Monday 21 June 2010

The Movie Dirty Dozen Blogfest: 12 All Time Greats

At the behest of Alex J Cavanaugh (check out his excellent blog) I somewhat reluctantly decided to take part in this Blogfest. This list is by no means definitive as I'm bound to have forgotten a few and there were so many more I'd like to mention that I'll talk about them later. So, here goes, in alphabetical order these are 12 movies that have entertained and moved me in such a way that they live long in the memory and improve with every viewing.
Be sure to check out Alex's own choices as well as Dezmond's at Hollywood Spy and Nebular's at Cinemarvellous.

Amores Perros - Mexican film which follows three separate lives as they become connected following a devastating car crash.
Violent and unpredictable this stunning tale of love, betrayal and cruelty reveals further complexity with repeated viewing. Brought Gael Garcia Bernal and Director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to the attention of Hollywood.

Apocalypto - Mel Gibson's Mayan chase movie grabs you by the throat and doesn't let go. Amazing settings and authentic language add to the experience.

Big Trouble In Little China - Scratch the surface of John Carpenter's wild 80's kung-fu movie and you'll see why it has become a cult hit. Join Jack Burton (Kurt Russell) as he tries to regain his stolen truck and rescue a friend's girl from the Evil Lo-Pan. Brimming with energy and fun it makes you laugh, dazzles with effects and provides top notch action scenes. Fantastic one line wisecracks from hapless hero Burton including the catchphrase "It's all in the reflexes" help make this a fantastic feel good romp.

Brotherhood Of The Wolf - If cinema is art then this is a masterpiece. In the year 1764 a Beast has slain 123 women and children in the French town of Gevaudan. To prevent a Peasant revolt The King sends two men to investigate. Enter Fronsac and Mani (Samuel Le Bihan and Mark Dacascos) who set out to reveal the truth no matter what the cost. This has it all, fantastic story, excellent acting, wonderful action and great characters. Visually and emotionally stunning. I urge you to see it.

Made - Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau before they (sort of) sold out to Hollywood. Following the cult success of Swingers the guys re-unite in this crime comedy caper about two wannabee gangsters sent on a mission to New York. It's the quick fire humour that makes this one stand out. Vaughn's portrayal of the constantly talking Ricky has to be seen to be believed and alongside Favreau's straight laced Bobby it works like a dream. Watch it and be amazed at the rapid fire comedy in the office scene with Peter Falk and the scene on board the plane. I catch more gags with every viewing and each time is funnier than the last.

Mine - Heart wrenching documentary following Hurricaine Katrina survivors as they struggle to be re-united with their beloved Dogs. Full of joy and despair, this is achingly moving stuff and deserves to be seen. It even helped change American Law regarding evacuation of animals.

Sling Blade - A powerhouse performance from Billy Bob Thornton as he portrays a mentally challenged man trying to adjust to life outside an institution after being incarcerated for 20 years for murder.
This is the best acting performance I have ever seen, I was amazed at the showing here from Thornton as his character faces new troubles that challenge his ability to cope.

The Bear - Jean-Jacques Annaud's mesmerising story of an oprhan bear cub's struggle for survival.
Fantastic footage here and the tale is told from the perspective of The Bear.
Unique and touching, it's a film that provides plenty of food for thought.

The Crow - The ultimate story of love and revenge as Brandon Lee's Eric Draven returns from the dead to seek out the killers of himself and his Bride - to - be.
Visually arresting and mega violent even the unfortunate accidental death of it's star couldn't stop this one being a box office hit. The film is in fact all the more poignant because of it.

The Jacket - Adrien Brody excells and Keira Knightley proves she can act in this mind bending thriller.
Elements of time travel and mental illness combine to provide a tense claustrophobic film in which Brody investigates his own death.

The Karate Kid - Everyone's favourite karate movie has stood the test of time and remains just as uplifting as it ever was.
Who wouldn't want Mr Miyagi to teach them how to best the bullies?

The Shawshank Redemption - Emotionally charged prison movie that finds us rooting for Tim Robbins even if he might be guilty.
Terrific performances all round and a captivating story with wonderful characters make this a must - see.
There you have it, 12 all time greats. I couldn't include so many films that it has made me consider doing a regular Ric Recommends post featuring some of the near misses. All movies listed are highly recommended and would score Ric's Ratings of above 90 %


  1. The Crow - excellent choice! Brotherhood of the Wolf - now there's a movie I bet no one else has on his list. How on earth do you classify it? Great movie, though. And Big Trouble is always a fun watch.

    Thanks for posting your list, Ric!

  2. Very good calls on Big Trouble and The Shawshank Redemption. One of my all=time favs! The acting and pacing are incredible.

  3. Aww the Bear, I totally forgot about that movie! Loved it. Glad to visit your blog. Also, I had considered putting Amores Perros on my list, but thought of more that I needed to put first, but I totally agree that it is a very very good movie, although it made me kind of sick to my stomach at moments...

  4. Many of these movies I haven't heard og, but then again I need to get out more. I have Shawshank Redemption as do many others. I really like the first Karate Kid movie.

    "I've finished painting the fence."

    "Both sides?"

    Stephen Tremp

  5. Another Shawshank fan! It's on my list too! Oh my gosh I forgot all about Karate Kid! Great list!

  6. I kinda predicted you were into some very dark movies, Ricks :))

  7. It must have been really difficult to get it down to just a few. Is it likely to change at any time depending on how you feel or is this a definitive list. Did you use a scoring system of some sort?

  8. Wow! Interesting list. Most I have never heard of and I have only seen two, Shawshank and Made. I didn't care for made, didn't seem to have a point.

  9. Thanks for the comments Guys, I appreciate them.

    Alex, I'd have to classify Brotherhood Of The Wolf as unique.....and brilliant!
    Geof, thanks for the follow, glad your another Big Trouble fan.
    Ginny, The Bear just had to be there, it's such a beautiful film.
    Nice quote Stephen, check out the others, hopefully you'll enjoy.
    TAA, I loved Karate Kid so much as a kid myself and the feeling hasn't gone away.
    You're right Dez but there are some "nice" movies there too.
    Tom, it was so difficult that I plan to mention some of the near misses in their own posts soon. List isn't definitive as I'm bound to have forgotten something.No system, just started with a big list and narrowed it down.
    Made isn't the type of film that will appeal to everyone Gregg but check out the others, I'm confident you'll enjoy some of them.

    I'll be having a look (and no doubt commenting) on some of your own lists soon. Cheers.

  10. Interesting selection Ric, I agree, Shawshank was fantastic. This is really a guy's list of films isn't it? :P

  11. Hi Valerie,
    Thanks for the comment.
    I wouldn't say it's a guy's list, maybe one or two of them but if there are any you haven't seen you should check them out, hopefully you'll be pleasantly surprised.

  12. ah i remeber going to see Made with you. brilliant then brilliant now
    "so how come the word on the street is your welsh"
    i think i might have gone to see Brotherhood of the Wolf with you too but no so sure though i did see it at the cinema (UGC!)
    and Big Trouble in Little China. what more can i say other than "CHINA IS HERE"

  13. Hi Ed,
    We didn't go see Brotherhood but Made was fantastic.
    "You know what old Jack Burton always says"

  14. Brotherhood of the Wolf is one of the ones I have watched on this list. Loved it. Some good tips here, Ricky. Cheers.

    Now thinking I maybe should check out Made, but the films from these guys lately have been pretty self-indulgent.

  15. Brotherhood Of The Wolf is an amazing film, glad you caught it Michael.
    I agree 100% about Vaughn and Favreau nowadays but this was made just before they hit the big time, it's brilliant. Let me know how you get on if you do check it (or any of the others) out. Cheers.


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