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Mark’s Favorite Films: (Part 2) An Eclectic Mix of Sharks, Surfing and Beer Mustaches

April 30, 2014


Here there! Yesterday, I unleashed 11-20 onto the world. Now, it is time for my ten favorite films. They are a motley crew of excellence.


10 – Point Break – The action – surfing, football, fistfights, gunfights, bank robberies, car chases, skydiving never lets up (Thank LA Reader review). Point break is an action classic and should be required viewing for every action fan. Kathryn Bigelow (Near Dark, Hurt Locker, Zero Dark Thirty) is a fantastic director and without Point Break, The Fast and Furious series would never exist. Point Break joyfully defies gravity and proves Keanu Reeves is the greatest cinematic football player ever (Replacements is a perfect guilty pleasure). Viva la skydiving bro-handshakes!

point break

9. Safe Men Safe Men is an odd little film that is hilarious and quotable (Thanks bro). It features flammable pants, wonderful mustaches and Paul Giamatti playing a guy called “Veal Chop.” I’ve watched it countless times and the film becomes more and more endearing. Also, I think it is the only movie to ever feature this line:
This may come as a shock to you, but I think your padded ass is silly.

8. Sunshine Sunshine is the first film I ever watched on Blu-ray. It was an all-encompassing experience that thrilled and excited. It is a stunning accomplished that is totally under appreciated and that is why I champion it so much. Danny Boyle is a maestro of beautiful mayhem and he works wonders with his ensembles, set design, sounds and colors. The ending goes a bit off the rails (It goes full Kurtz, Heart of Lightness-esque) but is excusable because it all looks so incredible.


It is rare occurrence when you get totally lost in cinema. There are always distractions. However, my attention was 100% on the screen and I loved every second of it.



7. Lost in Translation – Lost in Translation ends perfectly. However, I always hate when it ends. You enjoy spending time with the two characters and their story is so original and authentic. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson have teriffic chemistry and their characters are three dimensional wonders who feel believable. You understand their relationship and motivations while they form a friendship. Sofia Coppola pulls off an impressive balancing act of music, melancholy and memorable moments. It floors me everytime I watch it.
Lost in Translation
6. Say Anything – To Know Lloyd Dobler is to love him. Diane Court is about to know Lloyd Dobler. Say Anything is a classic love story that features my favorite onscreen couple.  The two actors (John Cusack, Ione Skye) bring an intelligence, warmth and welcome immaturity to their roles as young lovers.  I appreciated how Dobler was a sensitive dude who could probably kick your ass. I love how Dianne noticed Lloyd’s glass kicking skills. Director Cameron Crowe has given the world many fantastic characters. However, they all pale in comparison to Dobler and Court.

5. Once – Two people. Great music. Totally unexpected. Once is the little indie that could. Filmed in 17 days with a tiny budget it captures lightning in a bottle with good-natured characters, fantastic music and a perfect ending. The movie blew me away and I immediately went and bought all the Glen Hansard/Swell Season/Frames music I could find. Music movies like Once don’t come around often. You won’t fall slowly for this film (bad joke but I had to do it).

4. Hot Fuzz – I could watch this movie everyday and still find something new. Edgar Wright loves cinema and this film is proof. It is chock full of unique characters, action and beer mustaches. Hot Fuzz is a blast of creativity that doesn’t shy away from drop kicking old women and quoting Point Break. I love the Cornetto trilogy and this is the best of the bunch. Viva la double mustache!
3. Royal Tenenbaums – Wes Anderson is my favorite director. Richie Tenenbaum is my favorite Anderson character. The Royal Tenenbaums is a visual marvel full of wonderful characters and hilarious moments. Anderson’s films have a randomness about them that always keeps you on your toes. The tonal shifts gave The Royal Tenenbaums an unpredictable vibe that I had never experienced before. I loved Rushmore and Bottle Rocket but Royal Tenenbaums channeled everything I loved about Anderson films into one cohesive whole.
royal gif
The tennis scene, 4-wheeler art and random stabbings are some of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. I immediately bought the soundtrack and found a movie poster on Ebay. Since then I’ve purchased everything Anderson and treat each movie like an event.


2. Dr. Strangelove – I was a punk teenager sitting in a high school government class not thrilled about watching some black and white film. However, the Kubrick classic won me over and I sat captivated in the dark classroom.  Everything about it was perfect. Peter Seller’s three roles, fighting in the war room and talk of fluoride in the water blew my mind. I liked it so much I immediately went out and rented Kubrick’s other films. The only downfall is I watched 2001 and Clockwork Orange back to back. Nothing wrecks the mental state of an 18-year-old like a little bit of ultra-violence and intelligent science fiction. Dr. Strangelove opened up the doors to cinema and I am forever grateful.


1. Jaws – I love Jaws. I’ve bought every dang VHS/DVD/Blu-ray and will continue to do so (hello, eventual fiftieth anniversary special edition!). I love the The Jaws Log and have spent too much money on copious amounts of art and memorabilia. Jaws is groundbreaking, character driven and perfect in ways that can never be recreated. The movie captures primal scares and character authenticity in ways that are incredibly rare.

jaws gif

Many people have tried to rip off Jaws and that will never happen. It is proof that simple is not always easy.


Jim Ferguson does some fantastic Jaws art.
Honorable mentions: Life Aquatic, Last of the Mohicans, Rushmore, Wayne’s World, Gladiator, Caddyshack, Ernest Scared Stupid, Moon, Predator, Grosse Point Blank, Stripes, Lost in Translation, In Bruges, Inglorious Bastards, Bubba Ho-Tep, Deep Blue Sea, Election. The Searchers, Casablanca, 
What are your favorite films?
7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 4, 2014 6:33 am

    Glad you like The Royal Tenenbaums – they’re such interesting characters you can’t help but want to spend time with. It was only the second Wes Anderson movie I watched and I fell in love with it instantly. I’m currently running a series on my blog where guest contributors talk about why they love their favourite film. If you would like to take part and write about one of these, just get in touch, it would be great to feature you.

  2. Victor De Leon permalink
    May 21, 2014 3:15 pm

    Great list! Jaws Jaws Jaws!!! Nuff said…


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