Entertainment Weekly 1/11/02 - THE 100 MUST-SEE DVDs

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by David Lambert, Jan 13, 2002.

  1. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    I didn't see anyone else post this, so I figured I would.
    I don't subscribe to EW (not for years), but my wife's best friend does. She knows of our love for the format, so she gave us her subscription issue when she was done with it:
    [​IMG]
    The cover says: Do You Really Know Movies? THE 100 MUST-SEE DVDs How To Build The Perfect Collection
    The blurb from the table of contents:
     
  2. Greg_Y

    Greg_Y Screenwriter

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    It's not a bad feature. I was pleasantly surprised. Considering that they ran a feature a year or so back about the top DVDs in regards to video, audio and extras, this article makes for a nice comparison. Sure, there are some older, non-anamorphic lackluster discs on there (Pulp Fiction!), but, as a starting point, it's a welcome feature.
     
  3. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    David,
    Thanks for the info. I'll look into it. I'm a sucker for these lists as long as they're decent.
    BTW, haven't seen your weekly preview of prices for next Tuesday. Hope you're doing one. Roots in the Best Buy flyer is the same price as the on-line stores (no great deal), so I'm hoping you'll find something better. [​IMG]
     
  4. EricK

    EricK Second Unit

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    I read this article too. In terms of the movies listed, the article does list many very, very good dvd's to own. However I think they either could have expanded the list to 200 dvd's or reworked the list to include some great movies that weren't discussed.

    As David said the article is definitely more "pop" based then critical.

    Eric.
     
  5. Bill Crosthwait

    Bill Crosthwait Second Unit

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    Did "Flash Gordon (1980)" make the list? [​IMG]
     
  6. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    Bill - no. [​IMG]
    George - doing one late today. I usually do it after breakfast, but today it's after dinner. Reason is that my son is having minor surgery on Tuesday (undescended testicle), and we spent the day playing and shopping for toys and movies that don't require straining of stitches in the pelvic area.
    I know...too much information! [​IMG]
     
  7. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I actually thought it was a good list. Sure it left off a lot of great films like The Apartment, but as a starting point for a newbie (which is how it's written), it's pretty good. How many people are there even here that haven't seen any movies before 1970 and think black & white (not to mention silent) is a crime.

     
  8. Dave Gilbert

    Dave Gilbert Second Unit

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    I bought this without skimming first and was a little disappointed. While breaking it down by decade does allow for the inclusion of some great, rarely-seen films, it excludes a lot of more recent DVDs that have both great films on them, and that provide excellent supplimentals.
    ...or maybe I'm just sore that Gladiator was one of the DVDs picked to represent the 2000s. [​IMG] I never saw what all the hype was about with this one. It was OK, but it certainly didn't deserve any Oscars.
     
  9. Dwayne

    Dwayne Supporting Actor

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    When they listed Gladiator, did they mention anything about how watching it in widescreen is like watching the movie with a football helmet on? [​IMG]
     
  10. Tim RH

    Tim RH Second Unit

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    I liked the list quite a bit. It's definately a good starter's guide for any new film fan. A much better list than their previous 50 Best DVDs one, IMHO. I had never even heard of THE BLUE ANGEL before reading about it on the list. I thought that the Decalogue shouldn't have been on there though, because it's not really a movie.
     
  11. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    George Kaplan, let's agree to disagree on that. There are many, MANY films on that list are excellent, and I think that there aren't any terrible films on the list and just a few that are "okay" rather than excellent (Gladiator being a good example, to me). It's a solid list.
    But, still more "popular" than "critical". Inclusion of the aforementioned Gladiator, and Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, as well as Top Gun (one of my faves), definately make the list bend that way.
    Moreover, most of the titles on your list, while excellent films, are also popular films, especially among the average person who's a "film expert" to his buds, but hasn't done his own research on the matter...just mimicks what guys like Ebert and Maltin say.
    Examples from your list:
    • Nosferatu
      Citizen Kane
      Casablanca
      The Big Sleep
      High Noon
      On the Waterfront
      Seven Samurai
      Some Like It Hot
      Psycho
      Rear Window
      Vertigo
      North by Northwest
      Lawrence of Arabia
      Goldfinger
      The Graduate
      The Good, The Bad & the Ugly
      The French Connection
      The Godfather
      Taxi Driver
      Goodfellas
      Chinatown
      Monty Python & the Holy Grail
      Apocalypse Now
      Blade Runner
      The Terminator
      Platoon
      The Silence of the Lambs
      Pulp Fiction
      Toy Story
      L.A. Confidential
      The Sixth Sense
      Being John Malkovich
      Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
    Many of the above seem to show up on just about ANYBODY'S list of top films of all time...it doesn't take much to duplicate these on a new list. THAT'S what I mean by "popular".
    Mind you, they show up time and again because they are EXCELLENT FILMS. It wasn't meant to be an offensive statement. It was just meant to express the idea that there isn't much new here for the average veteran HTFer, as we've mostly been exposed to these titles.
    I posted the note so that those who AREN'T familiar with such titles could read the article and learn about them. For example, *I* wasn't familiar with many of the silents in the article...it was educational for me, and I might go out and seek them.
    I don't know if these explanations are coherant. I hope the gist got across. Thanks,
     
  12. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    The thing that really impressed me about the list, is their devoting the "important filmaker of the decade" focus section to Powell and Pressburger. I used the article to point out to my local library that they should be getting all those criterions on dvd, i've tried to convince them before, now maybe they'll listen, hopefully. :p

    other director focus

    silent: Keaton and Chaplin

    30's: Disney

    40's: Powell and Pressburger

    50's: Hitchcock

    60's: Kubrick

    70's: Scorsese

    80's: Hughes

    90's: Woo

    00's: Soderbergh
     
  13. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    David,
    First I hope I'm not misunderstanding or misrepresenting you.
    I think I understand what you're saying. If so, then you are using the word popular in kind of a strange way. [​IMG]Usually when people talk about popular as opposed to critically acclaimed they mean popular among the masses. I doubt very much if most Americans have even heard of Nosferatu, much less seen it.
    It seems like when you say popular vs. critical, you mean "a popular critical choice" vs. "a more unusual critical choice". In that sense I guess I agree, but I see nothing wrong with popular critical choices such as Citizen Kane, especially when trying to educate the novice.
    I'm curious though, what are the more 'critical' choices that you would have rather seen on the list? And do you think they'd be good for a list geared towards novices, or is part of your problem with the list that you rather it weren't geared towards novices?
     
  14. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    George K, Dave can post his own answer (may be after the weekly sales list[​IMG] ), but here is my interpretation of what the "popular" list means. It means watch these movies so you will be safe in cocktail parties and small talks[​IMG] . Now, how does it differ from say a real "serious" movie lovers' list?? Pick a couple of popular choices: Bergman's Seven Seal and Fellini's 8 1/2, among Bergman and Fellini fans there are real serious discussions (even here in the forums from time to time) about the merits of these films, and it is not a minute minority that thinks these films are way over rated (note these are among serious fans that studies the masters). Now why these two? Well these are the best known, or aka you are well covered at small talks in cocktail parties. As to Nosferatu, it's totally cool to say you've seen the grandfather of all them Dracula movies. Some of the movies that "may" be in a "seriosu" critic's list? Straight Time, The Great Northfield Minnesota Raid, Rififi,.., in other words, movies that don't necessary show up all the time as "big time classics", but if you bring it up with critics or movie fanatics, they will more than likely say,"What a great movie!!!"
     
  15. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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    George, Steve_Ch...I will keep this answer short. I went to bed quickly last night after posting the Weekly Roundup and now need to get ready for work. I doubt I post much until maybe Wednesday, because of my son's surgery tomorrow.
    George, you're on the right track. Steve_Ch, you ALMOST got my meaning 100%...one necessary idea you left out.
    That the end-user/owner has watched/researched this himself and made up their own mind on it, not just blindly following the masses. Not just enjoying it for the sake of enjoying a film (nothing wrong with that, but then "everything" is a "classic" to "somebody" [​IMG] ).
    I've never seen Casablanca all the way through. I can acknowledge that everyone else thinks it's a classic. I know it's probably an enjoyable film; it's certainly one of my wife's favorites, and I just got it for her for Christmas. We'll watch it together soon. But just the act of me watching it and enjoying it shouldn't make it, per DAVID LAMBERT, a classic. I should really dig into the film, understand it, and explore it. Research it. THEN it's okay if I agree with everyone and decide it's a classic.
    On the other hand, if *I* made that EW 100 list, I might've put LadyHawke on that list. To me, IT is a true classic, with depth and meanings and metaphors and not just blacks and whites but enormous shades of gray. A fantastic, very underappreciated film, which should be taught in film school.
    Does that make a complicated subject - to me anyway - any clearer? A loooong time ago I dated a girl named Bonnie, who instilled this attitude in me concerning the difference between "good music" (her example: The Dead Kennedys) and "pop music" (like, say, Michael Jackson). I decided in the end that I like "pop *music*", but "good films". [​IMG]
     
  16. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    I think we're all basically in agreement about the various issues here. Using a music analogy, most of my favorite Beatle songs are lesser known ones (e.g., I Should Have Known Better). Nevertheless, if I see a list that has the more standard choices, I certainly understand that.
    I guess my only point is that I don't think these lists are designed to choose for you. I think they're designed to point you in a given direction. There was a time when I hadn't seen Citizen Kane, The Apartment, Casablanca, The Thin Man, The African Queen, etc. and having lists push me to see them was a good thing. Even the films on those lists that I didn't enjoy (such as Taxi Driver and Raging Bull) are ones I'm glad I've seen.
    If this EW list had excluded Citizen Kane and Casablanca and the Godfather I think that would be even worse. But having said that, I'd actually like a list of the lesser-known classics designed to give you that deeper look. Of course, if you go down too deep, then they might no longer be classics. [​IMG] Is the 39 Steps uncommon enough? Rope? Lifeboat? The Trouble With Harry? If you have to move to something like Jamaica Inn you've gone too deep in my opinion. [​IMG]
    Does anyone know of such lists? I think there's a Sight & Sound alternative to the AFI 100 that is more obscure. I also just bought a book called the A list which has a number of such films, but also includes some of the more popular ones, so I guess that doesn't qualify.
     
  17. David Lambert

    David Lambert Executive Producer

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  18. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    In a strange way, I always thought that some of the "famous classics"/"must see" are victims of their own success. Again, take Seven Seal and 8 1/2, these were REALLY famous and well regarded among the elite, at a time when serious movies are supposed to be "SERIOUS" (one is not supposed to enjoy them, but, instead, to agonised over them for the meaning of life[​IMG] ). Since then, both Bergman and Fellini had made very different and wonderful films, a lot of them are more light hearted, easier to digest and in many ways better, but those "lists" are still forever stick to the tried and true Seven Seal and 8 1/2. It's kind of the if you are a real driver, you must drive a stick shift mentallity.
    For the record, I've watched Seven Seal a number of times over the last 30 years, and I think it's the ONLY movie I find incredibly boring as a teenager, middle ager, and member of AARP. I do love 8 1/2, did not understand it as a teenager, but it grew on me over the years.
     
  19. Steve_Ch

    Steve_Ch Supporting Actor

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    >>My main point was that I was publishing the info about this article in a forum full of lotsa veterans, when it was really aimed at the rookies.
     

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