Segarini – 29+ Great Movies I Will Never Tire Of Watching That You May Have Never Seen

Bob 2015 2

Music may be my life and ‘job’ and undoubtedly, my most well-honed and informed skill-set, but it is not what I do for ‘fun’. What my spare time (Ha!) is used for, is my passion for movies and television.

Like my taste in music, I am not devoted to any one genre, specific actors or film makers. A film/movie/television show’s popularity or financial success, or critics raves or rants do not affect me or my opinion…unless I know the critic’s taste, and can either follow his opinion, or know that if he/she likes something, I will absolutely avoid it at all costs.

I’m sharing a few of my favourites with you here, leaving out the most of the blockbusters and well known ones, and am not going to go into too much detail. I may elaborate at some later date if there is enough interest. Feel free to comment in the comments section at the bottom of the column.

Like music, it’s a personal thing. …and like music, there is something for everyone.

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29 Great Movies I Will Never Tire Of Watching That You May Have Never Seen

(In no particular order)

Serial

The Opening Credits….

Based on the novel The Serial: A Year in the Life of Marin County by Cyra McFadden, published in 1977, this wonderful take on the Marin County of the late ’70s is powered by an all-star cast headed by Martin Mull, Tuesday Weld, and Bill Macy, and still makes me laugh out loud every time I dust it off and watch it. Too many memorable lines and moments to mention, but do yourself a favour and track this down.

Once Upon a Time in America (Director’s Cut)

Over 4 hours of brutal, sweeping, riveting storytelling, complete with a soundtrack that stands on its own as a moving tribute to the legacy of Ennio Morricone’s brilliant scores heard in countless films, and conjures up Sergio Leone’s body of work with ease. The first 2 Godfather films come close, but for me, this is the definitive American Gangster movie.

Fanboys

I much prefer Star Trek (science/speculative fiction) to Star Wars (fantasy/fairy tale), but this movie had me rooting for the characters all the way. Great cameos, funny as shit nerdlinger moments, and a great fistfight featuring AICN‘s Harry Knowles as a bad-ass big brother. Live Long and Use the Force….

That’ll Be the Day

The first film in a duo of films about the rise and fall of a Rock Star, from his beginnings in a drab British town to his cynical, drug-fueled spiral into the abyss. Lots of great music (thanks to Dave Edmunds) and rock credibility thanks to Adam Mitchell, Ringo, a perfectly in character Keith Moon and others. This one, the ascension of David Essex’s character, is much more positive and enjoyable than the follow-up, Stardust, which borrows heavily from pop culture’s obsession with Jim Morrison. Good luck finding these films, especially That’ll Be the Day…a sadly overlooked film that captures its subject matter brilliantly.

Birth of the Beatles

Here’s the whole damn movie….

Dick Clark’s flawed but highly entertaining made-for-tv retelling of the early years of The Beatles. To this day, the most credible version, and my favourite. Not much here that doesn’t have a basis in fact, is thankfully bereft of academic speculation, and a few minutes in, you forget you are watching actors. Lennon’sportrayal seems spot on, and for a change, McCartney doesn’t come off as the shining light he is often portrayed as.

Explorers

Of all the childhoods I never got to have, the one depicted here is in my top 3. Great premise and well executed, but director Joe Dante shits the bed with the rubber suited aliens at the end of the movie. Up till then, this is a perfect film for the imaginative 9 year old kid in all of us. Just wish the aliens would have been more Wally Wood frightening in appearance, and not so PG lame.

My Favourite Year

Along with the ’80s, the ’50s is my favourite decade, and this Mel Brooks produced and Richard Benjamin directed movie serves them up with wit, accuracy, and far greater depth than most films that look back at those days. Peter O’Toole is simply perfect as Alan Swann, and the whole cast is brilliantly believable in their roles. This film also gave us Mark Linn-Baker, who would spend quality time on television as Cousin Larry in ‘Perfect Strangers’. Balki’s “Dance of Joy” would not have been the same without him.

The Glen Miller Story and The Benny Goodman Story

I got busted for skipping school to see these 2 movies multiple times when I was a kid. The Benny Goodman Story is the most upbeat, and besides the incredible soundtrack, throws in the actual musicians and performers who worked with Goodman and brought his music to life. Like the Glenn Miller Story, which followed a year later, the telling of the tale revolves around  the romance between the leads and the women who inspired them, a bit maudlin in spots, but Donna Reed’s character in the Goodman story rings true, even today. Though armed with two huge stars, Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson, the Glenn Miller movie lacks the spark of the Goodman piece…but both are a joy to watch in this era of digging for dirt in the music industry and those involved in it. Sure, it’s sugar coated, but this is, after all, entertainment, not a deconstruction of what we love.

Rio Bravo

Uh…John Wayne, Dean Martin, and Rickey Nelson? In a Western? With action and humour? Better than Sergeants 3, 4 for Texas, and the others that tried to capture this odd genre, even adding Frank Sinatra to the mix. This is the one to see. Where else are you going to see John Wayne kiss Walter Brennan?

Watchmen Director’s Cut

Zack Snyder’s near-perfect adaptation of Alan Moore’s game-changing masterpiece deserves a whole lot more respect than what it has been given. Even the change from the original ending to the one contained herein, was a stroke of genius, and makes way more sense than Moore’s rather implausible denouement. The opening sequence playing out to Dylan’s ‘Times They Are a Changin’ should have won an Academy Award just for its brevity and thoroughness. Unfortunately, Snyder seems to have peaked with this film…his later efforts have been nowhere near as befitting his subject matter.

Singin’ in the Rain

Gene Kelly, Donald O’Conner, and a soundtrack from the Gods. Far and away, the best American Musical then and now. Make ’em Laugh changed my life.

Big Trouble in Little China

This should have been the first in what should have at least been a trilogy of films, if not a franchise. Being remade with Dwayne Johnson as Jack Burton…I wish them luck. As much as I like The Rock, Kurt Russell will always be the self absorbed Burton to me. Jack’s sidekick (and actual hero of the is story), Wang Chi, was played by Stockton California’s Dennis Dun. Couldn’t be prouder of my hometown homie.

Roadhouse

Swayze’s best film, and Sacramento California’s Sam Elliott rocks his part as always. Just pisses me off that someone in the writer’s room killed him off unnecessarily for “dramatic arc” reasons. Coulda just put him in the hospital, Millhouse. Right up there with Snyder killing off Jimmy Olsen “for fun”. Our own Jeff Healey shines in this one too, and kudos for giving him a speaking part, instead of having him in the background playing music for the bar brawls.

Chef

Food, the cast, the food, and nobody dies. Favreau  continues to entertain the shit out of me with everything he does. Did I mention the incredible Latino soundtrack? Did I mention THE FOOD?

Peter Jackson’s King Kong the Extended Cut

High adventure for your inner 12 year old boy (or girl). The scenes that didn’t make it into the theatrical edit of this movie are restored here to good effect. There are a lot of beautifully shot scenes in the film, and some powerful feelings and ideas are put across without words, a fine tribute to both the acting skills of this ensemble cast, and the craftsmanship of its digital and practical effects people. Well done, Mr. Jackson…well done.

The Rocketeer

Dave Stevens’ period piece actioner brought to life on the big screen. Art Deco abounding, a hero, a damsel, and them damn Nazis. Pass the popcorn.

What We Do in the Shadows

If this doesn’t get the taste of sparkly vampires True Blood, and Anne Rice’s 50 Shades of Blood Suckers out of your mouth, nothing will. Laugh out loud brilliance. The werewolf-driven sequel is on its way. Thank you, New Zealand.

Arsenic and Old Lace

Classic. Just classic. Everybody in this flawless black and white example of storytelling deserves our undivided attention and admiration. Cary Grant, Peter Lorre, Raymond Massey, and properly chewed scenery everywhere you look. My favourite Frank Capra directed film. The story behind this film is pretty interesting, as are the casting details. See for yourself.

Mr. Blandings Builds His Dream House

Cary grant again, this time aided and abetted by Myrna Loy and Melvyn Douglas, and another comedy where Grant’s slow burn ungluing becomes the source of guffawing and spit takes in the audience. City folk versus country living is still one of Hollywood’s favourite jump-off points…and this movie sits at the top of the list of why.

Let it Ride

Dreyfus and New York Doll David Johanson skipper this fable of A Perfect Day. The support cast is stellar, and Teri Garr, Michelle Phillips, and Jennifer Tilly bring the much needed (and highly appreciated) estrogen. Look for Robbie Coltrane here as well…such fun.

L.A Story

Hello. We’d like to tear a strip off of the myth of Los Angeles and its residents. We may? Thank you. You won’t regret the decision to let us make fun of you so intellectually that you might not even know we’re making fun of you. You’re welcome….

The Jurassic Park/World movies

All of them. Even the ones you hate. Even the ones that “aren’t as good as the first one”. Yep. Every single one of them. Especially the latest one. All of them. Every frame. What’s that? They’re stupid? Well of COURSE they’re stupid! Dinosaurs, dumb luck, escaping by a nose hair, silly coincidences. Incredibly stupid…and wonderful entertainment…and more, please.

Earth VS the Flying Saucers

Just watched the re-mastered colorized version of this last night. Harryhausen was a master of stop-motion film making. Loved the others in this genre, 20 Million Miles to Earth, The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and It Came From Beneath the Sea. His Sinbad movies were fun too…but flying saucers and giant monsters? Again…pass the popcorn and be careful not to step on my brain, which I have removed so it doesn’t spoil my fun.

Them

It was the word “Uncanny” on the marquee of a Hollywood Blvd. theatre during a visit to L.A with my Mom when I was 9 years old. I finally saw this movie at a Saturday afternoon matinee at the Stockton Theatre about a year later. I have loved it ever since. All practical effects, they scared me then, and I can see why now. James Whitmore…best cop in a movie, ever.

Mars Attacks

A movie based on Bubblegum cards. Do you really need any more than that? Oh. Tim Burton (his best in my opinion), Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty’s wife, Jim Brown, and Tom Jones, plus Jack Black as an asshole, Michael J Fox playing Alex from Family Ties as an adult, Hugh Grant’s Head and Sarah Jessica Parker as a dog. …and stop motion Martians. Bad, nasty, evil, Martians. Only time Martin Short ever made me laugh.

Piranha

A Dreyfus cameo, Christopher Lloyd nutty scientist, Jerry McConnell assholer-y, and tons of hot teenage girls drunk and at risk. Gory? Yep. …but also very, very, funny. Except for Jerry’s character…not funny at all for him.

Deep Blue Sea/Deep Rising

Deep Blue Sea isn’t the classic that Jaws is, but it has a watchability that Jaws does not possess. Deep Rising is related because of its ‘fear the ocean’ bent, and channels a monster similar to one mentioned earlier in this column…only waaaaay more scarier. Deep Rising should have been the firsat in a Treat Williams franchise, but someone at the studio must have been asleep. Pity, that.

Disney’s Alice in Wonderland

The ONLY adaptation of Alice in Wonderland worth your time…

Favreau’s The Jungle Book

…and the ONLY adaptation of The Jungle Book worth your time.

What are some of YOUR favourites?

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Segarini’s regular columns appear here whenever Hollywood kills off the Hero’s best friend to, you know, make him angry and stuff 

Contact us at dbawis@rogers.com

dbawis-button7giphyBob “The Iceman” Segarini was in the bands The Family Tree, Roxy, The Wackers, The Dudes, and The Segarini Band and nominated for a Juno for production in 1978. He also hosted “Late Great Movies” on CITY TV, was a producer of Much Music, and an on-air personality on CHUM FM, Q107, SIRIUS Sat/Rad’s Iceberg 95, (now 85), and now publishes, edits, and writes for DBAWIS, continues to write music, make music, and record.

One Response to “Segarini – 29+ Great Movies I Will Never Tire Of Watching That You May Have Never Seen”

  1. Warren Cosford Says:

    Geez Bob. I’ve only seen two of them. And one of those was my mother’s favourite movie.

    Here’s two for you. Surely you’ve seen them…..in fact I seem to recall one of them you had something to do with….. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067927/

    Check out the Wikipedia entry on it. Lots of trivia including that there are two versions of the film….one for the U.K. and one for the U.S. In the U.K. Charlotte Rampling is featured. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanishing_Point_%281971_film%29

    My second Fav is http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0080117/
    It too has a fascinating Wikipedia entry https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wanderers_(1979_film)

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