My Top Ten John Cusack Movies

Happy Birthday to John Cusack, who turns 51 today!

I love John Cusack. I’m of the age where I had (and, okay, still have) a massive crush on Cusack’s Lloyd Dobler from Say Anything. Thanks a lot, John Cusack! No boy can ever live up to Lloyd Dobler. You made a generation of girls have expectations that were way too high when it came to teenage boys. Teenage boys are awful. Teenage boys are NOT like Lloyd Dobler! Certainly not any that I knew in 1989, anyway…*sigh*

Anyway – I still love Lloyd & I still love John. It’s funny how he’s tried to never be a big “movie star”, which I respect, yet I have to say that of all these many Actor Top Ten lists that I’ve done, Cusack’s is possibly the best one yet for having so many of my personal favorites in it. The Top Five kick ass! So Cusack has certainly been in some damn enjoyable movies, even though he prefers to not be a huge movie star.

As always, I’m ranking these based on the movie (not the performance). Say Anything would most definitely top the list if it was by performance but no movie can really ever top my number one on this list, which Cusack only had a small role in. So, here are My Top Ten John Cusack Movies:

The Rest That I’ve Seen:

20. Class
19. The Grifters
18. Hot Tub Time Machine
17. Eight Men Out
16. 2012
15. Adaptation
14. Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil
13. The Player
12. Identity
11. Serendipity

TOP TEN:

10. TIE: 1408 & Being John Malkovich

9. High Fidelity

8. Anastasia

7. Grosse Pointe Blank

6. Con Air

5. Better Off Dead

4. The Journey Of Natty Gann

3. Sixteen Candles

2. Say Anything…

1. Stand By Me

Saw But Don’t Remember Well Enough To Include In List Without Re-watching:
One Crazy Summer, Hot Pursuit, The Sure Thing, Tapeheads, America’s Sweethearts

Some I Haven’t Seen At All:
Grandview USA, Broadcast News, True Colors, Bullets Over Broadway, The Road To Wellville, The Thin Red Line, Pushing Tin, Runaway Jury, Must Love Dogs, Martian Child, Igor, The Paperboy, Maps To The Stars, Love & Mercy, Hot Tub Time Machine 2, Chi-Raq, Cell

Oh, Lloyd… *sigh*

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My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2016

Today I have my penultimate End-Of-Year List: My Top Ten Movies Watched At Home In 2016. I started by ranking My Twelve 2016 Blind Spot Movies then did a list of My Top Ten Books Read In 2016.

I’ll finish these last two days with movie lists. Tomorrow I’ll post My Top Ten Movies Of 2016 (movies I saw that were released this year in the UK). That list is always the most popular as the majority of people like reading about very current films. However, I always enjoy making this “Movies Watched At Home” list slightly more. It’s more varied and quite often contains better films overall as they’re from a variety of years plus I try to (force myself to) watch some classics each year. However, I have to say that this year has been a good year for new films & a lot of the 2016 films would make an amalgamated Top Ten List of absolutely every movie I watched this year. I love the word “amalgamated”…

But it’s easier to do two separate lists! So here are My Top Ten Movies Watched In 2016 (but not released in 2016). And, as I saw so many good ones this year, I’ll count down from 20. And, if that’s not enough for you, I’ve ranked & rated ALL 79 of them HERE. Ha! I’m sad. 😉

(Oh, I should also add that these are FIRST TIME watches only. I don’t count re-watches so things like the fantastic Freaks, which I re-watched & reviewed for the recent At The Circus Blogathon, aren’t included)

Honorable Mentions:

20. Magic
19. THX 1138
18. Turbo Kid
17. Running On Empty
16. Stories We Tell
15. Trick ‘r Treat
14. The Cat Returns
13. The Wind Rises
12. For A Few Dollars More
11. Play Misty For Me

Top Ten:

10. Wizards

9. Circle

8. Ikiru

7. Battle Royale

6. Natural Born Killers

5. Predestination

4. Space Station 76

3. Akira

2. The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

1. In Your Eyes

**Yep – I have quite a few classics here but my number one is a modern romance movie written by Joss Whedon. As you can tell from the rest, I’m not exactly a “girly” girl but I did love In Your Eyes. A romantic movie that worked & didn’t make me want to puke! And I was totally in love with the guy. How adorable is he in that picture? His character was such a sweetheart.

Also, I’m glad I managed to review most of my favorites this year (links above). I’m planning to do themed weeks (or months) in 2017 with those I’ve not yet reviewed. I’ll have a Studio Ghibli Week, an Akira Kurosawa Week, and possibly a month of animated films when I’ll review things like Wizards. Am looking forward to focusing on more non-Disney, non-Pixar animations in 2017.

See you tomorrow for my final post of 2016: My Top Ten Movies Released In 2016 (That I’ve managed to see, obviously. I can’t watch everything!). 🙂

My Blog’s January 2016 Stats

Happy February everyone! 🙂 Can you believe January is over?! Man, I hate January… Good Riddance!

I haven’t done one of these monthly “blog stats” posts in a while. I just always enjoy having a look at what posts got the most views and/or comments each month (usually not my favorite posts!). And, as always, I find the bizarre Search Terms amusing.

So first I’ll have a look at My Top Posts for January:

I’m happy that my top post by far was the one where I chose the 12 Blind Spot movies that I plan to (hopefully) watch & review throughout the year. I’m cutting back on blogging but that’s the one new project I’ve decided to attempt this year (and I’ve already watched two of them and reviewed one: An Education & Summer Wars).

I also got a scary number of hits on my very old Cast Of Labyrinth Then & Now post and my very short David Bowie tribute post. People do love a tribute post, I guess, as My Top Ten Alan Rickman Movies also got a lot of views. January was a sad month for celebrity losses. To be honest, I still can’t even really talk about Bowie without getting far more upset than I ever expected so let’s move on.

Since January is so depressing, I decided I’d go & watch that heartwarming Leonardo DiCaprio film with the big cuddly bear. I was surprised to see that my review for The Revenant got so many views. I apologize for not being able to take that review seriously! It was a very good movie and all that, but… You couldn’t drag me back for a second viewing.

There are two movies I really want to mention once more as I feel they deserve attention. I’ve already watched 14 movies in 2016 (is that excessive? well, it was January – it’s too cold to do anything else!). Anyway, of those 14 one is a new favorite while another is one of those very rare types of films that could, quite possibly, change someone’s life for the better (not mine, though – maybe if I’d seen it in any month other than cold & bleak January!!!).

The new favorite is a pretty obscure film called In Your Eyes, which did get quite a few views but not many comments as I suppose most people have never heard of it. I was therefore very happy when two bloggers gave it a watch because of my review and they both loved it too. It’s a surprisingly simple love story (rare for me – I’m not big on romance) about two people with a telepathic connection. It was written by Joss Whedon and it’s a good script with great characters and it just worked. For me, anyway… I’m now totally in love with the dude in it (Michael Stahl-David, in the above photo). *sigh*

The other movie, which isn’t high in my stats as I only just posted the review last Wednesday, is Room. I believe I told someone here that this is the type of movie that makes me wish I was a writer so I could put into words exactly how I felt about it. Well, I attempted to in my review but nothing I say could do it justice. Just…. Watch it. Please. If you’re a film lover, it’s one you need to see. I watched it last Tuesday and it’s still playing on my mind. It gives such a bizarre mixture of emotions – thinking about it now I don’t know whether to smile or burst into tears. It’s an extremely powerful film, probably more so than anything I’ve ever seen in my (many) years on this Earth.

Yikes. Let’s lighten the mood and look at My Top Search Terms for January:

Okay, pervy Googlers! Seriously – get over the girl in Odd Thomas in her panties and the girl in the short skirt in The Purge. And I’m sure all the boys DO love Mandy Lane nude scenes but you’ll find none on my blog (plus, I don’t actually remember a nude scene in that movie…).

I had no idea who the hell Ron Mlodzik was so I had to look him up. Looks like he was in David Cronenberg’s Shivers but I didn’t even mention his name in my review so I don’t know how that search led someone to my blog. Well, here you go – I think this is Ron Mlodzik?? That’s one way to clean glasses, I suppose:

I also had to look up Ken Duken to see who the heck he was. Oh – he was in the unexpectedly enjoyable Chalet Girl! I’m sorry to say I have no naked photos of him on this blog, though. It would certainly be better than nude photos of that Ron Mlodzik dude.

Finally, I’m happy that my post about the Steve Buscemi/Roger Daltrey episode of Tales From The Crypt (Forever Ambergris) got some hits as I had a lot of fun with that post.

I hope you all have a lovely February! It can’t be worse than January, right?! 🙂

In Your Eyes (2014) Review

In Your Eyes (2014)

Directed by Brin Hill

Written by Joss Whedon

Starring: Zoe Kazan, Michael Stahl-David, Nikki Reed, Steve Harris, Mark Feuerstein, Jennifer Grey

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDB)
Two seemingly unconnected souls from different corners of the United States make a telepathic bond that allows them to see, hear and feel the other’s experiences, creating a bond that apparently can’t be broken.

My Opinion:

How did this movie so completely pass me by? It’s fantastic. I’m usually pretty informed about this sort of thing but I don’t think I’ve even seen this one mentioned by any fellow bloggers. I added it to my Netflix list ages ago after reading what it was about & thinking “that sounds sort of interesting – I’ll watch that by myself one night if it’s one of those very rare occasions where I’m in the mood for some girly chick flick“. But it’s not just another girly chick flick… It’s GOOD. And, I never thought I’d say this but I think I have my new Say Anything. I think I have my new Lloyd Dobler! Here he is – the perfect boyfriend:

He’s so boy-next-door cute and so sweet in this movie. Yeah, I’m old now but I can still have a crush on a movie character! Anyway, I’m not one of those girls who’s a big fan of romantic movies. Most of them make me want to puke because the characters are so unbelievable & usually so goddamn attractive that they don’t seem real & I can’t relate to them in any way or buy into their love story. Not that Zoe Kazan & Michael Stahl-David are exactly unattractive but they felt like real people and I loved their unconventional romance.

So, like the synopsis says, these two have a telepathic connection that they feel at various points throughout their lives but which fully comes into effect one day when they’re adults. It allows them to see through each other’s eyes and to talk to each other whenever they want. I really loved the concept – it’s very simple yet works perfectly in this film (probably, again, mainly due to the characters being so fully believable and the film being well written).

Yes, this was written by Joss Whedon & I didn’t know that until I started watching it. I’m sure that has probably piqued the interest of those reading this who are fans of things like Buffy (I never watched that – I was too old for it) or Firefly (great show) or even The Cabin In The Woods. I’d say that this movie has the same sort of overall feel as all of those but is a little more grown-up (I’m not sure of the characters’ ages but I’m guessing around 30).

I liked that they didn’t spend ages explaining the “telepathic” thing. There was no need to. These are just two people with a great connection having chats & sharing their lives with each other the same way any good friends would in normal circumstances. I’m a big fan of good dialogue & characters that don’t feel fake or forced and I instantly bought into the way these two talked to each other as though they were just having a normal long distance chat on the phone with a good friend. It’s like any long distance romance movie, I suppose, but with a more unique twist and with characters I actually believed & cared about.

Summary:

I’ll wrap this up before I ramble on and just keep saying the same things over & over. What can I say? I loved this film. It’s rare that a romance works for me but, as with Say Anything as well, I guess that’s the difference a good writer and strong characters makes (and it certainly didn’t escape my notice that this movie shares its name with the Peter Gabriel song made so famous by my beloved Lloyd Dobler & his boom box). 

I won’t pretend there aren’t cliché moments (he’s a poor ex-con living in a trailer in sunny New Mexico, she’s a well-to-do doctor’s wife living in snowy New Hampshire) but it doesn’t matter when the movie is actually good. And the contrast between their two worlds was quite beautiful – there are so many lovely shots of New Mexico that I want to move there right now. Into a trailer with Michael Stahl-David’s character! But, seriously – don’t write this one off just because it’s a romance. I almost did and I’d have missed out on a new favorite if I had.

My Rating: 8/10