#8 The Monster Squad

Another revisit of a pre-critical era flick. Surprisingly the film holds up pretty well, the dialog is sharp and zingy even if the plotting is a little thin, and there are a few too many coincidences. Actually it's not that surprising considering it was written by Shane Black. He's also written two of my favorite christmas movies of all time. Once again my nostalgia for the flick will actually preclude my inclusion of an intelligent rating, but as I love doing them anyway:

87 Fictional Creature Testicles out of 10

#7 Mighty Aphrodite

Mostly silly entry from Allen. But I have to say I prefer a silly movie from him over most of the comedies that come out. Some highlights:

Lenny Weinrib: Achilles only had an Achilles heel, I have an entire Achilles body.

Linda: You didn't want a blowjob so the least I could do is get you a tie.

Linda: Okay, so I had one guy fucking me from behind and two guys dressed as cops in my mouth and all I could think was, "I like acting. I wanna study."

Kevin: I've had 16 fights and I won all of them but 12.

8 Pornographic Timepieces out of 10


#6 The Terminator

This movie predates any critical thought for me by several years, so it could really be terrible and I would never even know it. I love this movie. One thought: Why wasn't Michael Biehn a bigger star? He holds the movie together as the emotionally wounded soldier who was manipulated into his job.

95 Time Traveling Paradoxes out of 10

(I told you I couldn't think critically about this movie!)


#5 Once Upon a Time in the West

Maybe it's because Zodiac has been on my mind so much lately, but when I watched OUATITW I couldn't help but be reminded of Fincher's deliberately paced masterpiece from earlier this year. They are both grand epic movies that are more about how a handful of characters react to an unstoppable force (a phantom of a killer in Zodiac, the westward expansion of modern America in OUATITW). This led me to naturally compare the filmmakers themselves. Both have an unerring eye for cinematic detail. Reportedly Leone spent hours setting up the shot of water falling onto the gunmans hat in the opening sequence. Here's a quote from Fincher regarding his directing style

“If an actor is going to let the role come to them, they can’t resent the fact that I’m willing to wait as long as that takes. You know, the first day of production in San Francisco we shot 56 takes of Mark and Jake – and it’s the 56th take that’s in the movie”

Apart from their methods and styles both directors had a similar impact on their respective cinematic climates. Se7en is to the police procedural what Fistful of Dollars is to the western. Both made us look at their respective genres in new ways and reinvigorated them. Zodiac and OUATITW are both more mature revisits to that earlier genre that shows a patience and an even greater understanding of cinema. Also like Zodiac, OUATITW is a better film than the respective directors earlier efforts, but most likely will never receive the public admiration that it deserves.

Some personal highlights:

Henry Fonda as a bad guy.
Jason Robards as a bad ass.
Charles Bronson not playing a caricature of himself.

9 pair of pants (with both belt and suspenders) out of 10