I've been reading blogs now for, oh, must be several months now, and many bloggists devote a section of their site to their favourite movies.
The most extensive of these I've seen so far has been by SamuraiFrog who, over the space of several weeks, posted his top 500 (!) films of all time.
For myself, I'm going to do it a bit differently.
I can't put together a ranked list that forces a decision as to whether The Searchers or Citizen Kane is a better film, but I can produce lists of what I consider to be my favourites in a variety of categories.
It may be a Top 10, but will sometimes be more or less.
It may be by genre or other common link.
Films may appear on more than one list as I see fit.
Certain acknowledged classics may not appear - the works of Jean-Luc Godard, for example - but that's just an expression of personal taste. You may agree or not, and I'll welcome all opinions.
So to kick off, here's my list of favourite -
Richard Donner Films.
Richard Donner's career as a mainstream movie and television director spans five decades. From directing episodes of some of TV's classic shows such as Get Smart, The Man From UNCLE, The Twilight Zone and (gods help us) Gilligan's Island, among others, perhaps his first important feature was The Omen (1976) which starred Gregory Peck and Lee Remick.
He followed this up with Superman (1978), the film for which he is perhaps best known, and the one which launched a trend of treating superheroes seriously, dropping the campiness of earlier productions. Friction with the movie's producers, Alexander and Ilya Salkind, led to Donner's replacement on Superman II by Richard Lester. Donner had, however, filmed a majority of the footage ultimately seen in the sequel prior to his removal, and in 2006, released his own cut of the movie. In my opinion, it's superior to Lester's version.
Donner has had a long association with Mel Gibson, who has starred in six of his films, the Lethal Weapon series (1987-98), Maverick (1994), and Conspiracy Theory (1997), and their movies together have been action-filled adventures that stand up to repeated viewing.
My favourites, from least to most, are:
14. Assassins (1995) - Sylvester Stallone, Antonio Banderas, Julianne Moore
13. Lethal Weapon 4 (1998) - Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Jet Li
12. The Goonies (1985) - Sean Astin, Josh Brolin, Corey Feldman
11. The Omen (1976) - Gregory Peck, Lee Remick, David Warner, Billie Whitelaw
10. Scrooged (1988) - Bill Murray, Karen Allen, Alfre Woodard, Carol Kane
09. Lethal Weapon 3 (1992) - Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Stuart Wilson
08. Maverick (1994) - Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, James Coburn
07. Ladyhawke (1985) - Rutger Hauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Broderick
06. Conspiracy Theory (1997) - Mel Gibson, Julia Roberts, Patrick Stewart
05. Lethal Weapon (1987) - Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Mitchell Ryan, Gary Busey
04. 16 Blocks (2006) - Bruce Willis, Mos Def, David Morse
03. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989) - Mel Gibson, Danny Glover, Joss Ackland, Derrick O'Connor
02. Superman II: The Richard Donner Cut (2006) - Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Margot Kidder
01. Superman (1978) - Christopher Reeve, Gene Hackman, Marlon Brando, Margot Kidder
That being said, I consider this a 'gunpoint list' inasmuch as I will happily watch any movie that Richard Donner has directed.
His pictures have the feel about them that everyone involved worked very hard but had a lot of fun, and this translates into the various performances. Granted, the darker stuff such as The Omen, Conspiracy Theory and 16 Blocks are exceptions, but as far as the rest are concerned, I'd love to have been there.
The Omen truly frightens me, while the scene in The Goonies where Chunk confesses to everything he's ever done doubles me over in laughter.
The last quarter of Scrooged, where Frank has his epiphany and shares it, gets me every time - every godsdamn time.
After watching Lethal Weapon 2, I sometimes find myself checking to see if I'm standing on plastic.
And Superman made me believe a man could fly.
I still do.