My Top Ten Kevin Spacey Movies

Happy Belated Birthday to Kevin Spacey, who turned 57 on Tuesday! I guess it’s time for a list of My Top Ten Kevin Spacey Movies, then. 🙂 Here they are, as usual, counting down to my favorite movie (as opposed to performance):

10. Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil

9. The Life Of David Gale

8. K-PAX

7. 21

6. Se7en

5. The Usual Suspects

4. American Beauty

3. A Bug’s Life

2. Moon

1. L.A. Confidential

Honorable Mentions:

– Working Girl
– Outbreak
– A Time To Kill

Any others not on the list are ones that I haven’t seen, such as Elvis & Nixon. There are quite a few Kevin Spacey films that I haven’t seen. What are your favorites? 🙂

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My Top Ten Best Picture Oscar Winners (And Bottom Five!)

I’m continuing my Oscar-themed week with this list of my favorite (and least-favorite!) Best Picture Oscar winners.

The Academy does quite often get things very wrong (especially in recent years) but when looking at a list of all the winners, there are indeed a lot of true classics here that I’d highly recommend to everyone.

I have my little IMDB project where I’m trying to watch all the IMDB Top 250 Films so I’m not about to start attempting to watch all the Best Picture Winners. However, when making this list, I discovered that I’ve already seen 47 so I guess that isn’t too bad! So I ranked them ALL (because I’m sad like that). But I’ll of course focus on the top ten.

So now, counting down to My Top Ten Best Picture Oscar Winners, these are all of them that I’ve seen ranked from least favorite to favorite. My Bottom Five list will follow this one…

Chicago
Birdman
The King’s Speech
Oliver!
Out Of Africa
On The Waterfront
Driving Miss Daisy
Chariots Of Fire
Dances With Wolves
Unforgiven
A Beautiful Mind
Spotlight
Moonlight
Argo
Braveheart
My Fair Lady
All About Eve
The Best Years Of Our Lives
The Silence Of The Lambs
Rebecca
The French Connection
West Side Story
Gladiator
Amadeus
Forrest Gump
Ben-Hur
The Shape Of Water
Rain Man
In The Heat Of The Night
Casablanca
Gone With The Wind
The Sting
Terms Of Endearment

We’re getting there… 😉

15. Platoon
14. The Deer Hunter
13. The Departed
12. Million Dollar Baby
11. Titanic

My Top Ten Best Picture Winners:

10. TIE: American Beauty & Schindler’s List

9. Midnight Cowboy

8. The Apartment

7. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King

6. Rocky

5. The Artist

4. TIE: The Godfather & The Godfather Part II (it made more sense to keep them together but I slightly prefer the first film)

3. The Bridge On The River Kwai

2. The Sound Of Music

1. One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest

I absolutely love Cuckoo’s Nest – it’s very easily my number one favorite. 🙂

And now is when I’m going to be a bitch! Here are My Bottom Five Best Picture Oscar Winners (Counting down to the very worst):

5. Crash
4. Ordinary People (it beat Raging Bull & The Elephant Man!)
3. Shakespeare In Love (it famously beat Saving Private Ryan)
2. Slumdog Millionaire
1. The English Patient


*yawn!*

It was fun making this list! I really should try to watch more Oscar winners – I seem to especially have not seen many of the winners from the past decade or so. I’d love to hear all of your favorite & least favorite Best Pictures in the comments now! 🙂

**List updated 2/7/17 to add Spotlight, Million Dollar Baby & Rocky

**List updated 25/11/17 to add Moonlight

**List updated 28/1/18 to add The French Connection

**List updated December 2018 to add The King’s Speech & The Shape Of Water

**List updated February 2019 to add In The Heat Of The Night

American Beauty (1999) IMDB Top 250 Guest Review

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Today’s IMDB Top 250 Guest Review comes from Steven of Past, Present, Future In TV And Film. Thanks for the review, Steven! 🙂 Now let’s see what he has to say about American Beauty, IMDB rank 51 out of 250…

There are still some movies up for grabs if anyone wants to do a guest IMDB Top 250 review. You can find the list of remaining films HERE. See the full list & links to all the reviews that have already been done HERE.

Also, if you’d like to add a link to your IMDB review(s) on your own blogs, feel free to use any of the logos I’ve used at the top of any of these guest reviews.

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The American family. Such a mystery at times. This easily explains why films and television love to portray them in various ways. What we see in public, is usually just that, what we see.

The DreamWorks Pictures film “American Beauty”, seems to create a very dysfunctional family that aims to be perfect and outstanding to all those on the outside, but with more than just dramatic flare.

This drama stars Kevin Spacey (“House of Cards”, “Horrible Bosses”), Annette Bening (“The Face of Love”, “Girl Most Likely”), Thora Birch (“Petunia”, “Pregnancy Pact”), Wes Bentley (“American Horror Story”, “Cesar Chavez”), Mena Suvari (“Chicago Fire”, “American Reunion”), Allison Janney (“Mom”, “Tammy”), and Chris Cooper (“The Amazing Spider-Man 2”, “August: Osage County”) and Peter Gallagher (” Covert Affairs”, “Whitney”).

The film was directed by Sam Mendes (“Skyfall”, “Away We Go”). It was written by Alan Ball (“True Blood”, “Towelhead”).

The film originally opened in theaters on Oct. 1, 1999 after a limited release on Sept. 8. The film would later go on to receive eight Academy Awards nominations; winning five including Best Picture, six Golden Globe award nominations; winning three including Best Picture-Drama, and four Screen Actors Guild nominations; winning three including Best Cast in a Motion Picture.

Surprisingly, there’s a lot of dark humor. Most of what makes this film absolutely fun too watch, is how there’s a level of satire throughout. It’s not just from bits of dialogue but more importantly situations that occur. One situation later in the film is when Spacey’s character is just lounging at home and playing with a toy race car, when in walks Bening. She’s surprised and as they move into conversation, Spacey’s trying to seduce her. When it seems like things will succeed, she notices that he’s about to spill his beer on the nice couch of hers. Much like many of his actions in the film he turns into some sort of antagonistic person just to spite her.

There’s also a scene involving Bentley and Spacey that’s misinterpreted completely by Cooper’s very conservative father character. Cooper see’s his son, Bentley, over at Spacey’s and believes that there’s some sort of affair going on between them. While I’ll argue Cooper’s character brought this on himself, as he’s too strict and intrusive, it’s a pretty funny set up and speaks so well to his character.

The characters are all so fascinating because of who they are behind closed doors. Which, let’s face it, is pretty much what this film is representing. Incredibly flawed people, but wonderful when out in public. One scene that sent me into fits of laughter was when Bening was preparing herself to show a house, the ridiculous ritual she went through to psych herself up. Everything was so specifically planned and executed that it goes beyond that of a perfectionist. Later, after being unsuccessful, she’s slapping herself and crying for the failure she sees herself as. She’s a perfectionist and cherishes this kind of ideal family, where everything’s perfect, so it’s absolutely hilarious. Even Bening’s look for this character, is perfect! Everything is in place and impeccable, definitely that of a perfectionist. In its own way, this film is like a modern day version of “Ordinary People”, but without the huge and incredibly dramatic story.

While everyone really shined, it was Cooper, that stole the show. His conservative retired Marine Corps Colonel, even all these years later, was a far cry from anything I’d seen him play before. When he came on screen and continued to show his dominance over his family, which was evident from the way Janney’s character behaved, as well as Bentley’s, there was something of a pull towards his character. For a man you could spend much of the film disliking, there was still enough to make him somewhat vulnerable and remind you that he too is human.

One thing that I definitely noticed was the score created by Thomas Newman (“Get on Up”, “Saving Mr. Banks”). For films that aren’t action films it seems difficult to capture the feeling of a dramatic film or a comedy. Here, Newman managed to balance both. He created playful tunes and dramatic tones to fit the moment, which was usually brought on by something the character was doing or feeling. The score helped to make the film a bit more satirical at times and whimsical. Either being its own character or enhancing the different characters in the film.

Somehow, and this I find difficult to discuss most of the time, I love how brilliant the writing for this film is. The first moment I saw this film, and when I came back to it, I was hooked by all that was going on. The characters are each so different and well defined that it didn’t take much to decide how I should feel towards each one. One scene early on, that shows this is when the family is leaving the house and Bening and Birch are both impatient, but Spacey is going as fast as he can. Somehow it’s not enough. His briefcase falls open and that just manages to annoy both of them even more. Then you add in the general nature of the dialogue and you get so much clever, dark, and witty humor. It helps to define what stages they’re in in their lives and how they view each other. This writing makes for some pretty interesting situations throughout this film, that it’s hard to look away.

As a film lover I’m constantly aware of films from the past, especially those that earn widespread acclaim. However, there’s something that usually keeps me from seriously seeking out these films. Fortunately this film was just one of those films, otherwise, I don’t know if I could appreciate it for what it is and enjoy every aspect of the film. I can easily imagine missing so much of the humor or not being able to form my own thought on what I feel this film represents. Some things you can only appreciate when you’re older.

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My Top Ten Shower & Bath Scenes In Movies

Ever since I reviewed John Carpenter’s The Ward & happened to mention the shower scene with Amber Heard, I see variations of the search term “Amber Heard shower scene” bringing someone to my blog on a daily basis. Pervs! So, screw it – I’ll make a list! Here are my top ten movie shower (or bath) scenes starting with the best:

1. Psycho

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Obviously.

2. Hardware

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Such an underrated cult classic! I never know anyone who has seen this movie. And the shower scene is awesome with one of the BEST movie songs ever – The Order Of Death by Public Image Limited.

3. Carrie

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Dirty Pillows!

4. American Beauty

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“This will be the high point of my day: It’s all downhill from here.”

5. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

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“I recall Central Park in fall.”

6. Weird Science

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“If you ever get the chance, shower with them. I did. Mmm, it’s a mindscrambler. Hurts so good.”

7. A Nightmare On Elm Street

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One, two, Freddy’s coming for you…

8. The Shining

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All work & no play makes Jack make-out with creepy dead woman.

8. It

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Argh! Pennywise! Creepy f@#king clown!!! I don’t even want this damn picture on my blog!

10. Blade

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Cool bloodbath (well, more like bloodSHOWER) club scene. Set to the tune of the Pump Panel remix of New Order’s Confusion.

Honorable Mentions:
Slither
Arachnophobia
Fatal Attraction
What Lies Beneath
Pleasantville
Porky’s
Pretty Woman
The Big Lebowski
Stoker

For the guys:
Starship Troopers (I hate this movie)

Words to bring the pervs in: Hot, Steamy, Sexy, Naked, Boobies. Lol! They’ll be disappointed – my list isn’t very hot or steamy. 😉

Here’s Amber Heard wet in the shower in The Ward:

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Hardware shower scene with Public Image Ltd song The Order Of Death: