Top 5 — Bill Murray Movies

Posted: June 22, 2010 in Alex Miller, News, Top5
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[Author: Alex Miller]

What better way to start out my Top 5 actor/director’s movies segment then with my favorite actor, Bill Murray. I’m just starting this blog and with these lists inherently you will piss someone off. “Where the f*** is Caddyshack you idiot?” I can hear you saying already. Well I could only pick 5 and here they are!

5. The Man Who Knew Too Little
“What are you? C.I.A., Mafia?” “Both.”

Ironically one of his more “little known” movies, I don’t know if I ever stopped laughing during this one. It takes a common theme similar to “The Pink Panther” and “Mr. Magoo” where you have a guy so dumb and clumsy he ends up succeeding. It executes this idea far better, though, in my opinion. The setup isn’t spelled out very well and it may leave the casual viewer confused early on. Once the movie really gets going though it turns into one of the best comedies no one’s ever heard of.

4. Ghostbusters
“Somebody blows their nose and you want to keep it? ”

We’ve all seen it. At least I hope so. But one thing you may not remember is how original this idea was when it came out. The idea of a Ghostbuster is embedded into our culture now. Even little kids who’ve never seen it at least know of it. But name me one movie before this one that was anything like it. If you can I’d like to see it. This movie may seem a bit dated when watching it today (as most 80’s movies do) but the comedy still holds up. Here’s hoping they don’t go back and ruin it all with Ghostbusters 3.

3. Broken Flowers
“I’m like your mistress, except you’re not even married.”

If this was a list of director Jim Jarmusch’s best movies it would be right on top. Bill Murray’s character receives a mysterious letter from one of his ex girlfriends saying that he has a kid (that he never knew about) and that he has run away. Because the letter isn’t signed and it may even be fake, he has to go back and visit all his ex girlfriends all over the country to find out who it was. At heart it’s basically about what happens to a womanizer when they get old. Some may not like the ending but I love it. I highly recommend checking out this one if you haven’t already.

2. Groundhog Day
“This is one time where television really fails to capture the true excitement of a large squirrel predicting the weather.”

This movie is just about perfect. It’s insane to think any actor would be in a movie even better than this one but that’s Bill Murray for you. It has a genuine romance story. It truly speaks about the human condition. And it does it all while making you laugh your ass off. If you haven’t seen it in a while you may not remember how dark it gets in the middle. He literally tries to kill himself multiple times to no avail. Well, most really good movies have dark second acts. This is definitely one of my all-time favorite movies.

1. Lost in Translation
“I don’t get that close to the glass until I’m on the floor.”

This movie won the Academy Award for best screenplay and as far as I’m concerned it should have won best film. Sofia Coppolla proved that it was no longer crazy to say she may be a better director than her father (Francis Ford Coppolla). I’m not saying she is but I if you did I wouldn’t say you were wrong. The cinematography is excellent. Japanese road signs, lights reflecting off car windows, english tv shows dubbed in Japanese, all add to the feeling that you don’t belong. In a way it’s not about visiting Japan it’s about visiting life. Sometimes you just don’t feel like you belong and this movie did a great job of putting the characters in those situations. This movie made Scarlett Johanson a star and for good reason. She does an oustanding portrayal of the young adult still figuring out what to do with her life. Bill Murray plays the middle-aged has-been star wondering what happened to his life. His character was actually based on Francis Ford Coppola who did Suntory whiskey commercials in Japan for real. Don’t just check this one out. Go buy it and watch it 3 times this weekend.

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