Shawn's Top 30 Films - #12: Goodfellas

This to me is the ultimate gangster movie, even more so than The Godfather. Maybe it’s because I saw this one way sooner, but no other mob movie tops it for me. The cast is fantastic with a perfectly unhinged Joe Pesci, a scarily introverted Robert DeNiro, and somewhere in the middle is Ray Liotta in his best performance, before his face started to look like a baseball glove. The story, the dialogue, the characters, you can pick dozens and dozens of reasons as to why this movie is great. There’s a reason so many scenes and moments have stuck around in pop culture – because Goodfellas is an absolute classic. Now go get your fuckin’ shine box!

Shawn's Top 30 Films - #13: Anchorman

Very few movies can claim to have made me laugh until I was scared I may never stop. This is one of them. Add to the fact I was eating a delicious Twix bar at the time and I was borderline frightened of an actual choking related death. However I walked away safely and Anchorman has gone on to solidify itself as one of my favourite comedies, and apparently overall movies, of all time.

I know it’s not for everyone but this movie just hits the notes perfectly for me. It’s a terrific blend of great one-liners and batshit insane situations, with all concept of reality tossed out almost immediately. The cast is fantastic and the cameo parade almost never stops. It’s kind of crazy that the sequel is only a few weeks away and while no matter what it won’t taint my thoughts on the original, it’s got a whole lot to live up to.

Shawn's Top 30 Films - #14: Aladdin

Here’s another shining example as to why this is list called my favourite movies and not simply the best movies because I’ll go ahead and predict that a lot of people aren’t going to see eye to eye with me on this one.

Aladdin is another movie whose appeal to me is largely a nostalgia factor. From my four (!) theatrical viewings when it was in theatres, to my countless playthroughs of the both Super Nintendo and Genesis versions of the video game, to my use of allowance to buy the soundtrack on cassette, I have a ton of memories attached to this piece. Sure Robin Williams grates on my nerves far more now than back then, but it’s still a great movie and the soundtrack is no less terrific now. It’s my Disney film of choice and I don’t see it being dethroned of that status anytime soon.

Shawn's Top 30 Films - #15: Dumb and Dumber

I just thought of a weird story about this movie. Back when it first came out on VHS, I was so desperate for my own copy (remember that before DVD you had to wait for used VHS’s to go on sale or else you were never getting the movie) that I took a video camera, pointed it at the TV, and recorded the movie that way. I then watched my bootleg-ass copy of Dumb and Dumber all the damn time. Anyway, that’s my story.

In the last entry I highlighted some of Jim Carrey’s finest dramatic work. Here we have what I feel is his best comedic work. I will never ever get tired of watching Dumb and Dumber. Hardly a year goes by where I don’t revisit it and it’s always hilarious. It’s easily one of the most quotable movies of all time and has one of the best laugh-to-minute ratios of any movie ever. That’s it really. I have no need to say any more. Cam Neely.

Shawn's Top 30 Films - #16: The Truman Show

When I was putting this list together I was a little surprised to see The Truman Show continuing to creep its way higher and higher up the ranks. Then I watched The Truman Show again and I immediately remembered why – this movie is god damn amazing.

Even if you’ve never seen the movie before, you must know the premise since people have spent the last 15 years making references such as “you ever think your life is The Truman Show” . The idea of your life secretly being an elaborate TV show is brilliant and it’s as well executed here as you could hope for. You also have some of Jim Carrey’s best dramatic work at a time where nobody could picture him doing anything aside from comedy. If like me you haven’t seen this one in a while, go back and revisit it because it is still incredible.

Shawn's Top 30 Films - #17: Jurassic Park

When I first got my VHS copy of Jurassic Park I watched it damn near every day for weeks. I must have completely burned myself out on it because it was years before I watched it again. We bought the blu ray set a couple of years back and holy shit what do you know, Jurassic Park is still just as fantastic as I remember it being.

You got your ground breaking special effects that are still as impressive today, a host of great characters and memorable dialogue, and a final half that is so ridiculously suspenseful I’m surprised younger me could even handle it. Plus you have the T-Rex’s introduction sequence, probably one of my favourite 10 minute chunks of film in history. Also dinosaurs are awesome, so there’s that.

Shawn's Top 30 Films - #18: The Shining

I watched The Shining for the first time at a sleepover when I was about 11 years old. When it got to the part where the old lady emerges from the bathtub and refuses to stop cackling, I wanted to go home and I believe even made an effort to do so. That moment remains one of my most feared sequences in film, and The Shining is full of shit like that.

I can see why some would find this movie slow but I find the atmosphere and deliberate pace to be one of the movie’s biggest strengths. The whole thing is just so god damn eerie and full of incredibly unsettling scenes and moments. It really gets in there and just completely messes with you on just about every level.

So yeah…it’s good.

Shawn's Top 30 Films - #19: Dazed and Confused

Alright, alright, alright.

Before finalizing this list, I had this one in the “maybe” pile and decided I should give it another watch since I hadn’t seen it in years. Yep there was no need to worry, shit is still fantastic.

Dazed and Confused has a virtually non-existent plot, following a group of teens in the 70’s on their last day of school. We follow them over the course of about 24 hours as they party, drink, smoke pot and have sex. It works thanks to the great characters and fantastic script. Plus it’s one of those movies where apparently everyone on the planet jumped in before they hit it big. You got Ben Affleck, Milla Jovovich, and of course Matthew McConaghey in what still may be his best role. Throw in an amazing soundtrack on top of the mix and you have yourself an easy candidate for my top list.

Shawn's Top 30 Films - #20: Ferris Bueller's Day Off

This is another movie I have seen enough times that I have completely lost count. It’s that movie where if I’m flipping channels and stumble upon it, I’m completely stuck there until it’s done. This is great stuff right here. It’s a razor thin plot but it’s full of great characters, smart dialogue and a completely unnecessary but amazing dance sequence in the middle. Sure the idea of a man cramming 80 hours worth of activities into a single afternoon is insane, but it’s so much god damn fun that it doesn’t matter.

So yes, Ferris Bueller is absolutely a classic, and while I know most of us would be tempted to say that Godzilla or the remake of the Stepford Wives is Matthew Broderick’s best work, but I have to be controversial and say it’s actually this movie.

Shawn's Top 30 Films - #21: The Original Star Wars Trilogy

If you consider it cheating to have three movies take up a single list entry than just pretend that heading actually reads The Empire Strikes Back and we can all move forward happily.

I don’t think I really need to explain why these movies are here. If you grew up with them you completely understand it. They’re about as iconic as movies can get, full to the brim with characters, moments and references that are prevalent in our culture today. Watching all six movies on blu ray recently reinforced that these movies are undeniable classics that absolutely need to be on my list. It also reinforced that the new trilogy need never be discussed ever again. Ever.

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