“Citizen Ruth” (1996)
In my opinion, this is one of the best satirical films ever made. It takes the controversial subject of abortion rights, and completely mocks the opposing sides. Painting the pro-life right as nothing more than a group of do-gooding, fundamentalist Christians, and the pro-choice left as members of some oddball, Wiccan collective. The main lead in the film is Ruth Stoops (Laura Dern), a paint huffing addicted mother-to-be. She’s used as a pawn by both sides to prove their cause is right. She gets swept up in the middle of the culture war, and ends up coming out on top in the end. To top it all off, Burt Reynolds as a pro-life preacher? Yes, please!
“Beauty And The Beast” aka “La Belle Et La Bete” (1946)
I’ve always seen Jean Cocteau as the predecessor to Pier Paolo Pasolini. He was the first filmmaker to take the fundamentals of poetry, and successfully adapt them to film. This film is no exception, it flows like a poem, as well as a dream. While I’ve never been the biggest fan of the melodrama, everything comes together with this one. It’s a surreal telling of an old fairy tale, and it’s quite easy to see where Disney would get their inspiration for their animated film several years later.
“Punch-Drunk Love” (2002)
This is one I previously reviewed, and described everything I loved about it. P.T. Anderson’s ode to Jean-Luc Goddard’s “A Woman Is A Woman” was quite a surprise. Seeing Adam Sandler give a performance I enjoyed, as well as the use of a lot of old camera techniques not seen since the days of the French new wave. The attention to color alone, is one of the things that made this film so great. Anderson, who continues to make great films time and again, showed the modern film audience that old techniques can still be utilized to make a good film.
Even my girlfriend loves this film. This is the ultimate by-the-numbers 80’s action film. One-liners, over the top action sequences, stereotypical villains, and more holes in the plot than a slice of swiss cheese.This, and films like The Running Man have become timeless. What’s not to love about Arnold Schwarzenegger’s ridiculous lines and testosterone fueled mayhem? They don’t make them like this anymore, these action films were all the product of the excessive Reagan 80’s, a time when bigger was actually better.
“The Princess Bride” (1987)
I’m not sure if it’s nostalgia, or the overall feel this film has. I’m not even going to try to deny it, I LOVE this film. It’s part fairy tale, part comedy and literally has something for everyone, Most of the lines, I know by heart at this point. I rarely use the term “timeless classic” in one of my posts, but this is a film that deserves that title. There really is no other way to describe it, from sword fights that looked like they were taken right out of a Douglas Fairbanks movie, a love story that even a linebacker could love, and quite possibly the perfect cast. From Andre the giant to Wallace Shawn, from Peter Faulk to Billy Crystal everyone works well and play off one another perfectly. All together now : “My name is Inigo Montoya, you killed my father, prepare to die!”