Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Top 100 Movies of the Last 25 Years (1984-2009): Part 10

10. The Shawshank Redemption - To this day, it remains the highest rated movie on IMDB's top 250 list by users of the site, and there is a reason for it. While I would probably not rank it as high as most people, The Shawshank Redemption still remains today one of the most influential and stunning movies to ever grace the silver screen. Adapted from a Stephen King work, writer/director Frank Darabont does a wonderful job, combining the depth and thickness of King's work, translating it into a moving and interesting movie that doesn't linger too long at the parade. Well-written, well-directed, uplifiting movies that are neither too long, nor too cheesy and campy, are hard to come by. It doesn't hurt that Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins, and a whole host of capable supporting actors handle Darabont's script with care, and develop deep, and conflicted characters, that bring the story to life. So the question remains, why is this particular movie the one that seems to stick with its audience? Because it is a story of hope. Too often in today's society, we dwell in the things we cannot change, and every once in a while, it is nice to escape to a new and incredible world that tells people that hope is possible.

9. The Dark Knight - Between my If There Had Been Ten series, Top 50 Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Comic Book Movies of all time, and my random diatribes hidden in the many articles published by this blog, it should be clear to anyone paying attention, that I think that The Dark Knight is one of the greatest movies released on all time. It is a mind-blowing blend of perfect mob crime drama and comic book fantasy, that has never been seen, and may never be seen again. Christopher Nolan has a knack for the mind-bending wierd, see my recent Inception review for proof. So it came as a shock to most of us, that he had the capability to tackle an old classic, in a crime-drama, mainstream thriller. Not only did he tackle it, he did it so amazingly well that the comic-book genre will simply never be the same. His high-flying three act masterpiece was Heat with a bat suit. It didn't hurt that there were some great performances including Maggie Gyllenhaal, Aaron Eckhart, Gary Oldman, Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman, and Michael Caine. But the true talent here is the late great Heath Ledger. He not only created the greatest film villian since Darth Vader, but created a whole new level of acting greatness, only proving how much talent he had, and how our world has not been the same since his early, and untimely death.  

8. Blue Velvet - Some movies are sick and twisted, just look at most of the crappy horror movies that have come out in the last ten years. So it takes a great talent to turn something creepy and twisted, and turn it into something mysterious, thrilling, dark, a little scary, and down right brilliant. Of course the talent I am speaking of is the great David Lynch. The story involves a man returning to his hometown. When he finds a human ear in a field, he, and the police began an investigation only to find a dark and twisted world that involves sexual digust and crimes by violent and evil people. While sometimes a hard movie to watch for its sexual exploitation and unapologetic violence, David Lynch's Blue Velvet remains one of the most talked about movies of all times. It doesn't hurt that it is well-written, beautifully shot, and incredibly well acted by Isabella Rosselini, Laura Dern, Kyle MacLachlan, and especially by the incredible, late Dennis Hopper, whose Frank Booth ranks as one of the great movie villians of all time, as he plays it with gusto, energy, and a sinister appeal that makes it hard to look away, and hard to watch all at the same time.

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