My 30th to 32nd Favorite Motion Pictures

32. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Okay, if it seems kind of blasphemous to rank this movie higher than Citizen Kane that’s because 1) it is blasphemous and, 2) this is a list base on how much I enjoyed viewing a particular movie. If this list was based on how much respect I have for a movie, or how influential it is, then the rankings would be decidedly different. But, nope, this list is just based on how much I enjoyed spending my time in front of a screen watching a piece of celluloid And to that, I say, Napoleon is flippin’ sweet.
A small movie such as this is fun for its details; I loved watching each character go about their own little bizarre – and yet, somehow familiar – worlds. The quirky humor started right off after the clever opening credits. I instantly liked this movie and often had to wipe the tears off my face from laughing so hard.
Why not rank it higher? ‘Cause, I’ll rank it however I want. God.

31. The Godfather, parts I and II (1972 – 1974)
This pair of movies – essentially one movie cut up into two parts – has everything going for it. Every actor is of the highest quality, and yet they all look so different from one another that I did not spend the bulk of the film trying to keep track of who was who. The movies have so many great, iconic scenes, it’s tough to narrow the list down. These are absolutely flawless, refined pieces of entertainment. And, in a very rare move, part two not only enhances and enriches the story begun in part one, but it actually surpasses the first part.
Why not rank it higher? All its brilliance aside, I’m just not into gangster movies. Like westerns, I don’t eschew them simply on account of their genre, but it takes a lot more for me to “get into” them. Also, they’re a little on the long side; I think both movies could be made better by chopping out about twenty minutes.

30. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
This is one wild head trip. The story is surreal and non-linear. I’m such a sucker for non-linear story-telling. The plot is unique; I have never seen anything similar to it either before or since. ‘Eternal Sunshine’ manages to dazzle you with it’s originality and it’s poignancy. The fact that this movie was able to wrap such profound loss, emotional tenderness, and hope in such a self-consciously stylized package of science fiction is absolutely amazing. The use of vibrant coloring and quick camera movement give the film a very involving first hand feeling. On a personal note, by the time I saw this movie I was sick of Jim Carey and his Ace Ventura routine. This, coupled with The Truman Show showed that he can put that crap behind him and make some good flicks.
Why not rank it higher? Way too much hand-held camera! I think I was nauseous when I saw this on the big screen. And too many people in their underwear.

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2 Responses to My 30th to 32nd Favorite Motion Pictures

  1. Jennifer says:

    I find it funny that you list being able to tell the actors apart in a the movie as a reason you like it. I mean, is that really a serious issue for you with most movies? And why mention it the Godfather movies and not for any others so far? Your silly.

  2. James says:

    It is a serious issue for me. I can’t stand those movies and TV shows where everyone looks like a model and I can’t tell one guy from the next because they all look and dress the same. In a movie like the Godfather, with so many different characters, I think it’s a testament to the quality of the film that the film-makers used people that look the part, rather than just using the current heart-throbs.
    I haven’t mentioned this about any other movie so far because either the movie has not been good about using a variety of people, or the cast was relavitely small and it didn’t really matter.

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