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John Sciacca Writes...

Features, Reviews and a Blog by John Sciacca

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Random Thoughts (Blog)

Top 10 List: Movies

Posted on March 10, 2010 at 11:35 AM

Whether inspired or angered by the Oscars, I've been thinking about movies quite a bit lately. My friend, Pierre, and I used to constantly hone and compare our lists of our personal Top 10 films, so I thought I'd post my most recent Top 10 list. Feel free to weigh in and add your own favorite films in the comments section. What did I miss? What do I need to see? Where do you think I was wrong? 

The films are listed in no particular order; #1 is no greater than #10. Also included is a particularly great quote from the film and a link to some video on You Tube. (Note: Resorted on 4/17/11 to be in alphabetical order...)

#1 The Abyss: Special Edition - Released 1989 Theatrically, Abyss was cut down and ended so abruptly you just felt cheated. Re-released on Laser Disc with like 45 minutes restored, this film is brilliant. The underwater photography is amazing, as is the making of doc that accompanies the DVD. If you haven't watched this movie or saw it in the theater only, get the DVD and check the SE cut.

Lindsey: Your gauge could be wrong, you drop your weights and start back now!

Virgil: [typing] Going to stay awhile

Lindsey: No, you won't stay there, do you hear me, you drop your weights! You can breathe *shallow*, do you hear me? Bud, please listen to me, *please*, goddammit, you dragged me back from the bottomless pit, you can't leave me here *alone* now, please... Oh god,Virgil, *please*... please...

Virgil: [typing] Dont cry baby. Knew this was one way ticket, but you know I had to come. Love you wife.


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#2 The Dead Poet's Society - Released 1989 You wanted to be a student at this school, and you wanted Mr. Keeting to be your teacher. And, oh God, you wanted to hope that you'd be one of the kids to stand on the desk at the end.

“’Oh, Captain, my Captain.’ Who knows what that comes from? Anybody? Not a clue. It’s from a poem by Walt Whitman. In this class you can either call me ‘Mr. Keeting’ or if you’re slightly more daring, ‘Oh,captain, my captain.’” 



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#3 Die Hard - Released 1988. This totally reinvented the action film genre. Non. Stop. Action. And Hans Gruber: Best Villian Ever!

"When they touch down, we'll blow the roof, they'll spend amonth sifting through rubble, and by the time they figure out what went wrong, we'll be sitting on a beach, earning twenty percent."

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#4 Ferris Bueller's Day Off - Released 1986 I was a sophomore in high school when this came out, and everyone wished they could be Ferris. So many great quotes and just John Hughes at the top of his game. And one of the first films that I saw where the fourth wall is broken.

Sloane: What are we going to do?

Ferris: The question isn't "what are we going to do," the question is "what aren't we going to do?"

Cameron: Please don't say we’re not going to take the car home. Please don't say we’re not going totake the car home. Please don't say we’re not going to take the car home.

Ferris: [to thecamera] If you had access to a car like this, would you take it back right away? Neither would I.


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#5 Field of Dreams - Released 1989 The end gets me every time. It makes you want to call your dad and tell him that you love him. And have a catch.

John Kinsella: Well, good night Ray.

Ray Kinsella: Good night, John.

[They shake hands and John begins to walk away]

Ray Kinsella: Hey...Dad? [choked up] You wanna have a catch?

John Kinsella: I'd like that.


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#6 Jaws - Released 1975 The acting and dialog in this film is just perfect, spot on. Every character is so believable and every scene offers something to the film. Who could see this and not be forever changed when going in the water?

“You know the thing about a shark? He’s got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. And when he comes at ya, he doesn’t seem to be livin’. Until he bites ya… So 1100 men went into the water, 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.”  

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#7 The Matrix - Released 1999 Between the marketing campaign and the special effects, this was another film that was just an overload for the senses. Bullet-time has been totally played out since, but Matrix invented it and wrapped it into a story that sucked you in from the get go.

"Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is. You have to see it for yourself….”

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#8 The Sting - Released 1973 Just such terrific chemistry between Redford and Newman and a with more twists and turns than The Usual Suspects.

Doyle Lonnegan: Your boss is quite a card player, Mr. Kelly; how does he do it?

Johnny Hooker: He cheats.

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 #9 Star Wars Trilogy Episodes 4 - 6  - Released 1977, 1980, 1983 It's my list, so I can lump all three of these films -- New Hope, Empire and Jedi -- into one film. If you don't like it, make you're own list.  Also, no quotes or clips for this. If you don't know what Star Wars is all about, then, I just don't know what else to say...

#10 Terminator 2: Judgement Day  - Released 1991 This movie redefined what special effects could do. You didn't dare blink for 2 hours for fear you'd miss something awesome, plus a sequel that was every bit as great as the original.

John Connor: "Jesus, you were gonna kill that guy!"

Terminator: "Of course; I'm a terminator."

We used this scene as a demo clip for years at Custom Theater...

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Honorable mentions....

The original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - Released 1971 Gene Wilder's performance was brilliant, unlike that abortion that Tim Burton remade with the scary/homo Johnny Depp character.

Forrest Gump - Released 1994. Such a great story, and I think one of the very first films I saw in the theater with Dana.

The Shawshank Redemption - Released 1994 This is how you make a Stephen King book into a movie. Terrific performances all around.

Lord of the Rings Trilogy - Released 2001, 2002, 2003 This was 9 hours of just terrific storytelling, and, really, probably should be the Top 10. I just don't know what to bump out....

And, of course, Raiders of the Lost Ark.

Categories: Mar 2010, Movies, Top 10 List