You can’t get away from the plethora of top ten lists out there: every year the web grows and so does the opinions. Instead of showing you mine, I’ve assembled, for your uncertain pleasure, the best top ten lists in film and/or DVD-Video. Here they are in random order:
J. Hoberman, etc. at THE VILLAGE VOICE:
I learned to read and write from the VOICE, and their top tens are always snotty and against the grain. You have to love Hoberman for putting I’M NOT THERE and SOUTHLAND TALES right up at the top, they love Bob Dylan and hate popular opinion even more than I do, maybe.
Kim Morgan at SUNSET GUN: As illuminating and sharp as a broken shard of vanity mirror stabbing you in the desert at high noon, Capt. Morgan nails it once again, delivering concise and trenchant capsules for her favorites, including the sexually/spiritually galvanizing BLACK SNAKE MOAN! Are she and I the only ones who remember that this came out in 2007 and is one of the best films of all time?
Scott Tobias, etc. at THE ONION AV CLUB: The Onion always put out a sweet top ten. I love this opener for Sweeney Todd which comes in at # 7: “In a year dominated by darkness, murder and perversity… it seems fitting… that the movie with the highest body count and blackest sensibility would be a musical.”
Joseph A. Ziemba at BLEEDING SKULL: This Ziemba is quite a character: after invoking W.C. Fields he delivers the top ten trashy VHS discoveries of the year. Number 1 on the list is something you and I will hopefully never have to watch, HOLLYWOOD MEATCLEAVER MASSACRE; but how does one not love a descriptive blurb which begins “”When applied with steady calculation, “incomprehensible” becomes not just a word, but an heavenly entity…”
Christophr Borelli at the TOLEDO BLADE – Short, crisp, to the point. He mixes the edgy and rare (SUMMERCAMP) with the popcorny (DIE HARD) and crowns I’M NOT THERE as number one. Unpretentious but intellectually engaged… from Toledo, no less!
Richard Corliss at TIME. Yes they’re only slightly better than the NY Times as far as bourgeois back-patting, but Corliss & Co. have assembled not just ten but 50 Top Ten Lists, and aside from whatever softball mainstream tripe they feel obligated to pitch their battered contingents, there’s bound to be something under the radar that they champion and thus save from obscurity. That’s good work, there, old boys!
Sean Axemaker at MSN for best DVDs of 2007. Did Sean really put PASSION OF THE CHRIST: DEFINITIVE EDTION at number nine? ONLY number nine? Either way, that’s mighty Xian, especially since I’m convinced he may have actually watched all 15 hours of BERLIN ALEXANDERPLATZ (at #2). That makes him the real thing. I’m gonna need a mighty wind to even break through the packaging on that one.
Erich Kuersten at ACIDEMIC: With his eye clearly cast into the mystic, shabby shaman-turned-film critic Erich Kuersten (aka ME) rounds up the ten DVD must haves for all those who would explore the dark side of their natures and/or rock out. THE HOLY MOUNTAIN stands tall at number one and it just gets weirder from there.
Craig Phillips at GREENCINE: He’s got THE HOST, RESCUE DAWN and PAPRIKA along with the usual suspects. You can tell he aint shillin’ – this guy loves these movies and has probably seen most of them more than once… that’s my kind of writer! Plus who doesn’t love Greencine?
Glen Abel at DVD SPIN DOCTOR. A Self-described “bleary-eyed LA entertainment writer, Glen Abel’s list remembers to include BECKET (referencing a great Peter O’Toole commentary track) and the 40th anniversary JUNGLE BOOK (the Disney one, with Phil “That’s What I Like About the South” Harris as Baloo the Bear). Hmm, if this man is wrong, I don’t want to be right!