Monday, June 21, 2010

The Movie Dirty Dozen Blogfest is Here!

Time for everyone's Movie Dirty Dozen! Don't forget to visit the other blogs participating in the fun!

A note about the Twelve. I am such an unabashed movie fanboy that I could make a list of 100's or 1000's. It took me a while to choose the right films. My criteria was simple, I chose films that were inventive and memorable. But the crux of my choices rested on the questions: Can you watch this movie over and over without the film collapsing on itself? Does it get better with age... or worse?

See if you agree with at least some of these!

1. LOTR Trilogy - What an amazing piece of work from Peter Jackson and the team from Weta. Every frame has been lovingly crafted with intricate detail and care. It's quite apparent that Peter Jackson not only loved the LOTR books by J.R.R. Tolkien, but also poured so much effort into making films that appeal to the broad masses as well as the fanboys. Take the time and invest an entire day in the extended cut trilogy.

2. Mystery Science Theater 3000 The Movie - I am a huge fan of this great cult series. Joel, Mike and the bots have been like family since the shows inception, so I was so excited to see a big-screen version of my beloved show. Watching MST3K in the theater was such an amazing experience. For those of you unfamiliar with the show (shame on you), Mike and the bots (Tom Servo, Crow, Gypsy and Cambot) are trapped on the satellite of love and are forced to watch bad movies orchestrated by the evil scientist Dr. Clayton Forrester. The cinematic stinker that the crew skewers is "This Island Earth" and it is played up for big, big laughs.

3. Memento - Christopher Nolan (Batman Begins, The Dark Knight) burst on to the movie scene with this amazing, mind-bending film. Told in reverse, the story centers on a man (Guy Pierce) who is searching for his wife's killer while suffering from short-term memory loss (stemming from the attack on his wife). Most films require only a tiny amount of brain computing power (if any at all). Memento requires your entire brain stay focused on the events unfolding as you are asked to follow a narrative playing in reverse. Every time you think you know what is going on, the next scene deconstructs every notion in your head. A masterpiece.

4. Blazing Saddles - One of the most oft-quoted films is also one of the funniest movies of all time. Mel brooks spoof of the old west and a very telling play on racism is timeless and hilarious.

5. Blade II - I was trying to find the right Guillermo Del Toro film to add to my list. Hellboy, The Devil's Backbone and others were all great films but Blade II took a cool movie premise and turned it up to 11. This is one of my favorite experiences in a theater. The crowd was so into the film that I didn't mind the hoots and hollers. It just added to the vibe and ramped up the fun.

6. Serenity - It's like Christmas when one of my favorite Sci-Fi shows of all time ("Firefly") gets the big-screen treatment. The characters are great, the dialogue crackles with energy and wit and the show is given a wonderful send-off.

7. A Few Good Men - Another film with so many great lines and great performances. The ensemble cast is brilliant and rounded out by a truly memorable performance by Jack Nicholson who chews up every scene.

8. Jurassic Park - I remember reading the novel by Michael Crichton in about a day and a half and thinking there was no way they could turn this into a movie (but hoping they would try). Fortunately, Steven Spielberg picked up the gauntlet and ushered in a new age of summer blockbuster. So many jaw-dropping moments and amazing action set pieces. This movie took my inner child out for a two hour+ romp and I feel that way every time I watch it.

9. Aliens - James Cameron took a creepy, slow-paced, brooding film (Alien) and turned it into a non-stop roller coaster ride of action and excitement. If you’re a fan of this film (and who isn't) you quote lines from this movie all the time. This film is a non-stop juggernaut of action that keeps ramping up the excitement and tension. I'm a huge fan of all of Cameron's work but this one is truly epic.

10. Raiders of the Lost Ark - This is as close as it gets to the perfect movie. Great pacing, amazing set pieces, and wonderful characters. This movie had me grinning from ear to ear and remains one of my all time favorites. This should be required film school viewing when it comes to pacing and editing. Spielberg has so many great films to his credit that he must be considered as the finest director of all time.

11. Terminator 2: Judgment Day - Sporting a big budget and a cool twist, this sequel to "The Terminator" was an event movie. James Cameron took the world of Skynet and created an entire mythos that is still relevant in the minds of all fanboys and Sci-Fi aficionados alike.

12. Star Trek: First Contact - I had to include a Trek film. I have told my wife that I could watch the crew of the Enterprise sit around a campfire and belch for two hours. Fortunately, this film is so much better than that. With a great time-travel premise, an exciting enemy (the Borg) and the next gen crew this is my all-time favorite Trek.

13. (Baker's Dozen): Evil Dead II/The Crow - Love both films and couldn't decide which one to include so here they are. Sam Raimi's "Evil Dead II" is a work of pure, creative genius. Shot on a shoestring budget, Raimi employs every camera trick known to man, and a few he made up. Add to the mix an amazing performance by Bruce Cambell and you have a truly creative horror/comedy cult classic.

From a graphic novel by J.O. Barr, director Alex Proyas crafted a stunning, visual feast of violence and revenge. What really sets the film apart is the work by Brandon Lee. For those of you who don't know, Brandon Lee was accidently killed during the making of this film when a prop gun was filled with live rounds. This tragedy has made an imprint on the film, which seems haunted and sorrowful.

I left out so many films that I wanted to add, so check back Wednesday for a fresh list of movies that almost made the list.


Jamie Gibbs said...

It's kind of strange that many of your choices ended up in my list too, Alex. I may have to make one or two amendments before I post mine up, hehe.

An excellent list, totally agree with you on Raiders, Jurassic Park, LotR and Evil Dead II. There are a few I've not seen in that list too, so I'm gonna have to rectify that as soon as I can :D


Excellent range of films Alex.


L. Diane Wolfe said...

LOTR and The Crow made my list. I selected Star Trek IV, though. First one that really made me laugh!

Matthew MacNish said...

Great picks Alex! I wanted to participate in this but didn't have the time. I own the LOTR extended cuts but only watch them about twice a year so I don't get tired of them (like that could happen).

Pretty much the only reason I still don't have a Blu-Ray player is because these films have not yet been released in that format. Maybe Dezmond knows if that's ever going to happen?

Lisa said...

From your list (half I have not even heard of, not you, it's me :)) - A Few Good Men is the one I pick for my all time favorite :)

(I hope to get my Dirty Dozen after I visited everybody, I could only pick one for my post).

Anonymous said...

I’m kind of all over the place. I like just about everything, comedy, action, computer animation, action, and drama. Guess I’m easy to please. Okay, so here we go. My Dirty Dozen in alphabetical order:

• Apocalypse Now
• Back To the Future (At least one of my movies had to have a wormhole)
• Collateral
• Ghost Busters
• Good Fellas
• Pulp Fiction
• Schindler’s List
• Shawshank Redemption
• Spaceballs
• The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
• The Incredibles
• The Thing

Honorable Mention:
• Many of Alfred Hitchcock’s movies
• The Godfather I and II
• Casino
• Mystery Science Theatre 3000
• Kill Bill I and II

Will Burke said...

A hearty "Amen and Amen!" Especially The Crow, and 1st Contact. The Next Gen crew is my favorite, but I've got a soft spot for Undiscovered Country.

Powdered Toast Man said...

I feel like you were reading my mind with most of those. I am still working on my list and it is so hard to choose. I love movies too much. Great picks btw. Mine will be up this afternoon (hopefully)

Christine Danek said...

Excellent choices. Memento and the Crow are two of my favorites.
Great blogfest.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm ... I guess I was supposed to list these movies on my blog, not your comment section. Okay, guess I'm a little slow today. I'll have them up later this morning.

Stephen Tremp

Stephanie Lorée said...

Your movies are excellent. Great taste and I'm so glad you picked at least one Trek movie! :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jamie, I'm sure we'll have a few in common.

Matthew, I still need to set aside a Saturday and watch those all in a row. And maybe Dezz will pop on later with an answer for us!

Will, I confess - I'm a Trekker!

PT Man, looking forward to them. And like your name - don't hear many Ren & Stimpy references anymore.

Hope you can get your list on your blog before the end of the day, Stephen!

Mason Canyon said...

Some really great movies in your list. Now I have to go look through my DVD collection and start watching movies. :)

Thoughts in Progress

Hart Johnson said...

Oh, you've got a BUNCH that made my 'almost list'--I will have to remember a few of these I haven't seen--Memento looks like my kind of move, and I bet my son would love the Blade movies--always looking for something he'd love that I would like--And I had no idea Serenity was out. I loved Firefly--though part of that is a Nathan Fillion obsession.

Unknown said...

Wow that's my favourite list so far. All of those should have made mine, too (with the exception of The Evil Dead 2, which I haven't seen). Hmm, maybe I'll have to add some to my list, or maybe redo my 'list of 10s'...

Southpaw said...

This is a great list. I totally forgot about Blazing Saddles. How could I? I haven’t seen Memento so that’s going on my to-be-watch-this- summer list.

DEZMOND said...

Aaaa, I pretty much predicted most of these movie would appear in your list, Alex :)))) I reckon LOTR will be seen in most of the DIRTY DOZEN lists. Did you like FIRST CONTACT more than last year's STAR TREK movie?
Your Dirty Dozen list totally suits your personality and charisma, Alex ;) Although I must add there are two movies I expected to see here, but you didn't put them in the list - EQUILIBRIUM and MATRIX :)

DEZMOND said...

@Alex and Matt
now guys, y'a know I'm a total idiot when it comes to technical things, and don't even now for sure what Blu-Ray actually is, although I keep seeing many movies being released in that format as well these days :)))

Arlee Bird said...

Excellent choices on your list. I've seen all except Blade II. There were a couple I had forgotten about and few that will be considered for my favorites of the last 20 years.

Tossing It Out

sfdada said...

Ah, the first list I'm seeing so far. I've seen LOTR but only in the theater, just don't have the 'movie' setup that it deserves, but I'm putting a 'pin' in the conversation and letting it hang there until I can get to it.

Memento IS a must for anyone who's up for a challenging thrill.

Carol Kilgore said...

A Few Good Men. I liked that film. And I love Indiana Jones.

Bossy Betty said...

You are turning me into a film buff!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Mason, me too!

Memento is twisted, Hart - you'd love it!

Tessa, you can always continue your list.

Yeah, Southpaw, how could you?

Thank you, Dezz. And I'll post a second list by Wednesday that will include those that didn't make the first cut. I did like the new Star Trek, but First Contact and Wrath of Khan still have it beat. And Blu-ray is just advanced technology, Dezz. It's on par with laserdisc quality.

Bryan, it is a must!

Betty, if this blogfest doesn't, I don't know what will!

Sarah Ahiers said...

ooooh! You had some good ones here.
Evil Dead 2 is classic. Bruce campbell is Effing hilarious. I met him in real life once and he's just so awesome.

i've seen all of these except a few good men, which i've never gotten around to seeing. wierd huh?

Unknown said...

wow I loved memento and all my friends thought I was nuts.. like how i liked trainspotting and other unpopular... and uncommon movies.The crow was good... I should add more on Wednesday too... LOL

Beth Zimmerman said...

I'm not enough of a movie buff to be able to truly enter into the spirit of this Blogfest but I thoroughly enjoyed making my way through your list! I even recognized and applauded many of your choices. I've been a trekkie since the TV show, LOVED LOTR, and most things Indiana Jones! :) However ... the only reason I recognize Serenity at all is because they made a cake based on the series on Ace of Cakes. I know ... I'm a sad little person! LOL!

Austin Gorton said...

Great list! One of day in the not-too-distant future, LOtR will enter my dozen. It fits the mold of my favorite movies (high re-wtchability, an ability to suck me in from any point) but there's other such movies I've liked longer (by dint of them being around longer)to keep LOtR off my list. For now...

Memento is definitely a fave, but I went with the more traditional neo-noir in LA Confidential, largely because (admittedly) it takes a little less brainpower to fully enjoy.

Sadly, despite loving Westerns and Mel Brooks, I've never seen Blazing Saddles.

Aliens: "Game over, man, game over!"

Like that? ;)

Love Raiders, though I still think Last Crusade might be my favorite for nostalgic reasons.

I probably should have put T2 on my list; it's had a huge influence on me.

And First Contact is easily my favorite of the Trek films. "This far, no farther!" Still gives me chills. And the best Trek score.

T. Powell Coltrin said...

I don't know what is wrong with me, I thought this was for the 27th. I probably wasn't wearing my glasses.

Maybe I will post my list Wednesday or Friday, because I have been working on my list. I already have my post today (and it's a little special) or I would repost.

Sorreeee, Alex. This is why I haven't participated in blog events. I'm not dependable.

B. Miller said...

I love your list, Alex! We definitely have similar tastes in movies... I LOVED Memento. And I can't believe I forgot about The Crow... GRR!! This was a fantastic blogfest and thank you so much for hosting! I've had a great time reading everyone's choices and I've definitely picked up a few titles that I need to check out!

Anonymous said...

Ooooh, great list! Haven't seen some of these in years!!!!

Unknown said...

Oh man, well you already know I agree with T2, but I was looking at your pic of Kate Beckinsale off to the left and just remembered Underworld Evolution. I loved, loved those movies too. LOL

Unknown said...

And I'd completely forgotten about the Crow. Loved that film too and I was devestated that Brandon Lee died while making it.

Anonymous said...

Oh blast! I knew there was something I was meant to do today.....

Got to agree with you on a few of those though. Aliens would/will definitely be on mine and maybe Serenity as well...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Falen, that's too cool you met Bruce!

Wasabi, Memento is just too deep for the average person. And feel free to add more later this week!

Beth, you're not sad! Trekkers are cool people.

Teebore, after checking everyone's lists, I keep discovering more I left off mine! (Like LA Confidential.) First Contact was the best, but Wrath of Khan a close second.

J Woman, just post on Wednesday! I'll be posting a second list that day as well.

Miller, glad you've enjoyed it! And as you can tell, I almost forgot The Crow as well.

RaShelle, never fear - an Underworld movie will be mentioned in my Wednesday post!

Hampshire, hope to see your list later!

Gregg Metcalf said...

What a great list of movies! Now, I personnaly don't like sci-fi or horror flicks, so those ones I didn't know. I thought about Jurasic Park but it didn't make the cut.

I totally for all about A Few Good Men, I might have included that one also. I really kicked myself for forgetting about Blazing Saddles. Tht would have made the list had I thought of it. It was so hard to pick 12. Irene and I are movie buffs, we have watched alot of movies and to limit the pick was almost impossible.

But good job and thanks for the idea and opportunity.

Stephen T. McCarthy said...

I'm totally with ya on "Blazing Saddles" - funny, funny stuffs, Brother!

~ "Lonesome Dogg" McD-Fens

Cruella Collett said...

While I don't agree in the sense that there are any overlaps between your list and mine, I definitely agree that there are some great movies on this list. I think the only reason I didn't put LOTR on my list, for instance, is that I wouldn't know which one to choose, and it didn't occur to me to pick the lot...

From your description of it, though, I'm definitely going to check out Memento.

Thanks for hosting this blog hop (and for introducing me to the concept) - you did a great job! :)

Julie Dao said...

Lord of the Rings trilogy is my favorite of ALL time. Someone actually tried to suggest (in MY presence) that Avatar was better. Somehow he got away alive.

Summer Frey said...

Great list, Alex. Interesting how different and yet similar all the lists I've read so far (including mine) are...

DEZMOND said...

Hey, Alex, I've read all 58 DIRTY DOZEN lists tonight :) and I must admit it was a nice blogfest connecting people with a lot of generic movie lists. We can pretty much conclude that LOTR is the favourite movie for everyone :)

I'm also a bit angry on all those people who'd put their link in the blogfest but didn't really post their lists, that wasn't nice from them :( If you get a free advertisement you need to give at least some love back.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Gregg, I forgot many as well, which is why I'm posting another list on Wednesday. Glad you enjoyed this!

Stephen, it's the best comendy ever!

Cruella, I know, it was cheating. I think everyone who selected LOTR did the same thing. And thanks - this was my first blogfest!

Julie, he was lucky.

Yeah, there were a few who didn't post - maybe they forgot. I did visit every blog this weekend and left a reminder. Dezz, appreciate you visiting all of them! I'm still checking on stragglers myself.

Michelle Gregory said...

Star Trek movies, always a good watch.

Ricky said...

It makes me laugh that most of us struggled to get down to the final 12. I've decided to start a regular post feaaturing the near misses.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Ricky, that's an excellent idea!

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Blazing Saddles brings back such fun memories. My daughter and I watched this together so often we had parts memorized and would begin laughing simply in anticipation of our favorite scenes.

Jemi Fraser said...

You've got some of my faves on here (Serenity, LotR). I did really enjoy Blazing Saddles, but I haven't watched it in years. I'll have to check it out again one day!

Anonymous said...

Dude! What an awesome list! The Crow, Serenity, LOTR, and Aliens are all WAY up there on my list. WOOT!

I have a soft spot for indie film and angst-driven dramas, too, of course, but I'm still a sucker for ass-kicking and snarky dialogue. Wanted, anyone?

Rock on. :)

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Jane, now that's the way to enjoy that movie!

Simon, I'm all about the rock 'n' roll ride! But I will be posting a second list on Wednesday and might be a couple softer items listed.

The Man-Cave said...

Ok - Evil Dead 2 at least made your list in some fashion. And that tight there means you are one of the coolest people in the galaxy.

But good list especially Memento, T2, Raiders and Aliens. Films I can watch over and over again.

BStearns said...

Sorry I never got around to doing this, but I do like your choices in films, especially your top pick. Purely the best film ever.


Karen Lange said...

This is a great idea. Interesting to see your picks. Will look forward to the almost list, too. Makes me think about defining my own list, and another with books.

Unknown said...

Ohh I like this list. There is a few that I haven't seen but a lot of them bring back good memories!

Ella said...

I'm late to the party, struggled with this one. Threatening Thundershower didn't help~

oooh, I love a lot of this; I almost did 12 different genres, but changed my mind. Wow, these are great...I love Indy, almost put him. A Star Trek fan...damn, this was difficult, but I enjoyed the challenge~ Thanks for doing this!

Cheeseboy said...

Nice list. I am right with you on the LOTR trilogy.

Natasha said...

A Few Good Men- wonder how I left that out. I have only seen it on the telly, but I think I have memoriesed most of the lines.

Thanks for doing this blogfest, Alex.

George Beremov [Nebular] said...

Excellent choices, Alex! :) LOTR, Memento, Aliens, Blade 2, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Terminator 2, Evil Dead 2 - all these films are a favorite of mine, as well.
I've never been a "Serenity" fan though. I thought the movie was decent and watchable, but not as amazing as everyone claims. The directing just wasn't good in my opinion, and it made the film look like made for SyFy Channel or something.

Jessica Bell said...

I LOVED The Crow. I'm surprised you put Memento on your list. I didn't get into it as much as I had hoped! :o)

Unknown said...


First of all, many thanks for setting this Blogfest in motion. It's an excellent idea.

I've just posted mine, and though it's almost 10:30 on the 22nd where I am now, I'm sure it must still be the 21st somewhere in the world, so I hope I'm just nipped in under the tape.

I surprised myself by how varied my selection was. But you and I agree on one masterpiece at least.

Thanks again.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Thanks, Geof. I almost forgot Evil Dead 2!

Karen, you should do a book list.

Ellie, glad you had fun with it!

Rayna, it was difficult to remember them all. Glad you enjoyed it!

Nebular, thanks!

Dave, bettter late than never! I'll check out your list.

Unknown said...

Great list. Loved your choices. Jurassic Park was one of my favorite movies.
And thanks for making this Blogfest. I loved reading the choices of other bloggers.
Have a good day...:)

Zoe C. Courtman said...

Dude. Really great list. We'd be munching popcorn together!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you enjoyed it, Mr Stupid.

And Zoe, my treat!

Glynis Peters said...

1, 3 , and 7 are ones I enjoyed. Great movies.
Have fun with your Blogfest.

Pat Tillett said...

Although our lists are different, your choices are great. A dozen just isn't close to enough. I'm glad I got in on this...

Hannah said...

I agree with most of these! You have good taste.
also I'd like to say the Blazing Saddles is probably in my top five comedy movies. HILARIOUS!!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Pat, that's why I shall continue tomorrow with another dozen.

And you got it, Palin!

The Old Silly said...

Wow - AWESOME Dirty Dozen list, Alex!

Helen Ginger said...

Oooh, I'd forgotten about Memento. Need to go watch that one again.

Chuck said...

Once again Alex, this was really a good time. You have some on your list I had totally forgotten about. I have not seen Momento so now I must.

DiscConnected said...


"Serenity" really did do an excellent job of tying together the loose ends from "Firefly", didn't it? Sad that there's no TV market for science fiction.

Love Star Trek, but it's gotta have Kirk in it! The NG Borg episodes were great, though, and this was an excellent film. I seriously considered the 2009 Star Trek film for my list.

Most of your other films are can't go wrong films. Thanks for hosting this.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Helen, time to watch it again then.

Chuck, glad you enjoyed it!

Disc, I watch every sci-fi show I can just to support them. And next on my Trek list is Wrath of Khan. Still a great movie!

Creative Chronicler said...

Great selection of movies!! I actually worked as a PA on The Crow.

Anonymous said...

I think you cheated a bit with the Baker's Dozen but great list. I was reading this thinking I should watch that again, I haven't seen that in ages. I did watch Serenity last night and fell in love with it all over again, though my grammar and speech patterns suffer for days.
Thanks for organising this blogfest - it was great fun.