My 10 Favorite Movie Endings

10. For a Few Dollars More

09. Pulp Fiction

08. Before Sunset

07. The Big Lebowski

06. Shaun of the Dead

05. The Silence of the Lambs

04. The Godfather: Part II

03. Once Upon a Time in the West

02. Army of Darkness

01. The Godfather

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Jeppy’s 100 – My All Time Favorite Movies (2018)

100. Dead Man (1995, Jim Jarmusch)
099. Goldfinger (1964, Guy Hamilton)
098. The Matrix Reloaded (2003, The Wachowski Brothers)
097. The Social Network (2010, David Fincher)
096. Boogie Nights (1997, Paul Thomas Anderson)
095. Sin City (2005, Frank Miller, Robert Rodriguez)
094. Heavenly Creatures (1994, Peter Jackson)
093. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, Ang Lee)
092. Life is Beautiful (1997, Roberto Benigni)
091. The Spy Who Loved Me (1977, Lewis Gilbert)
090. Pusher III: I’m the Angel of Death (2005, Nicolas Winding Refn)
089. Rosemary’s Baby (1968, Roman Polanski)
088. No Country for Old Men (2007, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen)
087. For a Few Dollars More (1965, Sergio Leone)
086. Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels (1998, Guy Ritchie)
085. The Wolf of Wall Street (2014, Martin Scorsese)
084. Titanic (1997, James Cameron)
083. Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) (2014, Alejandro González Iñárritu)
082. L.A. Confidential (1997, Curtis Hanson)
081. Man on the Moon (1999, Milos Forman)
080. Excalibur (1981, John Boorman)
079. Carlito’s Way (1993, Brian De Palma)
078. Scream (1996, Wes Craven)
077. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring (2003, Ki-duk Kim)
076. White Heat (1949, Raoul Walsh)
075. Clerks (1994, Kevin Smith)
074. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998, Terry Gilliam)
073. Margin Call (2011, J.C. Chandor)
072. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975, Milos Forman)
071. The Elephant Man (1980, David Lynch)
070. The Truman Show (1998, Peter Weir)
069. Forrest Gump (1994, Robert Zemeckis)
068. Lethal Weapon 2 (1989, Richard Donner)
067. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935, James Whale)
066. Dazed and Confused (1993, Richard Linklater)
065. Predator (1987, John McTiernan)
064. Army of Darkness (1992, Sam Raimi)
063. Scarface (1983, Brian de Palma)
062. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018, Bryan Singer)
061. Festen (1998, Thomas Vinterberg)
060. Total Recall (1990, Paul Verhoeven)
059. Melancholia (2011, Lars von Trier)
058. Blue is the Warmest Colour (2013, Abdellatif Kechiche)
057. Shogun Assassin (1980, Robert Houston)
056. Happiness (1998, Todd Solondz)
055. Back to the Future (1985, Robert Zemeckis)
054. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966, Sergio Leone)
053. Requiem for a Dream (2000, Darren Aronofsky)
052. The Untouchables (1987, Brian De Palma)
051. Before Sunrise (1995, Richard Linklater)
050. Fight Club (1999, David Fincher)
049. Black Swan (2010, Darren Aronofsky)
048. Once Upon a Time in America (1984, Sergio Leone)
047. Sideways (2004, Alexander Payne)
046. Stand by Me (1986, Rob Reiner)
045. Rififi (1955, Jules Dassin)
044. Fargo (1996, Joel Coen)
043. Casino (1995, Martin Scorsese)
042. Full Metal Jacket (1987, Stanley Kubrick)
041. The Seven Samurai (1954, Akira Kurosawa)
040. 12 Angry Men (1957, Sidney Lumet)
039. Ed Wood (1994, Tim Burton)
038. The Matrix (1999, Andy & Larry Wachowski)
037. Psycho (1960, Alfred Hitchcock)
036. Braveheart (1995, Mel Gibson)
035. Sunset Blvd. (1950, Billy Wilder)
034. Raging Bull (1980, Martin Scorsese)
033. A Fistful of Dollars (1964, Sergio Leone)
032. Miller’s Crossing (1990, Joel Coen)
031. Reservoir Dogs (1992, Quentin Tarantino)
030. Evil Dead II (1987, Sam Raimi)
029. Robocop (1987, Paul Verhoeven)
028. Heat (1995, Michael Mann)
027. Dead Ringers (1988, David Cronenberg)
026. The Godfather: Part II (1974, Francis Ford Coppola)
025. Trainspotting (1996, Danny Boyle)
024. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981, Steven Spielberg)
023. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991, James Cameron)
022. Schindler’s List (1993, Steven Spielberg)
021. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968, Stanley Kubrick)
020. Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004, Quentin Tarantino)
019. Kill Bill: Vol. 1 (2003, Quentin Tarantino)
018. Die Hard (1988, John McTiernan)
017. Dawn of the Dead (1978, George A. Romero)
016. Rear Window (1954, Alfred Hitchcock)
015. Groundhog Day (1993, Harold Ramis)
014. The Big Lebowski (1998, Joel Coen)
013. The Silence of the Lambs (1991, Jonathan Demme)
012. Apocalypse Now (1979, Francis Ford Coppola)
011. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003, Peter Jackson)
010. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002, Peter Jackson)
009. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001, Peter Jackson)
008. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983, Richard Marquand)
007. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980, Irvin Kershner)
006. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (1977, George Lucas)
005. Pulp Fiction (1994, Quentin Tarantino)
004. A Clockwork Orange (1971, Stanley Kubrick)
003. The Godfather (1972, Francis Ford Coppola)
002. Once Upon a Time in the West (1968, Sergio Leone)
001. GoodFellas (1990, Martin Scorsese)

What Do Gollum, Darth Vader & Agent Smith Have in Common?

You were just wondering about that, weren’t you? Well, I’ll explain.

Every big epic in fantasy or science fiction, needs a legendary villain-character like Darth Vader, Gollum or Agent Smith. But these three are not normal evil doers. They are very special, because their destiny is directly tied to the resolution of the whole story. They are more like causal agents than just ordinary bad guys.

Their evil is also much more nuanced than the other main villains in their holy trilogies. And their motivations are often harder to fully grasp. Take emperor Palpatine in Star Wars. He is just evil to the core. There is not a single shade of grey: he is BAD. Darth Vader, on the other hand, was actually a good man before he was seduced by the dark side of the force. Luckily, for the oppressed galaxy, Vader’s son Luke Skywalker felt there was still good in him. Luke exploited this inner conflict, which lead to the death of Palpatine by Vader’s hand at the end of Return of the Jedi. The galaxy was free once again due to Vader’s destiny.

Gollum and Agent Smith (especially after his supposed destruction by Neo in the first Matrix movie) don’t even belong to the villain class and are free agents, so to speak, Smith quite literally. They are just roaming around in their fantasy worlds, driven by their own insatiable desires. Gollum by his addiction to the Ring of Power, and Smith by his need to destroy his arch enemy Neo and the entire simulated computerworld the Matrix with it. But, like in Vader’s case, through their actions they enable the heroes of their stories to fulfill their appointed tasks while they would have otherwise failed.

Like Frodo in The Lord of the Rings. He managed to get the ring all the way to Mount Doom, but could unavoidably no longer resist the power of the mighty precious and thus refused to destroy it. Gollum took his chance and jumped at Frodo, bit off his finger, and took the ring. But he could only enjoy it for a brief moment. As a crazed Frodo attacks him, Gollum falls to his doom taking the ring with him. The panic in Sauron’s one eye is very satisfying. His reign is over forever. Gandalf had foreseen this turn of events: ‘My heart tells me that Gollum has some part to play, for good or ill, before this is over.’

Agent Smith’s faith is similar. When Neo realises that it is inevitable that Smith – who he has destroyed before – must now destroy him in order for things to end. He allows Smith to clone him, like he has done to the entire population of the Matrix (‘me, me, me’). But since Neo is the One, the anomaly of the system, this creates a fatal chain reaction eliminating the virus Smith. By pursuing his own purposes, against the will of his masters (the machines in case of The Matrix), he ensures that the humans are set free.

Do all epics have this type of causal agent? What about Harry Potter for example? Well in a way: yes, a very interesting one. When Voldemort tried to kill Harry when he was a baby, he unwillingly put a horcrux (a piece of his soul) in Harry. When Harry grows up, he slowly discovers his connection to the Dark Lord. In the end, the only way to defeat him, is by letting Voldemort kill him. This villain created a causal agent himself that lead to his doom! Because Voldemort didn’t kill Harry, but just the horcrux. The now released Harry returns and finishes off Voldemort in a final confrontation, ridding the wizard and muggle world of this ultimate baddie.

The world is more complex than just good-evil. While most of the characters in these epics are either of the hero or villain archetype, these causal agents are not so easily defined. So to answer the question, what do they have in common? They are tools used by the clashing higher forces to decide the faith of the world. Apparently, free will is absent in these worlds, and we are merely instruments of the ruling powers. This makes sense, for at least two of these trilogies (Star Wars and The Matrix) are inspired by Eastern Philosophy of which some movements (Advaita Vedanta) teaches us that free will is an illusion. The Lord of the Rings seems more in tune with paganism that also suggests that greater spiritual forces can impact the course of events or the ultimate outcome.

The individual destinies of these characters are thus intertwined with the destiny of the world at large. Thereby, they completely transcend a clearcut character definition. Beneath their wicked appearances, they actually become saviors, even though that was never their intention. Gandalf nailed it when he said: ‘Even the very wise cannot see all ends.’ Good, bad, everyone has their own perspective. But in the end, love and goodness will always be victorious.

My 10 Favorite Horror Movies Ever

Checked and double checked. Darlings killed! This is it:

10. Bad Taste (1987)

Peter Jackson’s inventive low budget debut film is a delight in gory horror and awesome humor. It’s about aliens coming to New Zealand to set-up a supply chain in human flesh for their intergalactic fast food restaurants. What they didn’t count on was secret agent Derek (played by Jackson himself) and his team! Great to see that the visionary director behind The Lord of the Rings trilogy started his career with this hilarious B-movie.

Greatest Moment: The vomit scene: ‘ahhhh, l think the gruel is ready!!’

09. The Bride of Frankenstein (1935)

Back at the old days, they made great films too, you know. And the Universal Monster Movies are not to be ignored when you’re rating your all-time favorite horrors. The beautiful gothic scenery, spot-on art direction, excellent make-up effects, the universal themes, the humor (the monster smoking a cigar!)… The Bride of Frankenstein is the best in its genre and at least as impressive in the time it was made as its contemporary counterparts. Ehhh, which contemporary counterparts by the way?

Greatest moment: The monster and the hermit.

08. Army of Darkness (1992)

You want some more Evil Dead? Come get some! Ash is back with a chainsaw attached to his wrist and a boomstick on his back. This time around he’s kicking Evil’s ass in medieval times. Isn’t it groovy? Well, yes it is. Besides Raimi’s action-packed script and trademark camera tricks, fans can enjoy a brilliant turn from B-Movie star Bruce Campbell. With his masterful comic timing, loads of one-liners and his lady man skills, he makes Ash a truly lovable hero. Not to mention a horror icon. Hail to the King baby!

Greatest moment: The pit.

07. Scream (1996)

This postmodern take on the slasher genre is both an incredible homage and superb addition to the genre. The screenplay by Kevin Williamson is masterfully written and director Wes Craven finds exactly the right balance between suspense, teenage stupidity, humor and extreme violence. Followed by three decent sequels (and a tv-show), but this first one is the best by far.

Greatest Moment: The revelation who the killer is.

06. Predator (1987)

The first Predator is an unique movie that holds a very special place in my heart. The concept is fairly simple (mysterious alien hunts and kills soldiers and mercenaries in South American jungle), the execution is flawless. It features the greatest team of warriors ever assembled that faces off against the greatest alien ever created for cinema. It’s just awesome in every way.

Greatest moment: There are many great scenes featuring the predator, but Schwarzenegger’s team butchering an entire guerrilla army is so bad-ass that I have to pick that one.

5. Dead Ringers (1988)

Two bodies. Two minds. One Soul. Separation can be a terrifying thing.
No monsters or killers are needed to make a creepy film. The human psyche can be terrifying enough by itself. Jeremy Irons gives an Oscar worthy double performance as a pair of twins who become mentally intertwined together. Brilliant psychological horror by master of bodily transformation, David Cronenberg.

Greatest Moment: The superbly creepy credit sequence and the unsettling ending.

04. Psycho (1960)

Psycho is such an inspirational film that it spawned an entire genre of slasher / serial killer movies. With its groundbreaking narrative techniques and tension building it’s hard to deny the importance of Hitchcock’s masterpiece in cinema history. Janet Leigh is a joy to watch and so is Anthony Perkins in his lunatic performance.

Greatest moment: The shower scene off course, which is completely shocking to this day.

03. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The scariest horror movie of my childhood and frankly an almost traumatic experience. I recently saw it and even though the scare effect is weakened down somewhat, it is still a deeply chilling experience. Master of Horror Wes Craven takes all the terrible emotions the worst nightmares can cause and uses them to maximum effect.

Greatest moment: The protagonist Nancy has a number of terrifying dreams.

02. Evil Dead II (1987)

Groovy! Comedy and scares are effectively combined in this sequel to Raimi’s classic The Evil Dead*. Yes, it is a sequel, the beginning is just an altered summary of the first flick. Bruce Campbell makes Ash a true horror icon as he chops up his girlfriend and fight his own hand. Slapstick humor and rapid chainsaw action make this a true classic in the genre and Raimi’s best film. They don’t make ‘m like this anymore. Classic.

Greatest moment: In the cellar with sweet Henrietta. Complete madness.

01. Dawn of the Dead (1978)

This is it, my all-time favorite horror movie. What makes it so good? It is just a trip to become part of Romero’s apocalyptic zombie world for a couple of hours. When used properly as in Dawn of the Dead, zombies are really a marvelous invention. They can be sad, scary, or comical and at the same time serve as a metaphor for the consumerist society. The shopping mall as a zombie survivor stronghold works incredibly well. The movie features well written characters, appropriately disgusting special make-up effects by Tom Savini and great music. It is the most atmospheric horror film; very rich in ideas and horrific imagery. I love it.

Greatest moment: Going shopping off course!

*OMITTED:

The Evil Dead (1981)

In 1980 three friends went out to shoot a cheap horror movie that was destined to become a genre classic. The handsome one, Bruce Campbell, became the actor of the group. ‘He was the one that girls wanted to look at.’ Sam Raimi later became a top director in Hollywood (directing Spiderman). And finally, Rob Tapert became a successful producer. The Evil Dead is still a very effective horror flick to this day with many unforgettable moments, such as the tree rape scene and blood-soaked finale.

Greatest Moment: The gory climax in the cabin.