The B+ Movie Guide: Part XXX

In May of 2012, Colin said I should make a list of movies that need to be seen, because he felt there were huge gaps in what he’d seen, and wanted something to do. The idea was that I’d make up a list, as “homework” for him, and he’d use that as things to watch.

So we came up with a giant list of 500 movies that worked, and Colin went about finishing it. And now that it’s finished, we’re gonna write it up. Because you don’t watch a giant list of movies without documenting that you did it.

We’re going through the entire list, little by little, for posterity’s sake. And here’s the next set:

Deliverance (1972)

Mike:

I’ll spare you the gif. I think you guys know why this is here. (3)

Colin:

This is one movie I did NOT enjoy. I’m not going to call it a bad movie, but I can promise you I won’t be watching it again. Man oh man. If you’ve seen it, you know why. If not, you might want to just skip it and live on in happiness. Any desire I might have had for visiting the South evaporated long before I saw this movie; watching this was like putting the leftover desire residue in a microwave for two hours. 

The Godfather - 5

The Godfather (1972)

Mike:

I haven’t heard of this one. Is it any good? (1)

Colin:

This is the one with the mobsters, but not the one with Don Rickles. Right?

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

Mike:

When Marlon Brando tells you to get the butter, you get the butter. (3)

Colin:

Marlon Brando is sure something to watch. This is the kind of movie on the list that I didn’t necessarily enjoy so much as I accomplished. You just tread water for this whole movie, trying to stay with him. You don’t always succeed. Not every person likes to put on a movie that you have to work so hard to watch, but I think you need that now and again to remind you what’s out there that isn’t pre-chewed. Also, movie mashup: Last Tango in Paris When it Sizzles. Eh? Get at me about writing that script. 

The Poseidon Adventure (1972)

Mike:

Perhaps the quintessential disaster movie. It’s amazing. The cast is stacked, it has a big romantic love theme to it (all movies need a “love theme from”), and it’s just good fun movie-watching. (3)

Colin:

This is, among other things, the last movie we have on this list (I’m 99 percent sure, anyway) in which Shelley Winters dies because of water. That by itself is a sub-sub-sub-genre that’s represented by more films on this list than “Errol Flynn swashbucklers.” The only important thing you need to know about this movie is SPOILER ALERT that Ernest Borgnine lives. Which is coincidentally the universe my mind still lives in. A universe in which Ernest Borgnine is alive.

Sleuth (1972)

Mike:

If I had to pick 10 to 20 movies I would have been 100% sure Colin was going to love, this would have been on my list. Sometimes, you just know. This was one of those times. I don’t want to give too much away about this movie. There are only three actors in it. Michael Caine, Laurence Olivier, and one other guy who plays a cop midway through. Olivier is a mystery writer, and Caine is a hairdresser who is sleeping with Olivier’s wife. That’s all you need to know. The rest is cinematic perfection. (3)

Colin:

This movie. Seriously. This movie. When Mike knows, he knows. I just watched this a second time a few months ago to see if it was really as good as I remembered it from when I watched it for the list, and it was even better. I’m so jealous of people who get to watch this the first time. Pay attention to the cast list at the beginning, because — Mike kinda ruined it there, but they populate the list with fake actors to make you think that it’s this big cast. And it’s not. It’s just two guys giving a performance that everyone needs to see. I know I’m always saying, “Oh, see this movie, see this movie,” but this is up there in the top 10 movies that I would bet that people haven’t seen and would also like to make mandatory for viewing. 

American Graffiti - 5

American Graffiti (1973)

Mike:

This guy made Attack of the Clones. (2)

Colin:

This is sort of like Hard Day’s Night to me in that it defines a generation of young people by what examining the most important aspects of their lives through sort of mundane interactions. In this case, it’s the last night before a group of friends split up after high school in 1962 — hence the famous tagline, “Where were you in ’62?”

Kind of amazing to think that this was George Lucas, because as a movie, it’s pretty damn perfect. I mean, not entirely perfect, but very close. He succeeded in taking average sorts of people who certainly don’t have things figured out, following them for a night, and convincing you that the best time and place to be in the world is with them, at this moment. In that regard, I guess it has less in common with Hard Day’s Night and more in common with The Breakfast Club. It’s a group of kids who don’t really match up, but all bring something else to the table and spend the night crossing paths with one another.

I watch this movie for two things: the cars and the soundtrack. Both are awesome, both make you wish you were born in a different time until you remember that the internet is great.

Badlands (1973)

Mike:

Terrence Malick. It’s probably best to say everything the man has made is essential. But for this list, that’s only like three movies. So that’s easy. (Also, if the score for this movie reminds you of True Romance, it’s because they ripped it off for that.) (2)

Colin:

This is a movie about Martin Sheen picking up Sissy Spacek and then killing people. And Terrence Malick, so it looks nice. There’s not a whole lot else that you can say about it. If you have that brief synopsis and know Malick, you know what you’re in for, and that’s not bad.

Don’t Look Now (1973)

Mike:

It’s a really good family drama for 95% of it, and then out of nowhere it scares the shit out of you and scars you for life. Highly recommended. (3)

Colin:

No. Screw this movie. Screw this movie because it ruined Venice for me. And it ruined water. And the color red. There was a pretty graphic sex scene. But it ruined all those other things. I don’t want to talk about this movie. Mike said it scars you for life, and that applies to me.

the-exorcist

The Exorcist (1973)

Mike:

I was gonna put a gif on there, but honestly, let’s not. I want people who haven’t seen this to go in cold. I find that this is one of the most terrifying movies ever made. Friedkin accomplished such incredible things with this, technically. It’s really a perfect movie. (2)

Colin:

This was one of the biggest movies that I hadn’t seen yet before the list. It’s pretty iconic and referenced pretty much everywhere, so watching it for this list was great for me as the guy who people know as a movie fan but still hadn’t seen The Exorcist. That’s a major gap. So… I guess it exemplifies the list and why I wanted it in the first place. There I was in 2012, not having seen The Exorcist. Eesh. Now I can face all of you.

The Last Detail (1973)

Mike:

Nicholson is so good here. This is the first time he goes full Nicholson. Trust me on that. One of those perfect 70s movies. Also features the immortal line, “I am the motherfucking shore patrol, motherfucker!” (3)

Colin:

This movie’s title threw me because until I actually got the movies and watched them, I had nothing to go on but the spreadsheet I was using or whatever I already knew about them. The title “The Last Detail” sounded to me like someone was putting the finishing touches on something, or whatever. Could have been anything. A movie about an artist or a decorator or something. So I start watching and it’s Nicholson and Otis Young as petty officers in the Navy. Took me a good ten minutes before I realized, “OH, it’s the last DE-tail! Got it!” Nothing like late realizations to make you feel like a moron. The movie is great because he does go full Nicholson, with the yelling and the cursing and the booze and the pistol whipping. 

– – – – – – – – – –

Final Thoughts:

Mike:

Not sure about that Godfather movie, but the rest are on point.

Colin:

Just skip Deliverance and Don’t Look Now. Please skip them. They’re not bad movies, but please skip them. Everything else, knock yourselves out.

– – – – – – – – – –

More movies tomorrow.

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