You always see the AFI lists of movies that you as a movie aficionado are supposed to not just like, but love and revere. You’re in a room with two other respected movie fans and they are rambling about The Godfather and you just can’t make the same connection, but feel strange piping in saying, “Yeah, it was okay.” It’s a strange thing because while some films have poignant messages they still remain an extension of entertainment and have personal inflictions on its viewers. A glance at my Warner Brothers Blu-Ray cluster this week has brought me back to other classics that I might like or appreciate, but will never make a top awesome list of mine. Feel free to share your thoughts or perhaps even divulge your own dirty secrets. Let shit getting real commence!
5. THE BRIDGE ON THE RIVER KWAI
For years I’d listen to my grandparents speak of this movie as though it were golden. The two would exchange a knowing nod and Grandma would quietly say, “The Bridge On The River Kwai”. Classics were a focal point in their home and I loved The African Queen and Gone With The Wind, but by the time I was an adult, perhaps the expectations were too extensive to live up to whatever ideal I had conjured, but it just didn’t spin as big. It was a good character study about soldiers with an outstanding performance by Alec Guinness, but certainly not even gracing my top ten war epics of all time.
4. ON THE WATERFRONT
On The Waterfront is a great story, told in a compelling enough way, but for me the movie standing alone just isn’t all that spectacular. I watch it again and again for one reason: Marlon Brando. It’s a smart movie that really has something to say, but what’s interesting about isn’t just what is said, but how Brando puts it. With another actor, this movie could have been forgotten in time. I just don’t put this one down as one of the greats, unless I’m championing Brando.
3. CITIZEN KANE
This film has been hammered to death here at MILF and parties across the blogsphere have marked their disdain for anyone who not just speaks out against Citizen Kane but is somewhat indifferent to it’s cinematic prowess. I will not speak directly negatively except to say, “It was kinda slow and boring.” I appreciate it, respect it, and it deserves many accolades and affection, but noted everywhere as the greatest film of all time is mind boggling to me. I could name twenty films easily off the top of my head that I feel have aged more gracefully and could remain relevant to a young audience today. This was the Warner Brothers Blu-Ray I received that inspired this list, but after several attempts at watching the whole thing, I feel the same, unlike Casablanca that last week I found to be much smoother and more entertaining than my initial attempts. Sorry purists, couldn’t make this list without including it. Though for you purists, the 70th edition is pretty damn amazing.
2. E.T. EXTRA TERRESTRIAL
E.T. could have easily been replaced with Johnny 5 and it wouldn’t have made a huge impact on my opinion of the movie. Some of the scenes between our alien and Elliot were genuinely wrought with emotion that was tangible, but the film on a whole loses me with each viewing. I just stop caring and surf the tele for some Ninja Warrior. Spielberg is a genius and this film is still loved by many. I am few.
1. WEST SIDE STORY
Stop snapping and singing damn it. I not only don’t praise West Side Story as a great film, but I don’t even consider it that great a musical. Yes, the Romeo and Juliet theme was revitalized for stage and musical cinema, but frankly my dear I don’t give a hoot, even with my beloved Natalie Wood. Give me some Guys and Dolls, the real gangsters of musical cinema.
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.