Movies I Would Recommend

#movies #top20 #jayandsilentbob #jayandsilentbobstrikeback #hackers #fightclub #tmnt #onceuponatimeinmexico #ascannerdarkly #americanbeauty #montypythonandtheholygrail #startrek #thefifthelement #stargate #coolhandluke #thetransporter #thedeparted #nationallampoonschristmasvacation #starshiptroopers #zombiestrippers #machete #matchstickmen #goodwillhunting

The other night I was looking for something to watch. Specifically I wanted a movie where I could smoke a joint and really just sit back and relax, and get a lot of enjoyment out of the movie. I started off the search looking for a wuxia film. I came across The Assassin which stars Shu Qi, who I recognized from The Transporter... Maybe I should have smoked before checking out the first 10 minutes, but I wanted to make sure it was going to be worth it. While it might be a good movie, it was a bit too artsy for the GLP Tango I would be smoking.

After that I decided to go back to an older movie that I hadn't seen in a while that I knew would match the metal space. I found Planet Terror on Tubi. The opening sequence includes a trailer for a movie that Robert Rodriguez hadn't made at that time, Machete. I remembered very distinctly watching the movie with director commentary and listening to Rodriguez say that he wanted to do a trailer for a movie that didn't exist. When I went looking for the trailer from the beginning of Planet Terror to share with my friends, I found out that Rodriguez had in fact made not only Machete but a second one as well! I was sold at that point, and Machete was the movie I watched. I immediately knew it would get added to my list of favorite movies of all time. Thus, this list was born.

The Methodology

There isn't much rhyme or reason to this list. Just a bunch of movies that I would recommend to people... WAY back when, after I graduated high school, but before I moved back out to Vegas, I used to spend Friday and Saturday nights at my friend's house; we'd get stoned, smoke hookah and watch random movies. He was a big movie buff, and his DVD collection was pretty legendary. In the spirit of those days, this list is sort of a throwback to those times. Stuff that I might recommend that we watch.

The List

1. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

This movie is going to be on any list of movies that I put together. Dare I say, this is a stoner classic? If you're a 90s kid or a fan of Kevin Smith, for me, this is the quintessential View Askewniverse movie. The experience is enhanced if you've seen all the movies prior to it (Clerks, Mallrats, Chasing Amy and Dogma), I think it does just fine on its own thanks to the plethora of other pop culture references.

Why I recommend this movie:

One of the better road trip movies from the early aughts with a bunch of laugh out loud moments.

2. Hackers

Computers were something that interested me from a very young age, but it was never a cool thing to be into. It was nerdy and geeky. This movie changed that. It put a coolness veneer on being a computer nerd. Also, it was Angelina Jolie's first movie.

Why I recommend this movie:

Dripping with style, and despite being a goofy movie about a bunch of hacker kids that save the world, it has some great acting and character development.

3. Fight Club

If you weren't irrevocably changed as a person from watching this movie, I have to question whether or not you're an NPC.

Why I recommend this movie:

World class performances from an all-star cast; Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, and Jared Leto. Also because the twist might be just as good as Signs and was surprisingly kept just as much of a secret (from what I remember).

4. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

IMHO, this is the first successful comic book movie. While definitely financed because of the success of the cartoon and action figures, 1990's TMNT is primarily based directly on the comics, which are far darker tonally and thematically. Most would probably cite X-Men as the first time Hollywood took notice that comics could be used as source material, but really comics were being used all throughout 90s (Blade, Tank Girl, Barb Wire, Judge Dredd, etc.).

Why I recommend this movie:

One of Jim Henson's last projects before he passed away. IMHO, the animatronics and puppeteering work still look amazing even 30+ years later.

5. Once Upon A Time In Mexico

Desperado was a great movie, but this is absolutely fantastic. Not sure if this was the first movie where Robert Rodriguez really honed his visual style, but for me, this feels like the first movie of his that has all of the hallmarks that would come to define all the movies of his that would proceed it. Agent Sands may also be my favorite Johnny Depp role.

Why I recommend this movie:

It's not a typical action movie. There's a sense that the story takes place in a greater universe, the type of thing you mainly find with good fantasy or sci-fi stories, and not necessarily contemporary settings.

6. A Scanner Darkly

Philip K. Dick is heralded as one of the most visionary speculative fiction writers... I hesitate to say “of all-time” because I feel like I've used that phrase enough in this list. This is my favorite feature film based on his work, and there are no shortages of movies and TV based on his writing.

Why I recommend this movie:

Fantastic cast and a unique animation style that hasn't been used in any other movies that I'm aware of.

7. American Beauty

When I was putting this list together, my wife said, “ew, but it's a movie about pedophilia.” She wouldn't be wrong... It's not entirely about that though. It's an interesting examination of tortured suburban psyches.

Why I recommend this movie:

The hook at the beginning. It's that simple. The movie begins by telling you the ending, and it's all the stuff along the way that makes it worth it.

8. Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Listen, strange women lying around in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government.” Pure comedy gold. A friend of mine from when I was younger, well, his brother had this moving on VHS, somehow I ended up with it.

Why I recommend this movie:

Pure comedy gold.

9. Star Trek

I had my reservations when I found out about this movie. I spent a lot of time re-watching original series episodes in anticipation of the movie even. While quite a bit different in tone and style, the only thing that I really don't like about this is how the phasers shoot “bullets.” Otherwise, this is an incredibly intelligent reboot for the films. JJ did a great job getting people interested in Trek again, even if he did use too much lens flare.

Why I recommend this movie:

It's Star Trek without being Star Trek. It's a good middle ground movie for people who are curious about the characters, but don't necessarily want to do any serious contemplation.

10. The Fifth Element

From a time when Hollywood used to take chances. Although fairly formulaic in terms of plot structure, and a predictably action-heavy movie with Bruce Willis being cast as the blue collar reluctant hero, still a fantastic space opera. There's a lot going on in this movie that got cut down to two hours. There could easily be a multi-series television show made from everything that is going on in this universe.

Why I recommend this movie:

Kind of hard to go wrong recommending a Luc Besson movie to someone. In my opinion, his films tend to have a little something for everyone.

11. Stargate

Zecharia Sitchin's The 12th Planet came out in 1976, but it wasn't until Stargate that the idea of “ancient aliens” really started to permeate the mainstream.

Why I recommend this movie:

A unique science fiction universe that uses an ingenious way to traverse the stars. And it's a method that isn't ever used in most other science fiction, Mass Effect is the only other property that has a similar system for travelling long distances.

12. Cool Hand Luke

What we have here is a failure to communicate.” I must have heard that saying a thousand times before actually watching this movie. It's one of those phrases that enters the pop culture lexicon and just sticks around. Quite possibly Paul Newman's most well-known role next to The Hustler and Butch Cassidy.

Why I recommend this movie:

What seems like a story that could be about redemption turns out very differently than you might imagine.

13. The Transporter

The second Luc Besson film on this list... Well, the second movie that was written by him. As much as I hate German vehicles, if I had unlimited time and money, I would absolutely take a 1997 BMW 745i and put an M5 manual transmission in it. Normally a big ass sedan like that would not be a cool car, but the way the driving sequences are shot and the fact that Statham is driving the car just makes it look cool.

Why I recommend this movie:

The car and the insane plot line. You get about two thirds of the way through the movie and find out it's a crazy human smuggling operation. The martial arts sequences are really good too, well choreographed.

14. The Departed

Personally, I think this movie contains career-defining performances from everyone in this cast. Somehow Scorsese just fucking pulled it together for this epic story. I love how connect yet separate all the characters are too.

Why I recommend this movie:

As mentioned upon, career-defining performances from Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Mark Wahlberg, Jack Nicholson, Martin Sheen, Alec Baldwin... I mean, those are all guys that have done plenty of impressive movies before this one, but they really showed up for this one.

15. National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation

No doubt I've watched this movie hundreds of times over the years. Well, at least 34 times. Pretty sure I've watched it ever year for Christmas since it's been out.

Why I recommend this movie:

I think Chevy Chase is sort of overlooked in the pantheon of comedians. There are tons of great moments, but when Clark loses it after Uncle Lewis burns down his Christmas tree is one of the greatest rants. But every joke just lands, the whole movie is a series of connected jokes.

16. Starship Troopers

“What's a matter, you apes want to live forever!” The sheer ardent fascistic nihilism of society portrayed in Starship Troopers is absolutely compelling. I actively avoided the military when I was younger because I couldn't get behind what we were doing in the middle east. I'm sure in a parallel universe there is a young Berkough who went into a branch of the service. IF we were fighting giant bugs in space, I would have been all about it.

Why I recommend this movie:

It's a beautiful satire of war, and while it doesn't do a good job of faithfully recreating the novel, in the process it makes something wholly its own.

17. Zombie Strippers!

As far as I know, this might be Jenna Jameson's only non-pornographic film appearance where she wasn't doing a cameo, but actually acting. I love this movie. It's campy and ridiculous, and it's self-aware of that fact. However, it's also pretty high brow at times without being pretentious.

Why I recommend this movie:

Robert Englund steals the show, such a great performance. Considering most people know him only as Freddy Kruger, it's fun to see how talented of an actor he really is.

18. Machete

If you didn't know any better, you might think that this was filmed after President Trump took office, but it was released 6 years prior to all of that. Robert Rodriguez employs such a skillful way of delivering political commentary without it being obnoxious, it's just a fun action movie with a human story.

Why I recommend this movie:

This one is still fresh, so I haven't developed the specific reason(s) why. But I do love the social commentary combined with the over-the-top 80s-style action and gore.

19. Matchstick Men

Pretty sure I like every movie that Sam Rockwell is in, he's a fantastic actor. While my favorite role of his is probably the feature film adaptation of Chuck Palahniuk's Choke, there's something to be said for the dynamic he has with Nick Cage in this one. Also, I think Roy Waller is probably my favorite Nicholas Cage character, just barely beating out Yuri Orlov from Lord of War.

Why I recommend this movie:

What seems like a relatively straightforward plot quickly spirals into interesting territory.

20. Good Will Hunting

Primarily known for the fact that Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote the script, Robin Williams absolutely kills it in his performance.

Why I recommend this movie:

It's an inspiring tale. Some great character moments between Chucky and Will, and obviously Will and Sean.