Without Fear

Ryan K Lindsay – Writer

The Martin Scorsese Movie List

Alright, here’s a long one. Scorsese is a king of cinema, probably my favourite of the movie brats, and he’s been chugging along for a while now. As always, the list is mine, and probably only mine, feel free to tell me yours with comments or links.

1. Taxi Driver

2, Raging Bull

3. Goodfellas

4. Mean Streets

5. The Departed

6. Shutter Island

7. The Last Temptation of Christ

8. After Hours

9. The Aviator

10. Gangs of New York

11. Casino

12. Cape Fear

13. The King of Comedy

14. New York, New York

15. Bringing In The Dead

16. Kundun

17. The Age of Innocence

NA. Boxcar Bertha

NA. Who’s That Knocking At My Door?

NA. Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

NA – Hugo

Thoughts.

I’m shamed to have a few entries I have still to see. Getting my hands on copies of these has always proved problematic. Lame. Though, from all I know of them I don’t think any were going to nudge into the top ten anyway, so no worries.

Taxi Driver is one of those movies where it might not be Scorsese’s absolute best flick but it certainly resonates with me. What does it say about a teen when this flick really inspires him (to create, not to be the main character…)?

I have dropped Casino pretty far down purely because it’s Goodfellas Lite and shall be treated as such.

It’s strange putting all these flicks together like this, you realise Scorsese has plenty of good flicks but only  a small handful of great ones. I’d say six – which is actually probably more than so many other directors. Who wouldn’t kill to have six absolute classic movies out there forever with their name on them. I guess I’m just used to thinking of Scorsese as this visionary and it’s surprising to see so many films you like but don’t love.

I do think Scorsese would be one director who people will have plenty of variations to their own list, perhaps that’s his power.

Man, The Departed really is that good. I think it can stand up as a Scorsese classic. Go rewatch that flick and tell me it’s not satisfying and engrossing. Though it never felt to me like a ‘Scorsese’ flick – it doesn’t look or feel like him but the acting is superb.

Mean Streets is one I haven’t seen in ages. That movie is worth all the hype.

After Hours is one that’s good but it will never find its audience. You can love it for that reason, sure, but that doesn’t actually make it great.

Raging Bull might be the best flick on this list. It’s structurally superb.

The Big Shave doesn’t count for this list. But it’s awesome and you should see it.

The music flicks don’t count for this list. Deal with it.

Bringing In The Dead was one I was keen for back in the day but have no desire to revisit.

Gangs of New York feels like it should have been better but it just wasn’t. And Scorsese getting to collaborate with Daniel Day Lewis should have been a complete win.

Shutter Island will finally get what’s coming to it in a few years. Maybe by then people will actually understand the ending.

I liked The Aviator. It’s bold in a fair few ways.

I want to see Hugo. Eventually.

I want to see Boardwalk Empire even sooner.

This is my list, what’s yours?

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The James Cameron Movie List

C’mon, I’m a kid of the 80s, of course I got this list in me. I don’t think Cameron is the greatest director in the world but there’s surely no doubting he’s one of the finest visionaries of the business. The man sees in leagues and astronomical units. His movies are complete spectacle and success, even if they lack heart most of the time. I’ve enjoyed enough of his flicks to want to put them in order so let’s make with the fun.

1. Aliens

2. The Terminator

3. True Lies

4. The Abyss

5. T2

6. Titanic

7. Avatar

8. Piranha 2: The Spawning

Thoughts.

Aliens is just about the greatest sci fi action flick ever made. There’s nothing but love for that movie right here because it manages to deliver a decent cast, and rounded characters, all while nailing some chilling and very cool fight scenes. This is the ultimate for what it is.

I would often flip flow between the Terminator flicks and in the end I have to cede that the first one is vastly superior. It’s actually a good flick, and the cast all sell the grittiness completely. It’s so good it actually made Arnie count on screen, something which hadn’t really happened before. And you know what, Arnie is great in this role. Make of that what you will.

Man, I love True Lies. There’s something about it that just speaks to me. I think it’s the fact Arnie, again, actually gives this role what for. Bill Paxton is superb in his little role. Tom Arnold is so great in this movie, it’s like he saved up all his tickets in life and spent them right here. Even Charlton Heston as the grizzled old Nick Fury is genius. Jamie Lee Curtis dancing certainly didn’t hurt it’s hopes with me. This movie is collectively so much better than people remember, or give it credit for. It might not be ‘better’ than some of the other stuff on the list but I certainly like it more.

The Abyss is one of those deceptive flicks that tends to be forgotten. Go back, take your time, and see how enjoyable it really is. Again, it’s the acting that sells it as Ed Harris finally comes into his strength on screen, and Michael Biehn is used in a completely different way. There plenty to love in this one, too.

T2 is a movie that has not aged well for me. The effects are good, and the bombastic nature is still as you remember it, but it’s not that great. It’s certainly not as good as the first one but it just feels so dated to me. The first one is kind of 80s/timeless whereas this one is a real 90s slice of life. I just don’t know how much I dig on that.

The bottom three are an eclectic bunch. Titanic is a good movie, I’ll give it that much. The pure majesty of what Cameron brought to the screen has to be respected but he also carved a damn fine love story into that sinking hull. It’s not to be underestimated.

Then there’s Avatar. Man, that’s just not a good flick. The script is pretty garbage (unobtanium, seriously?) and while it is put together quite well it’s not actually that good. How it made so much money is beyond me. I guess with the cost of 3D being so crazily expesnive it must have only had to sell half the amount of tickets to eclipse Titanic. The shame.

Then there’s Pirahna 2. I saw this one years ago, haven’t seen it since, and it wans’t good. It had the Jamaican guy fishing with dynamite, or was that one of the Jaws sequels? It’s so hard to tell your aquatic slasher flicks apart sometimes. All I know is this one isn’t as good as Joe Dante’s first outing.

I like that Cameron has his usual players in Biehn, Lance Henrickson, even Schwarzeneggar. Not to mention Wild Bill Paxton. Cameron works well with them and they deliver every time.

I do find it interesting that Cameron has only ever really peddled in sequels and remakes. The Abyss and Avatar are his only original ideas. One of them is cool, the other interesting but definitely not well written.

I still don’t understand how Avatar got all that Oscar attention. It’s not a good flick and yet I guess money can buy you love.

Say what you will about Cameron’s King of the World moment when he won the big Ocsar, at that moment he was right.

Cameron has definitely given cinema more than he’s taken so for all that I’m happy to have watched all his films. Though not perfect, they’ve certainly added high quality concepts, technology, and acting performances to the pantheon of the visual arts.

This is my list, what’s yours?

My Little Pony Micro-Series #2 – Rainbow Dash

In March of 2013, IDW are publishing a comic I wrote. I would love you to consider picking up a copy.

The My Little Pony Micro-Series #2 – Rainbow Dash one-shot is written by me, with art by Tony Fleecs, and edited by Bobby Curnow. There are three covers; one by Amy Mebberson which is a cool, almost chalky number, one by MLP Senior Storyboard artist Sabrina Alberghetti, and also one coming from Tony Fleecs which you will see soon but I have already seen and am deeply in love with. You will need this cover in your life.

You can see the ad for the book in Preview below, I took a snap at my LCS.

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The solicitation text reads:

The next in a series of spotlights focusing on everyone’s favorite Ponies! Rainbow Dash takes her job patrolling the skies very seriously, but she may have met her match when a group of mischievous cloud gremlins threaten to block out the sun! Rainbow Dash will have her hooves full when it comes to these pint-sized menaces!

My pitch for the issue was a cloud full of gremlins that feeds on negative energy. I then worked very hard to make a script that’s insane levels of fun, while also having a few serious and kind of scary moments, and also offering something for the parents reading it with their kids — or on their own 🙂

This book is an all ages affair, buuut, if you know your quotes then you’ll see some pretty cool nods to all sorts of subversive fare.

Mostly, this book is just fun. I had far too much fun writing it and I hope you all dig it.

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It would be golden if you would head into your Local Comic Shop and preorder a copy for March. As you know, publishers only print enough copies based on what’s ordered and their orders come from cmoic shops. If everyone waited until the Wednesday it dropped and hoped a copy would be there they would miss out because IDW wouldn’t know they needed to print that many. If you let your LCS know you want a copy, they pass that info on to IDW, and then plenty more get printed and you are ensured on.

Thanks for your time.

Enjoy.

The David Fincher Movie List

I don’t think many argue that Fincher is a modern master. He’s become a mainstay at the Oscars. It’s strange that he’s been working the game for around 20 years now. Wow, time flies. As always, the list is mine, and probably only mine, feel free to tell me yours with comments or links.

1. Fight Club

2. Se7en

3. Zodiac

4. The Social Network

5. Panic Room

6. The Game

7. The Curious Case of Benjamin Button

8. Alien3

NA – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Thoughts.

It says something that he doesn’t churn out the movies so quickly. The man has a finger in every pie when he puts something up on the screen. I like that.

I’d say Fincher has 3 classic movies. No more, no less.

Fight Club AND Se7en are both perfect movies. I just prefer Fight Club slightly more though I’ll admit Se7en is just that step better in almost every single way.

Fight Club is one of very few movies that is so clearly better than the book.

Se7en is just one reason why Andrew Kevin Walker needs to write more movies. I wonder what he’s done lately…

Panic Room came with such hype on the script, it sold for so much and got fast tracked, but it really is more of an elevator pitch than a full script. Such a shame because I love Koepp. Love him.

The Game is a solid and good movie. No more, no less.

Look over many of Fincher’s movies, he nearly always has a big sacrifice at the end. I even worked, ages ago, on an essay about Fincher and the Art of the Sacrifice. I never finished it, and probably won’t.

There are some absolutely cracking scenes of acting in The Social Network. Strangely, I’ll think of that movie for its acting and script but not really its direction. It felt like Fincher just got out of the way, really.

It would be interesting to list the best acting performances under Fincher, there’d be plenty of people crowding for the top three spots.

Alien3 might have been a good movie but it just isn’t. Deal with it. You can’t rag on a flick and then when the director blows up as one of your favourites retroactively change your mind because you want to like his ‘old stuff’. Alien3 just doesn’t work, or maybe it’s just so far deep in the shadow of the first two that it’s barely visible. It’s a shame Alien couldn’t put together another classic sequel. Though how many flicks get one great sequel, it should count itself lucky and not push its luck.

Benjamin Button just didn’t grab me. It’s technically sound and Pitt really is good in it but it rang hollow for me. It is what it is and I accept it.

I would pay to see Fight Club remade exactly, with the same crew and script, but with Pitt and Norton swapping roles. That would be glorious.

Zodiac is the JFK of serial killer movies. It’s glorious, rewatchable, and downright brilliant. It’s like the sleeper hit of Fincher’s career because it seems so many ignore it.

I couldn’t get through the book of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Not sure that makes me want to catch the flick at all.

This is my list, what’s yours?

The Kevin Smith Movie List

Not the greatest director but a guy close to my adolescent heart.

1. Chasing Amy

2. Clerks

3. Dogma

4. Mallrats

5. Zack and Miri Make A Porno

6. Jersey Girl

7. Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back

8. Clerks 2

9. Cop Out

NA – Red State

Thoughts.

Man, you list all his flicks like that and it’s suddenly not so impressive. There’s only one classic movie on that list and it sits at the top. Clerks is close, maybe even there, but it doesn’t quite feel as definitive.

But the rest of the list isn’t bad, it’s just not cinema defining. There’s a lot of good flicks there, and a lot of laughs. But it’s a simple list. I mean no disrespect saying that.

Dogma could have been such a dominant flick, and if a smarter and more mature director had handled it I believe it surely would have been. There’s some rock solid gold in there and then there’s Silent Bob and a shit monster and a lot or purile stuff that just drags it down. Especially the more it ages. I like this movie, a lot, but it could have been masterful.

Mallrats is one of those flicks I watched on loop as a teen. It was just like candy, so easy to take in. There are plenty of faults but who cares when you have Jason Lee doing what he does there? Spout all the theory you like at it, Lee nails that flick.

I really wanted Zack and Miri Make A Porno to be on the same level of Chasing Amy and you can see it wants the same thing. It just doesn’t quite get there. Heartbreaking, really. Again, the immaturity drags it down. That whole taint intro just lost me.

I’m honestly torn with Clerks 2, Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, and Jersey Girl. Those films all just about tie because any given day I could rotate their order. They wouldn’t climb any further on the list, and certainly wouldn’t sink any lower, but they have the ability to shuffle.

Clerks 2 made me laugh. It’s nothing special but it does what it sets out to do, it makes me laugh. I also like the heart at the end of it. Donkey scene is another in a long string of examples where Smith just couldn’t help himself. Shame.

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back was the Mallrats for my uni days. Perfect hangover fare. It’s got plenty of insider laughs, and the Good Will Hunting sequel will always make me laugh, but otherwise it’s thin.

I don’t hate Jersey Girl. I kind of like it. There’s some very quality real moments in there and Affleck can act, dammit.

Cop Out was simply dire. The script was just so bad and cliche and terrible and superfluous. A movie I will most likely never watch again. If I’m lucky.

The sequence in Zack and Miri where Rogen gets dragged out of the room by the porn star to The Pixies’ ‘Hey’ is probably Smith’s greatest cinematic moment. It’s a Scorsese moment, man. It shows me what Smith really could do and be and then it breaks my heart because he never really gets there anywhere else. Chasing Amy excluded, obviously, because that is the greatest movie ever made.

I’m not being sarcastic, Chasing Amy is a phenomenal. That flick has unbelievable heart and just nails every scene. Pound for pound one of the best scripts of all time.

I haven’t seen Red State yet but I listened to all the film school podcasts about it and I’m pretty pumped for it. Could be very cool.

That’s my list, I’m really interested to see if you even have one for Smith. Let me have it if you’ve got it.

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