It’s the New Year, and time for yet another “Top Whatever List”. It’s been a lot of fun finding something a little off the beaten path to start the weekend with. Some of these movies have been old favorites, some have been new discoveries. There were so many fun ones, in fact, I could easily do a top ten, or even a top twenty. In the interest of time, however, here are the five favorite movies I’ve featured for Friday Night Owls:
5: CANE TOADS: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY. I love documentaries. Love them. CANE TOADS: AN UNNATURAL HISTORY takes a different approach than your typical non-fiction film. Between silly reenactments and a generally light-hearted approach, the director turns an invasive species into something whimsical.
4: SKIDOO. I love SKIDOO. I might be one of six people in the world who love it, but I do. Otto Preminger directing Jackie Gleason in an LSD movie where Carol Channing does a strip tease for Frankie Avalon. Grouch Marx is a drug dealer named God. The sheer audaciousness makes me smile every time I see it…which is probably too often for my mental health.
3: BRAVE NEW WORLD. It helps that Brave New World is one of my favorite books. As a shorter novel, it should be easier for people to adapt into film. Should be is the key word. While flawed, this is the one adaptation I’ll be judging all future adaptations by.
2: O LUCKY MAN. I was going back and forth between this and the one I put first. Both deserve to be in the top spots for very different reasons. O LUCKY MAN follows the ups and downs of a travelling coffee salesman. It’s that, and so much more. The movie has everything–comedy, drama, romance, adventure, even science fiction. It is ambitious and never shies away from going head on at whatever it attempts. O LUCKY MAN is one of the movies that can call itself “Epic” without being mindless.
1: RESURRECT DEAD: THE MYSTERY OF THE TOYNBEE TILES. This one snuck up on me. When I first saw it, I was looking for something silly and mindless to be playing in the background while I got other things done. Nothing got done that night. It’s a true story of impossibilities. It should have been impossible for tiles to be embedded into pavement on busy roads with no one noticing. It should have been impossible for three random guys with no investigative training to hunt down the clues as to the how and why for the tiles’ existence. Yet it happened. I was not expecting this to be an inspirational film and I don’t think the filmmakers set out for it to be. Yet it was.
QUESTION OF THE NIGHT–What’s the best movie you saw in 2019, whether new in the theater, old and on DVD, or any other way?