Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0

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Welcome to the human race...
#33. Slacker
(Richard Linklater, 1990)



"I may live badly, but at least I don't have to work to do it."

Fun fact: Slacker was the very first film that I ever reviewed on this site. Regardless of where it may rank on this countdown or others, I consider it a cornerstone of my own personal canon. Linklater establishes his career-long fondness for compressed timeframes with a film that traverses the city of Austin, Texas in the space of 24 hours - it does so by hopping from character to character and giving them all a moment in the spotlight. The focus is on the city's more eccentric individuals, often dedicating entire scenes to various misfits rambling about their passions to a captive audience (Linklater himself sets the tone by playing a taxi fare who monologues about dreams and alternate realities to a mutely disinterested driver). The subjects are almost as varied as the character, touching on everything from conspiracy theories to politics to art - or sometimes it's just a character doing a funny bit (look no further than Butthole Surfers drummer Teresa Taylor trying to sell what she claims is a pap smear that belongs to Madonna or Charles Gunning as a jaded hitchhiker who conducts a foul-mouthed and cynical video interview). That the film looks as good as it does on a comparatively low budget (much of it consists of languid long takes that glide slowly down the streets and through the sharehouses of Austin, though it somehow finds room to experiment with different film and video formats) is a readily observable sign of the promise that Linklater has made good on in the subsequent decades - he's gotten more accessible and he's gotten more obtuse, but for me he's never gotten better.

2005 ranking: N/A
2013 ranking: #71
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Iro's Top 100 Movies v3.0



I probably owe Slacker a rewatch at some point, but outside a handful of moments (like the Madonna pap smear scene you cite), I found it largely insufferable.



My memory being what it is, I kinda thought I had seen this. The MPS is the only uncorrupted file available my desktop can access.




Gotta admit I've never heard the argument that A Nightmare On Elm Street doesn't count as a slasher. I'm guessing it has to do with the fact that Freddy is explicitly defined as supernatural from the jump (as opposed to the others having supernatural status conferred upon them in sequels).

Wooley's the first I've heard of being more restrictive on the term excluding Freddy, but I also don't go around asking people if they consider "X" a slasher (TCM seems to show up with that question a lot).


Using Captain Terror's terms, Freddy does stalk, but since he quips, it's something more of a cat playing with its food (in terms of contrast with the stereotypical version).


But mostly the supernatural part, not so much that he is supernatural or undead, but rather, the means by which he kills people is supernatural, and the terrain through which he stalks them. Also the iconic glove, sure it does some slashing, but it feels more like an instrument of fear, terror, and torture (maybe more of a 'slicer') than an instrument of killing (I'd have to think back through his kills though).


i.e. Child's Play (at least the first one), feels more of a slasher than Nightmare, and that's also another supernatural killer.



I think it came up in the comedy countdown, Linklater is mostly a blindspot for me, for reasons that aren't really clear.



Yes, the basic template is Bava's Bay of Blood. Almost indisputably.


And the North American film that appropriated the basic structure of the slasher was almost equally indisputably Black Christmas (we can also consider low budget stuff like Andy Milligan's The Ghastly Ones, but no one saw that to bother emulating it in the first place, and it's also much too weird to really be a proper template for anything outside of Milligan's universe)
I agree, but if I may put a slight question mark afterwards, I present another possibility.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064724...=nm_flmg_dr_17

Feels very much like a first draft of Dressed To Kill and obviously very influened by giallo.

EDIT: Off to bed but just seen that there was another page and Slacker is on it. Love that film. On my own 100 and a film I got onto my film studies course after recommending it to my tutor and having it as the example for independent cinema on our course. Not everyone thanked me for that. But I didn't care. It's impact on me was immediate.
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I agree, but if I may put a slight question mark afterwards, I present another possibility.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0064724...=nm_flmg_dr_17

Feels very much like a first draft of Dressed To Kill and obviously very influened by giallo.

I'm actually not even remotely familiar with that one. hmm



Welcome to the human race...
I think it came up in the comedy countdown, Linklater is mostly a blindspot for me, for reasons that aren't really clear.
Much like his films, there's nothing particularly obtrusive about him as an auteur - he's just a chill guy who makes chill movies, and that's a big part of the appeal.



Welcome to the human race...
#32. RoboCop
(Paul Verhoeven, 1987)



"Dead or alive, you're coming with me."

Trust Paul Verhoeven to take what sounds like one of the most banal action movie premises of the 1980s - ordinary police officer (Peter Weller) is left for dead by a gang of crooks only to be resurrected as a high-powered cyborg - and turn it into a surprisingly substantial work that really digs into what the eponymous character represents about the state of modern America. Though it's not above creating the kind of insanely lawless society that seems right out of a Cannon film (with the gruesome violence to match), Verhoeven readily establishes that his concern is with questioning what creates such a society; Kurtwood Smith's ruthless criminal mastermind is bad enough in his own right, but RoboCop's true origins lie within the machinations of a corporation looking to have their own control over law enforcement regardless of (or is that because of) the sheer corruption and amorality within its ranks. Grounding it all is another cyberpunk narrative of mechanised self-actualisation as RoboCop's dormant memories gradually resurface and complicate his new existence, lent proper pathos by Weller finding the emotion behind the monotone and having a good foil in the form of Nancy Allen's no-nonsense colleague. It's a heady combination that makes it one of the better entries into a decade of action cinema that rarely seems concerned with doing anything as remotely cerebral as this.

2005 ranking: N/A
2013 ranking: #73



Robocop is (and I really mean still is) magnificent. A truly great piece of 80's action cinema elevated by everything which Iro said to become so much more. One of the best films of the decade.

I haven't seen the sequel in a couple of decades, but I remember liking that too, but in a very different way. The sequel is the enjoyable bubblegum action blood and guts film you'd expect the original to be, but isn't.



Saw the trailer for the new game and my first thought was when this was gonna pop up on your list.

The sfx used on the suit and accompanying sound effects were a devastating combination. One of my favorites from a time that movies like this were used to peddle toys to tots.



Victim of The Night
Wooley's the first I've heard of being more restrictive on the term excluding Freddy, but I also don't go around asking people if they consider "X" a slasher (TCM seems to show up with that question a lot).


Using Captain Terror's terms, Freddy does stalk, but since he quips, it's something more of a cat playing with its food (in terms of contrast with the stereotypical version).


But mostly the supernatural part, not so much that he is supernatural or undead, but rather, the means by which he kills people is supernatural, and the terrain through which he stalks them. Also the iconic glove, sure it does some slashing, but it feels more like an instrument of fear, terror, and torture (maybe more of a 'slicer') than an instrument of killing (I'd have to think back through his kills though).


i.e. Child's Play (at least the first one), feels more of a slasher than Nightmare, and that's also another supernatural killer.
When it came out in '84, and when I say this I am only talking about the first film, the only one in the series that really counts as far as I'm concerned, I don't think anybody thought it was a slasher. It was much closer to something fantastical like Frankenstein or whatever but totally new totally original (whether it was or not that's how it felt). None of us really new what the f*ck to make of it. I mean, if everything that has stalk and stab in it is a slasher then movies like The Jagged Edge and maybe even Eye Of The Needle are slashers, maybe even Zodiac, Se7en is certainly a slasher, etc. I mean, really, if OG Freddy (not wise-cracking stupid-ass Dream Warriors-and-on Freddy) is a slasher, then The Wolfman is a slasher, in my opinion. They are both monsters that stalk and kill. Man, now that I think about it, is every film in which someone kills more than one person a slasher?
So I guess, because the aNoES imprint on me is the OG, which I saw over 20 times before it's first sequel even came out (I think it may have even been 30 but I'm trying not to hyperbolize) and I don't really watch the other ones hardly ever or if I do it's with a completely different mindset, aNoES lives in a special world, along with TCM, honestly, of "Something different just happened" horror movies.
Which, interestingly, includes Halloween.
Which is technically a slasher, but...



RoboCop is excellent. I've always preferred it over both Terminator films.

This is the sensible opinion.


Robocop is hard to beat for whatever one considers it to be. Satire, action film, sci-fi, vague hints of horror. The only film that is even comparable to its kind of purpose and feel is They Live, and even though I really like They Live, that isn't even in the same universe as Robocop.



Welcome to the human race...
#31. In the Mood for Love
(Wong Kar-wai, 2000)



"I didn't think you'd fall in love with me."
"I didn't either. I was only curious to know how it started. Now I know. Feelings can creep up just like that. I thought I was in control."

Wong had built his prior romances around bombastic tales of crime and craziness - the quirky cops of Chungking Express, the cool assassins of Fallen Angels, even the toxic relationship at the heart of Happy Together. With the turn of the millennium, he winds the clock back to the 1960s and makes what seems like a much more conventional melodrama about a man (Tony Leung) and woman (Maggie Cheung) who live in neighbouring apartments and eventually realise that their spouses are carrying out an affair with one another. What begins as a friendship between two lonely people in a bustling metropolis inevitably carries an air of romantic tension, something that Wong conducts with all manner of graceful choices that initially temper his more passionate flourishes but eventually allows them to bleed through as the central relationship intensifies in ways that neither party is totally prepared for. This much is certainly bolstered by a soundtrack that waltzes and tangoes its way around the central couple, both of whom give such well-realised performances of interiority that give away so much while still maintaining such a calm surface. The result is one of the finest romances in cinema history, one that bridges the gap between classic melodramas and the more subdued approach of modern times - the intertitles may refer to the 1962 Hong Kong seen in the film as being a thing of the past, but that only underscores how timeless In the Mood for Love ends up being.

2005 ranking: N/A
2013 ranking: N/A



Welcome to the human race...
#30. The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
(Sergio Leone, 1966)



"You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."

It makes sense that Leone would follow this with the death-of-the-West revisionism of Once Upon a Time in the West - he'd already made such a perfect example of a conventional Western that the only possible follow-up was mythic deconstruction. The "Dollars" trilogy had already introduced a larger-than-life protagonist in the form of Clint Eastwood's gunslinger wandering from town to town getting into mercenary adventures - The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly increases the scale by giving him two similarly outsized foils. While "Angel Eyes" (Lee Van Cleef) is an assassin ruthless enough to make Eastwood's "Blondie" and his amoral greed seem good in comparison, the real star of the show ends up being Tuco (Eli Wallach), the hardscrabble bandit whose turbulent partnership with Blondie fuels so much of this film's sprawling narrative - and that's without getting to the literal buried treasure that all three of them are trying to find at any cost. All three of them have great presence and chemistry apart and together, but Leone still manages to shoot them as solitary figures against a tumultuous Civil War backdrop - sequences involving prisoner-of-war camps and bridge-occupying battles practically make this into an out-and-out war film that just so happens to centre around a trio of cowboys. Of course, the film is more than able to bring the noise when it comes to everything from horseback pursuits to shoot-outs (often owing a lot of its excitement to the fast and loose approach the film takes to the safety of its actors). All this and I haven't even mentioned the score, but given how that hits you within seconds of starting the film, it practically goes without saying.

2005 ranking: N/A
2013 ranking: #20



The thing that caught my eye on the In the Mood for Love reviews was the (lack of) past rankings.


I'm curious about that. Late in life encounter, or did it age really well on a recent revisit.


I hit the "exploring film" age in roughly the mid-to-late 90s, which was peak-WKW, so it's always a bit jarring/a reminder of different lived experiences when people slightly different than me in age didn't hit his films pretty much at the best time of your life to be encountering his movies.



And while I'm not necessarily in the minority that prefers Once Upon a Time in the West to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but for some reason I ended up liking For a Few Dollar More the most out of the dollars trilogy. My only conclusion is that maybe I'm not drawn to Clint Eastwood.



Welcome to the human race...
The thing that caught my eye on the In the Mood for Love reviews was the (lack of) past rankings.


I'm curious about that. Late in life encounter, or did it age really well on a recent revisit.


I hit the "exploring film" age in roughly the mid-to-late 90s, which was peak-WKW, so it's always a bit jarring/a reminder of different lived experiences when people slightly different than me in age didn't hit his films pretty much at the best time of your life to be encountering his movies.
Couldn't say, I don't remember when exactly I first watched it. Maybe a decade or so ago when I was going through the other Wong films (I definitely remember being familiar with his work before going to a festival screening of The Grandmaster in 2013).



And while I'm not necessarily in the minority that prefers Once Upon a Time in the West to The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, but for some reason I ended up liking For a Few Dollar More the most out of the dollars trilogy. My only conclusion is that maybe I'm not drawn to Clint Eastwood.
For a Few Dollars More is also my favorite of the trilogy. I find the story more powerful and memorable.

Every dang time I watch The Good the Bad and the Ugly I get this wave of boredom around the time they cross paths with the Civil War soldiers. The first time I chalked it up to me maybe being literally tired, but on many rewatches that stretch is always a big lag point for me.