Retrospective: IMDb #250-200

Fifty films down, two hundred to go. It’s depressing when you dwell on the big picture, like knowing we’ll all die one day. However, we’re a milestone here, even if it’s the first milestone of an ultramarathon, run in full armor during a lightning storm. With every fifty, I’ll recount the movies that left the deepest personal impact. It’s … Read more

IMDb #200: 8 1/2 (1963)

If movies inject fantasy with reality, movies about movie-making should inject reality with fantasy. Using this logic, Italian auteur Federico Fellini sketches a director’s plight against the backdrop of his deranged imagination. This guy, Guido, has made great movies. Problem: he’s out of ideas. He’s still making a movie, but nobody knows what it’s about, … Read more

IMDb #201: Donnie Darko (2001)

There are movies that make you think, “I’m not high/buzzed/stoned enough for this shit.” Then there’s Donnie Darko, which does all three for you. It’s aggressively bizarre, intelligently crass, absurdly intricate. But being wildly entertaining cements its status as a cult classic. How to summarize madness? Our titular hero’s an atypical troubled teen, too smart for … Read more

IMDb #202: Strangers on a Train (1951)

So two guys meet on a train — you might have guessed that part. One guy, named Guy, is a pro tennis player. The other’s a professional creep. It’s obvious, by the tacky lobster tie and monogrammed tie clip. The pushy jerk displays a disturbingly comprehensive knowledge of the athlete’s marital indiscretions. The pending divorce, the … Read more

IMDb #203: X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014)

Among the deluge of comic book movies, few merit the Top 250. This entry squeaks in via its star-spangled cast, Nazism parallels, and tight-blue-bodysuit Jennifer Lawrence. (Don’t fret, fella-fanciers; for you, there’s a Huge Jacked Man.) In a generically bleak dystopia, mighty morphing robots, which copy mutant abilities, rule the world from needlessly coffin-shaped dropships. A handful of … Read more

IMDb #204: Infernal Affairs (2002)

Ignore the title’s dumb pun. This is no wacky Jackie Chan cop comedy about a goofy Chinese-American officer who goes to hell to liberate his buddies from the devil’s clutches via kung-fu and seducing Lucifer’s hot girlfriend. Instead, we follow two double lives. One, a young cop tasked to infiltrate a Hong Kong drug cartel — for ten years. … Read more

IMDb #205: Jaws (1975)

This summer blockbuster cancelled millions of beach trips, indirectly murdered millions of sharks, and garnered millions of dollars. Thank Stephen Spielberg’s crappy shark prop, John Williams’s unforgettable score, and the forgettable source novel. We begin with a teen beach party celebrating bonfires and seventies hairstyles. Amorous shenanigans go awry, and a skinny-dipping waif dies theatrically. When the authorities … Read more

IMDb #206: Stalker (1979)

A writer, a professor, and the titular Stalker venture into the Zone, a mysterious quarantined locale like the Chernobyl disaster area except afflicted with *space magic*. The Zone allegedly grants wishes, such as colorizing grainy black-and-white Soviet Russia like a depressing totalitarian Oz. As the nameless characters traverse the grim natural beauty, the Stalker, a glorified tour … Read more

IMDb #207: High Noon (1952)

When the West was Wild, a freshly wed U.S. Marshal takes up the tin star one last time. Why? To defend his life, his wife, and a whole town of ungrateful bastards. Gary Cooper just married Grace Kelly, now he pulls a George Bailey and postpones the honeymoon to get right back to work. Why? Because he did … Read more

IMDb #208: Twelve Monkeys (2005)

Bruce Willis time-travels from (fabulously grungy) underground 2030s Philadelphia to warn the damnfools in the 1990s of an impending epidemic. Being professedly rational damnfools, they consign him to a mental hospital with paranoid schizophrenic Brad Pitt. We witness some incredible acting and the vigorous scrubbing of Bruce Willis’s soapy buttocks. Our hero’s questionable sanity becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Understandably, since he gets … Read more