Tesa's Entertainment Journal

Vol. 2 Issue 1 Encapsulated reviews of the Top Films and TV series, plus photography and celebrity interviews.

  Tesa's Top 15 Films of All Time

The Top 15:


1. To Kill A Mockingbird - Possibly the only film thatc ontains the perfect combination of heart, soul and intelligence. It's not a coincidence that Atticus Finch was picked as Top Hero of all time by the American Film Institute. It's just too bad there are so few Atticus Finches in the world today.


2. Hud - A compelling character portrait with Paul Newman perfect as a sleazy Texan who'll probably never understand why he ended up alone - and probably will never care, either.


3. The Godfather (Part 1) - One of the few (VERY few) films that is as good as the book on which it's based. Marlon Brando shows why he was the top actor of the second half of the 20th Century.


4. The Gift - "To Kill a Mockingbird" meets "The X-Files." A top-notch cast, an excellent story co-written by Billy Bob Thornton and magnificent direction from Sam Raimi make this, in my opinion, the best film of the last 25 years. Forget "The Matrix." This is Keanu Reeves' best performance in a film.


5. Amadeus - Tom Hulce and F. Murray Abraham are excellent as opposite ends of the same coin. The film serves as a great introduction to Mozart's music for those who've never heard it.


6. It's a Wonderful Life - It's a wonderful film! Panned when it was first released in 1946, it finally gained the recognition it deserves as a gentle and entertaining reminder to be thankful for what you have.


7. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid - An entertaining William Goldman screenplay and a catchy Burt Bacharach score combine with the formidable talents of Paul Newman and Robert Redford to create the best Western in filmdom.


8. The Great Santini - Robert Duvall gives a brilliant performance in this underrated film as a soldier whose biggest battle is understanding his family.


9. A Hard Day's Night - The Beatles proved they were more than just a group of mop tops who wrote catchy pop tunes in this, the only movie ever made solely to capitalize on a band's popularity that is actually good.


10. Duck Soup - the Marx Brothers at their zaniest - and that's saying something. Groucho turns sarcasm into an art form in this uber comedy.


11. Memento - A man who can't make new memories is being held prisoner by those he can't forget. A nifty plot twist and the fact that the story is told in reverse chronological order make it a film to remember.


12. Frailty - Is religious fervor merely intensity of belief or is it just insanity? That's the compelling question asked in actor Bill Paxton's directorial debut. This highly over-looked film (by audiences, not by critics) lasts with you long after the lights have come up.


13. Planet of the Apes (1968) - Who'd have thought a movie that features Shakespearean actors in ape drag would work and work so well? Thank you, Charlton Heston, for your portrayal of a man who finds himself stuck in a hellish realm. I'd kiss you if you weren't so damned ugly.


14. The Sixth Sense - Its twist caught me off guard, enhancing my appreciation of M. Night Shyamalan's filmmaking expertise. Bruce Willis and Haley Joel Osment give fine performaces that make this required viewing for anyone who wants to see a Big Hollywood film that's not like a Big Hollywood film.


15. Fight Club - This film caught me by surprise because it's not at all about what it is promoted as being about - and that's A Good Thing (tm), as Martha would say. Great characters and an unforeseen twist make this one of my all-time faves.


Honorable Mention:


16. Blazing Saddles - If you're PC, then forget watching this film. But, if you're human, watch it and be prepared to laugh. This film spoofs everything and everyone, and thank God - and Mel Brooks - it does.


17. Fargo - The characters in this Coen brothers film are a quirky treat for those who appreciate quirkiness and below-zero temps.


18. Spartacus - Do you like gladiator movies, little boy? I didn't, either, until I saw this classic. Made before Stanley Kubrick started using his stylized method of filmmaking, it's still a powerful drama about how one man can make a difference in the world.


19. Pulp Fiction - a celebration of non-linear storytelling and violence. Quentin Tarantino uses both to weave a film that shows he is the bastard son of Sam Peckinpah and Stanley Kubrick.


20. There's Something About Mary - There's something about a film that can make me laugh as hard as this one did. Quirky characters, outlandish humor, dogs in full-body casts and unique hair mousse. What more could you ask for?


21. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery - Speaking of laughing hard, this (or any of the Austin Powers franchise) is the film to rent when your spouse has left you and taken the pickup and your favorite hunting dog. Or perhaps it's the movie to watch if you've just married someone who owns a pickup and a hunting dog. Either way, it'll make you forget your troubles for two hours, and that's saying something.


You've seen my picks of the top 21 films. Now it's your turn to tell me yours. Sign my guestbook and include your list. Come on! It won't hurt. Well, only for a little while. ;)



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