Over the past nine months Couchside View have been counting down what we collectively feel are the 100 greatest films ever made. With our top ten already decided we thought it’d be a cool idea to interact the readers by letting you have the final say on what position these ten films end up in. So simply reacquaint yourself with the classics highlighted below and please do your bit in voting for which film you think deserves to be number one. The poll will be left running for a number of days whilst we continue the countdown from its current position.
No Country for Old Men (2007) Directed by: Ethan & Joel Coen. Screenplay by: Ethan & Joel Coen. Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy. Starring: Josh Brolin, Javier Bardem, Tommy Lee Jones, Woody Harrelson. Oscar Count: 4 (Best Picture, Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor).
Only a true American eccentric could have crafted something like No Country for Old Men. But this property had two of them to bring it to life. The first was the reclusive Cormac McCarthy, who acts as the modern Hemingway in creating his sparse, hopeless style of narration. The second was the Coen Brothers, who have long been known for taking pure Americana genres (including the film noir, the screwball comedy, and the western with this film) and inverting them to the point that they were almost unrecognizable. Still, those artists do have very different styles and approaches to material. The film is not like anything else the Coen’s have ever done. But it still manages to work, and becomes not only their best film, but the best modern western yet. Continue reading →
Buffy the Vampire Slayer had no business being as good as it was. At first glance, it is about self-absorbed teenagers fighting monsters that look like they belong in a Godzilla film. But it manages to transcend its material by being downright imaginative in the way it explores themes ranging from fatherhood, to teenaged angst, to self-worth. The monsters were not real, but manifestations of the demons that we all fight. The show revolutionized dramatic television (the current reboot of Doctor Who would not be nearly as good without the Buffy template to follow) and still survives in syndication.
This list attempts to examine the top episodes of the show. It was very difficult to narrow it down, and I am sure that many will comment on how I could leave out certain episodes. They will all be right. The strength of the show was how much information and development was present in each episode. There are very few “bad” ones, but to me, these episodes help explain more about that development than any other. Also, is it wrong to select ones that showcase characters I liked? This is, after all, my list.
By the way, yes, I am excluding the famous musical episode. Everyone’s seen it and declared it the greatest thing to air on television or the greatest piece of art in the history of civilization. In other words, I cannot really add anything else about it. I’d rather explore new territory than talk about the subtlety present in getting the mustard out. Continue reading →