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Great Movies No Matter Where You See Them 

Home Theater Rating Movie Rating
The Godfather. One of the greatest movies ever made, and with good reason. Al Pacino gives the performance of a lifetime. His transformation from idealistic young army vet to a hardened mob boss has got to be one of the greatest character developments on film. This is not the greatest movie for a projection-based home theater just because so much of it is so dark. The darks in a projection system are not all that dark, and so you don't really get as much black as you'd like. 
Godfather Part II. A lot of people think the Godfather Part II is a greater film than the original Godfather. It is a phenomenal film, but I prefer Godfather Part I. 
Chinatown.  One of the great classics. Amazing performances by Jack Nicholson and John Huston. Like the Godfather, the movie has a lot of dark scenes that don't work especially well with a DLP projection system. 
Product image for ASIN: 6305882525 Dead Again. I like movies that keep me guessing, and this movie engaged my full brain for the duration. If you're willing to buy into the existence of reincarnation (which I'm willing to buy into for purposes of watching a movie, anyway), the plot elements fit together very tightly. Like The Sixth Sense and other movies that depend on a surprise ending, it isn't as powerful after the first viewing, but the first viewing is nonetheless a treat. 
Product image for ASIN: B00005B6JZ A Few Good Men. 
Product image for ASIN: B000059PPB Diva. This has been one of my favorite movies since I saw it in college. The movie is a combination mystery/thriller, with an incredibly convoluted plot, which is probably harder for me to follow since the movie is in French with subtitles. The soundtrack contains a wide range of music from opera and classical to jazz to synth-pop. The video quality and sound quality are so so. 
Blue Brothers. The visuals aren't spectacular for a home theater, but the soundtrack is a must. In my view, this is the greatest musical ever made. "Musical?" you say. "How can you call this a musical?" Easily! What other movie has performances by John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin, James Brown, and many others? Moreover, one of my pet peeves about musicals is the way that characters break into song with no justification in the story for why they're suddenly singing. In this movie, all the songs are motivated by the story line, so in addition to the music itself, the songs also support the plot. 
Caddy Shack. This is one of the greatest comedies ever made. Performances by Rodney Dangerfield, Ted Knight, and Bill Murray are timeless.  
Dr. Strangelove. One of the funniest movies ever made if you can get past the whole "nuclear annihilation" thing. Every character is funny, ranging from Peter Sellers in a variety of roles to Sterling Hayden as the whacked-out base commander to Slim Pickens as the gung ho B52 pilot. My favorite performance is George C. Scott as General Buck Turgeson. His character is only minor shades different than his character in Patton, but the dramatic vs. comic effect is completely different. 
Office Space. This cult classic has nothing special to offer the home theater enthusiast, but everything to offer people who see the humor of modern cube farms and who don't mind quite a bit of crude humor. 
Product image for ASIN: B00008979E Oscar. OK, OK, I have to admit that this isn't one of my favorite movies. But is is a movie I enjoyed very much, in part just because of the surprise of seeing Sylvester Stallone in a comedy. If you haven't seen this movie, you might not believe Stallone could be funny, but he gives a solid comic performance as a mob boss whose life is unraveling. Marisa Tomei is good as Stallone's spoiled daughter. The real star of the movie is Tim Curry (Dr. Frankenfurter from Rocky Horror), who plays an eccentric linquist. He steals every scene he's in.
More to come...

 

Email me at stevemcc@construx.com.