Category Archives: Mystery

2001 Best Movie Bracket

When you mention the year 2001, one event comes to most Americans’ minds. The events of September 11, 2001 changed the course of history and things have never been the same. It was also the year that I graduated from high school and left for college. When 9/11 happened, I was in my first semester of college and was over 200 miles from the only home I had ever known.

Little did we know that our little college campus would be rocked with a tragedy less than two week afterwards that felt more significant than towers falling. There was a van accident which killed three of my peers as they were returning from a ministry event. It was a very sad time, but it drew me closer to the beautiful woman that would become my wife. We grieved together and drew strength from each other’s faith.

Film was one of the last thing on my mind during that time, but it seemed that just a few months after this tragedy many Americans were finding refuge from the pain of reality through the imagination of a handful of master storytellers. Two film franchises were born during this year and they would persist for many years following. I’m speaking of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, and Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

While both of these were good films and left a lasting impression on film, they are merely footnotes or honorable mentions in this competition for the best film of the year. Before I get to my top 3 films of the year, you should know that the Academy Award for Best Picture went to my 4th best movie of the year, A Beautiful Mind. Other honorable mentions are: AmelieThe Others, Donnie Darko, Training DayThe Royal Tenenbaums, and Ocean’s Eleven. All of my Top 3 are at least a bit surreal and dive into and out of the deepest and most intimate place in all of us, our memory. That is appropriate since I have such deep memories of this year.

#1 – Spirited Away

The first time you watch Spirited Away you are blown away by the visuals. Hayao Mizayaki’s decadent hand drawn animation is always moving and is totally beautiful. You are left thinking about the meaning and the symbolism that is deep under the surface of this story of a young girl who gets lost in a spirit world and has to find her way back. Every time after that, you will be sucked deeper into the symbolism until you realize that this is a commentary on growing up in a Capitalist culture but not losing the innocent wonder of childhood.

Chihiro means “thousand questions.” It means that she is inquisitive and takes nothing for granted. We see this wide eyed girl lose her parents to greed and consumerism. She gets a job at a bath house and trades away part of her name. The name is a symbol of a person’s character and she becomes Sen which means “thousand.” Literally, the questions have been removed. She is warned not to forget her name because that is the secret for her escape. I won’t go any deeper than that in case you haven’t seen it, but I just might do a full spoiler laden breakdown at some point.

#2 – Memento

Technically, Memento was released in 2000 but it wasn’t seen on US soil until 2001, so I had to put it in this year. Long before Christoper Nolan started diving into the brains of his characters and viewers in Inception, he was beginning at the end with Memento. Simply put, it is the non-simple, non-linear story of Leonard who suffers from a Dory-like version of short-term memory loss. He retains memories from before his accident but cannot create any new memories. Instead, he litters his jacket pockets with Polaroid pictures and scraps of note paper, and covers the canvas of his body with tattoos to remind him of his overall purpose.

We learn through 22 vignettes that Leonard is hunting a man called John G. who is behind the rape and murder of his wife. I don’t want to spoil too much because it is such a fun puzzle to put together, but let me just say that you will be engaged and guessing with the story until the very end. This is one of the films that made Christopher Nolan the brand name that he is today.

#3 – Mulholland Drive

Have you ever had a dream that freaked you out and left you gasping for breath as you rushed back to consciousness? When your loved ones come in the room to check if you are okay all you can say is I had a bad dream. Invariably, they will ask what it was about, but we can’t say because the dream is quickly retreating into our sub conscience, and because no matter how well you explain what happened in the dream you sound psychotic. Mulholland Dr. is that creepy dream.

More people have become familiar with David Lynch since the new Twin Peaks was released. I would recommend this movie as a good starting place, but I would encourage you not to analyze too much. To truly enjoy it, you must surrender yourself to it. As Roger Ebert said, “If you require logic, see something else.” David Lynch loves to make films which defy logic, but Mulholland Dr. follows no conventional plot structure, it simply ebbs and flows like a dream.

Did I get something wrong? What would you change? Have you seen any of these three? Let me know in the comments or on social media.

The Nice Guys (2016) Review

The Nice Guys is to LA crime stories what Deadpool is to superhero flicks: at once a celebration and a send-up. That’s just the kind of storytelling moviegoers have come to expect from Shane Black, who directed the film and co-wrote it. Black has a history of blending irreverence and violence going all the way back to his legendary script for Lethal Weapon (1987). However, Black didn’t become a name until the release of Iron Man 3, which saw a lukewarm reaction from fans.

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Several years before that Marvel film, Black made his directorial debut, with the black comedy/noir Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which is great. In many ways, The Nice Guys feels like a spiritual successor to Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. With twisty detective plots, style to spare, comedy as black as night, and a plethora of interesting characters, the films would make for a great double feature, and they showcase exactly where Black’s directorial strengths lie. Is this a family film? No way. Does it include scenes that some may find painful to watch? You bet. Will you be entertained? Thoroughly.

Continue reading The Nice Guys (2016) Review

Weekend Outlook – June 10, 2016

With X-Men: Apocalypse, Alice Through The Looking Glass, and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Out of the Shadows tumbling their way down the top 10,  there’s more than enough room for a couple more sequels to make waves amid another weekend stuffed with multiple new wide releases. This weekend we will see a highly anticipated follow up to one of the best horror films of the last 10 years. Second, we have a not-so-highly anticipated sequel to a mediocre mystery drama about a troupe of magicians illusionists. Finally, we see a video-game adaption from a visionary director that has been doing amazingly well in China and Russia.

The Conjuring 2

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So far, 2016 has become a graveyard for high-profile sequels as Alice Through the Looking Glass, Zoolander 2, Allegiant, Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising, and The Huntsman: Winter’s War have all under-performed. However, both cinematic continuations hitting theaters Friday look like they will bring in respectable grosses. The Conjuring 2 will almost certainly take the #1 spot this weekend after the dazzling run of its predecessor in 2013. I won’t be watching it, because I don’t like having nightmares.

The Conjuring, based on the spooky real-life dealings of paranormal investigators Ed and Lorraine Warren, grossed $41.9 million in its opening weekend nearly three years ago. Its sequel, also directed by James Wan with Vera Farmiga and Patrick Wilson returning, is opening on approximately 3,200 screens this weekend, and will bring the series back to No. 1 at the weekend box office. For starters, strong critical reviews for a modern horror film are almost an anomaly, but The Conjuring 2 has them, as 64 percent of critics surveyed by Metacritic have given the film a positive review.

Warcraft

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While it is expected to disappoint in North America, Warcraft, however, could put up a worthy fight for the No. 2 slot. Traditionally, video game adaptations are awful, but if anyone call pull off the impossible, it is Duncan Jones the director of two of the most original and thrilling sci-fi movies of the last 20 years in Moon and Source Code. The film hits almost 3,400 North American screens this weekend with a robust international gross already under its belt. Based on the wildly popular Blizzard Entertainment video game series with millions of active subscriber accounts.

Warcraft brought in the biggest Thursday gross ever (around $45 million) in China following a huge estimated $46 million opening on Wednesday, upping its total in the country to more than $90 million and counting. Given its low critical reviews (32 percent on Metacritic) and lack of star power among the cast, the picture is seemingly selling itself on brand alone. However, with more than 1.7 million likes on its official Facebook page, Warcraft also seems to be making a decent impact with its target demographic via their go-to medium: the internet.

Now You See Me 2

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Now You See Me 2 has big shoes to fill. Its 2013 predecessor was arguably the most unexpected runaway hit of the year, grossing $351.7 million worldwide during its run. This film has a great following and has infused some new talent into it’s cast. As I watch, I’m going to be waiting for Harry Daniel Radcliffe to pull out his wand.

The only problem for Now You See Me 2, however, is that its legs are probably nowhere near as sturdy as its forerunner’s. Critics haven’t been as kind this time around (it currently sits at 48 percent on Metacritic), though audience anticipation is strong, I think we will see a fairly warm welcome from fans, but that passion will quickly die down and Now You See Me 2 will join the graveyard of 2016 sequels.

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)

Two months ago, no one knew that 10 Cloverfield Lane existed, let alone was about to be wide released in theaters. One month ago, no one had any idea how, if at all, this film was related to the 2008 film Cloverfield except for the obvious title and the fact that J.J. Abrams’ name was tied to the project. Not sure how Abrams had time with Star Wars: The Force Awakens to hide this project from the world, but I’m glad he did.

One of the greatest things 10 Cloverfield Lane has to offer is that the audience really has no idea what to expect going into the film. Very much in the J.J Abrams way, the production for this film has been left completely under-wraps and the trailers have revealed next to nothing. That’s one of the best parts of the movie, so I’m not going to spoil or give anything away in my synopsis or the review. I won’t even tell you if this movie is indeed a Cloverfield sequel or if it’s something different altogether. You’ll have to find out for yourself. But I will say that it is worth checking out whether or not you have any knowledge of Cloverfield. It only cost a measly 15 million to make this film and it nearly doubled that on its opening night. It’s a good film all by itself. It won’t win any Oscars, but it was compelling and fun.

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A woman we know very little about named Michelle (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) is involved in a car crash in a breath taking opening credit sequence. She wakes up a few days later to find herself in an underground bunker with Howard (John Goodman), a large and crazy-eyed farmer standing above her. He tells her that she can’t leave, because some sort of disaster has happened and it’s not safe to go outside. Finding herself alone with Howard and another man named Emmett (John Gallagher Jr.), and I’m stealing their tag line here because it’s a dang good tag line, they find out that monsters come in many forms.

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Obviously, I had no idea to expect when I saw 10 Cloverfield Lane. No one did. But within the first five minutes they set the tone so you know what kind of movie they are going for, and I found myself instantly engaged. For the rest of the film, I was floored with what was going on. In his directorial debut, Dan Trachtenberg takes the reigns on creating a film that will hit you with the unexpected, and leave you shocked.

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The best word I could think of to describe this film while I was watching it was claustrophobic. Trapped with Michelle inside the bunker, they create such an intense and nervous atmosphere that you feel yourself getting antsy along with the characters. Because for almost the whole film, we don’t really know what’s going on. We know what Howard is telling us and leading us to believe, but we have no idea if that’s reliable or not. We discover things along with the characters, which is why this film is such a good build up. When the conclusion to the film finally comes, you will leave more than satisfied. But don’t ruin it for yourself by looking up online spoilers to see if it is a Cloverfield sequel. See the movie. Find out for yourself. It’s worth it.

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The stand-out performance of the film is John Goodman. He is in so many films every year that we sometimes take him for granted and forget how good of an actor he can be when he’s not mailing it in, but rather commits whole heartedly to a role. That’s what happens here. He could have easily over-cooked his performance where it came of as cartoony or unrealistic, but he hit just the right level of disturbing and off-putting where you are crept out by the guy but you can’t be sure if he’s in the right or wrong. It’s a performance similar to Joel Edgerton’s in The Gift.

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At no point of 10 Cloverfield Lane does the film slow down or lose interest. It uses it’s hour and forty five minute runtime (a surprisingly long one for this type of film) to achieve the best possible effects. The film flies by and I found myself never wanting it to be over.

10 Cloverfield Lane is a movie you should see without being tainted by spoilers. Accept that you know nothing about it going in, and enjoy that experience. Because it’s something that doesn’t happen often and it’s a rare gift when it does. 10 Cloverfield Lane has a lot to offer despite the fact that it’s a very small film. So if it is still playing near you, go see it this weekend. Don’t look for other trailers or read other reviews. Just go, then come back here and tell me what you thought.

Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo-0022Vertigo is a psychological thriller film directed by Alfred Hitchcock. The film stars Jimmy Stewart as a former police detective John “Scottie” Ferguson, who has been forced into early retirement due to his discovery of crippling acrophobia and vertigo. Scottie is hired as a private investigator to follow a woman, Madeleine Elster (Kim Novak) who is behaving peculiarly. The film received mixed reviews upon initial release, but has garnered acclaim since and is now often cited as one of the defining works of his career. It is currently listed at #65 on the IMDb Top 250, which I think is a travesty. It shows you what type of list the IMDb Top 250 is, to see this film and others, like Citizen Kane, outside of the top 50, but The Dark Knight currently holds the #4 place. But in the 2012 British Film Institute’s Sight & Sound critics’ poll, it replaced Citizen Kane as the best film of all time and has appeared repeatedly in best film polls by the American Film Institute.

I have to confess. This is one of those movies that you hear about and want to watch because others say it is so good. I’ve had it on my watch-list for years. This was one of the many Alfred Hitchcock films that my parents owned. But for some reason, unlike North by Northwest or The Birds or Psycho, I just never got around to watching this one. But I finally tackled this one on Saturday last year and have been digesting it ever since. This draft has literally been sitting in my project pile since March 2013 and if WordPress is correct in its count, I have made 67 different revisions in that time. Well, I finally watched it again tonight with the purpose of finishing what I started.

Ebert’s Great Movies Review from 1996

*** SPOILER ALERT *** Because of the nature of this film, I must warn anyone who reads further on that the rest of this review will contain spoilers. Please take the time to watch this classic before reading any more. *** SPOILER ALERT *** Continue reading Vertigo (1958)

Day 30 – 30 Day Movie Challenge

Your Favorite Movie of All Time – 30 Day Movie Challenge

Whether intentional or not, The Shawshank Redemption is a film about hope, and the redemption that can occur even in the most dark and degrading corners of our world. This engrossing film stands as one of the most entertaining, thought-provoking dramas of this century. It takes us to a disturbing setting, uses raw language, doesn’t present us with ideal role models, and there are numerous brutal, occasionally fatal, beatings. But we are not cast into this dark place to incite our own lust or rage. The film clearly shows us that these things are harmful or wrong. Because to tell a story of redemption; you have to sink to the depths before you can rise to the pinnacle. When the darkness is hellish, the light shines ever more brightly. Simply put, this film couldn’t have been made without these elements.

Our hero, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), is wrongly accused of killing his wife and receives two life sentences. Steadily and quietly in prison, he wards off the bitterness against that injustice and the further hardships he suffers by doing good for others, even those that despise him. When the film’s narrator Ellis Boyd “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman) first sees Andy arrive, he wagers that the tall-but-quiet ex-banker is a guy who won’t last long. Red loses the bet, but as he gets to know Andy, he begins to respect him and the two become friends and help each other survive the long and dark days of incarceration.

The prison warden (Bob Gunton) is a hypocritical “Christian” who uses the Lord, the Bible, and the people for his own scheming, murdering purposes. We are meant early on to see through this painted on veneer as shown by his “welcoming” the prisoners to Shawshank, “I believe in two things: discipline and the Bible. Here you’ll receive both. Put your trust in the Lord; your ass belongs to me.” This is not the cheap-shot characterization that many believers have come to expect from Hollywood. If you are turned off by the warden, it is because you are meant to be. Just remember who it was that had our sinless savior crucified; it was the conservative religious coalition of the day carrying out a sinister plot in order to maintain its own political power.

In fact, there are many similarities between the heroes of The Shawshank Redemption and the Gospel. The central characters are both wrongly accused. One receives two life sentences and the other is crucified. Neither are respected by their contemporaries, Andy is s a banker and Jesus is a Nazarene? While Andy is certainly flawed, the good work he does while in prison actually serves a ruthless political end that ends up holding him captive. Jesus was ridiculed and executed by the same people He came to free.

The characters are believable, the actors sink into their respective roles perfectly, and light up a brilliantly executed script. But it is the cinematography (crafted by the Coen Brothers’ go to guy, Roger Deakins) that provides the all important look of the film. Thick walls, imposing fences, and confined spaces remind us of the oppression. The guards relentless marching and the heavy bars slamming open and slamming shut reinforce it. Dull, chipped walls in every room surround the dulled, chipped lives of utterly hopeless men. But director Frank Darabont isn’t content to linger in the darkness. Hope is scattered throughout, from an Italian opera broadcast over loudspeakers to a senate appropriation for library books. From a cold beer after a days work to the thought of a “place of no memory.” From High school equivalency exams to a harmonica. From Alexander Dumas to Rita Hayworth.

*—–SPOILER ALERT—–*

Hope triumphs gloriously in the end. It only takes 19 years. But when Andy escapes the hard way, he makes it possible for his friend to go an easier way. Andy escapes the bonds of prison like Jesus escaped the bonds of death. Andy disappeared with an invitation for Red to join him much like Jesus told us that he was going to prepare a place for us. There are so many pictures of Christian hope in this movie that they couldn’t help but put the central message of the gospel in the title.

What is your favorite movie of all time? What do you think of Shawshank? Am I going overboard with the Christian allegory? Leave me a comment below. Also, with the 30 Day Challenge coming to an end, I am here at work for an overnight twelve hour shift. That gave me plenty of time to stamp out my last challenge and hopefully to fill in some of the gaps that were left when life or technology got in the way. I’ll let you know on Twitter or Facebook if I update any of my older posts. Follow me there to keep up with me as I continue my journey through the ever-changing IMDB Top 250.

Day 20 – 30 Day Movie Challenge

Favorite Movie by Your Favorite Actor and Actress

I like this category so much that I am going to break it into two days and do my favorite legacy actor and actress today, and my favorite modern actor and actress tomorrow. Of course, this will turn the 30 Day Movie Challenge into a 31 Day Movie Challenge, but I don’t mind. I have no criteria to separate these except that the classic stars must no longer be making films. Tomorrow, I will get around to my favorite modern actor and actress, but in the meantime…

My favorite classic actor is Jimmy Stewart. He was a tremendously prolific studio actor who worked with all the famous actors and directors of his day. He was known for his performances as an everyman, much like Tom Hanks today. And his beautiful co-star in Rear Window just so happens to be my favorite classic actress, Grace Kelly. She only acted for five years from 1951-1956, but she made a tremendous impact in those five short years even winning an Oscar for acting alongside Bing Crosby in the 1954 film The Country Girl. Sadly, her acting career was cut short by her untimely marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco. By becoming a princess, she gave up her acting career. However, I don’t know that I have ever seen a more beautiful or talented actress grace the screen.

In Rear Window, Jimmy Stewart plays a professional photographer named L.B. Jeffries who breaks his leg while getting an action shot at an auto race. Confined to his New York apartment during a heat wave, “Jeff” spends his time looking out of the rear window observing the neighbors. He begins to suspect that a man across the courtyard may have murdered his wife. He enlists the help Grace Kelly’s character (a high society fashion-consultant girlfriend named Lisa Freemont) and his visiting nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) to investigate the situation. Rear Window is currently listed on the IMDB top 250 at #22. It is one of my favorite movies, it has comedy, suspense, and romance.

Day 10 – 30 Day Movie Challenge

Favorite Classic Movie

This was another category that suffered from the use of vague language. What is a classic movie? What criteria would you use to define a classic? I think what determines a classic film is the same thing that determines a classic piece of literature: the test of time. No film or literature of substandard quality will survive that test. The key to passing this test of time is a work’s universal appeal. This asks for my favorite, not the most classic, so I am pleased to share my favorite classic movie, North By Northwest.

Alfred Hitchcock made so many movies, but there are three in particular that are generally considered to be his best: Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), and Psycho (1960). North by Northwest was nominated for Academy Awards for its screenplay, art direction, and editing, but lost all three to Ben-Hur. It placed 40th on the American Film Institute’s 1998 list of the best movies of all time, and it has consistently ranked in the top 50 as ranked by IMDB users.

The 1950s were a great decade for Alfred Hitchcock. He had so many hits with Strangers on a Train, Dial M for Murder, Rear Window, To Catch a Thief, and The Man Who Knew Too Much. He also had a TV show, Alfred Hitchcock Presents. But in 1958, Vertigo was released and failed to impress critics or audiences. Hitchcock was undoubtedly disappointed by this and couldn’t know that Vertigo would eventually be considered one of his masterpieces. But he vowed that his next project would be a more tested and tried effort that would be more of a crowd-pleaser. The film was a box-office hit, second only to Ben-Hur for the year, and got positive reviews from critics.

It starred Cary Grant as Roger Thornhill a New York advertising executive who is mistakenly identified as a secret government agent, this put a target on his back. Then he’s framed for murder, this puts him on the run from the police as well as the bad guys. While on the run, he meets Eve Kendall (Eva Marie Saint), who apparently believes his story and wants to help. I’m not going to give you any more about the plot because I want everyone to see it. It has so many iconic scenes and it is still powerful today. It influenced a whole genre of action-suspense-espionage movies. Only three years after its release, the first James Bond film, Dr. No, appeared. Of course, James Bond is a spy, whereas Roger Thornhill was only mistaken for one. But both films have implausible action sequences in outrageous locations like Mount Rushmore. They both have beautiful but mysterious women who take an interest in the hero. And both have a well-dressed leading man who is suave, has a knack for one-liners, a fondness for liquor. You can probably think of dozens of movies since 1959 that have operated on those same principles.

With North by Northwest, Hitchcock tweaked the basic man-on-the-run story with witty dialogue, charismatic performances, and visually arresting action sequences. He demonstrated that these elements of basic popular entertainment, which are sadly looked down upon by some who call themselves critics, could be applied to big-budget studio films. He showed that a movie could be entertaining, thrilling, and funny, smart and well-produced. It didn’t have to choose to be either high-brow or low-brow. North By Northwest is an extremely entertaining thrill ride. There is not a lot of substance or meaning to it, it is just a tremendously fun roller coaster ride that Hitchcock takes us on. When I first saw it as a kid, I was hooked. And it set a precedent for hundreds of blockbusters that followed in its wake.

Day 07 – 30 Day Movie Challenge

The Most Surprising Plot Twist Or Ending

This is a really fun topic to think about. On the other hand, it is an extremely hard one to write about. I want to tell you about all these films that have an excellent plot twist but I don’t want to give away what that twist is just in case someone hasn’t seen it. So, consider this your warning. There will be tons of spoilers ahead. I could not choose just one film without giving some honorable mentions. So I will give you my top-5 plot twists or endings. I hope you will join in the discussion and let me know your favorites in the comments below.

5) The Sixth Sense (1999)
This film has the most talked about twist of all time. I doubt that there is anyone reading that doesn’t already know about the twist that gave director M. Night Shyamalan his trademark. There are almost no clues in the film, showing us that Bruce Willis’ character is actually dead from the start, besides the alienation with his wife. The Sixth Sense was a tremendous crowd-pleaser, and that was its real success. Looking back over ten years later, I can’t overlook the plot holes, like how he entered houses and other metaphysical questions. That being said, this movie was extremely entertaining and helped to reinvent a whole genre.
4) The Others (2001)
This movie combines the right direction, script, editing and performances, all for the sake of the final twist. It borrowed some elements from The Sixth Sense, and it sets you up right from the very beginning. It seems like a simple plot that we’ve seen countless times, the haunted mansion, the children seeing ghosts. And it lulls the audience into a sense of complacency with the film. But as the film marches to the end, everything gets flipped on its head, and the ending is a total shock. And afterwards you think, why didn’t I see that coming? This movie is based on a main concept we’d never seen before. We saw things from a ghost’s point of view.
3) The Usual Suspects (1995)
What can I say about this movie that hasn’t already been said. It has a tremendously well-written script and Kevin Spacey is remarkable as Verbal Kint. But could he be Keyser Soze? Was the whole thing made up just to get the police off their tail? The plot makes you want to see the movie again and again to look for clues. After several times however, some revealing plot holes open up. But all that does is provide more fodder for discussion with all your fellow movie watching friends. Because they can all be interpreted differently by each viewer. But that’s the magic of the movie. It’s not just the final twist, but that final twist is great to the point that I want to buy this minimalist movie poster made in honor of the film.
2) Fight Club (1999)
Just how twisted and disturbed is the Narrator? When we finally realize that Tyler Durden is just a figment of his fractured imagination, an alter ego that personified all the qualities he lacked, you can’t help but admire the way all the events where presented to us. And upon a second or hundredth viewing, there are clues dropped throughout the movie. The single frame shots of Tyler that appear as his personality starts kicking in, the long, and gorgeously written, monologues of the Narrator, the attitude of Marla and other supporting characters. This movie almost completely failed at the box office. I was a junior is High School when it came out and I never heard of it. It was labeled as a product of a violent culture that leads kids in trench coats to bring guns into their schools and kill innocent people. Fight Club is a disturbing movie, but it is honest and real. This twist has an actual meaning unlike most films that just entertain, this one leaves you thinking. I couldn’t bring myself to make it number 1 because of the quality of that champion and because this one will appear again in my 30 day challenge and I was determined not to have any repeats.
1) Psycho (1960)
When you look up “Horror Film” in the dictionary, this picture of Janet Leigh screaming should appear next to it. I believe that Psycho is the greatest horror film ever made. It’s hard to find anything wrong with it. When watching an older movie, you have to put yourself in the mindset of someone from that period. One of the reasons the shower scene became so notorious was that the elements of sexuality and murder were ground breaking. In 1960, seeing a nude women being murdered in a shower was something that no-one had experienced yet. Nowadays, seeing Jason double-spearing two lovers having sex is nothing uncommon. Also, because Janet Leigh was the headliner of the film, no one expected to see her die so early on. After that scene, then the real movie began, and we get a glimpse into the disturbing world of Norman Bates, a man who loved his mother a bit too much. I envy those who experienced Psycho in 1960… in the theater… they experienced the full terror of Psycho.

Well, there it is. Oh yeah, I had a few others that ended up just outside the top 5. I think of A Beautiful Mind, Memento, The Prestige, and Saw. Do you agree? Disagree? Let me know. This is way more fun when you talk back. Leave your comments below or on Twitter or Facebook.