Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunday Showdon: AFI vs. IMDb #84 & #83

In my quest to compare the American Film Institute's and Internet Movie Database's Top 100 films, I got to #84 and #83 on the lists this week.   

#84: EasyRider (AFI) vs. The Green Mile (IMDb)

"But they see a free individual, it's gonna scare 'em."
It’s difficult for me to express how much I disliked the film Easy Rider. I can sit back and objectively say I understand why it’s in the National Film Registry. It captured an era in our history. A drug-using, hippie era, but an era nonetheless.  Unfortunately, I have little patience for drug-using, hippie films that insinuate everyone else are unenlightened bigots because they’re not riding across America on motorcycles with long hair.  Not to mention the movie was formulaic and preachy, and at a couple points just plain ridiculous.

Written by Peter Honda and Dennis Hopper. Directed by Hopper. Produced by Honda. Starring Honda and Hopper. Hmmmm. Perhaps less nepotism in this little family would’ve produced a film better than random glad-to-meet-ya scenes punctuated by music videos.

Once Upon A Time...
So although I didn’t think The Green Mile necessarily deserves to be in the Top 100 (along with a few others on the IMDb list including some on their way like [sorry Vinnie] Back to the Future and The Prestige), Mile still wins it for me.

#83:  Titanic vs. Once Upon A Time In America.  Fitting that these two were up against each other seeing as they are both the longest movies EVER. I didn’t really enjoy Once Upon A Time In America, but I made it through. Barely.  That phone ringing… I thought I might have to shoot my television (if you’ve ever seen it, you know what I mean).  I definitely enjoyed Titanic much more.  Although, [spoiler alert] the ship sinks.

So, at this point, AFI is still winning 2 to 1.

AFI’s Top 100
IMDb’s Top 100 (as of 1/1/12)

Titanic (1997)
Once Upon A Time in America (1984)
Easy Rider (1969)
The Green Mile (1999)
A Night at the Opera (1935)
Full Metal Jacket (1987)
Platoon (1986)
2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
12 Angry Men (1957)
Inglorious Basterds (2009)
Bringing Up Baby (1938)
The Great Dictator (1940)
Sixth Sense (1999)
Braveheart (1995)
Swing Time (1936)
The Bicycle Thief (1948)
Sophie’s Choice (1982)
The Apartment (1960)
Up (2009)
Goodfellas (1990)
The French Connection (1971)
Downfall (2004)
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Gran Torino (2008)
The Last Picture Show (1971)
Metropolis (1927)
Do The Right Thing (1989)
The Sting (1973)
Blade Runner (1982)
Gladiator (2000)
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
Toy Story (1995)
Unforgiven (1992)
Ben Hur (1959)
The Elephant Man (1980)

Next week: Murnau’s silent classic Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans (AFI) and Amadeus (IMDb). I haven’t seen the first and don’t remember the second well, so I’m looking forward to both.


  1. You don't think Back to the Future belongs in the Top 100? WTH? Are you serious? Maybe you'll change your mind when you re-watch. Perhaps we should watch during next Ragnar. That's crazy. I have a list (well, not really, but I've often thought of compiling a list) of "perfect movies." Movies that, on every level, are sheer perfection. Back to the Future makes that list.

    From your highlighted selections above, also making the list: Toy Story, Maltese Falcon, Bicycle Thief, Sixth Sense. Beastards may - I haven't decided yet, need to watch it another dozen times.

    I'm floored, FLOORED, by your anti-BttF stance. That's crazy talk. What movie is it up against?

    As for this week's smackdown... you are right all over. Easy Rider is painful. Green Mile isn't very good (Darabount's decreasing returns as a director are pretty scary), but it is better than Easy.

    And Titanic is awesome. Not perfect (if Cameron could write dialogue for men it might have a chance) but great.

    1. I am looking forward to seeing Back to the Future again. I haven't seen it in at least a decade, so maybe I will find there's enough to it to deserve a top 100 spot. But "perfect"? Seriously??

      IMDb's #72 Back to the Future will be up against ...wait for it... Shawshank. There is no way in any known or unknown universe that Back to the Future beats The Shawshank Redemption.

      Shawshank is #1 on the IMDb list, by the way. AFI's #1, no surprise, is Citizen Kane.

  2. Shawshank is another "perfect" movie. I don't know if I could have a winner in that battle. Can you have a tie?