Favorite Movies of All Time: 180-171


Over the past few years I’ve made a concerted effort to watch lots of movies considered to be among the best of all time.  Now, for the first time, I’ve made my own list of favorite movies of all time.  Every other Wednesday throughout 2022, I will be revealing ten movies in my list of 250 Favorite Movies of All Time.

250-241 200-190
240-231 190-181
230-221
220-211
210-201

180

Title: Booksmart
Director: Olivia Wilde
Cast: Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever
Year: 2019
When did I first watch this movie?: May 2020
Why is this one of my all time favorites? Every decade has a classic teen movie and Booksmart updates the formula for the 2010s with a “smart” and sensitive approach.


179

Title: Heaven Help Us
Director: Michael Dinner
Cast: Andrew McCarthy, Mary Stuart Masterson, Kevin Dillon, Malcolm Danare, Kate Reid, Wallace Shawn, John Heard, and Donald Sutherland
Year: 1985
When did I first watch this movie?: Sometime in the mid-to-late 80s.
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: A teen comedy that approaches the unique experiences of Catholic schooling at the time of Vatican II with humor and heart.


178

Title: A Fish Called Wanda
Director: Charles Crichton
Cast: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline, Michael Palin
Year: 1988
When did I first watch this movie?: When it came out in the theaters in 1988
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Two veterans of Monty Python and Curtis and Kline at their peak performances in a clash of American and English cultures set against a madcap heist story.


177

Title: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Director: John Hughes
Cast: Matthew Broderick, Mia Sara, Alan Ruck
Year: 1986
When did I first watch this movie?: When it came out in the theaters in 1986
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: John Hughes best comedy follows the adventures of a popular teen taking his depressed best friend and girlfriend on a travelogue of Chicago.  Hijinks ensue.


176

Title: Seven Samurai
Director: Akira Kurosawa
Cast: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Isao Kimura, Daisuke Katō, Seiji Miyaguchi, Yoshio Inaba, Minoru Chiaki, Kamatari Fujiwara, Kokuten Kōdō, Yoshio Tsuchiya, Eijirō Tōno, Jun Tatara, Atsushi Watanabe, Yoshio Kosugi, Bokuzen Hidari, Yukiko Shimazaki
Year: 1956
When did I first watch this movie?: December 2019
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: The oft-imitated story of a band of samurai called together to protect a village of farmers from bandits features Kurosawa’s innovative film techniques.  Thematically it is also a strong story which focuses on honor, violence, and friendship.


175

Title: Roger & Me
Director: Michael Moore’s
Cast: Michael Moore, Roger B. Smith, Janet Rauch, Rhonda Britton, Fred Ross,
Ronald Reagan, Bob Eubanks
Year: 1989
When did I first watch this movie?: Around 1990
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Michael Moore’s first and best documentary explores the devastating effects of the closure of General Motors on his hometown of Flint, Michigan in a manner both caustic and heartfelt.  And things have only gotten worse for Flint.


174

Title: Waiting for Guffman
Director: Christopher Guest
Cast: Lewis Arquette, Bob Balaban, Christopher Guest, Matt Keeslar, Eugene Levy, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, Fred Willard
Year: 1996
When did I first watch this movie?: Late 90s?
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Following up on the mockumentary formula of This Is Spinal Tap, Christopher Guest directed this largely improved comedy about a small town community theater project.  It’s full on laughs but also has heart.  This would be the first of five mockumentaries directed by Guest with a recurring cast of top comic actors.


173

Title: Brazil
Director: Terry Gilliam
Cast: Jonathan Pryce, Robert De Niro, Katherine Helmond, Ian Holm, Bob Hoskins, Michael Palin, Ian Richardson, Peter Vaughan, Kim Greist
Year: 1985
When did I first watch this movie?: Mid-80s
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: Another movie created by Monty Python alumni that was my introduction to dystopian fiction, black comedy, and surrealism.  I still can’t quite make sense of it.


172

Title: A Mighty Wind
Director: Christopher Guest
Cast: Bob Balaban, Christopher Guest, John Michael Higgins, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch, Michael McKean, Catherine O’Hara, Parker Posey, Harry Shearer,
Fred Willard
Year: 2003
When did I first watch this movie?: When it was released in the theaters in 2003
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: This mockumentary lampoons the 60s Folk Revival while somehow also crafting some really great folk tunes.


171

Title: The Last Waltz
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Rick Danko, Levon Helm, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel,  and Robbie Robertson
Year: 1978
When did I first watch this movie?: April 2019
Why is this one of my all time favorites?: I’m not a big fan of The Band nor of Martin Scorsese but somehow this concert film of The Band’s farewell performance is one of the best rock documentaries all the same.


 

Documentary Movie Review: Koyaanisqatsi (1983) #atozchallenge


Welcome to Panorama of the Mountains! My name is Liam and I enjoy watching documentary movies.  This month I will be reviewing 26 documentaries from A-to-Z!

Documentaries starting with the letter Documentaries starting with the letter K that I have previously reviewed include: 

Title: Koyaanisqatsi
Release Date: April 27, 1983
Director: Godfrey Reggio
Production Company: Institute for Regional Education | American Zoetrope
Summary/Review:

Koyaanisqatsi is less a documentary than a collection of shots of various landscapes expertly edited together with a score by Philip Glass.  The film works in roughly three parts with the first being shots of natural landscapes, followed by footage of industrial structures and machines, and finishing with crowds of humanity.  Almost every shot is either played in slow motion or in timelapse.

I knew going into this movie that there was no narrative or narration (and in fact there’s no sound to the movie other than Glass’ score), but I did expect it to say something.  Instead Reggio claims to have deliberately made it to be open to interpretations, which is fine, I guess.  It’s definitely beautiful to look at and would be worth seeing on a big screen should the opportunity arrive.  I think it’s comparable with films like Man With a Movie Camera and Sans Soleil, but I didn’t like it as much as either of those films.

Rating: ***1/2