Monday, June 16, 2008

Back to Work

I'm back to the daily grind here in Hawally. Nothing terribly new or interesting to report. Due to burnout, I haven't had the energy to get much exersize done. I've been trying to get my mind off of events and have been watching a lot of movies lately.

So, with nothing better to do on a Saturday Morning, I'm compiling a list of films that I think are above average and worth Seeing. These movies are in no particular order, but simply stuff that comes to mind.

1. Braveheart. First saw this with a group of friends in high school.
2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Loved this movie. First saw it with Josh Johnson at Friendly Pines Camp
3. Legends of the Fall. Great movie of three brothers coming of age in turn of the century Montana.
4. The Eiger Sanction. One of the only good movies I've ever seen about climbing.
5. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Loved this movie as a kid. I don't think my mom was thrilled with the scene of the crazy dude ripping a burning heart out of someone's chest.
6. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring. First in the Trilogy. The only thing I didn't like was that these films have forever influenced my perception of the books. I'll never read the books again without thinking of Ian McKellen as Gandalf.
7. Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Some said this was the weakest of the films, but I actually liked it best, even though it was my least favorite of the books.
8. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. Great, but like the book, the ending was a little too long.
9. Why We Fight. Excellent documentary on the military industrial complex, America's endless wars, and the causes and effects of the American empire both home and abroad.
10. Crash. Provocative film about race and stereotypes and the nature of karma.
11. Fight Club. Don't remember where I first saw this. Either way, excellent. Brad Pitt in this movie now competes with the first Rocky as my motivation to work out.
12. Rocky. Now that I've mentioned it, I have to list it. I always watched this before I started training for my half marathons. Makes you want to go for a run and guzzle a protein shake.
13. Saving Private Ryan. Good film, but way overdone and overbearing. Prepare to be drenched in nostalgia.
14. Memento. Excellent film with innovative narrative that moves backwards. Great for wallowing in postmodern existential angst!
15. Schindler's List. Good, but like a lot of Spielberg, overdone.
16. The Last Samurai. Even liked this one before I went to Japan, grudgingly though.
17. We Were Soldiers. Great story of a war leader who leads his troops to battle and fights for them, and not the evil post-colonial aims of his greedy, over ambitious imperial government. Again, grudgingly liked.
18. Black Hawk Down. Soldiers again, fight for each other, and not so much their governments or policies.
19. Cold Mountain. One of the only love stories to appear on this list. Perhaps I should add more.
20. Letters from Iwo Jima. Excellent story about the soldiers defending Iwo Jima. Much better than its counterpart, Flags of our Fathers. Among Eastwood's best films, this proved a well done film in a Japanese film style about soldiers wrestling with a moral code that demands their sacrifice and their own desires to live. Superb insight into Japanese ethics and moral philosophy.
21. Flags of Our Fathers. While definitely inferior to Letters from Iwo Jima for any number of reasons, I found this to be a fascinating film from a historical perspective about the way our country (or any nation for that matter) has a need for heroes. It speaks to society's need for a triumphant historical narrative and how that need often trumps the need for facts and truth, or in this case, even the needs of the people involved.
22. Apocalypse Now. Great Stuff. Redux doesn't even deserve mention here.
23. Spanglish. While perhaps not his funniest, definitely one of Adam Sandler's best. And Paz Vega is simply gorgeous.
24. Hero. Another stylistic martial arts film. Not as good as Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon though.
25. House of Flying Daggers. Sad film about unrequited love. Beautiful color schemes.
26. The Terminator.
27. Terminator 2: Judgement Day.
23. Gladiator. Another Ridley Scott Masterpiece. Speaking of Ridley Scott...
24 Alien. One of Ridley Scott's earliest good movies. Jaws in Space, only better. And I never liked Jaws anyways.
25. Aliens. Lots of Aliens in this one. Still good.
26. Alien 3. Probably the darkest of the Alien movies. After this things just went downhill.
27. I Am Legend. Love the Post Apocalyptic Movies. Speaking of which....
28. Waterworld. I know, I know. But I liked it. Will have to remove these if I ever run for office! Paul Brodar is probably to blame for this and...
29. The Postman. A little bit better, but it still barely made the cut.
30. The Princess Bride. Must have seen this one 100 times with my sister, and a group of friends I knew in college.
31. Romancing the Stone. I wonder if anybody even remembers this one.
32. The Hunt for Red October. Sean Connery in a submarine.
33. The Abyss. Ed Harris in a submarine.
34. Big. 6th grader turns into Tom Hanks and lives in New York.
35. Dave. Great movie about a guy who looks like the president.
36. Gattaca. Guy lies about who he really is to get a job. Inspiring.
37. Seven Years in Tibet. Good Movie. Even better than the book in some ways.
38. Stargate. Kind of corny, but I always liked this one.
39. The Fly. One of the greatest movies from the 1980's.
40. Unforgiven. Along with Letters from Iwo Jima, this is among Eastwood's best work.
41. Lord of War. International small arms dealer destroys developing countries.
42. Last of the Mohicans. Great Battle Scenes.
43. Dances with Wolves. Kevin Costner again. This is probably the movie that gave him the ego he needed for Waterworld.
44. The 13th Warrior. More good battle scenes.
45. The Saint. Val Kilmer as the Saint. Elizabeth Shue has never looked better either.
46. Desperado. One of the coolest movies out there. Bonus: Salma Hayek is in it.
47. Ronin. Secret operatives get laid off after the cold war ends. Greatest car chase I've ever seen.
48. The Beastmaster. Another one I should erase before my senate campaign.
49. Conan the Barbarian. Arnold at his most muscled. More inspiration to hit the gym.
50. The Mothman Prophesies. I always liked this movie. No apparent reason. Probably the only Richard Gere movie on here.
51. The Silence of the Lambs. Yeah I know, kinda sick, but I liked it anyways.

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