My Movie Alphabet.

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This is my third blogathon this year and it’s yet another good one. It was started by Mettel Ray as you can see from the image above and you can find a little more info by visiting here.
The aim is to work through the alphabet with anything film related; The first one will begin with a number and then A-Z after that. It’s a little more tricky than you’d imagine as some favourites need to be left out. Not everyone can make the cut but honourable mentions are given also. Anyway, here goes with my alphabet that hopefully, reflects my taste in movies.

#:
12 Monkeys.

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Under the watchful eye and Imaginarium of Terry Gilliam, is this fantastic, time-travel, Sci-Fi gem. Based on the short French film “La Jetee” and written by “Blade Runner” scribe David Webb Peoples. It also boasts career best performances from Brad Pitt and Bruce Willis.

(others I thought of) 2001: A Space Odyssey, 1900, 12 Angry Men.

A:
Amelie.

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For the ultimate, heart-warming, feel good movie, Amelie is second to none. It also happens to be a highly artistic, creative and visual spectacle. That, and Audrey Tautou is adorable in the title role.

(others I thought of) Al Pacino, Angel Heart, Aliens, Alfred Hitchcock.

B:
The Big Lebowski.

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Intelligent and meticulous comedies don’t come much better than this. Every character and line of dialogue is delivered to perfection. It has a solid cult following for a reason and remains one of the few films that gets better with every viewing.

(others I thought of) Blade Runner, Bill Murray, Boogie Nights.

C:
The Coen Brothers.

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The bros. have never made a bad film in my opinion and rank as the most consistent and reliable of director’s. They’ve stumbled on occasion (“The Ladykillers“) but still always bring something fresh and unique to the screen.

(others I thought of) City Of God, Children Of Men, John Carpenter.

D:
Daniel Day-Lewis.

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Day-Lewis is, quite simply, one of the greatest actors to ever grace the screen. His commitment to every role is matched only by the class of DeNiro. It’s always a pleasure to see what he brings to a role.

(others I thought of) Drive, David Lynch, The Darjeeling Limited, Dog Day Afternoon, The Dude.

E:
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

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Or, the ‘Elaborate Complexity Of The Kaufman Mind‘. A stunning piece of work from the wonders of writer Charlie Kaufman and director Michel Gondry. It could also, arguably, possess the best work from Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet. A heartbreakingly surreal, near masterpiece.

F:
Fight Club.

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A massive ‘Fuck You’ to capitalism and the establishment. Very few mainstream films are as daring and as well constructed as this is. Another film to boast one of Brad Pitt’s finest characters and to have him coupled with Edward Norton is stuff of cinema gold.

(others I thought of) Fargo. Francis Ford Coppola.

G:
Goodfellas.

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One of the true, great, mafia films which might not be as grand as Francis Ford Coppola’s “The Godfather” but works equally as well on a more domestic and personal level. It was difficult to chose between them but had to go with Scorsese’s (for now).

(others I thought of) The Godfather parts I & II, Glengarry Glen Ross, Gary Oldman, George Clooney.

H:
Harold & Maude.

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One of the most unconventional love stories you’re likely to see. Full of quirky humour and touching moments and has two excellent lead performances in Burt Cort and Ruth Gordon. A cult favourite.

(others I thought of) Harvey Keitel.

I:
Indiana Jones.

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Does anything really need to be explained about this iconic, whip-cracking character? I think not! Marvellous stuff and the perfect example of cinema as sheer entertainment.

(others I thought of) Inception, Inland Empire.

J:
Jeff Bridges.

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Highly underrated actor that had received 4 Oscar nominations over nearly 40 years before eventually winning one for “Crazy Heart“. He followed his win up the following year with another (his fifth) nomination. Always reliable and he’s also responsible for embodying The Dude.

(others I thought of) Jack Nicholson, Jackie Brown.

K:
Ken Loach.

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For authentic, working-class or political cinema, I can’t see past the great director Ken Loach. He works with minimal budgets and mostly untrained actors and his results are always raw and realistic.

(others I thought of) Killer Joe, Kill Bill.

L:
L.A. Confidential.

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As a big fan of crime-writer James Ellroy, it’s a pleasure to see an adaptation of his material actually work onscreen. Credit to everyone involved and it also marked a big step into the limelight for Russell Crowe and Guy Pearce.

(others I thought of) Lars von Trier.

M:
Memento.

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Christopher Nolan seems to have made a bigger impression on the movie-going public with “Inception” and his “Dark Knight” trilogy but it was in his early days with Memento that his class really showed. A sublime, labyrinthine modern noir with more twists and turns than you shake a stick at.

(others I thought of) Martin Scorsese, Miller’s Crossing, Mickey Rourke.

N:
No Country For Old Men.

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Finally, the Coen brothers got their hands on well deserved Best Director Oscars for their work on Cormac McCarthy’s neo-western. Dark, gripping and boasts a villain to remember in Javier Bardem’s Anton Chigurh – who’s weapon of choice is a hydraulic cattle-gun. One of the Coens’ finest.

(others I thought of) Christopher Nolan.

O:
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.

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Radical points of view and anti-establishment voices were rife in the
60’s/70’s. Very few films or characters captured this as well as Cuckoo’s Nest or it’s protagonist Randall Patrick McMurphy. Jack Nicholson is on scintillating form and the film remains only one of three that have won all top 5 Oscars.

(others I thought of) Once Upon A Time In America.

P:
Philip Seymour Hoffman.

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Versatile actor that always brings a real depth to his characters. Each and every one of his performances, no matter how small, are powerful character studies. Possibly the best of the modern generation of actors.

(others I thought of) Pulp Fiction, Paul Thomas Anderson, Paddy Considine, Pedro Almodovar.

Q:
Quentin Tarantino.

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Tarantino managed to change the face of cinema in the early 90’s and he done it by merging lots of others’ work into his own idiosyncratic style. Some believed him to be a flash in the pan but Quentin is just as strong now as he ever was and very few director’s have as much anticipation on the release of a new film.

(others I thought of) Jesus Quintana.

R:
Robert DeNiro.

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In my humble opinion, DeNiro is the finest actor that we’ve ever had. There are not many (if any) who can claim to have worked with such an abundance of top class directors and do it year after year. Now, he may not be reaching the heights he once did but there’s no denying the presence that DeNiro brings onscreen or the iconic roles he’s brought over the years.

(others I thought of) Reservoir Dogs, Robert Carlyle, River Phoenix.

S:
Steve McQueen.

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To kill two birds with the one stone, and allow me to mention two of my favourite films, I’ve chosen the director of both of them. “Hunger” and “Shame” are two very fine pieces of work and McQueen’s collaborations with their leading actor also allows me to bring special mention to the brave and highly talented Michael Fassbender.

(others I thought of) Sergio Leone, Stanley Kubrick, Sean Penn, Sidney Lumet, Steven Spielberg, Se7en.

T:
Trainspotting.

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Before the heights of an Oscar for “Slumdog Millionaire“, director Danny Boyle tackled the ‘unfilmable’ novel by Irvine Welsh about the Edinburgh drug scene. Most of the actors have went on to bigger things but their performances here are still career highlights. Robert Carlyle as the violent psychopath Begbie, is especially memorable.

(others I thought of) The Thin Red Line, The Tree Of Life, Terrence Malick.

U:
The Usual Suspects.

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With one of the finest twists in cinema history, it would be very difficult not to include this. Director Bryan Singer has never quite managed to emulate his success here but it’s a film that lasts long in the memory and another that is always mentioned and referenced.

V:
Vic Vega.

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Since I’ve struggled to include “Reservoir Dogs“, I’ll include the most memorable character from the film; Michael Madsen’s sadistic portrayal of Mr. Blonde aka Vic Vega is completely unforgettable and instantly went down as an iconic piece of cinema with his ear-slicing jig to Steeler’s Wheel’s, Stuck In The Middle With You.

W:
Wes Anderson.

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It’s a delight to have such a quirky and creative director working in film these days. No-one makes films quite like Anderson and he’s a director that I genuinely get excited about upon the news of a new project. Love or loathe him, there’s no mistaking his idiosyncratic style.

(others I thought of) Tom Waits, Wild At Heart, Waking Life.

X:
The X-Files.

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For want of a better choice, I had to go with this. Not because the films were great but the tv series that spawned them was absolutely fantastic. Mulder and Scully are also two characters that have easily entered popular culture.

Y:
Y Tu Mama Tambien.

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A great little Mexican, coming-of-age, road-movie that introduced me to the excellent talents of director Alfonso Cauron and actors Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna.

(others I thought of) Yojimbo.

Z:
Zodiac.

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The second film to appear from director David Fincher. Choosing anything involving the letter “Z” doesn’t leave a whole lot of choice but I haven’t picked this because I was limited. It is genuinely a magnificent film and one of my favourites from Fincher. It makes a great companion piece to his other, more visceral, serial-killer thriller “Se7en“.

(others I thought of) Zombieland.

So there you have it. My Movie Alphabet that hopefully gives you better idea of my tastes. To view others who have taken part in the blogathon go here

Mark Walker.

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45 Responses to “My Movie Alphabet.”

  1. Brother! What a fucking epic post!!!!! Amazing!!! Super well done and all kinds of LIKES!!! About “Q” – I like Tarantino – I really do – but “Unchained” is starting to look like a pretentious piece of crap the more I watch the trailers. Should we Inglorious Basterds it for another Double Take or have you already done that?

    Like

    • Thank you bro! You’re too kind. You should get involved in this if you have the time? It’s time consuming but a lot of fun.

      Yeah, unfortunately I’ve already done Inglorious Basterds. Let me have a think though. Any other suggestions you have then fire away.

      Like

  2. Great idea for a post! And judging by your picks I think we have VERY similar tastes…Trainspotting man, amazing. Haven’t heard of Harold & Maude, might need to search that one out.

    Like

    • Cheers! This was set up by Mettel Ray from her blog and she’s inviting people to get involved. You should do one yourself. Glad to hear we share similar tastes. It’s always good to meet likeminded folk. Harold and Maude is a great little film from the 70’s. Very unlike most movies and a real treat. Thanks for stopping by man.

      Like

  3. Good list, Mark. Some different choices than I would make (naturally), but not much I flat-out disagree with. I will say though that I disagree about The Ladykillers — that is a just plan bad film.

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    • Thanks Morgan. I understand your dislike for The Ladykillers. It certainly had it’s faults but there was still some enjoyment to be had. Hanks was especially good and there were some great comedy moments. It just wasn’t delivered with the usual sharpness that the Coens are known for.

      Like

      • Actually, I thought Hanks was abnormally bad in that film… really didn’t like his portrayal there at all.

        Like

      • Really? I thought he was great. I found it a pleasure to see him tapping into his funny bone again after so many serious roles. Now I can completely see why you didn’t like the film. Lol

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      • Yeah, I can appreciate him doing comedy again — been way too long — but the Professor just didn’t work for me.

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      • Oh well, of it wasn’t for him, I thought the film would have suffered even more so. I loved his southern drawl and his choice of words… “We’ll have waffles forthwith”. 😉

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      • The main thing I really remember — it’s a movie that’s started to fade from memory at this point — is that godawful wheeze/laugh of his.

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      • Haha! I also liked that about his character. I’m also a big fan of J.K. Simmons. He was a little underused in it but great to see the Coens using him regularly. They have a good reputation with character actors.

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      • That they do. They like to use Frances McDormand as well, and really, they’re pretty much the reason Jeff Bridges had his big career resurgence.

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      • True! Bridges was making a lot of crap before The Dude came along. I’m so glad it did. He was also brilliant in True Grit. I just love how the Coens utilise their actors: Buscemi, Goodman, Turturro, Jon Polito, Richard Jenkins and George Clooney as well. As much as Nic Cage has fallen far these days, he could be doing with another wacky Coens role like Raising Arizona. It’s the best he’s been.

        Like

      • I still need to dig that one up one of these days. But yes, the Coens are usually great at bringing out the best in their actors, and Cage could certainly benefit from teaming up with them again.

        Like

  4. Great list, Mark. I can’t disagree on any of them.

    Amelie is a great movie, didn’t think of that one! Daniel Day-Lewis is amazing. Nice to see you also picked The Godfather. Still have to watch Harold & Maude, heard so many good things about it.

    Like

  5. That’s a lovely collection you have there! I could almost make it to my own, evne though there are a couple of films on it that I have yet to see, such as Fight Club.

    I probably should do this. Being Swede I have a few more letters to work with: Å, Ä and Ö!

    Like

    • Thanks Jessica. Lovely to see you stopping by. I hope you do give this a go, I’d be very interested to see what yours would be. I’ve always liked your choice in films and like you say, you have that added advantage. 😉

      Like

  6. ray brayne Says:

    What about “Z” for z? The great Costa-Gravas political thriller.

    Like

  7. Some great choices Mark. I especially like the inclusions of Ken Loach and Steve McQueen, both phenomenal directors. Also digging the X Files love! Good work man.

    Like

    • Thanks Chris! Loach and McQueen had to get a shout. As you say, they’re superb filmmakers. The X Files deserves a mention but admittedly, it was hard to choose something for “X”. I’m not big on X-Men.

      Like

  8. Awesome choices! Love to see Trainspotting and Philip Seymour Hoffman here.

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  9. Now this is an awesome ABC list! Love your choices. 🙂

    Like

  10. Sorry I took a couple of days off blogging so I’m late to this but I LOVE your list! I’m surprised not seeing Bobby Carlyle for R but hey, at least he’s got an honorable mention, ha..ha.. Mine focuses just on actors/directors but it ends up being trickier than I thought, ahah.

    Like

    • Don’t worry about it Ruth. We all need a break sometime. Hope you had a nice thanksgiving.

      Yeah, unfortunately Bobby couldn’t make it as another Bobby took that spot. I’m a massive fan of DeNiro and he always had that place sewed up. It is quite tricky though, I was disappointed I couldn’t include another favourite like Jack Nicholson. I’m going to head over to yours soon to see your choices 🙂

      Like

      • Yeah I’m thinking of adding an Honorable Mention on mine later on, as there are some people I’d like to include as well. Hey at least you gave your pal Bobby a mention on the post, Mark 😉

        Like

      • Honourable mentions were a must I think Ruth. It’s hard enough as it it to pick just one. There were lots I had to leave out but at least Bobby got a mention in the R’s after DeNiro and I gave him a mention in my Trainspotting choice as well. 😉

        Like

  11. So many things I love here, including the Coens, Amelie, Memento, and Eternal Sunshine. And I’m so glad to see someone choose Ken Loach for “K.” Great post, Mark!

    Like

    • Thanks Steph. Glad to hear that someone shares a similar taste. Those movies are definite favourites of mine and Loach deserved mention as well. I’ll wager that I’ll probably be the only one to mention him in this blogathon.

      Like

  12. daveackackattack Says:

    Good to see most of my favorite movies on here. Especially the little mentioned Harold and Maude. Not a bad one in the bunch.

    Like

  13. Great post as always, Marky! Excellent choices, we seem to agree on a lot of them. You actually reminded me of a few titles and people I hadn’t added to my alphabet yet, so thanks.

    Like

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