Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Top 100 Movies Part II

So, weeks ago, I posted the first 25 movies (#'s 75-100) from my Top-100-Movies-of-All-Time list. You may have read it, or perhaps, not. . . depending on how interested you are in someone else's movie preferences. Anyway, I promised myself I would post the next 25 before the end of November--and I'm only one day late. So, here it is:

51. The Crucible
52. Much Ado About Nothing
53. The Spitfire Grill
54. Brian’s Song (TV)
55. Sliding Doors

Okay. 51-55 make an interesting mix. The Crucible is a good one, and when I teach English III (9 out of my 12 years of teaching) I watch it every year when we study Arthur Miller's play. Daniel Day-Lewis is tremendous in the movie and Joan Allen was great as Elizabeth Proctor. Much Ado About Nothing I saw in college--and immediately loved anything with Emma Thompson. The Spitfire Grill is a poignant movie that left an impact on me, as did Brian's Song--the movie that supposedly leaves every sports-loving jock in tears--yes, I cried. Sliding Doors is one of Gwyneth Paltrow's best movies (in my opinion) and I saw it with my friends Jessica and Gretchen, who also introduced me to number fifty-two. I love pondering whether one incident, decision, or "missed subway ride" could change the entire direction of one's life.

56. Fargo
This is one I thought I would hate. . . but didn't. Frances McDormand, as the pregnant police chief, earned the Best Actress Oscar, and it was well-deserved. The accents are great, Marge is the only competent character in the movie--and she's one of the the only characters in film-history who is pregnant and yet, doesn't give birth the entire movie. "Yah-You betcha."

57. Goldeneye
58. Top Gun
James Bond and Maverick. . .come on.

59. The Parent Trap
60. The Breakfast Club
61. Cast Away
62. Clueless

Both Parent Trap movies--with Lindsay Lohan and Hayley Mills--are pretty sweet. I loved the old Disney version as a kid and enjoyed the version produced 37 years later as well. The Breakfast Club is classic, as is Clueless. Instantly quotable...both of them. And Cast Away is probably the best movie that really involves only one person (and a volleyball)--at least as far as I'm concerned. Tom Hanks is terrific in that movie, although I would like to know what's in that silly package he delivers at the end.

63. Pride and Prejudice
64. Tristan and Isolde
65. Shakespeare in Love

Three great period pieces. Obviously, as an English Literature teacher, they all relate in some way to the reading selections we teach in AP. And they're all well done. Many of my students will mention the movies as we're reading and whenever a film can spark interest in classic literature--well, who doesn't want that?!

66. The Pistol (TV)
I saw this movie about basketball legend Pistol Pete Maravich as a kid; then I practiced his ball-handling moves up and down the sidewalk outside my house for hours. My mom did not appreciate me throwing my basketball off the side of the house endlessly.

67. Grumpy Old Men
Possibly the best movie about curmudgeonly old men ever made. :)

68. The Lion King
69. Hamlet (Mel Gibson version)
Because The Lion King is basically the story of Hamlet, I've put these two together on my list. We're actually studying Shakespeare's Hamlet right now in my AP Lit classes. Every year, one of my students will say, "Did you know that Hamlet is kind of like The Lion King," and my response..."No, really?" Indeed. . . I speak fluent Sarcasm.
70. Footloose--Saw this one at a drive-in movie theatre and was just discussing drive-in memories with a friend yesterday. Red Vines, popcorn and a Coke. (What are your favorite theatre concession choices?)

71. Father of the Bride
72. Rain Man
73. Guarding Tess
74. A Few Good Men
75. The Natural

All of these are fairly well-known and acclaimed movies, except perhaps Guarding Tess; I love them all. Steve Martin as the dad in Father of the Bride--hilarious; Dustin Hoffman-- genius portrayal in Rain Man; Nic Cage and Shirley MacLaine have great chemistry (in a non-romantic way) in Guarding Tess. Tom Cruise is good in A Few Good Men but Jack Nicholson steals the movie. The Natural is great and Robert Redford is great looking.

So there's the list of 51-75. I have a lot more to say about all of these flicks...but no time to elaborate. So, until next time, have a wonderful December--perhaps you can catch some of these films over the holiday season. Take care and Merry Christmas.