Piggybacking on yet another nice post by Dennis Cozzalio, I thought I would profess my love and addiction for all things movie and shirt related. I am a pretty big collector of t-shirts in general. Always on the lookout for a geeky or silly shirt relating to movies I love. When I came across the LAST EXIT TO NOWHERE (Dennis mentions them as well in his post)site, I was floored by how many clever film shirts that they had that I wanted to buy. They are of course UK-based, so shipping can be a bit steep so I usually wait for one of their sales to set my sights on acquiring anything. I can however attest to the quality of the shirts they peddle and the quality is high. In my comments on Dennis' blog I also mentioned another favorite shirt site for me FOUND ITEM CLOTHING. Great site for the geek who likes replicas of shirts worn by movie characters in films. I believe the whole site began because the founders couldn't find a nice version of Val Kilmer's "I 'heart' Toxic Waste" shirt as worn by him in the 80s classic REAL GENIUS. They went on to do designs for almost all of the other shirts you see Kilmer wear in the film including "Surf Nicaragua", "Summer Games 1984", the Roy Rogers shirt and my personal favorite "International Order for Gorillas". They even have bunny slippers for sale on the site so you can complete your Chris Knight ensemble. Also, tons more great pickings for the 80s film geek including many of the unforgettable classics that Booger wore in REVENGE OF THE NERDS. The much sought after "Greasy Tony's", "High on Stress" & "Gimme Head Till I'm Dead" are all there. They even have shirts from one of my favorite 80s sidekicks, "Stiles"(played to perfection by the incomparable Jerry Levine) including the definitive, "What Are You Looking at Dicknose". No true TEEN WOLF fan could pass these up. Are you a lover of THE MONSTER SQUAD? BREAKING AWAY? ZAPPED? SLAPSHOT? FOOTLOOSE? THE BAD NEWS BEARS? CADDYSHACK? They've got you covered. Last, but far from least they have a nice repro of Cru Jones' own fundraiser shirt from the BMX tour de force RAD... I've also ordered lotsa stuff from MINI-CASSETTE TEES . I'm very fond of their shirts emblazoned with Lego versions of classic characters like Ash, Quint and the quite singular Jack Burton. There are a plethora of great shirt designs there for the cult film geek. Also, no film geek's shirt collection is complete without at least one video logo shirt from ROTTEN COTTON. New World, Vestron, Cannon,Video Gems, Embassy, Lightning, Paragon, Thriller- take your pick. There are so many great film shirts out there ladies and gentlemen. Even THREADLESS spinoffs like GLENNZ have some fun selections. I also saw a "Vote For Torgo" shirt the other day. Just right for the Hot Topic shopper who's also a fan of MANOS: THE HANDS OF FATE....
A friend of mine asked me for a list of my favorite Woody Allen films today so I thought I'd just post it. I just went off of films he directed so neither THE FRONT or PLAY IT AGAIN SAM are on the list, though I like them both quite a bit(especially THE FRONT). I also left off Woody's entry in NEW YORK STORIES. Don't care for that much, I prefer Scorsese's segment. I haven't cared too much for his output of late, but I must admit to not having seen WHATEVER WORKS yet. I also haven't seen CASSANDRA'S DREAM, which I have some interest in. Not a huge fan of MATCHPOINT, though I know it is a much heralded recent film from him...
So the wife and I just watched Busby Berkeley's film THE GANG'S ALL HERE last night. As was to be expected from a Berkeley film, it was darn stylish and the musical numbers were pretty elaborate and colorful. Highly recommended if you like his stuff. Got me thinking about my favorite musical films. I didn't intend this blog to be a running group of lists, but that's just the kind of mood I've been in lately.
As a general rule, I'm not a huge fan of musicals so I have probably skewed the definition of what a musical film is to fit in the movies(that involve music) that I most enjoy. I think for me seeing the actors have fun and make everything seem effortless is really key in my enjoyment of such films. You'll note that SINGIN' IN THE RAIN is a little lower on my list. I have to be honest here. I like the film a good deal, but sometimes I feel like I can see a little bit of the strain that the actors are going through to pull of some of the films very memorable scenes. For instance, Donald O'Connor's infamous "Make 'Em Laugh" sequence has always made me a little uncomfortable. I realize that the slapstick humor he is demonstrating is a throwback to vaudeville etc, but I never really thought it was very funny or wacky. Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy good slapstick and his agility is nearly unmatched as far as pulling the sequence off. He is a remarkable talent. If you've ever seen his dance sequence on roller skates(!) in I LOVE MELVIN you cannot help but be dazzled by him. I recently listened to the Criterion laserdisc commentary for SINGIN' IN THE RAIN and learned that O'Connor had been smoking about 4 packs of cigarettes a day at the time of starting to rehearse the "Make 'Em Laugh" sequence. So needless to say it was quite a workout for him. They filmed the whole sequence, after which O'Connor spent the following day in bed as he was totally wiped out. Gene Kelly then told him that the film had been fogged during the takes they had done at that he would have to do the whole thing over again. O'Connor complied, but was then bed-ridden for three days after. O'Connor being a consummate pro, does make the sequence look very good. Still, I must say that part of me feels the efforts of a man trying really hard to stay cheerful when I watch it. I think I get that sort of feeling from several sequences in the film and that makes it harder for me to enjoy. I can't connect emotionally to the characters for that reason. I feel kind of the same way about YANKEE DOODLE DANDY. There is absolutely no denying James Cagney is stupendous in the film. I just felt no real connection to it. Now you take a duo like Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers and, for me, they never make it seem forced(not that Cagney does either mind you). They are both just angelic and effortless and that's what really makes me love their films. I feel myself so much more engaged when I watch them. I should also note that I decided not to mention any Marx Brothers films on the list, but please don't mistake that for a lack of interest in the songs from their films. ANIMAL CRACKERS, DUCK SOUP and HORSE FEATHERS all have songs I enjoy very much. I even made a "Hello, I must be going..." ringtone not too long ago. Their songs often get stuck in my head for days and I love that. I also realized how much respect I have for Paul Williams as a songwriter and lyricist in that I included two of his films in my top ten. Please keep in mind that I am not saying that one film is better than the other, the list is more just in order of my preference if I was going to pick a musical to watch. Anyway, without further ado, the list: 1. Top Hat(1935; Mark Sandrich) 2. Rock 'n' Roll High School(1979; Alan Arkush) 3. Swing Time(1936; George Stevens) 4. Phantom of the Paradise(1974; Brian De Palma) 5. The Muppet Movie(1979; James Frawley) 6. Golddigger's of 1933(1933; Mervyn leRoy) 7. New York, New York(1977; Martin Scorsese) 8. Singin' In the Rain(1952; Stanley Donen) 9. A Hard Day's Night(1964; Richard Lester) 10. The Gang's All Here(1943; Busby Berkeley) 11. Hellzapoppin'(1941; H.C. Potter) 12. Clambake(1967; Arthur H. Nadel) 13. I Love Melvin(1953; Don Weis) 14. The Wizard of Oz(1939; Victor Fleming) 15. The Merry Widow(1934; Ernst Lubitsch) 16. Voyage of the Rock Aliens(1987; James Fargo) 17. Bedknobs and Broomsticks(1971; Robert Stevenson) 18. 42nd Street(1933; Lloyd Bacon) 19. A Star is Born(1954; George Cukor) 20. Ziegfeld Girl(1941; Robert Z. Leonard/Busby Berkeley)
In going over the IMDB's list of the highest rated musicals, I am sure there are some I need to see or rewatch. I've never seen the Ken Russell's film THE BOY FRIEND, but have always wanted to. The same goes for ON THE TOWN and FOOTLIGHT PARADE, both of which I am sure I would probably like. Ruben Mamoulian's LOVE ME TONIGHT with Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald is also going straight to the top of my Netflix cue for sure. I also just realized that I left off some of the more downbeat musicals that certainly influenced something like NEW YORK, NEW YORK. Things like MY DREAM IS YOURS, BLUE SKIES and THE MAN I LOVE. Maybe even I COULD GO ON SINGING. All of these are worthwhile. Even films like BUGSY MALONE, XANADU, THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T , PENNIES FROM HEAVEN(1981) and Chris Guest's A MIGHTY WIND (though much less offbeat than those other four)have quite a lot of appeal for me. I guess I am more a fan of musicals than I first thought...
Inspired by my good friends over at The Gentlemen's Guide to Midnite Cinema(one of my favorite podcasts out there), I decided to write up a list of my favorite slasher films. It's a tough list to write because there is an obvious challenge in whether or not to include Italian films in the list. I decided to just stick with non-Giallo type stuff for the most part. I was very close to adding De Palma's DRESSED TO KILL to my list but thought better of it. While truly an American Giallo, DRESSED is clearly more Hithcock than true slasher I suppose, but I feel like it can surely be called a slasher film even if not in the traditional sense horror fans are used to. If I was to allow for Italian films, I know I'd mention things like TORSO, TENEBRE, and maybe NEW YORK RIPPER. Of course, Mario Bava's deliciously stylish BLOOD AND BLACK LACE would be near the top too. I toyed with the idea of including MASSACRE AT CENTRAL HIGH, a film I like quite a bit, but decided to leave that out as well. It further pained me to select just one FRIDAY THE 13th film. It is a series that was quite formative to me as a youngster and one that I still have great love for. If I was to include a few more entries, I'd mention FRIDAY THE 13th PART 3 and PART 4 without any question. The second installment in the series stands above the rest for me though I must say. Hooded Jason will always win out over hockey-masked Jason. He's just creepier with his one eye peering through that sack. You will of course notice the distinct absence of THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. Not sure if it is my lack of enthusiasm in general for this film(which I understand is completely blasphemous) or what exactly that made me exclude it. It is certainly a masterpiece of sorts in terms of horror filmmaking, just not one I appreciate all that much. I also didn't mention more recent efforts like MUTE WITNESS or the even more recent COLD PREY, both of which I enjoyed. So what is left is a list of films, most of which will be quite familiar to hardcore slasher film fans. I recommend you see all of them if the genre is one you enjoy. I am also always on the lookout for recommendations if there are some that you yourself enjoy a great deal. I linked trailers to each of the movies on my list with a couple exceptions so you can get a taste of any that you might not have seen.
So, like many folks out there I suppose, this new WOLFMAN movie thingy has sort of influenced me to go back and rewatch(and in some cases, view for the first time) all the old Universal Horror films. I love to do little retrospectives with my son(he's 11). We did a Jerry Lewis retrospective around the beginning of the year and he really got into that. I discovered films like THE LADIES MAN and THE PATSY as well as a few others that I'd never seen and really ended up liking them. We are currently already working on a Ray Harryhausen thing that was to culminate in a screening of JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS at the Egyptian Theater at the end of this month. This Universal Horror project fits right in sort of. We kicked off the series with one of the last entries in series with THE CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON (on a crappy anaglyph dvd I had, 3D worked OK though). Next, we did James Whale's classic FRANKENSTEIN, which to my surprise I didn't remember all that well. I'm hoping the other films will also surprise me as it's been a looong time on all of the ones I've seen. A good friend of mine who is a big junkie for these films, sent me his top ten. I ate it up of course because I love lists(as evidenced by the last few posts). His list is as follows:
As I said, there's a few here I've never seen(SON OF FRANKENSTEIN, FRANKENSTEIN MEETS THE WOLFMAN, OLD DARK HOUSE). Also interested in rewatching THE BLACK CAT and THE INVISIBLE RAY as well. This LIST also has a lot of films I haven't seen. THE MUMMY'S TOMB comes recommended by another friend of mine as does SHE-WOLF OF LONDON. I'd never even heard of BLACK FRIDAY(1940) and that stars both Karloff and Lugosi! I'm excited to give all these films a look. I really hope that this remake will at the very least inspire others to do the same(and judging by the 'very long wait' status of the original WOLFMAN on Netflix, it appears some people have been inspired). Anything that brings older films back into the public consciousness is a good thing in my book. I am saddened by the thought of how little the current generation seems to know of older films. I understand that these films have little relevance to the youth of today, but I do sincerely hope that some of them will dig them out at some point and realize the treasure trove of wealth that our cinema history has to offer. It is literally a lifetime's worth of wonder.
This list was sent to me by my twitter friend Steve Saragossi across the pond. I love the list, lots of great stuff here that any self respecting movie fan needs to check out! There are also a few entries on here that I have never seen before myself and need to track down-ROBBERY, TRE FRATELLI, and THE WHISPERERS(which is on TCM on 2/26 actually) to name a few. Thanks so much to Steve for sending it my way! enjoy!
30s Grand Illusion(1937; Jean Renoir) Adventures of Robin Hood(1938; Michael Curtiz)
40s Bicycle Thieves(1948; Vittorio De Sica) On the Town(1949; Stanley Donen)
50s The Happiest Days of Your Life(1950; Frank Launder) Singin' In the Rain(1952; Stanley Donen/Gene Kelly) The Bad and the Beautiful(1952; Vincente Minnelli) Tokyo Story(1953; Yasujiro Ozu) Wages of Fear(1953; Henri-Georges Clouzot) The Naked Jungle(1954; Byron Haskin) Bad Day at Black Rock(1955; John Sturges) Summertime(1955; David Lean) The Big Knife(1955; Robert Aldrich) 12 Angry Men(1957; Sidney Lumet) Big Country(1958; William Wyler) Suddenly, Last Summer(1959; Joseph L. Mankiewicz)
60s Rocco and His Brothers(1960, Luchino Visconti) West Side Story(1961; Robert Wise) From Russia With Love(1963; Terence Young) The Birds(1963; Alfred Hitchcock) It's a Mad Mad Mad Mad World(1963; Stanley Kramer) Zulu(1964; Cy Enfield) Catch Us If You Can(John Boorman; 1965) King Rat(1965; Bryan Forbes) The Hill(1965; Sidney Lumet) The Knack …and How to Get It(1965; Richard Lester) The Battle of Algiers(1966; Gillo Pontecorvo) Lord Love a Duck(1966; George Axelrod) In the Heat of the Night(1967; Norman Jewison) Cool Hand Luke(Stuart Rosenberg; 1967) Point Blank(1967; John Boorman) Quatermass and the Pit(1967; Roy Ward Baker) Robbery(1967; Peter Yates) The Graduate(1967; Mike Nichols) The Whisperers(1967; Bryan Forbes) The Young Girls of Rochefort(1967; Jacques Demy/Agnes Varda) Madigan(1968; Don Siegel) 2001: A Space Odyssey(1968; Stanley Kubrick) Once Upon a Time in the West(1968; Sergio Leone) Targets(1968; Peter Bogdanovich) The Lion in Winter(1968; Anthony Harvey) The Odd Couple(1968; Gene Saks) Will Penny(1968; Tom Gries) The Thomas Crown Affair(1968; Norman Jewison) Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid(1969; George Roy Hill) Midnight Cowboy(1969; John Schlesinger) The Wild Bunch(1969; Sam Peckinpah)
70s Husbands(1970; John Cassavetes) Walkabout(1971; Nicolas Roeg) A Fistful of Dynamite(1971; Sergio Leone) Dirty Harry(1971; Don Siegel) Get Carter(1971; Mike Hodges) The Godfather(1972; Francis Ford Coppola) The Offence(1972; Sidney Lumet) Prime Cut(1972; Michael Ritchie) Deliverance(1972; John Boorman) The Getaway(1972; Sam Peckinpah) The Exorcist(1973; William Friedkin) Badlands(1973; Terrence Malick) My Name is Nobody(1973; Tonino Valerii) Pat Garrett & BIlly the Kid(1973; Sam Peckinpah) The Godfather, Part II(1974; Francis Ford Coppola) The Gambler(1974; Karel Reisz) Freebie and the Bean(1974; Richard Rush) The Parallax View(1974; Alan J. Pakula) The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3(1974; Joseph Sargent) Thunderbolt and Lightfoot(1974; Michael Cimino) Jaws(1975; Steven Spielberg) Barry Lyndon(1975; Stanley Kubrick) 1900(1976; Bernardo Bertolucci) Annie Hall(1977; Woody Allen) The Deerhunter(1978; Michael Cimino) All That Jazz(1979; Bob Fosse) Scum(1979; Alan Clarke)
80s The Stunt Man(1980; Richard Rush) Heaven's Gate(1980; Michael Cimino) Hide in Plain Sight(1980; James Caan) Southern Comfort(1981; Walter Hill) Tre Fratelli/Three Brothers(1981; Francesco Rosi) The King of Comedy(1982; Martin Scorsese) My Favorite Year(1982; Richard Benjamin) The Right Stuff(1983; Philip Kaufman) Lost In America(1985; Albert Brooks) Ferris Bueller's Day Off(1986; John Hughes) Talk Radio(1988; Oliver Stone) Do the Right Thing(1989; Spike Lee)
90s La Femme Nikita(1990; Luc Besson) Q & A(1990; Sidney Lumet) Glengarry Glen Ross(1992; James Foley) Leon(1994; Luc Besson) Dead Man(1995; Jim Jarmusch) Fargo(1996; Joel & Ethan Coen) Grosse Pointe Blank(1997; George Armitage) The Thin Red Line(1998; Terrence Malick) Magnolia(1999; Paul Thomas Anderson)
2000s Sexy Beast(2000; Jonathan Glazer) The Departed(2006; Martin Scorsese) No Country for Old Men(2007; Joel & Ethan Coen) Public Enemy No.1 Parts 1 and 2(2008; Jean-Francois Richet)
Inspired by Dennis Cozzalio's fantastic list over at his blog, I decided to try my hand at a decade by decade account of my favorite films. It was a very very difficult task and my list ended up being nowhere near as balanced as Dennis'. I tried, as he did, not to favor too many of the same directors too much, but sometimes it's hard for me not to show my true colors too brightly when assembling a list of favorites. Please keep in mind that these are just the films that I enjoy the most and I'm not trying to make any statement about them being the best films ever made by humankind. Some of them are far from the best (from a pure film making standpoint), but they are the ones that I hold most dear. Anyway, here goes:
1920s(1) Sherlock Jr.(1924; Buster Keaton)
1930s(13) Animal Crackers(1930; Victor Heerman) Horse Feathers(1932; Norman Z. McLeod) Trouble in Paradise(1932; Ernst Lubitsch) Red Dust(1932; Victor Fleming) One Way Passage(1932; Tay Garnett) Island of Lost Souls(1932; Erle C. Kenton) Duck Soup(1933; Leo McCarey) Design for Living(1933, Ernst Lubitsch) It's a Gift(1934; Norman Z. McLeod) Top Hat(1935; Mark Sandrich) Swing Time(1936; George Stevens) The Awful Truth(1937; Leo McCarey) Bringing Up Baby(1938; Howard Hawks)
1940s(12) The Lady Eve(1941; Preston Sturges) The Maltese Falcon(1942; John Huston)Casablanca(1942; Michael Curtiz) The Leopard Man(1943; Jacques Tourneur) The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp(1943; Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger) Laura(1944; Otto Preminger) Detour(1945; Edgar G. Ulmer) The Verdict(1946; Don Siegel) Ride the Pink Horse(1947; Robert Montgomery) Out of the Past(1947; Jacques Tourneur) Treasure of the Sierra Madre(1948; John Huston) Late Spring(1949; Yasujiro Ozu)
1950s(17) Gun Crazy(1950; Joseph H. Lewis) Rashomon(1950; Akira Kurosawa) A Place in the Sun(1951;George Stevens) His Kind of Woman(1951; John Farrow) Angel Face(1952; Otto Preminger)Pickup on South Street(1953; Samuel Fuller) Rear Window(1954; Alfred Hitchcock) Them!(1954; Gordon Douglas) The Night of the Hunter(1955; Charles Laughton) All That Heaven Allows(1955; Douglas Sirk) The Killing(1956; Stanley Kubrick) Forbidden Planet(1956; Fred M. Wilcox) The Tall T(1957; Budd Boetticher) Nights of Cabiria(1957; Federico Fellini) Curse of the Demon(1957; Jacques Tourneur) Rio Bravo(1959; Howard Hawks) North By Northwest(1959; Alfred Hitchcock) 1960s(9) The Apartment(1960; Billy Wilder) The Nutty Professor(1963; Jerry Lewis) The Birds(1963; Alfred Hitchcock) Dr. Strangelove(1964; Stanley Kubrick) For a Few Dollars More(1965; Sergio Leone) Seconds(1966; John Frankenheimer) The Swimmer(1968; Frank Perry) Targets(1968; Peter Bogdanovich) They Shoot Horses Don't They?(1969; Syndey Pollack)
1970s(27) A New Leaf(1971; Elaine May) Duel(1971; Steven Spielberg) Two-Lane Blacktop(1971; Monte Hellman) The King of Marvin Gardens(1972; Bob Rafelson) The Heartbreak Kid(1972; Elaine May) The Long Goodbye(1973; Robert Altman) Payday(1973; Daryl Duke) The Last Detail(1973; Hal Ashby) The Conversation(1974; Francis Ford Coppola) California Split(1974; Robert Altman) Chinatown(1974; Roman Polanski) The Towering Inferno(1974; John Guillermin/Irwin Allen) Jaws(1975; Steven Spielberg) Night Moves(1975; Arthur Penn) Taxi Driver(1976; Martin Scorsese)Sorcerer(1977; William Friedkin) The Late Show(1977; Robert Benton) Rollercoaster(1977; James Goldstone) Halloween(1978; John Carpenter)Straight Time(1978; Ulu Grosbard) Escape From Alcatraz(1979; Don Siegel) Breaking Away(1979; Peter Yates) Chilly Scenes of Winter(1979; Joan Micklin Silver) The Brood(1979; David Cronenberg) Manhattan(1979; Woody Allen) Rock 'n' Roll High School(1979; Allan Arkush) Going in Style(1979; Martin Brest)
1980s(18) Midnight Madness(1980; Michael Nankin/David Wechter) Used Cars(1980; Robert Zemeckis) My Bodyguard(1980;Tony BIll) Modern Romance(1981; Albert Brooks)Cutter's Way(1981; Ivan Passer) Friday the 13th Part 2(1981; Steve Miner) The Thing(1982; John Carpenter) The King of Comedy(1983; Martin Scorsese) Cloak & Dagger(1984; Richard Franklin) Back to the Future(1985; Robert Zemeckis) Lost in America(1985; Albert Brooks) After Hours(1985; Martin Scorsese) Big Trouble in Little China(1986; John Carpenter) Evil Dead 2(1987; Sam Raimi)Three O'Clock High(1987; Phil Joanou) Die Hard(1988; John McTiernan) Miracle Mile(1988; Steve De Jarnatt) The 'Burbs(1989; Joe Dante)
1990s(3) Miller's Crossing(1990; Joel & Ethan Coen) Dazed and Confused(1993; Richard Linklater) Jackie Brown(1997; Quentin Tarantino)
***Movies that almost made the cut(so many!):The Big Lebowski, Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back, Annie Hall, Caddyshack, Diner,An American Werewolf In London, The Sweet Smell of Success, Notorious, Double Indemnity, This is Spinal Tap, 3 Women, Nashville, L'avventura, Holiday(1938), Make Way for Tomorrow, Ordinary People, Baby Blue Marine, The Driver, The Bank Dick, Into the Night, Punch-Drunk Love, Big Wednesday, The Warriors, Rancho Deluxe, Prime Cut, Parallax View, Pretty Poison,The Graduate, Prince of the City, Omega Man, Truck Turner, The Gravy Train, Hickey & Boggs, Emperor of the North, Nightmare Alley, Blood and Black Lace, The War of the Gargantuas, Jason & the Argonauts, Brazil, The Fisher King, Ed Wood, Rushmore, Blow Out, Barry Lyndon,They Might Be Giants, The Beguiled, Five Came Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Earthquake, Kingdom of the Spiders, The Car, Night of the Comet, Midnight Run, Dial M for Murder, Singin' in the Rain, The Ladies Man(1961), Day of the Outlaw, Winchester '73, Kansas City Confidential, Cisco Pike, Saint Jack, Cat People(1943), I Walked with a Zombie, Some Came Running, Woman of the Year, Sunset Blvd, Badlands, Buster and Billie, Letter From an Unknown Woman, Written on the Wind, Magnificent Obsession, Tarnished Angels, Where Eagles Dare, Planet of the Apes, Night of the Creeps, Bottle Rocket, The Breakfast Club, Midnight(1939), Vertigo.....
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