Category Archives: Top 10s
It might not have lasted for as long as its television comedy brethren like “The Office” or “How I Met Your Mother,” but “Community” built up a rather admirable cult following during its 5 season run. A devout fan base who’s loyalty and passion is equal to, possibly even greater than the more illustrious, long-running shows. That being said, having such a dense, furious following leaves a significant amount of room for disapprovers to flourish. I’m in the former, however, a majority of the people I surround myself with tend to dislike the show…intensely. There’s really no middle-ground here, one either loves or hates “The Greendale 7” and their weekly antics. Whether that may be rescuing their dean from the clutches of a deranged, former Spanish teacher, a bottle episode, or referencing their all-time favourite films, “Community” is gone too soon, even if it is only one season.
Much like the show itself, you’ll either enjoy this top 10, or it’ll completely baffle and/or infuriate you. Regardless, without further delay, let’s get into it!
10: Home Economics: Season 1, Episode 8:
Highlight: “Getting Rid of Britta”
9: Herstory of Dance: Season 4, Episode 8
Highlight: Brie Larson
8: Horror Fiction in Seven Spooky Steps: Season 3, Episode 5
Highlight: Test Result Reveal
7: A Fistful of Paintballs/For a Few Paintballs More: Season 2, Episodes 23/24
Highlight: The Insecurity of Jeff
6: Advanced Dungeons & Dragons: Season 2, Episode 14
Highlight: The Origin of “Fat Neil”
5: Pillows & Blankets: Season 3, Episode 14
Highlight: Shot entirely like Ken Burn’s “The Civil War”
4: Modern Warfare: Season 1, Episode 23
Highlight: Chang’s Epic Entrance
3: Regional Holiday Music: Season 3, Episode 10
Highlight: Annie’s Christmas song/Abed and Troy’s rap
2: Epidemiology: Season 2, Episode 6
Highlight: Zombies and Abba
1: Contemporary American Poultry: Season 1, Episode 21
Highlight: “Goodfellas” and “The Godfather” references
SIX SEASONS AND A MOVIE!
I wasn’t really planning on posting a personal favourites list for 2013, but upon seeing the results of “Vote: Best of 2013” and how greatly they differed from my own, I felt it necessary to share with you all my favourite films from the past year. As for the results themselves, in which you all kindly contributed, they will be posted this Thursday, so keep an eye out for that. I’ll do my very best to keep this list short and sweet. You can find my full review for each film by clicking on the corresponding title, enjoy!
Earlier on, when this film was released, it was very much at the top of my list. However, as the year progressed and more highly-sought pictures caught my attention, Derek Cianfrance’s lovely epic just couldn’t hold on to a spot. That being said, I truly believe it has a significant amount of staying power and if any of the films listed ahead of it falter with time, “The Place Beyond the Pines” will surely make a jump into the top 10.
10: 12 Years a Slave:
Directed by skyrocketing genius Steve McQueen, creator of “Hunger” and “Shame.” “12 Years a Slave” depicts the unbelievable story of Solomon Northup, a free black man abducted and sold into slavery, where he stayed for twelve long years. Featuring a plethora of staggering performances, a tremendous musical score, and stunning, yet disturbing visuals. This flick is sure to be apart of cinema’s canon for a good, long while
9: The Hunt:
The only foreign film to make my top 10 is Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Hunt.” About a man struggling against the simplistic destruction of a rumour, this film is, without question, one of the most disturbing on the list. Starring the magnificent Mads Mikkelsen, “The Hunt” is a lock for best foreign feature this award season, for me at least.
8: All is Lost (review coming soon):
Having only become aware of this film in the recent months, its power and sheer brilliance knocked me off my feet. Following a man at sea who becomes shipwrecked and discombobulated, “All is Lost” is a magnificent triumph. Starring Robert Redford, and only him. What this film is able to achieve with limited cast, settings, and dialogue is miraculous.
7: American Hustle:
My placing of this film may surprise a few as “American Hustle” will undoubtedly be in many cinephiles top 5 films of the year. There isn’t much fault in this flick, the performances are superlative, the direction unparalleled, and its soundtrack timeless. That being said, the film’s shaky story led to its positioning here at number seven.
Up until about November, “Gravity” was very much in play to be in my top 5 films of the year. Unfortunately for Cuaron’s masterpiece however, a slew of infallible films came along and knocked it out of the top tier. Don’t be fooled though, this film is an unrivalled achievement and will be so for many years to come. The imagery, performances, and story are entrancing, not to mention the soothing musical score.
5: Drinking Buddies:
Okay, here is my shocker, went off the board with this one. All kidding aside however, the truth is “Drinking Buddies” is a masterful character study and one of the most honest, authentic, heartbreaking films you will ever witness. Featuring fantastic performances from the entire cast, Joe Swanberg’s “Drinking Buddies” managed to surprise everyone, me included, and force its way into my top 5.
Being a former musician, I can really sympathize with the lead in the Coen brothers masterpiece, “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Tossing that aside, this film is still a towering experience and undoubtedly finds itself amongst the Coen brothers best. Featuring outstanding performances and the best soundtrack of the year, “Inside Llewyn Davis” makes the list without question.
For a little while there, I thought “Her” was going to be number 1 on my list. Carrying the most original story, a breathtaking script, and spectacular performances, Spike Jonze really outdid himself with this one. People will be talking about “Her” long after the film has ended, perhaps even after humankind has ended…
Jeff Nichols “Mud” is a modern-day fable. Conveying a harsh lesson about growing up and love, this impeccable tale starring Matthew McConaughey and Tye Sheridan is my runner-up.
Scorsese and DiCaprio, enough said…no, not enough? How about Jonah Hill and stunner Margot Robbie? This flick is absolutely crazy in every sense. I didn’t hesitate for one-second putting “The Wolf of Wall Street” at the top of this list.
Well, TIFF is a mere 6 days away and I’m finding it extremely hard to contain my excitement. So, I figured I’d compile this list to somewhat ease my strain as well as inform you all of what you can expect to be radiating from the festivities this year. Now, with nearly 300 films screening at the festival, narrowing it down to the top 10 was extremely difficult. Not to mention that each individual carries their own interpretation of anticipation and cinematic values. Inevitably, this means it’s almost a foregone conclusion that many of you won’t agree with most of my choices. That being said, I did my best to include the general public in my decisions regarding the films playing in Toronto and how hotly anticipated they are. So, please keep that in mind when judging this list. Click on the film title for all the information you need regarding the film.
As always, if you feel I’ve overlooked a film or listed one that shouldn’t have been included, feel free to voice your opinions and comments below.
James McAvoy and Jessica Chastain in “The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby”
Eli Roth’s “The Green Inferno.”
Now, without further ado, let’s get to it!
10: August: Osage County.
Seriously, just read the cast list for this film and you’ll see why I’m so smitten.
Similar to Mud, except instead of Matthew McConaughey, Nicholas Cage takes on the role of the mentor.
8: Don Jon.
The Directorial debut for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, what’s not to like?
TWO Jake Gyllenhaal’s, yes please!
This just might earn Idris Elba an Oscar nomination.
5: Blood Ties.
Marion Cotillard and Clive Owen light up the screen in this thriller.
4: The Fifth Estate.
Is this performance by Benedict Cumberbatch going to earn him an Oscar?
Has anyone ever, in the history of cinema had two consecutive years as amazing as Matthew McConaughey’s past two? They are calling his role in Dallas Buyers Club Oscar worthy, even though he should probably win for Mud.
This film has recently shot up the list since its initial screening. It is garnering masively positive reviews out of the gate.
There is tremendous Oscar buzz surrounding this film and for good reason. Watch the trailer and you’ll find out for yourself.
That’ll do it for this week’s top 10, hope you all enjoyed it. Remember to leave all opinions and comments below. Have a great weekend!
Over here at The Cinema Monster, I haven’t been giving enough credit or designating much time to the animated genre…that’s all going to change. After recently starting to post reviews of my all-time favourite animated comic book films, it’s time to get into full-length features, starting with this top 10.
Pixar is one of the most illustrious, prolific, profitable, and overall successful studios in existence for a reason and are well deserving of their own top 10 list. Since 1995, Pixar has released a total of 14 films and earned nearly 10 billion dollars worldwide. All 14 flicks are amongst the highest grossing animated films of all time, while “Toy Story 3” and “Finding Nemo” both found their way into the top 50 highest grossing films of all time. That being said, Pixar’s achievements aren’t limited to box office success and critical acclaim. The studio, in total, has earned 27 Oscar nominations in numerous categories and have won a staggering 7 times for creating the best animated film of the year. Not to mention the countless Golden Globe and Grammy wins, in addition to being nominated by the academy for best picture of the year, twice. I think it’s safe to say that Pixar has earned their reputation and status.
The criteria I compiled this top 10 upon, aside from personal preference obviously, is story, soundtrack, character strength, and visual appeal. However, because this is my personal blog/website, my preference will have the final decision in the end. As always, if you feel I’ve overlooked a film or listed one that shouldn’t have been included, feel free to comment below. I’m always open to others opinions and love hearing your thoughts, whether it has to do with the top 10 itself, ways to improve the segment, or topic suggestions.
That’s it, no more dilly-dallying, let’s get started!
10: “A Bug’s Life”
The second oldest film on the list having been released in 1998. “A Bug’s Life” might not be as unique or structurally strong as Pixar’s future endeavours, but memorable characters and striking visuals make “A Bug’s Life” one of Pixar’s first smash-hits.
With some terrific humour, a heartfelt story, and outstanding CGI. “Ratatouille” was a brilliant bounce back after a minor speed bump with “Cars.”
8: “Toy Story 2”
What I feel to be the weakest entry into the “Toy Story” trilogy, which isn’t saying much considering all three are essentially immaculate. “Toy Story 2” is without a doubt one of the best sequels ever made and is as fresh and visually appealing as the first.
7: “The Incredibles”
Well, it’s definitely more ambitious and violent than a majority of Pixar’s films. Yet, “The Incredibles” is an enjoyable adventure and is one of Pixar’s more original creations.
6: “Monsters Inc.”
What I feel to be one of Pixar’s most underrated films. “Monsters Inc” is intelligent, endearing, and utterly entertaining.
5: “Toy Story 3”
A near-perfect finale to a timeless, transcendent trilogy. “Toy Story 3” might be the most difficult Pixar film to watch, only because it signals the end of an era.
4: “Finding Nemo”
“Finding Nemo” is hilarious, visually hypnotic, and captivating. With amazing voice work, the characters truly become three-dimensional and the story comes alive and practically leaps from the screen.
3: “Toy Story”
This is where it all begin. Without “Toy Story,” who knows where Pixar would be now. It is literally impossible not to enjoy this masterpiece.
Incredibly disheartening, visually striking, and infinitely enthralling. “Up” might be a little too mature for its intended audience. Nonetheless remains, sweet, smart, and unquestionably entertaining.
For me, this is a no-brainer. Easily Pixar’s most intelligent, visually breathtaking, and memorable release to date. With its entrancing characters and clever story, “Wall-e” truly sets the bar.
Alright then, that’ll do it for this week’s top 10, hope you all enjoyed it. Have a great weekend!
With the passing of each week, the more I enjoy concocting these top 10s, and this week’s entry is no different. As you may have guessed from the title or header image, this top 10 will feature, in my opinion, the best antiheroes in cinema history. As always, if you feel I’ve overlooked a contestant or listed one that shouldn’t have been considered, leave all comments and questions below. I’m always looking to improve the segment and love interacting with fellow film lovers.
Every now and then there comes along a protagonist who might go off the deep end. You know, beat someone half-to-death, take pleasure in humanities destruction, or have the occasional soul erased from the face of the earth. Now, however they chose to go about there business is irrelevant. We, as cinephiles love these colourful characters for their more shady characteristics and the nonchalant way they handle things that would send normal people into spiralling depression.
Let’s do it!
Severus Snape (Harry Potter series, Alan Rickman), Oh-dae Su (Oldboy, Min-sik Choi), Marv (Sin City, Mickey Rourke), Lisbeth Salander (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Rooney Mara), Patrick Bateman (American Psycho, Christian Bale), Daniel Plainview (There Will Be Blood, Daniel Day Lews), Kim Soo-hyeon (Byung-hun Lee, I Saw the Devil).
10: Jules Winnfield (Pulp Fiction, Samuel L. Jackson)
Jules is someone who really radiates anti-heroism. Almost like a gun-slinger with a bible in one hand and a gun in the other.
9: Charles Bronson (Bronson, Tom Hardy)
Talk about taking pleasure in abhorrent behaviour. All Bronson wanted was to fight for the sake of fighting and to become Britain’s most violent prisoner.
8: The Driver (Drive, Ryan Gosling)
Torn between his only skill-set and doing right by his friends. The Driver may lull you in with his heartwarming nature, but make no mistake, he is ruthless and unforgiving.
7: Tyler Durden (Fight Club, Brad Pitt)
Driven by a desire to disrupt the world and destroy his opinion of oppression. Tyler may be trying to help out his bud, but he accomplishes it in true antihero fashion.
6: Alex (A Clockwork Orange, Malcolm McDowell)
Alex simply wants to see others suffer, whether it be through violence, mental degradation, or dominance.
5: Leon (Leon: The Professional, Jean Reno)
An assassin with a heart of gold.
4: Tony Montana (Scarface, Al Pacino)
Willing to do whatever is necessary to become his own interpretation of king. Tony Montana is as cold-blooded as they come.
3: Travis Bickle (Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro)
One can’t help but feel for Travis, attempting to free the unfortunate girl sucked into prostitution. However, his sociopathic mentality, obsessions with firearms, and desire to murder is too repulsive to overlook.
2: Henry Hill (Goodfellas, Ray Liotta)
From the beginning, we are led to believe that Hill and his fellow thugs are normal, everyday hard-working guys. However, the truth is much more sinister and ferocious.
1: Michael Corleone (The Godfather, Al Pacino)
Although we’ve been given a veritable gaze into the Corleone family and begin to care for them. There is no denying that this mafia family will do whatever it takes to remain atop, especially Michael.
Okay all, that’ll do it for this week’s edition of the top 10, hope you all enjoyed it. Have a great weekend!
As far as being acknowledged for a piece of work goes, an Oscar nomination is easily one of the most difficult to earn. That being said, year after year, there are front runners. The same, familiar faces we, as cinephiles, have come to expect great things from. And every year, as sure as the seasons change, one of these remarkable actors is fortunate enough to capture the gold statue. The talented men below, are not one of these lucky individuals. For whatever reason, the 10 men listed below can’t seem to close the deal. Granted, it isn’t for a lack of effort or quality, neither is it due to some misguided bias. It just so happens that every performance they’ve given that has eventually earned them this elusive recognition, has been trumped by another individual. Now, we may not unanimously agree on the winner yearly, but one thing we can all agree on, is the men listed below, should have some Oscar gold on their shelves.
The way I concluded on how to compile this top 10 is simple. Each actor mentioned in the top 10 has a performance I feel should have earned them an Oscar win. A lot of the men listed have been nominated, some more than once. Nonetheless, have yet to take home the hardware. As for the “still time” and “honourable mentions,” they might not have been nominated previously, but I still feel will win an Oscar in my lifetime.
Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Cillian Murphy, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Hardy, Michael Shannon.
Johnny Depp, John Travolta, Viggo Mortensen, Vincent Cassel, Harrison Ford, Jim Carrey, Ian McKellan, Joaquin Phoenix, Patrick Stewart.
Now, without further ado, let’s get into it!
10: Ed Harris – The Truman Show
A four-time Oscar nominee, Ed Harris just can’t seem to get the respect he deserves or be able to catch a break.
9: Edward Norton – American History X
“Fight Club,” “Moonrise Kingdom,” and “American History X,” Edward Norton has no shortage of great performances under his belt. Now, if he could just get that elusive win, we could all cross him off of our lists.
8: Bill Murray – Lost in Translation
His best chance to win the golden statue may have already passed with the release of “Lost in Translation.” But who knows, maybe he can surprise us once more and finally grab a victory.
7: Tom Cruise – Jerry McGuire
All Cruise craziness aside, he has stared in numerous films that should have garnered him at least one Oscar win, if not more.
6: Sam Rockwell – Moon
Many of you may not agree with this choice. Nonetheless, I feel Sam Rockwell has given the performance of our lifetime in “Moon” and should have been at least recognized for it, in my opinion, he should have been given the Oscar hands down.
5: Samuel L. Jackson – Pulp Fiction
Really? How did Jackson not win an Oscar for his performance in “Pulp Fiction?”
4: Liam Neeson – Schindler’s List
Another no-brainer. Liam Neeson is an outstanding actor, yet has not earned an Oscar.
3: Gary Oldman – Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
One of the most illustrious actors on this list, Mr. Oldman has only been nominated once. While it should have been more, his performance in “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy” should have gotten him the win.
2: Brad Pitt – 12 Monkeys
Now we are getting into ridiculousness. Take your pick, Pitt should have multiple Oscar wins, but has yet to receive his first, utterly insane.
1: Leonardo DiCaprio – The Aviator
Arguably one of the best actors to ever grace the big screen. Leonardo DiCaprio has yet to win an Oscar. WIth a plethora of performances that should have gotten him at least one win. We, as cinephiles can only hope he will be recognized for his work sometime in the near future.
Alright, that’ll do it for this week’s top 10, I sincerely hope you all enjoyed it. As always, if you feel I overlooked an actor or listed one that should have excluded from this list, please leave all comments and questions below. Everyone have an outstanding weekend!
Whether you’re following vast, deep footprints through destruction and carnage, searching for a safe zone, or staring down a snarling, drooling, gargantuan beast face-to-face. Nothing beats the sheer adrenaline, fear, and conscientious clarity that comes with outrunning, out-thinking, and hopefully beating the best movie monsters. Sure, there will undoubtedly be casualties and the emergence of this immense life-form could possibly spell the end of civilization as we know it. But, in all honesty, how awesome would it be to take down one of these mothers? But I digress…
For the record, I am not including monsters based off of existing creatures. This means that “Jurassic Park,” “Jaws,” and “King Kong” will all be excluded from the list. However, this mention is somewhat of a shout-out to each films ability to create truly terrifying, malicious beasts out of prehistoric or current beings.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
10: “Super 8” alien life form (J.J Abrams, 2011). I know that a lot of you will disagree with this choice. I know the film might have been a bit to nostalgic or cliche for some, but I absolutely adore this J.J Abrams flick for precisely those reasons…oh, and the monster!
9: “Ghostbusters” Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man (Ivan Reitman, 1984). I know it’s a little wimpy, kind-of funny, but it is still a lot of fun and unnerving…down-right disturbing actually.
8: “Monsters” alien life form (Gareth Edwards, 2010). I know most of you won’t agree with this choice, most of you probably haven’t even seen the film. But it is low-budget, science-fiction brilliance and the aliens are just astounding and atmospheric.
7: “Pacific Rim” Kaiju (Guillermo Del Toro, 2013). I know it is a bit recent and that some didn’t enjoy the film. However, there is no denying the coolness of the Kaiju.
6: “The Fly” Brundlefly (David Cronenberg, 1986). Okay, it may not be as monstrous or destructive as the other creatures on this list. Nonetheless, Brundlefly is quite possibly the most petrifying.
5: “The Thing” (John Carpenter, 1982). I don’t really know what to say about this one. The Thing is a sick, twisted, malicious being that doesn’t stop until everyone and everything is dead.
4: “Cloverfield” alien life form (Matt Reeves, 2008). The scene where one of the main protagonists is consumed by this foul being still haunts my dreams to this very day.
3: “The Host” mutated amphibious life form (Joon-ho Bong, 2006). An outstanding monster flick that tackles more than its fair share of questionable subject matter. “The Host” has a misunderstood, agile monster at its centre, but make no mistake, it is badass.
2: “Godzilla” I am not going to put a specific film or director on this one, seeing as the franchise continues to rejuvenate. This is the ultimate, timeless, gigantic monster. The only surprise here is that you all expected it to be at number 1.
1: “Alien” franchise, Xenomorph. Hands down my all time favourite movie monster. The Xenomorph embodies everything a movie monster should be and so much more.
Okay all, that’ll do it for this week’s edition of the top 10. I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I enjoyed compiling it. As always, if you feel I’ve overlooked a monster or listed one that shouldn’t have been ranked, please comment below. Have a great weekend!
In all honesty, this Top 10 is long overdue. I should have posted this when I first started the website. Regardless, here it is!
I don’t think there is a film category I love more than the notoriously gory, excessively violent, and at times, down-right idiotic Zombie sub-genre. Show me someone who doesn’t yearn for rotting flesh so detailed you can almost smell the decomposition or over-the-top brutality conducted with a plethora of vicious weapons thrust into action by survivors fighting for their lives and I’ll show you a liar. Below, you’ll find a variety of films about the undead ranging from satirical romps, dramatic thrillers, brilliant homages, and so much more.
Remember, the films listed are my own personal favourites, not that of the movie-going public. So, try your best to differentiate preference from the general consensus. Nonetheless, hopefully you’ll find a lot of your own cult-favourites ranked and enjoy this week’s top 10!
“The Horde” (2009, Yannick Dahan and Benjamin Rocher). The Horde is the header image in case anyone was wondering.
10: “Planet Terror” (2007, Robert Rodriguez).
9: “Dawn of the Dead” (2004, Zack Snyder).
8: “Zombieland” (2009, Ruben Fleischer).
7: “Dead Alive” (A.K.A “Braindead” 1992, Peter Jackson).
6: “Zombie” (1979, Lucio Fulci).
5: “28 Weeks Later” (2007, Juan Carlos Fresnadillo).
4: “Dawn of the Dead” (1978, George A. Romero).
3: “Shaun of the Dead” (2004. Edgar Wright).
2: “Night of the Living Dead” (1968, George A. Romero).
1: “28 Days Later” (2002, Danny Boyle).
Alright guys, that’ll do it for this week’s edition of the top 10. Hope everyone enjoyed it as much as I did organizing it. Please comment below if you think I’ve overlooked a film or if you feel a film made the list that shouldn’t have. Have a great weekend!.