Ian’s Imposed Isolation Movie Recommendations (An Essay on Why Brad Pitt is Best)

I wanted to compile this as I have gotten a lot of requests for movies to watch during this period of imposed isolation. In the event you may you have missed these films, most of them starring Brad Pitt, and weren’t a latchkey kid who was raised in a blockbuster, please enjoy these musings on some of my favorites.

http://pathofexileuniqueitems.com/guide-path-of-exile-items-basics-item-level-part-i/ Alien – Horror – Ridley Scott, 1979: There are few directors who do movies as consistently cinematically groundbreaking the way Scott has. After watching this for the first time last Halloween I realized just how much this film changed the course of sci-fi and how nothing before it really existed. HR Giger, who won an Oscar for his designs in this film, was absolutely fucked in the head; but his creature designs were spectacular. 

http://piscowaqar.com/wp-content/plugins/radykal-fancy-gallery/admin/generate-code.php American History X – Drama – Tony Kaye, 1998: My step dad sat me and my brother down when we were kids and told us we were watching this movie as a form of education. Needless to say those lessons stuck with me. Also shredded Ed Norton… Shred Norton. 

https://www.asiangroup.com.bd/1726-dte67712-euro-woman-dating-in-usa.html Annihilation – Horror – Alex Garland, 2018:  Cosmic Horror that focuses on an all female cast approaching an anomaly that has blanketed the wilds where the rules of nature as we know them no longer seem to apply. This film was a beautiful DMT nightmare, the visuals of which will haunt your dreams. It’s terrifying at times but shot so beautifully you cannot look away. chicago ebony teen dating Arrival – SciFi – Denis Villenuve, 2016:  A linguistics professor is contracted by the military to help make contact with extraterrestrials that have stationed their ships in Earth’s atmosphere. Read absolutely nothing else about this film; just go into and experience it as it’s meant to be experienced.

The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – Western / Biopic – Andrew Dominik, 2007: Thus begins our first entry into why Brad Pitt is best. Overall as a western biopic, I feel this is honestly better than Tombstone, overall. The score is haunting, the cinematography is absolutely gorgeous, and Brad Pitt and Casey Affleck are just superb.

Yes, the snakes are a symbolism for fluid sexuality mhmm.

Blade Runner – Action / Sci-Fi – Ridley Scott, 1982:  This Cyberpunk Detective Noir film pretty much influenced every bit of dystopian sci-fi to follow it. The sequel, Blade Runner: 2049 directed by Denis Villeneuve, was a fantastic spiritual successor as well.

Blow – Gangsta – Ted Demme, 2001: A biopic on George Jung, the American drug dealer responsible for most of the cocaine that entered the States in the 70’s. It’s long hair Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz, don’t know why you haven’t already seen this. Depp actually interviewed Carl Jung in prison, and the director died with coke in his system like a year after the film’s release; so you know–cocaine is a helluva drug.  

Cabin in the Woods – Horror – Drew Goddard, 2002 – This is my favorite horror film. Written by Joss Whedon and Drew Goddard; it’s a complete meta commentary on the entire genre.

Chasing Amy – Dramedy – Kevin Smith, 1997:  A comic book writer falls in love with a lesbian collegue, disaster ensues. I just have a thing for romances in the 90’s, it just seemed…simpler then. Anyway, Kevin Smith holds a very special place in my heart. I highly recommend all of his comedies; Clerks trilogy, Dogma, Mallrats, Jay and Silent Bob, but especially Zack and Miri Make a Porno. It deserves its own spot on here as it’s probably my favorite Rom/ Com but I am getting tired. 

Cloud Atlas – Drama – Tom Tykwer and Lana Wachowski, 2012: “An exploration of how the actions of individual lives impact one another in the past, present and future, as one soul is shaped from a killer into a hero, and an act of kindness ripples across centuries to inspire a revolution.” Lana Wachowski has made me cry more than any woman in my life, she just portrays humanity in such a vulnerable and honest way with no judgements.  

Crash – Drama – Paul Haggis, 2004: “Los Angeles citizens with vastly separate lives collide in interweaving stories of race, loss and redemption.” Watch this when you need some empathy in your life.

Dead Poet’s Society – Drama – Peter Weir, 1989: Robin Williams plays a teacher at an all boys prep school and teaches them the magic of poetry. If you have any affinity at all for literature you will love this, and undoubtedly cry. 

Drive – Action / Drama – Nicholas Winding Refn, 2011: Ryan Gosling plays a mechanic/ stunt driver who moonlights as a getaway drive. If you’re a car guy, remotely into 80s synthwave and how beautiful Carey Mulligan is, this is your flick.  

Ex Machina – SciFi – Alex Garland, 2014: The best black mirror episode you will ever see and probably the best film to tackle the subject of A.I. 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Drama – Michael Gondry, 2004: In the wake of a break up Jim Carrey opts for an experimental procedure that would wipe his ex completely from his memory. The original concept of this came to Gondry in the form of him asking the question, “You receive a card in the mail, ‘Someone you know has just erased you from their memory’.” Simon says this is a movie you watch when you’re having a really good day and you want that to END. 

Fight Club – Drama – David Fincher, 1999: Now this is a movie that all too often gets dismissed as Bro Porn the same way the Joker gets categorized into edgy incel subculture. Quite the opposite of “Bro Porn”, the book and the film are both some of the only pieces that observe the issues that plague modern masculinity that I have seen. It is eastern philosophy meeting western sentimentality. Also Brad Pitt is half naked for the majority of this, fun for the whole family!

If I talk about Fight Club does that mean Brad Pitt is gonna step on me?

Fury – World War II – David Ayer, 2014: I try to get a film from every genre in this list (mainly starring Brad, of course) and this is unequivocally my favorite movie that deals with war; as David Ayer does not shy away the ugliness of it and how it affects the men of this tank battalion as they trudge through a war-torn 1945 Germany. Shia LeBeouf and Jon Berenthal bring the fucking ruckus in this. If you dig this, David Ayer loves to tackle the effects of PTSD set usually against Los Angeles. See also these films; Training Day, Harsh Times, and End of Watch, do NOT see Suicide Squad.

I don’t care what anyone says, this is the film that brought the undercut into style.

Get Out – Horror – Jordan Peele, 2017: Jordan Peele is 2 for 2 with Get Out and US (if you missed either remedy this immediately). Leave it to a comedian to write some of the best cerebral horror with his honest observations about race relations and classism. 

Ghost in the Shell – Animation/ SciFi – Mamoru Oshii,1995: Ghost in the Shell’s influence can be seen in so many films. In a future where people’s consciousness (called Ghosts) can be transferred between cybernetic bodies a cyborg police officer is tasked with tracking down a hacker called the Puppet Master, who has the ability to hack into ghosts. This film was just so ahead of its time.  I caught this at a re-release in theaters with my brother stoned out of our minds and I will never forget that screening.

Gladiator – Action / Drama – Ridley Scott, 2000: Ridley Scott did his thing again here. A Roman general (Russel Crowe) is betrayed by the son of the Emperor (Joaquin Phoenix) and after a failed assassination plot becomes sold into slavery, where he begins to make a name for himself as a Gladiator. Even as a kid I remember seeing this and thinking; there are no movies like this. 

Good Will Hunting – Drama – Gus Van Sant 1997: Matt Damon and Ben Affleck wrote this together when they were nobodies in college. It’s about an undiscovered math genius (Damon) who cleans the toilets at Hahvahd. He writes some gibberish on a white board and upon being discovered is urged to see a psychologist (Robin Williams) to cope with his origins. Williams won an Oscar for best supporting actor in this and next to The Fisher King is probably my favorite film of his.

The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson is his own genre, 2014: I had a hard go picking which Wes Anderson film to choose. I feel like this film, in no small part thanks to the brilliance of Ralph Fiennes, is contagiously charming. 

Heat – Crime / Drama – Michael Mann, 1995: Robert De Niro leads a gang of experienced bank robbers on a final score where a crucial piece of evidence is left for Detective Al Pacino to pick up the trail. Al Pacino and Robert DeNiro facing off in this film is fantastic; and it has one of the best firefights ever filmed. 

Her – Drama / SciFi – Spike Jonze, 2013: In a nearby future, a writer (Joaquin Phoenix) develops a relationship with his sexy ASMR phone operating system (Scarlett Johansson). Spike Jonze made this film in the wake of his divorce from Sophia Coppola; who directed Lost in Translation in the same fashion. I believe both these films mirror each other beautifully, each telling a different side of separation.   

Hot Fuzz – Comedy – Edgar Wright, 2007: A highly effective metropolitan police officer (Simon Pegg) is transferred to a quiet british village with a dark secret. Of all of Edgar Wright’s fantastic films, this one makes me laugh the most and the cast is incredible. If you missed any of his works; Baby Driver, Scott Pilgrim, Shawn of the Dead, or the World’s End–do yourself a favor. He is a master at using editing for comedy. 

Hunt for the Wilderpeople -Adventure / Comedy – Taika Waititi, 2016: A bad boy (Julain Denisson) is fostered by two country folk in the New Zealand bush. After his foster mother dies; Hector (Sam Neill) must look after the boy.  Taika won the Oscar for best screenplay with Jojo Rabbit, a film you also must see, and I am ecstatic to see him getting the notoriety he deserves. His comedy and charm seem utterly inhuman and it comes across all his films.  

Interview with a Vampire – Goth Porn – Neil Jordan, 1994: Honestly, to no one’s surprise, I was a major Anne Rice fan growing up, and this is only film that ever did the Vampire Chronicles any justice. I can watch Brad Pitt as a homoerotic, sadboye vampire still clutching to the last vestiges of his humanity any day of the week. That being said it’s some of the best child acting I have ever seen (Kirsten Dunst) and we love crazy Cruise.

Bradpire is top 3 Brads for me.

The Iron Giant – Animation – Brad Bird, 1999: JUST in case your childhood absolutely sucked and your parents didn’t love you enough to rent this movie; it’s about an eccentric boy in the 50s who discovers a giant mechanical Vin Diesel. Brad, Bird not Pitt, was inspired to create this story after the murder of his sister, Susan, who died of gun violence. His pitch was, “What if a gun had a soul and didn’t want to be a gun?” 


Knives Out – Who Done It Mystery – Rian Johnson, 2019:  Mystery Murder Party, the movie. This movie is just fucking fun and ensemble is excellent. I don’t want to say it (yes, I do), but if Rian makes more films like this and less films like the Last Jedi I will support them everytime. Don’t touch Star Wars again, please.

The Last of the Mohicans – Historical Drama -:Michael Mann, 1993: Three Trappers, two of the Mohican Tribe and one an adopted son (Daniel Day Lewis), escort a British Officer’s daughters through the Colonial Frontier during the French and Indian War. Daniel Day Lewis is one of the few people alive who knows how to run and load a musket rifle and it’s score by Trevor Jones and Randy Edelman is one of the most praised works in modern film scores.  

The Last Samurai – War / Action – Edward Zwick, 2003: Some people would have you dismiss this film as another White Savior movie. It is true, unfortunately for him, Tom Cruise is extremely white. In this film a cavalryman (white Tom Cruise) is taken hostage by a Japanese samurai clan still loyal to an Emperor pressured to adopt to Western Culture. The samurai’s village resides deep in the mountains and their ways of life introduce a stillness which forces this caucasian demon to reflect and confront the horrors of his past. The exchanges between Tom Cruise and Ken Watanabe alone are worth the price of entry (free on Netflix). 

The Legends of the Fall – Drama – Edward Zwick, 1994: Set in rural Montana (that’s redundant, all of Montana is rural.) during WW1, it focuses on a retired U.S Cavalry Colonel (Anthony Hopkins) who, after experiencing the horrors his government committed against the Native American people, tries to raise his family away from the madness of the world; only to see his sons go head first into it. This is Brad Pitt at his most beautiful and honestly, maybe my favorite film? 

You and your fiance are off to meet your soon to be in-laws and this yo man’s brother; I mean, come on…

Leon: The Professional – Action / Drama – Luc Besson, 1994: – A young girl (Natalie Portman) in New York becomes an adopted ward to a professional assassin (Jean Reno) and wishes to learn the ways of his trade to avenge her murdered family. Everyone is fantastic in this film. Everyone, you ask? EVERYONEEEEE.

Ahh, you’ll get it later.  

The Matrix – Action / Sci Fi – The Wachowski’s, 1999: The Wachowski’s changed the face of action with this film and everything about it holds up to this day. Say what you will about the studio pushed sequels, but this film was absolute genius and is the crown jewel in the renaissance of the great 90’s films. If you haven’t seen it in a while, go back to it. It aged magnificently. 

Meet Joe Black – Dramedy – Martin Brest, 1998: Look, Brad Pitt is the best thing the 90’s gave us and I will die on this hill. Speaking of death, in this movie Death takes on the form of Brad Pitt and has sex and eats an unhealthy amount of peanut butter. Two of my favorite things!

But seriously, if I can just have one more movie with Pitt and Sir Hopkins I’d die happy.

Road to Perdition – Crime / Drama – Sam Mendes, 2002: This gangstar movie set in the Great Depression is a story about fathers and sons. Michael Sullivan (Tom Hanks) must flee from the life they know after his son witnesses a murder. To my knowledge, other than Cloud Atlas, this is the only film I can recall where Tom Hanks plays a fairly dark character and it makes his performance in this all the more amplified. Like, damn did Forrest Gump really just shoot a dude in the face? 

Parasite – Drama – Bong Joon Ho, 2019: This film won best picture for a reason. This South Korean director LOVES making movies that FUCK YOU UP about Classism. Also, check out Snowpiercer, undoubtedly it’s Chris Evan’s best performance.
Also, Trump had the audacity to insult this film. Bong responded to the failed reality star’s criticism by saying that Trump dismissed this film simply because he can’t read. So, we all need to support this mans. 

Portrait of a Lady on Fire – (French) Historical Drama – Celine Sciamma, 2019: A female painter is tasked with painting a wedding portrait of a young woman on the coast of Brittany in the 18th Century. I am still at a loss of words to describe how this movie moved me; hopefully that’s enough of a review. 

Princess Mononoke – Animation – Hayao Miyazaki, 1997: I am not going to list all of Miyzakai’s works on here, as they are all fantastic in their own ways, but this one is special. It’s a film about set in a feudal Japan emerging into Industrialism. It’s about environmentalism, and the role everyone plays in it. There are no villains, only perspectives. Also, Gillian Anderson is a giant wolf goddess. Joe Hisaishi’s brilliance as a composer flourishes in this film. Of all Miyazaki’s works, this one I feel represents everything he has always tried to say. 

The Prestige – Christopher Nolan is also it’s own genre now – Chissy Nono’s, 2006: I know we all love some Nolan but this film I feel barely gets mentioned when discussing his works and it’s SO damn good. It’s Christian Bale and Wolverine trying to out magic the fuck out of the other in 19th century London and it’s wonderful. Also David Bowie plays Nikolai Tesla, spoilers! 

The Raid: Redemption – Martial Arts – Gareth Evans, 2011: I have a long list of martial arts must-sees but I am trying not to crowd the list. Iko Urais is a Muay Thai fucking animal in this. It’s literally just a gauntlet of a film and the action choreography is impeccable.

The Shape of Water – Drama  / SciFi – Guillermo del Toro, 2017: “Does the lady fuck the fish?” Honestly, I feel this film did not warrant the Oscar for Best Picture, but the subtle commentaries on loneliness in combination with an absolutely heartbreaking score really moved me, maybe because I watched it alone in a theater on Christmas? It really does feel like a modern fairytale and goddamn is Michael Shannon a force in this.

Snatch – Comedy / Gangster – Guy Ritchie, 2000: No, this is not a Porno. This story ties together different narratives across the British Crime world. This is Guy Ritchie with an Edgar Wright editing touch. In response to his critics giving his freshman debut “Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels” grief for having incomprehensible dialog, Ritchie had Brad Pitt speak in a dialect neither the audience nor the characters could understand. I have lost count of how many times I have seen this; it’s perfect. Especially if you like dags.

When you tell Mickey you don’t like dags.

Super – Comedy – James Gunn, 2010: A very mentally unwell Dwight from the Office plays at being a superhero after his wife passes. Yo, straight up, this movie is WILD and when James Gunn isn’t on Disney’s leash he goes HARD. Still not down for Slither though, that looks messed up. 

The 13th Warrior – Action / Horror –  John McTiernan, 1999: Based on the novel ‘Eaters of the Dead’ by Michael Crichton, this story follows a Muslim (Antonio “Puss in Boots” Banderas) who got exiled for getting busy with a Sultan’s daughter, or wife, both? He is traveling with a group of Vikings, when they are set upon by the resurgence of an old legend that terrorizes a northern settlement. I don’t get why this movie has such bad reviews; it’s Vikings vs Cannibals? We don’t have enough Viking movies…

Tombstone – Autobiography / Western / Drama – Kevin Jarre, 1993 – This is the 15th biopic of Wyatt Earp (it’s not but seriously, there are a LOT). Anyone who hasn’t seen this film yet is bad and should feel bad, but you’re a daisy if you do. 

Trainspotting – Dramedy – Danny Boyle, 1996: Based on the novel by Scottish author Irvine Welsh, this film follows Renton (Ewan McGregor), a junkie living in Edinburgh trying to claw his way out of addiction and “choose life”. 

Treasure Planet – Animation – Ron Clements, 2002 – The Disney animated version of Treasure Island. While this film is one of my favorites of Disney’s, it’s commercial failure is one of biggest contributions to Disney no longer pushing out 2D hand drawn animation. This film’s production cycle took TEN TEARS to make, but man does it show. 

The Truman Show – Dramedy – Peter Weir, 1998: A salesman (Jim Carrey) slowly begins to discover his whole life has actually been the number one reality show in the world. I don’t think there has ever been a film that an actor starred in like this that mirrored their life so completely. This is undoubtedly top 3 for me. 

Unbreakable – Drama / Thriller – M. Night Shyamalan, 2000: A security guard (Bruce Willis) discovers newfound abilities after surviving a catastrophic accident. I say this, as a massive MCU fan, this is how you make a realistic “comic book hero” movie. M. Night tried to make this into a series, but he was about ten years too late. 

Vanilla Sky – Drama – Cameron Crowe, 2001: A wealthy magnate (Tom Cruise) is in prison regaling how he got there to a police psychologist (Kurt Russel). His playboy life spins out of control after he gets into a car accident with an unhinged lover. It goes off the deep end from there and you will enjoy the swim, I promise. 

Walk the Line – Biopic / Drama – James Mangold, 2005: If you missed Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon playing Johnny and June Cash you missed the best musical biopic film ever made next to 50 Cents Get Rich or Die Tryin’.

The Watchmen – Action – Zack Snyder, 2005: Based on the graphic novel by Alan Moore, “In a gritty and alternate 1985 the glory days of costumed vigilantes have been brought to a close by a government crackdown, but after one of the masked veterans is brutally murdered an investigation into the killer is initiated.” Zack Snyder’s loving and borderline obsessive attention to detail in recreating the novel almost page for page in this film is extraordinary. Highly recommend both the film and the comic, if you haven’t had the pleasure.

What Dreams May Come – Drama – Vincent Ward, 1998: A man dies and enters heaven expecting to be reunited with his family; only to discover his wife had committed suicide and he must embark on a descent to hell to find her soul. I put this down because of one scene in particular and Robin Williams LITERALLY says my name in this. 10/10.  

Young Frankenstein – Comedy – Mel Brooks, 1974: This film is very dear to me, as is Gene Wilder. I think it’s the first film I can remember bringing my whole family together and bringing them to tears in fits of laughter. I learned the importance of film and comedy from Mel Books. Really, every single one of his titles right now would bring some much needed merriment; see also Spaceballs, Robinhood: Men in Tights, and Blazing Saddles. Preferably high. Honestly if you’re doing any of this sober my hat is off to you, friend.

I hope you enjoyed this list of movies that I definitely did not spend three days on and after this you can also agree that Brad Pitt is Best. Thank you, stay safe.

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