The Motion/Captured Must-See Project: The List Of Duh, Vol. 1
Today is our preliminary piece, in which we get the List Of Duh out of the way. Although, technically, this is just volume one of what I'm sure will be an occasional updated piece. I know methodology is least interesting part of all of this, but let's get some of this out of the way up front so that we don't have people constantly yelling at us, "Is that it? That's everything you ever plan to discuss?"
No. Of course not. And I'm not saying that we'll never ever talk about any movie on this list, either. I'm just saying that my goal with this series is to gradually review films from my personal collection that I think are significant, a tip sheet on what exactly made me into the film geek I am today, movies that I think every good film geek should see for one reason or another. It's something I hope you'll enjoy both as a resource and a read.
[more after the jump]
For this first batch of titles, the stuff I'll be chipping away at for the first few months of this project, I took the first four binders in my collection and drew only from them. That's 1200 discs to start with. There are another 19 binders after that as well as closets and bookcases packed with discs, so I don't think we'll run out of material to discuss here any time soon. From those 1200 titles, I selected about 500 titles that are eligible for this column, and another 150 that are so deeply ingrained in active film geek culture that there's really nothing I'm going to bring to the conversation. Does anyone on the planet really need a review of "The Godfather" at this point? Do you need to be told that the film is considered important? These are the basic titles that I would expect you to have seen if you're spending the energy to read online film criticism
Or, god forbid, write it.
I'd say this List of Duh should be considered a given. This is by no means a list of the "best" films of all time... in fact, I'm not even going to say that all of these are movies I like... these are just the ones that are omnipresent. This is the foundation from which some sort of common ground in film knowledge can be built. If film is a language (and I would argue that it is), then consider this list basic vocabulary.
Somewhere in the future, when we pull from the next few binders, you can expect the List of Duh Volume 2. But for now...
"Rebel Without A Cause"
the "Friday the 13th" films
"A Nightmare On Elm Street"
"One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest"
"Cool Hand Luke"
"Raiders Of The Lost Ark" and the Indy films
"Triumph Of The Will"
"E.T. - The Extraterrestrial"
"The Texas Chainsaw Massacre" (1974)
"The Shawshank Redemption"
"A Hard Day's Night"
"Dawn Of The Dead" (1978)
"Pee Wee's Big Adventure"
"The Wolf Man"
"Creature From The Black Lagoon"
"The Invisible Man"
"Planet of the Apes" and the sequels
"The Blues Brothers"
"This Is Spinal Tap"
"The Wizard Of Oz"
"King Kong" (1933)
"Kill Bill," volumes 1 and 2
"Rambo: First Blood Part II"
"The Deer Hunter"
"The Fly" (1986)
"Shaun Of The Dead"
"The Nutty Professor" (1963)
"The Lost Boys"
"Beauty And The Beast"
"The Pink Panther" films
"Dog Day Afternoon"
"Dazed & Confused"
"The Little Mermaid"
"Lady And The Tramp"
"Alice In Wonderland"
"The Lion King"
"Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind"
"Star Trek II: The Wrath Of Khan"
"The Dirty Dozen"
"The Great Escape"
"Fast Times At Ridgemont High"
"Singin' In The Rain"
"Steamboat Bill Jr."
"The Magnificent Seven"
"The Wild Bunch"
"Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?"
"Harold & Maude"
"Leon" aka "The Professional"
"The Treasure Of The Sierra Madre"
"All The President's Men"
"The Bridge On The River Kwai"
"A Streetcar Named Desire"
"Nat'l Lampoon's Animal House"
"An American Werewolf In London"
"To Kill A Mockingbird"
"The Evil Dead"
"Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn"
"Alien" and "Aliens"
the "Lord Of The Rings" trilogy
"2001: A Space Odyssey"
"A Clockwork Orange"
"Full Metal Jacket"
anything from the "Star Wars" series
"Toy Story" and "Toy Story 2"
"Saving Private Ryan"
"The Big Lebowski"
"The Good The Bad and The Ugly"
"The Breakfast Club"
"Ferris Bueller's Day Off"
"Lawrence Of Arabia"
"Glengarry Glen Ross"
"Up In Smoke"
"The Adventures Of Robin Hood" (1938)
"Touch Of Evil"
"There's Something About Mary"
"The Thing" (1982)
I don't think there's anything on that list, even the Buster Keaton silent films, that could be considered obscure or elitist. These are all movies that have been digested not only by film geeks but by the mainstream, thoroughly assimiliated into other movies and pop culture.
Like I said... it's not a comprehensive list, but it does give you an indicator of what we won't be talking about.
Monday, we'll kick off the regular series, and for the first month or so (26 days, to be exact), we'll be going through the alphabet, picking one must-see for every letter. And as you can see from the list above, the grouping in these binders is fairly random as far as era and genre, so don't expect just one type of thing. We'll be covering a lot of varied ground over those first 26 entries, and by the end, I think we'll have worked out what the format for the series will be, and just what you guys are getting from it, if anything.
I think it's going to be fun. I hope you agree.
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1996 | Crime | RSummary: Jerry, a small-town Minnesota car salesman is bursting at the seams with debt... but he's got a plan. He's going to hire two thugs to kidnap his wife in a scheme to collect a hefty ransom from his wealthy father-in-law. It's going to be a snap and nobody's going to get hurt... until people start ...Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Cast: William H. Macy, Frances McDormand, Steve Buscemi, Peter Stormare
1997 | Crime | RSummary: Quentin Tarantino adaptats an Elmore Leonard novel into this story of a few increasingly desperate people scraping to get by. It has deep soul, a wicked sense of humor, and Samuel L. Jackson, Robert De Niro, Pam Grier, and Robert Forster.Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast: Pam Grier, Samuel L. Jackson, Robert Forster
2013 | Comedy | NRSummary: Insanely funny comedy show created by Amy Schumer, who stars in brilliantly funny sketches about sex, city living, dating, and friendship.Director: Daniel Powell, Amy Schumer (creators)
Cast: Amy Schumer, Kevin Kane, Mike Houston
1995 | Mystery | NRSummary: Denzel Washington plays an out of work WWII vet who takes the wrong job and is soon neck-deep in a mess of politics, murder, and jazz in '40s Los Angeles.Director: Carl Franklin
Cast: Denzel Washington, Tom Sizemore, Jennifer Beals
2013 | Thriller | RSummary: Based on the true story of Daniel Lugo (Mark Wahlberg) a Miami bodybuilder who wants to live the American dream. He would like to have the money that other people have. So he enlists the help of fellow bodybuilder Adrian Doorbal (Anthony Mackie) and ex-convict, Christian bodybuilder Paul Doyle (D...Director: Michael Bay
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Dwayne Johnson, Anthony Mackie, Tony Shalhoub
2013 | Drama | RSummary: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jonah Hill have boundless energy in the story of a real-life commodities crook who earned millions through scummy small-time stock trades.Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill, Margot Robbie
2007 | Comedy | PGSummary: Newlyweds Nick (Ice Cube) and Suzanne (Long) decide to move to the suburbs to provide a better life for their two kids. But their idea of a dream home is disturbed by a contractor (McGinley) with a bizarre approach to business.Director: Steve Carr
Cast: John C. McGinley, Ice Cube, Nia Long, Aleisha Allen
2008 | Science Fiction | PGSummary: Animated series continues the story of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Anakin Skywalker as they battle the Emperor Palpatine, Count Dooku and General Grievous, but also takes time to explore other smaller characters in the Star Wars universe.Director: George Lucas (creator)
Cast: Tom Kane, Dee Bradley Baker, Matt Lanter
1993 | Sports | PGSummary: Emotionally powerful sports classic featuring Sean Astin as a skinny high school kid with big football dreams and the determination to make his way towards his dream team at Notre Dame.Director: David Anspaugh
Cast: Sean Astin, Jon Favreau, Ned Beatty
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