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Favorite Movies, Cont...


Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton is probably my favorite director, and even though he didn't actually direct it, Nightmare is still his creation and story. I'm sure a lot of people just look at this as a kid's movie because it is animated (although it is stop-motion animation and is amazing to watch), but it is quite the opposite. What we have here is a visual masterpiece that also doubles as a musical with the brilliant Danny Elfman delivering one of the best movie scores/soundtracks of all time. The artistry and creativity going on in these 76 minutes is unparalleled.



Carlito's Way

Pacino of course has his fair share of classics, but I felt this was always overlooked and should belong at or near the top of his impressive resume. This film has so many smart plot twists and seedy characters...which I guess makes it perfect for Pacino to showcase his talents. Shawn Penn is also great in an almost unrecognizable performance. The movie is dark, gritty, suspenseful, violent, shady and exposes the filth and immorality of human society- always a recipe for cinematic success!


Being John Malkovich

Definitely the most original movie I've ever seen. The concept is so completely and utterly ridiculous that you can't help but be both amused and fascinated by it. A very weird film, you gotta have an open mind and not expect a typical Hollywood formula. Cusack adds another winner to his amazing filmography, and Malkovich succeeds in playing....well....himself. A haunting score adds to the intrigue, and the topic of puppeteering is presented perfectly as an analogy for wanting to become someone else. I love it when people take chances and risks with movies, and director Spike Jonze repeatedly goes into uncharted territory. This movie could be considered an "independent" film, and didn't really clean up in the box office, but critics loved it and rightfully so. A real gem.


What's Eating Gilbert Grape

Another example of how a movie can be extremely special without having big action or special effects. I don't know what it is about this movie, but it's just brilliant. It is QUITE slow, but never really gets boring. Definitely one of those movies that engulf you in small town life and it's fascinating to learn about the characters that reside there. Before he got famous, DiCaprio gives one of the best performances I've ever seen as Gilbert's mentally retarded brother. Johnny Depp has a very low-key, easy-going role, but he plays it to perfection. And let's not forget Crispin Glover! (Crispin Glover rules, I just thought you should know). This is a good movie to watch when life seems overly complicated because for some reason it's very calming. Recommended heavily.



Better Off Dead

This movie quite possibly has the most laughs per minute of any movie in history (if you have a sense of humor). I guess since this is the third John Cusack movie in my top 10, I'm officially a big Cusack fan. This was one of his first ones and it is a masterful display of absurdism. Skiing paper boys, Asian guys that race and speak nothing but "Howard Cossell", and a family that gets tv dinners for Christmas.... What more can one ask for? Anyone that doesn't consider this an 80's classic is wrong.