Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#57 – The Iron Giant
Why is it here:
This was a bomb. It was a failure at the box office. Possibly because it was old school at a time when everyone was salivating over computer animated features or possibly because we as a human race dropped the ball. Regardless, Brad Bird’s imagination-filled and tearjerking (in a good way) classic found a life after the cinema. It’s become a family classic despite having virtually no merchandising, sequel, or even a sniff of new media. The tale of a boy and his robot could have gone off the rails at so many opportunities but it flat out never does. Even with a second tier voice cast (nothing against Harry Connick, Jr. or John Mahoney or Jennifer Aniston) it just connects and is that rare intelligent kid’s movie that doesn’t patronize or sell out. I defy anyone not to well up at the end and then go outside with an extra bounce in your stride. Therapeutic, hopeful, and vital.
Moments to savor:
“I’m Superman”. The pieces coming back together. The transformation. Hogarth makes a friend. When the army can’t pull it off. The junkyard. Moments of discovery for a large hunk of metal.
Loads. It’s good to have two young kids with good taste. Gives me an excuse to watch the movie “for them”.
This is not on Blu-ray and Brad Bird is trying his damndest to make sure that when they do it’s not a barebones one.