Posts Tagged ‘Tops’

5 Non-Horror Halloween Movies

Posted: September 20, 2012 in Holiday, Top Lists
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I like Halloween, a lot. Like, a lot, a lot. Syd also loves Halloween. The problem is, Syd doesn’t like horror movies. It’s a little hard to watch movies during the Halloween season if you live with someone who doesn’t like Horror movies. So I decided to put together a list of movies that don’t have to be classed as horror. That way, I get to get into Halloween, and Syd gets to sleep without nightmares. So as a result, I’ve got something that isn’t scary. Now, there aren’t rules to this, there isn’t any science, I went by feel. The only explanation I can come up with, is an after the fact examination. Each of these feel Autumnal to me. They take place during the fall, or have strong themes of the supernatural. That’s all I got. I like watching these during Halloween.

NOW! Allow us to, for a moment, start with the honorable mentions. Someone suggested The Nightmare Before Christmas while I was putting this list together. Syd had a complaint, “It’s a Christmas movie.” and with that, it sort of had to go. It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown was rejected on the grounds that Syd can’t watch old Chuck get another bag full of rocks. She just can’t take the bullying of Charlie Brown. The Godfather is something I always find myself watching during autumn, but it’s not Hallow’een-y enough. Likewise, Ghostbusters was also suggested, but it just felt wrong. Yeah, it felt wrong, I go mostly by feeling on this sight, quit trying to imagine that I use any kind of science behind this. There is no science, no chart, no weighing of evidence. Feeling, gut, emotion. We went through a few others, but in the end I landed with these five.

1. Clue
A classic comedy, that didn’t get the kind of love it deserved back in the day. Yes, it’s based on a board game, but this movie is SO MUCH MORE! Clue is truly one of the funniest satires of both the mystery genre and the McCarthyism of the 50s. I’m not sure it actually takes place during the autumn, but it feels like it does. Also, most the characters are inside and the whole thing has a lovely warm feeling that I admire. There are few movies that are as much fun as this one. When I reviewed this a while ago, I was ready for it to have not held up, but it did. And it has the most manic dénouement in history with Tim Curry running around explaining the murder like mad. Ya gotta love that!

2. The Crow
Another movie I’ve reviewed, and still watch. I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this before, but about 90% of the time I review a movie I have this feeling of “Well, I don’t need to watch that again.” that washes over me. And maybe 85% of the time I never do watch the movies again. Or at least, I don’t feel an urge to watch them. This one, however, I found myself wanting to watch after the review. I went into the viewing, with the idea of watching it for a review, with the idea that I was going to sink myself into a crappy earl 90s nostalgiafest of not holding up years later. Strangely, not only did it hold up, but there were things I found that I appreciated about the movie that had never struck me before. Of course, by issues with depression didn’t start until my 30s, so some of the things in that movie wouldn’t have struck me until later. Since that review, I’ve pulled it out every Halloween Season and watched it at least once, if not twice. Yeah, I didn’t much talk about the movie here did I? Aw well, click the link up there and read the review.

3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Okay, so this is a midnight movie that plays on Halloween. What do you want from me? If you don’t know what Rocky Horror is… I honestly can’t help you. No, wait, I’ll try. It’s part sci-fi homage, part lunatic comedy, part polyamory romance, part exaltation of the joy of being yourself, part surreal examination of the sexual awakening of America, it’s a musical and Tim Curry is in it. Again. What more could you possibly need? There is a lot more story than what ends up on the screen, so you’ll need to watch four or five hundred times to get the full understanding. If you’re a fan, you will have done this. Not sure why I’ve never actually reviewed this one. I’ve thought about it. I think I probably like it too much. There is a list of movies that I love, that I think I’ll probably never actually review. I might, some day, which is why I’ve never done a “Movies I’ll NEVER Review” list, because three days would go by and I’d find myself deciding to give Raiders of the Lost Ark the love it deserves. It’s such an unrecognized classic! Seriously you have no idea how close to rhapsodizing it I was after seeing it on the IMAX screen last week. Only exhaustion stopped me. What was I talking about? Oh, right, Rocky Horror. Well, all that I said about Raiders also applies. I like it too much, I would just say things you’ve heard before.

2. Interview With the Vampire
Again, I’m not sure how Halloweeny this is, but I watch it at this time of year. Again, we’ve got themes of depression, the supernatural, and (oddly) polyamory. Huh, note to self, collect a list of movies that feature polyamory. This is another movie that I have watched each Halloween since the review. I actually haven’t watched the Corman Poe movies that much since I reviewed them, and I think they all got much higher reviews than these two I’ve admitted to watching a lot more. Interesting that. I’m not sure what it says, but I do watch it. Probably because the movie is ridiculously beautiful, being more of a drama with a bit of supernatural themes than really a supernatural film. Everyone I have asked about this says it’s not a horror film, that they’ve always felt it to be a dramatic period piece first and a vampire movie second. Oddly, I have real problems with the book. I tried to read it once, got the heavily abridged audiobook, and it’s kind of terrible. Try cutting what, according to my unabridged audiobook, is a book that takes fifteen hours to read and squish it down to three hours. I’m only reading the whole thing for the first time right now. Interestingly, I don’t find Louis as whiney as everyone else. I never found him whiney exactly, just ineffectual. I think he’s supposed to be clinically depressed, but written by someone who either hasn’t suffered from depression, or can’t articulate the feelings very well. The movie is fantastic though, and you should probably watch it again for the first time.

5. Legend
Tom Cruise and Mia Sara fight TIM CURRY? What the shit? How many times is Curry going to turn up in this list? Well, as this is the last entry, it should be the last time. Again, the autumnal feeling is questionable, but I allow it because the only times I’ve ever felt like watching this movie is in the period between September 1 and November 30. So, I’m going with it. The supernatural is well represented, and there is a force of evil that has to be conquered. There is a lot of darkness, a great deal of glitter, and Tom Cruise in a mini dress. I don’t know, it feels right, and it has Tim Curry in it! Has Tim Curry ever steered us wrong? I mean BESIDES McHale’s Navy! And CongoAddams Family Reunion, Oscar, Charlie’s Angels, FernGully: The Last Rainforest… You know what? Never mind! Look, when he’s good he’s VERY good. You may be wondering why I don’t mention The Shadow. I actually sort of like that movie. I’ve been thinking of a review for it. I like to defend the indefensible after all. Also, would have been a good one for this list. Another movie I associate with fall and Halloween.

Wait, I didn’t put The Immortals in here? That actually takes place ON Halloween. Of course, it’s also not a very good movie. That’s probably why I didn’t put it here. And yet, I have, so work out that little pair of ducks on your own.

For a long time, I’ve had the idea that Kung-Fu movies, Westerns and Samurai movies were all essentially the same thing just for different cultures. Each dated back to the beginning of filmmaking, each looked back to a Golden Age that might never have really existed, and each fell out of favor for a long time only to see a resurgence in recent years. As a result, I decided to cast a wide net and get one great from each of the areas that these movies exist in. Since this is the last day, we’re going to have three from each genre.


The Greats: Sci-Fi

Posted: November 27, 2010 in Top Lists
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We all like Science Fiction, right? Maybe? A little? Well, you should, and here are the ten movies from that genre that you should see.


Holy crap! Someone stole the intro for this piece. Darn them thieves.


Pretty much, movies that take place before the time that the movie was shot in. That’s a historical piece and that’s all the criteria I used for picking these.


I fantasize about a world where I can get an intern to write intros for me.
I’m trying to cast a wide net with these selections, but this week I failed. Most of these were made within a few years of each other. I put it down to the fact that my formative years coincided quite nicely with a renaissance in fantasy filmmaking. A couple of obvious things like The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of The Lost Ark aren’t here because they’ve already been addressed in last week’s entry.


The Greats: Horror

Posted: November 9, 2010 in Top Lists
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I’m too scared to write a proper into. Horror movies are scary!


If you want to know whether or not you should listen to a critic, you should hear what they think The Greats are. So here are my suggestions for you to peruse. We’ll start with movie series that I think are great.

I’m posting this first to avoid people thinking that I forgot to mention some of the movies that won’t be turning up. I’d hate to hear that it’s no big deal, but how could I forget to add that one movie to the list? That surely I couldn’t have thought it inferior, could I? Well, no of course not. What happened was I couldn’t decide which movie from a particular series to add to the list. You can’t go around naming every movie from a series, because then you’re just padding the list out to make ten. No, instead you’ve either got to name the group as a whole, or write a list made up entirely of series. I did the later. Here we have the ten film series that I think are essential to informed movie watching.


There is a flaw in this list. I’m hoping if I point it out in the introduction, I’ll be forgiven for the flaw. See, this isn’t really the best movies based on comic books that aren’t superhero themed, just the best ones I’ve personally seen. Ghost World is supposed to be really good, but I’ve just never gotten around to watching it. As a result, it can’t get on the list. That fact flaws this list immensely, but hopefully not to a point where it becomes unforgivable.


Let’s get something perfectly clear before we begin, I am a lover of the classics. I regularly get accused of never watching, or at least never enjoying, anything new. I’ve had people ask if I ever watch anything that’s in color. So, no actually, I’m not some young dick head who hates anything that doesn’t have an explosion every ten seconds. I like most your recognized classics, but some I just do not enjoy. I’ve made a list so that I can share it with you, which is probably a dumb thing to do because it’ll just cause comments from people demanding to know why I don’t offer hand jobs and Chips Ahoy Cookies to their favorite movie. I don’t care though! One of the most important parts of establishing a reader/critic relationship is letting the reader know what movies the critic likes and doesn’t like. Mind you, there is nothing actually wrong with most of these movies, I just don’t like them much. If anyone actually reads this list, I’m likely to get complaints about it.