Tag Archives: The Matrix

Top 5 Movies Shawn Was Right About


I tease my cousin Shawn about his taste in movies a little more than I probably should.

Shawn loves classic, critically-acclaimed cinema as much as I do, but he also loves shoot-em-ups, science-fiction, and action movies I would never even consider watching. He loves the, and I quote, “‘splosions,” and “pew pew.” He said he enjoyed “The A-Team” more than “Black Swan,” and said “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” was good.

He can be sentimental, too, for movies like “Shrek Forever After.” He loves TV, which I don’t. But he does a superb job on our sister blog, TV-Tastic.

I ran him through the ringer for his review of “The A-Team” and I figured since I beat him up all the time, I should do a Top 5 list of movies Shawn was right about.

5. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home: In this case, I thought this installment of the Star Trek film franchise was silly and far too wide a sidestep from the franchise. Shawn, a giant Trekker of the most massive scale, explained to me that I shouldn’t over think it. This is the Star Trek comedy. I hadn’t watched it in a long time and went back for a second viewing. Shawn was right. This is a lighthearted, fun Star Trek adventure that is very accessible and I enjoyed far more the second go around.

4. X-Men: Before going to see this  in the theater with Shawn, I really thought it wasn’t going to work. With a massive cast and so many characters to develop in the huge X-Men Universe, I didn’t think they could pull it off. I really wasn’t amped about seeing it, but Shawn really wanted to go. And he was right. It was a blast. The Wolverine performance by Hugh Jackman remains among the best ever in comic book films. I was wrong, yet again.

3. Mr. Brooks: This was a movie I totally would have overlooked. Kevin Costner has passed his peak, and I don’t really seek out his films anymore. But Shawn reviewed this film for us, and based on his recommendation, I checked it out. Very solid little psycho-drama, mystery movie with a really good performance by Costner. Good choice, Shawn.

2. The Other Guys: This was another one of those movies I would have passed over. I like Will Ferrell, and all, but another buddy police comedy? Like that hasn’t been done? Well, this happens to be one of the best ones. We laughed often and hard in the theater when we went to see it. We had a blast, and I’m glad he got me to go.

1. The Matrix: Man oh man oh man, was I wrong about this one. Because Keanu Reeves was in this, I instantly wrote it off as a crap-fest of epic proportions and literally scoffed at Shawn when he glowed about it to me over coffee. When I finally got around to seeing this on video — God, was I late to the party — I was hooked on “The Matrix.” This is one of the best action/sci-fi films of all time. While the sequels may have left a bad taste in our collective mouths, the original remains a modern classic.

Shawn 5, Matt 0.

Top 5 action movies of all time

The action genre, perhaps more than any other, is full of throw-away, direct-to-DVD titles, like “Universal Solider”‘ and “Need For Speed 25” — or whatever iteration they’re on now. This is a segment where once in a while you get an action movie that stands above the rest. Defining an “action movie” was tough. Our definition is an “action movie” is one where the action is the focus and featured element of the film.


5.  Die Hard: This adrenaline pumping movie came out of nowhere and established Bruce Willis as a household name and box office draw.  It’s by far the best film of its kind because we believe in John McClain.  Unlike Dirty Harry or Rambo, he’s a normal guy who has the odds stacked against him.

4.  Dirty Harry: Before Dirty Harry, Clint Eastwood was known primarily as the man with no name in Sergio Leone’s terrific spaghetti westerns.  The story is simple but because his character is so engaging, I was on the edge of my seat the whole time.  Also, Andy Robinson is perhaps the best action villain of all time.

3.  The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: I’m throwing this into the action genre because it contains some of my favorite gunfights in screen history.  3 men on the trail of $200,000 worth of gold.  Who will get it?  Well, get ready to have a blast finding out.

2.  The French Connection: The winner of 1971’s Best Picture has the greatest car chase in screen history.  William Friedkin attached cameras to the hoods of the cars and the effect it created felt like you were in the car.  Ever since, countless films by every major director copied and re-copied it to great effect.  Oh, and Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider are fantastic too.

1.  Raiders of the Lost Ark: George Lucas took a character inspired from the 1930’s serials that he loved and handed the directing reigns to Steven Spielberg to create the greatest action film ever made.  With barely a moment to catch your breath, from snakes to plane crashes, to chases through the desert, tarantulas, rolling boulders, and historic artifacts, this movie gives you your money’s worth and then some.


5. The Seven Samurai: Akira Kurosawa is a master filmmaker and storyteller. This is an epic focused around the simple story of a poor farming village terrorized by bandits. They hire samurai to protect them and train them to fight. The imagery is wonderful, the landscapes exquisite, and there’s action aplenty.

4. Enter the Dragon: Wrap a spy movie and a martial arts movie together and add Bruce Lee, and you have a kick ass action film with lots and lots of action. This was the first Hollywood-produced Kung-Fu movie.

3. French Connection: William Friedkin did everything right with this film, from the excellent cast with Gene Hackman and Roy Scheider to the groundbreaking car chases. It may feel dated, but there was no CGI back then. Everything was real.

2. The Matrix: In the words of Keanu Reeves, “Whoa.” I remember disregarding this movie because it had Reeves in it. That was a huge mistake. This movie was both intellectually challenging and visually stunning, with fight scenes that have to be watched several times to digest. All in all, an awesome, classic action movie that will stand the test of time.

1. Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon: This was the most ambitious martial arts film ever. There is no CGI. Period. It’s seems almost impossible when you watch it, but this film broke ground in a major way. Academy Award winning director Ang Lee is a master. His epic may never be surpassed. It drips with history, honor, tradition and wraps beautiful love stories and action around a tremendous cast. This is one of my favorite films of all time.