RIP Sally Menke

The news this morning about Sally Menke hit me harder than expected. Mostly because it wasn’t expected. She was 56, and in her prime. She just got an Oscar nomination last year for Inglorious Basterds; her best work in my humble opinion.

Women like her are a rare thing in Hollywood. She wasn’t just talented, she was brilliant. I’m not sure Tarantino’s films will be the same going forward.

She will be deeply missed.

Here are my favorite sequences from their films together. Sequences that easily rank amongst some of the coolest ever.

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Top 20 Movies Since 1992

Recently the always awesome Quentin Tarantino posted a video where he talks about his top 20 favorite films that have come out since he’s been making films. I agree with most of his choices, but I really just enjoy listening to him talk about film — the dude is passionate and knows his stuff. Anywho, I decided to put my own list together and since it was hard enough to come up with the list I’m not going to even bother trying to order them, so here it goes in alphabetical order.

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

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This is the first film on my list that has its fair share of haters out there. Many say that it would have been much better if Kubrick had been able to make it himself, but I have to respectfully disagree. Kubrick just doesn’t have the warmth or the right touch to really capture the emotion in the film. Spielberg, however, is about perfect for the job. I have no issues with the ending, I think it not only fits the film but it’s downright heartwrenching. I remember when my film professor screened this at the end of our semester studying Kubrick, there wasn’t a dry eye in the classroom. It’s a brilliant science fiction film that melds the styles of two very talented and distinct filmmakers. It’s somber, surreal, emotional, and philosophical — making it one of the few genre films that really resonates with the viewer.

Before Sunset (2004)

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To say I was completely blown away by this unexpected and unnecessary sequel to the poetic and moving 1995 film would be a gross understatement. Linklater doesn’t just top himself, he directs his best film to date…showing that he has grown as a filmmaker just as his characters have, and that’s one of the greatest things about this sequel — all of the pieces are in the right place at the right time and the result is magic. The film is beautifully shot and beautifully acted and it has probably one of the 10 greatest endings of all time.

The Big Lebowski (1998)

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This may not be the best Coen Brothers film (that would be Fargo), but it certainly is the funniest. Jeff Bridges IS “The Dude” and The Dude is one of the funniest and most quotable characters EVAR. Of course it helps that the supporting cast is pitch perfect from John Goodman’s Jewish Vietnam vet to Sam Elliott’s mysterious Stranger. This is definitely something to experience in the theater if you ever get the chance, it takes it to a whole new level of awesomeness.

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