Every Month, the site runs a poll based on the list of films submitted by LAMB members for the prestigious ability of being named as the Movie of the Month that will be discussed on the LAMBCAST podcast during that given month.
I decided that each month I will watch each of the films chosen and give my rankings of those films in order to decide which film I should vote for and in doing so, maybe help some of you also decide which film to vote for.
The voting is open until Sunday the 2 Feb, so make sure to get your vote in soon.
This month, there were 10 Contenders suggested (all by Richard of Kirkham: Movie A Day), so here they are:
- Big Trouble in Little China (1985)
- Bite the Bullet (1975)
- Captain Blood (1935)
- Dr. Zhivago (1965)
- Heaven’s Gate (1980)
- In-Laws, The (1979)
- Logan’s Run (1976)
- Man Who Would Be King, The (1975)
- Quick and the Dead, The (1995)
- Superman (1978)
Here are my rankings along with brief thoughts on each film (click on the film title if you want to read my full review)
10. Heaven’s Gate – Intriguing idea that fails to work largely due to the fact that the story is dragged out too long. At 217 minutes, this film truly should have been trimmed a bit in order to make it more enjoyable and engaging for the viewer. The cast is stellar here with Kristofferson, Walken, Hurt, Waterston, Huppert and Bridges all giving us some intriguing characters. The film has far too much exposition and there are too many scenes that move along much too slowly and take away from the urgency and importance of things that are transpiring. This is a film that is notoriously known as a complete flop, but it has some great ideas that could have been presented in a more competent way which would have made this more enjoyable to watch unfold. The film has a great epic feel to it, but that is one of the reasons that the story seems to be dragged out instead of told in a more succinct way.
9. The Man Who Would Be King – Very interesting story that shows how hubris and delusions of grandeur can make people do things in order to attain power. The cast is great with Connery and Caine perfectly chosen as the two lead roles and Plummer is also great as the narrator and author Kipling. The movie feels a bit too long and might have been even better had it been cut a bit because the middle sections drag on a bit too much. Liked the way that this film discusses the modern and primitive ways of looking at things in life and how that can easily affect people decisions.
8. Logan’s Run – Great premise that works so well during the first half yet falters during the second half. York does a fine job in the title role and we learn so much about him as he also discovers new things about himself along the way. The special effects and technology of the story are fine for the 70’s yet compared to today’s standards, there is really no comparison. This is the kind of story that could theoretically be updated for newer audiences and if they find a way to enhance the story of the second half, could be quite interesting to watch.
7. Big Trouble in Little China – Fun and crazy cult movie, but I liked it much better as a kid than I did this time. Great characters and effects truly make this a cult classic.
6. The Quick and the Dead – Great premise that works quite well especially when dealing with such a unique idea. The cast is superb and even though, some of the famous actors were lesser known at the time, it’s still fun to watch how things unfold. Love the way that they slowly tell us the history of some of the characters in order for us to get a much clearer picture as to why they have joined this kind of contest. They manage to take this idea to a higher level by adding some great twists and turns along the way that keep things interesting while also constantly raising the stakes and danger of it all.
5. The In-Laws – Hilarious film that works so well largely due to the amazing chemistry between Falk and Arkin. The personalities and characteristics of these men completely clash yet when put together things are so enjoyable to watch. The story itself is a bit far fetched yet within the context presented here things work so smoothly. The zaniness of things is done really well on throughout the entire story, they are able to toe the line between plausibility and absurdity. Such a fun film to watch despite its flaws.
4. Dr. Zhivago – Classic Lean, done extremely well. Story was a bit choppy , but overall worth seeing.
3. Bite the Bullet – Fun idea that works quite well due to the way that the characters are developed. The story doesn’t paint any of the characters as heroes or villains and as things move along, we get a clearer idea of who these contestants really on and how they are each connected to one another. The cast is great with Hackman, Coburn, Vincent, Bergen, Bannen and Johnson all giving stellar and distinct performances. It’s quite easy to see how this film was an inspiration for films like The Cannonball Run (1981) and I half expected for the characters to do humorous antics along the way. The stories of each of these characters is explained quite well and it helps make things feel even more enjoyable to watch unfold.
2. Captain Blood – Great story that is presented really well. Flynn is amazing in the lead and he and De Havilland have great chemistry even in their first (of 12) collaborations together. The story is thrilling and poignant at the same time and it gives us a real sense of what was happening at that time. The message of patriotism versus fame and glory really stands out and this remains one of the best swashbuckler films of all time. Nominated for 5 Oscars but didn’t manage to win any of them.
- Superman – Amazing origin story of the Man of Steel. We get a clear sense of his dilemma as to what he needs to dedicate himself to and where his loyalties should be. Reeve is amazing as the title character and gives us a real sense of him being both a defender of justice and being a boy scout in his way of dealing with criminals. Hackman is great as Lex Luthor and we get a very good idea of how they can face off against one another because of the idea of brains vs. brawn. Donner does a great job telling such an epic story for us to learn so much about the origin of one of the most famous superhero characters to ever be introduced to us. This film’s success left the door open for the next 40+ years for superhero movies to be so popular and interesting for us to watch. Spectacular score by John Williams that has become so iconic.
So who should I vote for? – Basically, there is no question in my mind that Superman is the very best of the films on this month’s list. It is action packed, has a great origin story and above all else is the groundbreaking film that opened the door for superhero films that is still wide open after more than 40 years so this is the film that is definitely gonna get my vote!
To vote, click here
Good luck to one and all!!!