Monday Morning Movie Review: Portly’s Top Ten Best Films: Honorable Mentions

Before revealing our #1 picks on our respective lists, Ponty and I are offering some honorable mentions.  These are films that, for various reasons, did not make our lists, but could have done so.

I think Ponty largely had his list worked out in advance, with tweaks and revisions along the way.  My approach was far less organized, and other than a few specific films and their slots, I largely came up with my picks week-to-week.  I stand by all of them, but I’d probably have put Krull (1983) in this honorable mentions post, if it showed up at all.  I really like the movie, but there are far better contenders out there.

Inevitably, I simply forgot about films that I sincerely love, but whose existences bafflingly slipped my mind.  I can only chalk it up to my own laziness and a lack of forethought and planning.

Of course, that is the peril of list-making of this sort:  I imagine if Ponty and I made these lists ten different times, we’d come up with wildly different selections and orders each time—at least, I think I would.  Sure, The Thing (1982) and Big Trouble in Little China (1986) would still be on the lists, as would some others, but who knows what might be floating through my mind a second, third, fourth, or tenth time around?

Have no fear, though—if the long list-making has been wearying t o you, Ponty and I have no plans to do more for awhile.  He’s hoping to spend some time working on his novel, and there are tons of movies—good, bad, and trashy—that I’ve been sitting on for several months now, and I’m eager to get back to reviewing whatever random garbage I consumed that week.

Perhaps one day we’ll take another stab at it—or maybe Audre Myers will grace us with her Top Ten picks.

But enough of my endless yammering and boring speculations.  On to the movies!

Here are my Honorable Mentions (in no particular order):

  • Blade Runner (1982) – I know there are about 800 different cuts of this film, and I have no idea which cuts I’ve seen and which I haven’t.  I know it’s controversial, but I prefer the cuts with the Deckard’s voiceover, as it captures the neo noir feel of the flick the best (and as someone who published a book of absurdist noir detective stories, I’m partial in that direction).  Regardless, Blade Runner creates a compelling and mysterious near-future in which the line between humanity and machines is blurred.
  • Ghostbusters (1984) – Holy crap—how could I have forgotten Ghosbusters?  At one point, this flick was my favorite film of all time.  I’d not put in that slot now, but I should have put it earlier on the list.  Talk about a lightning-in-a-bottle film:  comedy, ghosts, and a perfect cast.
  • Falling Down (1993) – Man, what a flick!  Nothing encapsulates the struggles of modernity better than Falling Down.  It succeeds in creating a lead character who is sympathetic because he goes on a killing spree through Los Angeles.  It’s also a powerful cautionary tale about how even the good guy can turn bad.
  • The Shining (1980) – The Shining is the most iconic horror film of all time for a reason.  It’s a ghost story; it’s a tale of childhood (sexual?) trauma; it’s a psychological thriller.  But it’s more than the sum of its parts; the film is almost sui generis.  Stanley Kubrick drove Shelley Duvall to a nervous breakdown to get the performance we see on the screen.
  • Eyes Wide Shut (1999) – Another Kubrick film—it’s hard to believe none of his made my list—Eyes Wide Shut hits a lot of the right notes for me:  weird elite sex cult (probably real); complex moral questions; and lots of character development.  Tom Cruise, as always, gives an excellent performance as the respectable, upper-middle class doctor whose curiosity nearly costs him his life.
  • Rear Window (1954) – Ponty wrote an excellent review of this film, and that inspired me to include it here.  I remember seeing Rear Window as a teenager, and the sheer suspense of it was suffocating—in a good way.
  • Psycho (1960) – Another Hitchcock classic, one that spawned a thousand copycats about troubled serial killers with mommy issues, Psycho should be on any list of great films.
  • American Psycho (2000) – Speaking of PsychoAmerican Psycho is one of those flicks I come back to again and again.  The empty materialism of the C-suite meets with the sociopath Patrick Bateman, who may or may not be a serial killer.  I think we all breathed a sigh of relief when Chloë Sevigny escapes Bateman’s apartment—totally unaware she ever in danger—without a nail shot through her head.  Yikes!  And who can forget the ATM ordering Bateman “FEED ME A STRAY CAT”?  American Psycho, indeed.
  • Hot Fuzz (2007) – Ponty gave Shaun of the Dead (2004) a thorough treatment on his list, so I’ll honorably mention the second of the Cornetto trilogy here:  Hot Fuzz.  It takes all of the tropes and fantasies of modern buddy cop action flicks and puts them to good comedic (and dramatic!) effect as a London cop reassigned to a small country shire must bring down a Lovecraftian cult with his bumbling sidekick.  Instant classic.
  • The Godfather (1972) – I love gangster movies, but neglected to put this masterpiece on my list.  Forgive me, Godfather.

Honorable Mention Honorable Mention – Star Wars: A New Hope (1977) – One more to round out my list of films above—Star Wars, the Star Wars, the one that started it all.  It’s still one of my favorite films of all time, and while it moves a bit more slowly than I remember, it takes its time to build a world and its characters.  That pays off in the film itself and down the line.  I couldn’t imagine a world without it.

Happy Viewing!



14 thoughts on “Monday Morning Movie Review: Portly’s Top Ten Best Films: Honorable Mentions

  1. Great fun, reading your list. In reading it, this all of sudden jumped to mind.

    This movie is frightening on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin. It’s an outstanding movie that you want to see again – but don’t have the emotional strength to do so.

    LOL! Gives me the creeps just watching the clips, lol! Here’s one:

    Liked by 2 people

    • The Hitcher’s a great movie. You never find out why Hauer is doing what he’s doing but you can make a few educated guesses.

      I do like those films, where you have someone terrorising someone else but you never find out why. F (2010) is another, though the Americans named it The Expelled, even though the motives or killers are never seen and much of that is guesswork.

      One of the best for that sort of thing is In Fear (2013), with Allen Leech (Tom Branson from Downton Abbey) as the unknown assailant. If neither of you have seen it, give it a go. F too.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Some interesting choices there mate. Blade Runner and The Godfather are both excellent films (I do prefer Godfather Part 2 though, if only for the rise of Michael Corleone) and Hot Fuzz will probably make mine too. Eyes Wide Shut, I haven’t seen and have no intention to. Kubrick tended to work better when he had a project he could really sink his teeth into. From what I understand, he had all sorts of problems making that film and as for Nicole Kidman as a sex symbol, I have as much trouble with that as I do Glenn Close being an object of desire in 80s films.

    Falling Down is superb. I think the Drinker did a take on that a while ago. I think a lot of people could watch that film and feel something for Michael Douglas’s character. After all, who hasn’t felt, at some point, anger to the point where everything you’ve suppressed over the years inevitably comes pouring out into one great rant?

    You’re probably right about the lists though I’m sure my number one would still be the same no matter how many times we submitted movies for review. I wasn’t as organised on this as you might think, writing reviews for some films before changing my mind and opting for something else. The first category on my honourable mentions, foreign films, will point out some of the films that very nearly made it. This was a tough job.

    Liked by 3 people

      • I’m always saying that vigilante ‘justice’ is never the right path. I remember reading a horrible story from a few years ago where a mentally challenged man was brutally killed by neighbours who thought him a kiddy fiddler. Turned out he wasn’t and I really hope those who killed him will feel what they’ve done forever.

        That said, it’s difficult to watch what is happening in our countries at the moment and the ‘people’ who are getting away with it.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Off topic.

    If Tina and I ever win the lottery, we’re sending PS5s to you and Audre. Audre’s with Little Nightmares 1 and 2 and yours with Ghosts of Tsushima. I bought it for Tina for her birthday but we didn’t start playing it until last week because the PS4 needed repair.

    The graphics are stunning but the gameplay and the stories are excellent. It’s what you’d expect from 13th century Japan; betrayal, honour and some really cool samuri battles. I’ll do a review once we’ve completed it but so far so good. The only gripe I have against it is the odd ‘message.’ You know what I mean. Those sorts of things didn’t occur in those times but the game makers are all at it now, slipping in the tiniest support for communities that at that time would have kept their mouths shut.

    Liked by 2 people

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