Thursday, January 27, 2011

Top 10 Recommendations By My Sister

Today is the birthday of my oldest sister, who would've been 39 years old today if not for the intense battle she lost against Cancer. In remembrance of my sister, I am putting up a(nother) Top 10 list of my favorite recommendations made to me by my sister. A lot of people have been coming to me and offering me their condolences for the loss of my sister. I appreciate everybody's kindness though I feel that not very many people were fortunate enough to spend the amount of time around her to truly realize what a great loss this really was. She was so much fun and so full of life. She was such an intelligent person that could shed a light on any topic and give you a different perspective on so many things. Before I begin to stray though, I would like to say that as far as movies go, she understood my tastes and offered a slew of fantastic movie/TV recommendations. Here are just 10 of my favorites:

10. Underworld (2003) - I know we've seen this movie on this blog a dozen and a half times in the past couple months, that's actually why it's going to make this list as well. If I keep making references to it, probably safe to call it one of my favorites, yeah? This was exactly the type of movie that my sister went for... strong females shooting big guns and/or kicking ass. Tough women, like her, always scored extra points with us when it came time to judge. This movie was pretty kick ass in terms of gun shooting, creature-on-creature violence, and casting the incredibly sexy Kate Beckinsale (one of my all time favorite sexy ladies of cinema!) who turns in a fantastic performance here as the dark and ruthless vampire vixen out hunting werewolves. My sister was the one who first suggested this film to me and let me borrow this on DVD. This movie makes a couple appearances on this blog and has been featured on a couple of lists including my anti-Twilight list of vampire and werewolf movie recommendations.

9. Final Destination (2000) - Knowing my love for blood and guts cinema, as well as my affinity for horror movies, my sister recommended and let me borrow the first Final Destination. (I didn't know then that it would become a never ending franchise with less and less spectacular sequels) There was an interesting and original storyline, creative kills, and Stifler from American Pie getting his head cut off by a rogue flying piece of sharp metal. My sister always knew my taste in movies and suggested this to me back when it was a standalone film. Fun to watch.

8. Italian Job (2003) - Hardcore fans of classic cinema will hound me endlessly for this pick.... but this is MY list motherfuckers. So my sister, who much like myself, was into good heist flicks. She told me that she thought I'd like this movie and said that mom would probably appreciate it too. So after one of our usual Wednesday night family dinners, she had me run up to her place to grab her VHS copy of The Italian Job. (Yes, my sister was old school) We rushed home and popped the movie into the VCR and sat back on the couch, eager to see what my sister was raving about. What we were treated to was a star-studded remake of the 1969 British original by the same name. Mark Wahlberg stars opposite of Charlize Theron with Ed Norton playing the villian?? Awesome. With Jason Statham, Seth Green, and Mos Def supporting? Sweet. Sure, people like to rag on how they totally advertised Mini Coopers but the storyline is there. Look past the product placement and you'll find a very enjoyable remake that both my mom and myself enjoyed.

7. The Others (2001) - After The Sixth Sense, psychological thrillers with a twist ending became all the rage. My sister suggested this film in the same vein as the aforementioned Bruce Willis supernatural thriller. She also lent me this film, telling me how much she enjoyed the "twist" at the end. Trying not to spoil the plot for me, she might've accidentally given away the ending. I just remember expecting something to come, which made it a little less surprising when it happened. Still, one of my favorite psychological supernatural thrillers of all time. Nicole Kidman is another very sexy lady that I like to watch. This one's parodied so often, I'm sure if you haven't seen it by now.... you already have some idea of how this one will end.

6. The Mummy (1999) - One of my favorite remakes of all time!!!!! I freakin LOVE this movie. This is one of the most entertaining films that my sister every recommended to me. I remember when she first lent me the VHS of this baby, I watched it at least a dozen times before returning it to her. Brendan Fraser, who I only knew at the time as the goof from George of the Jungle, completely shattered all my expectations with this amazing performance as a rugged adventurer who is pretty much bad ass in every way I can imagine. Fantastic story that mixes Egyptian mythology with gun blazing action makes this one of my all-time favorites. This was also introduced to me before it became an extended franchise. I liked it better as a standalone film.

5. Se7en (1995) - Once again, my sister definitely knew my tastes when she recommended I watch the movie Se7en. She even lent it to me, I'm pretty sure also on VHS, so I can watch this dark and brutal film about a serial killer who kills according to the 7 Deadly Sins. What was great about this film is that even though there are some graphic scenes, a lot of the violence is actually implied and never explicitly shown. Most of the stomach churning elements of this movie are committed off-screen and what is shown is more of the result of the violence and torture that must have preceded it. This is one of my favorites as well as a great example of a Thriller that takes its time to patiently build its story and doesn't rely on a sudden plot twist at the end to make the movie. The storytelling is fantastic in this film.

4. 24 (2001-2010) - Alright, so this one isn't a movie but it was recommended to me towards the end of 2009 or beginning of 2010. She was telling me how she thought that I'd enjoy this show because of all the shooting and explosions in this show. She built up the show so much that I just had to check it out. I borrowed the first season from her since she had all of them, now she had upgraded to DVDs thankfully, and when I finally popped it into my DVD player, I finished the entire first season in a matter of days. The action and excitement in this series is backed by rock solid storylines, which the show tends to juggle about three at a time, and fantastic performances by everyone inlcuding the always awesome Kiefer Sutherland. Great show, go check it out... now.

3. Doomsday (2008) - When this movie was in theaters, my sister bugged me about watching it for the longest time. From director Neil Marshall (Dog Soldiers, Centurion) comes this post-apocalyptic story of a city walled off after a viral outbreak turns the city's civilians into violent "sickos". My sister's biggest selling point was that she thought I'd enjoy it because it was "good and bloody". As a matter of fact, that's all she had to say. Anything recommended to me by my sister and is approved due to violence was almost guaranteed to be a winner in my book. Sure enough, another strong woman leads the charge back into the forbidden zone in order to find a cure for the disease. Before long, her and her team is captured by a bunch of punk rock cannibals that cook and eat one of her friends. Great stuff.

2. Taken (2009) - Another movie that my sister saw before me in theaters, she bugged me to watch this one for a long time as well before I eventually got around to it. She kept describing the movie to me as some older guy who doesn't look like he can fight just going around and taking everyone out. My interest was piqued as I waited for a DVD release since it was out of theaters by the time I found the time to go see it. Sure enough, my sister was absolutely right about me enjoying this film as I popped it into my DVD player to find none other than Qui-Gon Jinn... shaved!!! I love how he was able to kick so much ass but not have to be an extremely fit young guy who runs off of walls or something. Liam Neeson is very convincing as a kick ass older guy who is tough as nails and highly trained. (a role which he cements in The A-Team)

1. The Omen Trilogy (1976-1981) - When I first started my Netflix account, I did so because I realized that I was a very big fan of horror movies. The problem was that I had not seen a lot of the classic horror movies that serious horror fans would know off the top of their head. So after re-watching some of the some of the classic horror movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Hellraiser, and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, I needed some ideas on what to watch. One of the first series of film recommended to me after I started my Netflix account was The Omen trilogy. The reason I refer to it as a trilogy is because that's how they were recommended to me and that's how I watched them. There was also a fourth made-for-TV installment and a remake that came out in 2006, but the original trilogy had a continuous storyline that spanned the three films. In the original, we see the son of the devil born and how he is unaware of the evil around him. The second film is about his teenage years where he finds out that he's the anti-christ. Then in the final chapter, he's a full grown adult who is fully aware of who he is and fully understands his powers. Great movies that rank high up on my list of favorite film series/franchises. Probably my favorite recommendation by my sister though I think I can safely say that any of the films on this list could've taken #1 on a different day.


  1. I like 6/10 of these movies. I didn't see 4 out 10 of the movies. =o

  2. are you interested in watching any of the 4 you've missed? I have all of these

  3. Number 10 seems to be missing on that badass babes list you mentioned. And your right the Mummy was better as a stand alone film. The second one was still decent, the third one was terrible and was the only time I recall falling asleep in theaters. On another note Liam Neeson also made a small appearance on the movie "The Next Three Days" where he played another similar role.

  4. @Alan, good catch bro. I guess I realized then that I had seen Underworld on here too much recently and decided to switch her out with the even more bad ass Michelle Rodriguez. I'm sure no one will argue that decision.