The Life & Times of an Auteur.

Commentary on Pop Culture, and maybe creating some of my own.

Friday, January 16, 2015


When I started this blog, I had written up an entry titled "Top Twenty Favorite Films". Because arbitrary lists like that are fun. Considering that it's been five years since I had started this blog, I thought it might be fun to revise it since times change, so do opinions, movies stand or fall to the test of time. Yadda yadda yadda.

After hours of thinking, considering, and weighing my options and the movies I have seen since, old or new, I abandoned the idea of revising the list because only one movie fell out of my Top Twenty. Only one.

And the film that I rejected was.... *drumroll*

The Dark Knight - I will admit it, I bought into the Nolan hype hook, line and sinker. Don't get me wrong, I still believe this is a pretty good movie. Heath Ledger and Aaron Ekhart turn in fantastic performances. But the more I look back on this movie, the more it begins to fall apart. Very few of the characters have actual conversations with each other that aren't exposition, or these gigantic philosophical diatribes. It's a film that looks and sounds a lot deeper than it actually is. Not to say I don't like it, because I do. But it's not standing the test of time.  It's a good comic book movie, but we have since gotten better comic book movies. It's a good crime drama, but it is by no means one of the best crime dramas.

And no, it's not #21. It's probably in the lower half of my Top Fifty at this point. Sorry, Batman...

As for what's replacing it...


Amadeus - Yes, I had seen "Amadeus" before 2010, and I liked it, but it had been so long I didn't quite appreciate it at the time. I bought the Blu-ray a few years back and have watched it a few times since then and this movie is just spellbinding. This is a movie that, without fail, captivates me every single time I watch it. My eyes never leave the screen, it is sublime. I think the character of Salieri is one of the most fascinating in the history of film. For me, his struggle with dealing with his utter contempt of Mozart the man, juxtaposed with his adoration of Mozart the artist, was simply brilliant. Salieri shows us what can happen if we become obsessed with trying to be better than people with true genius, instead of just trying to be better than ourselves - improving what we do, without focusing on others. He is "us" and also a cautionary tale.


  1. I can totally agree with this one. The Dark Knight will always be my favorite Batman film, my favorite Nolan film, AND my favorite film of that trilogy, but it's not as great a film as Amadeus or many other films out there.

    That said, Heath Ledger's Joker and F. Murray Abram's Salieri both equally deserve spots on a "best movie villains" list for sure.

    1. "That said, Heath Ledger's Joker and F. Murray Abram's Salieri both equally deserve spots on a "best movie villains" list for sure."

      No argument here.

    2. They're both so different, yet both work perfectly for what they are. Joker's the inhumane character who embodies the worst of anyone and wants everyone else to embrace that worst because he believes that it's who we all truly are deep down. We are repulsed by him and do not want to be like him. Salieri, on the other hand, as you said, already IS like us. For as much as we can critique his problematic behavior and deplorable actions, there'll always be a tiny bit of empathy for him in there because he's not all that far off from what any of us could theoretically become.