Thursday, December 7, 2023

Top 103 Favorite Movies: #79 - 70

Welcome back to my top 103 favorite movies. The first part is here, the second part is here.

So here we go:

#79:  Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

A Spider-Man cartoon? Yes, and it's amazing. And hard to describe without giving away the story. But there are a lot of different Spider-Man characters, including one woman. Just a fun movie with a big, bad villain. Available on FuboTV, Hulu, and Sling TV.

#78: Serenity (2005)

A science fiction movie based on a short-lived series called "Firefly." I always wonder if the writer/director, Joss Whedon, realizes he made a film with strong libertarian/conservative vibes. "I aim to misbehave." "People don't like to be meddled with." Plus, the story is good and the action is amazing. Summer Glau beating up a bar full of hoods is only one reason to watch this. Available on YouTube (paid), Apple TV (paid), and Amazon Prime Video.

77: Mission Impossible III (2006)

This movie is surprisingly effective thanks to a smart script and tense direction from J.J. Abrams (yes, the man who ruined both Star Wars and Star Trek). The action is fast and the suspense is tight. Philip Seymour Hoffman is a scary villain in how calm and cool he is. The bridge scene is worth the price of admission. Available on Paramount+

76: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back as the Terminator (a robot from the future) but this time he's been reprogramed to protect John Conner, not to kill him. The machines send the T-1000, a "liquid metal" terminator from the future to kill Conner. This was one of the first movies to extensively use CGI and it works brilliantly as it's not overused. Fun to watch with just enough humor to take the edge off. Available on Netflix.

75: The Maltese Falcon (1941)

"You're a good man, sister." The classic Bogart film noir movie about "The stuff that dreams are made of." Bogart's Sam Spade is an unflappable private eye caught up in a scheme to find a jewel encrusted falcon figure. Or is it? If you watch one Bogart movie, this has to be it. Available on YouTube (paid) and Apple TV (paid).

74: Batman (1989)

First of all, Jack Nickolson as The Joker. That should be enough to sell this movie. Then Michael Keaton as Batman/Bruce Wayne. And a lovely Kim Basinger playing Viki Vale. We see The Joker's backstory, and his pain and his trauma. And Bruce Wayne's pain and trauma that sent him in a different direction. Occasionally silly, but still worth watching. And the end leaves a mystery that's never been solved. Available on Max and Amazon Prime Video.

73: Risky Business (1983)

Tom Cruise is a suburban Chicago teenager left home alone while his parents travel. Rebecca De Mornay is a call girl he hires. When his father's Porsche goes into Lake Michigan, things get out of hand and he needs a lot of money fast. The call girl has an idea.... An early role for Joe Pantoliano as the bad guy/pimp. Not a belly-laughs kind of movie, just entertaining and amusing. Available on Paramount+.

72: Shrek (2001)

The first and best Shrek movie. A featured-length fractured fairy tale with questions of true beauty and true love. It's meant for kids but has enough jokes that adults will enjoy. Satires a few movies including The Matrix. For pure entertainment, there is little better. Available on Peacock and Hulu.

71:  Double Indemnity (1944)

Another classic film noir with Fred MacMurray as the chump and Barbara Stanwyck was the femme fatale. Edward G. Robinson plays the good guy (for once). Stanwyck wants MacMurray to kill her husband to collect the insurance money from a policy that MacMurray sells him without his knowledge. But, of course, it all goes awry. Available on YouTube (paid) and Apple TV (paid).

70: Key Largo (1948)

Edward G. Robinson is the bad guy and Humphry and Bacall are the heroes (mostly Humphry). Set in the Florida Keys, Bogart and Robinson have it out in a climax on a boat. Did I mention there's a hurricane, too? Great performances all around. Available on YouTube (paid) and Apple TV (paid).

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