Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0

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Wait, but Alien is not weird porn from your review thread.
Well, the movie is basically a rape metaphor, and the alien is pretty phallic in appearance, so we can make room for it.



Iro, my apologies for opening the new page of your thread on this perverted note.



I probably watched Alien a half dozen times at home, and always thought it was decent. But not mind blowing. Didn't quite get the huge love. But when I saw it in a theatre, everything changed. The set design alone, and how the camera lives within this space, is enough on its own to make it one of the greats. And once I got the beauty of the films look and sound (the sound design is also fantastic), everything else locked into place.



Wait, but Alien is not weird porn from your review thread.

Whoa. Yeah, you might be watching Alien wrong if you think it isn't that.



I probably watched Alien a half dozen times at home, and always thought it was decent. But not mind blowing. Didn't quite get the huge love. But when I saw it in a theatre, everything changed. The set design alone, and how the camera lives within this space, is enough on its own to make it one of the greats. And once I got the beauty of the films look and sound (the sound design is also fantastic), everything else locked into place.
Sounds like my advice worked.



Whoa. Yeah, you might be watching Alien wrong if you think it isn't that.
I think Entrails of a Beautiful Woman is more Minioís speed. It has a xenomorph-like monster, but the rape subtext isÖnot so subtextual. Also features a substantially more vile version of the chestburster scene.



Entrails of a Beautiful Woman
Obviously a great film. I think I even wrote about it here. I watched it back in 2017.
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Welcome to the human race...
#7. Goodfellas
(Martin Scorsese, 1990)



"As far back as I could remember, I always wanted to be a gangster."

When it comes to determining an artist's magnum opus, I think of it as a matter of scope - how much of what makes their art theirs can be weaved into the tapestry of a single work, all the while making something that can be readily appreciated as a masterpiece in its own right? For Scorsese, the obvious contender for this title is Goodfellas, the biopic of low-level mafioso Henry Hill (Ray Liotta) as he lies, cheats, and steals his way into a modicum of luxury alongside a variety of colourful and dangerous associates. A successor of sorts to his breakout feature Mean Streets and its freewheeling portrait of young mobsters that really leans into the extremely Catholic philosophy that runs throughout his other portraits of violent and morally compromised men (Joe Pesci as the manically homicidal Tommy DeVito being this film's obvious standout), Scorsese is still able to provide additional nuance to this portrait both by fleshing out the world with a novelistic degree of detail (the first hour or so is almost entirely devoted to explaining the various operations and rituals before the film finally catches up with its hellish cold open) and balancing Hill's wiseguy perspective with that of his wife Karen (Lorraine Bracco) as she gets further and further drawn into a world that is alternately seductive and suffocating. Paranoia and death lurk around every corner whether you know it or not - as much as cops and rival gangsters can pose a threat, somehow the biggest threats to all these gangsters come from within their own outfit. The end result is a world covered in cool textures (with so much credit going to everything from slick cinematography to sharp editing to punchy soundtrack choices) that is truly a hell underneath its glitzy surface, certainly making as quintessential a representation of Scorsese's artistic ethos as anything.

2005 ranking: #35
2013 ranking: #5
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Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0



Goodfellas is obviously a great movie, but maybe too obviously? Scorsese obviously gets his subject matter really well, but Iíve always found this one a little impersonal. It probably doesnít help that so many movies have aped this one specifically (without always grasping the implications of the style), but the Scorseses I prefer have a bit more of a handcrafted feel. Iím thinking of the atmospheric Catholic guilt of Mean Streets and hellhole New York of Taxi Driver. Those movies sit in and wallow in their milieus (both physical and psychological) in a way that Goodfellas rarely slows down enough to do (although they obviously all have different aims).



Those movies could have used a little more small man intimidation.



Welcome to the human race...
Goodfellas is obviously a great movie, but maybe too obviously? Scorsese obviously gets his subject matter really well, but Iíve always found this one a little impersonal. It probably doesnít help that so many movies have aped this one specifically (without always grasping the implications of the style), but the Scorseses I prefer have a bit more of a handcrafted feel. Iím thinking of the atmospheric Catholic guilt of Mean Streets and hellhole New York of Taxi Driver. Those movies sit in and wallow in their milieus (both physical and psychological) in a way that Goodfellas rarely slows down enough to do (although they obviously all have different aims).
Duly noted.



Welcome to the human race...
#6. Taxi Driver
(Martin Scorsese, 1976)



"Loneliness has followed me my whole life. Everywhere. In bars, in cars, sidewalks, stores, everywhere. There's no escape. I'm God's lonely man."

I do have something of a tendency to split the difference between a director's "best" film and my personal favourite of theirs - sometimes they overlap, sometimes they don't. I'll readily accede to the argument that Goodfellas is Scorsese's best and, depending on what kind of day I'm having, I might consider it my personal favourite. However, on this occasion at least I'm going to give the slightest of edges to a vastly different Scorsese film. Where Goodfellas delivered a sprawling true-crime epic about a group of friends in the Mafia, Taxi Driver is a tightly-wound portrait of aggressively isolated veteran Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) and his attempts to reintegrate into society, a mission that is alternately stymied by unpleasant citizens and his own incredibly severe shortcomings. Screenwriter Paul Schrader gets his fingerprints all over this Bressonian character study that sees Bickle slowly but surely spiral out of control, given such rich and unhinged interiority by De Niro at the peak of his powers. I've let other cinematic notes from the underground like Fight Club or Naked slide off the list because this does prove such a quintessential rendition of a particular type of (self-)destructive malaise, here textured with urban decay and an ensemble of colourful characters proving worthy foils to Bickle in one way or another. Adding in a classically noir-ish score by the late great Bernard Herrmann really does drive home how much Scorsese owes to his favourite masters while showing how much he could push the medium forward.

2005 ranking: #18
2013 ranking: #28



Like you I have Taxi Driver and Goodfellas right next to each other on my list, but I don't doubt that Taxi Driver is my favourite. Sure, there will be days where I'm in more of a Goodfellas mood, but it's Taxi Driver which has my heart.
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Now just squeeze Mean Streets in next and weíre good as gold. 😉



Goodfellas is obviously a great movie, but maybe too obviously? Scorsese obviously gets his subject matter really well, but Iíve always found this one a little impersonal. It probably doesnít help that so many movies have aped this one specifically (without always grasping the implications of the style), but the Scorseses I prefer have a bit more of a handcrafted feel. Iím thinking of the atmospheric Catholic guilt of Mean Streets and hellhole New York of Taxi Driver. Those movies sit in and wallow in their milieus (both physical and psychological) in a way that Goodfellas rarely slows down enough to do (although they obviously all have different aims).
Well, I do like the atmosphere of Driver a lot, and feel that certain moments are some of the best that Marty's ever directed, but it's never quite been a favorite of mine on the whole, since I feel that certain scenes in it feel a bit too "inert" to be fully engaging. Still a great movie, but I have to give the edge to 'fellas for its momentum.



Victim of The Night
Goodfellas is obviously a great movie, but maybe too obviously? Scorsese obviously gets his subject matter really well, but Iíve always found this one a little impersonal. It probably doesnít help that so many movies have aped this one specifically (without always grasping the implications of the style), but the Scorseses I prefer have a bit more of a handcrafted feel. Iím thinking of the atmospheric Catholic guilt of Mean Streets and hellhole New York of Taxi Driver. Those movies sit in and wallow in their milieus (both physical and psychological) in a way that Goodfellas rarely slows down enough to do (although they obviously all have different aims).
Couldn't agree more.



Goodfellas is obviously a great movie, but maybe too obviously? Scorsese obviously gets his subject matter really well, but Iíve always found this one a little impersonal. It probably doesnít help that so many movies have aped this one specifically (without always grasping the implications of the style), but the Scorseses I prefer have a bit more of a handcrafted feel. Iím thinking of the atmospheric Catholic guilt of Mean Streets and hellhole New York of Taxi Driver. Those movies sit in and wallow in their milieus (both physical and psychological) in a way that Goodfellas rarely slows down enough to do (although they obviously all have different aims).

I'm realizing I probably haven't seen Goodfellas since my late teens or early 20s, so it might be due for a re-appraisement on my part (something that greatly benefitted The Exorcist when I revisited it as an adult), but I think this captures my general vibe on Goodfellas. It never grabbed me like Taxi Driver did (or Mean Streets).


It might be part of pattern that if asked for my favorite mob-related movies I'm inclined to go The Killing of a Chinese Bookie and Mikey & Nicky.



Predictions:

5. In the Mouth of Madness
4. Escape from L.A.
3. Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
2. Paul Blart: Mall Cop
1. Captain Ron