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About Us

Terry Plucknett

I have been a casual movie fan for most of my life, but a serious movie fan since 2004.  Although I am the oldest of the three of us, I am the least experienced when it comes to movies.  I think I like talking about movies more than I actually like watching them.  Not to say watching them isn't enjoyable, it it just that much fun to talk about them.  When I watch a movie, I am looking for it to connect with me in some way.  I want to care about the movie.  I'm looking for the buzz.  If I don't care about the story or the characters, I won't care about the movie.  It's like drinking a glass of Merlot, unacceptable.  When I review a movie, I try to be as objective as possible and give the movie credit when I can.  I use a very specific system to rate movies giving equal weight to five categories: story/script, film quality/directing, acting, recommendability, and emotional impact.  This creates a separation between my favorite movies and what I consider the best movies.  For example, my favorite movie of all time is Apollo 13, however it ranks # 3 on my Top 100.  The Wizard of Oz, a movie I enjoy but would not consider an all-time favorite, is listed as # 1 on my Top 100 because I consider it such a groundbreaking and near perfect movie on so many accounts.

Terry's Top 100

Zach Saltz

I am a movie nerd.  I had memorized every Best Picture winner by the time I was in the sixth grade, and started to watch Criterion DVDs when I was fourteen.  My favorite films are always centered around characters and dialogue rather than plot and action; I often find myself thinking that “boring films” are far more fascinating than “exciting” movies.  I think I would dress up as a donkey for a new print of Bresson’s Au hasard Balthazar before I would dress up for the latest banal Spider-Man sequels (though I would admittedly and controversially note that the series has gotten progressively better with each new entry).  I have three sources of film criticism I whole-heartedly trust: Roger Ebert (whose reviews taught me how to write), James Berardinelli, and the wonderful staff at Slant Magazine.  My reviews are in the personal essay form, but as you can tell, I do not stay focused on any one thing for an extended period of time (don’t you think Kevin Smith’s films are merely the overhyped product of pop savvy and Star Wars fandom rather than substance?)  I do not believe in calling every film made before 1950 my favorite just to show how intelligent I am; newer films have just as much, if not more, to offer to the enlightened viewer.

Here are some other tidbits:

Favorite Movie: For a while, I said the best movie ever made was In the Bedroom, but that my favorite movie was La meglio giuventu (The Best of Youth).  I think for the sake of clarity, I’ll stick with In the Bedroom.

Worst Movie: Four-way tie between L’effrontee, John Q. , A History of Violence, and The Mist.

Favorite Oscar Moment: Most recently, when Crash won Best Picture over Brokeback Mountain (I’m not a hater, Crash is just a better flick).

Worst Oscar Moment: Julia Roberts winning Best Actress over two of the great performances in modern cinema – Laura Linney in You Can Count on Me and Ellen Burstyn in Requiem For a Dream.

Favorite Movie Characters: All characters played by Woody Allen, C.C. Baxter, Marge Gunderson, Travis Bickle.

Most-Watched Movie: Apollo 13. Probably seen it about 15 times.

Overrateds: The Godfather, Midnight Cowboy, Gladiator, Fight Club, The Lord of the Rings

Underrateds: The Grey Zone, The Man in the Moon, Naked Gun 33 1/3, Titanic, The Bridges of Madison County.

Only time I’ve ever cried at a movie: Jeux Interdits (Forbidden Games)

The one movie I desperately want to see but have never been able to track down: Il Ladro di Bambini (The Stolen Children).

Zach's Top 100

Todd Plucknett

What do I love about movies? Well, to begin with…everything.

What constitutes a good movie for me is a combination of certain elements. One particular standard that I look for in a picture is intelligent writing. Sideways is one of the most intelligent screenplays I have ever come across. The vocabulary, broad knowledge of all media, and its undeniable brilliant insight into human relationships makes the film an almost flawless movie-going experience.

Another element that goes into my evaluation of film is acting. I find it hard to consider a movie to be anything above just tolerable if there are bad performances in it. Saw is an example of a film that is plagued by awful performances. It might have been a decent and original thrill, but I could not get my mind around the torturous performances in the film. An example of a flawlessly acted film would be Leaving Las Vegas. The chemistry between the actors and absolute believability make the film almost untouchable in that regard.

Thirdly, the movie has to leave me with a strong and lasting impression. There has to be some emotional impact, whether that is my mind being bent on a twist (Memento), a hilarious experience (Clerks), authentic moving moments (Far from Heaven), or something of the like.

I can always respect a movie that has ambitions that go deeper than just entertainment. When one of these films fails, it is so easy to consider it as being one of the worst. They are almost always hit or miss, but when they hit (such as American Beauty or The Deer Hunter), that is when a truly great film is made. I will traditionally consider an average movie with importance as being better than an average blockbuster.

My range of my taste in movie is vast. Basically every genre is represented in my top 100 films. I love everything from Kill Bill, to the simplest of films like Before Sunrise, to films of meaning like Schindler’s List. Watching movies is what I do with free time, to pass time…basically all the time. Movies are my entertainment and even education on particular subjects. I do not know what I would do without them.

Todd's Top 100

Adam Daly

Growing up, I always enjoyed sitting down with my family and watching movies.  As I got older and started watching indie and classic films.  I quickly began to appreciate them more - not just as art, but as a business.

There's nothing like going out to a film that you're stoked to see.  It's exciting and gives me the jitters (depending on what I'm seeing).  My favorite movie theater foods are traditional popcorn, Red Vines, and Sour Patch Kids.  For me, they enhance the experience the filmmakers are taking us on.  Let's face it; if the movie is awful, the snacks really help!  One of my favorite movie theater experiences is watching the Star Wars Special Editions.

I love the journey that films take us on.  It might be to a place never before imaged (Star Wars, Avatar), teach us about people we never knew (Argo, Apollo 13), twist our minds (Memento, The Usual Suspects), bring us to tears (Inside Out, Titanic), make us laugh out loud (Superbad), or scare us to death (Jaws, The Conjuring).

Here are some of my favorite things:
Directors: Martin Scorsese, David Fincher, Ben Affleck, Woody Allen, Stanley Kubrick
Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Harrison Ford, Bradley Cooper, Tom Hanks, Robert De Niro
Actress: Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, Brie Larson
Genres: Crime/Mob, Action/Adventure, Superhero films

Adam's Top 100

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