There's no disputing tastes, but here are my
verdicts on films, TV, and other moving image media I've seen. It
might give you an idea of what sort of person I am or help you to
decide on your next movie rental. Don't blame me if you think
I've steered you in the wrong direction. Some of these are foreign meaning that they are
not in English. If you have something against foreign works, then
ignore those great works. (I know I did for a long time.) There's
a lot of stuff missing here, but I did not mention just because I
wanted to get this page up before the Sun burns out. I've also
done a list by title and a
separate foreign language list.
Also, I did not include everything I like here, just what I
either had a strong reaction to or loved or stuff I was revulsed
by (see the "Crap" section below). I've boldfaced
some of the one I believe those perusing the list should see
- Annie Hall A
- Antonia's Line Dutch with subtitles.
Great film with lots of quirkiness that I did not
expect in a foreign film.
- As Good As It Gets Great film with some
- The Big Lebowski John Goodman is great in
- The Butcher Boy The weirdest coming of
age story I've ever seen. One of my two favorite Irish
- Catch-22 Excellent satire of the
- The Chambermaid of the Titanic French
with subtitles. How a lie builds a momentum of its own in
France around the time of the Titanic sinking
from the director of Jamon Jamon.
- Clerks Good film, though the dialogue is
a bit too snappy (read: unrealistic).
- Cookie's Fortune Good performances by
Neal, Dutton, and Close.
- Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas I've heard
the Thompson book it's based on is supposed to be
serious, but this film had me cracking up.
- The Fallen Idol
- The Front Woody Allen stars as a front
for blacklisted TV writers during the Red Scare of the
- The Front Page Mathau and Lemon are
newspapermen in this Billy Wilder gem.
- Ghost World Though comical, this is quite
a serious look at coming of age, especially for people
who think they're more authentic than everyone else. The
last third of the film, sadly, falls flat.
Disturbingly funny, the father-son discussion scenes
- Jamon Jamon Spanish with subtitles. Funny
look at love and sex set in modern Spain.
- Johnny Stecchino Italian with subtitles.
A mafiosi tries to use a double to escape prosecution.
- Kind Hearts and Coronets Fine little
comic deathrow confession.
- The Ladykillers Hilarious Ealing Studios
- The Lavender Hill Mob Caper film set in
- Life is Beautiful Italian with subtitles.
It takes a lot of balls and talent to set a comedy in a
concentration camp. If you like this one, see Night
of the Shooting Stars.
- Man on the Moon Brilliant portrayal of a
man who tried to rattle everyone's cage.
- Marty Funny and entertaining story of
plain man trying to find love. Not very profound, but
- The Monster Italian with subtitles. The
police trying to track down a serial killer pick the
- Ninotchka Melvyn Douglad and Greta Garbo
are great in this.
- The Nutty Professor The 1996 version.
IMHO, Murphy's funniest film.
- Paper Moon Well shot,
well performed, and well directed. Funny without being
- Pecker Lighthearted, happy, funny, and
"the end to irony." The running gag with
Pecker's little sister is hilarious.
- A Prairie Home Companion Altman's parting
shot. Must see for Altman fan's and anyone who listens to
the radio show.
- The President's Analyst Chris, my former
roommate, turned me on to this. It starts out on a
standard comedy premise and just gets weirder and
- Putney Swope A cult classic. I'm glad
Chris turned me on to this.
- Rules of the Game
French with subtitles. Very funny take on adultery and
risque for its time.
- Seven Beauties Italian with subtitles.
Worth seeing, though the sex scene is disturbing.
- The Shop Around the Corner Predictable
Jimmy Stewart film, but still funny.
- Simon of the Desert
Spanish with subtitles. Surreal and irreverent.
- Small Time Crooks Woody Allen's welcome
return to comedy that is not obscure.
- Storytelling Not up there with Welcome
to the Dollhouse or Happiness,
but worth a look.
- Sunset Blvd. Simply a
- Swept Away
Italian with subtitles. Role reversal on an island in the
Mediterranean that combines social commentary with
slapstick. Well shot and well performed.
- Tampopo Japanese with subtitles. An
interesting look at food culture in Japan centering on
one woman's desire to become a master noodle chef. A
little predictable and overdone at times, but it still
- There's Something About Mary Unexpectedly
funny and surprisingly risque.
- Three O'Clock High Typical standing up to
the bully plot, but with quite a few funny twists.
- Wallace and Gromit This is actually three
short films, but all of them are good. I especially liked
The Wrong Trousers.
- The War of the Buttons The Irish version.
I have yet to see the French original. This is my other
favorite Irish film.
- Welcome to the Dollhouse Anyone who has
felt like an outsider should see this.
- Zelig Another Woody Allen classic.
- Crumb The funny thing
about this is that Crumb is the most normal person in his
- Little Dieter Needs to Fly Fine
- Man of Aran Decent documentary of life on
the island of Aran.
- Nanook of the North
Great documentary on life of Unuit in the Hudson Bay
filmed in the early 1920s.
- Rivers and Tides
Really brings out the essence of Goldsworthy's work.
- The Sorrow and the Pity French with
subtitles. Documentary on the German occupation of France
based almost entirely on interviews with dozens of people
involved, including average citizens, France
collaborators, members of the resistance, and former
- Accident Interesting Losey film centering
on corruption at Oxford.
- The Age of Innocence Made me feel like I
was there upper class NYC in the late 1800s, but
the story is typical Wharton. It's a bit contrived.
- All About Eve
Great portrayal of ruthless ambition, though Anne
Baxter's performance is a little stilted.
- Andrei Rublev
Russian with subtitles. Long, but rewarding tale of a
religious painter who forsakes humanity.
- The Apostle Insane, intense, and
believeable. A Corey pick!
- Autumn Sonata Swedish with subtitles. A
lesser Bergman film, but worth seeing. A few scenes are
overdirected, but there are some good perfomances
- Babette's Feast Danish with subtitles.
Fine adaptation of the Dinasen short story.
- Beautiful Thing While it's definitely
flawed, this coming of age, coming out of the closet
drama goes in a different and more positive direction
than most gay films. Comical at times, but not to
belittle the main characters or their problems.
- Belle de jour French
with subtitles. Surreal, raw, and a great perfomance by
- Blowup Another
great film by Antonioni, this time in English and set in
- The Blue Angel German
with subtitles. The film that put Marlene Dietrich on the
map. Emil Jennings is excellent as the stuffy professor
- The Boy with Green Hair Antiwar classic
by Joseph Losey. Not his best, but worth seeing.
- Bridge on the River Kwai Simply a
- The Burmese Harp Japanese with subtitles.
Great antiwar war film.
- A Canterbury Tale Nice little
Powell-Pressburger drama. Sentimental and corny at times,
- The Children Are Watching Us Italian with
subtitles. Not De Sica in top form, but definitely on the
way. Great ending.
- Children of Heaven Farsi with subtitles.
A poor boy loses his sister's only pair of shoes. Comical
and sad at turns. This might not sound like much, but the
acting is not forced and the situations seem uncontrived.
One of the gems of Iranian film.
- Chinatown A classic. The
reversals in it are well done.
- Citizen Kane I know it's
on too many list, but it's still a great film.
- The Color of Paradise Farsi with
subtitles. Story of the relationship between a blind boy
and his father, who does not want to be saddled with a
crippled child. Sentimental at times, yet the overall
story is well done, the acting superb, and a lot of the
landscape shots remind me of Ang Lee or Michelangelo
Antonioni. Director Majid Majidi does it again. He also
did Children of Heaven.
- Come and See
Russian with subtitles. The hell of war seen through a
child's eyes. One of the most disturbing films I've ever
- The Conversation Paranoia well done.
- Cool Hand Luke Great
film about a man who can't follow society's rules
in and out of prison. Another one Chris recommended.
- The Deer Hunter Powerful look at the
effects of war on a small Pennsylvania town.
- The Dreamlife of Angels French with
subtitles. Proof that French film is not dead. This one
is the tale of two young woman trying to make it on the
margins of society. They are at first drawn to then
repelled from each other. Well done and not
- Drugstore Cowboy
Interesting take on drug addiction.
- Easy Rider The road trip film that shook
up the American film landscape.
- Edge of Seventeen Another of the
more solid coming of age, coming out of the closet dramas.
- The Elephant Man Effective
biography of the actual elephant man.
- Elevator to the Gallows French with
subtitles. Good early Malle film with lots of tension.
- El Mariachi Spanish with subtitles. This
low budget Mexican films is spectacular, especially
considering that it only cost $7,000 to make and two
weeks to shoot. Spanish with subtitles.
- The Emperor and the Assassin Madarin with
subtitles. Deals with the first ruler of all China,
showing how the best of intentions do not prevent
corruption. Very well done, interesting story, large
sets, with great acting, especially by Gong Li. It can be
a little on the long side, weighing in at nearly three
- Eyes Wide Shut A flawed film with lots of
powerful and sometimes funny scenes. It's a shame Kubrick
didn't live long enough to do postproduction work on it.
The soundtrack was great!
- Fanny and Alexander Swedish with
subtitles. Bergman's last film. Supposedly
autobiographical. Full of many wonderful and arresting
- Fearless Powerful portrayal of what
happens to the survivors of a commuter jet crash.
- Fires on the Plain Japanese with
subtitles. Great antiwar war film.
- Forbidden Games
French with subtitles. War and loss seen through the eyes
of two young children in rural France. Very funny at
- The 47 Ronin Japanese with subtitles. The
best telling of this tale I've seen.
- The 400 Blows French with subtitles. I
haven't seen all of Truffaut's films, but this the best
of the ones I've seen.
- Gosford Park Shows that Altman can still
- The Grand Illusion French with subtitles.
Good Renoir film about French prisoners of war in World
War I. Does not demonize the Germans. Probably influenced
later works, such as Stalag 17. (The latter film
is about Americans prisoners of war in World War II.)
- Hands Over the City Italian with
subtitles. Not a great film, but a watchable
documentary-style look at corruption.
- Harold and Maude
Funny, satirical, and moving. Chris and Kevin both
recommended this to me.
- Hiroshima Mon Amor French with subtitles.
Resnais goes overboard again, but it works.
- Hour of the Wolf
Swedish with subtitles. Like Through a Glass Darkly,
this film deals with insanity. Disturbing, memorable, and
- Homegrown Well made stoner film.
- Hud Great film
starring Paul Newman. This one should be part of
everyone's must see list. Another Corey pick!
- I Fidanzati Italian with subtitles.
Depressing Olmi film with lots of great shots and an
interesting back and forth between past and present.
- Il Posto Italian with subtitles.
Depressing Olmi film about a young man trying to fit into
a new job.
- Images Well
shot, keen look at madness. Great score too.
- In the Bedroom Well shot and performed
domestic drama about how a middle aged couple deals with
- In the Company of Men Twisted! About two
men who decide to take advantage of the same woman as a
- The Ice Storm Powerful, but very icy
character-wise, that is. Another Corey pick! This
should probably be seen with American Beauty
because they both have much the same take on life, though
the former has better direction and seems less forced
than the latter.
- Ivan's Childhood Russian with subtitles.
War through a child's eyes with the focus on the child.
- Ju Dou Madarin with subtitles. Sort of
"The Postman Always Rings Twice" set in Ancient
- Key Largo No list would be complete
without one Bogart film. It's interesting to see the
antihero become the hero.
- King and Country Great Joseph Losey film
about war and justice. His typical claustrophobia
permeates the film. Great performance by Dirk Bogarde
- Klute Classic.
- Kundun Not as good as Seven Years in
Tibet, but, in some ways, much more intense. Maybe
it was the soundtrack.
- L'Avventura Italian with subtitles.
Antonioni's masterpiece. Has to be watched attentively.
- L'Eclisse Italian with subtitles. Another
- La Bęte Humaine French with subtitles.
Not Renoir's best, but good nonetheless.
- Lacombe Lucien French with subtitles.
Interesting analysis of the the depravity and banality of
- La Commare Secca Italian with subtitles.
Interesting early Bertolucci film. I'm not a fan of his
other work, but this one works for me.
- La Notta Italian with subtitles. Not as
good as L'Avventura, but still worth seeing.
- La Ronde French with subtitles. Stylized
film about love triangles in Vienna circa 1900. Not
overly sexualized and not at all cynical.
- La Trou French with subtitles. Neat
prison break film.
- The Last Picture Show
Just rent it and see for yourself.
- Les Diaboliques French with subtitles.
Very like Hitchcock.
- The Little Foxes Notable Bette Davis film
about a woman who will stop at nothing to get what she
- Lone Star
Sayles' best film.
- McCabe & Mrs. Miller Altman's
- Macbeth The Orson Welles version. Very
stylish sets and Welles is in top form in the title role.
It can be a bit hard to watch, since it's so close to the
play and the accents are authentic Scottish. The wood
moving scene obviously was borrowed by Kurosawa for his Throne
- Macbeth The Roman Polanski version. Gorey
and realistic in a way only Polanski could make it.
- Mad Max The one that started it all off.
I thought it was very intense and gritty.
- Matewan Makes me feel like I was part of
- Memento Well directed.
- Midnight Cowboy
Powerful performances and some extremely memorable scenes
in this tragicomedy about a "cowboy" who tries
to become a giggolo in NYC. A Corey pick.
- Miller's Crossing One of the best mob
- The Mirror Russian with subtitles. A
collection of dream sequences that are captivating. One
of Tarkovsky's best.
- The Mosquito Coast The Apostle and
this have similar themes about fanaticism and devotion.
Obligatory viewing for utopians.
- Murmur of the Heart French with
subtitles. Rather disturbing tale of a parent-child
- Next Door Norwegian with subtitles. A
film that starts out with a quite normal breakup and gets
more twisted from there on.
- The Nick of Time Good plot that is well
- Night of the Shooting Stars Italian and
German with subtitles. About a village in Tuscany during
World War Two. Should be compared with Life is
Beautiful for its comic aspects, though this is not
- Nights of Cabiria
Italian with subtitles. It's amazing how the main
character manages to wind her way through all levels of
society in such a short time and, despite all her
failures, still finds joy in life.
Russian and Italian with subtitles. Surreal tale set in
Italy in the way on Takovsky could direct it. Corey
thinks it's his best film.
- Now, Voyager Bette Davis film about a
woman struggling to gain self-esteem and control over her
- Once Upon a Time in America One of the
greatest mob films.
- Once Upon a Time in the West One of the
- Ordinary People
Family drama with a good plot, great performances (by
Hutton, Sutherland, More, McGovern, and Hirsch), good
direction, and cinematography. Compare this view of an
American family with The Ice Storm. Another
- The Passion of Joan of Arc Silent.
Wonderfully shot and performed story of Joan of Arc's
trial and demise. Mostly told through brilliant closeups
and based on the actual trial transcript.
- Pather Panchali Bengali with subtitles.
Great but very sad tale.
- Pathfinder Laplander with subtitles. A
passage to manhood tale set in the Norwegian Tundra.
Based on a legend.
- Persona Swedish
with subtitles. Great psychological drama about the
relationship between an actress who refuses to speak and
her nurse. Well shot, well performed. One of Bergman's
- Quo Vadis Simply a classic.
- Ran Japanese with subtitles. Great
retelling of "King Lear." Set in Japan during
its feudal period.
- Raise the Red Lantern
Madarin with subtitles. Interesting role for Gong Li as
fourth wife of a man who collects wives.
- The Ragman's Daughter Hard to believe
this is a first film. Fine British kitchen sink drama
directed by a native New Yorker.
- Rashomon Japanese with subtitles. Another
- The Red Shoes Perhaps the only film where
dancing is the focus that I like. Well acted,
choreographed, directed, and even the music is good. The
story's a little worn choosing between
love and career or love and art but well wrought.
- The Rite
Swedish with subtitles. Claustraphobic, semi-Kafkaesque,
risque drama about a troop of actors being prosecuted for
violating the laws of some unnamed country.
- The Road Home Madarin with subtitles.
Sentimental, but well executed film about a man recalling
how his parents got together after his father dies.
- Romeo and Juliet
The 1968 version, directed by Zeffirelli. The titles
roles are actually played and played well by teenagers.
- Rosetta French with subtitles. Highly
kinetic film set in Belgium about a girl trying to
maintain her self-respect and lead a normal life despite
being saddled with poverty and an apathetic, alcoholic
- Running on Empty Filmed in New Jersey, if
you can believe that. Probably the best role for River
Phoenix. Judd Hirsch gave a great performance too.
- The Sacrifice Swedish, French, and
English with subtitles. Tarkvosky's last film. Not as
good as all his others, but worth seeing.
- Salvatore Giuliano Italian with
subtitles. Great little docu-drama.
- Sansho the Bailiff
Japanese with subtitles. In my opinion, the greatest
Japanese film and one of the greatest films.
- Saturday Night and Sunday Morning The
best of the British angry young men movies.
- Seance on a Wet Afternoon Well shot and
well performed film about a mad psychic who pushes her
passive husband to crime.
- Seconds Hard to
believe this film isn't on more great films list. Bizarre
and compelling from beginning to end.
- Secret Honor I'm not sure if I shouldn't
classify this as comedy. This is a one man show version
of Richard Nixon years after he resigns. Well performed,
well directed, and well photographed.
- Secrets and Lies Great contemporary
British domestic drama. Not mean-spirited or hackneyed.
- The Set-Up Great early Robert Wise film
set in real-time.
- The Servant Well filmed tale about a
servant and his master declining into decadence together.
It has problems, but Dirk Bogarde is excellent as the
servant and the photography is excellent.
- Seven Samurai Japanese with subtitles.
Entertaining, though not a great film. Inspiration for The
- The Seventh Seal
Swedish with subtitles. One of the most accessible (to
Americans) foreign films I've seen.
- Seven Years in Tibet Good story and
another example of Brad Pitt's flexibility.
- The Shop on Main Street Czech with
subtitles. One of the better films of this genre.
- The Silence Swedish with subtitles. Third
part of Bergman's "faith" trilogy, along with Through
a Glass Darkly and Winter Light. Not as
good, in my opinion, as the second part, Winter Light,
but worth seeing once you've gotten some other Bergman
under your belt.
- Spartacus Should be part of everyone's
- Strangers in Good Company A group of old
women with a bus driver break down and spend several days
and nights sharing their stories. I know this sounds like
a chic film, but it worked for me.
- The Story of the Last Chrysanthemum
Japanese with subtitles. Depressing and well filmed and
acted tale of an actor in 19th century Japan who changes
his whole life based on one act of honest decency. Early
Mizoguchi effort comes off great as usual.
- The Straight Story
An unexpected jewel from David Lynch.
- The Swindle Italian with subtitles. Early
Fellini film that works for me.
- Tattooed Life Japanese with subtitles.
Yahuza film that's set in prewar Japan. Much better, in
my opinion, than the ones set in the 1960s or later.
- Taste of Cherry Farsi with subtitles. I
like this film a lot, except for the last sequence.
- Terms of Endearment Great story and
performances. McClaine, Winger, and Nicholson are
outstanding in this film about the ups and downs of a
mother and her daughter.
- Three Women Great story, direction,
camera work, and performances in this tale of obsession,
madness, and mixed identities. Considered by some to be
Altman's Persona. Great score too.
- Through a Glass Darkly
Swedish with subtitles. First part of Bergman's
"faith" trilogy, along with Winter Light
and The Silence. You might have to be a Bergman
fan to like this one.
- A Time for Drunken Horses Farsi with
subtitles. Story of a Kurdish family trying to get by on
the border between Iran and Iraq. At times, sentimental,
but still powerful. Wonderful landscape shots too.
- To Live Madarin with subtitles. Story of
one family's life in China from right before the
Revolution to today.
- Touch of Evil Flawed,
especially with Charlton Heston's typical overacting, but
still powerful scenes and Orson Welles is perfect as the
bad cop here. Welles also directed it.
- The Treasures of the Sierra Madre Another
Bogart film, this time set in Mexico.
- The Trial
Welles adaptation of the Kafka novel. Difficult to watch
but ultimately rewarding.
- Umberto D.
Italian with subtitles. Depressing, funny, and uplifting
all roled into one.
- Vanya on 42nd Street
Louis Malle's last film. Set in NYC where a production of
Chekov's "Uncle Vanya" takes centerstage.
- Vincent and Theo
Great portrayal of van Gogh based on his letters to his
brother. Corey also recommended this to me.
- The Virgin Spring
Swedish with subtitles. The Last House of the Left
does not do justice to this classic. Another Corey pick!
- Wild Reeds French with subtitles. This
recent (1994) coming of age story is set in France during
the Algerian crisis early 1960s and
masterfully focuses on 4 young students coming to grips
with life. Thanks to Corey for turning me on to this.
- Winter Light
Swedish with subtitles. Second part of Bergman's
"faith" trilogy, along with Through a Glass
Darkly and The Silence. Great, though very
stark and depressing.
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf?
Sizzling and claustrophobic. Taylor and
Burton are great together. Another Corey pick!
- At Land Nearly
insane yet captivating.
- Dimensions of Dialogue Claymation with a
- Down to the Cellar
An interesting play on childhood fears.
- Fireworks Brief and powerful short work
by Kenneth Anger.
- The Flat Imagine a world where every
object is not what it seems...
- Koyaanisqatsi An audiovisual fugue.
Though I disagree with the message, it was fun to watch.
- Meshes of the Afternoon Surreal and, at
- Ritual in Transfigured Time Very playful,
especially the stop action sequences, but then builds up
to a sort of terror.
- Scorpio Rising
Short film of amazing ferocity. My favorite of Anger's.
- The Abominable Snowman Much better than
the title makes it sound.
- The Birds
Simply a classic.
- Black Sunday Gothic horror,
- Blair Witch Project
Low budget that delivers. Despite flaws, this belongs in
the big league.
- Creep Something's down in the London
subway. Well, you get the idea. Not for everyone and a
bit gruesome at times.
- Day of Wrath
Danish with subtitles. Paced drama centering on
witchcraft in Denmark. Filmed in 1943. Great photography,
memorable soundtrack, good performances, some brilliant
scenes, and a neat plot.
- Der Golem Silent. A classic that had a
huge impact on Wales' Frankenstein. Great sets.
- The Devil's Backbone Spanish with
subtitles. Compelling ghost story set during the Spanish
- The Evil Dead Another low budget classic.
The story is rather simple and a lot of it is formula
horror (e.g., people go off alone in the forest at
night), but the camera effects are great.
- The Exorcist
Great film with appearance by Max von Sydow of many a
Bergman film fame.
- Eyes of Fire Good up until the end, then
it decides to go for the obvious trick.
- Halloween A classic.
- Jaws Mythic in its handling of a simple
man-, woman-, and child-eating shark.
- Night of the Hunter
Bizarre 1955 camp classic about a psychopathic preacher.
Some parts of it just don't make sense, but Mitchum is
powerful and a lot of the scenes are self-consciously
- Night of the Living Dead Low budget, but
very well done.
- Nosferatu Silent. The
original is a classic. One of the few silent films I'll
even bother watching.
- Nosferatu German with subtitles or dubbed
into English. Werner Herzog's remake has problems, but
it's still a good remake. Klaus Kinski's performance is,
as expected, powerful and maniacal.
- Picnic at Hanging Rock
Full of foreboding. Some memorable scenes. More of a
thinking person's horror film than the typical members of
- Psycho The
Hitchcock version. A classic.
- Rosemary's Baby
Well done paranoid supernatural horror.
- Secret Ceremony The 1968 film. A
psychological thriller more than a true horror film.
Strong performances by Taylor, Farrow, and Mitchum. Great
camera work and use of color. The ending is a bit pat,
but the overall effect lingers.
- The Shining The
Kubrick version. Believe or not, there was a made for TV
version. Far from the book, but great direction and good
- 28 Days Later Derivative and not without
flaws, but compelling.
- Village of the Damned The 1960 Wolf Rilla
version not the bloodless John Carpenter 1995
- What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?
Davis was an excellent madwoman in this
somewhat dated tale of one sister who terrorizes another.
- The Wicker Man Lost classic. Chris turned
me on to this too!
§ Science Fiction/Fantasy
- Alien A
classic! Loved the sets as well as the story.
- Aliens So different from the first one,
yet still good.
- The Andromeda Strain In a lot of ways,
- The Arrival This film should have beat Independence
Day in the category of alien invasions. Hearkens
back to the paranoid science fiction films of the 1950s.
- Brazil Mindblowing.
- Children of Men Near future science
fiction with a documentary feel.
- City of the Lost Children Bizarre and
- Dark City Hard
to believe such a film could be made these days. Avoids a
lot of the pitfalls of science fiction film, such as
being mushy and grandeloquent. Also, Sutherland was
fantastic in it.
- The Dark Crystal Simply a classic.
- Demon Seed In some ways, parallels 2001:
A Space Odyssey. Christie is great in it.
- Destination Moon One of the postwar
science fiction films that set the tone for the 1950s
craze of space films. Actually, this one has its flaws as
a work of art, but, for the time, the story and the
science are convincing.
- Equilibrium Somewhat kooky, inconsistent,
and not too original dystopian film that's worth seeing
for the action.
- Event Horizon Somewhat corny, but I liked
- Fahrenheit 451
Not Truffaut's best, but good nonetheless.
- Fantastic Planet Cartoon that is very
- Faust Czech with subtitles. I believe
this is Svankmajer's most ambitious film to date.
- The Ghost in the Shell
This is what anime should be all about!
- La Jette French with subtitles. Time
travel story shot as a sequence of photographs. Basis for
the more recent film Twelve Monkeys.
- Little Otik Czech with subtitles. Based
on a Czech fairy tale, this film combines many of
Svankmajer's experimental techniques with a
straightforward narrative. It would probably be the best
introduction to his feature length films.
- Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring
Decent adaptation of Tolkien's first novel from the
- Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers More
action packed and visually stunning than the first film.
- The Matrix I don't buy the cerebral
aspects of the tale, but the effects were great.
- The Matrix: Reloaded Not as good as the
first one, but still worth seeing.
- Metropolis Another classic of silent
- The Neverending Story Original for the
genre kid fantasy film.
- Nineteen Eighty-Four
Powerful performances by Burton and Hurt. Burton was
especially powerful since he was so subdued. Compare him
to hams like William Shatner or Charlton Heston.
- Planet of the Vampires Inventive Italian
science fiction horror that influenced Alien.
- Primer Interesting take on time travel
that doesn't rely on special effects.
- Road Warrior Isn't it funny how many
times this sort of thing has been copied? Anyway,
everyone probably knows this has one of best chase scenes
on film ever. The production was also better than Mad
Max and this is more strictly a science fiction film
(using the postapocalyptic setting as the touchstone).
- Slaughterhouse Five I don't much like
Kurt Vonnegut, but this film was trippy.
- Solaris Russian
with subtitles. Very long but captures the essense of Lem's novel. This refers the
Tarkovsky version. I did not like the recent remake.
- The Star Wars Trilogy Part of our modern
- Stalker Russian with subtitles. Slow
moving yet arresting.
- Terminator Even though it's pretty much a
standard anti-technology theme robot meets girls,
robot tries to kill girl, robot gets crushed by girl
I thought it was very well done.
- The Thing The John
Carpenter remake, which is closer to the original
Campbell story "Who Goes There?"
- Twelve Monkeys Gillian does it again,
but, not surprisingly, it's tragic.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
A classic and, for me, the epitome of science fiction
film. Great soundtrack too.
- Zardoz Perhaps a bit too symbolic in a
Sixties way, but the story is good.
- Blood Simple
Surprising, especially for a first film.
- I Confess Hitchcock does Montreal.
- The Narrow Margin Worth seeing.
- Scarlett Street Great performances,
especially by Robinson.
- Sirocco Should probably be required
viewing for those who support the current wars.
- They Drive by Night
- The Killers The 1946 version.
Double-dealing and slick dialogue. Great performances and
well directed. By the way, Andrei Takovsky also did a
version of this when he was in film school.
- The Killing Not Kubrick's best, but worth
- L.A. Confidential Great and a lot like Chinatown
and not just in setting.
- The Long Goodbye Altman's noir film. Not
perfect, but great camera work, great dialogue and
acting, and an interesting take on Chandler's novel.
- Night and the City Solid noir classic.
- Ossessione Italian with subtitles.
Transplanting an America crime story into Fascist Italy
might seem doomed to failure, but it works.
- A Simple Plan This is probably Raimi's
best film. Serious subject with nods to exploitation
films. Billy Bob Thornton's performance is great as
- Targets Great film.
- The Third Man
Great setting, great story, great acting. I'll never
think of cuckoo clocks the same way.
- All in the Family Need anything more be
said about this one?
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force Hit or miss, but
- Babylon Five TV science fiction usually
sucks, but this is one of the better shows.
- Family Guy Kind of The Simpsons on
- Firefly TV science fiction of high
- Home Movies Great series that I'm happy
Comedy Central revived.
- King of the Hill Hit or miss, but mostly
- Nova Not every episode of this PBS
documentary is great, but enough fascinate me to keep me
- Sherlock Holmes It's no so much the
mysteries, but Jeremy Brett is how I picture Sherlock
Holmes to be.
- Home Movies Great series that I'm happy
Comedy Central revived.
- King of the Hill Hit or miss, but mostly
- Nova Not every episode of this PBS
documentary is great, but enough fascinate me to keep me
- Poirot Any episode of this Mystery
show where David Suchet plays Poirot. He simply is
- Robot Chicken Funny, but only in small
- Seinfeld Love the writing, especially the
way everything fits together.
- The Simpsons One of the few shows that
can making me laugh so hard I cry.
- South Park Okay, I'm a sucker for their
brand of humor.
- Upright Citizens Brigade Funny though
- The Venture Bros.
Magnificent and comical, but, to get the full effect,
must be watched in order.
- Alien Resurrection Merely copies stage
sets from the previous Alien films while
forgetting about plot.
- Alphaville French with subtitles. So bad,
it's almost funny.
- Angry Red Planet Only worth seeing to
make fun of.
- Audition Japanese with subtitles. Overly
predictable (save for hallucination sequence that makes
little sense) and gory Japanese version of Fatal
Attraction. This director's Gozu was a
little bit better, though it still displays a fascination
- Being John Malkovich Weirdness tries to
pass as deepness. Catherine Keener also gives one of the
most lifeless performances in unremarkable her career.
Jonze should stick to music videos.
- Blair Witch 2: Book of Shadows At least
it didn't try to completely copy the original, but still
a definite flop.
- Clan of the Cave Bear Basically a Hannah
vehicle and feminist tract disguised as an
anthropological drama with a bad soundtrack to boot. See Quest
for Fire instead.
- Dark Breed Predictable. Bad acting. I've
seen better special effects on TV shows.
- The Dead Hate the Living And some of the
living hate this film..
- Die, Monster, Die Another Lovecraft
adaptation for film gone wrong, which is typical.
- Get Real Ridiculous gay film with bad
acting and an unbelievable script.
- Ghosts of Mars So so story seed idea
turns into a mosh pit on Mars. Even hardcore Natasha
Henstridge fans won't find much here.
- The Haunted Palace Bills itself as based
on Poe's poem, but it's actually based on Lovecraft's The
Strange Case of Charles Dexter Ward. Not as bad as Die,
Monster, Die, but still seriously flawed.
- He Got Game I'm not a Spike Lee fan, but
this movie was bad even for him. One bit of humor though
was the soundtrack Aaron Copland and Public Enemy.
I'll never think of Copland the same way.
- The Killers The 1964 version. Made for TV
crap. Bad performances, bad direction, predictable
editing, stupid dialogue. I'm glad Siodmak was chosen
over Siegel for the 1946 film.
- Kiss the Girls I only saw it because I
arrived too late to see something else.
- The Lion in Winter Too anarchronistic and
silly to take seriously. O'Toole, as usual, overacts.
- Lust for Life This too Hollywood version
of van Gogh's life falls flat. The only redeeming feature
is that it showcases many of his paintings. If you want a
better film on van Gogh, see Robert Altman's Vincent
- Mall Rats Though Kevin Smith might have
found it hard to top Clerks, this film just
- Men with Guns This film failed because it
tried to be serious and funny at the same time. Add to
this, John Sayles directed it!
- Mimic Roaches takeover NYC. What else is
- Mission to Mars As one reviewer put it,
"not worth the trip." Decent special effects,
but with bad acting and a ridiculous story.
- A Month by the Lake It felt like a month!
- Mortal Combat 2: Annihilation Don't ask!
- Mrs. Dalloway Some have said that
Virginia Wolf novels just can't be translated into film.
This and Orlando are proof, though the latter
was much more exciting.
- Nightwatch This is the American version.
I haven't seen the Dutch original. I liked this film when
I first saw it, but after watching it again, I have to
ask myself if I was drunk, high, or hallucinating. It's
predictable and unbelieveable.
- Nowhere Inane kaleidoscope of sex and
violence. Director Araki could probably make his point
better if he didn't try to make things so symbolic.
- Red Planet Makes Mission to Mars
look like a decent film.
- The Relic Stupid from idea to execution.
- Reptilicus Bad story, bad acting, and bad
special effects even for its time. The monsters tail,
after it thaws out, is partly made of burlap.
- The Sheltering Sky This movie suffers
from trying to follow a very internal novel too closely.
Still, there are some wonderful camera shots in it.
- Sleepy Hollow Not sleepy given
Burton's kinetic cinematography and the everpresent
dramatic music, but very hollow given the
unconvincing story and mechanical acting.
- Sometimes They Come Back For More Devil
worship in the Antarctic should say enough about this
mostly boring flick.
- Species This could've been a good film,
but came across like a jeans commercial.
- Species 2 Didn't have the clothes ad feel
of the first one, but quickly became an H. R. Giger
- Spirits of the Dead I expected a lot
better from Malle and Fellini. Don't waste your time.
- Star Wars: The Phantom Menace See why
money and lots of effects can't make a bad story good.
- Star Wars: Attack of the Clones The Yoda
fight scene is the only reason to see any of this slop.
- Surviving Picasso Throughout the entire
film, I kept asking why would she stay with him and when
will it end.
- Terror Toons Made on a budget of $2300
and it shows.
- Total Eclipse Leonard DeCaprio vehicle. I
didn't like it, though it did have some intense scenes.
- Virus Great special effects, but the
acting and the story are what's to be expected from
mediocre science fiction film.
- Year of the Horse Unless you're an
unreconstructed Neil Young fan, this movie will bore you
to tears. I saw it with a friend who is big into Young.
Needless to say, I am not and probably am less into him
after having to sit through this.
- Your Friends and Neighbors Some good
scenes, but overall there was no character
- Zombie 3 Lots of senseless gore, bad
photography, and everpresent fog in search of a plot.
Considered to be Fulci's worst film.
- Zombie 4 Ditto.
"... the goal for all art... is to explain to
the artist himself and to those around him what man
lives for, what is the meaning of his
existence. To explain to people the reason for
their appearance on this planet; or if not to
explain, at least to pose the question."
Andrey Tarkovsky, Sculpting in Time:
Reflections on the Cinema