So I’m back… after a very long absence. And yes, I have a reason for not having updated this thing for quite some time. I was busy. Plain and simple. I wish I could say that I was busy solving world hunger, or curing some terribly depressing malady, hell, I’d even settle for having been busy writing other things. Like scripts. Or short stories. Or resumes. But alas all I was busy doing was watching movies. (And working. Lots of working.) In the past two and a half months I have managed to watch every film on the Top 250 Films list over at imdb. Of course, over the previous 23 years of my life I had somehow managed to already watch about 180 of those. But those final 70, they were watched. By me. Having done that, and gaining no real sense of completion or accomplishment, I figured the only reasonable course of action would be to now create my own list of the top 101 films. I’m not suggesting that these are the best films of all time, because if my experience over the last couple months has proven anything, it’s that taste is completely subjective. (Of course when I had people walk out of a play I directed in University, that was also a big lesson on taste, not to mention “sexism”.) So instead of telling you that the following films are the best movies you are EVER GOING TO SEE!!!!#@@$@ I’m just going to suggest that they’re pretty damn good. Just know that my list is almost always evolving and changing, especially as pertaining to the films at the bottom of the list. On any given day those might change. But as we get higher up the list (I’ll do 10 movies a day… hopefully) the hierarchy of those films is much more concrete. So here we go…
101. MacGruber (2010)
I figure that if I’m gonna do this list, than I’m gonna make it different from almost any other top 100 (101, sorry) film list that you’re ever gonna read. So my first pick for one of my favourite films is “MacGruber”, which was released earlier this year. Those of you who are already shocked and disgusted need read this list no further. If you don’t like MacGruber, you’re probably not gonna like my taste in movies. Some movies are so stupid, they’re unwatchable. (Films like “FUBAR” or “American Movie” come to mind in this category) but some other movies are just so God damn ridiculously and offensively stupid that you can’t stop laughing. “MacGruber” definitely falls into the latter category. Every line of dialogue in this film is infinitely quotable. Every scene begs to be reenacted with both your closest friends and complete strangers. In short, this movie is balls to the wall hilarious.
100. Anchorman (2004)
This is the movie that cemented Will Ferrell as a Movie Star and took him off of T.V. (And SNL has never been the same, or funny, since.) Despite the fact that Ferrell has basically been playing some form of caricature of Ron Burgundy in 90% of the movies that he’s made since this film, he still hasn’t gotten old. That’s a testament to both Ferrell’s comedic abilities and the strength of the character he created. Plus, this film also has Steve Carell in what has also probably been his greatest comedic performance on film. And Paul Rudd. Sweet, sweet Paul Rudd. (Not to mention some hilarious cameos and telepathic conversations with canines.) This movie has everything a comedy needs and then some, and if you don’t agree with that it’s probably because somebody punched you far too hard right in your ovaries.
99. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)
Paul Newman and Robert Redford in a western with as many laughs and as much heart as it has action. This is an extremely well-rounded film that gets top marks for everything across the board. Is it the most entertaining western of all time? No, but you’d be hard pressed to find one with as much energy and enthusiasm. And with music by Burt Bacharach, how could it be anything but?
98. Tropic Thunder (2008)
There’s a certain kind of magic that happens when Stiller directs a comedy film. Whether it be this film, “Zoolander” or even “The Cable Guy”, Ben Stiller always manages to go some place much darker in his own comedies than in those pictures in which he is not in charge behind the scenes. In every sense of the word, “Tropic Thunder” is Stiller’s “Apocalypse Now”. Except, you know what? I like “Tropic Thunder” more. (Yes, that means for those of you keeping track, don’t expect to see “Apocalypse Now” on this list… or any films by Coppola for that matter… sacrilege, I know, though “The Conversation” did come very close to making it.) “Tropic Thunder” is an example of how to make one of the most well executed comedies of all time. Is every joke, gut bustingly funny? No. Though most of them are. It’s in the very fabric of the film that “Tropic Thunder” sets itself apart from the rest. It might damn well be the ultimate example of how to spoof the movie making business successfully. Whether it be the introductory trailers, or Robert Downey Jr’s performance (yes, he deserved the Academy Award for this role, even over Ledger’s near perfect interpretation of the Joker) everything in this movie works with the utmost synergy. Now, I promise I won’t use that word again. Maybe.
97. The Hustler (1961)
Besides having one of the coolest posters of all time, “The Hustler” is also a damn entertaining film, if only for Newman’s performance. Who would have thought a movie about pool could be so enthralling? From the carefree opening to the tragic conclusion, “The Hustler” keeps you on your toes until the very end. And when Paul Newman asks “What do you want to know? And why?” All you can think to yourself is, “damn, he’s right.”
96. Arsenic and Old Lace (1944)
Cary Grant is one of those lucky men who was not only blessed with extremely good looks (the man is frickin Superman personified) but with precise comedic timing as well. Throughout Grant’s career he starred in many screwball comedies and I’m not going to pretend that I’ve seen all of them, but of the ones that I have seen, “Arsenic and Old Lace” is my favourite. Cary Grant is flat-out insane in this movie. He breaks his back trying to make you laugh for every second of the film’s running time. And what’s even better is that Grant’s probably not even the funniest part of this movie, his crazy, demented, and homicidal Aunts are. (And boy, does Cary sure love them.) Comedies hardly ever age well, but somehow this film has stood the test of time and is still funny today. A miracle in and of itself.
95. Matchstick Men (2003)
This is not only one of the smallest films Ridley Scott has ever made, it’s also one of his best. This movie is funny, thrilling, and touching in all of the right places. (If somebody ever asked me, “Show me on this doll, where the movie touched you.” I’d point to my heart.) It’s impossible to watch the film and not feel like everything is all right in the world. It’s one of the few movies that actually makes me feel good while watching it and a lot of that has to do with the performances. Nic Cage is more restrained in this film than perhaps anything else he has ever been in. (And he’s got OCD for christ’s sakes!) Alison Lohman lights up the screen, and Sam Rockwell is his schwarmy best. If you’ve never seen this movie, check it out.