When, for the first time from beginning to end, I finally watched Goodfellas last year and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington this year, I felt as if I had climbed the cinematic mountaintop. Once Goodfellas and Mr. Smith were off my movie bucket list, I could relax. I could relax, of course, until I remembered all of the other movies that were left unviewed by me. I have posted below this week’s Top Ten (13) Movies that I Am Embarrassed to Admit I Have Not Seen in Totality, but Plan To Real Soon. Since this is a 4-day weekend for me (how about you?), maybe I'll find the time to cross some of these off the list.
The list is a moving target, as long forgotten film treasures that show up suddenly on the TCM late night rotation nudge my memory, and get added. I recorded Judgment at Nuremberg a few weeks back to watch ‘real soon’. That did not make my Top Ten, but perhaps in some other incarnation of the list it would have. I can only list movies that I know that I want to watch; I can’t list movies that I am not aware of. The Departed was never on my list, but thank you, AJ. I watched it earlier this year, and it was AWESOME. 12 years ago, The Shawshank Redemption was not on my list, but thank you, Scott. You guilted me into seeing that classic, and you were right - it is better than Brubaker as a prison movie. 10 years ago I hadn’t even heard of Kingpin, but thank you, brother Ed. Great comedy, Munson.
I am quite certain that several of these movies on the list I pretended to have seen, in order to avoid public embarrassment and ridicule. I freely admit that I have never seen Braveheart. 3 hours is a commitment level to one movie that I seldom make. I do not admit to never having seen This is Spinal Tap. Not only that, but I have quoted the movie, giving the impression that I HAD seen it. It's on the Tivo, ready for me at a moment's notice.
So, here's the list:
- The Natural - As big a baseball fan as I am, I should have seen this. I know that Roy Hobbs hits a home run that shatters some lights. Otherwise, I have no idea what happens in this movie. Guessing there's a love interest thing, so that could be why I have procrastinated on this one. Could be that I am still scarred by Robert Redford's performance in An Indecent Proposal, and can't bring myself to look at him again.
- Raging Bull - I have seen bits and pieces of this winner of Best Picture 1980. I know DeNiro gained a lot of weight for the role. I know there's boxing and domestic disputes. I need to see this. hey, it's black and white by choice, so it must be good.
- On the Waterfront - I think it's a top 10 of all time, as rated by people that are paid to know these kinds of things.
- Police Academy (never saw any of the series) - I may never see any of these, as I am certain that the jokes are no longer funny (if they ever were), and the clothing and haircuts too dated for modern viewing. If they made 6 of them, doesn't that count for something?
- Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2000+) - I read The Hobbit in high school. That should count for something.
- Gladiator - No excuse on this one. It's on cable almost as often as A Few Good Men.
- Mad Max - Anti-semite travels across the desert protecting gas truck, right? Maybe I don't need to see it after all.
- The Manchurian Candidate - According to my conservative friends, we are living this movie in America today. In that case, I should understand what the heck they're talking about. Pretty sure watching the movie won't make their conspiracy theories any more palatable, but Sinatra's in it. If it's half as good as Von Ryan's Express, I should see it.
- Slapshot - I have committed to watching this one over this holiday weekend. I'm playing hockey twice a week, so I need to know what getting the "tin foil" means in pre-game prep. Paul Newman stars.
- Dumb and Dumber - I am curious that people tell me that this movie is PERFECT for me. Given the title, I find it hard to imagine this is a compliment.
- Braveheart -Mad Max puts on a Scottish accent and a skirt, and wins Best Picture. Some day, some day.
- This is Spinal Tap - I am so embarrassed that this movie is on the list, I have delayed writing this blog so I could watch it first. I have pretended to have seen this Rob Reiner classic on so many occasions, I sometimes think "Maybe I did".
- The Usual Suspects - I have yet to meet someone who has seen this movie and doesn't include it on their list of favorites. Could be the most recommended movie on my list.
As a bonus for those of you with no better plans this weekend, here's my Top Ten (or so) Underappreciated Movies I Love:
- Better Off Dead: John Cusack being chased by the paper boy, Asian Howard Cosell impersonators, and feelings of inadequacy.
- Dog Day Afternoon: Pacino was never better.
- Fargo: "What's your fee?" William Macy is perfectly cast.
- Sicko: I still wonder why the heroes of 9-11 need to have fundraisers to meet their medical needs. Biased, yes. I like it.
- Galaxy Quest: Only if you watched the original Star Trek series as a kid.
- Cable Guy: Rubber-faced comedian Jim Carrey and Matthew Broderick star in this black comedy classic.
- Night Shift: Gave birth to the great line, "Barney Rubble - what an actor!"
- The Good Girl: Jennifer Aniston, in an acting role. Who woulda thought.
- Collateral: Even though Tom Cruise is in it, I love this movie. I bought the soundtrack, and that's saying something.
- Slingblade: Mustard and french fried potaters.