Penultimate. Isn't that a great word? It almost carries its own dramatic echo. Or maybe that's just inside my head. Sure, I could have just said, "the next to last list," but I think one should use a word like penultimate whenever the opportunity presents itself.
So, here are the penultimate ten films from the list of 100 movies I really like. If you need to do things in order, here's where I started.
Armageddon - A lot of people didn't like this movie. Or, at least, they claim not to have liked it. For all that they seem to talk about it a lot. There's a Shakespearian quotation about that. (I'm sorry, did I just invoke Shakespeare in a sentence about a Bruce Willis movie? What was I thinking!)
Yeah, this turned into a bit of a flag waver, but come on! It wasn't as bad as Independence Day, and I liked that movie, too. I'm not ashamed to stand up, tall and proud, and announce that I liked Armageddon.
Agent Cody Banks - Frankie Muniz plays Cody Banks, a High School student who has been recruited by the CIA (or some such secret agent organisation). His latest assignment requires him to get close to ::gasp:: a girl! Hilarity ensues.
His agency contact is played by Angie Harmon...or at least by the many skin tight outfits she sports throughout the film. Two thumbs waayyy up.
Underworld - Vampires. Werewolves. Vampire-werewolf hybrids. Kate Beckinsale. Need I say more?
True Lies - This is one of my favourite of Ahnold's movies. It pokes fun at secret-agent-living-a-double-life cliche so common in spy-thriller films. Tom Arnold is hilarious as the sidekick. Also, Jamie Lee Curtis - Rowr! (Hmm, I seem to be falling into a predictable pattern here.)
The Matrix - Trinity rocks! So does her rubber wardrobe. Hawt! (Pattern continues). This is one of those films that has become so entwined in the pop-culture collective unconscious that virtually every piece of media released in the first five years of this decade made some kind of reference to it. Even the dogs' breakfast of the next two films cannot dim the brilliance of the original. I watch this movie over and over again.
Benny and Joon - Mary Stuart Masterson is, you know, kinda cute I guess. This is a Johnny Depp movie, but not so much a Johhny Depp movie, know what I mean? No? Well just look at the cast. It's pretty awesome, right down to the bit players. Aidan Quinn was great as Benny. And then there's Julianne Moore, Oliver Platt, Dan Hedaya, William H. Macy. Pretty Awesome, if you don't mind the repetition. Also, Johnny Depp, cause, you know...
The Nightmare Before Christmas - Tim Burton is something of an odd duck, isn't he? Brilliant, but odd. I have heard it said that he made The Nightmare Before Christmas because the studio wouldn't let him make The Corpse Bride at the time. I like the former better than the latter. And the sound in this DVD is top notch. If you have a surround sound system with a good subwoofer, this is the film to give it a bit of a workout.
Chicken Run - A fun animated romp from back when Mel Gibson was still cool. It also cashed in on the incredible popularity, at the time, of Nick Park, of Wallace and Grommit fame. What can I say? Virtually every character in this thing is a hot chick.
Payback - Mel again, in perhaps my favourite of his movies. His character, Porter, is enormously amusing in his insistence that all he wants is the seventy thousand dollars he claims is owed to him, even in the face of even higher offers. "We went for breakfast... in Canada. We made a deal; if she'd stop hookin', I'd stop shooting people." [pause] "Maybe we were aiming high."
Casablanca - In an earlier edition of this list I mentioned The Maltese Falcon. This is the other of what are arguably the two best known Bogart movies. I think this one is the better of the two. I like the pacing better, and I think the tangled web weaved by Rick Blaine in this film is far more clever than the one woven by Sam Spade in the other. I am willing to bet that there are many out there who would disagree with me.
That's OK. I'll get over it.
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