Sunday, June 20, 2010


Alex J. Cavanaugh, one of my dearest friends and the author of the upcoming sf bestseller "Cassastar" has organized a DIRTY DOZEN blogfest, and my task is to reveal the twelve movies I love the most. So, here we go, films which won my heart and respect either by being profound and enlightening, by spreading magic or by showing groundbreaking creativity and beauty:

The breathtaking, groundbreaking, positively captivating and deeply enchanting parade of stunning talent, creativity and love. I love everything in it - the story, the acting (especially Ewan McGregor and Jim Broadbent), the sets, the costumes, the spectacular songs and magical mix of cult pop songs and cabaret. Baz Luhrmann a master genius.

Larger than life, magnificent, jaw-dropping, spectacular epic with at least 10 almost legendary scenes to remember as the real gems in the cinematic history. And the outstanding, surreal, majestic performance of Cate Blanchett - "Woman. Warrior. Queen" - Cate not Elizabeth :) Shekhar Kapur a master genius.

My favourite "fun movie", a movie which reminds me of the golden years of cinema when movies were made out of dreams and fantasy. As one of my dear friends, Answer, once said "The Mummy" is one of those adventure films that will forever stand the test of time and go down in history as the greatest films of their genre. Flawless story, flawless acting, flawless chemistry, director Stephen Sommers paying attention to all possible details - twists, action, sets, unforgettable supporting roles, dialogues, jokes ... The epitome of true cinematic magic.

As a great dreamer I had been waiting for a huge fantasy epic almost all my life and then Peter Jackson fulfilled my wishes. An epic which comes to life maybe once in every 20 years, and a whole new world with mesmerizing sets, costumes, beings and creatures, nations and towns, fortresses and warriors. THE TWO TOWERS would be my favourite part, and Cate Blanchett as Galadriel and Karl Urban as Eomer, my favourite characters.

Deeply catharsic drama with hilarious moments and stirring insights into social alienation. Toni Collette in her first, groundbreaking role of a girl who didn't fit in so she learned how to stand out, and went up while being buried deep down. And all that seasoned with the irresistible hits from ABBA, because everyone can be a DANCING QUEEN or a king and TAKE IT ALL like a WINNER if you just TAKE A CHANCE:)

Kate Winslet showing why we consider her one of the best living actresses. The haunting, enlightening and deeply disturbing drama which shows that nothing is black and white and that there are reasons and causes behind everything. The movie about the truth which humanity isn't yet prepared to accept, and one of the very few films which left me speechless with so much to say.

As you already know, what I value most are satires dealing with deep social issues, movies which reveal the real problems of modern society in all their shocking authenticity. The film about weaknesses, vulnerabilities and temptations, about struggles of living in this vast ocean called world, which can drown you if you don't know how to swim. Stunning performances from Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson.

 Deeply touching story of a man's quest for the fountain of youth in order to save his love from the clutches of death. I've never seen such an awe-striking cinematic tale with profound story and astounding visuals in which present meets past, love fights death in the helpless war against time. Hugh Jackman's best role ever, and sensual Rachel Weisz in a film for the empathic intuitive viewers ready to understand its depths and messages.

Everyone knows how much I love director Tarsem Singh's visual creativity and his talent to explore dreams and fantasy. This is a truly mesmerizing story of a little girl who appears as a blessing in disguise while being an inspiration to the most wonderful storytelling cinema has ever seen. I must add I'm very honored to be a friend with the casting director of this movie and little Catinca Utaru's (the main actress in the film) mother as well. One of the visually most striking movies of all times.

A very bold, ironical and intelligent satire criticizing the modern American establishment and political system while telling the story of the suppression, aggressive hypocrisy and brutality in a little American town. The movie has no sets which makes you focus on the main characters and their slow moral downfall. Breathtaking performances from Paul Bettany, Nicole Kidman, Laurel Bacall, Patricia Clarkson, Jeremy Davies... Like THE READER, this is also one of the few movies that left me totally speechless.

Now, being a great fan of love, cooking and magic it's quite natural I would get totally enchanted by this romantic story which blends love, food and magic while teaching us how love shouldn't be a habit or an obligation, but something spellbinding, something that puts magic into our hearts, something that makes our reality look like a dream. Positively adorable performances from Sarah Michelle Gellar and Sean Patrick Flanery.

I don't think I've ever seen a film in which all the actors in it had absolutely flawless, convincing, remarkable and truly amazing performances like in this historical saga about king Henry II (Patrick Stewart), queen Eleanor (Glenn Close), their sons Richard the Lionheart (Andrew Howard), Geoffrey (John Light) and John (Rafe Spall), and Richard's forbidden gay love who happens to be a king of France and his father's enemy at the same time (Jonathan Rhys Meyers).

Beside these movies, I must also mention some other stunning dramas - CRASH, HEAVENLY CREATURES and Kenneth Branagh's HAMLET, and some visually groundbreaking films - 300, THE CELL, DUNE, EQUILIBRIUM, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON and SKY CAPTAIN AND THE WORLD OF TOMORROW.


  1. Ccc...What about Braveheart? :((((

  2. I'm not into Mel Gibson, and other BRAVEHEARTS, GLADIATORS and DIE HARDs :)))

  3. no magic and love in FARGO, Andrew :)

  4. Fine choices, Dez - you obviously have a sentimental side, too. LOTR is on my list as well. Glad to see several Kate Winslet movies on your list. I'll be listing additional movies that didn't make the cut as well. Twelve is just too few.
    Congratulations, I think you were the first to post for the blogfest!!

  5. Yes, Alex, I posted this today because of the time difference - this way everyone will be able to see it tomorrow morning and throughout the day :)

    I'm glad you've noticed the sentimental side of my movie taste :) And you know Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett and Toni Collette are my favourite actresses.

  6. Ah...What about Star Wars then? :)))

  7. I agree with you about Muriel's Wedding--it's a brilliantly written and acted film, and its use of ABBA songs is nothing short of groundbreaking--the songs play such a key function in the film, they do more than move the plot along--they ARE the plot. This made me really sorry I missed The Golden Age in theaters, and now will have to check it out for sure. Wonderful list!

  8. Interesting... I think LOTR is the only on even in my top 100. Though I do love Moulin Rouge, The Fall, and The Fountain. Little Children was good, but Jackie Earl Haley stole the show for me there.

    But with it being you Dez, I think all of those picks are about right :P.

  9. @Perin
    joj, to mi sada nikada neces oprostiti :))) Nikada nisam bio fan RATOVA ZVEZDA, vec ZVEZDANIH STAZA (serija i poslednjeg filma).

    thanks, Sammy, I hope you will watch GOLDEN AGE. When it comes to MURIEL'S WEDDING, I'm always sorry some people think it's a simple comedy judging from its tittle and posters, while it is actually a deeply stirring drama with the uplifting message and groundbreaking use of music to depict the key changes and key decisions in Muriel's life.

    I'm hoping that was a compliment :))

  10. Some very nice choices, Dezz ;) Loved "The Reader", "LOTR" and "The Mummy". "Dogville" was way too experimental for my taste, but there were parts I was blown away by it. "The Fountain" was a visual splendor but it lacked soul. "Little Children" was one of my favorites of 2008:) - amazing performances, fantastic story! Haven't seen the last two on your list /although I'm a huge Glenn Close fan/.

  11. You have some very interesting ones, some I had forgotten about.
    Loved the selection.

    Have a nice day.

  12. i'll have to see muriel's wedding. sounds like my kind of film.

  13. Believe it or not I have not seen 7 of these films so I'm not sure what to say. As far as Moulin Rouge-- I've really wanted to like this movie. The dance numbers taken by themselves as music videos are stunning, but as far as the film itself, I've watched it 3 times now and dislike it more each time I watch it. I have found the film to be incredibly annoying.

    Tossing It Out

  14. Great list Dez - totally agree with you on LotR and The Mummy. I was very surprised with how good Moulin Rouge was, and I still want to see The Fountain. A brilliantly eclectic list :D

  15. Very cool list! I have The Two Towers on mine aswell. I've seen everything you've got on your list, and although they didn't make it onto mine, they're mostly runners-up...except for Moulin Rouge. That didn't do much for me.
    Also, I liked the Elisabeth movies but mainly for the great costumes.

  16. @Avalon
    thanks :)

    glad you like it, Nebster. And you will have to watch THE FOUNTAIN some time together with me, and I will show you the soul in it :PP

    hey, welcome to HOLLYWOOD SPY, hope we will be seeing you here often :)

    you must, Ed, you will enjoy it a lot :)

  17. @Arlee Bird
    as annoying as when somebody has to comment even though he or she has nothing positive to say??? :)

    that's a great compliment, Jamie, being eclectic in everything is very important for me ;) Thanks, again.

    Hey, Tessa, welcome to HOLLYWOOD SPY :) I wouldn't be surprised to find LOTR in everyone's list :)

  18. Some movies on your list I haven’t seen yet. I have to correct that! Oh, I like your layout here too.

  19. It was hard for me to keep LOTR off my list, but i assumed that people would KNOW i love LOTR.
    And also, isn't the mummy great?!

  20. @Southpaw
    thanks, Southpaw and welcome to HOLLYWOOD SPY, I'm very glad you like the layout :)

    the epitome of greatness :)

  21. I almost added a few of these to my great picks!

  22. hey, Jens, welcome to HOLLYWOOD SPY ;)

  23. You got me thinking about what I would put on my favorite list... and it's really hard to only pick 12! (So many great movies I love.) By the way, thanks for reminding me of "Frozen." I've heard about it before, but haven't seen it, so I just added it to my Netflix list. :)

  24. Great list!!! I'm gonna put some of the ones I haven't seen on my Netflix queue.

  25. @Nat
    FROZEN??? Which movie is that? :))

    thanks, lbdiamond, and welcome to HOLLYWOOD SPY :)

  26. LOTR - of course!
    And I really liked Dune. I actually didn't care for the book.

  27. yep, L.Diane, I think we've seen LOTR in all of these DIRTY DOZEN lists :))

  28. very interesting list. I have only seen Elizabeth and Lord of the Rings. Good descriptions. I will have to look in to one or two of them.

  29. Thanks Gregg, glad you liked both the list and the descriptions :)

  30. How could I have forgotten Moulin Rouge? That was another one I've watched over and over again. I haven't seen Simply Irresistible, but I'll have to give it a whirl. Love you backround and am now a follower. Thanks!

  31. I'll have to add THE LION IN WINTER to my Netflix queue, Patrick Stewart is pretty awesome.

  32. Interesting list, Dez, I agree with a few of your picks. I compiled my Top 25 Picks of the Decade here: ... LOTR is definitely there. LOVE The Fall as well, Lee Pace should get more major roles in Hollywood, seriously!

    As for Lion in Winter, I've only seen the original with Peter O'Toole, Katharine Hepburn, Anthony Hopkins and my personal fave Timothy Dalton (his debut role). It's a great story, I might give this newer one a try. I did like the original Mummy, but they totally screwed up the sequels, blech!

  33. Great choices Dez,

    I must check out The Fountain and The Fall.

  34. Ooh! Moulin Rouge and Muriel's Wedding almost made MY list! Nice picks! :o)

  35. @RaShelle
    MOULIN ROUGE rules :)) Yes, you should watch SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE. And thanks for the compliments, I made the layout to spread positive energy and peace :)

    you must, it's a masterpiece with stunning performances. The whole movie is based on dialogues, there's no outside action :)

    yes, I remember the two us agreeing on Lee Pace being and underrated actor :(( You should really watch this new LION IN WINTER it's truly stunning.

  36. @Ricky
    you must :)

    I thought so :))

    two amazing movies, thanks for visiting :)

  37. How is it that a lot of those movies I have not seen? I'm going to have to watch them now. I have a completely different list.

  38. Oh, you must do that, Toast Man, and then come back here and report to us :)) and welcome to HOLLYWOOD SPY!

  39. Good pick with LOTR! I have to be honest and admit I have heard of but not seen many of the films you listed. Is that Boondocks Saints' Flannery in "Irresistible?

  40. Wonderful list; Some I have seen, others soon to check out! I loved Moulin Rouge and Elizabeth, almost put those on my list. I love how we all remind each other of some greats; we now, can re watch! I want a Moviethon~ Today should be the day,98 degrees,record breaking temps likely. These are the days, to close the blinds, pop the corn and enjoy the stunning world of cinema~

  41. @Geof
    yep, it's the amazing Sean Patrick Boondock Saint Young Indiana Jones Flanery :))

    thanks, Ellie, we should really hire Alex to organize a huge movie watching with all of us in one cinema :)) as soon as he gets the money for his book :)))

  42. Interesting list, DEZMOND.

    I thought Simply Irresistible was a very interesting choice in light of your other picks.

    I loved Sean Patrick Flannery in Suicide Kings. It might be on my top 25.

  43. oooh, yes, Alex, could do that for us, we can help him promote; this could be the kickback!
    Now, we just need to convince him! ;-D

  44. @RAFrenzy
    yes it was an interesting choice, but it does show the diverse nature of my personality :) and that movie truly is magical and deeply enchanting, and that's what I adore about films.

    oh, he will be ecstatic :))

  45. I like your movies, I love the movie covers.

  46. thanks, Ocean Girl, and welcome to HOLLYWOOD SPY :)

  47. Oh my. Quite a bold list, indeed.