Top 10 Tom Waits Songs

February 20th, 2014
by Gabe

This is a strange idea for a post since I never really do anything involving music, but with such a cool dude like Tom Waits, I felt compelled to do this list. He’s one of my favorite artists to listen to. His signature growl, creative instrumentation, and earthy sound makes him a unique cat. Anyway, here are my 10 favorite songs from this strange jazz alien.

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10. Martha 

From “Closing Time (1973)”

This is a song that feels like it’s from a completely different artist. Then again, so does this whole album, as it is the debut of Waits. It feels much more like the work of a wannabe Bob Dylan, but “Martha” is definitely the best track on the album. The beautifully tragic lyrics and Tom’s soothing vocals make this a memorable tune. Great song.

9. Earth Died Screaming 

From “Bone Machine (1992)”

“Bone Machine” is my favorite Tom Waits album. It may not be his best (That would be “Rain Dogs”), but it’s Waits at his most uncompromisingly unhinged. “Earth Died Screaming” is the chilling opener to the album, with dark, spooky lyrics and a strange other-wordly sound. The percussion sounds like a bunch of bones banging on the ground, and Tom’s haunting vocal entertain the hell out of me! Plus, the nice send-off with the horns is a satisfying conclusion to the song. Fascinating listen.

8. Hang On St. Christopher 

From “Frank’s WIld Years (1987)”

“Frank’s Wild Years” is an interesting, if uneven, concept album by Tom Waits. “Hang On St. Christopher,” coincidentally also an opener, is a strange song with a very mechanical feel. Tom’s voice feels like you’re hearing it from a walkie talkie, and the instrumentation is unique and creative. It’s definitely a highlight from an otherwise mediocre album.

7. Step Right Up 

From “Small Change (1976)”

“Small Change” is a very underrated album. Released during his rise to underground popularity, it is the first album in which Tom Waits gains his sound as an artist. “Nighthawks at the Diner” showcases the potential, but “Small Change” delivers the promise. Anyway, this fast paced, hilarious tune is fun listen. The jazzy, somewhat theatrical instrumentation and the absurd, satirical lyrics make it a definite favorite. Awesome track.

6. Goin’ Out West 

From “Bone Machine (1992)”

An unhinged, hard rocking one from possibly the most inaccessible album from a pretty inaccessible artist. It’s easily the best song on the album, and the charming lyrics mixed with the loud, clattering sound makes you feel like a total badass while you listen to it. And, of course, Tom Waits is a total badass while singing it. It also includes Tom Waits’ mantra: “I’m gonna do what I want and I’m gonna get paid.” Nice.

5. Gun Street Girl 

From “Rain Dogs (1985)”

The true masterpiece of Tom Waits long enduring career is his experimental “Rain Dogs” from 1985. It includes many of the recognizable tunes from the master including “Downtown Train” and “Anywhere I Lay My Head.” But, one of the best songs off a consistently amazing album is the country blues/folk track “Gun Street Girl.” It features a great sound, as most of the percussion is just Waits banging on a dresser with a two-by-four. The interesting lyrics and Waits’ gravelly voice create an earthy and smokey atmosphere. Cool song.

4. Warm Beer & Cold Women 

From “Nighthawks at the Diner (1975)”

“Nighthawks” is an interesting album. It’s a semi live album. The record company called a small group together to sit in the studio, as Waits performed a live show in the studio. While the majority of the songs aren’t entirely memorable, this one is certainly a great one. The amusing lyrics are great, the saxophone solo is soulful, and Waits compromise between gravelly voice and normal voice is interesting to listen to. Nothing else to say, but a nice, jazzy track.

3. Jockey Full of Bourbon

From “Rain Dogs (1985)

I first heard this song in Jim Jarmusch’s fantastic indie classic, “Down By Law” which also stars Waits as a down on his luck DJ who is framed for murder. Great film, definitely check it out. But, enough about that! Jockey Full of Bourbon is a cool-sounding smokey track with a low, but intense vocal and an echoing guitar. It makes you feel like a cowboy, with occasional audio of a whip sound effect in the song. Great listen, also check out “Down By Law.”

2. Time

From “Rain Dogs (1985)”

While I love Pink Floyd, Tom Waits’ track, “Time,” a mellow, haunting ballad on an otherwise wild and loud album, is superior to the song on Dark Side of the Moon. It features poetic lyrics with visuals of down and out loners and outcasts, the definitive theme of the album itself. It’s right smack in the middle of the album, which is the perfect placing of this tragic song. A cool off moment in an album of loud, fast songs. Definitely a great song.

1. Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis

From “Blue Valentine (1978)”

If you’ve never heard of the album “Blue Valentine,” you’re not missing much. It’s a less than mediocre album with mostly forgettable songs. I say mostly, because it happens to possess the greatest song ever recorded by Tom Waits which makes it a contender for greatest song ever. The slow, brooding piano mixed with the bluesy electric piano and Tom Waits growling, vocal make it a true experience to listen to. Plus, the amazing lyrics, inspired by the poetry of Charles Bukowski, are great. The “twist” at the end is tragic and haunting. A beautiful song from the coolest guy ever. Awesome!

Tell me what you think of the list in the comments. Thanks!

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RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman

February 2nd, 2014
by Gabe

One the greatest actors of all time, Philip Seymour Hoffman, died earlier today at the age of 46. It is depressing and utterly shocking that he is now gone. RIP Phil.

phil hoffman

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Happy Holidays (and updated Top 100)

December 22nd, 2013
by Gabe

Hey, guys! I would like to say merry Christmas and happy holidays! I’ve decided to share my current Top 100 in time for Christmas, because I know it’s been in such high demand (that was sarcasm). While a lot of things are the same, more things are different (including the #1 spot). Anyway, without further ado, here it is!

1. 12 Angry Men (1957)

2. Taxi Driver (1976)

3. Paths of Glory (1957)

4. Annie Hall (1977)

5. Goodfellas (1990)

6. Apocalypse Now (1979)

7. Pulp Fiction (1994)

8. The Good, the Bad, & the Ugly (1966)

9. Brazil (1985)

10. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

11. The Godfather (1972)

12. Citizen Kane (1941)

13. Nashville (1975)

14. La Dolce Vita (1960)

15. Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying & Love the Bomb (1964)

16. The Godfather Part II (1974)

17. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

18. Jaws (1975)

19. Amadeus (1984)

20. The Conversation (1974)

21. Seven Samurai (1954)

22. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

23. Fargo (1996)

24. Vertigo (1958)

25. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

26. Ghostbusters (1984)

27. Back to the Future (1985)

28. There Will Be Blood (2007)

29. The Night of the Hunter (1955)

30. Ed Wood (1994)

31. Raging Bull (1980)

32. Aguirre, the Wrath of God (1972)

33. Evil Dead 2 (1987)

34. Eraserhead (1977)

35. Alien (1979)

36. Le Samourai (1967)

37. No Country for Old Men (2007)

38. The Bicycle Thief (1948)

39. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

40. Chinatown (1974)

41. Barton Fink (1991)

42. Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

43. Schindler’s List (1993)

44. The Graduate (1967)

45. Trainspotting (1996)

46. Boogie Nights (1997)

47. American Graffiti (1973)

48. The Big Lebowski (1998)

49. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

50. Midnight Cowboy (1969)

51. The King of Comedy (1983)

52. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

53. Barry Lyndon (1975)

54. Mulholland Drive (2001)

55. The Exorcist (1973)

56. Die Hard (1988)

57. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

58. The Shining (1980)

59. Psycho (1960)

60. M (1931)

61. Zodiac (2007)

62. Badlands (1973)

63. Manhattan (1979)

64. Rushmore (1998)

65. Blow Out (1981)

66. Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

67. La Haine (1995)

68. Se7en (1995)

69. Short Cuts (1993)

70. The Thing (1982)

71. Synecdoche, New York (2008)

72. Miller’s Crossing (1990)

73. Blue Velvet (1986)

74. Children of Men (2006)

75. The Thin Red Line (1998)

76. Withnail & I (1987)

77. Drive (2011)

78. Rear Window (1954)

79. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre (1974)

80. The French Connection (1971)

81. Harold & Maude (1971)

82. Videodrome (1983)

83. Halloween (1978)

84. Platoon (1986)

85, L.A. Confidential (1997)

86. Ikiru (1952)

87. The Fisher King (1991)

88. Let the Right One In (2008)

89. Glengarry Glen Ross (1992)

90. After Hours (1985)

91. City of God (2002)

92. The Sting (1973)

93. Down by Law (1986)

94. The Fly (1986)

95. The Right Stuff (1983)

96. Punch Drunk Love (2002)

97. American Psycho (2000)

98. The Truman Show (1998)

99. It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (1963)

100. The Driver (1978)

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Classics: The Untouchables

October 12th, 2013
by Gabe

For the second review in the Classics series, I have decided to review a film that is cherished by audiences and critics alike, The Untouchables. However, is this film really a classic? Roger Ebert gave the film 2.5/4 stars and the film’s score on Rotten Tomatoes is 80%. So, is this film worth the praise?

 

No. Definitely no.

 

I already reviewed the Untouchables and called it a great film. But, opinions can change, as I saw it a couple of months ago. I like the 30’s atmosphere and the dazzling photography, but, the acting, writing, and even De Palma’s direction all lack realism. It’s as if The Untouchables takes place in an alternate universe, where Chicago was the wild west and everyone on the windy frontier can shoot a revolver. The nail in the coffin was really when the dorky accountant actually kills people with a shotgun. He has never shot a gun before, and he can easily kill more bad guys than they can kill good guys. It’s absurd and unrealistic, and it ruins the dramatic atmosphere it has tried to create.

Sean Connery is okay, but he seems a lot older in this film than in real life at the time (he was 57). Robert DeNiro tries his best to work with the ridiculously stupid script. Seriously, one of his quotes is this.

“I want you to get this fuck where he breathes! I want you to find this nancy-boy Eliot Ness, I want him DEAD! I want his family DEAD! I want his house burned to the GROUND! I wanna go there in the middle of the night and I wanna PISS ON HIS ASHES!”

Jeez, that’s over the top! It actually surprises me that the screenwriter was David Mamet, one of the most gifted writers of the late 20th century. Sadly, this screenplay is pretty terrible.

Also, another major complaint is Kevin Costner’s acting. Not that this is a shocking criticism (seriously, have you seen The Postman?), but it’s annoying and very droll. Costner doesn’t seem to fully understand the words he’s saying, so it comes off as an awkward, monotone performance.

Anyway, the Untouchables is one of many films lost in 80’s nostalgia, that truly only people who grew up watching it can really appreciate. My overall rating for the film is a 5/10. It has some good technical abilities, but the main elements to make a good movie (good script, interesting characters, etc.) are all lacking. ‘Tis a failure.

the_untouchables_original

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Classics: Easy Rider (1969) (Spoilers!)

June 7th, 2013
by Gabe

Hey, guys. I’m going to start a new series called Classics, in which I talk about classic movies and discuss whether they’re classics or if they’re overrated. We’ll start today with Easy Rider.

Before we start, I’d just like to say this is entirely subjective. Okay, let’s begin.

Easy Rider was released in 1969 and starred Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper, who also respectively Produced and Directed the movie. It’s about two hippies, Wyatt and Billy, who ride their motorcycles to New Orleans for Mardi Gras. On the way, they encounter communes, drug deals, acid trips, harassment, and Jack Nicholson.

When it came out, Easy Rider was a sleeper hit. It was made on a $400,000 budget and grossed $41 million in just the U.S. The film defined the hippie culture that was just emerging, and was hailed a revolutionary film by almost every critic and average moviegoer that went to see it. And it has been hailed a classic ever since.

But lately, critics and moviegoers alike have re-watched and re-analyzed the film and have come to the conclusion that it is overrated and really a film of it’s time. What used to be an undercurrent of hate is now a popular norm. If you look up “Dated Movies” on the web, almost every result has Easy Rider in it. But is the film really bad? Does it suck? Is it an overrated piece of garbage?

No.

The film is definitely dated, there’s no doubt about that. However, just because the film is dated doesn’t mean it’s bad. Films like Midnight Cowboy, The Graduate, The Terminator, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, and Top Gun are dated, but they’re still good movies no matter what. Easy Rider still has many interesting avant-garde filmmaking techniques that are still used today by premiere filmmakers. For example, the infamous acid trip in the cemetery uses many strange techniques such as fish eye, overexposure, and sound overdubs to set the uncomfortable tone of the scene. It was revolutionary at the time and without it, filmmaking wouldn’t be the same.

Also, the performances by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper have remained iconic in pop culture. They have been parodied many times in various forms of media. Even Jack Nicholson’s small role as alcoholic lawyer George Hanson has also remained memorable over the years. Plus, it kickstarted Nicholson’s career.

The film’s symbolism is also very sophisticated. Wyatt represents the American Dream and Billy represents freedom. When Billy (Freedom) is brutally gunned down at the end, Wyatt (American Dream) quickly perishes too. However, you never actually see Wyatt’s death, it is only implied. This means that while freedom is dead, the American Dream can always be saved. The end is also an homage to cliche westerns, for films like The Searchers and Stagecoach helped influence the western setting of the film.

So, there’s my analysis of Easy Rider. It’s definitely dated, but it still remains relevant not only in film, but in other forms of media. It truly is a classic.

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RIP Roger Ebert

April 4th, 2013
by Gabe

I would just like to embrace the everlasting legacy of the greatest film critic of all time, Roger Ebert. Roger died earlier today, due to a resurgence of his cancer. Along with Gene Siskel, these two legendary critics helped reshape film criticism with their show, “At the Movies.” But, I also admire both critics for having the balls for liking what they like, and not what the public likes. For example, Ebert loved Last House on the Left, and disliked A Clockwork Orange. Anyway, the point is Roger Ebert will be missed forever.

roger-ebert-thumbs-up-2

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Gabe’s Movie Reviews: Skyfall

November 17th, 2012
by Gabe

Hey, guys. I just saw Skyfall. Here’s what I think.

 

This film was really hyped and I was very excited to go see it. For the first 20-30 minutes of the film, it’s really fast paced. Almost like a Bourne film, instead of a Bond film. That was my main problem with the previous two films. They were too much like a typical action flick and not enough like a “James Bond Movie.” But, as the plot started moving, the film took a very different style, where everything was fast, but it took it’s time with story and didn’t rely heavily on explosions. Visually, it was amazing! The scenes where Bond is in Shanghai are so surreal and bizarre. No wonder they got former theater director and Academy Award Winner Sam Mendes to direct.

Javier Bardem was great as the villain. He’s evil and psychotic, but in a sort of quirky, fun way. He’s always cracking jokes. Plus, the Bond girls were hot and were thought out characters.

Overall, I think it’s not only the best Bond film, but the best Bond film BY FAR. It takes it’s own, unique approach to 007, creativity I haven’t seen since GoldenEye in 1995. However, the first 20-30 minutes aren’t so good. So, I give it a 9/10!

 

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Top 10 ‘The Wire’ Characters (Spoilers!)

April 4th, 2012
by Gabe

Since I just finished watching it, I would like to make my top 10 list of my favorite characters in the Wire. So, without further ado, here they are.

10. Scott Templeton

Not that he’s a good person (he’s actually the complete opposite), he’s just a really interesting character. He first comes off as an ambitious reporter who, in order to get attention, makes up stories. But, he does this so much, it becomes a compulsive thing and by the end, he comes as mentally ill. That’s why I love his development. Not much to say, only more of a psychological character than other ones. So, yeah. Moving on.

9. Howard “Bunny” Colvin

In my opinion, there are only 3 characters in season 3 that fully develop. Carver, Cutty, and Bunny. Out of all of them, Bunny’s my favorite. He starts out a really tough cop. While he’s incredibly interesting here, this is his least interesting stage. Then, for the briefest time (like 2 episodes), he works at a casino. But, his hard cop antics cause him to get fired, again. Then, he starts working with delinquent kids at a urban school. This is where he learns to be mild mannered and shy, which is a contrast to him beating the crap out of a casino customer a couple of episodes earlier. Then, even MORE happens! He adopts Namond, after he runs away from home because of his abusive mother. He turns Namond into a highly educated student, in contrast to his delinquent behavior at the school. Those are more than enough reasons to include him on the list. Nuff said.

8. Kima Greggs 

 This counts for mostly seasons 1, 2, and 5. Kima is one of those characters that doesn’t change that much, she’s just a fun character. The best part about her is she isn’t a damsel in distress type. She’s tough and aggressive. Also she’s lesbian, which adds a really interesting and awkward twist. Anyway, not much to say, only she’s the Dirty Harry of women.

7. Bubbles

Bubbles is one twisty character. In season 1, he’s the comic relief character. You think he’s gonna die right off the bat. But, in seasons 2 and 3, he becomes the addict with a friend/apprentice and a shopping cart full of worthless sh*t. While this is the Bubbles we know and love, his persona in these two seasons seems unnecessary and forced. But, when Johnny weeks (his buddy) dies, he has new beginnings with a kid named Sherrod in Season 4. This is where things get interesting. Bubbles wants Sherrod to learn more and become more mature, but fails when Sherrod skips school and dives deeper into drugs. At the same time, Bubbles is getting his ass kicked by a “customer.” So, he gets a poisonous drug ready. But, Sherrod takes it and dies.

In Season 5, Bubbles has been clean for more than a year, but still has a bad reputation as being a junkie. Plus, he still feels guilt for being responsible for Sherrod’s death. This, in my opinion, is my favorite personality of Bubbles. He’s a very interesting character here. And at the end, he finally gets excepted into society, when he gets to eat dinner with his sister. It’s a touching story arch. While the Season 2/3 Bubbles can be annoying, it’s needed for Seasons 4 and 5. So, Bubbles is a great character. Nuff said.

6. William “Bunk” Moreland

He’s on the list. You happy now, bitch? Bunk is a funny character for the first 4 seasons. But, in season 5, when McNulty makes up the serial killer, Bunk becomes the straight man and honest cop because he believes in truth and justice. While my favorite Bunk is the season 1 Bunk, Bunk in season 5 proves he’s more than comic relief. He’s a good and honest cop. It just proves at least one thing, David Simon = Best TV writer ever!!!

5. Roland “Prez” Pryzbylewski

Prez in season 1 is the weirdest character on the show. But that’s not the end of it. He’s also selfish, brutish, sick, and even a little racist! But, in season 2, he becomes a very likeable character. He’s assigned to the Frank Sobotka case and is essentially a rookie on the team. But the moment when I think everybody earned respect for him was when he punched Valchek in the face. That made me think he was awesome! Then he had some hard times (he accidentally killed a cop, got arrested). But, when he became a teacher he earned back the respect. He’s definitely an up-down character. But, that’s why he’s great. He’s realistic. Add a great actor to play him (Jim True Frost) and you have an awesome character.

4. Jimmy McNulty

You know I had to include the main character on the list. McNulty is the best in Season 2. He has the most boring job in the world. But, knowing McNulty, he has to wander in the major crimes unit. And he becomes a major detective on the case. Classic McNulty. He also becomes the most interesting character in season 5, but also the biggest douchebag. But he’s a badass. It’s a shame he wasn’t in season 4. Well, anyway, McNulty is one of the greatest protagonists in the history of not only cinema, but in writing in general. That’s how awesome he is.

3. Lester Freamon

Lester is the wise man of the series. He’s a veteran and he always has the best quotes of the series. One of my favorites is, “All the pieces matter.” That’s a great quote. But, Freamon is also very enthusiastic about police work, which leads to his flaws. He decides to work on the fake serial killer with McNulty, which turns out to lead to nothing. But, Lester did it simply for the fun. I think his best moment is when he sets up the Frank Sobotka case in season 2. He’s great at making those tack boards. Anyway, a great wise man who has many flaws.  A great character in the least. That’s Lester!

2. Russell “Stringer” Bell

Stringer Bell is a great character. He’s a cold-blooded gangster, but he thinks like a businessman. He kills people, but he has manners. Plus, without him, the Barksdale organization would collapse. That actually happened when Stringer died at the end of season 3.  There are a lot of great Stringer moments, but one I can’t forget is the first time you see him in the courtroom in the pilot episode. He sees McNulty and draws a black Superman flipping McNulty off saying, “F*ck You, Detective!” That has to be, hands down, Stringer’s best moment. Stringer is the one cold-blooded bastard we all know and love.

1. Omar Little

You had to see this coming! He’s EVERYBODY’s favorite! And there’s a reason for that. Omar robs drug dealers and kills people left and right, but he only does this to people in “The Game.” So, you don’t feel bad for liking him. I also think he has the best death scene. Instead of a cop or criminal killing him on the run, he gets shot in a grocery store by a 10 year old kid! But, that’s the point of the Wire. It proves that our perception of tough is stupid because the most badass character on the show is killed by a kid. Also, Omar has the best quote. He’s testifying against the Barksdale organization. He’s asked his occupation. He casually replies, “I rip and run.” BADASS!!!!! Omar is a great character and should be respected. If you don’t respect him, you know what happens. Two words, OMAR COMIN!!!!

 

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Top 40 Favorite Films: The Top 10

March 11th, 2012
by Gabe

Here’s the big ones. The one’s that I think are the best. So, here goes.

10. The Godfather

This movie is amazing. It has to be the greatest movie of all time. It’s my 10th favorite, but it has to be the greatest movie of all time. The music, the acting, the cinematography, it’s all so well done! I’d especially like to praise Al Pacino, James Caan, and , of course, Brando. Marlon Brando is so great as Vito Corleone. I love the emotions in all the characters and how they change, like real life. It’s awesome. This movie has gotten a lot of praise, so I won’t go on, but it’s a great movie.

9. Spirited Away

This is such a great animated film. Nothing can come close to this masterpiece. Not even Lion King or Fantasia. Hayao Miyazaki really made his masterpiece when he made this film. The visuals are so interesting and it’s hard to do, with such a simple plot. I also love how nobody is the villain. Everybody has an even balance of good and evil. Even Chihiro. If you haven’t, definitely give Spirited Away a watch. It’s an interesting and creative movie. You really get Spirited Away.

8. Amadeus

This is such an artsy movie, but it’s not a pretentious artsy movie like Across the Universe. It actually relies on plot and characters, not just set pieces and costumes. The acting in this film is superb. F. Murray Abraham was awesome as Salieri. Not many actors could do what Abraham did. Tom Hulce is also great as Mozart, himself. I love their constant feud. It’s so fun to watch. This movie is nearly perfect, for lack of a better word. It is the definition of beauty and visually stunning. It’s Amadeus.

7. Goodfellas

This is my favorite, if not the best Scorsese movie, ever. It’s a well done gangster epic about the evolution of a wanna be gangster’s friendship with the mob. It’s played out so well that it’s highly realistic, yet highly stylized. Every scene has a meaning and every scene has a point. Joe Pesci, Robert DeNiro, and Ray Liotta make a great trio of mobsters. When something bad happens to them, you really feel their pain, even though they’re criminals. Scorsese is a master of cinema and this film proved him to be.

6. A Clockwork Orange

I love this movie because of the satire. It’s such a comment on choice and morality. Malcolm McDowell is fantastically disturbing as Alex. He should’ve won the oscar! Kubrick directs this in a surreal way, so you don’t know what to think of it all. But that’s Kubrick for you. This movie is sick and depraved, but that really the environment it wants to create, so it succeeds. the best part is the scene where Alex beats up his gang. It’s well done and edited nicely in slow mo. This is a film that is usually taken as a stupid painful movie, but it isn’t. It goes up with Dr. Strangelove to be one of the greatest satires. Ever.

Now, the top 5.

5. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This is the best edited, best filmed, best epic western I’ve ever seen. It’s such a good story! Every character is badass in their own way. Clint is badass, because he is. Lee Van Cleef is becuase he beats the crap out of the Ugly, and Eli Wallach is because he killed a bounty hunter and nearly killed Clint! Ennio Morricone did such a great job with the music, this soundtrack alone makes him my favorite movie composer. The GBU theme is a very popular song in popular song in pop culture and is often parodied in other movies. The music, the story, it’s all good in this epic western by Sergio Leone.

4. Pulp Fiction

No matter what, this movie will always be in my top 10. No matter what. Samuel L. Jackson was great as Jules Winnfield and his character has been parodied numerous times. My favorite parody is the hockey coach. But that’s another post. The way this movie is written is awesome. The royale with cheese and Marvin scene are great. I love them both. Not much to say, only a fun movie to watch.

3. Fight Club

Another 90’s cult classic, Fight Club steered you in one direction and totally turned you around when the twist came. Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter give great performances in this movie. Especially Edward Norton. He should’ve won the oscar (and this movie should’ve won, too)! I love the satire on big companies in the beginning. But, when you meet Tyler, Things totally change. Then, when the twist comes, things change, again. It’s like a roller coaster. It’s a great movie and everyone should see it.

2. Snatch

Is it possible? There’s a movie better than Snatch? Yes, there is. I saw it right after I updated my top 10 favorite movies. But, this gets the silver medal, so it’s all good. My favorite part is the writing. Not only the hilarious, snappy dialogue, but the creative characters Brick Top, Cousin Avi, Franky Four Fingers, and my personal favorite, Bricktop. Bricktop is one evil bastard! But, he’s hilarious! I think, personally, Alan Ford should’ve won the oscar for his portrayal of Bricktop. I love it! Add a great soundtrack and fast paced editing, and you get an awesome  British gangster flick!

1. Paths of Glory

This is not only my favorite movie, favorite Kubrick movie, favorite underrated movie, and favorite war movie, i think it’s the greatest movie. the Godfather and Amadeus come close, but this is fantastic. It tells you the brutality of war, without really showing the brutality of war. Now, THAT’S hard to do! You do see some war scenes (best war scenes ever!), but it’s primarily a courtroom drama. I think Kirk Douglas should’ve won an oscar for his performance in the courtroom scene. It’s a great monologue. This is the best, 10/10.

Go check out the courtroom scene, Paths of Glory Courtroom monologue.

Leave your top 10 in the comments!

 

 

 

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Top 40 Favorite Films pt. 3 (20-11)

March 8th, 2012
by Gabe

20. Full Metal Jacket

This is one of those films that really deserves an analyzation. Every frame, camera angle, or any word of dialogue all have a deeper meaning than what they really are. This was Kubrick’s second to last movie and is one of his best. It offers great acting by Matthew Modine, Vincent D’Onofrio, Adam Baldwin, and my favorite, R. Lee Ermey as the legendary Sgt. Hartman. Hartman is so iconic, he has been used as the drill sergeant stereotype for the last 25 years. He was even used in a Geico commercial! But, the acting and Sgt. Hartman aren’t the only great things about the film. The sniper scene at the end is so horrific, especially when you find out who it is. It’s f*cking scary! Anyway, this film is very deep and disturbing, but a classic, none the less.

19. The Departed 

This was the first gangster film by Scorsese in 11 years, but it wasn’t his usual take. It looked at both ends of the spectrum and told it like it is–nobody’s the good guy. Also, may I recognize this film for having one of the best DiCaprio performances ever. It’s comes at 3rd behind The Aviator and What’s Eating Gilbert Grape?. But, my favorite guy is Mark Wahlberg. I know I’ve said this several times, so I won’t cover the same topics but Wahlberg is not only funny, but changes in the film. He changes from a smartass jerk to a legit, serious cop. More than just the funny guy. Jack nicholson and Matt damon are cool, too. But, the Scorsese-ness is the highlight. The brutal violence and awesome soundtrack is also a big part. Anyway, if you haven’t already, watch this movie or Jack Nicholson will break your arm after it’s already been broken.

18. The Matrix

The Matrix is a perfect example of special effects not dominating plot. I mean, it really is a thought-provoking plot about our universe being a computer program. It’s really interesting if you think about it. I hate Keanu Reeves as much as the next guy, but I would be lying if I said he didn’t look badass in the lobby scene. The other actors that were awesome were Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith and Laurence Fishburne as Morpheus. Both were really cool and portrayed their side well. Morpheus was your typical wiseman and Agent Smith was your typical Terminator. Now, the best part, the special effects! I love the effects. These were 90’s computer effects, so they looked super real, as did Terminator 2 and Jurassic Park. Seriously, this was released 13 years ago, and the special effects are way better than any Transformers or Spiderman movie. So, yeah. This movie’s awesome. No disputing. It just is.

17. Reservoir Dogs

I’ve decided I like this better than Inglourious Basterds because this has a better plot, characters, writing, and acting. The best part of it for me is the tension between all the criminals until it builds to a Mexican standoff. The acting is also phenomenal by Tim Roth, Harvey Keitel, Steve Buscemi, and Michael Madsen as Mr. Blonde. Mr. Blonde is a psycho who acts cool, but, when nobody’s around, he goes crazy and cuts a guy’s ear off. But, you don’t see it. You have your imagination. You also don’t ever see the heist. It’s really well done. Anyway, the violence can get pretty brutal, but overall it’s a well done heist movie.

 

16. Shawshank Redemption

This was a great film from a great year in film, 1994. Ed Wood, Forrest Gump, Pulp Fiction, Quiz Show, Clerks, True Lies, and this movie were all released in 1994. But, this is one of the greatest movies of all year and of all time. It’s rated the best movie ever by IMDB. So, I love it, too. The best part is the gritty and hopeful way it’s told. It’s really dark, but it has an overall good feeling. The acting is also great by Tim Robbins, Bob Gunton, James Whitmore, and MORGAN F*CKING FREEMAN!!! You thought he had awesome voice over in March of the Penguins, this totally kills that with the awesome voice over in this! Morgan Freeman Narration=Like a Boss.

15. The Wild Bunch

This is on of the most epic westerns of all time. It explores the dark, dirty, and violent side of the west with a lot of high class elegance. Seriously, this movie includes classic actors like William Holden and Ernest Borgnine. But, everybody knows the best part of the movie is the shootouts. Especially, the last shootout. They are so epic! The last one is my second favorite shootout (my favorite will be revealed later in the post). But, the plot and characters are also very interesting, too. I have to say, this really is Peckinpah’s masterpiece.

14. The Big Lebowski

Ghostbusters may be one of the most quotable movies of all time, this IS the most quotable movie of all time. So many good lines, there’s too many to count! I think my favorite is, “Nobody f*cks with the Jesus.” That one makes me roll on the floor laughing. Also, the car beating scene. Jeff Bridges and John Goodman are the perfect duo/combo. John Turturro and Julianne Moore are also great supporting characters. I also love how all this complicated stuff evolves somebody pees on the Dude’s rug. It’s well done and written. The Dude abides!

13. Hard Boiled

This is the movie with my FAVORITE shootout. The hospital shootout is awesome! It literally lasts for more than an hour! That’s hardcore. Also, Chow-Yun Fat is great as Tequila Yen. He captures the dramatic and funny side of being a cop at the same time. But, besides the shootouts, the best part is the sub-plot with the mole. He has to choose a side. It kinda reminds me of the Departed in the sense that he’s a mole who has to choose a side, the good or bad. It adds more drama and is the main force that turns this into more than just a mindless action flick. This is a foreign film, but it’s not weird like Fellini, it’s pretty Americanized. So, for those close-minded film fans, this is pretty good for you. Just sayin.’

12. Once Upon a Time in the West

This moved from the 40’s, to the runners up for the top 10. Pretty impressive. How did this happen? Well, I realized, that this is a sophisticated western with more than shooting. It deals with regular, domestic life. But, the beautiful cinematography to the graceful Ennio Morricone music. It’s fantastic. Henry Fonda is great as the villain, Frank. It’s hard to believe an innocent actor like Henry Fonda can play such a sadist. But the badass in the movie is Charles Bronson. When you hear that harmonica, you know you’re in for some good action. Claudia Cardinale is hot, and Jason Robards is funny, so it adds up to be a pretty awesome flick.

11. Fargo

This is a comedy, mystery, drama, thriller, and independent film at the same time! The Coens wrote a brilliant film with brilliant characters that would later be played by brilliant actors. This is Fargo. I’m still not sure why this didn’t win Best Picture. I love Frances McDormand, William H. Macy and Steve Buscemi. Also, the psycho criminal is scary. The over the top violence adds to the hilarity in this movie. The wood chipper made me laugh. Not because of the blood, but the amount of blood. So, don’t worry. I’m not a psychotic freak.

Next up is the top 10!

 

 

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