Saturday, October 10, 2009

TOP TEN GUY MOVIES

What makes a guy movie? Is it the action? Is it the violence? Is it the funny? Well it's all of these things and more. Did you pass it as you scrolled through the cable listings? If it's a guy film and most especially if it's in the top ten you can do nothing except stop, rearrange your schedule, and settle in for some old fashioned man goodness. Can't rearrange your schedule, that's ok you probably own these films anyway. So let the list begin......



10) Beverly Hills Cop (1984) 25 years later I still laugh out loud during the movie. Easily a top five movie of the 80's. Still considered by many as the funniest cop/buddy movie made. Combine Eddie Murphy with a flimsy premise (investigating low-life buddy's murder), add a dash of fish out of water element, a bevy of characters to interact with, and a pair of bumbling cops and you've got a genius film that is chock full of laughs from beginning to end. The Harold Faltemeyer score is just a bonus. Who's ever gonna fall for the banana in the tailpipe trick again? The fact that the movie spawned two turd infested sequels does not take the shine off it.

Favorite Line - You're not gonna fall for the banana in the tailpipe? It should be more natural, brother. It should flow out, like this - "Look, man, I ain't fallin' for no banana in my tailpipe!" See, that's more natural for us. You been hanging out with this dude too long.



9) Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) OK admit it, Who doesn't want to work a bull whip like Indiana Jones? If you said no you're lying. Steven Spielberg's take on the Saturday matinĂ©e introduced us to one of the most memorable, most original characters to be put on film. It's a film that has just about everything needed to be a superlative guy movie; action, funny dialog, John Williams score, face melting, villains, villains and Nazis, chases, damsel rescue, heads being buzzed by propellers, and even phobias (snakes). If you haven't seen this film in a while, rent it and be reminded of all cinema can be. Oh yea, don't ever, ever stare directly into the Ark of the Covenant.

Favorite Line - Asps. Very dangerous. You go first.


8) Gladiator (2000) The first Oscar winner on the guy list. Winner of five statues including best picture and best actor for Russell Crowe. Gladiator has what should get it into every top ten guy movie list; epic battle scene. I felt grimy, bloody, and oily after watching it. Ridley Scott's tale of revenge hits all the right notes with superlative turns by Joaquin Phoenix, Richard Harris, the late, great Oliver Reed, Djimon Hounsou and Connie Nielsen.

Favorite Line - At my signal, unleash hell.


7) Fight Club (1999) Slick, Stylish, Funny, Violent. Four things your are always looking for in a guy film. All I can say is I was totally blown away by this film the first time I saw it. Later viewings clued me into things I had not seen the first time around (always a sign of a great movie). And "wow" was I not ready for the ending. Brad Pitt is perfectly cast as Tyler Durden; maker of soap, purveyor of chaos. Durden represents the sort of archetype man that most men would not openly admit wanting to be; strong of opinion, strong of action, and a man with a plan (no matter how twisted). Edward Norton is stellar as the sleep deprived, inhibited, anti-hero the narrator.

Favorite Line - Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor, but every once in a while...it's a dildo. Of course it's company policy never to, imply ownership in the event of a dildo... always use the indefinite article "a" dildo, never "your" dildo.



6) Die Hard (1988) Quite possibly the zenith of guy action flicks for the 80's. Take one out of place cop, mix in one high rise building, sprinkle in an international gang of terrorists, and cook for 131 minutes and you have high action and a worthy entry into the top ten. Bruce Willis is great as Officer John McClane but the coup de grace is Alan Rickman as the terrorists leader Hans Gruber; a singular, unforgettable, over the top villain.

Favorite Line - Yippee-ki-yay, motherfucker



5) Dirty Harry (1971) Vigilante cop treks from one end of San Francisco to the other dispensing his brand of justice, all the while clutching a Magnum .44 pistol. Sounds good to me! It was said that the movie was popular because of a backlash against the 60's and the liberal viewpoint that endeared sympathy to the criminal instead of the victim. That's not why it makes the guy list top ten. Snuffing out crime with a giant pistol and putting the bad guys behind bars or six feet under will never get tired (or un-manly). And let's not forget Andy Robinson as the Scorpio Killer, truly creepy. The sequels softened up and eventually devolved into The Dead Pool. Put those out of mind and remember the original.


Favorite Line - I know what you're thinking. "Did he fire six shots or only five?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum, the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?



4) The Dark Knight (2008) Christopher Nolan took the Batman franchise off of life support with Batman Begins. I know of few that would have thought he could not only top it but make an opus magnum of comic book movies with Knight. Christian Bale returns as Bruce Wayne/Batman but the true revelation in this movie is Heath Ledger as the Joker. Gone is Jack Nicholson's campy portrayal, replaced with a dark, brooding Joker that is indeed a depiction of unabashed evil. Action galore and lots of blowing stuff and people up. Not to mention an excellent script and wonderfully vibrant storyline. Some may grouse at the films 152 minute running time. I say to Nolan, 152 minutes well spent.

Favorite Line - Introduce a little anarchy. Upset the established order, and everything becomes chaos. I'm an agent of chaos. Oh, and you know the thing about chaos? It's fair!





3) Miller's Crossing (1990) This Coen brothers classic snuck in and out of the theaters in 1990 barely grossing five million dollars. And what a classic most people missed. Gabriel Byrne is sensational as mobster right hand man Tom Regan. I dare anyone to get all of the plot twists and turns in the first viewing. That is one of a number of elements that make this film so damn good. The casting is spot on, the dialog is top shelf, the cinematography beautiful, and the film has an outstanding score. All of this makes for a film that stands up and gets better with multiple viewings.

Favorite Line - You think that I'm some guinea, fresh off the boat, and you can kick me! But I'm too big for that now. I'm sick a' takin the scrap from you, Leo. I'm a' of marching into this goddamn office to kiss your Irish ass. And I'M SICK A' THE HIGH HAT!.......Youse fancy pants, all a youse.






2) The Big Lebowski (1998) Back to back Coen brothers films, hmmmmm...........So much greatness I barely know where to begin. Trying to be objective as I can this easily could have been my number one. This is the Coen brothers comedic masterpiece (so far). Is it possible to go back and give the un-Oscar to Jeff Bridges for his portrayal of Jeffery Lebowski aka "The Dude"? He was brilliant. Chock full of smart and funny dialog this film only gets better in subsequent viewings. Quirky characters, wheels-off scenes, and enough plot twists to keep you guessing, this film is the thinking man's comedy. As they say, the Dude abides. (Editor's note - just stopped posting this blog to stomp down and watch this movie).

Favorite Line - Let me explain something to you. Um, I am not "Mr. Lebowski". You're Mr. Lebowski. I'm the Dude. So that's what you call me. You know, that or, uh, His Dudeness, or uh, Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing.



1) The Godfather (1972) & The Godfather: Part II (1974) I know, I know. Don't start with me. It is never a cop out citing two films when discussing these two. They say the measure of a film's significance is how well it holds up over time. Brother, these two are as fresh, relevant, and as easy to watch today as they were thirty-five and thirty-seven years ago. All-star cast, check. Script, check. Violence, check. The family dynamic and family betrayal, check. Mobsters, check. Marlon Brando, check. Greatness, check.


Favorite Line - I'm gonna make him an offer he won't refuse. Okay? I want you to leave it all to me. Go on, go back to the party.

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