Today, I listened to another great episode of the Re-List, a show that Top 10 hosts John Rocha and Matt Knost replaced Thunderdome with. A Patreon member of the Top 10 choose a topic and then two other Patreons send their lists and Matt and John go through the lists and combine it at the end. I love the idea and I hope I get a chance to participate in the show some day. I had been selected for Thunderdome before, but I am waiting with bated breath to partake in the Re-List.
Having said that, I am going to add my own list for this week’s episode. The Re-List topic this week is the Top 10 Movies Based in New York City.
There were a ton of choices here. Several will be left off this list.
#10. Phone Booth. I liked this movie a lot, with the nearly singular performance by Colin Ferrell. Sure, there may not be any phone booths left in the world, but that should not take away from this film. Kiefer Sutherland is great as the voice on the other end of the phone that is trying to exact vengeance upon the low-lifes of NYC. And Colin Ferrell does a tremendous job of creating empathy for a real scummy guy who you find yourself rooting for despite the rotten items he has done.
#9. Muppets Take Manhattan. Kermit gets amnesia just before the Muppets have their major Broadway show. There are a lot of great moments here, including the wedding of Kermit and Miss Piggy (or is it?). The connection between the Muppets are the selling point of this movie and the hope to find their missing leader is great.
#8. Tootsie. This one has never made one of these lists and I remember really loving this, so when it was one of the films based in NYC, I wanted to make sure it made the list. Dustin Hoffman is wonderful as the soap opera “actress” Dorothy Michaels. The whole idea of Michael and how he learns about the ways of females is fantastic.
#7. Die Hard with a Vengeance. Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson are great together as John McClane and Zeus, running around the city because Simon Says. While this does not reach the levels in my mind as Die Hard and Die Hard 2 do, Die Hard with a Vengeance has a ton of good moments. The ending may be a bit of a letdown, but getting there was worth it. New York is a huge character to the film as John and Zeus have to run around the city trying to stop the bombs. Great charisma between the leads exceed the limits of the script.
#6. The Fisher King. One of Robin Williams’ greatest performances. There is a wonderful connection between Williams and Jeff Bridges that really comes through the screen. Robin Williams received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor and Mercedes Ruehl won for Best Supporting Actress. The Fisher King was an emotional journey in many ways and Robin’s dealing with his mental health was a portend of what was to come.
#5. Taxi Driver. You talkin’ to me? Robert DeNiro and his epic performance as Travis Bickle, who takes the job as a taxi driver to go out on the streets of New York hunting the scum of the city. DeNiro is brilliant and the movie itself is one of my favorite Martin Scorsese films.
#4. The Godfather. Okay, truth here. I have only seen The Godfather once and I have not yet seen The Godfather 2. It is one of the films that I intend to see and, maybe this summer, I will try and sit down and watch both of these movies back to back. I could certainly see what the big deal was about The Godfather when I saw it at a special Fathom showing.
#3. Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse. I picked this of the Spider-Man movies because, like John Rocha stated, this movie uses New York City as a character. And while the original Spider-Man movie does that very well too, Spider-verse is a better film than it. I considered Homecoming too, but I just saw Spider-verse again a few days ago and it was fabulous.
#2. Ghostbusters. One of my favorite movies of all time. I love Ghostbusters and the city of New York plays an important role in the film. The cast is amazing with Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Ernie Hudson, Sigourney Weaver and Harold Ramis. Ghostbusters is totally one of the most quotable movies of all time. Dogs and cats, living together, mass hysteria! I do not know how many lines from Ghostbusters I have used over the years, but it is a significant number. One of the greats of all time.
#1. The Avengers. The Marvel Cinematic Universe was in full swing after this major successful crossover. Iron Man, Captain America, Thor and Hulk all had their own films prior and Hawkeye and Black Widow had made appearances in other MCU films, and now they were all brought together for the first time. Some doubted that this could work, but The Avengers crushed the expectations and started the ball rolling over the next seven years to Avengers: Endgame.
Honorable Mention: There is a bunch. Coming to America is one that I probably dropped off to get Tootsie on the list. All of the Spider-man movies, from Spider-man, Spider-man 2 to Spider-man: Homecoming could have gone on here. (Not Spider-man 3 though). I Am Legend I kept off because I did not want to include the apocalyptic future NYC. Big was another one that could have made the list, but I left off just because. I could see this list being very fluid. Rear Window and 12 Angry Men were mentioned by the Patreons on the show and I like both of them very much too, but I probably would not have thought of either without listening to the show. Cloverfield is a great film, one of the best shaky cam films around. The John Wick trilogy (particularly #1) could fall on the list as well.