10. Child’s Play – Chucky’s origin film – and he started out as an Xmas present!
9. The Ref – Denis Leary first showed signs of nice acting chops in this pitch-black comedy about a thief forced to take a pre-divorce couple hostage (Kevin Spacey and Judy Davis) that he ends up playing marriage counselor to.
8. Trading Places – Eddie Murphy, Dan Aykroyd and Jamie Lee Curtis (flashing some partial frontal nudity) in a John Landis film that’s just as good as his other classics Blues Brothers and American Werewolf. This guy really is a master of his craft.
7. Long Kiss Goodnight – The first appearance of good ol’ Shane Black and his fetish for all things Yule on my list – keep looking for more. Geena Davis plays a sleeping sleeper agent who wakes up and attempts to complete an old mission while wrestling with her newfound persona and failing miserably. A great little film that sadly hasn’t been aging so well.
6. Gremlins – Love this film. If you haven’t seen it, do it.
5. Batman Returns – this is still my favorite of the Batman movies – all of them. It just gets everything right.
4. The Thin Man – This is an incredible classic film (and film series) that everyone should know more about. Track these films down. An old school detective yarn with a comedic twist, originally from the pen of Dashiell Hammett with William Powell and Myrna Low as Nick and Nora Charles – a married couple with acid tongues, livers of steel and a dog named Asta.
3. Lethal Weapon – More Shane Black. A wonderful action buddy comedy that, regardless of your present day feelings about Mel Gibson, is actually as good today as it was in the 80s.
2. Kiss Kiss Bang Bang – What? Another Shane Black title – this one directed by him too? Damn, this guy loves Christmas. If you know nothing about this little whodunit, good. Check it out right now and love it as much as me.
1. Die Hard – Still a great movie – I don’t care about the genre. I watch this whenever I can.
Ho Ho Ho – more lists next week. You’ve been warned.
Okay, so watch this – this is going to hurt...
Guardians of the Galaxy – One of the best Marvel films ever – and without a single major character from their Universe. I’ve been a Rocket Raccoon fan since his first appearance and I hate Gunn that much more for being able to make a movie with him. Not that I’m a Hollywood power player, but a guy can dream, right?
Frank – I know nothing about this and it just looks weird. A guy with a Moral Orel head mask joins a band. That’s all I know. Stars Michael Fassbender as the guy in the mask.
Dead Snow 2: Dead Vs. Red – The Nazi zombies are back – this time fighting Soviet zombies. Is it good? I have no idea. Probably okay to watch. I’ll know tonight.
Criterion Releases: Time Bandits reissue – cool lenticular cover Criterion, I’m in. Safe – A weird social commentary flick starring Julianne Moore and directed by Todd Haynes. Night Porter reissue – Dirk Bogarde stars as a former Nazi who bumps into Charlotte Rampling who was a former concentration camp prisoner under his control and something of a lover in the form of an odd S&M relationship they had. When the two meet several years after they start up their relationship.
Warner Bros. Diamond Luxe Editions: Ben-Hur, Natural Born Killers, Forrest Gump, Gremlins, The Green Mile, Batman – The merit of these reissues are debatable – but they finally exist and when we get our hands on the, we’ll let you know their worth.
And there you go. For my money – Guardians is the only must have release of the week, but Time Bandits ain’t too shabby. But that’s pretty much it. Suuuuuuucks. Though, it makes it easily for me to shop for friends instead of myself this week, so I guess – thank you Hollywood.
I’ll be back here next week with another list for you to check twice.
Until then, keep spinnin’ those discs.
- Todd Doogan