What movie was that...?

16 April 2011

My Cinematic Alphabet

Paul, you and Jack have planted the alphabet seed in my head as well. I created this list as quickly as I could in an effort to avoid trying to seem cool, over-thinking what is supposed to be a spontaneous activity, and thus generating a list of outrageously obscure films that only the most annoying hipster would be able to relate to. Somehow, many of my favorite documentaries found their way onto this list (hmmm). Anyway, without further ado, I give you the list (with links to reviews, where applicable).

A-    American Movie (a true testament to the liberating power of dreams)

B-    Big Trouble in Little China (a ridiculous and entertaining B movie gem)

C-    Cowboy Bebop (one of my favorite anime films)

D-    Dogtown and Z-Boys (one of my favorite docs)

E-     Edward Scissorhands (my number one favorite film)

F-     Five Obstructions, The (a cinephile’s fantasy come to life)

G-    Gomorrah (hands down the best organized crime film, ever)

H-    Hustle and Flow (Terence Howard’s best role, and Craig Brewer’s best film)

I-       Into the Wild (depending on your disposition, this film is either awful or transcendent)

J-       Joe Versus the Volcano (Probably my favorite Tom Hanks film)

K-    King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters, The (you can’t write characters this astoundingly entertaining)

L-     Lost Boys, The (an ultimate drive in classic)

M-   Microcsmos (a mesmerizing glimpse of the insect world)

N-    Night of the Hunter (Laughton’s masterpiece will never fade)

O-    Once Upon a Time in the West (the most magnificent Western ever conceived)

P-     Primer (the best time travel film ever made)

Q-    Quick and the Dead, The (a guilty pleasure, as all Sam Raimi films are)

R-    RIZE (one of the best films ever, not just in the documentary category)

S-     Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song (a magnum opus about social inequality, courtesy of Melvin Van Peebles)

T-     Thunder Road, Two-Lane Blacktop (a 2 way tie for a pair of the greatest driving films of all time)

U-    Unforgiven (Eastwood’s masterpiece. One of the finest westerns ever made)

V-    Vanishing Point (drive on, Kowalski)

W-  Warriors, The (Walter Hill’s comic classic is as awesome now as it was then)

X-    X (aka Malcolm X) (Spike Lee's best joint. Up there with Do the Right Thing and He Got Game)

Y-    Yojimbo (one of the best Westerns to be filmed. Kurosowa is iconic)

Z-     Zoolander (Who doesn’t enjoy a liberal lampooning of all things pop culture?)

So there you have it. It’s strange what pops into your head when you least expect it. Do these films comprise what I consider to be the best examples that film has to offer? Probably not, but I do love all of them in different ways. Sometime 2 films popped up at once, and I had to choose, so I’m sorry, Eddie and the Cruisers, Ravenous, and Tron, but you lost the coin toss. I love you still, with all my heart.


  1. Excellent!! I really like this list!

    I just loved Microcosmos a well, and I was starting to think I was the only one who had seen it! Great choice

    I was one of those who thought Into The Wild was transcendent. Glad you mentioned it!

    And Big Trouble In Little China, such a fun film, it completely ridiculous but I like it anyway...

    We share a few choices such as Yojimbo and Unforgiven.

    I'm following your blog now, I look forward to reading more!

  2. Thanks for the feedback, Jack. Microcosmos is a film that absolutely none of my film friends this side of the Atlantic have seen, either (not even my brother, who majored in Film!). I started to (and will finish tonight) linking all my alphabet films to the reviews I have written since I started the blog. I'm glad you like it. Keep in touch!

  3. A real quality list that contains plenty of my personal favourites but also a lot of films that I've never heard of.
    It can be quite had to choose, thats why The Warriors and Once Upon A Time In The West missed out on my list.
    I like the idea to link back your alphabet to the reviews on your blog as well, it'll give me a chance to read about some of your selections that I haven't seen.
    Good work OMFBC.

  4. I like your choice of artwork on this A to Z OMFBC, I've never seen that Vanishing Point poster before.
    I also like the fact that you didn't feel any need to choose between Thunder Road and Two-Lane Blacktop, you know I've watched Two-Lane many times over recent years but I'm ashamed to say I still haven't seen Thunder Road.
    One last point, where do you stand on the different versions of the Warriors?
    I enjoyed the Walter Hill approved directors cut DVD that was released a few years ago, with a new introduction and cartoon inserts but I still prefer the original.

  5. great list. I like your inclusion of the five obstructions and primer. all top notch stuff though.

  6. Sorry for the tardy response. I have been quite the procrastinator lately. To answer your query, Paul, I agree. I enjoy the new director's cut of The Warriors with the new inserts, but I really enjoy the magic of the original. Thunder Road is a great film, and it stars the great Robert Mitchum. I'm sure you would appreciate it.

    And thanks, Brent! I feel that Primer is a such a neglected sci-fi gem. Everyone should see it.


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