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Judge Michael Rankins's Blog

Judge Michael Rankins • Location: Rohnert Park, CA
• Member since: April 2002
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Twenty-Five Movies Judge Rankins Would Want Along If He Were a Character on Lost
August 2nd, 2005 9:55PM

On my real-world blog, I was recently challenged to list my Five Best Movie Dramas and Five Best Movie Comedies. That anyone could pick the five "best" examples of any category of film is, in my not-so-humble opinion, presumptuous and silly. Even choosing only five favorites in each category is a stretch -- ask me on a dozen days and I'll give you a dozen different lists, depending upon (a) my mood, and (b) my memory that day.

So instead, I'll offer up these 25 films that I could watch again and again in perpetuity. Not necessarily my list of the "best" (whatever that means) 25 films ever made, but 25 I never tire of viewing repeatedly.

In alphabetical order:
The Abyss. 2001, only with water and soul.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension and Big Trouble in Little China. I'm going to fudge and count these as one, because the latter was born from the ashes of the script for the sequel to the former ("Buckaroo Banzai Against the World Crime League").

Blazing Saddles. Quite simply, the funniest movie I've ever seen.

Casablanca. We'll always have Paris.

Die Hard. Welcome to the party, pal -- the only action movie you'll ever need to see.

Double Indemnity. One of the three most seductive female villains in the history of the movies. You'll find the others in The Last Seduction and The Spanish Prisoner, two films that barely missed making this list.

Enter the Dragon. Lee... Bruce Lee. "It's like a finger pointing away to the moon. Don't concentrate on the finger, or you will miss all the heavenly glory." More wonderfully cheesy dialogue than you can shake the '70s at. John Saxon does kung fu. Jim Kelly does kung fro. And of course, tons o' Bruce dishing out the jeet kune do.

Fargo. Every time I watch this film, I'm more amazed at just how clever it is.

Heavy Metal. Call it adolescent nostalgia if you must, but I get the jones to watch this at least once a month, like clockwork.

L.A. Confidential. Incredible script, incredible acting, incredible atmosphere. The finest of the neo-noir pastiches, by a Los Angeles mile.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. It's fair, I think, to consider this a single epic film in three parts.

Memento. Had a more profound first-viewing impact on me than any film since I first saw Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

A Mighty Wind. The funniest film since Blazing Saddles.

The Natural. If I can only pick one baseball movie, it's the legend of Roy Hobbs, by a whisker over Bull Durham and Field of Dreams.

Ocean's Eleven. "You're either in or out." Count me in. Just barely ahead of Soderbergh's Out of Sight, only because it's a little more fun.

Once Upon a Time in the West. Greatest. Western. Ever. Though I hate to leave Unforgiven off the list.

On Her Majesty's Secret Service. If I could only have one Bond, it would be this one. Lazenby aside, OHMSS is the best-made film in the series.

The Princess Bride. Perhaps the most perfect family film ever.

Princess Mononoke. Spirited Away is a more monumental cinematic achievement, but Mononoke is a wall-to-wall wonder, and again, more fun.

Psycho. Forty-five years later, horrormeisters are still playing catch-up.

Raiders of the Lost Ark. You can keep the two inferior sequels. The swordsman gag and Karen Allen's bottomless eyes would be worth the honor all by themselves.

Ronin. John Frankenheimer's last masterpiece, and maybe the last time De Niro acted as if he cared.

Streets of Fire. "Tom Cody. Pleased ta meet ya." Wins the Walter Hill spot ahead of 48 Hrs. and The Warriors. Sorry about the career these days, Walter. But you were a giant once.

Tremors. The quintessential monster movie. Whatever happened to Finn Carter, anyway?

The Usual Suspects. One of the cinema's most compelling mysteries, and one of its most amazing ensemble casts.


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