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Annie in Austin
Welcome! As "Annie in Austin" I blog about gardening in Austin, TX with occasional looks back at our former gardens in Illinois. My husband Philo & I also make videos - some use garden images as background for my original songs, some capture Austin events & sometimes we share videos of birds in our garden. Come talk about gardens, movies, music, genealogy and Austin at the Transplantable Rose and listen to my original songs on YouTube. For an overview read Three Gardens, Twenty Years. Unless noted, these words and photos are my copyrighted work.
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Monday, July 21, 2008

Entertainment Weekly’s list of the top movies of the last 25 years

One minute I was with Philo and MSS on the Pond Tour, snapping away while listening to the owner's tale of why they needed the extra bit of splash provided by the blue jar...

And the next minute I was looking at a permanently black face on our digital camera...

While I ponder what to write about the tour (and we go out to look at affordable cameras) here's a list from Planet Pooks to play with. It's Entertainment Weekly’s list of the top movies of the last 25 years.

The original instructions say to " 1) Bold the ones you have seen. 2) Put an asterisk after the movie title* if you really liked it. 3) Cross it out if you saw a film and really disliked it. 4) Underline the ones you own."

That may work for you "J" types, but these rules didn't work for "P"-type Annie, so I made up my own.

1) Bold the ones you have seen.

2) Put an asterisk after a movie title if you saw it, then watched it at least one more time on purpose.

3) I'm not a crosser-outer. There have been too many movies that I disliked when I saw them, but later came to appreciate. But if you want to do it - go for it.

4) Underline the ones you own.

It's not a meme or a tag - just a little game that was interesting on a day when the temperature once again had 3 digits and started with the number 1.

The instruction to underline had me baffled for a minute, so I first made my list as a word doc, put the underlines on there and clipped and pasted. Then I looked at it in the blogger Edit Html and the code appears to be just small letter u and /u enclosed in pointy brackets. Is it really that simple? You can stop laughing now. Here's my list - accuracy is not guaranteed but I did try!

1. Pulp Fiction (1994)

2. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-03)

3. Titanic (1997)

4. Blue Velvet (1986)

5. Toy Story (1995)

6. Saving Private Ryan (1998)

7. Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)*

8. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) *

9. Die Hard (1988)*

10. Moulin Rouge (2001) *

11. This Is Spinal Tap (1984)*

12. The Matrix (1999)

13. GoodFellas (1990)

14. Crumb (1995)

15. Edward Scissorhands (1990)*

16. Boogie Nights (1997)*

17. Jerry Maguire (1996)

18. Do the Right Thing (1989)

19. Casino Royale (2006)

20. The Lion King (1994)

21. Schindler’s List (1993)

22. Rushmore (1998)*

23. Memento (2001)

24. A Room With a View (1986)

25. Shrek (2001)

26. Hoop Dreams (1994)

27. Aliens (1986)

28. Wings of Desire (1988)*

29. The Bourne Supremacy (2004)

30. When Harry Met Sally (1989)

31. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

32. Fight Club (1999)*

33. The Breakfast Club (1985)*

34. Fargo (1996)*

35. The Incredibles (2004)

36. Spider-Man 2 (2004)

37. Pretty Woman (1990)

38. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)*

39. The Sixth Sense (1999)*

40. Speed (1994)*

41. Dazed and Confused (1993)

42. Clueless (1995)

43. Gladiator (2000)

44. The Player (1992)*

45. Rain Man (1988)

46. Children of Men (2006)*

47. Men in Black (1997)

48. Scarface (1983)

49. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000)

50. The Piano (1993)*

51. There Will Be Blood (2007)

52. The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad (1988)*

53. The Truman Show (1998)

54. Fatal Attraction (1987)

55. Risky Business (1983)*

56. The Lives of Others (2006)

57. There’s Something About Mary (1998)*

58. Ghostbusters (1984) *

59. L.A. Confidential (1997)*

60. Scream (1996)

61. Beverly Hills Cop (1984)

62. sex, lies and videotape (1989)

63. Big (1988)

64. No Country For Old Men (2007)

65. Dirty Dancing (1987)

66. Natural Born Killers (1994)

67. Donnie Brasco (1997)

68. Witness (1985)

69. All About My Mother (1999)

70. Broadcast News (1987)

71. Unforgiven (1992)

72. Thelma & Louise (1991)*

73. Office Space (1999)

74. Drugstore Cowboy (1989)

75. Out of Africa (1985)

76. The Departed (2006)

77. Sid and Nancy (1986)

78. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)

79. Waiting for Guffman (1996)*

80. Michael Clayton (2007)

81. Moonstruck (1987) *

82. Lost in Translation (2003)

83. Evil Dead 2: Dead by Dawn (1987)

84. Sideways (2004)

85. The 40 Year-Old Virgin (2005)*

86. Y Tu Mamá También (2002)

87. Swingers (1996)

88. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997)*

89. Breaking the Waves (1996)

90. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

91. Back to the Future (1985) *

92. Menace II Society (1993)

93. Ed Wood (1994)

94. Full Metal Jacket (1987)

95. In the Mood for Love (2001)

96. Far From Heaven (2002)

97. Glory (1989)

98. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999)

99. The Blair Witch Project (1999)

100. South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut (1999)

Stay cool!


  1. Ohhh, I'm sorry about your camera, was looking to foward to seeing some photos of the pond tour. Bet you had a great time anyway!!

  2. So sorry about the camera...

    There are always films on these lists that puzzle me as to how and why they are considered the best! Gotta be a different generation!

    Btw, there is no 'J' in this one either!


  3. I would hate for my camera to go kaput. I get nervous just reading about yours going kaput. I hope you find a suitable replacement soon.

    I think it interesting to read the list of movies and see what you think about it all. It is too much for me to type and I can never seem to copy and paste from Blogger. I know it must be easy. I like the way some people can cross out things on their blogs but i have never mastered that maneuver. I mean I just a week or so ago figured out how to upload more than one picture at one time. I am a slow learner.

  4. Oh no! Bummer about your camera. I hope you have a new camera in your hands soon. I do look forward to the pictures...

    I never would have figured you to be a watch Fight Club more than once kinda lady. ;0)

  5. I was impressed that you went on the pond tour in temperatures like that! Were you ever tempted to jump in one of those ponds to cool off, or just dange your feet in the water for a few minutes? Maybe have MSS 'accidently' push you into one?

    For those who do want to strike out movies on the list use s and /s in the "pointy brackets" in "Edit HTML mode". Yep, it's that simple!

    And my movie list would be much simpler than yours because of all the movies I haven't seen. I do recommend the Lord of the Rings trilogy for a long winter weekend!

    Carol, May Dreams Gardens

  6. Ooh, I'd love to sit on the porch one morning with you and talk movies. But I'm not up to doing it on my blog. Still, I think I've seen most of these.

    Your pond picture is lovely. I hope you can recover the rest of them and find a suitable replacement camera soon. Bummer!

  7. Is your camera a Canon Sure shot? If it is you may have the same problem I had. My camera did exactly that and when searching on line I came across a problem with these cameras. They fixed it at no cost- sent me a fed ex box and everything. One week turnaround.
    Your pond picture was lovely. I'm sorry I missed the tour.

  8. Annie- I just looked at the Noel Coward video-you have no idea how true it is, We are always quoting that line as we hike or do crazy things (garden) in the mid day sun. Had a good laugh. Thanks

  9. Hi Annie,
    First, so sorry your camera pooped out on you. If you're seriously in the market for a great (not expensive) replacement, I'd recommend the Fuji Finepix S700, the one I got back in April, and which has been doing yeoman's duty on my blog since then. It never ceases to amaze me with what it can do ... I even took video of a thunderstorm over the weekend that wasn't half bad. And you can get it online at Amazon for less than $200. Worth a look, if you're in the market.

    If I were to detail what I think of the film list, I'd be here all night. I'd love to talk film with you for real sometime, because we share a lot of the same films and then there are those WTF ones I've never seen, lol.

    Glad to see you have an Almodovar film in the list, and if you haven't seen his work since then, get busy. It's great stuff, and Bad Education and Volver are among his masterpieces, this from a dude who's been following his work since 1985!

    And good ole david lynch, ahhh... they finally released the complete Twin Peaks recently, which is of course worth re-viewing. I'd have also included Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire ... he just gets better (and weirder) with age. The 'How to cook quinoa' feature on Inland Empire is worth the price, lol.

    BTW, Pulp Fiction is the most over hyped film on your list (no offense) ... I loathed how that pretentious little creep ripped off Jean-Luc Godard so shamelessly! But Boogie Nights and any P.T. Anderson is sublime!

  10. Annie, I'm sorry about your camera! Hope you're able to find a replacement that you love.

    I left mine outside a couple nights ago accidentally. Rain was predicted, but thankfully didn't materialize. I got a lucky pass that time.

    My all time favorite movie list would look much different! There are some good ones, others I loathed or had no interest in seeing on that list.

  11. Just want to first say - this is a clipped and pasted list made my people at Entertainment Weekly - I marked what I've seen but it's sure not MY list.

    Hi Cargol- it was lots of fun! MSS posted a few photos already.

    I guess digitals don't last as long as the old film cameras do, Gail!
    It's sure not my list - for example, mine would include Much Ado About Nothing, Magnolia and Lonestar. (Bet those 3 get a reaction from IVG)

    It was bound to happen eventually, Lisa at Greenbow, but the timing sure stunk.
    I'd like to know how to make my photos stay where I want them on the page. Unless I make them all the same boring size they migrate.

    We're looking around now, Katie, and have a couple of recommendations for a new camera.
    Fight Club is a great movie! I also loved Fincher's Zodiac and hope Benjamin Button will be as good as the hype.

    The pond tour is always hot, Carol. Philo's car has a good A/C for the rides in between ponds. Even if I thought about going in, there are so many plants, rocks and decorative items around the edges that it would be hard to do!
    Thank you for that hint - just a plain old 's'? (I just tried it and found out it's not allowed in the comment field.)
    Confession time - I managed to make it through about 25 minutes of the first Lord of the Rings before bailing. Maybe it's Elijah Wood... Philo liked Everything is Illuminated but it made me cranky.

    I'd like to sit with you on your porch and talk about movies or anything else, Pam/Digging - but I don't think your life has much time for porch-sitting. Let me know if you want company!

    Hi Lancashire Jenny - my camera is a Kodak Easy Share from 2002 so it's long out of warranty and has been in continuous use all that time.
    Maybe next year we'll make the master gardener tour.
    I'm glad you liked that Noel Coward video. I remember seeing him on TV when I was a kid thinking the song was funny even then.

    My daughter also mentioned Fuji Finepix, IVG - saying it worked for her since it took good closeups of flowers and action shots of dogs!

    Until it folded, my movie mag was Premiere. I don't know Entertainment Weekly, or how & by whom this list was made... just thought it made an interesting jump-off point on a hot day!

    We probably first met Almodóvar when Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown came out - think we saw High Heels at an art theater in LaGrange,IL. I loved Volver and have the song from Talk To Her in my favorites at our YouTube station.
    Philo & I got into quite a discussion about Mulholland Drive, which I despised, even though I am a dedicated Twin Peaks fan. We didn't see Inland Empire yet but it's in the queue.
    If I were the one who actually made the list - instead of just clipping, pasting and responding to it - Magnolia would have to be one of the 100. There were parts of Pulp Fiction that I loved... parts that were too silly. We played the soundtrack a lot and then were lucky enough to see Dick Dale play live at Stubbs here in Austin.

    Maybe I can get a camera that can take photos of white flowers, Garden Girl - which would give the pain of learning how to use a new camera a purpose!
    I'm not that good at making lists, but mine would be different, too...I'd sink Titanic and add The Big Lebowski.

    Thanks for the comments -


  12. I haven't seen even half of the movies on the list. It was a point of honor with me to not see TITANIC. The hype was just too much for me and if I never hear Celine Dion singing that song again ...

    I bought a Sony Cyber-shot in May and I've been very happy with it. It does not have a conventional viewfinder at all, which takes some getting used to. The screen is 3 inches wide, though, which is very nice.

  13. You're a real movie aficionada! I'd like to watch more movies...got to find time somehow. I know what you mean about finding something late to appreciate...some books are like that too. You don't like it too much but somehow can't stop thinking about it.

  14. Several of my favorites are on the movie list. Very interesting. I don't watch movies much. I saved this list for future reference, whenever I have TIME to sit and watch a movie from start to finish.

    You amaze me. How can you turn a horrid ordeal of a dead camera into a great post? :o)

  15. Sorry about your camera. I always look at the type of thing as an opportunity to upgrade. I would have to recommend a Nikon :lol: Cameras have come a long way since 2002 but the prices have remained the same or even gone down.

    Recently one of my cameras cr@pped out and even though it was old and had no warranty Nikon fixed for free because it was a known problem. Do a little research on the problem and camera model. It was worth it to me.

    I see you have not seen a few good movies on the list.

  16. We rely on the Video Hound's Golden Movie Retriever for guidance on movies. I'm afraid that most of the movies on that list are ones I have never seen, maqny of the ones I have seen I didn't really strike me as great. I didn't like The Matrix, for example.

    I also didn't understand the "J" and "P" reference. I must be hopelessly old and unhip.\

    Sorry your camera died. I have the Fuji Finepix 5700 and LOVE it, almost every picture you have enjoyed on my blog that wasn't a "historical document" was taken by it.

  17. Going on a pond tour sounds like so much fun; I'd love to have one like the one you've pictured. But then to have your camera die--how awful! But as someone else said, this will give you a chance to upgrade.

    I wonder what criteria the list makers used to come up with this list; there are so many I haven't seen, but most of them I'm familiar with at least, so I'm surprised by many of their choices.
    There are some excellent movies that I haven't seen on purpose because I don't like violence, such as "Saving Private Ryan" or "The Silence of the Lambs." I have trouble remembering favorites, but one movie I loved that seems as good as any on this list is "O Brother, Where Art Thou."

    I still haven't figured out HTML code...and I'd like to know what Lisa meant by uploading more than one picture at a time.

  18. Hi Cindy in Katy - I love Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet enough to put up with Celine for a few hours, and since we saw the movie at the second-run bargain theater, didn't pay much!
    Thanks for the camera recommendation - we'll be checking them out soon.

    This list goes back 25 years Leslie, with many hot summers and cold IL winters for movie-watching during that time...maybe it's too nice outside in California!

    Making any list from the vast pool of available movies would be hard - and we're all so different. Mary, if the camera had broken at one of those rare times when I was with my extended family it would have been unbearable. This is not a big deal in comparison!

    We'd talked about a new camera a few months ago, Digital Flower Pictures, but hadn't done more than talk. Entering "cheapest Nikon" into google got me stuff in the 600+ range - so I don't see a Nikon in my future!
    What movies are you recommending?

    Hi Healing Magic Hands - I've got an older copy of VideoHound around but use IMDb more frequently. I also check certain critic's lists.
    The "J" and "P" refers to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator - a kind of personality questionnaire. Many people take it for work - I took it for a volunteer position. I only know enough about it to make a lame joke. Maybe making lame jokes fits my profile!
    You're the third person to mention Fuji Finepix - we'll check it out soon.

    The Austin pond tour is a big event each summer, Prairie Rose - this was either the 5th or 6th time we went on it.
    I'll try to find out more about how the movies were chosen - O Brother was a good one!
    Maybe I need another symbol to indicate when I've seen a large part of a movie but not the whole thing? That's happened when someone else rents the movie and I'm in-and-out of the room. Saving Private Ryan and The Departed would belong there.

    Thank you,


  19. Technical problems stink & they always seem to strike at the worst time! I hope you get it fixed or replaced soon. I so agree with you about "This is Spinal Tap." We quote it a lot around here. I find it interesting that you can't watch Elijah Wood in "Lord of the Rings," but you liked "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind." (I like both, btw.) I'd add "Being John Malkovich" to the list because I love quirky films that are totally original.

  20. I carefully edited a list for you right after you posted but apparently it was too long for a comment...or some other problem. I'm either going to post it on my other blog or just email it to you. Luckily I used a text editor to create it so I didn't lose it when I lost the comment.

  21. Annie, I am flabbergasted-- you haven't seen Lord of the Rings?!!

  22. Sorry to hear about your camera. The movie list sounds like fun - I may do one on my blog. :)

  23. I guess it was lucky the camera failed on a pond tour and not at a one-time event like a wedding, Mr MrGregor's Daughter - we're working on it!
    I thought Elijah Wood was good in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Philo and I have seen Being John Malkovich on the big screen and on DVD. Along with an amazing story it has John Cusack. I paid full price to see Con Air in the theater because it had John Cusack.

    Thanks for trying MSS - wonder what went wrong? I've seen one very long, strange, pseudo-religious comment appear on other blogs lately - maybe there's now a length limit? Notepad helps me avoid losing comments.
    I'll watch for your list - this could be interesting - on your yearly movie lists I notice that some movies I've enjoyed were bundled into your "avoid at all costs" bin ;-]

    Why are you flabbergasted, Lori? I know LOTR has many fans, but some people are bored by computer generated fantasy. Philo and I gave the first one a try but after a while we looked at each other, shrugged, and popped out the DVD.

    The camera gave me a warning by behaving erratically at Spring Fling, Phillip, so this wasn't a total surprise.
    I'd like seeing your movie list!

    Thank you,


  24. I know the following will probably never make it into anyone else's top movies list, but I never tire of watching: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles; Fried Green Tomatoes; Dumb and Dumber; Kung Pow. The first two I like because of the actors and tears they elicit from me (every time!), and the last two have become cult favorites for my daughter and me. We both like to throw quotes at each other from these movies that are like ugly dogs being so ugly they're cute. These movies are so stupid they're actually pretty funny. Maybe we like them so much because they poke fun at other movies that take themselves too seriously.

  25. Pretty funny, walk2write. I don't remember seeing Kung Pow, but we're guilty of quoting from your first two movies...

    "Those Aren't Pillows!"

    "The secret's in the sauce!"

    I always wanted to be able to say, "Face it, girls, I'm older and I have more insurance.", but it's no longer 1991 and that line's kaput.


  26. It feels great to have those Tawanda! moments, if only in our imaginations. Kung Pow, by the way, is probably one of those movies you won't appreciate the first time around. I didn't. But after watching it again with my daughter and one of her friends, I began to see the light. Your two lines are a couple of my favorites too.

  27. Hi Annie,
    Great conversation you got going here. I'll restrain myself, I hope. MMD reminded me about Being..., which of course led me to see your comment about Magnolia, and secondarily, Adaptation. I think PT Anderson can do no wrong (so far), but I've yet to see There Will Be Blood ... I'm a bit behind. Blame Dr. Who. (And too many movie channels and a DVR.)

    One more shot across the Almodóvar bow ... since you started with Women on the Verge... (incidentally the source of the name of my dog Pepa), go back further a bit (and these are now finally available) and see these. What Have I Done to Deserve This?!, Law of Desire, and Matador. Those will have you and Philo discussing for days on end, lol.

    And, no, Pedro doesn't pay me to plug him everywhere. He's that good.

  28. Annie - I'm not a fan of computer-generated fantasy either, but somehow Lord of the Rings managed to suck me in. I hadn't read any of Tolkien's books until after I saw the first movie, but I ended up loving the whole world-creation thing they had going on. But then again, I have to admit that when I re-watch the trilogy, I usually rewatch all of the special effects disks instead of the actual movies. I was an art/animation major in college, and I think that I got a better education on the subject from LoTR than from my professors.

  29. I'm pretty movie illiterate (as in, I don't see many) but I loved Magnolia, too, and was surprised not to see it on the list! (And I'm glad you watched Fight Club at least twice. I watched it the first time in spite of Mr. Pitt--thanks to Mr. Norton--and it's now one of my all time favorites.)

    I've been giggling over the Towanda moments you all mentioned... which leads me to another funny movie that I think was overlooked here. Seriously, no Fletch, but recognition for This is Spinal Tap?!!! ACK! :)

  30. That is quite a list! I will be linking to you tomorrow and using a bit of your comment above-if that is ok?

  31. Annie,
    I was really enjoying the pictures of the pond tour, I mean picture.
    What a bummer. My camera died twice at BlogHer. I came back with nine pics I think.
    You and I would get along great. I am a movie freak. I didn't take the test but I went through To see how many movies I haven't seen yet. I haven't seen six of them. Have you seen all of them?

  32. Dee/reddirtramblingsMon Jul 28, 08:28:00 AM 2008

    And I thought I'd seen lots of movies. Sorry about your camera. My lens broke the day before I toured Elizabeth Lawrence's garden. I won't say what the new lens cost. That jar in the pond is beautiful.~~Dee

  33. Sorry about your camera, i relly enjoyed your post but i do have a few things to say first of all i completely disagree with the placings of the movies especially: 1. Pulp Fiction (1994)* this was a good movie but definitely not the best in the past 25 years,

    let alone there are a few great movies missing,


  34. Hi, Annie!

    I just bought a new camera before we took a July 4th trip to the Bend:

    Olympus SP-560 UZ Black 8.0 MP 18X Zoom

    I love it! The zoom is terrific, and I am still learning how to use the darn thing, but even for impatient dumbies like me, it takes great shots on auto pilot.

  35. is a still dumbies like your best very nice

    Hrithik Roshan

  36. is a interest, please feel free you comments your very nice

    Hrithik Roshan

  37. Sorry it took me so long to answer -

    The Tawanda! moments are mostly in my imagination these days, Walk2Write in IL!

    Hello again IVG in Iowa - I'm glad we saw There Will Be Blood, but don't know that it would go on my repeat viewing list. I thought it was interesting that PT Anderson was the 'backup director' for Robert Altman on Prairie Home Companion. Have you seen that one? We saw it at the theaters and have the DVD.

    Sometimes we make up our own mini-film festivals - had several of Kenneth Brannaugh's Shakespeare entries recently...maybe we'll hold an Almodovar fest some weekend.

    Good & Evil Lori in Austin, you explain it awfully well. There are world-creation stories in science fiction books that I loved - probably I'm just getting old.

    Hi Blackswamp Kim in Ohio - that movie comes to mind at inappropriate moments, as when seeing displays of handmade soap at a Farmers Market!
    If we're talking movies that everyone loves, maybe Chevy should be represented by National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation?
    I barely remember Fletch, sorry...but after my kids left the house with their DVD collections, I had to buy my own copy of Spinal Tap. Then turn it up to eleven.

    Thanks Tina in TN - I'm glad you like my comparison of comments to chocolate!

    Some of the pond photos that turned out ended up in The Pond Song, Chigiy in California, so they were seen eventually. The BlogHer photos that you posted were pretty cool.
    I've seen anything that's in bold type - so there are a lot that I missed or only saw part of.

    Hi Dee of Red Dirt OK - there are too many to keep up with, aren't there. Elizabeth Lawrence's house counts as an emergency!

    Hello Janna of Ventura - it also seems a little weird to me to see Pulp Fiction as number one. I wouldn't mind a DVD of my favorite scenes from that movie, but don't want to sit through the whole thing again.

    Thanks for the recommendation Cowtown Pattie in Texas - your photos of the Bend Critters were great!

    Thank you for commenting, Kutty/Krithik Roshan...are you a fan of the Bollywood Star?

    Thanks everyone,



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