Monthly Archives: September 2012

Alaina Rants On: Empire Magazine’s “Top” 500 Movies of All Time*

So while I’ve lived in my new apartment for nearly a month (huzzah!), I am still deficient on both internets and cable.  (Sidebar: I did not realize that the internet was able to be pluralized.  Huh.  Thanks, MS Word, for teaching me something new!)

Anyway.  While I’m waiting for WiFi — and to gather the patience needed to watch a movie on my TV for the blog, knowing that the remotes don’t work completely, so any pausing will have to be done by punching the button on the TV itself, not the remote — let’s discuss something I’ve wanted to bitch/talk about for a while, but never had the opportunity.

So let’s take a moment to discuss the Empire magazine’s list of the Top 500 Movies of All Time.

Firstly, a slight disclaimer: this list was compiled back in 2008, so The Hangover and The Avengers haven’t had a chance to make the list yet (although hey, Empire?  I know which ones those can replace, easy).  Also, I think it’s important to recognize that even though I will vociferously be defending some movies and being very hurtful towards others, the best part about movies is that your mileage may vary.

I mean, I remember watching No Country for Old Men (#228).  I was still living with my parents at the time — or had I just moved?  Was I visiting?  Y’know, I can’t be bothered to go look up when that movie came out, mainly because REASONS.  Anyway, I was watching it with my parents in their house.  They had rented it from Netflix or borrowed it from somebody — regardless, it was a DVD, not in the theatre.  And it was after it had won all the Oscars, and the buzz had yet to fade.  I can remember watching it in our darkened living room — I was on the end of the couch, Dad was on the floor, and Mom was in her armchair.  We had watched Josh Brolin get shot to shit and Javier Bardem escaped with … whoever played the woman, again, too lazy, and then the ending with Tommy Lee Jones talking about a dream that had nothing to do with the movie, and then it just fucking ended.

Mom and Dad made some confused noise, but I definitely remember myself blurting out, like I tend to do: “How the fuck did that win Best Picture?!”  For me, the ending ruined the movie, which I hadn’t liked all that much to begin with.  It felt completely disjointed from what had gone before, did not give me any sense of closure, and put me in a sour mood.

I also remember discussing my opinion of the movie with Johnny O, and he asked me if I’d ever read the novel, and tried to tell me that reading it would change my mind about the movie.  But for me, that was a poor point to make, because based on the movie, I was never going to want to read the novel.  It’s the same way that, no matter how much I love Peter O’Toole (a lot), I will never watch Lord Jim because I fucking HATED reading that book in high school.

So anyway – that’s just a prime example of me not really liking a movie that everyone else (i.e., the Hollywood Elite or whatnot) really liked.  I just didn’t get the hype.  Most likely for the same reason that I can’t understand how Brad can watch Shawshank to the end, every time he finds it on TV.  Every.  Time.  I just — I don’t get it!  I swear it has something to do with the Y-Chromosome.

So one night, Sarah was reading the Empire list and tweeting about it, and then she sent me the link, and because I am above all a masochist, I actually transcribed the list to a) see how many I’d seen, b) see how many I needed to add to my list, and c) remember to bitch about the order of things later.

So A): I have seen 99 out of 500 movies.  Holy crap — that’s higher than I thought it was.  And also, dangit!  I couldn’t have seen one more freaking movie?  B): Uh, I’m not going to count that, because that would take forever, and forever I don’t have.

But oh — the bitching.

First of all, Back to the Future, Part II is only #498?  Really?  I love that movie!  I mean, as much as I love the entire trilogy, I can understand why Part III didn’t rate, but I believe that Part II is a better movie than, say, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (#475 — and I *heart* Dead Man’s Chest).

Oh hey, let’s talk about another beloved trilogy, the Indiana Jones Trilogy.  Can someone explain this to me?  In what UNIVERSE is Kingdom of the Crystal Skull rated HIGHER than Glengarry Glen Ross?!  I have been told by no less than three dear, trusted people that I need to see Glengarry Glen Ross.  You know how many people have told me I need to see Kingdom of the Crystal Skull?  NOBODY, BECAUSE CRYSTAL SKULL BLOWS.  I saw Crystal Skull in theatres, and Steven Spielberg STILL OWES ME TEN DOLLARS.

In keeping with Indiana Jones, to whom I aspire to be (seriously, someday I’m going to get business cards that proclaim me to be an Obtainer of Rare Antiquities): How is Temple of Doom better than Last Crusade?  Willie Whatserface is AWFUL, and only cast because she was boinking Spielberg at the time (are they still married?  Do I care?), with less than zero chemistry with Indy; Short Round is cute but also somehow a painful stereotype; there are SNAKES IN THE MONKEY BRAINS, which is even worse than the Well of Lost Souls, because I EXPECT snakes in dark, creepy places, NOT AT DINNER … it’s just bad, guys!  Last Crusade has Indiy fighting Nazis again, and his dad is Sean Motherfucking Connery!  INDY’S DAD IS JAMES BOND: DISCUSS.  And yeah, Indy gets blindsided by Ilsa, not realizing she’s a Nazi, but it’s a better story!  Indy’s back searching for authentic relics, not stones in Asia.  I just — ACK.

Let’s see, what else pissed me off?  OH, RIGHT.  Look, I love Anchorman.  A lot.  Too much, some people have told me.  I have no shame about it.  Believe me when I tell you that I will be attending the midnight release of Anchorman 2 next year.  If I had internets (and better graphic programs), I would have submitted a still of Ron Burgandy walking his erection off, shouting “DON’T ACT LIKE YOU’RE NOT IMPRESSED” with the picture of McKayla Being Not Impressed in the background.  How has no one thought of that yet!?

But regardless of my love of Anchorman, I don’t think I would have rated it #113.  I mean, really?  That high?  Higher than Duck Soup?  Higher than Blazing Saddles?  Really?  Y’all rate Veronica Corningstone asking Ron to do her on a magical rainbow higher than Lily Von Shtupp singing about her pelvis being kaput?  Seriously?!

AND DON’T START ME ON ALL ABOUT EVE!  Movie of my heart, a classic for all time, with the best dialogue and wit that I think I’ve ever seen in a movie: ranked at #347.  THREE FORTY SEVEN.  Transformers was ranked about All About Eve.  THE REVENGE OF THE SITH WAS RANKED ABOVE ALL ABOUT EVE.  WHAT THE EVERLOVING FUCK.


Finally, I leave this entry (and my somehow fly-infested corner of the Freeport Starbucks, what the fuck) with this: the Top Ten, According to Empire.

10. Fight Club (seen it)
9. Pulp Fiction (on the list)
8. Singin’ in the Rain (seriously?)
7. Apocalypse Now
6. Goodfellas

So now I’m wracking my brain, trying to figure out what would be the top five.  I recognize I hadn’t seen Empire Strikes Back, or The Godfather … at which point I say this:


5. Jaws
4. The Shawshank Redemption (Caroline the Netbook trembled in relief)
3. The Empire Strikes Back
2. Raiders of the Lost Ark (woo hoo!!  Someone got one right!)
1. The Godfather

So at some point, when I’m not stealing WiFi like a boss, I’ll update the Master List.  But that should be rant enough for now.

Leave a comment

Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Alaina Rants On