10 Films That Must Be Seen Before Death (Spoilers For Some Films)10 American Beauty:
A brilliant film starring the best male actor ever, Kevin Spacey. This guy is amazing (Se7en, Usual Suspects), and though the film is brought down by Annette Benning (why, God, why was she cast in this film!?), Spacey brings the script back to the ionospheric level of greatness it deserves. Hence, why he, and the film got an Oscar. Contrary to idiotic perception, this movie is not about some guy wanting to screw his daughter's friend. In my eyes, it's about the tediousness of the common human existence, and the disastrous results of what occurs when we try to break this cycle of medicority through acts society deems inappropriate. In this particular case, you get shot in the head.
9. Full Metal Jacket:
The greatest Vietnam film ever made, sorry Scorsese, but no matter how great Brando's monologue is, the fact remains that Kubrick is king. The first decent film to show the training of the marine infantry, FMJ is disturbing, brilliant, insufferable at times (thanks to the useless and hypocritical protagonist), but moreoever, it simply serves as a giant "f*%k you" to all stereotypes of the Vietnam War. Vietnam is shown as a diseased country, in which America is the cure. However, Nazi imagery is also present throughout scenes featuring American marines. Undoubtedly, the greatest line in the film sums it up perfectly, "Does America belong in Vietnam? I dont know. I belong in Vietnam." Oh yeah and Adam Baldwin. Who doesn't love Adam Baldwin?
8. The Matrix: Post-cyberpunk. Is there a greater genre in existence? Maybe neo-noir, but just maybe. There is not an original idea in the Matrix, but by God, is this movie epic. The Matrix manages to take everything great from everything great and make a movie that is, amazingly, great. From the Chinese Martial Art film derived fight scenes, to the Ghost in the Shell inspired plot, this film captures your imagination and bitchslaps all the negative ideas you have about science fiction. And while the penultimate scene with Trinity declaring her love is enough to make you convulse, the film closes with Rage Against the Machine. And as anyone who has heard Wake Up knows, that's a bloody epic way to finish a movie. But besides all that, this film is the definition of cool.
7. The Lion King:
Not only does this movie feature a plot ripped from one of the greatest plays of all time, it has the best music of any movie, anywhere, ever. Period. This is the only musical that does not cause your ears to bleed. A brilliant cast, from the self-exiled and existentially-confused protagonist, to his iron-willed lioness lover, and their obscure companions whose Hedonistic lifestyle comes off as admirable rather than nauseating. This is Disney's finest achievement. Contrary to what the AFI thinks. No, AFI, old does not mean good. Rage!
6. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm: It has become something of a fact that animated TV series' are just better than live-action TV series; mostly thanks to anime. Unfortunately, theatrical films seem to operate in the reverse, animated films are rarely good. Usually, they involve a plot that can be summed up with "I will protect my friends, now everyone sing and make a low-brow joke". Dith. Well, to hell with that clichéd bulls&$t, B:MOTP involves a doomed love affair rivaling Romeo and Juliet (I'm not exaggerating, this is the saddest film I've ever seen), the greatest fictional character of all time, the greatest fictional villain of all time, and the greatest voice cast imaginable. When MOTP's 70 minute run-time is over, you will be left with the unquenchable feeling that ultimately, some people are simply meant to be alone.
5. Pulp Fiction: Now, we are into the best of the best. Pulp Fiction is insane. This movie is non-linear, swears more than I do, and has a hilarious joke involving someone being shot in the face. Essentially, this movie should be terrible. The plot is weird, involves a MacGuffin, and has a three-minute dance scene in a 50s diner. So why is it awesome? Well, it has Bruce Willis and Samuel L. Jackson in it for one. That's almost too much badass to be contained in 140 minutes. If it had Darth Vader in it as well, the screen would have exploded. Pulp Fiction is a masterpiece of storytelling, black comedy, and social satire. For example, there's a scene where two people are discussing the horrendous lack of a moral core after someone keys their car, all while dealing heroin. This is before Tarantino started to suck (see From Dusk til Dawn and Kill Bill; she's been shot in the head, that means you're dead, ok? Dead!), and is arguably the best film of the Gangster genre.
4. Fight Club: Hell yes. "Self improvement is masturbation, now self-destruction..." This film has so many memorable lines, the entire movie might as well be on wikiquote. Featuring a fantastic cast including Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helen Bonham Carter, Fight Club is intense, uncomprising and brutal. Quite frankly, it's a miracle anyone finishes this movie with any faith in society at all. It's that unflinching in its criticisms. And this movie criticises everything! The materialism of our culture. Our dependency on validation, the elite, capitalism, why people don't flipping enforce the Social Contract, and nihilism in general. Essentially, while this movie seems to think there's no point in anything, it satirises those who believe the same. Go watch it. Now. If you're old enough.
3. Blade Runner: "More human than human." Don't get me wrong, this film is slow nor is it an action movie, this should be noted before delving into the magic that is Ridley Scott's masterpiece. Harrison Ford delivers one of his lesser known performances as "Blade Runner" Rick Deckard, which is, in my opinion, his best portrayal on the screen. Blade Runner examines what is means to be human, and while that plot may seem clichéd, Blade Runner makes its claim to fame as much because of its atmosphere and cinematography as it does because of its plot and themes. Sean Young plays the enigmatic Rachel, a replicant who believed she was human. And then there's Edward James Olmos' Gaff, a character that takes on an entirely new meaning every time you watch the film. In short, there's not much to write about Blade Runner that wont become an essay, suffice to say, it is in my opinion, the second greatest sci-fi film of all time, and the third greatest film of all time. The second is up next.
2. The Dark Knight:
This film should not be on this list, since there is no reasonable excuse as to what you haven't already seen it. This is the best movie ever, save one. It has no weaknesses, whatsoever. It's beautiful to watch , features magnificent performances all round, and features a really great ability to show who the imbeciles in a room are. For example: "who didn't like the dark knight?" The people who stand up are imbeciles. It works. Try it. And for those who think it's too long. Get an attention span! Have you seen Titanic?! Now, that is too long. The boat sinks. I get it. I really don't care. Why did you throw that jewel into the ocean? You couldn't have given it to World Vision? Congratulations, another 5 million children just died, and it's your fault Rose, well done. The only reason TDK got less than Titanic at the box office is because Titanic was released before internet piracy was rampant (and don't get me started on Avatar; god, I hate you James Cameron). The point is, go watch the Dark Knight. You wont regret it. This is Heath Ledger's best film, and it's his last. Watch it just for his performance as the Clown Prince of Crime. For anyone who was disappointed with the "scary Uncle" Joker as protrayed by Jack Nicholson, THIS is the Joker you've been waiting for. Also, Morgan Freeman. His name translates to WIN in 20 different languages.
1. Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion:
This is the greatest achievement of humankind. We have done nothing better. We will do nothing better. This film is perfect. Dubbed or subbed, it is flawless. The reason it has a weak rating on IMDB is because anyone who doesn't understand it thinks it's crap. Also, it's because IMDB is full ofmorons, some people gave The Dark Knight one star. That is just stupid. It doesn't matter if you were raped by a guy in a bat costume, hate all superheroes, find black capes personally offensive or were beaten up by a clown. You cannot give TDK one star. Anyway, NGE:TEOE is simply phenomenal. There is no other word to describe it. The music is sublime. The acting is perfect. The script leaves you psychologically devastated. Seriously, this movie is the pinnacle of mindf#%k. I finished it, and my mind went into overdrive. I did not sleep that night. It messes with your head that much. It is indescribable. Hideaki Anno, I salute you. There has never been something quite like NGE: TEOE, it is a monster unto itself. Nevertheless, if you want to enjoy this film, you must being willing to not understand everything straight away. This is a film for the thinking person, it doesn't explain everything at the end, in fact the end of EOE is the most ambiguous of any film, ever.
And that's my list of the films you must see before you die or become a part of the Human Instrumentality Project.
For now, farewell.