Dave aka Ackackattack
What do you love most about movies?
I love that they take you away to another place, another world. They show you another way of thinking or living. Films that move me, make me feel something or show me something I’ve never seen in particular are my favorite.
What’s the first movie you ever watched that left a huge impression on you?
Lawrence of Arabia. I was lucky enough to see the restored version on the big screen back in ’89 right as I got out of college. It so impressed me that it inspired me to go to film school. While film school fell by the wayside for various reasons I never lost my love of films. I owe it all to that one film.
What are your ultimate guilty pleasure flicks?
Better Off Dead – What ever happened to John Cusack? One of my favorite 80’s actors and now he’s doing stupid rom-coms. Pfft! Silliness is just par for the course when you’re getting a film penned and helmed by the one and only “Savage” Steve Holland. It co-stars perennial goofball Curtis “Booger” Armstrong and the irrepressibly cute Diane Franklin. The film was so quotable too. “I want my $2 dollars!”, “Buck up little camper…” and my personal favorite “Now that’s a real shame when folks be throwin’ away a perfectly good white boy like that.”
Miami Connection – This movie was shot in ’87 but wasn’t found until a few years ago. A short summation of the film would the centuries old tale of a rock band fighting cocaine ninjas. But that would not do it the justice it so deserves so I’ll let the distributor Drafthouse Films do it for me. “Motorcycle ninjas tighten their grip on Florida’s narcotics trade, viciously annihilating anyone who dares move in on their turf. Multi-national martial arts rock band Dragon Sound have had enough, and embark on a roundhouse wreck-wave of crime-crushing justice in the mean streets of Orlando. When not chasing beach bunnies or performing their hit song “Against the Ninja,” Mark (9th degree black belt Tae Kwon Do master and inspirational speaker Y.K. Kim) and the boys are kicking and chopping at the drug world’s smelliest underbelly. It’ll take every ounce of their blood and courage, but Dragon Sound can’t stop until they’ve completely destroyed the dealers, the drunk bikers, the kill-crazy ninjas, the middle-aged thugs, the “stupid cocaine”…and the entire MIAMI CONNECTION!!!” It’s gotta be the best worst movie I’ve ever seen!
Switchblade Sisters – A great 70’s exploitation film from Tarantino favorite Jack Hill. It’s the story of a girl gang called ‘The Dagger Debs’ and their hijinx. Director Jack Hill originally interviewed real female gang members but decided “the idea of doing a realistic movie about street gangs with beautiful blondes in hot pants was preposterous, so we tried to make it a wacky fantasy.” Need I say more? OK… the script was reported by Hill to be based on Shakespeare’s Othello. No, really. Deliberate camp to be sure but still a lot of fun.
Lawrence of Arabia – I’ve heard it described as “an intimate epic” which is quite fitting. Peter O’Toole in his first major role would never be better. If I had to pick one film to see in its full glory in a theater, David Lean’s masterpiece would be it.
Amelie – This movie never ceases to put a smile on my face. It has to be the most endearing movie I’ve ever seen. Yann Tiersen’s soundtrack may just be my favorite.
Brazil – With 1984 being one of my favorite novels Gilliam’s Orwellian vision of the future captures that book better than I could have dreamed. While Michael Radford’s 1984 was kind of dreary in its literalness, Gilliam’s film was able to encapsulate the absurdity of it all with his dark humor. And man… the retro-futuristic visuals and production design on the film was just astonishing.
Slap Shot – I could walk into any hockey locker room in North America and start a quote from this movie and the players would be able finish it off. As a hockey player myself it captures the sport better than any other sports movie I know. Hard to believe this “guy” movie renowned for pushing the boundaries of language back in ’77 was actually written by a woman.
Goodfellas – It may be the perfect movie. Marty created a 3 hour film that just blows by because it is just so endlessly watchable. The “How am I funny?” scene is an absolute all time classic.
All The President’s Men – William Goldman surely wrote one of the tightest paced scripts ever penned for the big screen. The fact that Alan J. Pakula was able to pull off a story where you already knew the outcome was just a remarkable piece of filmmaking. For me it sits alongside United 93 for pulling off the impossible.
The Social Network – It seems most people I talk to didn’t like this movie nearly as much as I did but this movie resonated with me in such a way that it’s my only pick from the last 10 years. The inspired pairing of Fincher, Sorkin and Reznor is on full display here. The acting and production is first rate all around.
Network – Bombastic, prophetic and relentlessly intellectual… nobody could write a monologue like Paddy Chayefsky. Along with Dr. Strangelove and Harold and Maude it’s one of the great black comedies of all time.
Hard Core Logo – Being a musician this little Canadian movie captured what it’s like being in a band better than anything else I’ve seen about the subject. Sweaty, loud, and raw. Just like rock n’ roll should be.
The Sweet Hereafter – Never has a movie haunted me after I left the theater like this one. Atom Egoyan’s film about tragedy in a small town stayed with me almost like no other film ever has. The author, Russell Banks, proclaimed that this was one instance where the film was even better than his own book.
- Peter O’Toole – He could command the screen like no other.
- Gene Hackman – Intense and endlessly watchable. An actor’s actor.
- Paul Newman – No one carried themselves on and off screen better than Paul did.
- Jack Nicholson – Was any actor more charismatic in the 70’s than old Jack?
- Ben Kingsley – To go from the soft spoken Gandhi to the foul-mouthed Don Logan is quite a remarkable feat.
- Kate Winslet – I have been a big fan since her debut Heavenly Creatures.
- Emma Thompson – From drama to comedy to even writing she can do it all.
- Meryl Streep – The top of the class.
- Sigourney Weaver – I love the strong, intelligent women she always brings to the screen.
- Helen Mirren – Fearless and sexy as ever.
- Scorsese – The director’s director.
- Kubrick – With each successive film he set a new benchmark for greatness.
- Gilliam – A hopeless dreamer with the playfulness of a child.
- Lynch – He brings the stuff of dreams and nightmares alive.
- Malick – A visual poet if there ever was one.