• Tue. May 28th, 2024

With CinemaCon in town last week and wrapping up until next year- A few of ZRockR’s folks decided to share some of their favorites with everyone!

So CinemaCon has come and gone for another year and Hollywood 2.0 at Caesar’s Palace has moved on until next year- We send our congrats to everyone who won awards and can not wait to see A Quiet Place: Day One, Gladiator 2, Wicked, Nosferatu, and of course Deadpool and Wolverine ( among so many more!) But what makes our list of favorite films now? What movies can we watch over and over again? I put that question out to my fellow ZRockR’s and below are our lists! Hope you enjoy some of these too and explore the ones you may not know so well! Movies are wonderful ways to escape stress and make you feel all sorts of things, from happy to sad to scared to pumped up to melancholy to wishing for days gone by or excitement of the possibilities of the future! So we will start off with my list, which is definitely in no particular order, and go from there:

I have very eclectic tastes when it comes to film/ movies- not one particular genre is my absolute favorite, I like something from about everything!

  1. AMADEUS (1984 )

F Murray Abraham as Salieri narrates the story of Mozart (portrayed sublimely by Tom Hulce). Mozart was the original Rock Star and talented beyond Yngwie’s wildest wet dreams. There was a reason why in the 80’s we were still singing his praises and Rock Me Amadeus was such a hit for Falco. There is some poetic license taken with the man’s life story of course, it is after all a man who actually hated him telling it, but if you have not seen the film OMG what are you waiting for? The theater they used for the film was infact the same one where Mozart put on some of those famed operas he wrote- The way the Queen of the Night Aria (one of my favorite pieces by Mozart) is done absolutely superb. This film is a masterpiece.

2. Blood and Sand (Silent Film 1922)

Rudolph Valentino and Nita Naldi star in this silent classic Paramount film from 1922. Nita was gorgeous and Rudy, well, all the girls loved Valentino. I got into his films in Jr High and asked my Grandmother a million questions about him. His whole catalog is worth watching, well a few films are missing as they have disappeared over time as they did not think to preserve them as they do now.

3. Dracula (1931 AND 1992) 

Yes I have them both here- the Universal one with Bela Lugosi (undead undead undead) and Coppola’s with Gary Oldman as the Count from Transylvania… I love vampire films and these versions of Dracula are probably the best…

4. The Pink Panther (1963)

Peter Sellers as the bumbling inspector from the Sûreté, Jaques Clouseau – absolutely Genius work on the part of Sellers. Also stars David Niven, Capucine and a young Robert Wagner

5. Deadpool (2016)

Does he really need an introduction? Ryan Reynolds, absolutely love ya and can not wait for Deadpool and Wolverine and see where Shawn Levy helps take this all. Will Deadpool finally join the X-Men? I dunno about that…

6. The Breakfast Club (1985)

We never have forgotten about them, if you went to high school in the 80’s you totally got it no matter how big or small your school was- all of them were there in one form or another. Especially the idiot administrator. John Hughes nailed it.

7. The Lord of the Rings (Bakshi 1977)

Bakshi, while a bit controversial, was really creative. I used to think it was just from being stoned back in the day- nope- watched it again recently and still an amazing film. Abridged version of the fabulous Tolkein story but even still… love this film.

8. The Big Lebowski  (1998)

The Dude Abides… need we say more? If you haven’t seen it- shame on you! Watch it! NOW!

9. The Crow (1994 and the only one that matters)

I said what I said- this is Brandon Lee’s final film. A masterpiece that should never be touched or redone. PERIOD.

10.  Marmalade (2024) 

Starring Joe Kerry- kind of Bonnie and Clyde, kind of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, and all good. It’s on streaming and not a theater film but still good.

And a few Special Mentions- HELP! (1965) It has the Beatles and I still want John’s bed to this day, Casino Royal (1967) Peter Sellers, Orson Wells, David Niven, Ursula Andress, Woody Allen and so many more! James Bond film that is definitely NOT like the newer one with Daniel Craig! Also, James Bond: Live and Let Die (1973) My favorite Bond, Roger Moore, and the 7-UP dude, Geoffrey Holder as Baron Samedi, the great Yaphett Kotto and introducing Jane Seymour (yah! introducing her!) plus voodoo, tarot cards and one hell of a car/boat chase! Also a superior version of the theme song by Paul McCartney and Wings (sorry GnR) but Paul wrote the song for the film! Also Guys and Dolls (1955) with Frank Sinatra and Marlon Brando… classic MGM Musical! Harry Potter and the Prizoner of Azkaban – another Gary Oldman goodie and ya gotta love Alan Rickman as Snape! and last but far from least- the classic that was supposed to have Richard Pryor as the Sheriff but the studio said no no… so Cleavon Little got the role of the dazzling urbanite Sheriff Bart in Mel Brookes masterpiece that Richard Pryor was a cowriter on- and made me wonder where in the desert we can find Count Basie’s Orchestra…. the epitome of they couldn’t do that today- I am of course talking about- Blazing Saddles (1974)

OK- I’ll shut up or I will keep talking about all the ones I didn’t list (yet) and turn it over to our actual film critic and associate editor- Here is Taylor T Carlson’s list!

TAYLOR’s DISCLAIMER: ” I have hundreds of favorite films. These are just 10 highlights, and by no means my 10 absolute favorites of all time!” – Taylor T Carlson

  1. Duck Soup (1933)

The Marx Brothers were the kings of comedy in their day, and the movies they made prior to signing with MGM are arguably their finest. This film, in which Groucho plays the (as incompetent as you’d expect) head of a nation may be the funniest movie they ever made, clocking in at just over an hour with laughs that never let up.

2. A Clockwork Orange (1971)

Stanley Kubrick’s filmography is pretty damn iconic; the man dabbled in many different genres and rarely attempted the same one twice. This one was controversial for its violence and explicit content in its day; it’s definitely not a film that could be made in today’s watered-down PC world! The movie shocks with its images, largely thanks to the leading performance of a young Malcolm McDowell, but it also raises surprisingly intelligent questions regarding free will and how to deal with troublesome individuals in society.

3. Blazing Saddles (1974)

Few men have produced the catalogues of hilarious comedies Mel Brooks has. Currently pushing 100 (you read that right), the man’s filmography is the stuff of legend. This may be the most politically incorrect film of all time (snowflakes beware!), and even if one of the rapid-fire jokes doesn’t land, you can bet one a few seconds later will. Crude, crass, and vulgar, it’ll either top your list of favorite comedies, or offend you to no end. I fall into the former camp.

4. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

George A. Romero essentially invented the modern zombie movie with Night of the Living Dead back in the late 1960s, but its sequel a decade later is an even stronger and more shocking film. Part zombie survival thriller, part satirical black comedy highlighting the dangers of consumerism, it may very well be my favorite horror film of all time. You’ll never look at shopping malls the same way again.

5. Revenge of the Nerds (1984)

Yet another movie that revels in political incorrectness and crudeness, but one that offers surprisingly likable and relatable characters (this is long before nerds were considered cool), you’ll be quoting the one-liners in this one long after it’s over. Once again, snowflakes need not apply.

6. Top Gun (1986)

Movies about aviation are nothing new. They weren’t anything new even back in 1986. But with some of the best aerial footage ever captured on camera, a blistering 80s soundtrack, and a star-making performance for a young Tom Cruise, there’s perhaps no movie that better captured the 1980s than this one. Is it a matter of style over substance? Most definitely, but this one’s got style and sounds to spare. No aviation picture since has even come close (except maybe, its legacy sequel, Top Gun: Maverick, but that’s a story for another day).

7. Clerks (1994)

Shot in black and white on a shoestring budget, Kevin Smith’s debut film sums up all the reasons I love low-budget independent cinema, forcing filmmakers to get creative and find ways to make their work appealing without millions of dollars to their name. Nobody writes dialogue better than Kevin Smith, and despite the vulgarity of his work, he always manages to create memorable characters and situations. It all started here, and I still don’t think he’s topped this one.

8. The Dark Knight (2008)

After Batman movies had fallen out of favor in the late 1990s (insert obligatory “nipples on the Bat Suit” comment here), Christopher Nolan revived the Caped Crusader, reinventing the character and the franchise in the style of a gritty and more realistic crime drama, featuring Christian Bale as the title character. But it’s Heath Ledger’s Joker who steals the show when he’s on screen, equal parts hilarious and psychotic. There’s never been a better Batman movie.

9. Captain America: Civil War (2016)

You can’t escape the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which now has over 30 films and several television series. “Avengers 2.5” may have been a better title for this one, which features nearly all of the major players in the MCU united in battle against one another, upon seeing the real-world consequences their actions in the past have resulted in. Surprisingly cerebral at times but never skimping on the action or humor, this is my all-time favorite MCU movie.

10. The Disaster Artist (2017)

Who would’ve thought a movie about one of the worst movies ever made would become one of the funniest comedies ever made? James Franco gives the performance of his career as the eccentric Tommy Wiseau, directing The Room – the so-bad-it’s-good cult classic that made its filmmaker an unlikely celebrity. This one has to be seen to be believed; it’s impossible not to laugh.

Stephanie Hayward – Co-Founder / PR/ Photographer/ writer:

  1. Singles, 2. Practical Magic, 3. Dirty Dancing, 4.Little Nicky, 5. Moonstruck, 6. Return of the Living Dead, 7. Clerks, 8. Pretty in Pink, 9. Harry Potter & the Prisoner of Azkaban, 10. Monty Python & the Holy Grail

Courtney Ware- Photographic Art Director’s list:

” Omfg I don’t think I have a top 10 of films 🤣 but I’ll try. ”

1, Dawn of the Dead (2004) , 2. Definitely, Maybe , 3. Role Models, 4. I Love You, Man,

5. I Could Never Be Your Woman, 6. Just Go With It, 7. Old Dads, 8. Clerks 9. Mallrats, 10. Wanderlust

and lastly Courtney adds ” ….I really like Paul Rudd”

Here is the rest of the ZRockR family and their lists:

Vinnie Corcoran (Writer and sometimes helps with the website too!) :

  1. True Romance, 2. Reservoir Dogs, 3. Requiem for a Dream, 4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, 5.Four Rooms. 6. From Dusk til Dawn, 7. Pulp Fiction, 8. Dogma, 9. Ocean’s 11, 10.Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 3

Dominick Muzio (writer and resident smart ass) :

1.E.T, 2. Dawn of the Dead ( 1978-original ), 3. The Right Stuff, 4. The Goonies, 5. Billy Madison, 6. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, 7. Spaceballs, 8. Happy Gilmore, 9. Night of the Living Dead, and last but not least 10. Singles

Christina Corcoran (Photographer and writer):

Here’s mine: 1. Star Wars 3: Revenge of the Sith, 2.Beauty and the Beast, 3. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, 4. Titanic, 5. The Exorcist, 6. The Ten Commandments, 7. The Conjuring, 8.Insidious, 9. Cast Away, 10. Young Frankenstein

Alex Sanchez (Photographer/ writer):

  1. The Blues Brothers, 2. Moneyball, 3. Star Trek: First Contact, 4.The Craft, 5. Star Gate, 6. The Omen, 7. Airplane, 8. The Big Labowski, 9. Suburbia, 10. Se7en

Sara Carlson (Writer/ photographer):

1.Earth Girls Are Easy, 2.Evil Dead (1981), 3. Ginger Snaps, 4. Crimson Peak, 5. Scott Pilgrim vs The World, 6.Frankenhooker, 7.Shrek 2, 8. Amelie, 9. Parasite, 10. Reanimator

Addison Egelhoff (Photographer/ writer):

” I’m a big John Hughes fan- don’t roast me LMAO…”

1. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off 2. Back to the Future (All 3 parts, yes even part 3), 3. Breakfast Club, 4. Christmas Vacation, 5. The Fifth Element, 6. Nightmare Before Christmas, 7. Scream 2, 8. Stepbrothers, 9 Anchorman, 10. Any Spider-Man movie

No, that is not everyone, we don’t have a list from Ari for example, ( though I am willing to bet Natural Born Killers is on her list! Fantastic Oliver Stone film with the soundtrack done by Trent Reznor who also did Bird Box, Soul, Gone Girl and Ken Burns epic The Vietnam War among so many others!), Angel’s, Tyler’s, Nikkie’s ( but she is currently out on tour with Armored Saint ) or Susan’s or Angelo’s but it gives you are good list to start with! Support your local movie houses, theaters, and all forms of film, be it major distributors or indie film makers- it is indeed art, and magic, and an escape….

… and all so well worth the time.

PHOTO CREDITS: ALL MOVIE POSTERS AND MOVIE CARDS ARE FOR PROMOTIONAL PURPOSES ONLY- some are in public domain depending on year of release and others are promotional use by the movie studios that the films were originally released through.

Lets All Go To The Lobby” – general use public domain image

Feature photo: (ca. 1909) Entrances of moving picture theaters, no. 10, Normal Theatre,Halstead Street, Chicago–interior. Illinois Chicago, ca. 1909. [Photograph] Retrieved from the Library of Congress, https://www.loc.gov/item/96509424/. Free Use Courtesy Library of Congress

By Sylvia Lee

Editor/ Staff Writer and Co-Founder of ZRock'R Magazine. Sylvia has worked in and around music since she was 16, though it has always been a part of her life. In radio ( her last radio job was in the mid-90's at KKLZ before departing for other pursuits) , as part of various tour support/production crews, in promotion of both bands and even clubs (recipient of the Climax/Plan C Entertainment Blackberry Award in 2007 for her work as production manager of the Las Vegas MC Jin show ) and in rock journalism with a music column in the late 80′s called MusicLine in the Independent News in central Illinois. Sylvia has also has written articles and reviews for SCOPE, The Reader, Las Vegas Music Scene Magazine, Vegas SoundZ (she was PR director for LVMS where she helped push a little known and upcoming at the time Vegas photographer then known as Shane O'Neil Dobbs ( he later dropped the Dobbs), landing him his first concert shoot for a publication with Nine Inch Nails at the Thomas and Mack in '95) and she also did PR for Vegas SoundZ when they were in print). She also was a contributor to LA’s FIX Magazine. Sylvia credits her love of rock journalism and working in and around it to the person she calls the “First Lady of Rock n Roll Journalists” The legendary Jaan Uhelszki who co-founded influential music publication CREEM Magazine, but also gives a nod to the women who were also involved in the early days like Lisa Robinson and photographer Lynn Goldsmith. Sylvia's eye for talent and ear for great music have never failed her. Ever sarcastic with a love for Metal, Grunge, Punk, and Industrial Music; the occasional glass of fine wine; enjoying some classic movies (the original Universal horror films are a favorite) or binging episodes of Monty Python's Flying Circus, Good Omens or all 4 seasons of Stranger Things - she is the fearless leader of this bunch of talented lunatics.

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