Joey V’s Top 50 Movies of All Time | 50 – 41

Joey V's Top 50 Movies of All time | 50 - 41Now that things have calmed down a bit here at g33k HQ, I can get back on track with revealing my Top 50 lists. This week, I’m going to start off with the first batch of movies that I had on my list.

With the Video Games list, there has to be a lot of build up and notes given about what circumstances I had growing up. That entire video games list has to be colored by what consoles or equipment I had available to me. Movies are completely different though. All you need to do is go out to the theater, or just pop in a VHS / DVD / Blu-Ray to watch a movie. Almost anyone can do it, and that’s what makes this list interesting and one that more people may have reason to weigh in on.

As I have said from the beginning, this list is my own personal list. I’m not here trying to tell you what the greatest 50 movies of all time are, in terms of quality. This is just a list of the movies that have affected and changed my life.

What you’ll quickly find out through this list, is that I have a pretty wide range of film appreciation. That is in huge part to my sister Susan, brother Mike, and brother-in-law Josh. They really helped shape this list, with exposing me to a ton of different movies through the years, even if I was really young and probably shouldn’t have watched them. Thanks everyone, you are the best for letting me watch Predator and Nightmare on Elm Street when I was four. =)

If you have any other questions about how this list got formed, please leave a comment down below, catch me on Twitter, or you can email me at joey@g33kwatch.com. Interested to see what everyone thinks about this list and would love a chance to talk it over.

Top 50 Video Games

50 – 41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-6 | 5-1

Top 50 Movies

50 – 41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-6 | 5-1

What Missed the Cut

Without further adieu, here’s movies 50 to 41!

 

#50 – Pee Wee’s Big Adventure

Pee-Wee's Big Adventure (1985)
  • Released: 1985
  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Studio: Warner Bros
  • Distributor: Warner Bros
  • My Iconic Moment: The Breakfast Machine

I was a really big fan of Pee Wee Herman, aka Paul Rubens when I was a young kid. I mean, a lot of people were, but I feel like I was especially. I liked Pee Wee so much that I would watch the entirety of the film Back to the Beach just so I could get to the part where Pee Wee Herman sang and danced to “Surfing Bird.” I mean that movie is bad, but I still loved it because of Pee Wee.

Big Adventure is like a dumb version of the Homer’s The Odyssey. Pee Wee has his cherished bike stolen by his jerky “friend” Francis, and goes on a cross country trek to the Alamo trying to find it. Along the way he sleeps in a building shaped like a dinosaur, gets spooked by a trucker named Large Marge, and performs an iconic dance to the song Tequila for a bunch of bikers that want him dead.

A lot of dumb, but funny, things happen to Pee Wee trying to get his bike backSurprisingly, what I found as I got older is that the movie still makes me laugh. I also didn’t know as a kid but this film is directed by Tim Burton of all people. Not only was it directed by Burton, but this was his first full length movie. I can see some of his trademark shots and influences now as I look back, and that definitely allows repeat viewings to feel new and fresh. Also, the score by Danny Elfman is amazing, like much of Elfman’s work.
 

#49 – The Breakfast Club

  • Released: 1985
  • Director: John Hughes
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • Distributor: Universal Studios
  • My Iconic Moment: Dance Scene

For a lot of people, High School is not a fun time in their lives. It doesn’t matter clique you are in, or who your friends are, odds are High School is going to kick your ass and force you to confront your most inner insecurities. John Hughes completely understood that, and he used that knowledge to craft The Breakfast Club.

Five teenagers are forced to spend an entire Saturday in their school’s library as detention, while the principal tries to get some work done in his office across the hall. All the stereotypes are represented, as some of the best actors of the Brat Pack come together for some of their best performances. Emilio Estevez as the Jock, Anthony Michael Hall as the smart kid, Molly Ringwald as the popular pretty girl, Ally Sheedy as the weirdo, and Judd Nelson as the bad boy.

Each one of us is a brain, an athlete, a basket case, a princess, and a criminal

The Breakfast Club (1985)
The scene where everyone has to sneak around the hallways trying to get weed is one of my favoritesDespite all the characters being definite stereotypes and from different groups, they are able to find out that they all have problems that are pretty similar to each other. This allows them all to connect to each other and by the end of the film, become friends. Some people have criticized that the film writing is a little too convenient in that for the kids, all of their problems are tied to their parents and the pressure that is put on them.

While it all does match up really nicely, I would throw out that when you are in High School, what kid didn’t have issues with their parents? I had a pretty good upbringing, but I had some really bad moments with my parents during High School. It’s part of growing up for a lot of kids where they feel like no one understands them, and they just have so much thrust upon them. These years can be extremely difficult for teenagers, and The Breakfast Club really captured that feeling. Even if they took some liberties along the way.

Don't You (Forget About Me) by Simple Minds.  Go listen to it right nowFinally … the final scene and shot. Holy shit, that ending was amazing. So iconic, that the characters in the film Pitch Perfect, more than 25 years later, riff on how important of a scene it is as homage.

One downside, and it’s a spoiler if you have never seen this movie. Anthony Michael Hall doesn’t get any out of this! The other characters end up together in some fashion, but not him. He’s just left to go home, feel better about him self, but not have anyone to make out with. Kinda made me sad. That was until I saw Weird Science and the Anthony Michael Hall character gets the way hotter girl in that. All came back around.

 

#48 – Starship Troopers

Starship Troopers (1997)
  • Released: 1997
  • Director: Paul Verhoeven
  • Studio: Big Bug Pictures
  • Distributor: TriStar Pictures
  • My Iconic Moment: Rico vs Tankbug

Director Paul Verhoeven just makes movies that I really enjoy. They are over the top, gory, testosterone filled action films that are somehow filled with sophisticated messages that make you think. When the basic premise of your movie is that a bunch of kids on Earth are going to be put into the military to invade an alien planet filled with a weird bug race, I don’t expect to ponder the nature of propaganda, nationalism, and even fascism. Yet, that is exactly what Starship Troopers did for me.

It was also a bunch of dumb fun with great action and special effects. Another interesting tidbit about Starship Troopers; this movie is over two full hours long. Two hours! You think this is going to be a short movie filled with bug killing, but the film really takes the time to setup their narrative, no matter what you may think about it.

RICO!

That's a lot of bugs to shootI think the thing that really makes this movie one of my favorites is that all of the actors seem to have a really great idea about what they are doing. They know that they are in a B-Movie masquerading as top-tier action film, and they overact accordingly. Casper Van Dien as Johnny Rico absolutely makes the movie, without him the entire thing falls apart. Helping Van Dien do his best over the top though, Neil Patrick Harris, Jake Busey, Dina Meyer and Michael Ironside all provide the required tongue and cheek deliver that each character needs.

Van Dien, Busey and Meyer all do amazing as mobile infantry soldiers who start off woefully unprepared for the horrors of war, but then get shaped into killing machines that thrive off the action. Ironside is perfect as a former soldier, turned chemistry teacher, then back to soldier who runs the Roughneck platoon and helps Rico become the career soldier he needs to be. Neil Patrick Harris isn’t in the film much, but his portrayal of psonic scientist Carl make for some of the funniest scenes in the movie.

The only person who didn’t really get the notice seems to be Denise Richards who actually The propaganda portions of the film are over the top and the best partseems to be trying to act during the film. It’s kind of jarring and just come across as she didn’t understand the source material. Maybe I’m reading too much into all of it, and that’s quite possible, but she is definitely the weakest part of the film.

The special effects are great, and the acting is sufficiently dumb, but the propaganda portions of the movie are what put this movie on the list. Haven’t seen those portions of the movie? Would you like to know more?

 

#47 – Good Morning Vietnam

  • Released: 1987
  • Director: Barry Levison
  • Studio: Touchstone Pictures
  • Distributor: Buena Vista Pictures
  • My Iconic Moment: Cronauer with America Soldiers

Let’s stay on the topic of movies about wars, that make you think of more than just who lives and dies. Good Morning Vietnam is a film that I honestly can’t tell you when I first watched. I remember there being a VHS tape of the movie in my house around the age of 6 or so, and then I proceeded to watch that same tape well into High School. Now that I mention it, that tape may still be at my parent’s house and probably still works. Talk about quality products!

Robin Williams has been known as an actor that either does over the top, crazy comedy, or weird and creepy serious roles. Good Morning Vietnam is a movie that tows the line between those two styles. Williams plays airman Adrian Cronauer, a humorous radio personality who is now in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. Cronauer is given one of the early time slots on Radio Saigon, with the purpose of trying to raise the morale of the soldiers out in the field. Cronauer decides to do this by being loud, funny, and playing rock & roll music, all in a fashion that irks and annoys the Sargent Major who is in charge of the radio station.

Pretty easy to imagine Robin Williams saying that line, don't you think?

 

Good Morning Vietnam (1987)
Robin Williams is great, but also good performances from a young Forest WhitakerUnsurprisingly, Robin Williams is really funny in this film. This was made during the late 80s when Williams was really starting to hit his stride with his particular brand of comedy. It was also the start of him being able to show heart, and warmth, traits that would help him out tremendously in the future when he was making films like Toys, Hook, and Mrs. Doubtfire.

In Good Morning Vietnam, there is an innocence to the character of Cronauer that gets broken and exposed as the movie goes on. Cronauer goes into Vietnam thinking that it’s just another conflict, one in which America will prevail, and he’s just there to provide entertainment on the radio. He quickly realizes though that the soldiers there aren’t necessarily welcome, nor are they fighting a war they can win.

While very moving and funny, Good Morning Vietnam is also a beautiful looking filmIt’s a fascinating take on the subject, and I feel like the theme really captures what it must have felt to be an American at the time, no matter what your role was. The film does a good job of showing just how uptight the military was at this time, confident that their methods were going to win out no matter what. The idea that the government and military were censoring news and hiding information in an effort to have the media give a winning perception to the troops. Director Barry Levison, who later delved more into the media’s control of war in Wag the Dog, also tackles how the Vietnamese we fought were dangerous, but maybe they had good reason to not want us in their country.

Good Morning Vietnam has its funny moments, but it is not a comedy. It’s a drama, looking at a really difficult war from an angle that most would never think would exist. Well worth the time to watch if you haven’t already.

 

#46 – The Replacements

The Replacements (2000)
  • Released: 2000
  • Director: Howard Deutch
  • Studio: Warner Bros
  • Distributor: Warner Bros
  • My Iconic Moment: Bar Fight & Jail Dance

My love for Keanu Reeves is pretty well documented. At first, when I was younger, that “love” was in an ironic way. As I watched more and more though, I began to see that I really did enjoy him as an actor. Everyone will look at him and just see the dolt that played Ted Theodore Logan in Bill & Ted, but Reeves is way more than that. He really takes his craft seriously, and does a ton of research, no matter how big or small that character is. I think you have to respect his dedication, if nothing else.

As an small tidbit, Nicolas Cage has taken over my ironic actor love, so all is right in the world.

Most people would not place a movie like The Replacements on their list. It’s a sports comedy that stars Keanu Reeves. That’s not exactly a winning reciepe for most folks. This is my list though so fuck everyone else. In a fictional professional football league, the regular players are going on strike for more money. The Washington DC Sentientals decide that they are going to use replacement players in an effort to finish up the season and get into the playoffs. Gene Hackman portrays coach Jimmy McGinty, as he attempts to round out his team with a rag-tag group of misfits that no one else knows about.

Keanu took less money so they could hire Hackman as the coach.  Classy move

IMan I love that kicker, great character could sit here and attempt to give you all sorts of deep reasons of why this is a great movie but I won’t. The Replacements is just fun. You can guess exactly how everything is going to play out and what characters they are going to use. They get an ex Sumo Wrestler and two club bouncers as offensive linemen, a Welsh soccer player for a kicker, and a really fast guy who can’t catch passes as wide receiver. Heck, they even get a a police officer as a linebacker, a convict as a running back, and a deaf person for a tight end.

Reeves’s character of Shane Falco is a former college star, who choked during the college national championship game and has been haunted by that ever since. People doubt that he can win the big game under pressure, and it’s something that is dealt with the entire film. He has to deal with the fear that he’s not clutch, that he can’t make the big play, he’s not a leader, and that he can’t get the girl. Spoilers though, he does all of that and becomes the best player they have. Everyone wins.

Reeves also really learned how to play QB for the role, and practiced a lot. This is th Pain heals. Chicks dig scars. Glory ... lasts forever.e second QB that he has played in a film, the first one being Johnny Utah in Point Break. Interestingly, both of those characters played at Ohio State in their respective films. So while Reeves had a little bit experience throwing a football after the Point Break scene, for The Replacement he really practiced and was able to understand complex NFL standard playbooks. Amazing dedication to the craft!This movie is fun and awesome. That’s all there is to it. Also, like any sports movie, the last speech by the star player / coach has to be good. For The Replacements, Keanu does a stellar job with his speech about glory.

 

#45 – Top Gun

  • Released: 1986
  • Director: Tony Scott
  • Studio: Simpson/Bruckheimer
  • Distributor: Paramount Pictures
  • My Iconic Moment: Dat Volleyball Game

Let’s be real for a second. I don’t care how crazy Tom Cruise is in real life. He may be off his rocker and completely dedicated to Scientology and all that other bullshit. That stuff doesn’t mean anything to me. When Tom Cruise is in a movie, he’s fucking great in it. He’s so intense and dedicated to the role, that it doesn’t matter what he’s playing, he is going to make you feel something.

Top Gun is not Tom Cruise’s best role, but his time as Maverick is memorable. The film has action, drama, rivalries, sex, death, and so much more.

In addition, the cinematography is fantastic, and the soundtrack is legendary. I don’t think I’m overstating anything in this. Top Gun is an utterly amazing movie, and I don’t feel like I need to do much else other than say that it’s on my list.

Top Gun is amazing.  I don't have anything else to say

Top Gun (1986)
 

#44 – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
  • Released: 1989
  • Director: Stephen Herek
  • Studio: Interscope Communications
  • Distributor: Nelson Entertainment
  • My Iconic Moment: Bill & Ted’s Final Report

Yay another Keanu movie. Remember all that good stuff I said about him during my talk about The Replacements? Well throw it all out, because Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure is dumb, goofy, and a total blast. You don’t come to this for the acting, you come for the sheer insanity of it all.

Most of you already know the story. Bill S. Preston Esq (Alex Winter) and his friend Ted Theodore Logan (Keanu Reeves) are flunking history class. They have to get an A on their final history presentation or else Ted is going to be shipped off to military school. If that happens, the two buddies can’t continue to have their band Wyld Stallyns and eventually rock the world. To prevent this, the enlightened people of the future send Rufus (George Carlin) to the past in a time traveling telephone booth, to ensure the duo pass their test. Why? Because the music of Wyld Stallyns has made the future a perfect world, and they can’t afford to lose that.

Did I mention this movie is dumb fun?

Bill & Ted & Socrates

Wyld Stallyns!!!As Bill & Ted go back in time and meet all of these famous people, and then bring those historical figures back to 1989 to show off at their history presentation, the movie gets dumber and funnier. The acting is over the top and bad, the 80s fashion is atrocious and their logic for how time travel works is not even remotely sensible.

All of that doesn’t matter because you laugh the entire time you watch the movie, and it’s a fun ride throughout. Finally, it gives us a very important life lesson: “Be excellent to each other!” We should follow that advice more often as a society. A comedic classic if you ask me.

 

#43 – Way of the Gun

  • Released: 2000
  • Director: Christopher McQuarrie
  • Studio: Artisan Pictures
  • Distributor: Artisan Entertainment
  • My Iconic Moment: Stepping off the path

I had a very odd relationship with my parents. I was the third child in my family, and while I got advantages that they never did, I also got hampered in different ways. For the entirety of High School and when I was home for college, I just wasn’t allowed to go out anywhere. My parents didn’t want me to getting mixed up with anything and getting into trouble, so I just wasn’t allowed anywhere.

The only thing that I was really allowed to do, was go to the movies on Friday night. So every Friday night, no matter what, myself and my friends Dan, Zach, and Shane would go to the movies. It was good because we got to hang out, but we also saw a lot of movies due to that. When I say every week, I mean every week. So because of that, there were some weeks when we had seen all of the good movies, and there just wasn’t a lot out. So we had to expand our horizons and see some movies that were off the radar.

Phillipe & Del Toro are cool, calm, and calcuating

The Way of the Gun (2000)
No luxuries, you do what you need to surviveWhile that unfortunately means we sat through Blair Witch 2, it also means that we got a chance to see The Way of the Gun. A movie that was directed by Christopher McQuarrie who is famous for being the leader writer of The Usual Suspects. This movie was his directorial debut and was very indie, but with a really solid cast. McQuarrie wanted to make a more realistic heist / organized crime thriller and I think he was very successful. The film really took me by surprise, and it made me really glad that I would just go out and see movies for the fun of seeing movies.

The bag man will give you guaranteed money, but you can never trust himThe film follows Ryan Phillippe and Benecia Del Toro as two vagrants who’s real names are never given, instead going by Mr. Brown and Mr. Longbaugh. They drive around the country with no luxuries, trying to find a way to get rich. They don’t care how that happens, so when they hear about an innocent girl being a surrogate mother (Juliette Lewis) for a very rich, powerful and shady man by the name of Abner Mercer. Brown & Longbaugh hatch a plan to kidnap the mother and ransom off the baby. What follows, is a intricate game of cat and mouse, as they try to get the better of two bodyguards (Taye Diggs & Nicky Katt) and Mercer’s bag man played by the fantastic James Caan.

What really impressed me most about this film, is the dialogue and the gun fights. This is not a stereotypical action film where people shoot first and ask questions later. There is a good amount of talking back and forth between both parities, as they try and see if they can do things quickly and quietly. Guns are drawn, but shooting is something that only happens as a last resort.

When the guns are fired, everything is done really well, with a lot of covering fire, cover, andThanks to an ex-Navy SEAL, the gun fights are fantastic in this film specific movements used to simulate what professionals would do. McQuarrie’s brother was an ex-Navy SEAL coordinated movements, use of cover, and room-clearing tactics all made it into the film. Made every character seem as if they were professionals, and made the final gun fight really tense and dramatic.

Most people haven’t seen this movie, and I know I will have said this a lot during the Top 50, but you really should see The Way of the Gun. Unappreciated crime film that will provide you unique gun fights, philosophical musings, and very powerful character conversations.

 

#42 – Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park (1993)
  • Released: 1993
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Studio: Amblin Entertainment
  • Distributor: Universal Studios
  • My Iconic Moment: Welcome to Jurassic Park

I was ten years old when Jurassic Park came out into theaters. Thinking back on it, that is the first time I can remember seeing a proper blockbuster movie. Something where the audience was just in awe of what they were seeing, and you couldn’t help but talk about it with your friends. Something that was just everywhere in the media.

It was around that time, a few months before the movie came out that I attempted to read the novel by Michael Crichton. I was still pretty young so that didn’t work out, but I did get far enough into it that I knew if this movie could pull of the dinosaurs, then it would be amazing. Add on top of all of that, my deep love for dinosaurs and desire to be an archaeologist (ahh kids), and you had a recipe for everything I wanted to see in a movie.

When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth!

Raptors are scary as fuckJurassic Park works as a film because the dinosaurs absolutely look and sound real. Through a combination of computer generated and practical effects, Steven Spielberg is able to achieve that. This wasn’t a case of watching the film and going, “oh those things look so fake.” When you see that T-Rex break through the electrified fence, you are 100% absorbed and believe that it is a real dinosaur on screen. Because of how convincing all of the effects are, the movie is awe-inspiring, but also frightening. You could say that Jurassic Park is an adventure film, but you could just as easily say it is a horror movie.

While the sequels to this franchise have never really panned out, this original film continues to stand as one of the best movie accomplishments of all time. What’s also great is that while you spend a lot of the movie running away from dinosaurs, there are some wonderful characters that are able to shine through all of the noise. You end up caring about them, and hoping for them to make it out, even though the odds are against them.

Except for Dennis Nedry. You are so happy when that fucking Dilophosaurus kills him and foils his plan.

 

#41 – Strange Days

Before Kathryn Bigelow become a super hot director for making The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, she made two movies that really helped shape my childhood. One of them, we will talk about much later on in this list, but the other was Strange Days. It’s a movie that isn’t super well known by a lot of people, but it is a film that gave me a look into how powerful and dangerous technology can be.

I remember seeing the trailer when I was kid, and that really tried to talk about a virtual reality based technology that was part of the film’s storyline. This tech allowed people to record their memories to a data disc, and then others could play those discs back and fully experience the memories and emotions through the recorders eyes. The other thing that the trailer really harped on, was that it was going to take place during New Year’s Eve 1999, so the hype around the year 2000 was going to heavily factor in.

What the film actually turned out to be, was a cyberpunky cult classic that had more to do with character interaction and conspiracy. The virtual reality technology was there, but it was a means to an end, something that allowed the plot to move forward.

Strange Days is about technology, the future, friendship, addiction, and so much more

Strange Days (1995)
Police brutality of the LAPD is an important theme in the filmRalph Fiennes plays Lenny Nero, an ex-cop that now deals in the illegal creation and sale of these memory data-discs. Things get crazy though when he receives a disc from a friend that shows the death of an outspoken political figure at the hands of two LAPD officers. The implications are enormous, and his ex-girlfriend Faith played by Juliette Lewis is somehow involved. Lenny desperately wants to help out Faith and get the word out to the media, but he’s putting himself in danger. There are people though trying to cover everything up, as Lenny tries to avoid the cops and a mysterious serial killer who is killing everyone involved. The only person that Lenny can trust is his friend Mace played brilliantly by Angela Bassett.

Angela Bassett is awesome in the movieStrange Days is brilliantly shot, and the pacing makes for a very tense, roller coaster ride. There are the obvious topics of how dangerous / helpful technology can be, but the film also touches up on topics like friendship, political activism, addiction, and sex. Fiennes and Bassett really shine in this film, as both are trying to help the other one out. Not just in the immediate time with all the chaos around them, but also trying to get their lives back in order.

The city of Los Angeles is the other important character in this, as it has a look that is somewhere between what it was during the LA Riots, Blade Runner, and Johnny Mnemonic. This version of LA as a backdrop is what makes these performances work, otherwise they would seem over the top and dumb. Strange Days is a movie that does really well at world building, and allowing you to know everything about a place just by what you see, rather than hitting you over the head with exposition.

The cyberpunk vibe of LA in the film is top notchFinally, the soundtrack is great. It’s a great combination of alternative, electronic, and heavy metal, all of which combine to give you the feeling that while the world looks different, it’s not too far off from our own. That knowledge makes the movie familiar, but also a frightening image of what is yet to come.

 

Top 50 Video Games

50 – 41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-6 | 5-1

Top 50 Movies

50 – 41 | 40-31 | 30-21 | 20-11 | 10-6 | 5-1

What Missed the Cut

Joseph Valenti

Founder of g33kWatch, Joe is the guy who makes sure nobody hurts themselves. Connect with me on Google+

2 Comments:

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