100 Incredible Films (Vol. 7 ~ 40-31)
# 40 ~~~ Trainspotting (1996)
The Opening Scene featuring LUST FOR LIFE by Iggy Pop
I've seen it dozens of times and it's still hauntingly good. We get the good, bad and ugly side of herion addiction in Irvine Welsh's comedic drug-buddy caper movie. Begbie, Sick Boy and Spud are amazing. Rents shags that hottie from school and swims in a toilet. All in a day's work as a full-time junkie. The baby scene is the one we'd like to forget but not because it isn't effective. It's too effective. Like Spun & Requiem for a Dream this movie pulls no punches, especially for fans of a good James Bond marathon. Choose Life.
- 100 Incredible Films (Volume 1 ~ #s 100-91)
Welcome To My World. A world where movies don't have to suck all the time. A world where films could even be seen multiple times and you'd still get new things to enjoy about them.
# 39 ~~~ Secretary (2002)
The Stupendous Spanking Scene
Sex, Lies, & Videotape just wasn't creepy enough for you? You craved more art-house perversion from James Spader and you were heard...but it's gonna cost you. Now get on your hands and knees. NOW! You've been a dirty girl and you'll continue to do it over and over again because you know how it pleases me. Now let me wash all this filth off you. I've made such a mess of you.
Need to spice things up in your bedroom?
Surprise your mate and rent this.
You'll thank me tomorrow.
#38 ~~~ El Mariachi (1992)
El Mariachi ~ What a Trailer!
The thing you just can't believe as you watch Robert Rodriguez' debut, is that it was shot for $7,000. The stories of how he pulled this movie off budget-wise will blow your mind. His friendship with Quentin Tarantino led to several collaborations including Four Rooms & Grindhouse - Planet Terror.
Rodriguez has since gone on to make Desperado, From Dusk Till Dawn & Sin City to name a few. But the one we are still in awe of is El Mariachi. A MUST-SEE.
# 37 ~~~ Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
I Love These Classic 70s Flicks!
Of all the Al Pacino movies......
I could have chosen Serpico or ...And Justice for All or Sea of Love or Carlito's Way but I didn't. I choose this one. Director Sidney Lumet (who also directed Serpico btw) accurately tells the true story about two strange guys who decide to rob a Brooklyn bank on a hot summer day.
Actor John Cazale a/k/a brother "Fredo" from The Godfather Trilogy gave his heart and soul into this role of "Sal" and we'll have it forever. He died three years later of bone cancer after shooting his final film The Deer Hunter with his then-fiance Meryl Streep.He is also credited with discovering not only Streep but both Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro! Remember the name of this soft-spoken and kind man who gave us all so much.
His name was John Cazale.
# 36 [tie] ~~~ A Scanner Darkly (2006) ~~~ Waking Life (2001)
A Scanner Darkly
Based on Philip K. Dick's famous novel, A Scanner Darkly is about an undercover narcotics agent who starts to lose his own identity as he tries to sort out all this "Substance D" stuff. The film is animated using interpolated Rotoscoping where the artists paint on the film footage which was shot normal ahead fo time.
[Text from MSNBC: For "A Scanner Darkly," it took 50 animators 15 months to trace the film frame by frame - a painstaking process that progresses at a rate of roughly 500 man hours for every minute of screen time.]
Waking Life is altogether different (despite the same writer/director Richard Linklater and the same animated style. We can forego a detailed plot in favor of humorous existential / philosophical musings (a la Slacker) as we drift in and out of a dream state but there is a story. Our lead character, (who is us, the viewers) can peruse life, death and oblivion but can we remember what we learn in our dreams and apply them to waking life? Or is it the other way around?
# 35 ~~~ The Devil's Rejects (2005)
WARNING: The Freebird Ending
A poignant horror film about three of the nastiest devil-rejected demonized psycho-villians in film history and it's going to be directed by some failed shock-rock musician in dreadlocks?
It is the absolute smartest best use of popular rock music in a film since Reservoir Dogs?
Anymore random questions?
# 34 ~~~ Pi (1998)
A young gifted mathematician who experiences chronic migraine head-aches stumbles onto a number. He doesn't know what the number is exactly but he's pretty sure that this number could unlock the universal patterns found in nature. Could there be one number that could explain it all? The lottery, the nasdaq reports, the verses in the bible/torah-are they all connected? Or is this all just a product of his paranoid state? You tell me. I'm still trying to figure it out and it's the first DVD I ever owned.
# 33 ~~ Eight Men Out (1988)
John Sayles' ode to Baseball
I love John Sayles' patented low-budget risk-taking brand of cinema. His quote about filmmaking is one of my all-time favorites.
To paraphrase: An interviewer asked him, "What would you do if a studio ever gave you $10 Million Dollars to make a movie?
- A: I'd make it for 3 Million, then with the money I saved, I'd make 3 or 4 movies that I WANT TO MAKE, and then we'd have enough to give some away to charity.
#32 ~~~ Kids (1995)
A Wake Up Call To The World....
People who have a problem with this film confuse me. They DON'T THINK that this is the most effective tool against spreading HIV among promiscuous teenagers? They should show this in every high school in America!
The reason they are so freaked out is because someone filmed it instead of calling the cops. They'd have Larry Clark arrested on pronography charges. I know they looked young, but every single one of them had papers for 18 years old. He's not expoiting these kids, he's just showing you how they truly are, and let's face it, no one who has kids their age REALLY wants to know what they are up to. Larry Clark discovered both Chloe Sevigny and Rosario Dawson, put them in this movie and the rest is history.
# 31 ~~~ Big Night (1996)
You Will Salivate Like A Dog!
If you ever wanted to bond with your brother and remember how much you really love each other...this is the movie for you. The VERY first thing people think about when they think of this movie is, "Wow, that film made me hungry!" It is absolutely impossible to keep from salivating as you laugh and ache along with these two italian restauranteurs trying to make it in America. Tony Shalhoub has had a good career but this is his finest work. Ditto Stanley Tucci who co-wrote and co-directed the picture. His co-director was actor Campbell Scott who I had the pleasure of meeting and talking to for awhile.
Ah, visual aides... x)
The List So Far...
100) Romeo Is Bleeding (1993 - Gary Oldman, Lena Olin)
99) Victory (1981 - Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine)
98) Bad Boys (1983 - Sean Penn, Esai Morales)
97) Searching for Bobby Fischer (1993 - Ben Kingsley, Laurence Fishburne)
96) The Last House On The Left (1972 - Wes Craven's Debut)
95) Citizen Ruth (1996 - Laura Dern, Swoozie Kurtz)
94) This Boy's Life (1993 - Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, Ellen Barkin)
93) Three Kings (1999 - George Clooney, Mark Walhberg, Ice Cube, Spike Jonze)
92) Sex, Lies and Videotape (1989 - James Spader, Andie MacDowell)
91) Kalifornia (1993 - Brad Pitt, Juliette Lewis, David Duchovny)
90) 2 Days in the Valley (1996 - Charlize Theron, Eric Stoltz, Danny Aiello, Glenne Headley)
89) Lean On Me (1989 - Morgan Freeman, Robert Guillaume)
88) Hard Eight (1996 - Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow)
87) Devil in a Blue Dress (1995 - Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle, Jennifer Beals)
86) V for Vendetta (2005 - Natalie Portman, Hugo Weaving)
85) Freeway (1996 - Reese Witherspoon, Keifer Sutherland, Brittany Murphy)
84) Cop Land (1997 - Sylvester Stallone, Robert DeNiro, Harvey Keitel, Ray Liotta)
83) Red Dawn (1984 - Patrick Swayze, C. Thomas Howell, Charlie Sheen)
82) The Warriors (1979 - Street Gang Classic by Walter Hill)
81) Run Lola Run (1998 - Franka Potente, Moritz Bleibtreu)
80) The United States of Leland (2003 - Ryan Gosling, Don Cheadle)
79) Bound (1996 - Gina Gershon, Jennifer Tilly, Joe Pantoliano)
78) American Psycho (2000 - Christian Bale, Jared Leto)
77) The Basketball Diaries (1995 - Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Wahlberg, Lorraine Bracco)
76) Alpha Dog (2006 - Emile Hirsch, Ben Foster, Justin Timberlake, Bruce Willis)
75) Empire of the Sun (1987 - Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Joe Pantoliano)
74) My Bodyguard (1980 - Chris Makepeace, Adam Baldwin,Matt Dillon,Martin Mull,Ruth Gordon)
73) To Die For (1995 - Nicole Kidman, Matt Dillon, Joaquin Phoenix, Casey Affleck)
72) Hustle & Flow (2005 - Terrance Howard, Taraji P. Henson, DJ Qualls)
71) Logan's Run (1976 - Michael York, Jenny Agutter)
70) Children of Men (2006 - Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine)
69) Barfly (1987 - Mickey Rourke, Faye Dunaway, Frank Stallone)
68) Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004 - Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Kirsten Dunst, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood)
67) The Outsiders (1983 - Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, C. Thomas Howell, Rob Love, Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, Diane Lane)
66) Cube (1997 - David Hewlett, Andrew Miller)
65) The Conversation (1974 - Gene Hackman, John Cazale)
64) The Secret of NIMH (1982 - Animated feat. Dom DeLouise)
63) In The Name of the Father (1993 - Daniel Day-Louis, Emma Thompson, Pete Postlethwaite, Tom Wilkinson)
62) Falling Down (1993 - Michael Douglas, Robert Duvall)
61) Igby Goes Down (2002 - Kieran Culkin, Claire Danes, Ryan Phillippe, Susan Sarandon, Amanda Peet, Jeff Goldblum)
60) New Jack City (1991 - Wesley Snipes, Ice-T, Bill Nunn, Chris Rock, Judd Nelson)
59) Memento (2000 - Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne moss, Joe Pantoliano)
58) Wall Street (1987 - Charlie Sheen, Michael Douglas, John C. McGinley)
57) The Wicker Man (1973 - Edward Woodward, Christpher Lee)
56) The Fifth Element (1997 - Bruce Willis, Iam Holm, Milla Jovovich, Chris Tucker, Gary Oldman & Tiny Lister)
55) The Last Seduction (1994 - Linda Fiorentino, Bill Pullman, Peter Berg)
54) Hotel Rwanda (2004 - Don Cheadle, Sophie Okonedo & Nick Nolte)
53) Das Experiment (2001 - Moritz Beibtreu)
52) One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975 - Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher)
51) A Bronx Tale (1993 - Robert DeNiro, Chazz Palmintieri, Lillo Brancato)
50) L.A. Confidential (1997 - Russell Crowe, Guy Pierce, Kim Basinger)
49) Ghost Dog - The Way of the Samarai (1999 - Forrest Whitaker)
48) Prelude To A Kiss (1992 - Alec Baldwin, Meg Ryan, Stanley Tucci)
47) Full Metal Jacket (1987 - Matthew Modine, Vincent D'onofrio)
46) Notes On A Scandal (2006 - Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett)
45) Drugstore Cowboy (1989 - Matt Dillon, Kelly Lynch, James Le Gros)
44) Stranger Than Fiction (2006 - Will Ferrell, Emma Thompson)
43) Fresh (1994 - Sean Nelson, Samuel L. Jackson, Giancarlo Esposito)
42) Slacker (1991 - Richard Linklater)
41) Lost In Translation (2003 - Scarlett Johansson, Bill Murray)
40) Trainspotting (1996 - Ewen McGregor, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle)
39) Secretary (2002 - Maggie Gyllenhaal, James Spader)
38) El Mariachi (1992 - Robert Rodriguez' debut, a/k/a the original "Desperado")
37) Dog Day Afternoon (1975 - Al Pacino, John Cazale, Charles Durning)
36) [tie] A Scanner Darkly (2006 - Keanu Reeves, Robert Downey Jr, Woody Harrelson, Winona Ryder) Waking Life (2001 - Wiley Wiggins)
35) The Devil's Rejects (2005 - Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon, William Forsythe)
34) Pi (1998 - Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis)
33) Eight Men Out (1988 - John Cusack, David Straithairn, Charlie Sheen, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Lerner)
32) Kids (1995 - Leo Fitzpatrick, Chloe Sevigny, Rosario Dawson)
31) Big Night (1996 - Stanley Tucci, Tony Shalhoub, Minnie Driver, Iam Holm, Isabella Rossellini, Liev Schreiber)
More by this Author
Before I reveal the next 10 films, I'd just like to explain my intent here. I am not ranking these films in order of their greatness, nor am I saying that these are the best films ever, this is purely entertainment.
The 100 Incredible Films Countdown is allmost done and that means that we have some juicy good flicks in this edition. River Phoenix, Benicio Del Toro, David Mamet are featured.
This epic list was inspired by my childhood radio station WLIR-WDRE 92.7 fm on Long Island. Their mantra was 'Dare To be Different' and they were introducing new bands every single week. Let's begin.