Entertainment Weekly's Top 100 Movies of the Past 25 Years - 26 through 40

Friday, June 27, 2008

26. Hoop Dreams (1994)

In the second post (10-25) I discussed the list of documentaries that would exist on my list, and then added to that list in the last post. I'd try to keep it capped at 10 of the 100, but it would be challenging. There's no circumstance where a list of the Top 100 films of the past 25 years should have fewer than 10 docs. It does allow for the discussion of sports films, however.

The one which has to be included is Bull Durham; for the life of me, there are some films the absence of which on the list is flat goofy, Bull Durham is one of them. I think its the best sports movie ever made and that includes Raging Bull.

I liked the other Shelton movies, White Men Can't Jump and Tin Cup a lot, but wouldn't be able to find places for them. I referenced Hoosiers, but don't think it gets a spot either. I liked Eight Men Out more than the more heralded baseball films of the era, but wouldn't find a place for it.

That's a Cusack film - you know a Cusack film which is kind of a sports movie and absolutely should be on the list, and would be in a world where people understood funny?

Better Off Dead. On the list.

I've mentioned my affection for Kingpin, but that wouldn't make it - League of Their Own would be close, but I'm bettin' it gets squeezed by one of my documentaries. If you add Color of Money and When We Were Kings, that's the sports run.

27. Aliens (1986)


Aliens was good; it certainly shouldn't be this high; my guess is it wouldn't make my list. A better Sigourney Weaver was The Ice Storm, which probably doesn't make it either.

28. Wings of Desire (1988)

Wim Wenders was a fun choice; I don't think I like it or End of Violence enough to put them on my list, but I accept that makes mine even more US focused than EW's. I will throw here a film no one but me has ever seen though - Tom Noonan's What Happened Was.

29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

Huh. Okay - similar to Casino Royale; this was a good action movie and I really like Damon, but it wouldn't approach my list, much less 29. I'm not sure the argument that it's better than Good Will Hunting, which I don't think would make my list either. Damon's only film that makes it is Departed, which is on the EW list (oh yeah, he's Private Ryan too, that's right) I liked Mr. Ripley and Rounders but not enough for the list.

30. When Harry Met Sally... (1989)

Yup. Maybe high; I'll accept that it's high, but of romantic comedies of the era, this is the best going away.

31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Actually, I feel about Brokeback the way I feel about Wings of Desire, I liked them both and am glad to see them on a list like this - but if you're asking me what are the Best 100 Movies of the past 25 years, I wouldn't have room for either. I already mentioned The Ice Storm, an Ang Lee I'd rank higher. I've already mentioned Donnie Darko, a Gyllenhaal I'd rank higher, but which probably doesn't make the list - and I think my favorite Gyllenhaal film is The Good Girl, which also doesn't make it, but like To Die For is an excellent use of Nicole Kidman's lack of emotional accessibility, Good Girl really takes advantage of Jennifer Aniston's limitations. She's not a bad actor, she just needs to be used in a specific context; a comparison might be with Adam Dunn; he strikes out too much, can't field at all (I mean - he can't field at all - every time you've heard that 45 year old Barry Bonds couldn't play in the NL in 2008 because his fielding has deteriorated so much has been a lie of omission, because Adam Dunn, to borrow an old line, is taking fashion advice from 1980s Michael Jackson and wearing one glove for no apparent reason) Dunn drives broadcasters crazy; they've wanted to run him out of town for 3-4 years, but because he's got good power and because he can take a walk, he really can help you if used right. The Good Girl not only maximizes what Aniston can do, it gives her a character which uses what would be flaws in another setting.

Chuck and Buck didn't make EW and wouldn't make mine either, but it's a good movie too.

32. Fight Club (1999)
I like it and I like it right here. Good work. I've already mentioned Rounders as a really good Norton, who also had American History X as a film which wouldn't make the list, but deserves note. This is the best Brad Pitt; I've already said True Romance would make my list - as would Thelma and Louise. Se7en is a good film which wouldn't quite make it for me.

33. The Breakfast Club (1985)
I'm an 80s kid; I'm 37 years old as I write this in the summer of '08, making me 14 when I saw Breakfast Club; so I am as married to John Hughes as is everyone else who thinks Psychedelic Furs' "Love My Way" is criminally overlooked as one of the great pop songs ever written.

That said, I don't think Breakfast Club makes my list, and surely not at 33. It's an iconic film and relfective of the times and all of that - but when you use the word "Best" to modify "films" you've built a box in which Judd Nelson doesn't fit. As earlier mentioned, Say Anything makes my list and makes it terms of iconic 80s teen films, I'd like Ferris Bueller before Breakfast Club.

34. Fargo (1996)
As mentioned, I'm in and I'd like to see this a little higher. Also on my list would be Raising Arizona (top 10) Barton Fink and Millers Crossing. Blood Simple would be close. A non Coens movie doing a Coens thing that is good is Red Rock West. A Simple Plan is also good in that tone.

35. The Incredibles (2004)
Nope. All of these movies, wiped clean off the list. I liked Incredibles, but it's disposible. Why are there more cartoons than documentaries on the EW list? Fahrenheit 911 also came out in 2004, for example. Hotel Rwanda doesn't make my list, but it's another 2004 film I'd like more than Incredibles. Traffic was a better Cheadle than Rwanda, but I wouldn't put it on my list either - Out of Sight, I think, is better still - but still wouldn't make the list. A better Clooney than that is Three Kings, and that might make it.

36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Nope. Just a popcorn movie. A well made enough popcorn movie, but a popcorn movie. Pleasantville was a better Maguire, and that might make the list.

37. Pretty Woman (1990)

I watched Pretty Woman again for the first time in 15 years just a year or so ago - I liked it more than I did the first time; I get the whole Julia Roberts thing. Thumbs up.

That said, there's not really an argument it belongs on the list.

Closer, I think, is my favorite Julia Roberts movie. It wouldn't make the list. I think...Unfaithful would be my favorite Gere of the time period, and it wouldn't make it either.

38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Yup. And in my top 20. And behind Adaptation, which is my favorite Charlie Kauffman movie. I'd put them both in the top 10. If there's a Charlie Kauffman, I'm first in line; I don't think he's missed.

39. The Sixth Sense (1999)
I got off the M Night bus hard with Signs, which I thought was awful; I liked Unbreakable and Sixth Sense, but not enough to put either of them on the list. Know what I prefer in terms of "don't reveal the surprise twist" - David Mamet's psychological thrillers. On my list would be The Spanish Prisoner and maybe House of Games. And that brings up two more Mamets, Wag the Dog (which probably misses) and Glengarry Glen Ross (which does not miss). No Michael Moore and no David Mamet for EW. But a whole assload of trillion dollar budget cartoons. Okay.

40. Speed (1994)
I discussed Speed in the Matrix comment. I liked it. Not on my list. I don't have a Sandra Bullock on the list. I think actually Speed might be her best film, so I'll sign off on that one.

I'll be back with 41-100, probably in two chunks. And I'll also get to 160 on the baseball players list. Also - I'm watching old NBA Drafts in a marathon; I don't know if I'll have a blog post thereon, but there are amusing things to note regarding them. I have thoughts about Obama's hard right turn on FISA and the two hot Supreme Court rulings on the death penalty and gun control, but I don't know if that will be distilled into writing either. I have new courses to prepare for my upcoming academic term; my wrestling Counterfactual needs fed, as I'm building to Summer Slam '07, and I want one long, sprawling essay for my myspace blog about the current state of my union.

So, you know, only one boy with two hands. Thanks for reading. Readers. Craziness.

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