Friday, November 12, 2010

Remembering Dino

This is a little tribute to Dino De Laurentiis - who passed on today at 91 - a Top 10 list of my favourite DDL films you can rent from fatso. What can I say? The guy is a legend and produced such a diverse range of movies, some great, some not, but always interesting.

10. Maximum Overdrive - Dino made several Stephen King film adaptations - the best being The Dead Zone - but you can't beat this one for sheer WTF fun. It did nothing at the box office, but there's definitely a small following out there who love this goofy pic.

9. King Kong ('76) - campy, entertaining big-budget romp didn't convince fans of the original classic, but it's not as bad as they say, and hey - it's nearly an hour shorter than PJ's version.

8. Barbarella - Vadim's direction is almost lethally static, but this '60s cult classic is still one of the greatest 'trip' movies of all time. I'd put Danger: Diabolik here but it hasn't been released on DVD in NZ yet (Paramount!!). See also: Flash Gordon.

7. Three Days of the Condor - key '70s political conspiracy thriller, up there with The Parallax View and All The President's Men.

6. The Brink's Job - it's a shame this movie is so unknown and neglected. One of my favourite Friedkins, it's a gem of a heist comedy with a brilliant cast.

5. Death Wish - brought on the vigilante movie craze of the '70s, turned Charles Bronson into a massive star.

4. Serpico - THE great police drama of the '70s that's not The French Connection. Al Pacino is pure stunning in this.

3. Manhunter - remains the best of the Hannibal Lecter series. Mann's electrifying direction, creepy-as-hell Tom Noonan. Way less cartoony than the Hopkins films.

2. Nights of Cabiria/La Strada - this pair of '50s Fellini flicks are personal favourites, heart-breakingly beautiful works of art that will never age.

1. Blue Velvet - Dino's faith in Lynch's unique vision created one of the most original films ever made. When this came out in the '80s, it was like an A-bomb dropped in Hollywood.

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