Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Dear internet, which movies should I watch?

We're out of stuff to watch on Netflix because we just can't get into the time-sucking High Art Series Television which is the entire tv/movie world at present, so we are returning to DVDs. What are your favorite movies, within the following parameters:
1. Must be available on DVD
2. Not horror movies, mafia movies, or other egregious blood and violence movies, especially involving violence to children, or movies directed by Woody Allen. Probably not sci-fi or avant-garde either.
3. Must have colors and sounds.
4. In short: relatively mainstream comedy and drama from the past 50 (stretchable to 80 if really good) years. Doesn't have to be American, but I think I've actually seen fewer American than international movies in my (very limited) movie-watching life, so my cultural literacy in this sphere could stand to be expanded. 


Andrew Stevens said...

So, just going with Hitchcock films which you may or may not have seen already, but should see if you haven't: Vertigo, Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, North by Northwest, Shadow of a Doubt, Rope, and Lifeboat.

Other films I think are terrific: The Lion in Winter, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon (though I do warn you that the first time I watched it, I almost shut it off after 15 or 20 minutes when it suddenly and dramatically got better and remained at that level for the rest of the film), The Bridge on the River Kwai, Sunset Boulevard, 12 Angry Men, Amadeus, To Kill a Mockingbird, My Fair Lady, The Apartment, High Noon, Fargo, Good Will Hunting, The African Queen, Double Indemnity, The Princess Bride, and The Third Man. I imagine you've heard of most or all of these movies, so I am just reminding you of their existence if you haven't seen them. I think all of them, even the "grimmer" ones, are all good fun. I've left off some of my more idiosyncratic tastes (I think).

It pains me to leave out Kubrick, but I can't think of anything appropriate given your expressed tastes. 2001: A Space Odyssey, but most people find the film too slow to appreciate nowadays.

Andrew Stevens said...

Oops. You said color. That leaves off Strangers on a Train, Shadow of a Doubt, Lifeboat, Casablanca, The Maltese Falcon, Sunset Boulevard, 12 Angry Men, The Apartment, Double Indemnity, and The Third Man. (I am just going off memory and I might be off by one or two either way.)

But I have to tell you that you'd be missing out.

Withywindle said...

Beverly Hills Cop. A Fish Called Wanda. Never Say Never Again. The Full Monty. Galaxy Quest. Demolition Man. Miss Congeniality. Roxanne. And for a bit of a stretch, the most directed film of all time, Moulin Rouge.

Andrew Stevens said...

Moulin Rouge is excellent and I recall really liking Roxanne. If you want a romantic comedy though, I'd probably go with Say Anything....

Miss Self-Important said...

Thank you! I have seen some but not all of these, but they're exactly the kind of thing I was looking for.

Andrew Stevens said...

I hope I haven't been discouraging your other commenters. I solemnly promise I won't critique anybody else's choices (other than Withywindle's, of course, but he knows from whence I come).

Withywindle said...

Schenectady. Definitely Schenectady.

Julia said...

In terms of recent movies, you might enjoy Boyhood, Love & Friendship, Brooklyn, and Inside Out, if you have not already seen them. Also, the Nice Guys, which has some violence and nudity, but is also really funny. And you might like A Serious Man. In terms of older movies, there’s The Searchers, The Great Escape, The Philadelphia Story and All About Eve, though some of those are in black and white. And this might break your sci-fi/fantasy rule, but if you have not seen Jurassic Park, Avatar, or Blade Runner, you might enjoy them.

Helen Andrews said...

The best comedy of the last fifty years is Grosse Pointe Blank; of all time, His Girl Friday.

Other comedies within your parameters:
State and Main
Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
In the Loop
[note: lots of swearing]
The Birdcage

I have heard it argued that In Bruges is a comedy.

On the dramatic side, I really think more people should watch Auto Focus, even though it is technically a movie about the crippling sex addiction of the star of Hogan's Heroes.

These two 55-minute TV plays are kind of obscure but both DVDs are available on Netflix, and they would make a great double-header, being thematically similar: Who Am I This Time (trailer) and Any Friend of Nicholas Nickleby Is a Friend of Mine (summary).

Miss Self-Important said...

Just because I don't like bloody violence doesn't mean I'm totally prude, peeps! Cursing is ok; I watch movies after the kid goes to bed.

Julia: I've seen some of these, will add the rest to list. But, Jurassic Park?

Helen: I have neither seen nor for the most part even heard of most of these, other than Grosse Pointe Blank. But I will look them up.

Andrew Stevens said...

I rarely think of comedies when considering the greatest movies, but I will second the endorsements of both Grosse Pointe Blank, though I haven't seen it since it was released and I don't know if my opinion would still hold up today, and His Girl Friday. For another Cusack comedy, I have an affection for Better Off Dead, but like Grosse Pointe Blank, I don't know how much is based on nostalgic affection or how well it has aged.

Julia said...

I really like Jurassic Park. I am not ashamed. Just remember, Gremlin, "life, uh, finds a way."