination, and curiosity are continually challenged, ostracized and scorned.  Antithetical to the negative rhetoric of our increasingly ignorantly judgmental society, is the popularity of the big Hollywood blockbuster, which is always said to have begun in 1975*

*Ignoring 1937, 1939, 1956, 1959, 1965, and 1973!

  1. Jaws
  2. The Man Who Would Be King
  3. The Land That Time Forgot
  4. Terror of Mechagodzilla
  5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  7. Escape to Witch Mountain
  8. The Apple Dumpling Gang
  9. A Boy and his Dog
  10. Barry Lyndon
  11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  12. The Eiger Sanction
  13. The Hindenburg
  14. Death Race 2000
  15. Dog Day Afternoon

I need to see more movies from 1975.

Monday, February 20, 2012

All From John Carter

I was first made aware of John Carter of Mars by the Special Edition of the TV series of Carl Sagan's Cosmos. I took from this that John Carter of Mars was to Carl Sagan, what Star Wars and Star Trek were to me. I've always wanted to know the inspirations for the entertainments I enjoy, if selfishly, just to find more to enjoy. This graphic shows only those that seem to be most directly inspired by John Carter.

Click for Larger Size
Captain Kirk and Luke Skywalker don't qualify for this list. Captain Kirk, and Star Trek stem from Forbidden Planet and it's Commander J. J. Adams. Star Wars was a re-invention of Flash Gordon. I'm sure I've missed some candidates, Colonel Taylor from Planet of the Apes comes to mind as a possibility.