Written by / 6/12/2016 / No comments / , , , ,

CFF 2016-2017 FAVORITE MOVIE LIST

LIST FOR THIS YEAR
First thing to know is this FAVORITE MOVIE LIST isn't the same as BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME or even FAVORITE MOVIES OF ALL TIME but is related to a DESERT ISLAND PICK list since they're movies that can be watched over and over, again and again, this year, summer to summer, to be exact...

THE GIRL HUNTERS (1962): While JAWS will always forever be tops on the ALL TIME FAVORITE list, for this year the award goes to a "late Noir" from 1962 wherein Mickey Spillane played his own invention, Mike Hammer, with acting that's... not too... Or that is... Too shabby... But something happens, and the eerie vibe with last names being thrown around, and dizzy red herrings and lustful dames: it all just creeps right up and grows on you, somehow, through and through... And what a title too!

Mickey Spillaine, Lloyd Nolan
OUR IDIOT BROTHER (2012): When originally viewed and reviewed here on the blog back in 2012, this BROTHER left a three-star impression that, upon several more screenings, moved up to four and now could very well hit four and a half: it's no classic nor will it ever be but that matters not: The perfect rivalry and connection between Paul Rudd's Ned, a hippie too honest to be stupid and stupid enough to sell pot to a uniformed cop, proves further how he's one of the most brilliant comedic actors in the modern age, and hopefully Marvel doesn't put him in an A-List only mode and he does more stuff like this, to show what he's really made of...

Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney
I LOVE YOU MAN (2007): Seeming Judd Apatow without being Apatow, this is one of the greatest buddy films of the last twenty years, the ironic, device-driven plot centering on a guy, Paul Rudd again, who only had girlfriends and no guy friends and after a lot of failed "ManDates" he finds his pal in totally honest cool dude Jason Segel, whose bluntness isn't his downfall, but, eventually, Rudd's...

WHERE THE SIDEWALK ENDS (1950): One of CFF's favorite all-time classic actors, Dana Andrews doesn't have to act too much to get across what he needs getting across, and his manly scowl and piercing eyes are dead-set against those he doesn't trust, and those are what to center on in this Film Noir that goes from one side of the sidewalk to the other without straying from the mainline, and his chemistry with LAURA co-star Gene Tierney is topnotch, without a snooty Clifton Webb getting in the way, and somehow this subtle crime melodrama never got that particular status, and with the same director, Otto Preminger, it really should since it's far more entertaining and effective.

THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES (1946): Dana Andrews again as one of three main male leads, and there's nothing like a movie with three leads because nothing is lost with that magic number (JAWS, for instance, and THE GOOD BAD UGLY), an eclectic trio that carries a picture like this, in all, three hours long as the first takes place in one day and night when the soldiers return from World War II to a much different world back in America. One is crippled, one married happily, one married to a tart and falls for the other married man's daughter.

James Cagney, Allen Jenkins
ST. LOUIS KID (1934): The CFF all-time favorite actor is the star of this programmer that is one of many during the 1930's when stocky firebrand James Cagney, after accidentally becoming a superstar following PUBLIC ENEMY, where he wasn't supposed to star until before two days of shooting, shows his stuff, and beyond: ST. LOUIS KID captures everything that makes Cagney great including expressions, manipulation, mind games, fighting and being free as a bird despite spending half the film locked behind bars, and he even dances to finally win the frosty dame over.

ROARING TWENTIES (1939): Arguably James Cagney's best movie besides WHITE HEAT, but in this, his character is more ambiguous and in a Noir fashion, a good guy who does bad things to make money during a time when returning soldiers, from World War I, weren't given a chance and unwelcome in their own country: "Left, left, I had a good job when I left" goads two taxi driving goons, Cagney's old job, and he knocks them both to the greasy floor: Eventually joining with war buddy Humphrey Bogart, who he doesn't trust one bit, and, thanks or no thanks to Priscilla Lane, ROARING becomes a HIGH SIERRA "old man loving a young girl who doesn't love him back" melodrama, and is still great.

Barry Fitzgerald, Don Taylor, Howard Duff
THE GRADUATE (1967): An epic writeup is coming about a movie that was never quite "got" by Cult Film Freak since Dustin Hoffman, who through later films could morph into any energetic character but here he's deadpan and practically robotic: Yet Mike Nichols direction is like a tight string running straight through the story of a May/August relationship with brooding rich wife/jealous mother Mrs. Robinson, that leads to a longing love story between Dustin and his lover's daughter, aided by really groovy Simon & Garfunkel tracks providing a Roman Chorus throughout. And be prepared, coming soon, or maybe a while later (and it will be linked, and this sentence altered, when it happens) is an epic writeup on how and why Dustin would be so loved by a girl looking like Kathleen Ross.

THE NAKED CITY (1948): Mostly known for the Film Noir television series in the late 50's/early 60's, this was, originally, an eerie motion picture experience from the late 40's centering on the murder of a beautiful sophisticate: Her brutal, tragic story has woken up busy Manhattan where two cops, one old, one young, are on a search full of red-herrings highlighted by a too-obvious culprit, all the running and walking around captured in a real location that literally puts you right there in the hot seat.
Lawrence Tierney

MIDSUMMER NIGHTS SEX COMEDY (1982): This lightweight Woody "programmer" came out between a very difficult ZELIG mockumentary and the excellent BROADWAY DANNY ROSE, this which, at first viewing, may seem like a subpar film compared to the grander Allen canon, his character not relying on bitter sarcasm but a breezy, jovial optimism that would return in ROSE and provides two of Woody's best performances, going slightly outside the box: This is the first vehicle with Mia Farrow, a more eclectic character-actress as opposed to Diane Keaton's female-Woody-type, and like many films to follow, she's the pivotal ingenue, and with exterior locations combined with a magical aura that reflects the Shakespeare tale in which it's loosely based, which was to The Bard what this was to Mr. Allen: a relaxing break.

BODYGUARD (1948): Written by future cult icon director Robert Altman and directed by a young Richard Fleischer, this is one of tough guy Lawrence Tierney's best performances, as his character goes from a no-nonsense, rule-breaking cop into... after getting canned for doing his own thing, over and over again... the grim and reluctant title character, hired to protect a rich woman who might turn out not so distressed, and he winds up having to protect himself from countless gun-wielding heavies coming out of the woodwork: and who he's protecting is ROARING TWENTIES ingenue Priscilla Lane.
Favorite movies from Summer 2016 to Summer 2016 by James M. Tate
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