Top 10 Revenge Films

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This week, John and Matt dropped their Top 10 Movies of 2018.  I have recently posted my top films of the year, so I hoped that the classic episode on the Patreon would be one that I could do.  And it turned out to be Top 10 Revenge Movies, which I have never done.  This was going to work well.

Then I started doing the research and I found a list of a lot of movies.  However, there were no major standout films for me.  Number one was tough to choose, and there are some movies I liked that did not make the list.  There is at least movie that I love so much and it is one that I never considered a revenge film, but it was on a bunch of the lists so I am including it.

 

Image result for wrath of khan#10.  Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  Ricardo Montalban comes back to Star Trek as one of the great villains of all time, Khan.  And this is the greatest Star Trek movie ever made. The final scene between Kirk and Spock is as emotional as any film you are ever going to see.

 

 

Image result for inigo montoya#9.  The Princess Bride.  Here is the film that I had not ever considered a revenge film, but it was on several lists that I saw during research and The Princess Bride is my absolute favorite movie.  I placed it at number 9 only because the revenge is only part of this epic movie.  “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya…you killed my father… prepare to die.”  Inigo lets us know as well that the reason he works for Vizzini is that there is not a lot of money in revenge.  And yet, he found that villainous Count Rugen and his six fingers on his right hand and took care of business.  This is my favorite film on this list, but, since it was only partially a revenge film, I dropped it down.

 

Related image#8.  The Crow.  The Crow is a fantastic film featuring the final appearance of Brandon Lee, as he was accidentally killed during the filming of this movie.  This has some wonderful violence and, unfortunately, was unable to ever recapture the magic after the loss of Lee.  Still, I loved this heroic vigilante.

 

 

Image result for django unchained#7.  Django Unchained.  Quentin Tarantino created this wonderful western with the most brutal racial tone and imagery filled with violence and blood.  The film has a ton of brilliant performances from Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Samuel L. Jackson, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kerry Washington, Don Johnson.  Django is as compelling of a film as Tarantino has ever done.

 

Image result for cape fear#6.  Cape Fear.  Another film that features the antagonist as the person who is seeking revenge, Robert De Niro is just amazing as the ex-con Max Cady, who has returned to seek retribution from his lawyer, Sam Bowden, played by Nick Nolte, for his failure to get him off years before.  And this goes crazy.  The final confrontation on the boat is just tense as can be and features some of the best work from these actors.  Throw in the great Jessica Lange and we got an awesome movie.  Director Martin Scorsese brought us this remake of a film from 1962 and truly created some magic.

 

Image result for sweeney todd#5.  Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street.  Johnny Depp appears as the crazy barber who returns to London after being railroaded to Australia for a crime he did not commit, by the evil Judge Turpin.  Turpin’s lust for Benjamin Barker’s wife, Lucy, drove the judge’s decisions.  When Barker returned under the guise of Sweeney Todd, he set out to find his revenge and maybe meet his daughter Johanna.  However, the daughter is not really what Sweeney Todd is interested in.  What better way to seek revenge than to bake your enemies into a meat pie?  Great music.  Great tone.  Very suspenseful.

 

Image result for taken#4.  Taken.  Liam Neeson is not the dad you want to piss off.  And when he tells you on the phone that you had better give him his daughter back, you had better give him his daughter back.  This was a fantastic movie that has, admittedly, been tarnished by the terrible Taken 2 and Taken 3.  Still, Taken has one of the most iconic moments in any revenge movie with that phone call scene. I found it extremely brutal and very fun.

 

Image result for V for vendetta#3.  V for Vendetta.  This film was based on the classic graphic novel by Alan Moore of the same name, despite the fact that Moore was a huge critic of the movie version of his work.  V for Vendetta is the story of a future society in England trying to avoid seeing its population riot and overthrow the government.  The push is lead by V, a man who was turned into a monster by the very government in a project.  V has a list and he works on filling that list for the whole movie.  Remember, Remember the Fifth of November…

 

Related image#2.  John Wick.  I mean, they killed his dog.  John Wick was such a surprise and a renaissance for Keanu Reeves.  John wick just wanted to be left alone.  He was out of the life and did not need to kill anyone any more, but, after his wife dies of cancer, the world he left behind pulled him back in.  They killed his dog!  One of my favorite lines in this movie is when the head bad guy discovered that the car that his dimwit son had stolen once belonged to John Wick and he was completely in shock.  His simple response of “Oh” told you all you needed to know about who John Wick was and what was about to be unleashed.

 

 

Related image#1.  Unforgiven.  The Clint Eastwood Oscar winning western featuring Eastwood as a killer trying to not kill again, but having the people around him not leaving him to his retirement.  In this case, there is a prostitute who has been disfigured by a john and has come to William Munny for help.  Unable to resist, Munny tries to do what needed to be done without becoming the monster he used to be.  Unforgiven also stars Gene Hackman as the wicked Little Bill Daggett, the sheriff who has abused his power for years, and who is looking to prevent the spread of vigilantism in his land.  Unforgiven is one of the best westerns I have seen and is probably the best Clint Eastwood movie made.

 

Honorable Mentions.  There are a bunch of these.  Kill Bill Vol 1 and 2 are films that I have only seen once, years ago, but I remember liking them.  They just did not make the list.  Payback from Mel Gibson is a great film.  Christopher Nolan’s creative film, Memento, is another good addition, but another movie that I have not seen in years.  The Revenant is the film that the classic Top 10 show was honoring this week.  The bear scene was one of the best in the film.  All I really remember in Inglorious Basterds is the ending with Hitler and Brad Pitt’s hilarious I-talian accent.  The remake and original versions of True Grit are top notch, starring John Wayne and Jeff bridges respectably.  Gladiator and Braveheart are “historical” revenge stories that could always make a list like this.  They were both on Matt and John’s list.  Stephen King’s original Carrie found that you had better not drop pig’s blood onto a powerful telekinetic if you want to survive prom.  Darkman is another hero/vigilante film that was fun to watch.

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EYG Top 10 American Remakes of A Foreign Film

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When I pulled up the PodcastOne website, I did not expect to see a new Top 10 show ready to be watched.  This is Monday night and they never drop their show this early.  I was so happy because this was going to work out so much better for me.  Tomorrow is going to be quite busy so tonight was a great chance to listen to Matt and John.

The show this week was the Top 10 American Remakes of a Foreign Film in honor of the Kevin Hart/Bryan Cranston film, The Upside.  I was doing some research as I was listening to the show (By the way, John was ridiculously funny during his story about his car troubles at Christmas) and I was able to compile the list.

 

Related image#10.  The Ring.  The remake of the Japanese film, Ringu, The Ring was a great concept and one of the truly scary horror movies of the early 2000s.  Most of the sequels or remakes of this did not reach the level of this film.  This scene of the woman crawling from the television is iconic and sincerely frightening.

 

Image result for vanilla sky#9.  Vanilla Sky.  The weird Tom Cruise future film is a remake of the Spanish film, Abre los ojos.  Cruise rejoins his director of Jerry Maguire, Cameron Crowe, for a psychological thriller that keeps Cruise, as well as the audience, off balance for what exactly was happening.  Cruise and Penelope Cruz are great in the film and it is a great film.

 

Image result for 3 men and a baby#8.  Three Men and a Baby.  You have Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg with a little baby girl in a fun comedy directed by Leonard Nemoy.  Three Men and a Baby is a remake of the French film, Trois hommes et un couffin.  Selleck, Danson and Guttenberg are great together and play off each other with amazing chemistry.  The story is a bit cheesy, but it is funny and it is engaging and you can forgive some issues.

 

Image result for the girl with the dragon tattoo#7.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  This film features Rooney Mara as Lisbeth Salander and Daniel Craig as Mikael Blomkvist.  This was a remake of a Swedish film called Man som hater Kvinnor.  Many people believe that the Swedish version is better (I have not seen that one) but I did enjoy the American film.  Rooney Mara was strong as the vengeful investigator with trust issues.

 

Image result for some like it hot#6.  Some Like It Hot.  One of the classics of American cinema, Some Like It Hot was a remake of the French film, Fanfare d’amour.  Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are a perfect pair in this movie that is very funny.  Marilyn Monroe is in this movie as well and I was impressed with her work.  I have not seen a lot of films with Monroe, but she was very solid here.  She and Curtis worked well together.  1959 film was directed by Billy Wilder.

 

Image result for insomnia movie#5.  Insomnia.  Robin Williams in a role that was unlikely at the time.  The chaotic comedian became the cold and calculating villain of the movie.  Insomnia is a remake of a Norwegian film also called Insomnia.   Al Pacino and Robin Williams work very well together and Hilary Swank balances them out.

 

Related image#4.  Godzilla (2014).  Another movie that many people did not like, because they thought that there was not enough Godzilla.  I did not agree, but I can understand the thought because everyone agrees that the last half hour of this movie was unbelievably awesome with Godzilla monster fights.  This is, of course, the remake of the classic Japanese film, Gojira, and has lead into a new series of monster movies.

 

Image result for 12 monkeys movie#3.  Twelve Monkeys.  The great Bruce Willis movie featuring time travel and confusion over what exactly was happening or when it was happening.  Twelve Monkeys featured a wacky performance from Brad Pitt.  Twelve Monkeys, directed by Terry Gilliam, is a remake of the French film, La Jetee.

 

Image result for the birdcage#2.  The Birdcage.  Of course, this is a remake of the Franco-Italian film, La Cage aux Folles.  This features the wonderful pairing of Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a homosexual couple who have to try and cover up their lifestyle to help out their son with his soon to be in-laws, the conservative senator Gene Hackman and his wife.  The movie was very funny and it had a lot of heart.

 

Image result for beauty and the beast#1.  Beauty and the Beast.  This might be a bit of a cheat, but, in my research, I found that there was a French film in 1946 called La Belle et la Bete and that a lot of the parts of this animated classic was taken from this and not just the fairy tale it is based on.  And Beauty and the Beast is one of my favorite animated Disney films of all time.  I love the music.  The characters are great.  Gaston is one of the best Disney villains around.  Beauty and the Beast is just such a tremendous movie.

 

Honorary MentionsTrue Lies, Fatal Attraction, Magnificent 7 (2016).  (I never saw the original).  

 

 

EYG Top 10 Mel Gibson Movies

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This week Matt and John decided to do the Top 10 Mel Gibson movies in honor of Mel’s birthday this week.  This being the first weekend in January, there is not much coming out (Escape Room being like the only wide release) and there are not many choices for a list.

Related image#10.  Chicken Run.  Animated voice from Rocky the Rooster.  I had fun with this movie and watching the rooster’s attempts to escape from the farm to avoid the chicken pie-making machine.  The animation is great with the stop motion animation style that is always fun to watch.

 

Image result for forever young mel gibson#9.  Forever Young.  Mel is a pilot who undergoes a experimental process to put him into suspended animation because his girlfriend has slipped into a coma.  The problem was it was meant to be just one year, but it ended up lasting for 53 years.  When he finally was brought back, things start to happen.  Elijah Woods is the kid with him in the future

 

 

Image result for lethal weapon 3#8.  Lethal Weapon 3.  The great franchise of Lethal Weapon’s third installment is weaker than the first two, but it still shows you how great of a pairing Mel Gibson and Danny Glover are together.  Rene Russo joined the franchise here and added to the strength of it.

 

 

Image result for payback mel gibson#7.  Payback.  A great version of a revenge flick with Mel Gibson going after money that he earned from a theft.  He did not receive his cut because it seemed as if he had died.  Mel came back and took care of business.

 

 

Image result for what women want#6.  What Women Want.   A rom-com with Mel Gibson gaining the power to hear what women are thinking.  Mel uses the power to search for his feminine side and he winds up with Helen Hunt.  The film is funny mostly because of how funny Mel Gibson is in the movie.  I know some do not like this as much but the idea of someone as “manly” as Mel Gibson showing a different side of his personality really appealed to me.

 

Image result for the road warrior mel gibson#5.  The Road Warrior.  This was my first exposure to the franchise of Mad Max even though it was the second film in the series.  The Road Warrior was an awesome piece of futuristic dystopian future.  The battle over little things like gasoline was hard for me as a younger kid to understand but the action was wonderful.  Plus…Lord Humongous is there too.

 

Image result for ransom mel gibson#4.  Ransom.  “GIVE ME BACK MY SON!”  That intensity and anxiety really connected with me as the father tried to convince the kidnappers to return his kidnapped son.  Ransom might be a bit over-the-top, however, I found this gripping and amazing.  The kidnappers were given some personality as well and we have a strong performance from Gary Sinise.

 

Image result for lethal weapon movie#3.  Lethal Weapon.  The original film with Mel Gibson as the suicidal cop Martin Riggs, whose wife was killed, is an awesome and creative new idea.  The buddy cop movie really shows the connection between Riggs and Roger Murtaugh.  They clash at first as Murtaugh realizes that Riggs is legitimately suicidal and potentially crazy.

 

Image result for lethal weapon 2 movie#2.  Lethal Weapon 2.  However, my personal favorite of the franchise is Lethal Weapon 2 with the addition of Joe Pesci and the connection between Riggs and Murtaugh is much stronger.  The toilet scene is a perfect example of how this relationship has formed.  While I enjoyed the conflict between them in the first Lethal Weapon, I really love the bond shown between the two of them in the second movie.  They were family here, plus the whole storyline with the truth of Riggs’ wife’s death factoring in helped make this my top choice of Lethal Weapon movies.

 

Image result for braveheart#1.  Braveheart.  This was the easy choice.  Braveheart may not be that accurate in historical facts, but it is one of the best stories you will ever hear.  The emotions stirred up when Mel screams out about his “freedom” are just unbelievable.  There are so many iconic scenes in this film, directed by Mel himself.  It had to be a massive undertaking with the scenes focusing on all of the armies, being the lead actor as well as trying to direct the film.  It is an incredible success.

 

EYG Top 10 Christmas Villains in Movies

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Merry Christmas.

On the Top 10 Show today, they do a Christmas theme, which I figured they would, but I was not sure what the topic would be.  I was hoping it would not be just Best Christmas movies.  However, the pair came up with a clever idea (thanks to a patreon) in Top 10 Christmas Movie Villains.

Of course, as soon as I heard this idea, I thought, “How many villains could there possibly be?”  One popped in my head immediately, but I wondered who else could there be.  Then I did some research and I found 13 that worked for me.  I was shocked and so it was considerably easier than I thought it would be.

Mr. Potter does not make my list because I have never actually seen It’s A Wonderful Life all the way through.  I have seen parts of it, but I have never sat down and watched the whole thing.  I thought about throwing him on the list at #10, but I decided against that.

Top 10 Christmas Movie Villains

Related image#10.  Stripe (Gremlins).  It has been a long time since I have seen the Gremlins, but the Top 10 brought this up on their show and I agree.  Gremlins was a film that was ahead of its time and Stripe was scary.

 

 

Related image#9.  Krampus (Krampus) The myth of Krampus was from Alpine folklore providing a creature that was basically an anti-Santa.  Krampus was a horned beast who punished naughty children at Christmastime.  No word if he checked his list twice.  Krampus has been picking up steam over the last several years and the character could become even greater down the road.

 

 

Image result for bad santa#8.  Willie (Bad Santa).  Billy Bob Thornton was such a jerk as the titular role in this movie.  Bad Santa smoked, drank, screwed around, and showed off his poor attitude throughout the movie.  And, he really did not change his ways…at least not too much.  The second movie was not as great, but there is no doubt that Billy Bob knows how to play an a-hole.

 

Image result for harry and marv#7.  Harry & Marv, the Wet Bandits (Home Alone).  It is amazing that Harry and Marv, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, were able to survive the Home Alone movies because that kid did things to these villains that should have killed them multiple times.  The cartoon aspect of these two (aka Wile E Coyote) dropped them down the list a little but they are iconic.

 

Related image#6.  The Duke Brothers (Trading Places).  How can you ruin the life of a man over a bet for $1?  Mortimer and Randolph Duke can do it.  Played by Don Ameche and Ralph Bellamy, the Dukes are the epitome of rich, pretentious jerks.  They went out of their way to ruin Louis Winthorpe’s life by framing him as a drug dealer and replacing him with Billy Ray Valentine for no other reason than a social experiment.  The fact that they get their comeuppance at the end is great, and we get them in cameo appearances in several other movies such as Coming to America.

 

Related image#5.  Frank Cross (Scrooged).  I thought about not including him because he was basically Scrooge, but he has a different name, and so is a different character.  Bill Murray is absolutely epic as Frank in Scrooged.  I hadn’t seen this film for years and when I finally sat down to watch it, I loved every second of it.  Frank is really a bad dude as this film starts and his redemption is the thing of many Christmas villains.

 

Image result for oogie boogie nightmare before christmas#4.  Oogie Boogie (The Nightmare Before Christmas).  I just recently watched this movie and this character was one of my favorites.  Oogie Boogie tried to eat Santa Claus!  A cool character design, Oogie Boogie gave plenty of children nightmares, I am sure.  A representation of the classic Boogeyman, Oogie Boogie is a burlap sack filled with insects and a snake for a tongue.  I saw him and I thought about Thrakkazog from the animated The Tick TV show.

 

Image result for how the grinch stole christmas cartoon#3.  The Grinch (How the Grinch Stole Christmas).  This is the animated TV version, though I did consider the Benedict Cumberbatch version (not Jim Carrey!).  The classic Boris Karloff was the narrator/the Grinch in this cartoon that has never been surpassed in all the efforts to try to create a film from the Dr. Seuss character.  You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.

 

Related image#2.  Hans Gruber (Die Hard).  I considered putting Hans at number one because I think he is one of the greatest movie villains of all-time, but I placed him at number two because I think there is a more iconic Christmas movie villain than Hans.  Alan Rickman’s first movie role solidified him as an amazing actor and helped make Die Hard such a perfect action film.  Had there been another actor cast as Hans Gruber, there just would not be the same feel or the same love of this movie.  Smart, classy, and brutal, Hans was willing to do whatever he had to for what he wanted, and despite his gentleman-like ways, Hans was a monster in his own right.

 

Image result for scrooge actors michael caine#1.  Ebenezer Scrooge (Muppet Christmas Carol).  Scrooge was the first name that popped in my head and Micheal Caine’s version in the Muppet Christmas Carol is my favorite version of the movie.  I mean, sure there are more serious version with actors such as George C. Scott, Patrick Stewart, Alastair Sim, Jim Carrey, Christopher Plummer etc. but I think Caine captures the intricacies of the old miser in a way that none of the others accomplished.  And he sang songs with mice.  I watch this movie every Christmas and it never fails to bring a tear to my eye.  When Caine delivers the line, “Not Tiny Tim” you can feel his own heartbreak at the situation.  He does the best job of showing Scrooge’s transformation across the entire film.  One of my criticisms of some of the versions is that Scrooge does not show his change until the graveyard scene at the end, but Michael Caine starts showing his changing philosophy immediately.  Love this version.

 

Honorable mentionsArthur Shaw (Tower Heist), Jack Frost, The Martians

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EYG Top 10 Steve Carell Movies

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This week’s Top 10 Show features on the Top 10 Steve Carell Movies.  The guys made this choice in honor of Welcome to Marwen, although it sounded as if they were more interested in Vice, which is released at Christmas.

I do like Steve Carell but I am not a huge fan.  There are a couple of his huge films that I am either not a fan of or have never seen.  I do not like Anchorman and I have never seen The 40-Year Old Virgin.  Neither of those appear on this list.

Because of that, there are a couple of films on here that are, at best, okay.

Image result for date night movie#10.  Date Night.  Starring in a rom-com with Tina Fey, Steve Carell was funny in this movie.  Carell and Fey elevated the typical movie material to a more watchable level. They really did have some chemistry between them.  Date Night may not be a massive film, but I did enjoy watching it.

 

 

Image result for alexander and the terrible horrible no good very bad day movie#9.  Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.  The lengthy title notwithstanding, this family comedy was fun.  When everything goes wrong at once for Alexander, it moves the bad luck over to his family as well.  Steve Carell plays the father and does a good job with it.  Alexander is a respectable film, if not a great one.

 

Image result for beautiful boy#8.  Beautiful Boy.  This is one of Steve Carell’s top dramatic performance starring as the father of Timothee Chalamet who is suffering from drug addiction.  Chalamet gives an amazing performance, and Carell’s work is under appreciated.  He plays very well off of Chalamet and he has some great charisma with Maura Tierney.  Carell’s work is heart-breaking and shows how hard it is for a parent to deal with the struggles of their children.

 

Image result for get smart movie#7.  Get Smart.  This is a fun, silly movie as Carell stars as Maxwell Smart, Agent 13.  The reboot of the classic comedy from the 1960s brought Carell face to face with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  The end of Get Smart really elevated that movie for me.  Anne Hathaway is solid here as well as Agent 99, Maxwell Smart’s love interest and partner.  Would you believe….

 

Image result for despicable me 1#6.  Despicable Me.  The animated story of the villainous Gru who finds himself stuck with three children.  The children put a dent in the career of the ultimate evil bad guy of Gru, who has started his plan to steal the moon.  Steve Carell does a great voice job as Gru and the relationship with Gru and the girls is just tremendous.  This film kicked off two sequels, plus a film for the side characters, the Minions.

 

Image result for battle of the sexes#5.  Battle of the Sexes.  The true story of tennis legend Billie Jean King taking on the male tennis pro Bobby Riggs in a male vs. female tennis charity match that became a national sensation and the most watched televised sports event of all time.  Steve Carell portrayed Riggs, who risked his reputation in an attempt to reclaim his past glories.   Emma Stone played Billie Jean King and both of these actors do a great job here.

 

Related image#4.  Seeking a Friend for the End of the World.  This film is an underrated and clever film that featured Steve Carell as a man whose wife leaves him and he, thanks to his neighbor, goes on a quest to find the love of his life before an enormous asteroid crashes into earth and kills everybody.  The chemistry between Steve Carell and Kiera Knightley is off the charts and you are rooting for this pair to find each other the whole time.

 

Image result for foxcatcher#3.  Foxcatcher.  Steve Carell is the wealthy John du Pont, who becomes obsessed with wrestling and creates a training site for the 1988 Olympian Mark Schultz.  du Pont becomes downright psychotic and it leads to a violent end.  Carell is the best part of the movie as he is absolutely chilling as the dark and frightening millionaire.

 

Image result for the big short#2.  The Big Short.  This is a remarkably entertaining movie about a very difficult subject, the housing market that lead to the economic crash in America.  The Adam McKay directed movie is a hoot and hugely fun.  Who would have guessed that this topic would work so well as a comedy.  Carell played hedge-fund specialist Mark Baum, one of the horribly greedy men whose arrogance led to tragedy that nearly crippled the United States’s economy.  The Big Short was great.

 

Image result for the way way back#1.  The Way, Way Back.  This film was a surprise.  A coming of age story of teen Duncan (Liam James) who winds up at a water park with a job because of how much of a jerk his mother’s boyfriend (Carell) was.  Carell was mean and picked on Duncan horribly and it showed even more of the ability Carell had to become a character unlike himself.  He was never going to be stuck in the same type of role.  This was one of the first times we saw Steve Carell in a different role.  And it was great.

 

Honorary mention:  There are some other films I enjoy.  Dinner for Schmucks is one that people hate, but I found it decent. Hope Springs has Carell in a small role.  Cafe Society is a film from Woody Allen that I do not remember much, but I think I liked.  Yeah, I know that is not a rave review.  Crazy, Stupid Love is fine too.

 

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EYG Top 10 Animated Superhero Movies

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I am so excited about Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse, which comes out December 14th.  As a huge Spider-man fan, I cannot wait to see it.  So John and Matt paid tribute to that film this week on the Top 10 Show with the Top 10 Animated Superhero Movies.

I immediately, of course, think to myself…how are they going to do that?  There were not very many that fit the category, but when they said that they would be adding films that were non-theatrical released, the number of choices multiplied.

 

Related image10.  Batman: The Dark Knight Returns part 1 & 2.  There are a bunch of Batman animated movies on this list because DC Animated movies are great.  And this adaptation is one of the greatest mini series of all time.  Dark Knight Returns is a comic classic (an EYG Hall of Fame member) and it translates beautifully to the screen. This should have been released theatrically.  It is the perfect example of what Batman vs. Superman should have been.

 

Image result for batman assault on arkham#9.  Batman: Assault on Arkham.  This turns out to really be a Suicide Squad unofficial film and it should have been what the live action Suicide Squad should have been.  It is amazing that the animation is so good for DC but their live action films are, at best, divisive.  I found this so exciting and dramatic and it shows how good the Suicide Squad could be.

 

Image result for teen titans go to the movies#8.  Teen Titans Go to the Movies.  I did not think this was going to be any good and then I heard positive word of mouth.  Then I saw it and I loved it.  It was incredibly funny, completely meta and filled with DC Comic Easter Eggs everywhere. Just sitting in the theater and watching the crowd of heroes at the movie theater and seeing DC characters that you never see on screen.  So much fun.

 

Image result for mask of the phantasm#7.  Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm.  This is considered one of the best Batman animated movies around, coming off the Batman: The Animated Series success.  We had a Bruce Wayne love story at the center of this film as well.  It has been a long time since I saw this, hence the reason it is lower on this list.

 

Image result for incredibles 2#6.  The Incredibles 2.  This year’s big Pixar sequel throws Elastigirl to the front and center of the story as Mr. Incredible stays at home with the kids. Bob has to learn new math, try and fix Violet’s love life and try and wrangle baby Jack-Jack and his discovery of new powers.  Jack-Jack and his fight with the raccoon is one of the best scenes of the year.

 

Image result for lego batman movie#5.  The Lego Batman Movie.  This is my favorite of the Lego movies and it is one of the best film portrayals of Batman in a long time.  It is also one of the films that has perfectly shown the sick relationship between Batman and the Joker.  It is a laugh out loud movie and it uses the Lego genre beautifully.  Who would have believed that one of the side characters in the Lego Movie could carry his own film.  Even with it being Batman.  But the joke did not wear thin.  It was great.

 

Image result for justice league flashpoint paradox#4.  Justice League: Flashpoint Paradox.  This was my number one animated movie in 2013.  In an alternate timeline (thanks Barry), the world is a much more dangerous place.  Batman is now Thomas Wayne.  Aquaman is one bad ass.  Based on the classic DC Comics storyline, Flashpoint Paradox allows the writers to tell a story where they can do anything they want.  It is one of the best Justice League movies you are going to find.

 

Image result for big hero 6#3.  Big Hero 6.  Here is a Marvel property that was unexpected, but it turned out brilliantly.  Baymax became a huge breakout character in this film and wound up winning an Oscar.  The relationship between Baymax and Hiro carry this movie.  It is extremely sweet, but it is also a great action movie with some intriguing characters.  We also get one of the best Stan Lee cameos around.

 

 

Related image#2.  Incredibles.  The original Pixar superhero movie that created a huge sensation is the Incredibles.  The family superhero is a classic trope and this is done perfectly here.  And the villain is one of the great ones around in Syndrome.  The villain who is connected to the hero and becomes a villain because he is rejected by said hero.  The Incredibles will always be one of the great super hero films.

 

Related image#1. Batman Beyond: The Return of the Joker.  I love this movie.  I wasn’t sure if I should put it at number one, but, as I was debating the choices, I kept thinking about the flashback section of the film where we see the Joker’s death and the trauma that the Joker put Tim Drake through.  That was devastating and heart breaking.  This is how brutal the Joker can be and how he really would push the boundaries.  The whole brainwashed Robin bit was tough to watch.  I loved it.  The mystery of how the Joker comes back to “life” is tremendous.  And the pain and feelings these people had remembering the past was real for me.  If you have not seen this before, treat yourself.  One of the best uses of Batman Beyond.

 

Honorable Mentions:  There are a bunch of them.  Unfortunately, a lot of Marvel animated films are, at best, okay.  I almost put Hulk Vs. on the list, but I cut it.  Other Marvel films I considered was Ultimate Avengers, Doctor Strange, Planet Hulk.  I loved the Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders with voices of Adam West and Burt Ward.  Batman: Sub-Zero made Matt’s list and it is fantastic.  Batman: Under the Red Hood was another great Batman movie.  Justice League: New Frontier and Justice League: Doom are two wonderful Justice League movies.  Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are tow awesome movies.  Green Lantern had Nathan Fillion voicing Hal Jordan.  I am guessing that Spider-man: Into the Spider-verse will be on this list after I see it Thursday night.

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EYG Top 10 Kurt Russell Movies

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I am back this week.  Last week, the Top 10 Show’s category was Top 10 Stan Lee Cameos, which I had done the day of Stan Lee’s death.  Then the Wednesday classic episode featured Phillip Seymour Hoffman, who I like as an actor, but, for which, I could not realistically formulate a top 10 list.

So this week, with a real lack of films opening, I was wondering what their category would be.  And it turned out that, in honor of the Netflix film The Christmas Chronicles (which I haven’t seen yet), they decided to do the Top 10 Kurt Russell movies.

Now, this wasn’t a total slam dunk either.  I mean, I made it up to nine pretty easily, but I had a difficult time finding number ten.  I was either going to have to stretch a bit or fill it with one that I hadn’t seen or wasn’t that much of a fan of.  I chose the latter.

You see, there are still a bunch of Kurt Russell movies that I have not seen.  For example, the original Overboard is one that I have not seen.  Tombstone.  Bone Tomahawk,  any of the Snake Plissken movies. I have not seen.  But I did get a list of ten.  So here we go.

 

Image result for big trouble in little china#10.  Big Trouble in Little China.  I know this one is a beloved film, but I have only seen it once, in the theaters, and I did not love it.  Now, I know that most people pile love on this film, and perhaps I should revisit it as a way to see if my opinion changed over the years.  I did not HATE hate it when I saw it in 1986, but I remember thinking that it was just too dumb.  Maybe that was the idea, though.

 

Image result for mr nobody fast 7#9.  Furious 7.  Sure, this is not really Kurt Russell’s film, but he is in it and he plays a big role so I am counting it.  This is one of the better of the Fast franchise, mainly because of the loss of Paul Walker.  But the introduction of Mr. Nobody was one of my personal favorite parts of the film.

 

Image result for vanilla sky kurt russell#8.  Vanilla Sky.  Yes, this is probably another cheat, since it is truly a Tom Cruise movie, but I was really trying to stretch this list out to ten.  Dr. Curtis McCabe is the psychologist that Tom Cruise’s character speaks to after coming out of prison and becomes an important part in his story.  Russell gives a strong supporting performance here and plays well with Cruise.

 

Related image#7.  Backdraft.  Another one I have not seen lately, but that I remember liking when I saw it originally.  The Ron Howard directed thriller has some extremely dramatic scenes for Russell and his co-star William Baldwin.  The end of the movie is a bit of a stain on what came before, but it does not hamper the overall quality of the film.

 

Related image#6.  Sky High.  Here’s one that is totally silly and full of cheese.  And I love it.  Kurt Russell is a super hero named The Commander and he is married to another super hero named Jetstream. They are two famous heroes, and their son, William, is not sure if he has any super powers at all.  He still attends Sky High in an attempt to live up to the legacy before him.  This is a wonderful hero’s journey for Will and Kurt Russell eats up the scenery.

 

Image result for hateful eight#5.  The Hateful Eight.  Quentin Tarantino’s most recent Western featuring a fantastic cast that includes Russell.  John “The Hangman” Ruth is a bounty hunter who has captured his most recent bounty and he will not be giving it up under any circumstances.  The film is really good as our characters, including Sam L. Jackson as another bounty hunter, work their way through a blizzard, but the movie takes a huge turn upward when they arrive at the stagecoach stopover and the group begin their violent and Tarantino-like gory interactions.  I think The Hateful Eight was underrated as a movie and deserves its spot high on this list.

 

Related image#4.  Miracle.  I agree with John Rocha.  I love the Disney movie version of the Miracle on Ice from the 1980 Winter Olympics.  Playing Olympic Hockey coach Herb Brooks, Kurt Russell helped tell this story of one of the most monumental upsets in the history of sports.  The defeat of the USSR Hockey team by the American team was improbable and miraculous.  “Do you believe in miracles?  Yes!!!” And I believe in this film.

 

Image result for deep water horizon kurt russell#3.  Deepwater Horizon.  This is a movie that I absolutely loved and I wished more people saw.  It was so good that the public’s dismissal of it is a crime.  This is another supporting performance from Russell ( as the main protagonist is Mark Wahlberg’s character), but Russell really brought it as the general operational supervisor, Jimmy Harrell.  And he is really rocking that mustache.

 

Image result for guardians 2 kurt russell#2.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  Who could you get to play Ego, the Living Planet?  I mean… he’s a planet.  How many actors could conceivably pull that off. As soon as I heard that Kurt Russell had been cast in the Marvel Studios project, i knew the role would be in good hands.  Plus, we got the de-aging technology in flashbacks making Kurt Russell look like he was years younger.  There was a real connection between Ego and Peter Quill and you could almost believe that they were father and son.  One of Marvel’s best one-shot villains.

 

Related image#1.  The Thing.  Of course.  One of the best horror/sci-fi films of all time, Kurt Russell brought his entire gravitas to that role.  The alien is fantastic, especially since it is practical effects.  Yes, it may look dated by today’s standards, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way.  There is a great cast filled with awesome character actors and is, arguably, the best film from John Carpenter.  There is so much tension and a feeling of claustrophobia as the group is trapped in this blizzard in this station where this alien is taking over their bodies…and you have no idea who is now an alien and who is not.  Tremendous.  Easily the best film Kurt Russell has been in.

 

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EYG Top 10 Boxing Movies

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This week, in honor of Creed 2, the Top Ten Show created the list of Top 10 Boxing Movies.  Again, as it seems like several weeks, my list was incomplete.  But since the week was busy, I was able to watch three movies that were not on the first list I wrote.  These movies make the list, I feel, more reasonable.

Image result for grudge match movie#10.  Grudge Match.  How could you not like seeing Stallone take on DeNiro in the boxing ring.  Two of the greatest icons of boxing movies squaring off.  This movie was okay.  Lots of people did not enjoy it, but my memory was that it was better than I expected it to be.  It could be the example of going into a movie with a real low expectation and enjoying it more than you expect.  Sure, they are pretty old in the flick, but it still is quite the moment.

 

Image result for creed II movie#9.  Creed II.  Look.  With the later in the week Top 10 list, I got to see Creed II and it was really very good.  Yes, it feels as if Rocky III and Rocky IV were crammed together, but, as you will see, I like both and that did not feel like a negative.  I also really enjoyed how the film went into the characters of Ivan and Viktor Drago.  It gave these characters considerably more characterization with the minimal amount of screen time.  Michael B. Jordan is really great as Creed and he has become that character.

 

Image result for southpaw movie#8.  Southpaw.  This one is mostly for the acting skills of Jake Gyllenhaal.  Gyllenhaal is fantastic in the role as Billy Hope.  The relationship between Billy Hope and his daughter Leila (the fabulous Oona Laurence) is a highlight of the film too.  Problems are throughout the rest of the movie but Gyllenhaal’s work is top notch and elevates the film.

 

 

Related image#7.  Rocky.  The first Rocky movie won an Academy Award and was a great film, including the shocking moment of defeat at the end of the film.  Stallone is really great as Rocky Balboa.  This film sets up the entire series with this great film of an underdog facing off against the ultimate challenge.

 

 

Related image#6.  The Fighter.  Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale play the Ward brothers in The Fighter, directed by David O. Russell.  There is an ESPN documentary following Christian Bale’s character’s attempted comeback, but it winds up instead focusing on his cocaine habit and he winds up back in jail.  Wahlberg’s character tries to break away from his family for a comeback.  This is a great look at the life of working class people and their tribulations.

 

Related image#5.  Rocky IV.  The movie where Rocky defeats Communism.  This is so silly of a concept, but the movie is cheesy greatness.  The fight between Rocky and Drago is fantastic. The death of Apollo Creed at the hands of Drago is a shocking moment and provides amazing motivation for Rocky IV (and Creed 2, by the way).  And of course, “I Guess What I’m Trying to Say, Is That if I Can Change, and You Can Change, Everybody Can Change!”

 

Related image#4. Raging Bull.  Okay, I had not seen this one before this list and I know it was a hole in my cinema viewing list.  So, I got a chance to watch it on Thursday.  I know everyone and their mother love this movie, but I was not sure how I felt about it through much of the film. I really disliked DeNiro’s Jake LaMotta because he was such a horrible person.  I really wanted him to get his ass handed to him.  As the film progressed, I was able to appreciate the talents that it took to create this movie.  The filming was amazing, with the black and white in particular.  DeNiro was unbelievable as Jake.  I hated Jake, but I really found DeNiro’s performance near perfect and I can understand why he received an Oscar for it.

 

Related image#3.  Rocky III.  I am in the minority here, but this is my favorite of the Rocky movies.  I was a fan of Mr. T and Hulk Hogan when they were in the WWE around Wrestlemania I and seeing them both in here is awesome.  I enjoyed how Rocky had to search out Apollo to help him come back and defeat the first undefeatable opponent.  This was the first Rocky movie that I saw at the time it came out and I can think back and remember how much I enjoyed the film.  And I pity the fool…

 

Related image#2. Creed.  This was quite a surprise.  When we realized that this was a continuation of the Rocky universe, focusing in on Apollo’s son, Adonis Creed, it was very exciting.  Then, we got an even bigger surprise.  Sylvester Stallone came back as Rocky Balboa and gave one of the best performances of the year.  In fact, his defeat in the race for the Oscar is one of the biggest mistakes the Oscars have made.  Creed revitalized the Rocky universe with some wonderful new characters, directed by the great Ryan Coogler.

 

Image result for million dollar baby movie#1.  Million Dollar Baby.  The Clint Eastwood directed film starring Hilary Swank was another movie that I watched for this list. Million Dollar Baby was a film that I was not that interested in seeing for the longest time, but when I saw it this Thursday, I absolutely loved it.  I was completely invested in the story of Maggie Fitzgerald, the female boxer trained by Clint Eastwood’s character Frankie Dunn.  I did not know anything about the third act of the movie and it crushed me when I saw it.  I was never interested in this movie and I resisted seeing it, but that was a mistake.  This is a fabulous movie and I really loved it.  I am very glad that I watched it for this list because it feels like it should be here and the list makes more sense with it on it.

 

Honorable MentionsRocky II is was on this list before I watched some of the others.  There were two other films that dropped off the list.  The first one was Bleed for This which included Miles Teller as Vinny Pazienza.  The other was a major cheat and I knew it was a major cheat, but I was sticking it at #10, and that was Pulp Fiction for the Bruce Willis section.  Yeah, I know.  I have not seen Cinderella ManHands of Stone was another one that I considered.

 

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EYG Top 10 Bank Robbery Movies

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This week’s Top 10 Show with John Rocha and Matt Knost is honoring the release of Widows this weekend with Top 10 Bank Robbery Movies.   There are some interesting films on this list and a few that I have not included because I have not seen them.  Several of the films that made the Top 10 Show’s list are not on mine for that reason.

Image result for old man and the gun#10.  Old Man and the Gun.  This was the new (and supposedly final) movie from Robert Redford.  While I did not completely love the film, it was fine and I thought Robert Redford was very charming in the lead role.  While charming, I found the character played by Redford to be very selfish and disingenuous.  Still the film was solid enough to make my top ten.

 

Related image#9.  Now You See Me.  This one is not a overall favorite of a lot of people, but I found it to be decent.  I thought the magicians angle was fun and the creation of the group of magicians- brought a cool element to the film.  There is a great cast and the movie has an ending that twists your expectations.

 

 

Related image#8.  Point Break.  I am not a huge fan of Point Break, but you can understand the appeal of the movie.  Certainly, Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze made a great team and the action was top notch.  While I do not love this as much as many people do, it certainly belongs on this list of bank robbery movies.

 

 

Related image#7.  Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.  Here is Robert Redford once again in one of the iconic roles of his long career.  This film brings a true story to life with such action and wildness and a great pairing between the two stars of the movie.  Redford and Newman would have a great career together for many years.

 

Image result for inside man#6.  Inside Man.  Spike Lee’s bank heist movie featuring Denzel Washington is one of Lee’s great films.  In fact, it is in my top two or three Spike Lee movies.  You bring this standoff to the forefront of the movie and you throw in a mystery of exactly what is going on here.  Inside Man is all about the bank robbery and its execution.

 

Image result for bonnie and clyde movie#5.  Bonnie and Clyde.  This one turned out to be one of the most shocking endings of all time as our real life criminal couple Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow ran roughshod across the country, living by their wits and good luck… that is until that luck ran out.   Great performances from Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway highlighted the movie.  We also got Gene Hackman, an Oscar winning performance from Estelle Parsons and a movie debut from Gene Wilder.  What more could you want?

 

Image result for baby driver#4.  Baby Driver.  Stylish and sexy, Baby Driver used movie music better than most musicals.  Ansel Elgort is tremendous as the lead character named baby, who uses his music to focus in on being the best getaway driver in the business.  Meanwhile, Baby is just trying to save up enough to get himself out of the life of crime he found himself stuck in.  A great cast is here, including a truly sinister performance from Jamie Foxx.

 

Image result for hell or high water#3.  Hell or High Water.  This is one of those movies that a lot of people missed, but just about everyone who saw it loved.  There is so much tension in the film with the brothers Chris Pine and Ben Foster who were being pursued by lawman Jeff Bridges.  Another example of the heroic criminals who are robbing these banks just because they need to survive in desperate times.  There is great tragedy in this film as well that it makes it one of the best of that year.

 

Image result for bandits movie#2.  Bandits.  I love this movie.  Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton as a pair of bank robbers who go to the house of the bank manager the night before and stay over so they can go with him/her to the bank in the morning.  Dubbed the “Sleepover bandits” Willis and Thornton show their great charisma here but their little world gets rocked by the inclusion of the unwanted hostage Cate Blanchett.  The triangle that forms with these three really cause problems and a whole lot of humor.  I consider this to be an underappreciated gem.

 

Related image#1.  Die Hard with a Vengeance.  This might be a bit of a cheat, but the plan of Simon Peter Gruber, the brother of Hans Gruber from Die Hard, was to rob the Federal Reserve Bank of New York so I think this counts.  And this is a great movie that shows of the easy chemistry between Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson.  Sure the ending of the movie is all messed up, but getting to that point was excellent.

 

Honorable Mentions:  I liked the original version of The Ladykillers (1955) and I considered the Denzel Washington and Mark Wahlberg vehicle 2 Guns.  I have not seen films such as Heat, The Town, Dog Day Afternoon.  I was not a huge fan of The Place Behind the Pines.

 

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EYG Top 10 Stan Lee Cameos

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I had not done one this past week because I hate Will Farrell and I was not inspired to do the Top 10 James Bond films, so I decided to skip the week.

Then, today, the worst news… legend Stan Lee passed away.

He meant so much to me that I decided that it was perfect now to do up my Top 10 Stan Lee cameos, because as we all know, the reason Marvel movies made so much money was because of Stan Lee cameos.  Or at least as Stan would joke.

Here are the EYG Top 10 Stan Lee cameos.

Image result for stan ;lee cameo Winter soldier#10.  Captain America: Winter Soldier.  Stan is the security guard at the Captain America museum where Steve Rogers “reclaims” his original uniform.  Stan finds the costume gone and says “Ah man, I am so fired.”  Very funny.

 

Image result for stan lee cameo big hero 6#9.  Big Hero 6.  One of the animated cameos that Stan made and this one was a complete surprise, ending up in the post credit scene.  We see Stan in a picture as Fred’s mysterious father.  This was an awesome appearance and he talks about the costume and his underwear.

 

Image result for stan lee cameo infinity war#8.  Avengers: Infinity War.  Stan was the driver of the bus that Peter Parker was on as the ships with Thanos’s Dark Order appear in New York City.  Stan turns to the screaming children and ask them if they have never seen a spaceship before.  Great line and very funny.

 

 

 

 

Related image#7.  Teen Titans Go! To the Movies.  Biggest meta surprise on this list.  Teen Titans is a DC Comics property and this was the first time that Stan made a cameo for DC Comics.  And it was tremendous.  His enthusiasm for the cameo was obvious and was a huge moment in the outstanding and surprising movie.

 

Image result for stan lee cameo willie lumpkin#6.  Fantastic Four.  Though this movie is not the greatest version of the FF ever put together, this was the only time where Stan was able to play a character that he actually created.  Willie Lumpkin, the beloved mailman of the Fantastic Four.  The FF is one of the biggest creations of Stan’s career and led the Marvel Universe into existence.

 

Image result for stan lee cameo avengers#5.  The Avengers.  The classic movie that brought together the great heroes of Marvel fore the first time had to have an appearance by Stan Lee.  And his cameo as a chess player in the park complaining about the Avengers couldn’t be much more perfect.  This was the picture that we use for the Stan Lee Cameo of the Year that we give out at EYG Year End Awards.

 

Image result for stan lee cameo avengers age of ultron#4.  Avengers: Age of Ultron.  This was a great cameo from the master.  There were even two scenes with Stan.  He played a war veteran at the Avengers’ dinner party who has discovered that he is not able to handle the Asgardian liquor.  He had to be helped from the room.

 

 

Related image#3.  Amazing Spider-Man.  Another film that was not the greatest film but the cameo was one of the best parts of the film.  Stan is a librarian who is listening to music and, somehow, cannot hear the epic battle behind him between Spider-man and the Lizard.  Spidey saving him from getting crushed by a table is everything someone could hope for.

 

Image result for stan lee cameo guardians 2#2.  Guardians of the Galaxy 2.  Stan Lee is a Watcher.  In the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Stan is shown speaking to a group of aliens that, we as Marvel fans recognize, as members of the Watchers.  This was a wink toward one of the online theories that Stan Lee, since he was in all these Marvel movies, was actually a Watcher.  This is a fun connection to that.  Of course, the watchers left him behind in the post credit scene.

 

Related image#1. Deadpool.  Stan Lee is a DJ at a strip club.  This is one more brilliantly funny moment in a great movie and Stan Lee was excited for Chastity, one of the strippers.  He plays very much against type with his role as the DJ and this was one of the funniest of them all.

 

Honorable mentionsCaptain America: Civil War (Fed Ex Driver), Iron Man 2 (Larry King), Hulk (security guard with Lou Ferrigno), Thor: Ragnarok (guy who cut Thor’s hair), Ant Man (bartender), Ant Man and the Wasp (Driver whose car gets shrunk), Venom (dog walker), Spider-Man (man who saves little girl), Daredevil (stopped by young Matt from getting hit by a bus).

Wikipedia indicated that Stan’s voice appears in Ralph Breaks the internet which is awesome.

EYG Top 10 Halloween movies and (some)Music Biopics

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It is another week where I am late with this list.  This week, the topic for the Top 10 Show was Top 10 Music Biopics.  This was another week where the list was not as extensive as possible.  In fact, I was having trouble finding ten that I have seen.  The Top 5 of the show’s combined list were ones that I had not seen.  I did watch one of them for this list.

Then the old school episode was late so I was unable to do it until just now.

However, I decided to do a mixed list this week.  I have a top 5 of the music biopics and a top ten Halloween movies (which was the old school episode with guests Cobbster and Cody Hall).

Top 5 Music Biopics.

Image result for straight outta compton#5.  Straight Outta Compton.  I am not a fan of rap music, but the story of this movie with NWA was really a strong story.  Now the end of the movie was too nicey-nice for the group and there were some things that had been left out, but there were some really great performances.

 

 

Image result for love & mercy#4.  Love & Mercy.  This is the story of Beach Boys leader Brian Wilson and his struggle with mental illness.  Two actors played the same character, Paul Dano and John Cusack, and they were both tremendous as Wilson.  Love & Mercy was a film that kind of slipped past the audience, but it was very well done.

 

Image result for the doors movie#3.  The Doors.  This is the first one that popped into my mind when I heard the topic.  I enjoyed the Doors and their music and that is always helpful.  Who knew that Val Kilmer was such a lookalike to Jim Morrison?  Oliver Stone created a great film around the sixties rock band.

 

 

Image result for amadeus movie#2.  Amadeus.  This is the one that I watched for this list.  Matt and John raved about Amadeus (it is their co-number one).  This story is told in such a creative way, with F. Murray Abraham playing one of Mozart’s rival composers.  This movie won a ton of Oscars and it was very deserving.  I did not like it as much as the Top 10 guys, but there is no denying the fact that Amadeus was a great film.

 

Image result for bohemian rhapsody movie#1.  Bohemian Rhapsody.  Ironically, since I had to push the list back to get a chance to see some films, I saw Bohemian Rhapsody on Thursday night in IMAX.  And I loved it.  I have seen enough negative reviews that made me wonder if I would like this, but the awesome Queen music and a transcendent performance from Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury brought this film to this spot.   I found myself extremely moved by the film and the story of Freddie Mercury.  The music is perfectly used.  I loved this movie, one of the best of the year.

 

Honorable mentions with music biopics.  There were two categories of films here. One, the films I have not seen and two the films that I saw but are not quite good enough to be in a top 10.  So I have not seen Ray, Walk the Line, 8 Mile, What’s Love Got to Do With It, Coal Miner’s Daughter.  Those that I did not like enough to make a top ten list included Get on Up, The Buddy Holly Story, La Bamba, I Saw the Light.

 

Top 10 Halloween movies.

Now this is not necessarily Halloween based movies, but movies that you like to watch at Halloween time.

 

Image result for hocus pocus movie#10.  Hocus Pocus.  I always liked this.  I came to this as a fan of Omri Katz, who plays the lead kid Max.  Katz was from a show I liked on Saturday morning called Eerie, Indiana.  Then, the line “Amuck, amuck, amuck” was one of my favorites.  However, I must say that I just recently revisited this and I found it not as good as I remembered.

 

Image result for abbott and costello meets frankenstein#9.  Abbot and Costello Meets Frankenstein.  I grew up as a huge fan of Abbot and Costello and when were showing an Abbot and Costello movie, I was always hoping that it would be this one, where the pair found themselves facing off against the Universal monsters.  Ironically, this was also one of the best uses of these Universal monster outside of their original films.

 

Image result for creature from the black lagoon#8.  The Creature from the Black Lagoon.  Another of my favorite Universal monsters films, the Gill man was more interesting because I did not know as much about him as I did Frankenstein’s Monster, Dracula and the Wold man.  There is a real horror here as this creature is one that could really be under the sea.  There are so many species under the sea that we do not know about and who knows when it might happen.

 

Image result for the conjuring 1#7.  The Conjuring.  A great horror movie that has tripped off a franchise.  Most of the franchise films are hit and miss, but the Conjuring itself is a great, horror-filled film with great performances from Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson as the real life demon hunters, The Warrens.

 

Image result for monster squad#6.  Monster Squad.  One of my favorite guilty pleasures from my childhood, Monster Squad was so awesome.  I identified with it as being a kid who loved the idea of being able to fight monsters.  There was surprising depth at times, especially with the Scary German Guy and the numbers tattooed on his arm, which I did not know was a reference to the Concentration camp until later in my life.  Plus, never forget that Wolfman has nards.

 

Image result for a quiet place#5.  A Quiet Place.  A great movie from this year that takes tone and makes it practically unbearable.  The use of noise or silence in this movie created such a vicious mood in the theater that I was at, it was unlike any movie going experience that I can remember. The film was tense and torturous as well.  It is in my top ten for the year so far.

 

 

Image result for young frankenstein#4.  Young Frankenstein.  Gene Wilder is great.  His role as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein (fraunk-en-steen) brought this epic comedy to life.  The cast is amazing including the creepy Marty Feldman as Igor (Eye-gore), Peter Boyle as the Monster, Terri Garr as Inga and Madeline Kahn as Elizabeth.  Then there is Cloris Leachman Frau Blücher (Whiiiiiiiinneeeyyy)

 

Image result for ghostbusters#3.  Ghostbusters.  The classic action/comedy from the 1980s is a great Halloween movie.  I play the song every Halloween.  Ghostbusters is one of the greatest quotable films ever and is Bill Murray at the height of his powers.  I actually get goosebumps every time the Ghostbusters crawl out of the ground just before heading into Spook Central- with “Saving the Day” playing away and the New York crowd cheering them on.  They have never been able to capture the magic of this first film in any other medium.  This Ghostbusters is classic.

 

Image result for scream#2.  Scream.  The movie that kicked off my October Fear Fest watch this year was the meta horror movie Scream.  Scream really helped to revitalize the genre of slasher films after they had become cliched.  Scream took those rules used in horror movies and turned them onto their ears.  The film had a lot of humor in it, but was still dramatic and frightening.  And it had one of the great twists in horror movie history.  The three following Scream movies were all good in their way, but the first one is the film that really made it cool to be meta.

 

Related image#1.  Halloween (1978).  Yeah, this had to be it.  Michael Myers, the Shape, arrives and just starts killing people. No reason.  No explanation.  He just started his killing by stabbing his sister to death and then he went on a rampage against babysitters.  John Carpenter’s film was inspiring to many horror aficionados and it inspired plenty of other slasher films.   Jamie Lee Curtis became a genre trope after her survival of the attack.  Nothing else could possibly top a list of Top 10 Halloween movies than the one with the name in the title.

 

Honorable mentions:  Bunch of them.  Dracula, Frankenstein, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Shop of Horrors, The Invisible Man, The Birds, Psycho, Jaws, Harry Potter series, Get Out, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane. 

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EYG Top 10 Bill Murray Cameos

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Yes, I know it is very late this week.

I had parent/teacher conferences this week so it took up a big chunk of the time I would usually be writing these Top 10s and, when you add in cheering for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series, well, the time is short.

Not only was time short, but honestly, this week’s topic was a tough one for me.  Top 10 Submarine Movies, in honor of Hunter Killer, was not necessarily my niche.  Before I started to research, two films popped into my head.  After my research, I saw a ton of films that I had not seen and K-19: The Widowmaker was just not going to be able to make the list.

So my Top 10 Submarine movies are as follows:

1. Hunt for Red October

2.  Crimson Tide

And that was not going to reach 10.

I decided I would wait and see the Patreon classic episode and do that topic, but it was Bill Murray movies.  Let me preface this by saying I love Bill Murray, but there are many movies Bill Murray was in that I was not a fan of and there were several early “classic” Bill Murray movies that I have not either seen or did not like.  When Matt and John then added the part about not including the films where Bill Murray was not one of or the lead, it became even more challenging.  I was really stretching for the second half of the list, and found that I was cheating more than I wanted.  The Top 6 were really pretty well set though.

So here are my Top 10 Bill Murray movies:

  1.  Ghostbusters
  2. Groundhog Day
  3. Scrooged
  4. Moonrise Kingdom
  5. St. Vincent
  6. What About Bob

 

So I was still having troubles.  Then, I saw how many films that I was including that I felt were “cheats” and I was thinking about those great times when Bill Murray would just show up in a movie, or be a side character in a movie and steal the show.  There turned out to be over ten for that list, and so I made an executive decision and changed the list up a little bit for the first time. I decided on the Top 10 Bill Murray Movie Cameos.  As I said, it wasn’t just cameos, but appearances that you would not consider it a “Bill Murray” film.  Here they are:

#10.  Space Jam.  Bill Murray may have been the best part of this movie for me.  Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny may be the big stars here, but Bill Murray provides the humor and the fandom that this type of movie requires.  I hope Bill can find his way into the new version being filmed with LeBron James.

 

 

#9.  Isle of Dogs.  Wes Anderson’s recent film where dogs are banished from the country of Japan because of the “dog flu” is an entertaining film.  This is not the only film that Wes Anderson created that will appear on this list.  Bill Murray is one of Anderson’s go to performers.  Many examples of Bill Murray’s great voice over work is also included in this list.  Isle of Dogs was okay, but he had better voice over work, including….

 

#8.  Fabulous Mr. Fox.  The second Wes Anderson film to make the list is the George Clooney starring Fabulous Mr. Fox.  Murray is Clive Badger, Mr. Fox’s best friend who serves as his lawyer.  He did not find much of Mr. Fox’s actions smart, but he was always loyal to him.

 

 

Image result for bill murray agent 13 get smart#7.  Get Smart.  The movie version of the 1960s TV show had Bill Murray taking the role of Agent 13, the agent who would be anywhere at any time.  Here he was inside a tree when Maxwell Smart (Steve Carell) came to see him.

 

 

Image result for bill murray dumb and dumber to#6. Dumb and Dumber To.  Now, I hated this movie, but the cameo by Bill Murray here is easily the best moment of this travesty.  Murray plays the new roommate of Harry and Murray has a bit of Breaking Bad inspiration for his character.  We never see Murray’s face in the movie, but that voice is unmistakable.

 

 

Image result for bill murray tootsie#5.  Tootsie.  This role is one of the roles on this list where he would be considered a supporting actor, but there is no debate that the movie is not his.  He is very strong as the roommate of Dustin Hoffman’s character in the film and he provides some advice for the pretend soap opera “actress.”

 

 

Image result for bill murray grand budapest hotel#4.  The Grand Budapest Hotel.  The final Wes Anderson film where Murray plays M. Ivan, the competition to the Grand Budapest Hotel, the Excelsior Palace.  I mean, look at that mustache!  How could you go wrong putting Bill Murray under a mustache like that.

 

 

Image result for bill murray ed wood#3.  Ed Wood.  Matt Knost put this one on his actual list, but that might have been a bit of a cheat.  However, Bill Murray is so tremendous as Bunny Breckinridge and the movie is so fantastic, we can forgive the inclusion.  However, once I decided to do this list instead of the regular one, Ed Wood absolutely was fitting in here.  I had initially planned on cheating on that list too.  Now I do not have to.  The baptism scene itself makes the film’s inclusion a no-brainer.

 

Image result for bill murray little shop of horrors#2.  Little Shop of Horrors.  One of the funniest parts of this wonderful movie is when Steve Martin’s cruel dentist receives an unexpected patient who seemed just a little bit too eager to make his way into the dentist chair.  And no matter what torturous thing Dr. Orin Scrivello, DDS did to him, this man seemed to enjoy it.  Murray’s turn as the masochistic Arthur Denton was a highlight of an awesome film and even creeped out Orin Scrivello, D.D.S.

 

Image result for bill murray zombieland#1.  Zombieland.  Of course, the number one cameo for Bill Murray is from Zombieland.  The amazing meta turn of Bill Murray playing himself, pretending to be a zombie to blend in with the hordes is just unbelievably funny.  And the end fate of Mr. Bill Murray is both fitting for the film and shocking for the audience.  That is why the Bill Murray Zombieland cameo is sometimes referred to as one of the best cameos in movie history.

 

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EYG Top 10 Los Angeles Based Movies of the Last 25 years

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This week’s Top 10 Show with Matt Knost and John Rocha was the recording of their first ever live show that they had a few weeks ago in Los Angeles.  It sounded great and having the audience laughing behind them brought a certain energy to the podcast.

The topic they decided on was Top 10 L.A. based movies of the last 25 years.  They specified the last 25 years to bring the number of possible choices down.  Die Hard, Beverly Hills Cop, Chinatown etc. would not be considered for this list.

I liked my list as several of the films that I have on my list are different than either Matt or John.  It’s fun that way.

It would be so much fun to see Top 10 live.  They clearly have a ton of chemistry and perform well in front of a crowd.  They have a great interaction with the crowd.

Anyway… here we go.

#10. Speed.  Right on the outskirts of the 25 year max, Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock’s classic action movie featuring a high speed bus that must remain going that fast or else it will explode.  This film kept me on the edge of my seat for the longest time and then, once the bus was taken care of, the finale continued to pick up the speed.  Dennis Hopper was a great villain here and had a great chemistry with Keanu.

 

#9.  Ed Wood.  A great picture about one of the worst films ever made, Plan 9 from Outer Space.  Ed Wood was a horrible director but he still had a love of the film business.  Johnny Depp was solid as the title character and there are great performances from Martin Landau, Vincent D’Onofrio, Bill Murray, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jeffrey Jones and Patricia Arquette.  Oh, and George “The Animal” Steele too.  This was a lot of fun.

 

#8.  Cellular.  The future Captain America started here in Cellular as Chris Evans is out to help save Kim Basinger, who has been kidnapped and desperately is trying to contact anyone on a damaged phone.  Sure, this is most likely a goofy film with a questionable premise, but I found it really exciting and thrilling.  Jason Statham was also here as one of the villains in the movie.  It is a film where you have to suspend disbelief, but I find it to be a great guilty pleasure.

 

#7.  Saving Mr. Banks.  The story of how Disney brought Mary Poppins into the House of Mouse.  If you ignore how much they actually screwed on P.L. Travers, the original author, the film is a fun family film.  I love the scene where they play the song “Let’s Go Fly a Kite” to Travers and she winds up dancing with Don (Bradley Whitford).  Tom Hanks is his normal wonderful self as Walt Disney.  Emma Thompson brings a great emotion to the story of P.L. Travers.  In the end, Mary Poppins was such a personal story to her, it was tough for her to watch what Disney wanted to do with the character.  I loved this.

 

#6.  Hollywoodland.  This was actually the first film that popped into my head when I head the topic.  I loved this film starring Ben Affleck as George Reeves, television’s first Superman.  The film deals with what actually happened when Reeves died, which has been a mystery since it happened.  I loved the way they presented the mystery of the death of George Reeves, with Adrien Brody looking into the truth.  And the scene with the little boy pointing the very real gun at “Superman” expecting the bullet to bounce off was really tense.  In the end, I liked how they left the story up in the air.  Hollywoodland is an underappreciated gem.

 

#5.  Nightcrawler.  What a dark and wonderful film.  It is awesome that Jake Gyllenhaal is willing to play such a low life scumbag in a film.  Louis Bloom is such a rotten human being, doing whatever he can do to get the story for the news.  The sensationalism of the new media has been a problem for years and it can really attract these kind of people.  Gyllenhaal really deserved to be nominated for an Oscar for this role and his snub was one of the worst.

 

#4.  The Big Lebowski.  The Dude!  I just recently saw this for the first time this year and I really enjoyed it.  I usually am not a fan of stoner films, but this turned out to be more than I thought.  Jeff Bridges was transcendent as the Dude.  He is the most charismatic character that I have seen on screen in a long time. John Goodman was a bit much for me as I wondered why anyone would continue to keep this guy around.  The Big Lebowski was really funny and deeper than you would expect.

 

#3.  The Muppets.  The gang gets back together and tries to save the old theater from an evil oil baron.  Great music.  Great songs.  Great comedy.  Jason Segel and Amy Adams play the human couple that is there as the Muppets try to bring the Muppet Show back to the world.  Chris Cooper is the perfect evil oil man named Tex Richman.  There are the typical Muppet cameos throughout the film, including Jim Parsons helping Segel and new Muppet Walter in the best song, “Man or Muppet.”  The Muppets are always tremendous.

 

#2.  The Disaster Artist.  Another story of the filming of one of the worst movies ever, this time, The Room with Tommy Wiseau.  James Franco does a remarkable job playing the mysterious lead actor.  However, The Disaster Artist works mainly because it focuses on Wiseau and his feelings and wishes.  It is not just about the filming of The Room, it is about the relationship with Wiseau and Greg (Dave Franco) and that relationship is real and powerful.

 

#1.  Pulp Fiction.  Quentin Tarantino and his classic movie is my number one. I love the dialogue of this film and the performances from John Travolta, Sam L. Jackson, Bruce Willis, Vin Rhames, Uma Thurmon are unbelievable.  Some of the dialogue from these pairings are some of the best ever.  The Royale with cheese.  That one charming Motha f***ing pig.  I love you, honey bunny.  Pulp Fiction is most  probably my favorite Tarantino movie yet.

 

Honorable MentionsDrive, Bandits, Get Shorty, American History X, Boogie Nights, The Mask, Zombieland, Collateral, La La Land.

 

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EYG Top 10 Space Movies

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In honor of First Man, the story of Neil Armstrong that opens this week, this week’s Top 10 list is the Top 10 Space Movies.  Now, the key to this list is that there will be no fantastical aspects to the list. That means that there will be no Star Wars, Star Trek, Aliens, Guardians of the Galaxy etc.

There was a guest on this week’s podcast as Steve Morris, Rocha’s co-host on the Cinefiles, came to add his list.  He was very entertaining and made a nice addition to the guys.  Special guests on Top 10 never seem to fail.

Image result for interstellar#10.  Interstellar.  I almost made this the James Bond Moonraker, but I decided it was just too bad to make the list.  I am really not a big fan of Interstellar, because I believe that the final hour or so of this movie really takes this film off the track.  I did enjoy the first part of the film, but, once they arrived on Matt Damon’s planet, things really go downhill for me.  However, it is a stunning visual accomplishment and has wonderful music.  That alone should justify its inclusion on here.

 

Image result for armageddon movie#9.  Armageddon.  A really stupid movie that I kind of like.  I was always a fan of Bruce Willis and he is in all of his Bruce Willis-goodness here.  There is a great cast here and, if you do not think too much, you can have a lot of fun with Armageddon.

 

 

Image result for space camp movie#8.  Space Camp.  A group of kids go to space camp and winds up accidentally launching them into space.  There is a group of well known actors here including Lea Thompson, Tom Skerritt, Kelly Preston, and Kate Capshaw.  John Williams does the music for the film.  There is also a robot here called Jinx who befriended Max, played by a young Joaquin Phoenix.

 

Image result for hidden figures#7.  Hidden Figures.  Rocha mentioned this film but poo-pooed this by saying they never go into space.  However, the idea behind the film directly involves NASA and being able to launch John Glenn into orbit.  I found this very surprisingly good and I did not expect that.  There is a great cast here too with Octavia Spencer, Taraji P. Henson and Janelle Monáe.  Plus, this is a true story and a story that needs to be more well-known.  The story of African-American women coming into the world of NASA and race relations is really important.

 

Image result for planet of the apes 1968#6.  Planet of the Apes.  The original from 1968.  Thanks to Steve Morris who put this film on his list and that made it possible for me to include it on my list.  I love this movie and it has so many iconic moments that it is a classic.  It is in the EYG Hall of Fame and it deserves it.  The film tells the story of how humans wind up destroying the world and losing their place at the top of the chain.  And the ending scene is as shocking and brilliant as any movie ever.

 

Image result for gravity movie#5.  Gravity.  The Oscar winning film starring Sandra Bullock as a medical engineer astronaut who winds up isolated in space desperately trying to find her way back home.  Bullock is tremendous here as is George Clooney, who plays one of the other astronauts who winds up lost in space prior to his retirement.  The imagery of the film is amazing and the film is tense and anxiety-ridden.

 

Image result for 2001 space odyssey#4. 2001: A Space Odyssey.  The Stanley Kubrick film that is an epic mind f###.  I saw this recently on the big screen and it was quite a bizarre experience.  The computer Hal is one of the great movie villains of all time, but it really felt like you needed to be stoned in order to truly understand what is happening in the screen.  It is another film on this list that is visually stunning, with colors and images flying everywhere.  It also has one of the strangest and most bizarre endings of any movie.

 

Image result for moon movie#3. Moon.  Sam Rockwell is wonderful in this great film that features him on the surface of the moon, working for an earth corporation that is trying to find a solution to the problems on earth.  Rockwell is preparing to retire and return to his wife on the planet.  However, he begins to have problems and some truths are revealed.  This is a great sci-fi movie and a great performance by Sam Rockwell.

 

Image result for the martian movie#2.  The Martian.  Matt Damon is stranded on Mars, believed to be dead,  and, when they realized their error,  they have to try and rescue him.  He spends several years on the planet, growing potatoes and trying to survive until he could be saved.  The Martian was a Golden Globe winning film in the wrong category of Comedy/Musical (It did have its moments of humor).  That should not be held against it  Damon was tremendous here and the film was a real return to form for director Ridley Scott.

 

Image result for apollo 13 movie#1.  Apollo 13.  Houston, we have a problem.  This is a true story and tells the story of how NASA took the biggest failure of the space program at the time and turned it into its biggest success.  Starring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Bill Paxton, Ed Harris, Gary Sinise, Xander Berkeley, Apollo 13 is tense and nerve-inducing.  It is full of both humor and humanity.  It is exciting and thrilling.  It promotes intelligence and shows how the brains at NASA was able to do the impossible.  The chemistry of the three on the shuttle is great.  Directed by Ron Howard, Apollo 13 is a easily rewatchable film that is always enjoyable.

 

Honorable mentions:  As I mentioned, I considered Moonraker, but I came to my senses.   Contact was on my side list because I have not seen this in a long time.  Space Cowboys is another ridiculous one.  I actually have not seen The Right Stuff so I could not include it.  Mission to Mars is not that great either.

 

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EYG Top 10 Musicians Turned Actor

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This week’s list is an interesting one.  I liked this topic as the list was Top 10 Musicians Turned Actors.  I found this a fascinating group of performers and listening to Matt and John is always a good time.

This has to be performers who were first musicians prior to being actors, which eliminates someone like Justin Timberlake.

I am also linking up an actor to a performance in a film, so it is not a compilation of a total number of films in his/her oeuvre.

Top 10 Musicians Turned Actor

 

Related image#10.  Dolly Parton, 9 to 5.  Miss Dolly was wonderful in this 80s classic comedy.  Dolly Parton was very charming and engaging in this, her first film.  She works so well with the other two lead women, Lily Tomlin and Jane Fonda and she certainly held her own with those two huge stars.

 

 

Image result for connick jr copycat#9.  Henry Connick Jr.  Copycat.  This is one where the film itself helped make this list.  I enjoyed the film Copycat as Connick Jr. was the serial killer stalking Sigourney Weaver.  Connick Jr. was downright chilling in the film and I was always a fan of serial killers.  This film brought some real tension and anxiety for the audience.

 

Image result for cher mask#8. Cher, Mask.  Cher loved that boy.  The film is based on a true story of a boy with disfiguring facial deformity called craniodiaphyseal dysplasia.  Cher played the mother of this boy and she fought for her son so much.  She brings a wonderful humanity to the role and creates a believable bond with her son.

 

 

Related image#7.  Jerry Reed, Smokey and the Bandit.  The “Snowman” has his ears on.  Smokey and the Bandit is a fun film with some great silly situations.  Jerry Reed perfectly fits in as the sidekick of the Bandit, as they travel across Tex-Arcana to bring back a load of beer.  Sure, he was a criminal, but he was charming as all get out.  And I loved the song, “East Bound and Down”, sung by Reed himself.  That’s a big 10-4 good buddy.

 

Related image#6.  Meat Loaf, The Mighty and Rocky Horror Picture Show.  This was the one I could not decide which of the films I wanted to use so I decided to use them both.  The Mighty is the adaptation of Freak the Mighty, a book by Rodman Philbrick and he plays the rotten Iggy Lee.  In Rocky Horror, he played Eddie and was able to sing Hot Patootie before winding up as supper.  The Mighty is more of a subtle performance but Eddie is a vital part of the craziness of Rocky Horror.  Meat Loaf brings a larger than life image to both roles.

 

Image result for weird al uhf film#5.  “Weird Al” Yankovic, UHF.  His almighty weirdness makes this list for his cult classic UHF film that showcased the unusual talents of Al Yankovic.  There are so many iconic moments including Gandhi 2, Wheel of Fish, Spatula City as Weird Al tries to make a success out of a fledgling television station.  There is a great supporting cast as well including Michael Richards, Victoria Jackson, Anthony Geary, Kevin McCarthy, Emo Phillips, Fran Drescher and Dr. Demento.  Weird Al may not be the greatest actor, but he will always have a place on a list here at EYG.

 

Image result for boogie nights mark wahlberg#4.  Mark Wahlberg, Boogie Nights.  This was last week’s number one movie in the Mark Wahlberg’s films and it is well deserved.  I’m not sure counting him as a musician is fair considering he spent a long time trying to get past the identity of Marky Mark.  Still, this is a great performance in the true story of Dirk Diggler and the world of pornography and is a definite deserving actor for this spot on the list.

 

Image result for madonna league of their own#3.  Madonna, A League of Their Own.  I love this movie and Madonna does a fantastic job as “All the Way” Mae.  Her pairing with Rosie O’Donnell is one of the highlights of the movie.  She does a fantastic job in a dance number at the local bar too, showing how much skills Madonna truly does have. I do like Evita as well, but A League of Their Own is one of my favorites of all time.  Plus, we made it through the entire movie without seeing her bosoms.

 

Image result for sinatra manchurian candidate#2.  Frank Sinatra, The Manchurian Candidate.  This is a fantastic performance from Frank.  Frank was the investigator trying to figure out the Russian plot to assassinate the president.  Sinatra is great here as he is conflicted by guilt over his failure to stop the brainwashed killer.  The Manchurian Candidate is almost too on spot for these days.  Angela Lansbury is just tremendous in the role of the evil mother.

 

Image result for will smith enemy of the state#1.  Will Smith, Enemy of the State.  This is a great movie and one of the first that really showed that the Fresh Prince himself could carry himself in a big time film against a real movie star in Gene Hackman.  Will Smith showed charm and energy as the lawyer who found himself in a government conspiracy.  This is a fantastic film.  Will Smith has had a lot of great films on his resume including Men in Black, Pursuit of Happyness, Concussion, I Am Legend, Independence Day, Hancock, and I, Robot.  Still, Enemy of the State is one of the first moments where Will Smith stepped out of the comedic roles and became an action star.

 

Honorable Mentions:  I found several other possible choices.  I had to struggle to make that final choice (which actually turned up at #9).  I debated Courtney Love in The People vs. Larry Flynt.  I considered Queen Latifah in Girls Trip.  I have always really like Latifah, but her list of films hurt her, despite as charismatic as she is.  David Bowie in Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me was a wild ride, crazy and very David Lynch-ian.  Mandy Moore’s voice over work in Tangled is great.  There were a couple of Barbra Streisand roles that I looked at.  Olivia Newton-John does some solid work in Grease too.

 

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