Thursday, November 23, 2023

103 Favorite Movies #103 - 90

Happy Thanksgiving!

Today I am going to start listing my 103 favorite movies of all time. Why 103? Because there were some I just couldn't leave out.

103: Star Trek: First Contact (1996)

The only Star Trek: The Next Generation cast movie on this list and the first of five. Directed by Jonathan Frakes (who also plays First Office Riker), the parts on the ship are exciting and claustrophobic as the crew tries to stop a Borg invasion of their vessel. But the parts on the ground and rather silly. Councilor Troi drunk was funny, though. Introduces the concept of the "Borg Queen," which I've never liked but was used in a lot of Star Trek afterwards. Available on Paramount+

102: The World’s Fastest Indian (2005)

“World’s fastest what?” you may be asking. This unusual film is based on the true story of a New Zealand man (played by Anothony Hopkins) trying build the world’s fastest motorcycle and test it out at Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah in 1967. Watching his culture shock of 1960s America and his efforts to build the motorcycle makes this movie strangely compelling. It's fun to watch him try to fix issues with the motorcycle. When something doesn't work that he thought would, he says, "Who came up with that stupid idea?" In the end, his Indian-brand cycle is the world’s fastest. Available for free on many sites including YouTube, Peacock, and Pluto TV. 

101: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

This third Star Trek movie with The Original Series cast is an emotional roller coaster. Kirk’s devastation at the murder of his son and the destruction of the Enterprise are both unlike any other Star Trek film. The worst part, Kirstie Alley isn’t playing Saavik anymore. Christopher Lloyd plays the Klingon commander, chewing up scenery. It was obvious he was having a great time. Available on Paramount+

100: Bullitt

Basically, this is on this list because of that chase scene, one of the best ever filmed. Otherwise, this is an interesting crime drama starring Steve McQueen. Made in 1968 San Francisco, there are bad guys and tough cops and lots of nice scenery. Watch for the real cop directing traffic outside a restaurant and a very young Robert Duvall driving a taxi. But once you watch that chase scene, there's not much else to this film. Available on Max and Amazon Prime Video.

99: The Mummy (1999)

There are no horror movies on this list. I don’t do horror. But this movie is a fun adventure with some horror elements. Brendan Fraser stars and Rachel Weisz is the cute, smart love interest. Early CGI is used, but it works and isn’t over used. Just a fun adventure film set in the 1920s. Not to be confused with the Tom Cruise disaster with the same name. Available on Hulu and Sling TV.

98: Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

"What is your quest?" Irreverent, silly, and hilarious, this first feature-length movie from the Monty Python troupe is laugh-out-loud funny. From the coconuts clomped together to indicate horses to the peasant spouting Marxist ideas, it'll have you rolling on the floor with laughter. "I fart in your general direction!" Not as sacrilegious as Life of Brian or as gross as The Meaning of Life. Available on Netflix.

97: Avengers: Infinity War (2018)

This movie is huge with cast of thousands. And a lot of them are stars. CGI is rampant but it’s so good you don’t care. You don’t need to watch every MCU film before you view this, but it helps. The combination of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the Avengers is amazing. The final battle is huge as they try to stop Thanos's genocidal plans. If only Star Lord (played by Chris Pratt) hadn't lost his temper… Available on Disney+

96: Charade (1963)

I don’t remember how I found this movie but I was glad I did. This is a charming film with suspense, romance, and twists. Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn star and the chemistry between them is palpable. A very enjoyable time for an old movie without shootouts or chase scenes. Available on Pluto TV and Amazon Prime Video (free).

95: Galaxy Quest (1999)

An affectionate satire of Star Trek and its fan culture, this hilarious movie is so much fun. Tim Allen (in his best role outside of the Toy Story franchise) and Sigourney Weaver star along with the always wonderful Alan Rickman. If you love or hate Star Trek, you have to watch this movie. It's hilariously funny at times. "Never give up; never surrender." Available on Paramount+

94: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country (1991)

The last Original Series cast Star Trek movie. The cast is older and slower, but they still save the universe. Sulu is a captain of his own ship and arrives in the nick of time. Can there be diplomacy in the Galaxy? Or will a conspiracy ruin it all? The final space battle is amazing. This is the last movie we see Spock in (he didn't want to be in Generations). A bit marred by a couple of political statements by the filmmakers. And Klingon blood is not lavender. Available on Paramount+

93: Avengers: End Game (2019)

You thought Infinity Wars was huge? This is bigger, longer, and has more CGI. Things go from the devastation of Infinity War to hope to a sad ending. The best MCU movie so far. And boy, there are a lot of infinity stones in New York City! Available on Disney+

92: To Be or Not to Be (1983)

A comedy about the Nazi invasion of Poland and the mistreatment of Jews and gays? Yes, and it’s good. Mel Brooks is less manic as the ham leader of a theater troupe and Anne Bancroft, his real-life wife, plays his wife. Tim Matheson is a handsome Polish pilot. There’s a 1942 version with Jack Benny, but this one is the one with Mel Brooks. It's funny, touching, and maybe just a bit manic. The one criticism: the Nazis are all idiots. Evil usually isn't stupid. Available on Max, Hulu, and Amazon Prime Video

91: Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)

The first and best Pirates of the Caribbean movie. Keira Knightley is beautiful, Orlando Bloom is brave, and Johnny Depp is… Johnny Depp. It never takes itself too seriously and always is fun. There are a few twists toward the end. Who thought a pirate movie would work in the 2000s? Available on Disney+

90: Speed (1994)

A bus that can’t go less than 50 mph or it’ll explode. That’s the plot of Speed. An exciting action film that launched the career of Sandra Bullock and made Keanu Reeves an action star. Just a good, fast movie. The ending is a bit anticlimactic but that’s okay. Available on AMC+ and Amazon Prime Video.

So, what do you think of my first 14? Let me know in the comments below. More will come...

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