Wednesday, April 21, 2004

5 Movies

(subtitled: My DVD wishlist, just in case you want to make me happy.)

... And that's not necessarily box-office hits or popular movies. Hell, everyone loves Star Wars, Alien, Godfather, or Indiana Jones. These are the less-known movies I like.

1. John Carpenter's The Thing (1982). Saw the last half of this movie last night on cable. Fantastic, paranoidal story of a group of scientists trapped in a storm-frozen camp in the middle of the Antartic with a shape-shifting alien hunting them. Never get tired watching this one. Based on the novelette "Who Goes There?" by renowned SF editor/ writer John H. Campbell.

2. Payback (1999). Based on a Donald Westlake (under the pseudonym of Richard Stark) novel, a thief is double-crossed by his partner and his wife and seeks revenge. The amount being contested? Small change of US$70,000. But its the principle that counts so bullets start flying and blood starts flowing. Also, the best movie ever to advertise cigarette smoking.

3. Dog Soldiers (2002). Another hunter-hunted movie, this time involving a pack of werewolves. Kind of like "Aliens" meets "An American Werewolf in London". A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness for a platoon of soldiers. At times very funny because when you're scared, all you can do is laugh. To quote, "There is no spoon."

4. Better Off Dead (1985). A teenager has to deal with his girlfriend dumping him among family crises, homicidal paper boys, and a rival skier. Slap-stick but at times something out of the "Pretty in Pink" or "Some Kind of Wonderful" genre. I loved this movie as a kid. And ironically enough, John Cusack as the lead adds heft to this lightweight movie.

5. Kicking and Screaming (1995). Following graduation, a handful of college students do nothing and talk about it wittily. The best talkie movie to come out during the late '90s; the fact that I just graduated at that time also helps. Likewise, the first time I heard this great song by Freedy Johnston, "Bad Reputation."

I probably might revise this if I come up with more good movies but as it is, this is the top five for me.

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