As an unbridled lover of the movies, cable TV is like an A.D.D dreamland for me. At any time of day, I can happen upon any number of movies which, for one reason or another, demand my attention. Lately, AMC has been running the Matrix series all… the… time. And I just can’t look away. Here are a few others against which I have no hope of resistance:
1. The Green Mile – it doesn’t matter when it is on or where it’s at in the story, this movie is like a drug. From the stunning story, to the incredible characters (David Morse as Brutal is a particular favorite of mine), to two of the most despicable characters ever committed to film (Percy portrayed by Doug Hutchinson and Wild Bill portrayed by Sam Rockwell), to the stellar cast (Tom Hanks, Micheal Duncan Clarke, Bonnie Hunt, James Cromwell, Graham Greene, Patricia Clarkson, Gary Sinise, Harry Dean Stanton, Barry Pepper, and one of personal favorite character actors, Jeffrey DeMunn) it is a staggeringly fine work of art. Directed by Frank Darabont, it is probably one of the most perfect movies ever made…
2. The Shawshank Redemption – …except that this is the most perfect movie ever made. Filled with every emotion in the book, it’s one of the most complex, thrilling, touching, infuriating and inspiring movies. Also directed by Darabont (is it any wonder I am also a huge fan of The Walking Dead?) it is as much a character study as anything, and that is what makes it so addictive and so very re-watchable. Some of Morgan Freeman’s and Tim Robbin’s best work, but both are overshadowed by the most compelling voice-over scene of all time by James Whitmore.
3. Patton – As a history buff, this movie is immensely appealing, aside from the lack of historically accurate tanks. As a fan of both George C. Scott and Karl Malden, it’s an absolute necessity to sit and watch this movie whenever I come across it.
4. The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly – Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach and Lee Van Cleef. Plus, a bunch of hilarious overacting by all the Italian actors. One of those movies that draws me in for no good reason other than there’s just SOMETHING about it.
5. Open Range – For my money, the best Western out there. Robert Duvall is transcendent as always, but Kevin Costner really shows why he belongs in Westerns. Annette Benning and Michael Gambon are excellent as well. There is no good reason for me to NOT watch this movie.
6. Tombstone – Takes incredible liberties with history and simplifies a lot of what actually fed into the whole conflict with the Cowboys, but this movie is flat out fun. Probably the most quotable Western ever. “I’m your huckleberry.”