This is not a list of the top 10 greatest movies of all time. This is not a list of films that are so “great” you have to attend lectures and festivals so that someone can explain just how “great” they are. If a film needs an explanation, can it really be that great?
This is a list of films for everyone – the artsy folks, the blue collars, the white collars, the hipsters, the baby boomers, the semi-retired, the housewives, the kids (in some cases), and even old farts like me. Invite me over. I’ll show you just how old I am.
I arrived at this list using three criteria.
- I wanted films from as many genre as possible. I know I didn’t cover everything, but I didn’t want three action/adventure films or three war-related films. I didn’t want zero comedies, nor did I want too many. I’m sure I don’t have all genre represented, but I’ve gone over this list so many times that I no longer care.
- I wanted the kind of films that I sometimes find while scanning channels, and find a film halfway through, but I’ll watch the rest of it from wherever I walk in on it.
- My educated opinion. There are plenty of people who know more about movies than I do, but that number is far, far smaller than the number of people who I can outdistance when it comes to film study, knowledge, and education. Chances are I got you way beat – but not all of you, that’s for sure. I started studying movies when I was about 8, when my father started ignoring both my mother and me. We’d sit and watch movies, and I’d learn a few things about the actors and directors. I don’t regret a moment of it, except that time we watched Same Time, Next Year. That was awkward.
I was going to have an item #4, which was that no film could have been adapted from a book because I didn’t want any of the filmmakers to have a head start. However, that would have excluded more than half of the list, including my single favorite, so I trashed item 4.
I chose one film from 25 genre. I’m sure there are more than I have used, but I only used the ones that I either care about or thought of. Feel free to point out others that did not come to mind. The 25 genre are broken into five categories, so I’ll tackle five films in each post because I know it can get annoying to read too much about one thing at one time. I know you have other things to do, and reading blog posts is not chief among them, even if it’s mine.
These aren’t the movies – just the genre. I know, right?
A. For the Adrenaline
When the action takes place in out of the ordinary locations and, with a great stretch of imagination, could actually happen, unlike science fiction
Really? Horses, guns, Native Americans
Action/adventure but in a fantastical, unreal world with magical things
4. Science fiction
sort of like action/adventure but with futuristic gadgets, alien creatures, mixed with a basis of science
with uniforms and countries and really big guns, likely planes too
B. For the Dark
6. Suspense – creature
unlike the psychological suspense, with people being chased by something
scary crap involving ghost, demons, etc.
also known as “slasher”
the ones that mess with your head and mislead you into thinking shit that you later realize was wrong
10. Erotic thriller
still messing with your head, but with nudity and at least a suggestion of sex
III. For the Individuals
when an individual either gains a super power or uses great ability to accomplish something
just the human element of drama, but not the drama queen kind
13. Sports drama
with or without balls
14. Death drama
when a movie pulls us into someone life, and the only way to end the story is with their death
Mobs, gangs, cops, I see dead people. There goes another one.
D. For the Laughs
16. Romantic comedy
politically correct for “chick flick”
17. Goofball comedy
when stupid people do stupid things and we love it
18. Intellectual comedy
when you really have to listen to the dialogue
19. Intellectually goofball comedy
a combination of goofball moments with witty dialogue mixed in
20. Satirical comedy
when it makes fun of something that we already know about
5. For the Families
cartoons, stop motion, CGI, paper dolls
Politically correct way of saying “Christmas”
when people suddenly break out in song and dance without necessarily being gay
Because there are enough that they deserve their own category
when a band performs live on stage with cameras rolling
6. Guilty Pleasures
This is for the movies I’ve loved that juuuust don’t seem to fit into the regular categories, and with good reason. They’re not right. They’re a little – off. They got issues. And they rock.
The Wild Card
Something that I just couldn’t place above but wanted to mention
At this point, you might have noticed that I’ve got about 800 words and haven’t even mentioned one movie yet. Sucks, I know, to read that much and now learn you have to wait until the next post just to see the first group. I’ll hope you’re interested enough to come back for the actual movies. Feel free to leave your nominations in the comments. They won’t sway my opinions, but it could start a nice conversation. Or a fight.
Coming soon: For the Adrenaline…