Friday, October 15, 2010

Flickchart at 90,000

I first did one of these at the end of July, when I reached 80,000 duels on Flickchart. For those of you not familiar with it, is where you can go to rank all the films you've ever seen, based on a series of head-to-head duels. Yes, it's as addictive as it sounds.

I pause in my Flickchart dueling every 10,000 duels to do an offline "snapshot" of where my films are ranked, and that's also about how often I reliably write about the site on my blog, with other occasional posts coming up as necessary.

I'm not going to write about Flickchart per se right now, except to do the same thing I did two-and-a-half months ago: Use my rankings as a way to show you the relative worth I accord the various films I've seen. What I did then was give you my top-ranked film, then every hundredth from there on out -- #100, #200, #300, etc., all the way until the end. And then give you my bottom-ranked film of all those I've seen. Which might only be ranked last because it has yet to have a head-to-head duel with a film that's worse than it.

Through the natural dueling process, the titles shift in their rankings, so very few of these should be films I discussed last time.

Go it? Without further ado:

1) Raising Arizona (1987, Joel & Ethan Coen). Holding in the top spot from last time. Yes, I like this film a lot.

100) Galaxy Quest (1999, Dean Parisot). If you are looking at the monitor with a funny expression right now, you shouldn't be. This is one of the all-time great parodies, and it also has heart. Spot on.

200) Kissing Jessica Stein (2002, Charles Herman-Wurmfeld). If you are looking at the monitor with a funny expression right now, you shouldn't be. This is one of the all-time great romantic comedies, and it also has heart. Really. Trust me.

300) Runaway Train (1986, Andrei Konchalovsky). This one I'm not so sure about it. I saw it ages ago and loved it. I definitely need to see it again. Needless to say, it's holding strong in my memory.

400) Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997, Jay Roach). Gotta give credit where credit it is due. However, my list is looking a little lightweight right now, so I'm hoping I'll get a weighty epic in here soon.

500) Rebecca (1940, Alfred Hitchcock). There we go. What I believe is Alfred Hitchcock's only Oscar winner for best picture is truly excellent, and I'm glad I watched it in a film class in high school, because it might have taken me quite awhile to discover it on my own.

600) Disney's The Kid (2000, Jon Turteltaub). On a rapid decline in the rankings from its way-too-high peak. See here for an explanation.

700) Cape Fear (1991, Martin Scorsese). This had quite an impact on me when I first saw it in the theater, but I haven't gone back to it since then. First Juliette Lewis movie, right?

800) In the Heat of the Night (1968, Norman Jewison). Second best picture winner on the list. To be honest, I don't remember it that well. I prefer Sidney Poitier's other best picture nominee from that year, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

900) The Escapist (2008, Rupert Wyatt). Surprisingly enjoyable prison-break movie starring Brian Cox. This could be about right for it.

1000) Throw Momma From the Train (1987, Danny DeVito). I like this movie, but not this much.

1100) Surrogates (2009, Jonathan Mostow). I like this movie, but not this much. Did not deserve the critical lambasting it received. Mostow can direct.

1200) Aeon Flux (2006, Karyn Kusama). Another film ranked a bit -- or maybe a lot -- too high, that was lambasted by critics. I went to a special advanced screening at the studio, though, so I may have liked it better because of that.

1300) Gladiator (2000, Ridley Scott). For some people, the third best picture winner on this list would be ranked too low. For me, it's probably too high.

1400) High Heels and Low Lifes (2001, Mel Smith). The theme continues. This is an enjoyable little gangster movie with two engaging female stars (Minnie Driver and Mary McCormack), but it doesn't really deserve to be ranked in the top half of all the films I've ever seen.

1500) The Tao of Steve (2000, Jenniphr Goodman). Again. I actually have a somewhat negative impression of this film based on my initial hopes for it, so this ranking is a bit too high. Pretty soon I'm going to make you think Flickchart is not actually a good way of ranking movies, if I don't get some more accurate rankings soon.

1600) The Hard Way (1991, John Badham). But not yet. I think I probably enjoyed this movie reasonably well, but it's forgettable.

1700) Blow (2001, Ted Demme). Just not as good of a Scorsese-style criminal epic as it should have been. Also, I saw it on a weekday afternoon when I was at a low point in terms of career and life prospects, so I remember feeling really glum that day. That couldn't have helped my impression of it.

1800) Night at the Museum (2006, Shawn Levy). About right. This is the rare example of a movie that's better in its second half than its first. A lot better, actually.

1900) The Hurt Locker (2009, Kathryn Bigelow). And now I've really stunned you. However, I've gone on record with my concerns about last year's best picture winner, the fourth on this list. You can check out my most recent perspective on this film here. Still, this ranking is too low.

2000) The Ref (1994, Ted Demme). Second Ted Demme movie on the list. I have to admit, I give myself credit for seeing this movie without being sure I actually saw the whole thing. Hence, I don't remember it very well.

2100) Everyone's Hero (2006, Christopher Reeve). Christopher Reeve gets credited for directing this animated movie about a talking baseball, even though he died long before it was released. Others picked up the slack after his death. It's animated pretty well but it's just not that good.

2200) Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead (1995, Gary Fleder). Tarantino wannabe in which every gangster has a silly nickname. No thanks.

2300) The Importance of Being Earnest (2002, Oliver Parker). A great example of how a perfectly fine film can get buried if it fails to have the right duels. This comedy of manners is just fine, and would beat a ton of the crap ahead of it if it ever got matched up with it. However, it's apparently been stuck dueling movies that were either way too good, or terrible. For some reason I remember that this was the only other film that opened the same weekend as Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones.

2400) Lucky Number Slevin (2006, Paul McGuigan). Unlucky. And, bad title.

2500) Notre Musique (2004, Jean-Luc Godard). Did you know Jean-Luc Godard made a movie as recently as 2004? Neither did I, before seeing this. Seeing this told me why I didn't know about it. Pretentious tedium. (For the record, Godard is actually still making movies -- he released one this year.)

2600) Mr. Jealousy (1997, Noah Baumbach). A rare misstep by Baumbach. Won't happen again.

2700) Trial and Error (1997, Jonathan Lynn). A silly courtroom comedy starring Cosmo Kramer. Needless to say, Lynn could not repeat the formula from his dynamite My Cousin Vinny.

2800) Flightplan (2005, Robert Schewnke). Preposterous. I award no points to Jodie Foster for her involvement in this.

2900) Deck the Halls (2006, John Whitesell). One of the dumbest Christmas movies I've ever seen, and that's really saying something.

3000) Head of State (2003, Chris Rock). Idiotic political satire in which Chris Rock becomes president and Bernie Mac becomes vice president. Need I say more? Okay, I will: This is the movie they point to as the best example of why Rock should stick to stand-up, where he's brilliant, rather than fiction films, where he always tanks.

3044) Lord of War (2004, Andrew Niccol). Sorry, Lord of War, you lose again. Still last. Which just means none of the last 10,000 duels were between this and a movie it could beat. But that'll happen eventually.

Funny I didn't notice this last time -- Nicolas Cage is in both my top-ranked and bottom-ranked films.

I can't believe I'm only 10,000 duels from 100,000. Stay tuned for something really special when that comes around ...

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