Sunday, March 01, 2009

reels of reality

Even though I dislike lists, I seem to be a sucker for talking about them.

One of my favorite magazines compiled a list of its best 25 movies. The criteria were rather simple: freedom, families, patriotism, traditions.

I have doubts about the artistic qualities of several of the films, but they do seem to meet the criteria. Here they are:

  1. The Lives of Others (2007)
  2. The Incredibles (2004)
  3. Metropolitan* (1990) -- one of my favorites
  4. Forrest Gump* (1994)
  5. 300 (2007)
  6. Groundhog Day (1993)
  7. The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
  8. Juno* (2007)
  9. Blast From the Past (1999)
  10. Ghostbusters* (1984)
  11. The Lord of the Rings* (2001, 2002, 2003)
  12. The Dark Knight* (2008)
  13. Braveheart* (1993)
  14. A Simple Plan (1998)
  15. Red Dawn* (1984)
  16. Master and Commander* (2003)
  17. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe* (2005)
  18. The Edge (1997)
  19. We Were Soldiers (2002)
  20. Gattaca (1997)
  21. Heartbreak Ridge (1986)
  22. Brazil* (1985)
  23. United 93 (2006)
  24. Team America: World Police (2004)
  25. Gran Torino (2008)
I cannot say much about the list because I have only seen eleven of the films listed -- those marked with an asterisk (*).

And I would have dropped Red Dawn in favor of Thank You for Smoking.

But, overall, it is a very interesting list.

I am certain that we could all come up with our own lists of favorites. My problem is that my list would change from day to day -- depending on the criteria. Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? has long been one of my favorite films for its construction. But it certainly would not go on every favorites list I would construct.

As a weekend exercise, what criteria would use use for a favorites list for film? And what films would make the cut?


Cynthia Johnson and Mike Nickell said...

HEY - What's with the new "old" pic of yourself??

And congrats on your progress with your're getting closer. We picked up our vehicle import sticker in Phoenix and it was a snap. We brought Sitka's health cert and rabies vaccination cert, but never had to pull them out for review. I think she scared them!

Steve said...

Cynthia -- As to the picture, I just wanted something new. I will tell you more when we meet.

For some reason, I doubt that the geriatric Professor Jiggs will initimidate anyone.

Babs said...

Ok, here I am to admit that I have only seen 1 of the 25......I select movies that have great character development and great dialogue - often foreign films.

Anonymous said...


that it (the movie) would not make a good book.

ie: JuneBug. visual nuance, couldn't be written. needed to be seen.

Houston, TX

Calypso said...

On that picture thing - have you been talking to our friend Michael Dickson by any chance?

Now I am challenged to find an old photo - OK that - but I am not biting to spend my weekend thinking of 25 films I like and explaining the criteria. But surely "The Mission (1986)", "Aguirre, Wrath of God (1972) ", "Fitzcarraldo (1982)","Annie Hall (1977)", "Manhattan (1979)", "The World's Fastest Indian (2005), "Message in a Bottle (1999)" would be on my list ;-)

Darrel said...

It looks like you should add “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button” to your movie list. Looking at your latest profile photo, your life appears to running in reverse. You’ve gone from a well rounder (literally) aging attorney ready to through in the towel to a hairy, young, skinny (I’m going to save the world) attorney. If this reverse aging continues, you won’t be able to enter Mexico without a note from your (OUR) mother.

Larry Lambert, Mazatlan said...

Steve - Don't be too sure about the Professor. Nationals tend to be really leery of dogs, especially big ones. We have two Labs and I'm frequently saying "no morde." Ha, his just being there may get you the green light.

I've never talked to anyone bringing dogs down that had to produce the health certification. The Seattle consulate told me that a letter signed by the vet was good enough so long as it showed they were current on distemper and rabies. Our vet chose to use the USDA interstate form.


Islagringo said...

If you just wanted something new, why not scan your passport photo? Very curious here why you chose the much younger version. Nothing wrong with it, just curious. You never do anything without careful consideration and for a reason.

Steve said...

Babs -- "Great character development and great dialogue." Two good criteria. I assume there is something more needed, in addition. Otherwise, you end up with acting workshops masquerading as films. Benjamin Button and The Queen come to mind.

Charley -- I like that. Books and films are entirely different media. F. Scott Fotzgerald'd books make terible films. His screenplays would make terrible books.

Calypso -- Michael had an effect on my choice. But another unfortunate incident has sparked the photo change. No need for details. I really should make up my list. Two of your choices would be on mine.

Darrel -- I would think, as my brother, you would have recognized how I am getting younger every year. And better Benjamin Button than Dorian Gray.

Larry -- Poor Professor Jiggs is painfully aware that he scares a lot of people. Most of my Mexican friends are very leery of him. My vet is putting together an official packet for the Professor.

Islandgringo -- If I scanned my passport photo, Warner Brorthers would sue me for copyright infringement. Th-th-th-at's all, folks!

Alan said...

Steve, any chance you could post your brothers old picture(s) and then post your permanent hall pass from Powers High School which I am sure you still have in your wallet! By the way, I know several lawyers (retired and living?) would still see you with bloody hands. Your eloquence from the dock will prove my point if I can ever get to the bench to pronounce judgment. Romans 8:23 back at you! Enjoy your last month and I did note that retirement seems to be setting in with the time of this post.

Steve said...

Al -- This past week I took off work for the vacation days I cannot sell back. I quickly found myself getting into a night owl pattern. Tomorrow is a full work week -- so, I need to get back to a regular sleep schedule. In another month, I can reverse the pattern as much as I choose.

glorv1 said...

So you and "Miguelito" decided to "regress? New picture. My how young we have become. Very nice. Ahem. (just keeding)

Steve said...

Gloria -- There is younger yet to come. Wait until Monday morning.