What
makes one a Chewer? It isn’t just reading CHUD.com regularly, although
that’s a great start. It definitely isn’t being an expert at
mastication. Being a Chewer requires a certain sensibility that’s
outside of the mainstream. Sure, a Chewer can hold his or her own in a Star Wars
OT vs PT argument with a standard movie geek, and sure, a Chewer can go
with the rest of the film snobs to an Ozu revival, but a Chewer also
gets really, really excited about the DVD release of The Manitou.

Over
the next few weeks we’re going to be bringing you The CHUD.com
Essential Films Collection – the films that would be in our dream
Chewer DVD Box Set. These are 50 movies that we think every Chewer
should see and love. This is by no means the definitive list of movies
that make one a Chewer, but it’s a good start. It’s also in no order –
the first films that we list are just as essential as the last ones.
And it’s a list that will leave off the obvious as much as possible –
you don’t need us to tell you to see Lawrence of Arabia or Seven
Samurai.

So fire up your Netflix or your Amazon accounts –
every day we’ll be bringing you two movies that are worth seeing, and
probably worth owning as well. Chew on, Chewers.


Conquest of the Planet of the Apes (Buy it from CHUD!)


http://chud.com/nextraimages/conquestpota.jpgThe Movie: Two talking apes from the original Planet of the Apes have traveled back in time to the 1970s and given birth to a talking ape baby, Caesar. They’re killed by the government, and the baby is raised by circus manager Ricardo Montalban. In the 90s (the future when the movie was made!) apes are enslaved by man as servants and pets. Caesar unites these apes into the hairiest slave rebellion ever.

Why it’s Essential: Yes, the fourth Planet of the Apes movie makes the list. Underrated and even more underseen, Conquest of the Planet of the Apes was made when the funding for the series was coming to an end, but the creativity was still there – which is saying a lot for a franchise that blew up the Earth in the second movie and still managed to have three more sequels. Conquest takes Rod Serling’s already obvious social commentary from the first film and bold faces and italicizes it by modeling the ape rebellion scenes on footage from the 1965 Watts Riots! Conquest is easily the grittiest and most ethically and politically difficult of the films, so much so that the studio demanded a change to the ending - originally the apes killing all the humans, but dialogue was dubbed to make Caesar a little less militant. Even with that change, Conquest is the most politically explosive talking monkey movie ever.



Jackie Brown (Buy it from CHUD!)


http://chud.com/nextraimages/jackie_brown_ver8.jpgThe Movie: Pam Grier is a flight attendant making ends meet smuggling cash for gun runner Samuel L Jackson. Arrested by the FBI, Pam makes both the law and Jackson think that she’s going to play ball with them, when, with the help of bail bondsman Robert Forster, she really plans to skip out on everyone with a bag full of cash.

Why it’s Essential: Every other movie he’s made is easier to like, but this is where Tarantino proved he could really stand out as a filmmaker. Though Jackie Brown is still full of references to TV shows, exploitation flicks and ’70s culture (the soundtrack is predictably great, with a standout use of ‘Across 110th St’) the film feels a lot more like something that Tarantino drew out of himself. That the film is based on an Elmore Leonard book doesn’t matter. By focusing on the hopes and failures of two people past their prime, this is where Tarantino proved he has soul. It’s also his best-looking film (thanks, Guillermo Navarro!) and his most interesting cast, with DeNiro playing backup to Sam Jackson and unforgettable work by both Robert Forster and Pam Grier. Finally, Jackie Brown marks one of the very rare occasions where the same actor plays the same character in multiple non-franchise films by different directors. Because it’s Michael Keaton as Ray Nicollete (also in Out of Sight, obviously), that’s pretty alright.