Monday, January 24, 2005

I turned 33 last Friday. Hip-hip-hooray. That gives me the right to do this. Let me make a brief list of a few films I happen to really like. I don’t wish to comment on them. Rather, I’d like you to. Am I nuts for liking these movies, or even worse for owning them? You tell me.

1) URBAN COWBOY (1980)
The ultimate John Travolta vehicle/character study of working-class America at the dawn of Reaganism/pile of shit? I actually really dig this movie, despite the Charlie Daniels/Bonnie Raitt soundtrack.

2) MY DINNER WITH ANDRE (1982)
Pretentious arthouse waffle? 90 minutes of profundities? A little bit of both.

3) SOMETHING WILD (1986)
‘80s romantic-comedy (or ROM/COM, as they say) with bad fashion sense and the Feelies. One of the finest films of its decade.

4) RUNAWAY TRAIN (1985)
Existential action flick w/ Jon Voight and Eric Roberts in the hammiest performances to ever hit a screen. Based on a story by Kurosawa.

5) HIDING OUT (1987)
‘80s teen-movie territory here, with rent-a-putz Jon Cryer. A fine movie, and perhaps notable for its unusual soundtrack: Public Image and the Lime Spiders(!!).

6) TO LIVE AND DIE IN LA (1985)
Mid ‘80s cheese-in-a-basket from the creator of Miami Vice. Completely amoral and without point, it sums up that decade to a tee. Soundtrack contains Wang Chung and Rank & File. Go figure. Best car chase since French Connection.

7) LIMBO (1999)
John Sayles at the helm, in every possible role except on screen. For my two cents, one of the finest American films of the last 10 years, this is a novelistic story which slowly unfolds like a good book. You may be pissed at the ending, however.

8) RUNNING ON EMPTY (1988)
Sidney Lumet piece about ‘60s radicals on the run for almost 20 years, family in tow. Totally believable.

9) HALLOWEEN 3 (1982)
I saw this, as a very young man, when it came out in the cinemas. Scared the absolute bejesus outta me. Nothing to do with Michael Myers, this is a thoroughly under-rated shocker I try to show to anyone who’ll sit on my couch.

10) AUTO FOCUS (2002)
The story of Hogan’s Heroes’ Bob Crane and his sordid downfall, with Mr. Smarm, Greg Kinnear in the lead role (an actor I like a lot, by the way). Willem Dafoe is terrific as his creepy porn buddy, John Carpenter. Directed by renowned screenwriter Paul Schrader, a complete creep in his own right.

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