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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EYG Top 10 Mark Wahlberg Films

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I saw this topic and I immediately thought that I was in trouble.  I actually considered changing the topic for the first time ever from Top 10 Mark Wahlberg Films to The Top 10 Worst Films with Mark Wahlberg.  I have never been a big Mark Wahlberg fan and I was not certain I could reach 10 films that I really liked.  I was also sure that I could easily find ten that I did not like.

In the end, I did have to stretch somewhat to get to 10 Mark Wahlberg films that I liked, but I also struggled with finding ten that I hated so I decided to just stick with the regular topic.  Here was the Top Ten Worst list anyway…

  1.  Transformers: The Last Knight
  2.  Planet of the Apes
  3.  Transformers:  Age of Extinction
  4.  Ted 2
  5.  Daddy’s Home 2
  6.  Contraband
  7.  Ted
  8.  Mile 22
  9.  The Perfect Storm
  10.  Entourage

Yeah, there are some films on this list that people like (aka Ted, Perfect Storm) but I just do not like either. And number 10 is a cheat really.  Numbers 8-9 aren’t terrible, so I did not feel I needed to readjust the topic (However, number one and two are two of the worst ever!)

So I went ahead to find the Top 10 Mark Wahlberg films.  I still had to cheat a little as you will see at number 10 and number 9.

 

Image result for daddy's home 1 movie#10.  Daddy’s Home.  I was about two-thirds of the way through this movie and was trying to figure out exactly what spot on the worst films of the year Daddy’s Home would occupy.  I am not a fan of Will Farrell either so this film had a double dose of trouble coming from me.  However, the third act suddenly found its voice and its humor and surprised the heck out of me.  It is not a good film by any accounts, but it did not end up making that worst films of the year list either so there is that.  This is one of the reasons why I try to sit through the entire film, even if I am hating on it so much because you never know when one might turn it around.

 

Image result for the departed#9.  The Departed.  This is a film that lots of people love, but I have never been a huge fan of.  I have only seen it once on home video and it was a time of my life where I was not that into this type of movie.  My guess is that if I saw it again, I would probably see more in it as so many others have.  I still remember it being a good film though and being surprised by it.

 

Image result for all the money in the world#8.  All the Money in the World.  Another film that I liked but did not love.  The film got a bit of a push because of the Kevin Spacey stuff, but Mark Wahlberg is still very solid in it.  The film really became Christopher Plummer’s movie because of his dramatic entry into the cast, but Wahlberg is important in the film as the go-between with Plummer and Michelle Williams.

 

Image result for 2 guns#7.  2 Guns.  You have to appreciate the pairing of Wahlberg with Denzel Washington.  Sure the film is, at best, an average film, but the relationship and the chemistry between Wahlberg and Washington elevated the movie to heights that other performers would not be able to accomplish.  Wahlberg and Washington were funny and entertaining and they made the movie better.

 

Image result for patriots day#6.  Patriots Day. We are getting closer to the true favorites of my list now.  Patriots Day was a really compelling film dealing with the bombings at the Boston Marathon.  It is a true story and, although Wahlberg does not play a real person (actually an amalgam of a bunch of people), he is an important piece to make the narrative flow well.  There is high drama and you connect immediately to Wahlberg and his “everyman” character who winds up at the most inopportune place and time.

 

Image result for pain and gain#5.  Pain and Gain.  I might have moved this even higher up my list if not for one important detail.  This is a true story about a group of horrible people but the film makes these people funny and play the terrible things they do as a joke.  If not for that, this would be one of my favorite Wahlberg films.  I certainly love the Rock in here and pairing those two up makes for a lot of sense.  If this were a fictional account, it would be so much better but I almost feel guilty for enjoying this Michael Bay film.

 

Image result for lone survivor#4.  Lone Survivor.  The biggest spoiler is right in the title of this movie.  A group of Navy SEALS head into Afghanistan on a mission that included both surveillance and the possible killing of the Taliban leader Ahmad Shah.  Again, by the title, you kind of know how that mission is going to end.  That does not take away from how dramatic, edge of your seat tense the film is.  This was the first film in the collaboration between director Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg.

 

Image result for the fighter#3.  The Fighter.  This is a great film with an amazing cast including Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Amy Adams.  Wahlberg plays boxer Mickey Ward in this real life story of the early years of Ward’s career.  There is so much drama and excitement here and this is a remarkable film throughout.  Wahlberg chose the role because of his actual friendship with Mickey Ward and he provides, arguably, one of his very best performances.

 

Image result for deepwater horizon movie#2.  Deepwater Horizon.  I almost made this number one.  I really considered it.  This is the third collaboration between Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg and this true story of a massive fire on an oil drilling rig and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico resulting from that disaster.  This movie is completely engrossing and suspenseful from the first second until the final reel.  You are never sure what is going to happen and you are constantly amazed with what actually did.  I was absolutely surprised by how much I loved this movie and how much I was connected to the characters and their plights.  I knew there would be characters paying the ultimate price, but I felt for each of them as their time came.  It is a great film.

 

Image result for boogie nights penis shot#1.  Boogie Nights.  However, no matter how much I wanted to put Deepwater Horizon at number one, the correct answer to this puzzle is Boogie Nights.  Playing Dirk Diggler, Mark Wahlberg was able to shred the “Marky Mark” image and show that he was a real actor.  The film was amazingly rich with other performances as well from Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Heather Graham, William H. Macy and Don Cheadle.  And the film ends with one of the most iconic shots in Hollywood history.

 

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EYG Top 10 Young Adult Books Into Movies

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Hey all.

This week’s topic for John and Matt were Top 10 Young Adult Books into Movies in honor of this weekend’s release of The House with a Clock in Its Walls. The first thought I had was …heck, how many Harry Potter movies will have to be on this dang list?  The horrible YA movies started flooding my head such as Twilight, The Host, Divergent, The Giver, Mortal Instruments, that last one that was more X-Men like than anything else.  I was not hopeful.

However, after listening to the show and doing my own research, I realized there was a plethora of awesome choices.  So many so that I had to make some real choices of which ones to cut from my list.  That number ten spot could have gone to several films and I would not have missed a beat.

It is also interesting that five of my top ten are films that were not mentioned today by either Matt or John.

 

Image result for love, simon#10.  Love, Simon.  This was a wonderful film from this year that told the story of a young gay teen and his path to coming out via an e-mail relationship that he was having with an anonymous students from his school.  Love, Simon was so sweet and heart warming that you did not even realize how much of an important jump forward making a film like this was.  The ending might have been a bit weaker than the rest of the film, but Love, Simon was so good before the end that it did not falter after the end.  It was a wonderful film.

 

Image result for a monster calls#9.  A Monster Calls.  Another heart-wrenching film that has a beautiful performance from the young actor Lewis MacDougall.  It is the sweet story of a boy and his gigantic tree.  Actually, it is a story of survival and grief and overcoming the pain of loss.  Liam Neeson provided the voice of the monster and never once delivered the line “I am Groot.”  Bring your tissues to this one.

 

Image result for mrs doubtfire#8.  Mrs. Doubtfire.  Robin Williams classic that I had no idea was based on a young adult book until John Rocha brought it up on the show.  Daniel is only trying to spend time with his children, but that pesky judge and court system was preventing him from doing so he took it into his own hands and became an elderly British woman.  Mrs. Doubtfire is one of the best and most consistent comedic performances Robin Williams ever gave, and that is saying something.

 

Related image#7.  Me and Earl and the Dying Girl.  Another one that I did not expect, but it was so great and emotional that I think I may have even given it five stars.  It was so creative with the story telling and the characters that I hadn’t seen anything like it before.  It is another film that requires a hanky to watch.  There were amazing performances from the three main actors and they gripped your emotions and completely messed with then.  And it was FUNNY!

 

Related image#6.  Mary Poppins.  One of the most iconic Disney classics of all time featuring an amazing musical performance from the entire cast and an unbelievable dance from the master himself, Dick Van Dyke.  Mary Poppins was full of great music that we sing yet today.  I absolutely love Chim Chim Cher-ee.  In fact, Disney is preparing to continue the saga of Mary Poppins with a sequel this Christmas with a brand new Mary Poppins. We’ll see if Emily Blunt can come anywhere close to Julie Andrews.

 

Image result for prisoner of azkaban#5.  Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.  The lone Harry Potter movie in the top ten, this really is the first time that the crew of Harry, Hermione and Ron faced something that would bring serious stakes.  It introduced a series of new and wonderful characters to the world of Harry Potter as well, including Gary Oldman’s Sirius Black.  Plus, the film actually started to introduce some darkness into the series, a necessary evil for the series to grow and thrive.  This was the first Harry Potter film directed by filmmaker Alfonso Cuaron and he does a tremendous job movie the third installment of this series ahead.

 

Image result for the two towers#4.  The Two Towers.  Matt mentioned this one on the Top 10 and I hadn’t thought about it, but I agreed that the J.R.R. Tolkien series of books were read by plenty of young adults and high school students.  I also agree with Matt that this is my favorite entry in the series.  It just seemed as if every time the film switched from story to story, it was the perfect time for me.  I remember sitting in the theater and thinking, “I wonder what the hobbits are doing?” and then the film would go to the hobbits.  Plus, Gollum and Treebeard.  Epic.

 

Image result for the wizard of oz#3. The Wizard of Oz.  One of the greatest, most magical movies of all time.  This was one of my childhood favorite films.  I loved the Wizard of Oz and I looked forward to its appearance on television so I could watch it every year.  I have several of the songs on my phone right now.  Judy Garland was great as Dorothy, even though her little dog really was a bad little dog and did bite that poor woman.  Somebody find me the Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon CD!  It’s so trippy.

 

Related image#2.  Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.  Roald Dahl’s classic story (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory) was adapted brilliantly int this film and Gene Wilder was just perfect in every step of this film. He was funny, dramatic, sinister all in the same scene.  He sang like a bird and tortured those little brat children to no end.  Plus, the Oompa-Loompas were charming as could be.  I don’t blame Veronica Salt for wanting some.

 

Image result for the princess bride#1. The Princes Bride.  I had never considered this film until Matt brought it up on his list.  My mouth dropped open when he said it, because I could not believe that I had not thought of it immediately.  The Princess Bride is my favorite movie of all time and I could not love this movie any more.  It is the most quotable movie of all time.  It is such a treat, focused on the fact that true love can overcome any obstacle.  “Death cannot stop true love…all it can do is delay it for a while.”  An amazing cast featuring some of my favorite people ever in Andre the Giant, Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest.  The fresh faced Robin Wright was note perfect as Buttercup.  I absolutely loved the fencing contest between Westley and Inigo.  The Dread Image result for the princess bridePirate Roberts could not be anyone else but Cary Elwes.  The fact that this gets to be my number one on this list on the eve of Talk Like a Pirate Day is the perfect synchronicity.  This film is laugh out loud funny no matter how many times you see it.  I laugh time Westley gets attacked by the R.O.U.S mere seconds (in perfect comedic timing) after he had said that “I don’t believe they exist.”  I could go on an don about this movie, but it just may be time to storm the castle.  And I did this whole bit without saying “Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya.  You killed my father.  Prepare to die.”  That is certainly inconceivable!!! (By the Image result for the princess bride fred savageway, is there a better stand up and cheer, goose bumps moment in movies than when Inigo says “I want my father back you son of  a bitch“?)

I just love this movie.  Can you come back tomorrow and read it to me again?  As you wish.

 

Honorable mention:  So many!  These movies competed for the number ten spot.  Hunger Games.  I couldn’t believe I wound up cutting this one, but there were films I just liked better.  Charlotte’s Web.  I loved this animated film as a child.  I almost put it at ten just because of how much I loved it as a child.  The Apple Dumpling Gang almost made the list, because it was also a childhood favorite.  Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire was just about here too, but I went with Prisoner instead.  Amazing that I only had to do one Harry Potter film.  The Mighty is a film based on the awesome book Freak the Mighty and it is very entertaining.  Coraline was a great film and so was Hugo.  I considered To Kill a Mockingbird as well.  The first Maze Runner wasn’t bad, but it really did not have much chance of making this list and neither did Percy Jackson.  One that I was sure was making it until it faded after I started expanding this list was A Series of Unfortunate Events with Lemony Snicket.  I have not seen The Perks of Being a Wallflower.

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EYG Top 10 Alien Invasion Movies

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It was a little late today, but the brand new Top 10 episode finally dropped and it was worth waiting for.  This week, in honor of the Shane Black Predator coming out this weekend, John and Matt did their Top 10 Alien Invasion Movies episode.

This topic was loaded.  I wound up with 19 possible films and there were several that originally made my top 10 list, but had to be bumped off when I thought of other movies.  This one was one of the tougher lists of recent memory.

 

Image result for the day the earth stood still 1951#10.  The Day the Earth Stood Still.  The 1951 classic starring Michael Rennie tells the tale of a UFO arriving on earth with a message for the leaders of the world.  Set during the Cold War, the nuclear proliferation was being noticed everywhere.  The film had a great message and it was still amazingly entertaining.  This was way better than that remake that was done a few years ago.  That is a theme of this list.

 

Image result for x files fight the future#9.  X-Files: Fight the Future.  I was a huge fan of the television series, The X-Files, and this movie may not have lived up to that level, but I still enjoyed it.  And any film with the wonderful pairing of David Duchovny and Gilliam Anderson can’t be that bad.  This film had some of those pesky bees and I actually thought for a moment that Agent Scully was done for.  The film has the typical X-Files witty banter and humor that became a trademark of the series.  Because the series was such a highly loved one, this tends to be vastly underrated as a film.

 

Image result for i aint got time to bleed#8.  Predator.  “I ain’t got time to bleed.”  Jesse “The Body” Ventura was a huge piece for me at this film’s initial release.  Being a huge WWE (at the time, WWF) fan, seeing Jesse with Arnold Schwarzenegger was a cool treat, and Jesse got all the best lines.  Sure, he died too soon, but that did not take away from the movie.  And, by the way, the creature of the Predator was all kinds of epic.   In my first attempt at a list, I was going to leave this one off because there was only one alien invading, but I changed my mind and placed it at number eight.

 

Image result for 10 cloverfield lane#7.  10 Cloverfield Lane.  I loved this movie.  John Goodman was tremendous in this movie and the way the film just kind of appeared after an unexpected trailer (which was brilliant by the way), showed that Hollywood could actually keep a secret.  Mary Elizabeth Winstead was outstanding as Michelle, the young woman brought down into Goodman’s creepy bunker.  What had happened to the world outside the door?  We did not know, but we were anxious to find out.

 

Related image#6.  Edge of Tomorrow.  The science fiction version of Groundhog’s Day starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt is just so great.  It has made several other lists I have had since I have been writing these, and it is so deserving.  Honestly, the fact that I have had it on other lists caused it to slip down this one.  Plus, a surprise entry above this one sent it down the list a little bit.  At one point, Edge of Tomorrow was at my number four.  It truly is a great action movie with some really fun scenes.

 

Image result for a quiet place#5.  A Quiet Place.  The most recent film on this list was one of the best theater experiences that I have had this year.  Just the way the theater played along with the film without even intending to do it was amazing.  You could barely breathe because you just did not want to be the one to make the noise.  Great performances all around and one of the most emotional moments you are ever going to find in a movie.  John Krasinski found himself a fantastic hit.

 

Image result for john carpenter's the thing#4. The Thing.  This was John and Matt’s number one and I love it too, but I must say that I am not as huge of a fan of it as some are.  Still, it climbed from around number 5 to four on my list.  I actually considered dropping it from the list because of the lack of numbers of aliens, but when that did not seem to matter to the Top 10 guys, then I put it back on the list.  Kurt Russell is great and John Carpenter is a master of this type of film.

 

Image result for It#3.  It.  Here is the movie that messed everything up.  When Matt Knost dropped this one on John Rocha and made a case for it to be an alien invasion film, I knew I had to have it on my list as well.  I loved It so much.  They did a magnificent job creating a film that was more than just a horror film or an alien/monster story.  It was a coming of age tale as well.  This wound up bumping another classic from the list, but it had to happen because, if It works in the category, then It was going to make the list.  It is an awesome film.  It might be a bit of a cheat, but with Matt Knost’s blessing (and it made the show’s top 10 list as well), I am including it here!

 

Image result for they live fight scene]#2.  They Live.  “Rowdy” Roddy Piper came to this John Carpenter movie for two reasons… to chew bubble gum and kick ass… and he is all out of bubble gum!  They Live is a great film that features one of the greatest, most realistic fight scenes ever filmed between Roddy Piper and Keith David.  Those two just looked like the beat the crap out of one another.  Sure the film is bizarre and maybe even silly at times, but it is completely entertaining and surprisingly relevant.

 

Image result for the avengers chitauri Hulk punches#1.  The Avengers.  As I was doing my research, I came across this film and I thought to myself, look, it sure is an alien invasion film.  The Chitauri are aliens and they are invading New York.  And this is one of my favorite movies of all time.  So I had to include it.  I did not include Avengers: Infinity War, even though the Black Order and Thanos are invading earth because I decided that it was more of a trip to earth to find something, maybe steal something.  Thanos was not trying to invade.  So I took it off.  The first Avengers film however fit beautifully at the top of this list.

 

Honorable Mentions: Oh boy there are a bunch.  Independence Day did not make John or Matt’s list and it was bumped from mine bu It.  1978’s Invasion of the Body Snatchers almost made it but I haven’t seen this in a really long time.  District 9 was a favorite, but came up short.  The original 1953 War of the Worlds.  I was not a fan of Tom Cruise’s version.  Avengers: Infinity War as I stated above.  Cloverfield was dropped in favor of its sequel.  Arrival was a really epic science fiction movie, but I was not sure it was an actual invasion.  Men in Black got some consideration.  Rocky Horror Picture Show was going to make my top ten list at first, but it was one of the sad cuts I had to make when I realized that there were 19 films, which is way too many for a top ten list.

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EYG Top 10 Summer Movies of 2018

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Looking back this week.  The Top 10 Summer Movies of 2018 was a pretty good summer.  Trying to come up with my list, I found up to 18 films and probably could have gone even more if I had to.  It turned out that the top 9 were set and I had to debate the #10.

I have never done a mid year list of any kind so it will be interesting when the year end list comes around and how it will affect this order.

I started the summer with the new Avengers movie and I ended it before this weekend.  If I had not, the new movie Searching would have made this list as I absolutely loved it.  However, I saw it officially on September 1st so I eliminated it from the summer films.

I always have SPOILERS on this list, but you should be especially aware this time.

#10.  RBG.  Okay, I had a really tough time choosing this spot, and who would have guessed that a documentary featuring Ruth Bader Ginsberg would be so freakin’ entertaining.  I enjoyed every second of the movie.  I do not see that many documentaries in the actual movie theater but I was so glad that I saw RBG on the big screen.  She was as awesome of a woman that could possibly be and I had no idea that she was so epic.

 

#9.  Deadpool 2.  The sequel wasn’t quite as good for me as the original, but I still enjoyed this completely.   I absolutely loved the X-Force section of this movie.  I sat with my mouth agape as the X-Force guys each were killed almost immediately.  Ryan Reynolds brings the goods again and Josh Brolin was fine as Cable.  The biggest issue I had was the death of Vanessa and then the fix of it at the end.  Domino, however, who is a character I was never a fan of in the comics, is sensational here.  Really funny.

 

#8.  BlacKkKlansman.  Spike Lee’s latest movie is exceptional.  The true story of a black cop who infiltrates a local branch of the Klu Klux Klan.  There was so much connection to today’s world that it was unbelievable and a little bit sad as well.  The acting is tremendous, the story is amazingly unbelievable and the final scenes of the movie, which shows the horrors of Trump and the hatred the world has been involved in lately.  Spike Lee brought the inspiration.

 

#7.  Sorry to Bother You.  Another racial toned story, but one that completely goes crazy.  I was totally enjoying this movie and then Lakeith Stanfield’s character is at the party and, in search of a bathroom, stumbles across the half-man/half horse creatures and the film completely goes INSANE.  I could not believe what I was watching and I loved it.  I know the ending with the sci-fi twist lost some people, but I thought it was something special.  It kind of reminded me of The Lobster. This film is a wonderful surprise.

 

#6.  Eighth Grade.  I loved this movie because I recognized everything.  As a Middle School teacher, I couldn’t believe how accurate these characters were.  And the scene in the back of the car where Kayla uncomfortably sits while the high school boy is taking his shirt off and trying to get her to do more had me on the edge of my seat. I sat there with my breath held, hoping beyond all hope that she would escape this dangerous situation.  I also loved her father, who seemed to be the perfect father for a teenage girl.  Eighth Grade was a magnificent film.

 

#5.  Ant Man and the Wasp.  I enjoyed the team up film quite a bit.  It felt lighter and more fun after the emotional roller coaster of Avengers: Infinity War.  Evangeline Lilly does a fantastic job as Hope and she has a wonderful chemistry with Paul Rudd.  The movie is funny, exciting and makes us feel like an Ant Man movie.  Paul Rudd’s connection with Scott’s daughter is one of the best scenes of the movie.  As a villain, Ghost has potential to be more than just a one off villain (Thunderbolts, anyone?)  The film has impressive and creative uses of the shrinking gimmick and is highly entertaining.

 

#4.  Mission Impossible:  Fallout.  The latest installment of the Mission Impossible franchise is a great action movie and Tom Cruise continues his insanity of doing his own stunts.  You can see the actual scene in the movie where he injured himself doing the stunt.  The addition of the sufficiently mustached Henry Cavill was great as well.  I would have liked more Rebecca Ferguson than what we got, but that it picking at the nitpicks.  This is a turbo engine of action and excitement and is once again one of the great films of the franchise.

 

#3.  Incredibles 2.  After a decade and a half, there is finally the sequel that we have all been waiting for and they completely knocked it out of the park.  With most of the original voice cast returning, Incredibles 2 brings these characters back to the end of the first film and continues their story.  Jack Jack and his path of discovery of his own powers is great as is the step to the forefront of Elastigirl.  Jack Jack and the raccoon is one of the best scenes of the film, certainly the funniest.  The return of Edna and how she takes to jack Jack is also a fun call back.  The movie is truly a fantastic sequel and the public completely loved it as it passed the one billion dollar mark world wide.  My guess is that we won’t have to wait as long this time for Incredibles 3.  Get on that, Brad Bird.

 

#2.  Won’t You Be My Neighbor.  I was never that much into Mr. Rogers.  I watched it, but I was really more of a Sesame Street/Electric Company guy, but this documentary destroyed me.  I have cried in the movie theater before, but I have never cried in the car on the way home before until this movie.  And I am not really sure why.  I think part of it is how desperately we could use a man like Fred Rogers, honest, caring, straightforward, who cares about the kids of the world above anything else, now a days where we have such divisiveness and hatred.  I saw this around the time the story of the immigrant children being separated from their parents was breaking.  I can’t imagine what Mr. Rogers would think about that.  This documentary catches the humanity of this man who was the best of us.

 

#1. Avengers: Infinity War.  Ten years of Marvel Studio movies were building to this moment and Infinity War did not fail to deliver.  A masterpiece of ingenuity, the film handled its tremendously large cast better than most films handle their small ensembles. Then, the film went there.  The snap.  Some believed that the snap might come, but that it would come early and the movie would be trying to save the lost heroes.  In the actual comic, the snap happens very early.  Not here.  The snap was at the very end and the after effects were heartbreaking.  Spider-man’s apparently adlibbed line destroyed people.  Sure, you know that most if not all of these characters will return, but that does not cheapen what this was.  The theater I was in was dead silent as these heroes started “dusting” and the shock when the movie ended with Thanos victorious was palatable.  What a gutsy thing for Marvel Studios to pull off.  I loved Infinity War so much and I cannot wait for Avengers 4 to see where the story goes from here.

 

Honorable mentionsTag, Teen Titans Go to the Movies, Three Identical Strangers, Upgrade, Tully, Hereditary, Crazy Rich Asians

 

EYG23

EYG Top 10 WWII Movies Based on True Story

EYG23

Hey, welcome back to the EYG Top 10 list based on the Top 10 Show’s weekly podcast.  This week’s show featuring John Rocha and Matt Knost was the Top 10 Movies Based on A True Story.

When I first saw this category, I thought this would be one where I could not get ten films.  I am not the biggest fan of World War II movies and I knew that there would be films on Matt and John’s lists that I have not seen (for example:  Patton, Letters from Iwo Jima, A King’s Speech, Downfall etc).

However, I was able to scrape out ten films so I am going to go ahead and do the list.  Thing is, there are some films on the top ten list here that I am just not much of a fan of.  In fact, I would say that a good chunk of this list would be considered films that I only mildly like (if not even basically do not like).  It had to be done though.

Image result for dunkirk movie#10.  Dunkirk. Starting here, I am not a fan of this movie, but I do respect some of the technical aspects of the film.  I did see this movie in IMAX and the sound was just so powerful that it was shaking my body and made me almost ill.  I could feel the film in my stomach and it was just an unpleasant viewing experience.  That may have severely altered my opinion on the film and that may not be fair.  It may even be one of the things that Christopher Nolan was going for when he made the film.  I just did not want to physically feel that way in the theater so it was down my list.  It will still make the list though.

 

Image result for zookeepers wife#9.  Zookeeper’s Wife.  Here is the next film that is, at best, an okay film.  It would have some great performances from Jessica Chastain and Daniel Bruhl.  The film tells the story of the Warsaw Zoo and Antonina Zabinski and her husband, Dr. Jan Zabinski who ran the zoo prior to its overtaking by the Nazis.  The Zabinskis worked in the resistance and helped many Jews and animals to escape the clutches of the Nazis.

 

Image result for unbroken#8.  Unbroken.  Another average film, directed by Angelina Jolie.  This tells the story of Olympic athlete Louis “Louie” Zamperini whose plane crashes in the ocean.  He survives 47 days adrift and then is captured by the Japanese.  Winding up in a POW camp, Louie was targeted by the commander because of his fame and his strength. But as the title must tell you, he makes it through the ordeal unbroken.  This could have been a much better film than it turned out, but it was a strong performance from Jack O’Connell.

 

Image result for fury movie#7.  Fury.  Matt may have poo-pooed this choice when Jon tried to throw it in as a replacement pick, but I am keeping it on the list.  It is made up of a collection of true stories from real life Army veterans who spent their time in tanks.  It may not be based on a singular story, but that should not affect the choice.  However, it was another film on this list that was, for me, at best , okay.  It definitely has a great cast of actors here and there is distinct drama in the tale.

 

Image result for saving private ryan#6.  Saving Private Ryan.  Okay, truth time.  I may have only seen this once and it was years ago. In fact, I do not remember much about it, but I know it has a stellar cast and it has scenes that are as realistic as any you have seen.  I love Tom Hanks, as everybody does and the film is a really solidly created movie.

 

Image result for imitation game#5.  Imitation Game.  Again, this movie is a great performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, and that performance elevates the remainder of the film.  Cumberbatch played Cambridge mathematics alumnus Alan Turing to crack German codes, which included the believed to be unbreakable Enigma code.  However, the end was not good for Turning as he was revealed as gay and he was hauled off to prison.  He ended up committing suicide.  Tough end for a man who helped the Allied Powers win World War II.

 

Image result for allied movie#4.  Allied.  Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play spies during World War II and they fall in love.  They wind up getting married, but the questions continue to be asked… is she still a spy and just using him?  The love story is strong and the performances are outstanding.

 

 

Image result for darkest hour#3.  Darkest Hour.  This is another movie that is elevated by a remarkable performance, which seems to be a theme among this list.  This time, the performance is Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill.  This is the better, in my opinion, of the movies involving the removal of troops from Dunkirk, but it is best because of the Oscar winning performance of Gary Oldman.  The scene of Churchill on the train with the normal people was just as charming and touching as you could find.

 

Image result for hacksaw ridge#2.  Hacksaw Ridge.  I loved this movie.  The first half of the film was all setting up our character, Pfc. Desmond T. Doss, played beautifully by Andrew Garfield.  Doss was a conscientious objector to the violence of the war and he fought to not have to carry a gun.  He won that right and his platoon mates hated him for it.  However, no one hated him after he would run into fire to pull out injured soldiers. The second half of this movie was as brutal and fetus position-inducing of a film that I have ever seen.  The heroism of Desmond Doss should never be forgotten.

 

Image result for schindlers list#1. Schindler’s List.  This one was a no-brainer.  It was the first film that I thought about when this topic came up.  It was the most emotional film that I have seen, maybe ever.  It was Steven Spielberg’s classic that starred Liam Neeson as Oskar Schindler, a German businessman who was out to make a fortune, only to discover the horrors of the concentration camps on the Jewish population.  Schindler attempted to save as many Jewish people form the camps as he could.  The devastating scene where Oskar broke down because he found a medal on the ground that could have bought the freedom of a few more people was just poignant as could be.  This is a movie that strikes at the heart and is one of the best works ever put to screen.

 

EYG Top 10 Police Comedies

EYG23

This week’s Top 10 Show is featuring the Top 10 Police Comedies, in honor of the release of this weekend’s The Happytime Murders.

Some of the lower films on this list are films that I feel are okay, but not great.  Comedies can be difficult because what is funny is so subjective that what one person thinks is funny can be completely unfunny to others.  For example, one of the films that could have made this list, Super Troopers, is a film that I find stupid.

And it has to be police, not private eyes, FBI, spies etc.  Police officers/cops.

Top 10 Police Comedies.

Image result for police academy movie#10.  Police Academy.  Most of the sequels were terrible and really went too far, but the original Police Academy was a funny movie with Steve Guttenberg.  Sound effect star Michael Winslow was always remarkably entertaining too.  It is not a great movie by any stretch but it is a funny movie and movies that make me laugh can cover the flaws.  And Police Academy covered its flaws well.

 

Image result for dragnet movie#9.  Dragnet.  Tom Hanks and Dan Aykroyd star in the movie remake of an older television program from the 1950s.  Aykroyd played Joe Friday, the uptight no-nonsense police officer who teams with new partner Pep Streebeck, a smart alack free-wheeling cop.  Together they have to investigate a weird cult in order to save the virgin Connie Swail.  It was funny and the pairing of Aykroyd and Hanks was very solid with strong chemistry.  The film is not great, but it was entertaining enough.

 

Related image#8.  22 Jump Street.  I am one of those people who did not like 21 Jump Street.  Yes, everyone else seemed to love that movie, but I did not.  However, I found the sequel to the film considerably more entertaining.  I especially loved the ending compilation for Jump Streets #23 on.  There was some serious creativity in this section.  Then, when Channing Tatum found out that Jonah Hill had sex with Ice T’s (their captain) daughter, the scene is as funny as anything on this list.

 

Image result for running scared movie#7.  Running Scared.  This film may not be as much of a comedy as some of the others on this list, but with Billy Crystal in the film, the dialogue is well written and the humor is natural.  The combination of Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines was great as they were hoping to retire from the street cops and retire to Florida.

 

Image result for zootopia#6.  Zootopia. Judy Hopps is a police officer, and she became the first police officer that is a rabbit.  She meets up with the fox Nick Wilde to attempt to solve a mysterious case in Zootopia.  There is a lot in Zootopia that is aimed at adults.  There is some drug jokes that are very funny and would have gone over the heads of the kids in the audience.  Disney had another winner with Zootopia.

 

Image result for The Heat#5,  The Heat.  Melissa McCarthy and Sandra Bullock are fantastic together.  Melissa McCarthy is a foul-mouthed, unlikable police detective and Sandra Bullock is a by the book investigator who is exceptional.  Together, this odd couple provide a ton of laughs as they work together to solve their case.  The comedy in this movie is one of the best of McCarthy’s career.  Paul Feig directed The Heat.  He worked on several films with McCarthy.

 

Image result for a shot in the dark movie#4.  A Shot in the Dark.  Inspector Clouseau, played by EYG Hall of Famer Peter Sellers, is in his prime in this, the second Pink Panther movie. Clouseau is convinced that the beautiful maid, whom everybody else believed is guilty of murder, is innocent and he is determined to solve the case… despite the opposition of his own captain.  Peter Sellers is a gifted comedic performer and his slapstick performances here are as great as you will ever see.

 

Image result for kindergarten cop#3.  Kindergarten Cop.  This is one of the most unlikely successful Arnold Schwarzenegger movies you are going to find.  When his partner gets sick, Arnold must go undercover as a kindergarten teacher to find the son of a killer who is hiding from his father.  The interactions with Arnold and the kids in the school were wonderful and was one of the films that helped me choose the profession of teacher.  The ending was also great and I can remember wondering how this was going to work out. And I still use the line “It’s not a tumor” in every day life.

 

Related image#2.  Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad.  Based on a short lived ABC television show, Naked Gun was a unbelievably funny film.  Leslie Nielsen plays Frank Drebin, a police officer who has to go to huge extremes to try and stop a mysterious crime from happening.  A mysterious crime that happens to involve Reggie Jackson.  Frank as the umpire in the baseball game is just amazingly funny.  The film also featured OJ Simpson, Ricardo Montalban and Priscilla Presley.

 

Image result for beverly hills cop#1. Beverly Hills Cop.  Eddie Murphy and one of the films that sent him into the stratosphere.  Eddie Murphy played Axel Foley and he went to Beverly Hills to investigate the murder of one of his closest friends in Detroit.  Murphy was the fish out of water type of character as he watched the weirdness of California everywhere.  He met the two police officers, Rosewood and Taggart, whom Axel could not understand.  Beverly Hills Cop works as a comedy, an action movie, a buddy cop movie.  Axel Foley is quick witted and smart alack cop and he is really on a roll.  Eddie Murphy becomes a massive star from this.  Plus, cameo from Weird Al is always a great thing.

 

Honorary Mention48 Hours, The Naked Gun: 33 1/3: The Final Insult, Beverly Hills Cop 2, Naked Gun 2 1/2: The Smell of Fear.

 

EYG23

EYG Top 10 Undercover Movies Based on a True Story

EYG23

Here we go with another week of The Top 10 Show featuring John Rocha and Matt Knost.  This week’s topic came from one of the patreons at the Boss Hogg Level meaning that it did not have an inspiration from the upcoming weekend.  It started out as Undercover Movies and then the guys added the addendum to it that it had to be from “based on a true story” films.  This made the list a difficult one to muster.

Honestly, there were a bunch of films that I tried to stretch and make it fit the list, but most of them I wound up tossing out.  For example, I thought about Trumbo because in it, Trumbo wrote movies under an alias.  I know it does not really fit, but I considered it. Other films that I considered but eliminated because they did not really fit the category included All the President’s Men, Hollywoodland, Charlie Wilson’s War, Bridge of Spies, The Imitation Game and Snowden.

Again this week, I was able to watch a couple of classics that I hadn’t seen before that wound up making the list.  I will miss this time as next week, I will be unable to do that since school will have restarted.  Those will just have to be the films that I have already seen.

Top 10 Undercover Movies that are Based on a True Story.

Image result for american made tom cruise#10.  American Made.  Starring Tom Cruise as Barry Seal, a pilot who was recruited by the CIA to fly reconnaissance missions on some countries in Central America.  However, Seal wound up doing way more than that as he started flying drugs into the country for Noriega and he became ungodly wealthy.  Cruise does his normal solid job, though the film was not a huge success.

 

Image result for imperium#9.  Imperium.  I had forgotten about this movie completely until the guys brought it up on their show today.  Daniel Radcliffe is amazing as Nate Foster, an FBI Agent who had to infiltrate a group of white nationalists.  Although the character of Nate Foster is not a real person, the story itself has parts of it that are true and so fits into the category effectively.  Toni Collette and Nastor Carbonell also appear in the movie.

 

Image result for american hustle cast#8.  American Hustle.  One of David O’Russell’s films that is filled with oddball characters and big name celebrities.  Jeremy Renner, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Amy Adams, Robert DeNiro, Michael Pena, and Louis CK are all in the film.  It is a dark comedy focusing on Irving Rosenfeld and Sydney Prosser, two con artists who were caught by the FBI and forced into working for them in a sting operation to bring down New Jersey mayor.  This is base on the Abscam case.

 

Image result for snitch rock#7.  Snitch.  One of the more unusual films in the oeuvres of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.  It was one of the earliest examples that The Rock had some acting chops and might not always be seen as just a big action hero.  John Matthews begs the DEA to be allowed to go undercover in exchange for the release of his son who had been caught with a package of drugs despite not knowing what was in the package.  The film involved the Mexican cartel and The Rock is able to expose a major player, only making things more dangerous.

 

Image result for the infiltrator#6.  The Infiltrator. Another film that I had not thought about until John and Matt brought it up today.  I did enjoy the film, featuring Bryan Cranston as US Customs agent Robert Mazur who went undercover to infiltrate the drug cartel of Pablo Escobar.  Mazur became a close confidant and friend of Escobar which led to the bust of many of the members of the cartel and members of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International at a family wedding.  Cranston is sharp and strong in the film as Mazur, under the alias of “Bob Musella,” wound up in constant danger.

 

Image result for serpico shot#5.  Serpico.  This was one of the films I had not seen before today.  Again, I had a working knowledge of it and I knew it was one of the amazing string of performances in the 1970s for Al Pacino, but I had not seen it until now.  Frank Serpico, a clean cop, who refused to take the money offered the police to look the other way etc.  He was idealistic and the film is really about the loss of his innocence and his idealism.  The scene where Frank gets shot in the face is a tough scene to watch and it makes you wonder what the cops might do to maintain their status quo.

 

Image result for the Imposter#4.  The Imposter.  Here is my cheat for this list.  The Imposter is a documentary that tells the story of a life long criminal and con man named Frédéric Bourdin.  Bourdin, in an attempt to get out of the life that he was living in Europe, pretended to be the missing son of a family in Texas.  So yes I know that pretending to be someone else is a bit of a stretch for going undercover, but this documentary is so compelling and brilliant that I am willing to expand the definition for this film alone.  The film is unbelievable and thrilling.  It brings out emotions and makes you wonder exactly what happened to the 13-year old boy Nicholas  whom Bourdin impersonated.  And what exactly did the family know about all of this.  Certainly an amazing story.

 

Image result for blackkklansman#3. BlacKkKlansman.  The brand new Spike Lee movie is the most recent film that fits this category.  Spike Lee tells the story of African-American police officer Ron Stallworth who, by phone, was able to get the local branch of the Klu Klux Klan to agree to meet him for potential membership.  Of course, his black skin was going to be a problem.  Stallworth convinced another fellow officer to play the role of Ron Stallworth in person so they could infiltrate the KKK.  The scam was so successful that the real Ron Stallworth actually carried on conversations with Grand Wizard David Duke.  This film has major implications for today’s world and is not shy in showing them.  This is a tremendous film and one of the best of 2018 so far.

 

Image result for argo#2.  Argo.  The Best Picture Academy Award winner was directed by Ben Affleck and told the story about how a group of Americans were rescued from Iran during the time of the Iranian hostage crisis.  Tony Mendez went undercover into Iran playing a director of a film looking to shoot in the country.  In order to make this seem real, they had to go through the real set up of a big Hollywood blockbuster.  The film is stolen by great performances from Alan Arkin and John Goodman as the men backing and writing the project.  I found this movie completely thrilling and it was almost my number one film on this list.

 

Image result for donnie brasco#1.  Donnie Brasco.  However, the second film I watched today was Donnie Brasco and it was really wonderful.  It was also both John and Matt’s number one and it was a well deserved ranking.  FBI agent Joe Pistone went undercover in the New York Mafia by hooking up with Lefty (Al Pacino) and using the name Donnie Brasco.  As the days passed, Joe was growing closer to the low level Mafioso Lefty who seemed to always be passed over when the positions above him went to “swim with the fishes.”  Joe had to weigh his job responsibilities and that of his family against his new found friend.  I was riveted with this film and it took that number one spot away from Argo.

 

Honorary Mention:  Black Mass and Bad Country.

 

EYG23

EYG Top Ten Movie Remakes

EYG23

Welcome back after a week and a day.  This week’s Top 10 Show featured the Top 10 Spike Lee Movies in honor of the BlacKkKlansman out this weekend.  When I looked at the upcoming movies, I was worried that they were going to do the Spike Lee topic, because I just have not seen very many Spike Lee films.  Outside of Malcolm X (which I haven’t seen in years) and Inside Man, there are not much for me to list.  I was hoping something like Monster Movies in honor of The Meg.  Unfortunately, that was not to be the case.  Spike Lee it was.

That meant that I had to tap out of this week’s list.  However, I decided that, since I am a patreon who is able to hear the past episodes from their original run, I would wait to see what topic was the replay and I would do that topic.

So, here will be the Top 10 Movie Remakes.  Course, I cannot provide a link for anyone since it is a Patreon reward.  Sorry.  Join the Top 10 Patreon and you can hear this episode too!

Some info:  This is not reboots.  This is a remake.  I did some research to make sure I understood the difference.  It may be subtle, but the remakes are basically the same (or very similar) characters and story with everything else new.

I did focus on remakes of MOVIES, which meant some choices such as Little Shop of Horrors and Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (which I LOVE!!) are not on this list.

There are also some major remakes that did not make my list because I have not seen them.  Scarface is a film that has been on my Netflix queue for a long time, but I just have not found the time to watch it.

So… here is the Top 10 Movie Remakes

Related image#10.  The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.  The film starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara was a remake of a Swedish film of the same name.  I loved this remake (although I have not seen the original and I have heard it is better).  I found this such a tragic film with our vengeful lead character just trying to find her way in the world.  There was a cool mystery to the film and I found it underappreciated by the film community as a whole.

 

Image result for king kong peter jackson#9.  King Kong.  Peter Jackson’s epic monster movie was definitely too long and had some missteps along the way, but other than that, I really enjoyed what we got.  Jack Black was certainly at his very best in this movie.  Naomi Watts is always excellent in whatever project she is involved in and this is no exception.  This classic story was well told and the special effects gave this version of the giant ape that extra oomph.

 

Image result for true grit#8.  True Grit.  This remake of the John Wayne classic starred Jeff Bridges in the iconic role of Rooster Cogburn and the film saw the debut of young Hailee Steinfeld, who steals the film from the veteran actors.  This film, directed by the Coen Brothers, also starred Brad Pitt, Josh Brolin, and Domhnall Gleeson.

 

 

Image result for 12 monkeys brad pitt#7.  12 Monkeys.  Terry Gilliam’s weird futuristic dystopian world starred Bruce Willis who came from the future to try and stop the outbreak of a plague that nearly devastates the human race and forces them to live below ground.  12 Monkeys is the remake of a French short film called La Jetée.  The remake’s best work comes from Brad Pitt, who played a man from a mental institution who Willis believes had something to do with the 12 Monkeys.  Pitt is amazing with his crazy actions and really takes the film to another level.

 

Related image#6.  The Thing.  John Carpenter’s classic horror movie was a remake of a film from 1951 called The Thing from Another World.    The group of characters stranded in a remote base in Antarctica already made this a tense and stressful movie, but the addition of a monster that could become any of the people that it has killed makes this even more anxiety filled.  Kurt Russell is awesome here as one of the stranded characters desperately trying to figure out whom he could trust, before it is too late.  The film is very claustrophobic and, while most of the special effects show their age, the use of the creatures are used effectively.

 

Image result for insomnia movie robin williams#5.  Insomnia.  A great film starring Robin Williams and Al Pacino is a remake of a 1997 Norwegian film of the same title.  Al Pacino is a police officer who is responding to a call from help in Alaska in order to escape possible charges behind him.   Once in Alaska, he can not fall asleep with the long sunlight happening.  Pacino was accompanied by another police detective who informed him that he was turning evidence against him. Unfortunately, that guy wound up dead during the course of the investigation.  Robin Williams played a creepy stalker type who knew what Pacino did and kept him on a leash.  This was a great change of pace for Robin Williams.

 

Image result for jungle book live action#4.  The Jungle Book.  Disney’s “live action” remake of the animated Jungle Book was a marvel of technology.  Everything in the movie, except the boy who played Mowgli, was animated/CGI.  However, the animals and the setting was so realistic and life like that you would never be able to tell if you were not aware of it before.  Jon Favreau directed the film and really brought the animated film to a new level of brilliance.  There were also tremendous voice acting going on including Bill Murray as Baloo, Idris Elba as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa, and Christopher Walken as King Louis.

 

Image result for the fly remake#3.  The Fly.  This was frightening.  Taking the film from the 1950s starring Vincent Price and added some more tragedy to it and made it even more disgusting, The Fly became a fantastic remake.  Jeff Goldblum brought the tragic character to life as Geena Davis could do nothing but watch his continual descent into monstrosity.  There are some really gross scenes here that are fun to watch.

 

Image result for cape fear#2.  Cape Fear.  The remake of the 1962 film by Martin Scorsese starred Nick Nolte and Jessica Lange who are hunted by a murderer played by Robert DeNiro.  DeNiro is amazing as Max Cady.  Nolte was a public defender who messed up Max’s case and was a reason why Max spent time in prison.  There was so many tense and suspenseful moments in this flick that you are on the edge of your seat.  You never know what is going to happen and it is a great movie.

 

Image result for the birdcage#1.  The Birdcage.  The remake of the 1978 Franco-Italian film La Cage aux Folles featuring Robin Williams and Nathan Lane as a homosexual couple who run and perform at a drag club in Florida.  Williams plays Armand and his son (he had with a woman before he had come out) Val returns with his fiance who happens to be the daughter of a senator who expounds family values.  And surprise!  The Senator and his wife are coming for dinner.  This film goes way past the gay stereotypes and shows these characters with a realism and a humanity that had not been seen much before.  The relationship between Armand and Nathan Lane’s Albert was more than just a gay couple.  They were two people in love and who were comfortable enough with one another to show that side to everyone.   Gene Hackman appears as the Senator who is in for some shocks and some unwelcome realizations.  The Birdcage is very funny, poignant and fun.

 

Honorable MentionOceans 11, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Three Men and a Baby, Casino Royale, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast

 

 

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