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.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Favoritest 50 Movies of the '80's!!!

Completely breaking format, I can't in good conscience put a poster on top of a list where only five non-genre movies even make this list.  Big deal that Empire is my favorite movie of the '80's.  That tells me nothing.  That embodies, nothing.  Recognizing that the '80's was to me, at the time the golden age of sci-fi movies, and one thing educated me, and opened my world to so much more than just watching Entertainment Tonight or waiting to see what would be the 'cool' movie accepted by the masses would be.  Every issue of Starlog was like a Con before I'd ever go to a convention, like a RSS feed before the internet.  Through Starlog, I fell in love with Blade Runner before having ever seen the movie.  To be fair, because of  the below photo in an issue of Starlog, I also fell in love with this series:

  Galactica 1980 !

I looked forward to this series. I couldn't wait to see it. I apparently missed it.  Actually, I had seen an episode, but had no idea that what I saw was Galactic 1980, I still have no idea that invisible Vipers and softball games are Battlestar Galactica! So, seeing this picture and dreaming of the day when I would behold this glorious show!  See, She's in a WHITE Colonial Warrior uniform.  Well, the only time Colonial Vipers were in white uniforms was when they were aboard the ship of lights!  So, naturally, my infantile fanboy self just assumed that the plot would deepen with 1980, that Galactica would become more mystery filled and epic.

So, as for the movies, and the magazine that brought me so much enjoyment related to them;

  1. Empire Strikes Back
  2. Return of the Jedi
  3. Dune
  4. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  5. Akira
  6. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  7. Heavy Metal
  8. The Transformers: The Movie
  9. Project A-ko
  10. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  11. Blade Runner
  12. 2010
  13. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  14. The Dark Crystal
  15. Highlander
  16. Aliens
  17. Superman II
  18. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  19. RoboCop
  20. Tron
  21. Back to the Future
  22. The Final Countdown
  23. Battle Beyond the Stars
  24. Die Hard
  25. Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
  26. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  27. Ghostbusters
  28. Gandahar
  29. The NeverEnding Story
  30. Predator
  31. U2: Rattle and Hum
  32. The Princess Bride
  33. The Abyss
  34. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  35. Flash Gordon
  36. G.I. Joe: The Movie
  37. Tucker: The Man and His Dream
  38. No Way Out
  39. Top Gun
  40. The Terminator
  41. Starchaser: The Legend of Orin
  42. Willow
  43. NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind
  44. Labyrinth
  45. Koyaanisqatsi
  46. Henry V
  47. Gremlins
  48. Venus Wars
  49. Spaceballs
  50. The Living Daylights

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Favoritest Movies of 1980

Wow.  Hooray.  My hero.  What a big tough movie you are, imagine that Empire Strikes back could take on a whole year and come out on top... You'll probably win the decade as well, see you in the All Time round Empire!  Well, let's see who came in second...

What?  I feel the need to question myself here...
Q: Excuse me me, but how the Frakes in Riker's name does Flash Gordon end up with the second spot for 1980?  It's no Raiders fiasco, but you may be out of your own mind, to the extent that you could end up talking to yourself, and typing while doing it!

A: Superman II was a childhood favorite, but if you watch Superman II once a year, just once a year from, say ages 7 to 17; you can feel yourself getting older.  You start questioning just how nicely done some parts of it are, and how... (lengthy bull crap later) and where did the cellophane S come from?

Flash Gordon has gotten a boost, in just the past year or so, probably worth 7-8 places.  Actually, ironically, right this second as I'm typing this, the wife and daughter are watching Flash Gordon in the other room!  It has multigenerational appeal, even today!  Why could that be?  There's a clue on the poster... "filmed in Todd-AO" (My father used to rave about Todd-AO movies, and it was probably the second thing he thought off when thinking about Elizabeth Taylor).  The Flash Gordon movie of my youth was a dull pan and scan on tv movie, but having seen it in HD.  It's, well, beautiful.

More importantly, Flash is a movie that hits it's target.  It is everything it wants to be.  And movies that accomplish that are almost always well regarded, if not loved directly proportionally to the appeal of their goal.  For instance, if you like crime movies, than Godfather, Scarface and Goodfella's are your classics.  Hard Sci-Fi fan? 2001 and Blade Runner... Disney fare.. Lion King and Cinderella for the Classic Disney fare crowd.  Sometimes movies mix appeal base, they're still perfect, but it's where you land on both appeal orientations.  Flash Gordon is a movie that feels like it came out of an old MGM vault, like a victory lap made after Wizard of Oz.  It's everything George Lucas claimed he wanted Star Wars to be, except "believable" looking.  Flash trades realistic for retro deco.

  1. The Empire Strikes Back
  2. Flash Gordon
  3. Superman II
  4. Battle Beyond the Stars
  5. The Final Countdown
  6. Airplane!
  7. Raise the Titanic
  8. Kagemusha
  9. Hangar 18
  10. The Blues Brothers
  11. Midnight Madness
  12. Caddyshack
  13. Oh, God! Book II
  14. Altered States
  15. The Shining
  16. The Day Time Ended
  17. The Return of the King
  18. Private Benjamin
  19. Stir Crazy
  20. Somewhere in Time
  21. Xanadu
  22. Herbie Goes Bananas
  23. Popeye
  24. The Elephant Man
  25. Galaxina
  26. The Gods Must Be Crazy
  27. Coal Miner's Daughter
  28. The Watcher in the Woods
  29. American Gigolo
  30. Any Which Way You Can
  31. Urban Cowboy
  32. Ordinary People

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Favoritest Movies of 1981


1981.  We're talking about 19, EIGHTY, Freaking ONE!  The year that practically birthed the decade no one can stop talking about!  The first Space Shuttle launch, Ronald Regan becomes president. On television, Dynasty, Fall Guy, Hill Street Blues, heck just on Saturday morning cartoons we get Smurfs and Spider-man and his Amazing Friends.

Aside from all of that geekery, one movie dominates the box office, and goes on to get nine Academy Award nominations, winning five, and being robbed of best picture, sorry Best Picture by aspiring Olympic runners (Though Harrison Ford will run with Vangelis music in 1982 so Hah,)  How bad was this robbery?  Raiders of the Lost Ark has a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer of 94% (All Critics) to Chariots of Fire's 87% (All Critics).  AFI All time 100 list, Raiders is #60! Chariots doesn't even place.  Their Heroes and Villians list; Indiana Jones is the #2 hero!  Above James Bond and Rick from Casablanca!  Sure, he's below Atticus Finch, but we all know Atticus wouldn't make it to the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol!

So how in Frakes name could I pick, like, favor a movie with a RTT score of 60%.  I didn't know either.  It was hard.  Almost Empire vs. Jedi hard.  Raiders is a far superior movie to Heavy Metal.  It is one of the greatest achievements ever.  Seriously.  I wouldn't be surprised if that poster wasn't composed like the Mona Lisa just because the movie was honestly a rear kicking cultural masterpiece.  But head to head, I chose Heavy Metal.  We all want to see more movies like Raiders.  That Star Wars scale of fun, adventure, tension, the pleasant sensation of having our brain beaten to putty while our eyes were lovingly effed out of existence and our ears floated in pure euphoria.

We'll never get that.  We shouldn't want that, we wouldn't want to live in a universe that flat.  If everything were perfect, we'd become bored with perfection, start noticing differences, and even artificially create standards of quality and differentiate the essentially homogeneous media.  (Carnac the Magnificent says you're thinking: "That's what we do with movies today!")

I do want more movies like Heavy Metal, I wish we got a Heavy Metal movie every year.  An annual Animated Sci-Fi anthology showcasing a variety of styles, and stories with a a broad yet central feel, showing just how big, and in some ways, hard to define nerdom is.  We'd be better off having more movies like Heavy Metal, but sadly it's almost completely unique.  Raiders gets the #2 spot, since, I'm always seeing movies wishing they were Raiders.  Fine, I like them, some I even love... okay, I don't love any of them.  I love Raiders, Captain America and I need a few more dates before we commit, and National Treasure and I have agreed to see other people, but remain the closest of friends, not ruling out benefits.  The best part of cinematic polyamory; movies don't get jealous.  Heavy Metal, will never take offense at my wish for a harem of Heavy Metal, it just might punish me with less than better episodes of Liquid Television.

  1. Heavy Metal
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. The Great Muppet Caper
  4. Clash of the Titans
  5. History of the World: Part I
  6. Escape from New York
  7. Time Bandits
  8. Excalibur
  9. Outland
  10. For Your Eyes Only
  11. Stripes
  12. Condorman
  13. An American Werewolf in London
  14. Das Boot
  15. The Legend of the Lone Ranger
  16. Dragonslayer
  17. Omen III: The Final Conflict
  18. The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie
  19. Scanners
  20. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
  21. Quest for Fire
  22. Chariots of Fire
  23. Gallipoli
  24. Heartbeeps
  25. Reds
  26. Tarzan, the Ape Man
  27. The Evil Dead
  28. The Cannonball Run
  29. Arthur
  30. The Howling
  31. Sharky's Machine
  32. Body Heat
  33. The Professional
  34. On Golden Pond
  35. American Pop
  36. Tuck Everlasting
  37. The Devil and Max Devlin
  38. Bustin' Loose

Favoritest Movies of 1982

The lists are getting shorter, the backlog of this project is nearing completion.  The red letters denoting disliked movies says goodbye, it'll stick to hating newer movies.  I'm actually pretty fond of a little more than the top 20 from this year, and the top 6 are all childhood favorites.  There was a time when I'd say I didn't get to see E.T. as a child.  Theatrically this is true, but I was also still a child when I said it. I only saw Wrath of Khan theatrically, in the same theater my father asked my mother to marry him in several years earlier.  I was a bit emotionally attached to that room myself, as it was where I'd seen Empire for the first time.

I saw Tron, and most other movies on a big screen outdoors at the Union Electric Club, in Valley Park.  It doesn't exist anymore.  It was off of Vance Rd.  After entering  you'd see ball fields, a jet plane, a train caboose! That's the actual caboose pictured to the left.  We'd park on a white gravel lot.  There was a playground, bisected by a slightly elevated sidewalk going back to a large white, homely looking two story building.  The Sidewalks had creatures, mostly bugs painted on them.  When I was very small, I even found them a bit scary.  The playground equipment was far from what we'd consider safe, this entire place was even then a relic of an earlier era, but I didn't know that at the time.  We'd bring our own drinks and snacks.  My parents and grandparents were just that cheap.  We didn't pay to get in, it was for the UE employee's and retiree's and their families.  There was a long area of picnic style tables, end to end.  The floor was halved logs that had been laquered.  It was open air, and lit by yellow light at night.  The big attraction there was the bingo game that would go on, sometimes I believe during the movie.  Movies, baseball, playground, bingo, snow cones, heat, bugs, peeling paint, playground fixtures made of wood and steel.  It was in high ground, nothing but trees in sight.

I haven't thought of it in years.  I didn't plan on going on so long about it.  I had nothing to say when I say when I sat down to slap up this list.  But, I guess digging up old memories was the original point of this exercise.  Hundreds and hundreds of people enjoyed that place, I'd imagine most, if not all the ones who played bingo are long dead.  And nothing remains of it.  It's torn down.  I found one plea online for information, pictures of the place, and that was placed in 1998.  These lists, Facebook.  We're all loading the internet like the Pharaoh's loaded  up their pyramids.  Not morbidly so, nor necessarily with mortality in mind, but as a communal, digital time capsule of not items, but experiences.

  1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  2. The Dark Crystal
  3. Blade Runner
  4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  5. Tron
  6. The Secret of NIMH
  7. Koyaanisqatsi
  8. An Officer and a Gentleman
  9. Conan the Barbarian
  10. Airplane II: The Sequel
  11. Gandhi
  12. The Thing
  13. Poltergeist
  14. Pink Floyd The Wall
  15. The Beastmaster
  16. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  17. Tootsie
  18. Android
  19. The Shaolin Temple
  20. Annie
  21. Firefox
  22. The Year of Living Dangerously
  23. Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales
  24. Timerider
  25. Swamp Thing
  26. Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
  27. Evil Under the Sun
  28. The Last Unicorn
  29. The World According to Garp
  30. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
  31. Rocky III
  32. Personal Best
  33. Night Shift
  34. First Blood
  35. Megaforce
  36. Honkytonk Man
  37. 48 Hours
  38. Porky's
  39. Death Wish II
  40. Fanny and Alexander