Monday, January 09, 2006

A List of 5-Star Movies - Part 1

I am nearly at 1500 rated films on Netflix!

Yep! That's right, I have seen a lot of movies and spent way too much time rating them on Netflix. My current number of ratings is 1496. I think I should have a big party when I hit 1500, which will probably be later this week. Thing is, they aren't all movies. Some of them are music videos, short films, or even TV shows, and there are even probably some duplicate ratings (since they have separate listings when new releases of old movies come out.) But on the other hand, the number is also skewed because Netflix doesn't offer all the movies I have seen. So who knows how many I have actually seen. I wish I could know. That would be so cool. Anyway, as a celebration for this milestone I am about to reach, I thought I would give you a list of all the movies I rated 5 stars. Among my Netflix friends, those that can see the ratings I give, I am a notoriously stingy rater. I give 2 stars a LOT -- which in Netflix world equates to "didn't like it," though I have liked some of the movies I have 2-starred. You see, to me, to give 3 stars is to say, "Yep, this movie was quite good, and I didn't have problems with it." So if I enjoyed a movie, but found it problematic, I give it 2 stars. If I really enjoyed a movie but found it very problematic I might give it 3 stars. But also, style counts for me. So if I hated a movie, but it had some really great images, or very unusual style, I will give it 2 stars. So as you can imagine, the 5-star list is pretty selective.

Enough of the crap, huh? Shall we? Here they are in alphabetical order...

Adaptation (Jonze, 2002)
Screenwriter struggles to adapt a book. Decides to include himself in the plot as author of original book included herself in her book. Wait, am I talking about the screenwriter in the movie, or the one who wrote the movie?
Brilliant! Still the best work from screenwriting genius, Charlie Kaufman.

Aladdin (Clements, 1992)
Street Urchin -- what exactly is a street urchin anyway -- Aladdin, moves beyond his class with the help of a spastic genie. (How can a Robin-Williams-played genie be anything but spastic?)
My favorite animated Disney movie. Wonderful songs and very fun. To me, they went way downhill from here when they went from this to Lion King. But that's just me.

Amelie (Jeunet, 2001)
Even the adorably weird find real love.
Amelie's character is just so charming. You can't help but love her to bits. This film is as wonderfully quirky as its title character.

Baadasssss! (Van Peebles, 2003)
Mario Van Peebles's beautiful film about the making of his father's "opus," Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.
This was just beautifully made. I was so compelled to watch the original film so lovingly described here. (Too bad I hated that one so much, huh?) Mario has crazy talent.

Babette's Feast (Axel, 1987)
Lovely Danish film about a French woman who finds asylum in a remote Danish home. After years of serving two pious women, she has only one wish.
Delicious! I was a bit impatient with the pace at first, but by the end I felt I had been wrapped in a the softest and warmest of blankets. Wonderful story.

Being John Malkovich (Jonze, 1999)
The Jonze-Kaufman team brilliantly creates a strange world in which office workers find a portal into the brain of John Malkovich.
This is when everyone first saw the brilliance of a screenwriter named Charlie Kaufman. (And also the beginning of my love affair with the man's work.) So freakin' weird and wonderful! Plus, John Malkovich is my favorite actor!

Bridget Jones's Diary (Maguire, 2001)
An ordinary, modern woman walking her hilariously clumsy walk through life and love.
Very funny. The fight scene in this movie is the best ever. I also love how honest this movie is about the "singleton" experience.

Chicago (Marshall, 2002)
A musical satire of the 1920s "Jazz Killings."
How astonishing to have such a cinematic film come from a former theater director and first-time film director! The music is fantastic, the images outstanding, the dancing is wonderful, the story is fun. This movie is terrific!

Citizen Kane (Welles, 1941)
The mystery of a wealthy man's life unfolds after his death.
I know, I am totally predictable. But this movie deserves to be on everybody's best-movies list. Watch it, you'll see. Look at Welles's use of space. The guy was a film god!

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (Lee, 2000)
This one has so much: warriors skilled in an ancient art, love, female empowerment, hidden identities, and escape.
Never have the martial arts looked so much like art. It was like watching a beautiful dream.

Dangerous Liaisons (Frears, 1988)
Playing deadly games with people's lives and loves.
My favorite John Malkovich performance. Glenn Close also at her devilish best. Intrigue, lust, revenge, betrayal. Fantastic!

Dark City (Proyas, 1998)
Another what-is-really-my-reality film, pre-Matrix.
I just love movies that challenge your perceptions of reality. And this combination of a film-noir murder-mystery with way-out-there sci-fi really works for me.

The Emperor's New Groove (Dindal, 2000)
Entertaining Disney flick about a very spoiled Emperor and his learned lesson.
David Spade was made to play the emperor. And Seinfeld's Patrick Warburton is so great as Kronk! I love how he communes with the squirrels. "Squeek-Squeeker Squeeky Squeek." He even knows how to conjugate squirrel verbs!

Well, there is too many for one post. Tune in again next time to read part 2 of my list. And leave me a comment with some of your 5-star movies!

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Pacze Moj said...

That's a pretty varied list: a little romance, some sci-fi, animation, American, European, etc.

If I were to make a 5-star list from your 5-star list, I'd take Citizen Kane, Being John Malkovich and Amelie.

Funny how tastes run, though; Chicago and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would struggle to make my 2-star list.

I look forward to the rest of your 5-star'ers.

Elisabeth said...


Well, that's why they make chocolate and vanilla, huh?


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