Walt's Movie Picks
Walt's Movie Picks
Movies in Recent Release
- Almost Famous
- Fight Club
- The Virgin Suicides
- The Perfect Storm
- High Fidelity
Favorite Movies of All-Time
In no particular order:
- American Beauty - the nightmare of the suburbs - poetically
- Elizabeth - The Godfather meets the virgin queen
- Saving Private Ryan - a classic war movie with one of the most realistically violent war scenes ever. The rest of the movie keeps you nervously on the edge of your seat, hoping that nothing bad lurks around the corner.
- Shakespeare in Love - a perfect romance movie that doesn't dissolve into melodrama. Also, some nice humourous touches, especially for those familiar with the Bard.
- Something About Mary - a ridicuously irreverent, hilariously funny movie. It's funny in completely unexpected ways.
- Sliding Doors - an original, thought provoking romance/drama/comedy/fantasy that is surprising and charming all the way through.
- Vertigo - I know, this is an old movie, but I just saw a restored version and this is really a great movie. It wonderfully plays on the voyeurism of movie watching to create a suspenseful and wickedly surprising drama. Jimmy Stewart is at his best in this movie.
- 2001: A Space Odyssey - visual stunner from Kubrick, and great music too!
- Taxi Driver - still relevant over 20 years later. Classic Scorcese.
- Apocalypse Now - from Coppola, one of the most intense movies I've ever seen, especially the confrontation with Lt. Kurtz. And who could forget "The Ride of the Valkyries" scene.
- The Godfather - another from Coppola, the ultimate story of the mafia. I won't list it, but the sequel is as good or better and III isn't bad either.
- Casablanca - best romantic movie ever made, best that may ever be made.
- Raiders of the Lost Ark - Spielberg's Action/Adventure masterpiece.
- Star Wars - the first movie I really remember seeing. A classic hero's journey, a la Joseph Campbell. And still the best sci-fi fantasy film.
- Back to the Future - a fun, funny and spirited romp through time.
- Caddyshack - the ultimate golf movie; Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight are all memorable, as is, of course, the gopher.
- The Blues Brothers - more cars wrecked than you can count, a great soundtrack and two great comedic actors, Dan Akroyd and John Belushi, in their prime. Plus lots of cool cameos. The quintessential Chicago movie.
- Pulp Fiction - a totally different kind of movie. Tarantino is at times stunning, at times repulsive, at times hilarious. Often all three at once.
- The Good, The Bad and The Ugly - couldn't have a legitimate list without at least one Western (though I'm not a big fan of them) and at least one Clint Eastwood movie. This satisfies on both counts.
- Say Anything - quirkiness makes this romantic comedy unique and separates it from the generally generic genre. John Cusack is especially good. The best of 80's romantic comedies.
- Fast Times at Ridgemont High - the quintessential high school movie. Some hilarious scenes and characters, but it also has a serious side. Written by Cameron Crowe.
- Schindler's List - no one thought Spielberg could do the Holocaust justice, but he does. An extremely moving and emotional film and, surprisingly uplifting. It's hard to believe many of the things you see in the movie, but if anything Spielberg understates.
- Alien - sci-fi thrillers are generally lame, but this one will keep you on the edge of your seat.
- Annie Hall - though there are many to choose from, this is one best sums up the neurosis and New York City angst of Woody Allen.
- Pink Floyd The Wall - most people don't understand it, but there is actually a story here. Regardless, the music is incredible, the animation wild, and some scenes mind-blowing. An experience.
- Dr. Strangelove - hilarious black comedy that really defines the genre. Kubrick has some great rips on the military. Peter Sellers is fantastic in three different roles.
- The Deer Hunter - overall, the best Vietnam War film, but it's also about the loss of innocence and the death of the blue-collar, midwestern steel town. Great performances by DeNiro and Christopher Walken, among others.
- Platoon - another great Vietnam movie, this one concentrating on an actual platoon out in the jungle on patrol. No distractions or after-effects.
- The Silence of the Lambs - it's rare that a movie really excels both as art and as entertainment. This film does. Anthony Hopkins is great. "I'm having a friend for dinner."
- Forrest Gump - in many ways standard, sappy Hollywood fare, but it does it better than most. Hanks is great, as is Robin Wright. Visual effects are amazing. And the theme of desiny: whether one can control it, one must fulfill it, or whether one just floats along and lets it happen, is intriguing.
- The Right Stuff - the quintessential astronaut movie, epic in scope, heroic in tone, but also with some very funny moments. I doubt it's very true to life, but epic stories never are, nor are they meant to be.
- The Graduate - this is the original Gen X movie, long before there even was a Gen X. This film made Dustin Hoffman a star in his first ever feature. Good soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel, cool water imagery, and a memorable final scene.
- Dead Poets Society - heartbreaking and comic. A great statement on what art and education should be. Robin Williams is in top form, but not out of control, as he sometimes can be.
- Jerry Maguire - If you like sports, you'll enjoy all the behind the scenes and inside information. If you hate sports, you'll still love this movie as it's also a great romance movie. Directed by Cameron Crowe, who also directed Say Anything and wrote Fast Times, making him the only person to have three movies on my list.
- The English Patient - A great romantic film with exotic locales, excellent actors and an intriguing and mysterious plot. A tale of how history interferes with people lives, sometimes turning them upside down.
- Three Colors: Red - Well, this came out quite some time ago, but I just saw it on video. One of the better European films (of the few) I've seen. A little slow at the beginning, but it's all to set up a great payoff ending.
- Leaving Las Vegas - Elisabeth Shue's come a long way from "Adventures in Babysitting" and deserves to win an Oscar. One of the most heartfelt, endearing and touching romances ever on film in the middle of one of the most depressing movies you are likely to ever see. Great mood setting music as well.
- Heat - DeNiro and Pacino in the same movie? It has to be good. A tremendously intense action sequence punctuates the middle of the movie.
- Fargo - a great, wickedly funny film. A sort of Pulp Fiction goes to Minnesota. I laughed throughout just listening to the accents.
Don't trust my judgement? Well then, you can see what Roger Ebert's opinion is. Or your can check out other reviews, as well as summaries of just about any movie in The Internet Movie Database.
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