EYG Top 10 Best Picture Winners of the 21st Century

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The Top 10 guys arrived back at the L.A. area from their world traveling and they did a Patreon suggestion today.  It was the Top 10 Best Picture Oscar Winners of the 21st Century.  At first, I was wondering if I would have trouble filling out a ten because there are several Best Picture winners in the early part of the century that I did not see.  It has only been the last several years that I have been seeing all of the nominees.

In fact, my list wound up with a bunch of films that are typically considered the lesser of the winners.  And I am fine with that.

Image result for Moonlight#10.  La La Land.  The musical that…huh?  wait.  I mean… Moonlight.  Couldn’t resist this joke.  Moonlight won the Oscar a few minutes after La La Land had been announced as the winner.  The film focusing on the life of a young boy who is discovering his sexual orientation.  Mahershala Ali won an Academy Award for the role.  He really only was in the first act of the film, yet he stood out so much.  The film was beautifully shot and written.

 

Related image#9.  The Artist.  The silent black and white film from a few years ago was one of my favorite films of that year.  I haven’t seen this in several years and this is one of those films that a lot of people dislike.  I remember being very impressed with the level of work from the actors, especially form Jean Dujardin.

 

 

Related image#8.  Chicago.  Here is another of the Best Picture Winner that no one ever cares about or remembers.  Chicago is a great musical including some classic songs, especially “All That Jazz,” “Cell Block Tango” and “Razzle Dazzle.”  Catherine Zeta-Jones also won an Oscar as Best Supporting Actress.

 

 

Image result for gladiator#7.  Gladiator.  Russell Crowe and his classic role of Maximus in one of my favorite epic Roman swords and sandals films ever.  I should rewatch this film since I haven’t seen it in a while either.  I have not been a huge fan of most Roman epics and this one was the exception for sure.

 

 

Image result for the shape of water#6.  The Shape of Water.  I was really shocked how much I enjoyed this film.  I mean, it was the fish sex movie.  There was not one misstep for me, except maybe that dance routine, in this film.  I absolutely loved the story, the acting, and the connection between Sally Hawkins and the Amphibian Man.  Great job from Oscar-winning director Guillermo del Toro.

 

Image result for Argo movie#5. Argo.  Here is another one of the winners that a lot of people dismiss and dislike.  I was on the edge of my seat during the entire film.  I thought Ben Affleck was great as the lead, but the film was really stolen by John Goodman and Alan Arkin.  I liked this way more than most people seem to.

 

Image result for birdman oscar movie#4.  Birdman.  I loved this movie.  I loved how it seemed to shoot long continuous scenes in single takes.  And the film had a remarkable cast, led by Michael Keaton.  Including Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Zach Galifianakis, Naomi Watts.  It feels a bit like a biographical pic about Michael Keaton, who turned down a third film as Batman, much like the character who turned down Birdman.  This was smart and fabulous.

 

Related image#3.  Million Dollar Baby.  The Clint Eastwood directed boxing film was a film I just saw this past year and it was so great.  I found the whole story of the young female boxer played by Hilary Swank who has taken on Eastwood as her over-the-hill trainer Both Swank and Eastwood are amazing, as is Morgan Freeman.  There were some major shocks in this story and I was so engaged in this whole film.

 

Image result for spotlight movie#2.  Spotlight.  Another great movie starring Michael Keaton.  The true story is one of the most disturbing as well as the film dealt with the Boston Globe’s attempt to break the story of the Catholic Church child sex scandal.  The way they showed these journalists and their efforts to get the story was great.  This has a wonderful cast as well, with not only Michael Keaton, but also Mark Ruffalo (who is just unbelievable),  Rachel McAdams, Liev Schreiber, John Slattery, Stanley Tucci and more.

 

Image result for return of the king#1.  Lord of the Rings: Return of the King.  While Two Towers is actually my favorite Lord of the Rings film, this film is an amazing conclusion to the massive trilogy from Peter Jackson.  The film takes all of the huge stories and storylines going on and paid them all off.  The fights are next level.  The CGI is mostly awesome.  I loved the character of Gollum and his arc with the Hobbits is wonderful.  The rivalry and jealousy between Samwise and Gollum is so well done.  And sure there are too many endings and it became somewhat comical, I was still fully in.  This Oscar was surely as a reward for the entire trilogy, no matter what the Academy may say.

 

Honorable Mentions:  Not too many more.  12 Years a Slave just about made the list though it is a film that I will never see again.  It affected me as I watched it.  Slumdog Millionaire is another one that I considered.  I did like Green Book as a film, but I was really cheering for Black Panther this year.

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EYG Top 10 Movies of the 90s by Year

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Back once again.  I did not do the list from last week with John and Matt playing the live show from London where they did the following:  American actor in British films.  I liked the category, but I did not want to do the research for the list and the Wednesday classic episode about Morgan Freeman was a good one, but I did not have time to do that one either.  So I was exited about this week.

Then they did the Top 10 movies of the 90s by year.  This was hard.  There are so many great choices that ended up not on my list.  The rule was you could only pick one movie from each year 1990-1999 and then order them by preference.  There were a couple of years that I really had to debate.

I will be adding the runners-up at the end of each number.

Here we go…

Image result for scream 1996#10.  Scream (1996).  This was the hardest of all of the years because there were three films that I listed and I had a hell of a hard time choosing one.  This is number 10 because I struggled to choose between the three of this year’s films.  I love this horror/comedy film featuring Ghostface that reinvigorated the slasher genre by deconstructing the genre.  Runners-Up:  The Birdcage, Fargo (these were the other two that nearly made this list.

 

Image result for big lebowski#9.  The Big Lebowski (1998).  I only just recently saw this and that is the reason for it being lower on this list.  Actually, I had avoided this because I am not a big fan of stoner films and I thought this one would be like that.  However, I found it incredibly funny and I enjoyed it completely.  The Dude is one of the iconic characters of all time and I wish I had seen this way before I did.  Runner-Up:  Enemy of the State

 

Image result for apollo 13#8.  Apollo 13 (1995).  I love this Ron Howard directed film.  It tells an unbelievable true story of the greatest failure ever from NASA.  Starring Tom Hanks as real life astronaut Jim Lovell, the late, great Bill Paxton plays Fred Haise, Kevin Bacon plays Jack Swigert and Gary Sinise plays the “still-not-sick” Ken Mattingly.  This film grabbed me at the start and I was totally on board the entire time.  It was awesome to see smart people dealing with crises with intelligence.  Apollo 13 was one of my favorites of the 1990s.  Runner-Up:  Toy Story

 

Related image#7.  Misery (1990).  Another tough choice as there were quite a few possibilities on this list, but the Stephen King adapted film with an amazingly creepy performance from Kathy Bates just makes this a huge winner for me.  The scene with the sledgehammer is as uncomfortable of a scene as there has ever been.  It is as cringe-inducing as you will ever find on screen.  Runner-Up:  Die Hard 2

 

Image result for dr richard kimble#6.  The Fugitive (1993).  Dr. Richard Kimble’s wife had been murdered by a one armed man, or so he claims.  Unfortunately for Kimble, the police did not really buy that story, arrested him and convicted him of murder.  One bus/train accident later, Richard Kimble was on the run as the fugitive.  And what makes it worse… Tommy Lee Jones was a U.S. Marshal was after him… and he did not care that Kimble was innocent, or so he claims.  The Fugitive was an epic film.  Runner-Up:  Schindler’s List

 

Image result for shawshank redemption#5.  Shawshank Redemption (1994).  What an amazing film.  Andy Dufresne and “Red” Ellis Boyd have one of the top friendships in movie history and there was so much drama surrounding all of the prisoners.  Had I done that Morgan Freeman list that I nearly did, this one would have placed at the top.  Freeman is perfect in this role and you are completely engaged by him.  Runner-Up:  Pulp Fiction.

 

Image result for Terminator 2#4. Terminator 2 (1991).  The classic Arnold action film where we see the return of the Terminator, only to discover that he is back to save Sarah Connor and John from a brand new (and downright freaky) Terminator, the T1000.  It really seemed as if nothing was ever going to stop the T1000 from accomplishing its mission to kill John and Sarah and that brought serious stakes to the film.  It really was a tremendous movie.  Runner-Up:  Silence of the Lambs

 

Image result for the fifth element#3.  The Fifth Element (1997).    Leeloo Dallas multipassChicken, GOOD!  This is one of my favorite Bruce Willis movies that sneaked under the radar.  The Fifth Element was such a fantastic science fiction film by director Luc Besson.  There is so many classic moments and scenes that I could not do it justice.  I do the “Chicken, good” line to this day.  This is full of excitement, drama, humor, a great relationship between Leeloo and Korbin Dallas, a star turn from Chris Tucker, a blue diva singing opera unlike any opera you’ve ever seen, and NEGOTIATIONS!  Creative.  Original.  Perfect.  Runner-Up:  Good Will Hunting.

 

Image result for a league of their own#2.  A League of Their Own (1992).  Another brilliantly quotable movie.  Everybody remembers “there’s no crying in baseball” but there are some I remember even more than that.  When Jimmy Dugan asks the umpire, “Anyone ever tell you that you look like a penis with a little hat on?”, I absolutely die, but what was even better was Dugan said “You misunderstood me!”  LOL.  Then, the quote “It’s supposed to be hard.  If it wasn’t hard everyone would do it.  The hard is what makes it great.” is on my classroom wall.  I love this movie and it may be my favorite baseball movie of all time.  Runner-up:  Aladdin.  

 

Related image#1.  The Sixth Sense (1999).  I never saw the twist coming.  And I am really good at sniffing these things out and when it caught me off guard, it took a decent film and, for me, transformed it into a brilliant one.  Haley Joel Osment is utterly spectacular as Cole, the little boy who saw dead people.  Bruce Willis gives a wonderful performance, understated and subtle, way more than we were used to seeing him give.  Toni Collette gets forgotten some times, but she was amazing here too (Oscar nominated).  Even with the twist revealed, you can still watch this movie by looking for the clues that were sprinkled through the film by M. Night Shyamalan.  They’re there.  It is a wonderfully written, acted and shot film.  Runner-Up:  The Matrix

 

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EYG Top 10 Bradley Cooper Movies

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This week’s top 10 comes from a patreon sponsor in honor of a birthday.  My birthday was just a week ago.  I didn’t get a list.  😦

Top 10 Bradley Cooper movies is the topic chosen and I found something interesting.  Bradley Cooper has been in a ton of movies that would be considered ensembles.  He hasn’t been the lead in a lot of movies…let me specify… he hasn’t been the lead in too many good movies.  So many of these are not necessarily straight “Bradley Cooper” movies.  He is a main role in all of these though.

Image result for the mule eastwood and cooper#10. The Mule.  The most recent Clint Eastwood vehicle had a Bradley Cooper character who was the federal agent who was chasing the drug running elderly man.  Sure, Cooper did not really know that Eastwood was the mule he was after, but that is really irrelevant.  The Mule was a decent film, but it is no higher than 10.

 

Related image#9.  American Hustle.  This is the first ensemble on this list.  Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, Amy Adams, Robert DeNiro, Michael Peña, Jack Huston.  This was a hugely popular film among critics, but I thought it was fine.

 

Image result for american sniper#8.  American Sniper.  Another Clint Eastwood film, American Sniper is a true story about Chris Kyle, a U.S. Navy Seal sniper who became one of the most lethal and pinpoint shooters in Iraq.  Kyle struggled when he was back from the war because the world was a different place.  American Sniper was a huge hit and Bradley Cooper was very strong in the film.

 

Image result for limitless bradley cooper#7.  Limitless.  This one was fun and light movie.  Bradley Cooper finds a drug that increases his mental acumen and helps make him a star in the financial markets.  Limitless was changed into a TV series (which Bradley Cooper appeared on as well).

 

 

Image result for the hangover#6.  The Hangover.  Now here is a movie that was extremely funny.  I remember laughing so hard that I was crying.  And then, there were two sequels that were some of the worst movies ever made.  I so hated The Hangover 2 and 3, but the first movie is fantastic.  The group (of the ensemble) had great chemistry and worked so well together.

 

 

Image result for infinity war rocket thor#5.  Avengers: Infinity War.  This movie is one of my all-time favorites and would be much higher on this list of we were just doing favorite films. However, Bradley Cooper was not a huge part of the film as Rocket.  Rocket was certainly a highlight of the movie as the “sweet rabbit” with his pairing with Thor.  He also had a huge scene with the dusting Groot.  Rocket is now one of the biggest characters in the MCU and the voice Bradley Cooper provides for him is perfect.

 

Image result for rocket vol 2#4.  Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.  This is the second appearance of Bradley Cooper as Rocket Raccoon on my list.  I think there may be one more yet to come.  In Volume 2, Rocket is matched up with Yondu for a chunk of the time as Rocket was trying to find who he truly was.  The relationship between Rocket and Star Lord was looked at as well.  This movie was more about the group and the characters even though they were fighting a living planet.

 

Image result for silver linings playbook dancing#3.  Silver Linings Playbook.  This was an unexpected film to love as much as I did.  Who knew that a film about a dance competition could be so compelling.  Sure there was more to it than just that, but that dance finale was tremendous and it really helped rocket Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence into superstar status.  I loved the work from the two of them and this is one of the best rom coms you are going to find.

 

Image result for a star is born#2.  A Star is Born.  There is no way that, after a fourth time being remade, that A Star is Born would be any good.  An yet, this is fantastic.  And Bradley Cooper is a huge reason why.  He sings.  He plays guitar.  He makes out with Lady Gaga.  He pees himself.  He drinks.  Bradley Cooper not only does all of those things, but he also directs the film.  And it was his feature film directorial debut.  He deserved every bit of recognition for this movie as he placed it on his shoulders and carried it to a massive success.

 

Image result for rocket raccoon guardians one#1.  Guardians of the Galaxy.  Yes, this is an ensemble, but it was one that had no business succeeding as it did.  Bradley Cooper was voicing a talking raccoon who hung around with a walking tree that could only say three words.  These were characters that even some long time Marvel Comics fans did not know well.  And yet, Guardians of the Galaxy was a massive hit and cemented that Marvel Studios really knew what they were doing.  Rocket Raccoon may have been the heart of this movie and was perhaps the break out character.  Rocket was more than just a talking joke.  He was a deep and important character that anchored this movie from start to finish.  Everyone loved Rocket.

 

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EYG Top 10 Culturally Important Black Movies

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February is Black History Month and in honor of the month, Matt and John had a new topic that they were a bit uncomfortable with so they brought in a third.  African American Chris Burns was brought in as the “specialist.”

They chose to do the Top 10 Culturally Important Black Movies.

Before I start, I will immediately say that I have not seen Do The Right Thing so it will not be making my list.  Of course I know the significance of the film, but I have not seen it so I cannot include it.

Here I go…

Image result for spider-verse#10. Spider-man: Into the Spider-Verse.  Miles Morales makes his debut in this Sony animated movie and becomes the first Black/Puerto Rican Spider-man.  The best part of this fact is that there is absolutely no mention of the fact about this.  It is not an issue, of race at all.  Anyone can wear the mask.  Miles immediately becomes one of the top characters to all young African American children.

 

Image result for malcolm x movie#9.  Malcolm X.  I have only seen this movie once when I was much younger which is why it is so low down the list.  Denzel Washington is amazing as the historical figure of Malcolm X.  Malcolm X was a controversial figure in the sixties, but he developed his opinions over the years.  The movie does a great job showing about this complex man.

 

Image result for in the heat of the night movie#8.  In the Heat of the NightThey call me Mister Tibbs.  Sidney Poitier was one of the biggest African American actors in Hollywood and the film played on the tense racial divide alive fully during the 1960s.  In the Heat of the Night was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.  Sounds as if it fits on this list.

 

Image result for moonlight movie#7.  Moonlight.  The debut feature film from Barry Jenkins pulled an upset in the Oscar race by knocking off La La Land.  Moonlight is a beautiful coming of age story of a young black teen coming to grips with his sexuality as a gay man and how the world around him shaped his life.  Mahershala Ali won an Oscar for the film despite only appearing in the first act.  It is beautifully shot and written and extremely tender in many ways.

 

Image result for guess who's coming to dinner#6.  Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.  The second appearance of Sidney Poitier on this list, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner dealt honestly and straightforwardly with the issue of mixed marriage and how difficult of a life it could be during the uncertain times of the 1960s.  In the film, Spencer Tracy and Katharine Hepburn are meant to be progressive people, but they showed a side that their daughter did not expect when she brought Sidney Poitier home for dinner as her fiance.  I loved how the question of race was dealt with so head on.  That is a lesson we could all learn.

 

Image result for black k klansman#5.  BlackKKlansman.  Spike Lee’s most recent film featuring a story of an African American cop who infiltrated the Ku Klux Klan by getting on the phone and talking to the people in charge.  He even talked to the leader of the Klan, David Duke himself.  This true story found a great performance from Denzel’s son, John David Washington, as the police detective, and Adam Driver, as another police detective who had to play the part of the black detective when meeting the Klan face to face.  This is more of a political film than some on this list, as there are clear hints toward the Trump America.

 

Image result for the hate U give#4.  The Hate U Give.  I found this movie unbelievably powerful and impactful.  Just the scene where actor Russell Hornsby had to sit his children down to explain to them how they needed to act when they were pulled over by the police… it was shocking to me.  I am sure it is a scene that has been played over by black families all across the country and that is just tragic.  This is a wonderful story of overcoming the hatred and the expectations to become something special. Amandla Stenberg played Starr and she was absolutely amazing.

 

Image result for get out#3.  Get Out.  Jordan Peele’s horror masterpiece really took a new look at race relations and turned it upside down.  In his directorial debut, Peele tells the story of a young black man who goes with his white girlfriend to visit her family and strange things begin to happen.  The film is frightening and funny.  It deals with deep themes that you may miss upon first viewing.  It dives deep into the racism that exists in the world and it takes no prisoners.  Great performances and thrilling storytelling make Get Out one of the most original films of any year.

 

Image result for coming to america#2. Coming to America.  I wasn’t going to include this on my list at first, and then Matt, John and Chris made it their number one film.  Because of this, I figured it was okay to include it on my list. Coming to America is Eddie Murphy at the height of his powers.  This is one of the best comedies of any decade and it brings a message of true love as well.  I am also concerned with the talk of a sequel to this movie, but no matter what happens with that, this film is always here to enjoy.

 

Image result for marvel studios black panther#1.  Black Panther.  Wakanda Forever!  There is no denying the cultural importance of this Marvel Studio film.  Black Panther, a character who is well known in the comic book community, but not necessarily among typical movie going public, absolutely crushed the box office last year, crossing $1.3 billion worldwide, which included over $700 million domestic (which beat even the juggernaut known as Avengers: Infinity War).  Not only did this show a black super hero (the first black super hero form the comics), but also showed how the black community was successful and more advanced than any place on the earth.  This was a film about black success, not about black failure, but there is also another side to the film.  With Killmonger coming to Wakanda with the message of why Related imagedid Wakanda let other black people suffer, turning a blind eye to the world.  Black Panther is deceptively deep and a wonderfully acted film.  It became the first ever super hero movie to be nominated for an Academy Award and will certainly bring some Oscar back to Marvel Studios on Oscar night.  It is such a culturally significant film that Congresswoman Maxine Waters gave the Wakanda Forever crossed arms salute at Aretha Franklin’s funeral.  Wow.

 

Honorable Mentions:  I don’t have a ton of these, but I considered Dope, which was a really good film, but may not be that culturally important.  I liked If Beale Street Could Talk, but it is another one that may not be that impactful.   I saw 12 Years a Slave and that effected me a great deal, but it is certainly not a film I want to go back to revisit.  The story of Selma was interesting as was the true story of Detroit, the last one not very successful of a film though very powerful.  Straight Outta Compton got bumped at the last cut.

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EYG Top 10 Best Actress Winners

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Another snow day here in Iowa gives me the opportunity to listen to and write up this week’s Top 10 early.  I wondered what this week’s topic was going to be and I really liked the one they came up with.  Top 10 Best Actress Winners at the Academy Awards is topical, with the Oscars coming up in the next few weeks, and it is a topic that they have not done.

There are a ton of performances that I have not seen.  Most of the actresses on my list are more recent because these are the films that I have seen.  There were many choices on my list as well.  It was interesting how some of the greatest actresses of all time were left off my list simply because they won their award in a film I did not see.

And, by the way, there is an epic…absolutely EPIC… argument at the end of the episode with John and Matt over placing their lists.  Amazing.

 

Image result for helen hunt as good as it gets#10.  Helen Hunt, “As Good As It Gets” 1997.  This was up against a second performance and I had to bounce back and forth between them.  In the end, I was more of a fan of As Good As It Gets than the other one.  I love the character of Carol Connelly, who feels so realistic and original.  She was a great mother who loved her son and she had chemistry with every actor in the film.  Her straightforwardness is refreshing and so much fun.

 

Image result for k hepburn guess who's coming to dinner#9.  Katharine Hepburn, “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” 1967.  Joanna Drayton is a free-thinking white woman whose daughter has arrived with her new fiance, John Prentice, a black man.  Katharine Hepburn is one of the classic actresses of all time and she is wonderful in this movie as the barrier between her daughter and Spencer Tracy, her husband, who seems to be having concerns.

 

 

Image result for brie larson room#8.  Brie Larson, “Room”, 2015.  I loved this movie.  I sobbed the whole film and Brie Larson is unbelievable in this role.   She has a remarkable relationship with her movie son, Jacob Tremblay and her performance is as emotional as you are going to get.  Plus, Brie was one of the key components in the argument at the end of today’s episode.  I love Room (not THE Room, by the way).

 

Related image#7.  Julia Roberts, “Erin Brockovich” 2005.  I have never been a huge fan of Julia Roberts, but this is easily my favorite film of hers.  I love the story of the woman who, looking for a job, winds up with a lawyer and they fight for a gigantic lawsuit involving a cover-up of poison water.  Erin has a down-to-earth charm that you wouldn’t think someone like Julia Roberts would be able to portray, but she does a fantastic job.

 

Image result for julie andrews mary poppins#6.  Julie Andrews, “Mary Poppins”, 1964.  I love the movie, Mary Poppins and Julie Andrews is perfect as the magical nanny who appears to help the Banks children by way of helping Mr. Banks.  She sings and dances and does it beautifully.  Mary Poppins is most likely the most iconic role on this list.  I remember a teacher in elementary school put the word “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” on a spelling list.  She is transcendent. (and another one of the triggers for the Rocha-Knost throw down)

 

Image result for hilary Swank million dollar baby#5.  Hilary Swank, “Million Dollar Baby” 2004.  I was late coming to this movie.  It had never appealed to me that much, but I watched the film on one of the binges and I was astounded how great it was, and the biggest part of the film for me was the performance of Hilary Swank as Maggie Fitzgerald, a female boxer trained by Clint Eastwood.

 

 

 

Image result for fargo mcdormand#4.  Frances McDormand, “Fargo” 1996.  Marge.  Aw geez.  I so love me some Margie.  Oh ya.  Marge is the heart of this dark and unsettling film.  She is what gives Fargo its connection to the audience.  We love her and her exaggerated accent.  The two sides to Fargo is shown through the great performance from Frances McDormand.  Darn tootin’.

 

Related image#3.  Louise Fletcher, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” 1975.  One of the more disturbing characters on the list as Nurse Ratched, Louise Fletcher plays brilliantly against Jack Nicholson.  She is so compelling, sinister, and frightening as this psychiatric nurse who does what she wants to do.

 

 

Related image#2.  Jodie Foster, “The Silence of the Lambs” 1991.  Jodie Foster has her absolutely best performance as FBI Agent in training Clarice Starling.  She is brought into the case trying to capture the serial killer, Buffalo Bill.  They want Clarice to go talk to the captured serial killer, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (played by the fellow Oscar winner Anthony Hopkins) because it is believed that Lecter has some insight into Buffalo Bill.  The work between Foster and Hopkins is what brings this movie to life.  She carries the rest of the movie on her shoulders.

 

Image result for kathy bates misery#1.  Kathy Bates, “Misery” 1990.  Kathy Bates is the most frightening, most imposing figure on this list.  Her performance as psycho fan Annie Wilkes is amazing.  She saves the life of her favorite author Paul Sheldon after his car wreck, but there was more than that.  She kidnapped Sheldon and forced him to “fix” the problem that he had done in the last novel.  And the scene with the sledgehammer was horrendous.  Kathy Bates put the FAN in FANATIC.

 

Honorable Mentions:  The actress I was debating between at number 10 was Jennifer Lawrence from Silver Lining Playbook.  I like that movie a lot, but I went with Helen Hunt instead.  Halle Berry in Monster’s Ball is very powerful.  I enjoyed Emma Stone‘s singing in La La Land, though nowhere as much as Scott Mantz did.  Cher is Moonstruck made my extra list, but there was no way she was going to make the list.  Sandra Bullock in The Blind Side is good.  I was also amazed that Meryl Streep was not on the list, but her winning roles were not my favorite or I had not seen them.

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EYG Top 10 Movies in the Snow

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This week there was quite a wait for the Top 10 Show.  Apparently there was some kind of problem with their servers and, for me, I did not get to hear the show until Wednesday morning.  Coincidentally, we got out early from school yesterday because of a winter mix of weather and this week’s show was Top 10 Movies in Snow.

As always, the show is worth the wait.

The show this week is in honor of the upcoming Liam Neeson film, Cold Pursuit, a film that Matt Knost ha had a lot of fun with the generic title.  Still, early reviews have been positive, so who knows.

One rule that was put into place on the show, and I will follow as well, was that there would be no Christmas movies considered.  That makes sense.  While I came up with a long list, a lot of them felt like cheats or films where the snow was not that important to the story.  I’ll mention some of those in the honorable mentions.

Strangely enough, there are some of the most iconic and gruesome scenes in all of movies in these films.

And, no The Snowman is not here.

 

Image result for fargo 1996#10.  Fargo.  Okay, I was never a big fan of this movie, but I loved the TV show.  This should have been a film that I did in the binge watch from a couple of weeks ago where I gave a film a second chance because my bet is that I would enjoy this Coen Brothers film much more than I did the first time.  It is a dark comedy and I love those and the performance from Frances McDormand is iconic.  And.. wood chippers will never be looked at in the same way again. I need to see this one for a second time.

 

Related image#9.  Alive.  Another one that I have only seen once years ago that could use a rewatch.  The topic itself is a tough idea.  What would you do to survive?  If you had to resort to eating the dead, would you?  Could you?  Based on a true story, this plane crash story is compelling in that question alone.  Ethan Hawke is one of the stars of this film.

 

 

Image result for frozen disney movie#8. Frozen.  Sure, there is a lot of hate for this movie, but I do like it.  It may not be my most go-to Disney movie, but as a snow film… I mean, come on.  There is a singing snowman.  Again, while lots of people hate on the music, I actually enjoy the songs.  Yes, most of the soundtrack got overplayed (which has led to the hate), but that does not mean that it is bad.

 

Image result for hateful eight#7.  The Hateful Eight.  Tarantino film featuring a great cast and a cabin in a snowstorm.  Then there is a ton of blood, violence and remarkable dialogue.  Matt Knost talked about not liking the first part of the movie, but I enjoyed that part tremendously.  I found the dialogue between Sam Jackson and Kurt Russell to be smart and snappy.  Yes, the film goes to another level when they reach the cabin, but I do not want to dismiss the first act of the movie.

 

Image result for wind river#6.  Wind River.  I loved this movie.  Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olson are wonderful in these roles as they were involved in the mystery of a dead teen’s body found in the snow.   I was gripped by the film from the very start and I loved how the setting really informed much of what was going to happen.  The brutal snow and cold made everything more difficult to handle.  Great performances by our two Avengers here as they took themselves out of their famous roles and teamed together once again.

 

Image result for snowpiercer#5.  Snowpiercer. Another Avenger appearing here as Chris Evans stars in this amazing apocalyptic science fiction film that deals with live on a train after the world froze over.  As with great science fiction, Snowpiercer is about more than the surface level story.  This dives into the world of class and the wealthy and what they believe they deserve.  Snowpiercer is brutal and hard to watch in many instances, but you are completely enthralled in the film.  Another amazing performance from Tilda Swinton as well.

 

Image result for The Thing snow#4.  The Thing.  What else needs to be said about this John Carpenter masterpiece?  It is one of the best science fiction movies of all time and one of the best performances of Kurt Russell’s career. The Thing is as exciting and thrilling as any movie around as you really feel the claustrophobic feeling brought on by the blizzard outside.  The practical effects still seem to work even after all these years.  A fantastic movie.

 

Related image#3.  Misery.  The snow caused the car crash.  The snow was the backdrop allowing Annie Wilkes to pretend that she could not call for help for the injured Paul Sheldon.  And here come Misery.  Kathy Bates gives one of the most frightening performances in film as the obsessed fan who was holding all the power.  And let’s face facts, that scene with the ankles… wow!  This is one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations around.

 

Related image#2.  Die Hard 2.  Icicle through the eye.  One of the coolest and most cringeworthy moment of any movie.  Die Hard 2 gets under rated by a lot of people but I find it extremely enjoyable. John McClane at an airport, in a snowstorm facing off with terrorists once again.  It also has a twist with the John Amos character that I did not see coming.  The ending with the fire trail is one of the best endings in the franchise as well.

 

Image result for the shining jack frozen#1.  The Shining.  This was the first film that popped into my head when the topic came up and it was my favorite when the list was compiled.  Jack Nicholson does an amazing job of taking the sad sack author who, because of the cabin fever caused from being stranded in the Overlook Hotel, goes mad, becoming homicidal.  Sure the place was haunted as well, but the real horror of this film is that this could happen to anyone.  All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.  The one thing that the Shining is not, is dull.

 

Honorable mentions:  I considered several films but they did not have snow as a major aspect of the film.  Something like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind nearly made the list but I dropped it because the snow was not that important.  Groundhog Day was another that fit that mold.  Same with X-Files: I Want to BelieveInsomnia almost made the list thanks to a great villainous turn from Robin Williams.  The Revenant was considered but most likely was not making the list.  Eddie the Eagle was a good story but I did not love it as much as John Rocha did.  Last one I considered was Hanna.

 

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EYG Top 10 Movie Death Scenes

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It is cold here.

I mean, cold as a dead body.  Heh heh.  No, really, we are in an Arctic blast right now and it is going to be under zero for the next couple of days with a wind chill around -50 tomorrow.  So I am off school and have a great chance to listen to the Top 10 Show unencumbered.

And this week was the Top 10 Movie Death Scene, hence the awful pun from earlier.

This was a tough list to compile because there were so many great choices and from all kinds of different genres.  Not only different genres but different feelings/reasons/emotional responses.  From shock to sadness to joy.

Oh, and of course…I should say that this contains all kinds of SPOILERS if you have not seen these movies.  You have been warned.

Image result for bing bong inside out#10.  Bing Bong (Inside Out).  I thought of this one but I wasn’t going to include it because Bing Bong was not actually alive and did not actually die (he just faded away-forgot) but then John Rocha included him on his list and that was all I needed, because this was one of the saddest, heart-wrenching scenes I can remember.  Inside Out is one of my favorite Pixar movies and animated movies, and Bing Bong was a huge reason why.  I decided to only place this at ten because of the questionable aspects of the “death” because otherwise, this might be considerably higher up the list.

 

Image result for kane alien chest#9.  Kane (Alien).  I had about five or six deaths fighting for this final spot, but the little details that Matt Knost told today about the other actors not knowing about what was going to happen as to be able to film their actual reactions helped propel this death onto the list.  Imagine the horror of seeing this and not expecting it.  To make sure this is what I wanted, I pulled it up on YouTube and the reactions of everyone around poor John Hurt was astounding.

 

Image result for marion crane#8.  Marian Crane (Psycho).  The famous shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho is one of the most iconic death scenes in any movie ever.  The idea that Hitchcock took the character who seemed to be the movie’s main protagonist and biggest star and killed her off in the first half of the movie was unbelievable and groundbreaking.  It is a scene that has been copied and parodied countless times and never fails to provide the necessary horror that Hitchcock was trying to find.

 

Image result for logan death in Logan#7.  Logan (Logan).  One of the greatest comic book movies of all time ends with the amazingly poignant and saddening death of its main character.  Logan, played for the final time by Hugh Jackman, was a character we had seen for years and many movies, and this swan song was as beautifully done as any film.  It was only made more stunning by the work of young Dafne Keen. The father-daughter aspect of the scene brought even more gravitas to the movie and made sure that I was emotionally spent by the end.

 

Image result for satine moulin rouge death#6.  Satine (Moulin Rouge).  Here was another one that hurt.  The musical was a romantic story of a young writer falling in love with a courtesan at the house of ill-content known as the Moulin Rogue.  It led to a great, sweeping romantic story that was destined to end in tragedy.  In this case, Satine, was felled by tuberculosis and died in her love’s arms.  Played perfectly by the lovely Nicole Kidman, you could feel the anguish displayed by Christian (Ewan McGregor).  In the end, this was a story about love.

 

Image result for quint eaten by jaws#5.  Quint (Jaws).  Oh boy, did this scene scare me as a youngster.  Watching Quint struggle to try and avoid the gigantic shark’s jaws was frightening enough, but you hoped beyond hope that the old sailor would find an escape.  Unfortunately, Quint finally succumb and the imagery of him being eaten by the shark was one that would stick with me forever.   We had connected to Quint in such a personal way with his story of his time on the Indianapolis that this death was even more difficult.  Jaws was one of the best movies ever made and this scene is a huge reason why.

 

Image result for mr stark i dont feel so good#4.  Peter Parker (Avengers: Infinity Wars).  “Mr. Star, I don’t feel so good.”  And with those words, Peter Parker began to fade away from the snap.  Peter Parker, Spider-man should not have been the one to go, but his death (however temporary) brought such an emotional wallop to the Infinity War that I can’t imagine it without that scene.  Seeing this young kid grasp the fact that he was going to die and not want to go, with those adlibbed words from Tom Holland, never fails to break me up.  I love Peter Parker.  He is my all-time favorite fictional character in any medium and seeing him dusted was wrecking.  This was actually the first name that popped into my head when considering the list.  These top four were all possibly switchable.

 

Image result for hans gruber fall#3.  Hans Gruber (Die Hard).  What a great end to one of the greatest villains of movie history.  Dropping from out of the window of the Nakatomi Plaza and falling to his death, the brilliant Alan Rickman did not know he was being dropped.  Apparently, they released him on two instead of three and the reaction of Gruber was the real fear shown by Rickman.  Hans Gruber was the perfect foil for John McClane and their dynamic made Die Hard one of the greatest Christmas movies around.

 

Image result for mufasa death lion king#2.  Mufasa (The Lion King).  Damn that Disney, making us all grieve the loss of parents.  Not only did poor Simba have to watch his father trampled to death by the wildebeest, but he had to know that he died trying to save him.  The guilt drove Simba away from the kingdom for years, allowing evil Scar to take the throne.  The Shakespearean connection was apparent, but the emotional stakes of the scene were off the charts.  James Earl Jones provided the voice for the heroic king of the jungle and his loss is one of Disney’s finest parental deaths.

 

Image result for count rugen death#1.  Count Rugen (The Princess Bride).  “I want my father back, you son of a bitch!” Unlike all the other deaths on this list, this one was cheered in the theater.  Count Rugen, the Six-Fingered Man, had killed Inigo Montoya’s father when Inigo was just a young boy of 11.  Inigo dedicated his life to searching for hi revenge.  And when he finally gets it, there is such a joy.  The Princess Bride is my favorite movie of all time and I absolutely love this scene.  It gives me goosebumps every time.  The performance of Christopher Guest as the evil Count and Mandy Patinkin as Inigo Montoya brought such a passion, a realism to a scene that is inside the silliest comedy around.  You could feel the pain of Inigo and, first, the arrogance and then the fear of Rugen and that really packed in the emotion that led to the release of cheers from the crowd.

 

Honorable mentions:  Man there are a lot.  I mentioned about the ones that I debated about putting at #9. Those included Ellie (Up), Brooks (Shawshank Redemption), Spock (Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan), Charles Xavier (Logan), William Wallace (Bravehart) and the Wicked Witch of the West (The Wizard of Oz).  Any of those could have made a great #9.  Others I listed included Apollo Creed (Rocky IV).  King Kong who died for the beauty.  James Gunn says that Groot died in the original Guardians of the Galaxy and the Baby Groot is his off-spring and, if that is the case, makes the scene with Groot’s sacrifice all the more tragic.  All the heroes of the SNAP from Avengers: Infinity Wars was considered, but Parker was easily the standout there.  Darth Vader‘s redemption at the end of Return of the Jedi was special.    Bonnie & Clyde and their death in a hail of bullets was a possibility.  Thomas J died off screen in My Girl, but that did not mean that his death was less tragic.  Little kids weren’t supposed to die.  Mickey form Rocky III was tough to handle as well.  Gollum falling into the lava in Return of the King, Cesar and his final death in War of the Planet of the Apes, Toht and his face melting in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Blain who did not have time to bleed in Predator, Vizzini and his laugh in The Princess Bride, Bubba from Forest Gump, Dr. Malcolm Crowe in The Sixth Sense were all great death scenes too.  Oh, and Bambi’s mom… damn you Disney!

 

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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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