A lot of people do not realize how much I love arts and entertainment. I have seen over 20,000 movies, I have studied the art of how to make movies and I have learned what makes a good screenplay. I do have good credentials when it comes to knowing what makes a good movie. I will base my criteria on acting, directing, script, and yes, my personal taste. This is a series and I will do a list every week, so enjoy.
10: Star Wars trilogy (episode 4-6), probably my favorite movie series of all-time. Still thrills and inspires! I absolutely love the characters, the writing, and the story is universal. Darth Vader will make you squeal every time you hear that voice. Luke, Han, Leia, Chewy, 3PO and of course R2 will make you smile every time! A real classic and winner of a movie. This is for all three wonderful movies. (Ep, 4-6).
9: Raging Bull, probably Scorsese’s best movie. DeNiro is perfect as Jake LaMotta a down on your luck boxer who relives the glory days. Jake has a problem moving on from his past. Scorsese has done a lot of great work, but the gritty black and white look and wonderful editing make it one of the best movies ever. Wonderful acting is icing on the cake for a landmark in movies.
8: Psycho, yeah, you knew a Hitchcock movie would be on here and none more deserving than this classic. This movie was a game changer. What? This actually happened in the middle of the movie (no spoilers) and the amount of violence and shocks was unheard of. Movies have not been the same since this masterwork was released.
7: E.T. Many movies can make you cry, but this all-time classic from Spielberg will have you in a therapy sessions. Elliot meets a weird looking alien (but oh so adorable too) who he hides not only from his mom but from the government who wants to do experiments on him. Touching, sweet, and lovely at heart. This movie is a classic and will endure for hundreds of years.
6: Casablanca, here’s looking at you kid. Bogart was never been more charming than he was in this wonderful romantic movie. The lovely black and white cinematography and brilliant script from Julius J. Epstein, Howard E. Koch, Philip G. Epstein, Casey Robinson just sparkles with intelligence and charm. A must watch for any movie fan.
5: Gone with the Wind, yeah the acting and portrayal of African Americans is outdated, but the movie itself is still a wonder to behold. The colors pop, the directing is lavish and of course, Gable and Leigh just make the screen explode with passion and excitement. The movie is really long, but it will sweep you up in its beauty, so it does not seem long. Enjoy.
4: The Wizard of OZ, even to this day. This movie never fails to excite and charm. Garland put on quite a show as Dorthy, A small town Kansas girl who dreams of some place over the rainbow. Who can forget the music, the munchkins or those wonderful cast of characters (especially the cowardly Lion). You will never get tired of it, so go and watch it again, and again and again and again.
3: Schindler’s List, there are not a lot of films I would call important. Schindler’s List is one of them. Steven Spielberg’s magnum opus about the holocaust is hard to watch, gritty, brutal and uncompromising film will have you squirming, but every frame is a work of art and it is worth to learn a valuable history lesson. Neeson was unmatched as Oscar Schindler. Spielberg finally won a much deserved best Oscar for best director.
2: Citizen Kane, argued by many as the greatest motion picture of all time (there is a lot of truth to that) this movie broke a lot of ground when it first came out. On the type of stories a filmmaker could tell (the jumping timeline meant a more nonlinear story structure) and a lot of the deep focus techniques are still used. Wells put on quite a show (so did the others) and the brilliant script maybe one of the tightest scripts ever written. This movie is an example of how to make a wonderful movie, but too few have ever tried to reach the heights that Wells did.
1: The Lord of the Rings series (extended versions). Every movie since the early 2000s has been influenced by this landmark movie. Jackson created a world that seems real to us. The attention to detail in the cinematography, to the wardrobes, sets, language and performances are painted with a perfect brush. Watch the extended versions, they are the best ones to really get a sense of what Tolkien created. Jackson made a lot of fans weep when they saw this. I still remember the first time I saw this one of a kind epic, I hope Holly Wood tries to capture this kind of majestic story telling again.