SALTY POPCORN – THE TOP 50 MOVIES OF ALL TIME – (PT3: 29-20)

And here is the next batch – the TOP 50 part 3 – apologies I missed last week – had a weee party weekend 🙂 Please enjoy my fave films from Number 29 – 20. What are your thoughts so far? Agree/ disagree?

For me this is truly an amazing experience – revisiting them all and watching all the trailers again – and adding them all to my must re-watch list again – it is really hard ranking the films, it is like choosing favourite children 🙂

 

Number 29:

The Piano (1993)

 

The Piano Poster, Top 50

 

Visual delight this one. I remembered I had just turned 21 and my grandparents gave me $1000- and I was stoked trying to figure out what to spend it on and mum and I went to this black and white photography exhibition in Paddington of images taken on set of this film. The photos were truly amazing but one image was 5ft square and framed and just beautiful (was just the pic of the piano half washed under sand on the beach) and mum said why don’t you buy that as an investment? Of course I laughed and now I have been kicking myself for years. Would kill to have that image up in my lounge room. But enough about me. This one scored Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin an oscar and they sure deserved it plus it won a massive 11 AFI awards. Filmed in the beautiful and harsh areas of NZ this film’s other character is the setting. It is truly beautiful. Some great trivia – 1) Holly Hunter played all the piano sequences herself. 2) This is the last film Kurt Cobain watched before he died. 3) Jane Campion became the first woman to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival with this film, though she was unable to receive the award in person as she was due to give birth.

 

 

Number 28:

A Beautiful Thing (1996)

 

Beautiful Thing Poster, Top 50

 

My all time favorite gay film. It makes me cry with joy every time I watch it. It’s a simple tale of two teenage guys who fall in love and come out to their world. It is dealt with realistically where people aren’t perfect or bad – they all have a bit of both in them.

A tender love story set during a hot summer on a South-East London housing estate. Jamie, a relatively unpopular lad who bunks off school to avoid football, lives next door to Ste, a more popular athletic lad but who is frequently beaten up by his father and older brother. Such an episode of violence brings Jamie and Ste together: Sandra (Jamie’s mum) offers refugee to Ste, who has to ‘top-and-tail’ with Jamie. Hence, the story tells of their growing attraction for one another, from initial lingering glances to their irrefutable love, which so magnificently illustrated at the end of the film. In deals with the tribulations of coming to terms with their sexuality and of others finding out, in light of Sandra’s unwavering loyalty and defence of Jamie and the fear of repercussion should Ste’s family find out. The plot is set against sub-texts of Sandra’s desire to manage her own pub, and thus escape the estate, and of her new relationship with her hippy boyfriend Tony; and of Leah, the brassy girl next door who has been expelled from school and spends her time listening to Mama Cass records and tripping on a variety of drugs. Written by Mark Edwards

Thanks to the poms for this sensational film!!! Love your stuff guys!! This one pops up every year at the Mardi Gras film festival in Sydney on the big screen.

 

 

Number 27:

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

 

2001 Poster, Top 50

 

WOW – I had NO idea this film was so old. Older than me even. More kudos to them. I watched this film when I was 16 and was fed my very first tab of acid. Hahahaha. Let’s just say I read way more into it than the director (Thanks Sir Kubrick) probably intended and watched it at least three more times in the following month trying to remember what I had established during that first psychedelic screening. I was certain it was somehow the meaning of life all wrapped into the film.

This one I am sure most of you know all about. It is a story of evolution and the expedition to discover the meaning of and the next monolith. But the chilling computer HAL – (if you did not know named after IBM – H A L are the previous letters in the alphabet to I and B and M) is super scary and we still scare our friend Dave. “Hello Dave….”

Trivia from IMDB: 1) The screenplay was written primarily by Stanley Kubrick and the novel primarily by Arthur C. Clarke, each working simultaneously and also providing feedback to the other. As the story went through many revisions, changes in the novel were taken over into the screenplay and vice versa. It was also unclear whether film or novel would be released first; in the end it was the film. Kubrick was to have been credited as second author of the novel, but in the end was not. It is believed that Kubrick deliberately withheld his approval of the novel as to not hurt the release of the film. 2) With the exception of two baby chimpanzees, all of the apes in the beginning of the film were played by mimes, dancers and actors in costumes. 3) The monolith was originally to have been a black tetrahedron; however, it did not reflect light properly. Stanley Kubrick then decided to use a transparent cube; however, that proved to be too difficult to use, because of the reflections created by the studio lights. Next came a rectangular monolith cast from Lucite that looked unconvincing, and finally the familiar black slab. 4) Stanley Kubrick worked for several months with effects technicians to come up with a convincing effect for the floating pen in the shuttle sequence. After trying many different techniques, without success, Kubrick decided to simply use a pen that was taped to a sheet of glass and suspended in front of the camera. In fact, the shuttle attendant can be seen to “pull” the pen off the glass when she takes hold of it.

 

 

Number 26:

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

 

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest Poster, Top 50

 

Jack’s best work and this film made me so angry – I wanted to jump into the TV and rip Ratched’s head off with my bare hands. I think she is close to the most evil person on film. Chilling stuff. This was the second film ever to take out all the top 5 Oscars and deservedly so. Best Picture, Best Actor (Jack), Best Actress (Fletcher), Director, and Screenplay.

I met Jack a few years back when I ran the Australian premiere of “As Good as it Gets” and he’s exactly as you can imagine. A true letch. One of the other managers at the premiere was a tall blonde haired lady and was wearing a white suit. Jack walked up the stairs with 1000’s of people watching him and stopped in front of her, gave the once over so obviously, winked at her and continued to me where he gave me an empty water bottle and put his chewing gum inside it (shhh – I am freaky – I still have it). He then placed a cigar into his mouth to walk into the cinema for his speech. He lit his cigar in the cinema, walked to the front and put both hands in the air for a standing ovation. Speech over without starting. He then sat in front of me for the whole movie and laughed louder than anyone in the cinema. Was sensational. But – the film – great, if you haven’t already – watch it!!!!

 

 

Number 25:

Die Hard (1988)

 

Die Hard Poster, Top 50

 

Probably my all time favorite action film. This film BLEW my mind when I saw it. I think I watched it about 10 times in 2 weeks. AMAZING. John McClane became the ultimate cop. Not a tough guy, a real guy who got hurt, bled, killed the bad guys and actually managed to crack jokes through it all. Thankgod he took the role. He was the 5th person offered this film role after Arnie, Sly, Burt Reynolds???? and Richard Gere all turned it down. BIG MISTAKE guys.

Some other amazing trivia: 1) This was Alan Rickman’s first feature film appearance. WOW 2) For Alan Rickman’s death plunge down the side of the skyscraper, Rickman actually dropped 70 feet onto an airbag against a green screen. Director John McTiernan had to jump first to convince Rickman to do it. 3) The Nakatomi tower is actually the headquarters of 20th Century Fox. The company charged itself rent for the use of the then unfinished building. 4) John McTiernan has a trademark in his film. The teddy bear John is carrying for his daughter is the exact same teddy bear that was carried by Alec Baldwin in “The Hunt for Red October”.

 

 

Number 24:

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

 

Raiders of the Lost Ark Poster, Top 50

 

Indy!!!!! GURU, god, the guy that made archeology sexy!!!! These films blew my mind – the second one was a bit cheezy but this one rocked, we shall not mention The Crystal Skull. I just loved Karen Allen (the trucky like lady that downs way too many shots and drinks the guy under the table at the start) Way cool. Anyways – if you haven’t seen this stop reading now and walk backwards (this is your punishment) to the dvd store and hire it NOW. Indy is one of the biggest film characters of all time. Up there with Luke Skywalker, Rambo, Mickey Mouse. Haha

IMDB Trivia: 1) Steven Spielberg and Melissa Mathison wrote a script during shooting breaks on the location of this film. Mathison was there to visit her husband, Harrison Ford and Spielberg dictated to her a story idea he had; that script was eventually called E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982). 2) Despite having the dream team of George Lucas and Steven Spielberg behind the film, it was initially turned down by every studio in Hollywood. Only after much persuasion did Paramount agree to do it. 3) The giant boulder that chases after Indiana Jones at the start of the film was made of fiberglass. The sound they used for it was of a Honda Civic rolling downhill. 4) The hieroglyphics in the Well of Souls include engravings of R2-D2 and C-3PO (from Star Wars (1977), etc). They can be seen on a post to the right of Indy and Sallah as they remove the Ark.

 

 

Number 23:

The Hunt for Red October (1990)

 

The Hunt for Red October Poster, Top 50

 

The most suspenseful sub film EVER. Sean Connery and Sam Neill are awesome as Russian sub captains trying to take the ultimate Russian sub to the coast of the US so they can defect. This is one of the famous Jack Ryan stories. Jack has so far been played by Harrison Ford (great, but too old), Ben Affleck (correct age but not a great actor) and finally Alec Baldwin in this, his one and only outing as Jack. It should also be mentioned Captain Kirk, or in real life Chris Pine is the new Jack Ryan in the film titled – JACK RYAN – due out late this year or early in 2014. Anyways – this is amazingly suspenseful and the entire cast is amazing. Scott Glenn plays the US captain on the opposing sub that hunts him down and of course the Russians are trying to destroy him.

Trivia: 1) After being faxed the script, Sean Connery initially turned the role down on the basis of the plot being unrealistic for the post-Cold War era. Whoever sent the fax neglected to include the foreword explaining the movie as historical; once he received the foreword, Connery accepted the role. 2) The big bad Kev Costner was originally cast as Jack in this film. 3) The scene where Jack Ryan was lowered onto the USS Dallas was filmed in the parking lot of the Mole Pier at Long Beach Naval Station on a beautiful sunny day. Editing made it look like it was the ocean.

 

 

Number 22: 

Stand By Me (1986)

 

Stand By Me Poster, Top 50

 

A timeless masterpiece penned by the hit and miss master (Stephen King) – this one was definitely a HIT. A truly amazing cast and 90% of them all young teenagers. The guy who could have been the greatest actor of all time before he OD’d – River Phoenix, the fat kid – now completely not fat Jerry O’Connel, the skinny kid – who became a long serving trekker – Will Wheaton, the other kid – the one who survived years of drug abuse and has kind of disappeared – Corey Feldman, the bad guy/ kid who gives them grief on their travels – MR 24 and Ex Mr Roberts – Kieffer Sutherland himself.

This is a story a four teenage friends who hear of the place of a dead body of a boy from their small town and walk over 30 miles to look for the body. THIS IS A MUST SEE FOR EVERYONE AND IS PURELY TIMELESS. Expect to laugh and cry LOTS. If you have a teenage child – they need to watch this film. Why they do not study it at school I have no idea!

Trivia: 1) To keep in character while off-camera, Kiefer Sutherland often picked on Will Wheaton, River Phoenix, Corey Feldman, and Jerry O’Connell. 2) At the insistence of director Rob Reiner (an avid non-smoker who campaigned for anti-smoking laws in California), the cigarettes smoked by the boys were made from cabbage leaves. 3) When they were filming the scene where Gordie and Vern are about to be run over by the train, Wil Wheaton and Jerry O’ Connell did not look scared enough; In frustration Rob Reiner yelled at them to the point where they started crying and that’s when they were able to film the scene.

 

 

Number 21:

12 and Holding (2005)

 

12 and Holding Poster, Top 50

 

One of the most under rated and hidden films ever made. Truly BRILLIANT. I have read descriptions that this film is similar to Stand By Me – but modernised. I found it completely different but better. It is about three 12yr old kids with their own normal issues. After a tragic death amongst them they all start to deal with their issues. The story and acting is TOP CLASS. This is another MUST SEE and I do not understand why the STUPID production company did not mass promote and release into Australian cinemas.

 

 

And finally for this batch;

 

Number 20:

Fatal Attraction (1987) & Jagged Edge (1985) DRAW- I know, totes cheating with another draw but it’s my list 🙂

 

 

 

 

Very similar in that they are both Glenn Close thrillers. Don’t want to say too much in case you haven’t seen. I do think though that Fatal Attraction was the film that created the now used term for psycho stalker or just crazy girlfriend as “bunny boiler”. Two of the strongest suspense films EVER made. Glenn Close is brilliant in both and position 20 is all for her. Michael Douglas and Jeff Bridges are good but this all about Glenn. In one may I say “bunny boiler” in another an amazing court room DA. Jagged Edge was another film that Kevin Costner turned down.

 

Enjoy and stay tuned for the last two batches SOON. If you missed the previous batches then:

Part 1

Part 2

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