As the year closes and more and more top 10 lists figure into issues of your favorite publications, it struck us here at Daily Arts that an arbitrary redux of the year”s/decade”s/semester”s finest was arrogant on our part. As it”s the last day of the semester, though, we are well aware that the brain-power of most students is akin to Dr. Hunter S. Thompson after a four-day cocaine binge. It is out of love for our readers that we write this simple article to help you kill time in your final classes of 2001, full of silly one-liners and lots of bold typeface.

Paul Wong
Courtesy of Columbia Pictures

So, without further adeu, Daily Arts counts down the top 10 films with numbers in their titles. To make it easy on those who have both finals and 13-page papers on the plight of Dante contextualized against the backdrop of Shanty Towns, the numbers in the film will correspond to their place on the list.

10. Malcolm X While there is no actual “American” 10 in his name, those of you who remember elementary school may recall foreign “Roman Numerals,” of which 10 is signified by our American letter “X.” This Spike Lee joint stars Denzel Washington as the Civil Rights icon, and, against popular lore, is not actually the 10th film in a series. When reached for comment Mr. Lee told the Daily “The number you have dialed is not available. Please hang up and try again.”

9 1/2. 9 1/2 Weeks In order to make a quality top 10 film list with corresponding numbers, this film is a necessity. How can you resist Kim Basinger and Mickey Rourke hot and heavy by the fridge? (Blindfolded, mind you). This film is about as unrealistic as it gets. I mean, what relationship based on sex lasts only 9 1/2 weeks? Chocolate syrup isn”t just for ice cream anymore.

9. The Whole Nine Yards While there is certainly a nine in the title of this film, of real interest is the stellar film presence of actress Amanda Peet. Star of the critically acclaimed television series “Jack and Jill,” as well as Academy Award-nominated moving picture “Saving Silverman,” Peet, regardless of plot or clothing, shines in an unrestricted role. As dental assistant-turned-gangster moll, Peet lets it all hang out, stripping her character to the bare-bones. Some may write the film off as ass-inine, but we feel oh, you get the idea.

8. 8 Heads in a Duffle Bag With a studio exec thinking he had just cemented his place in film history, Director Tom Schulman was allowed to make the cinematic equivalent of having your eye torn out by an angry puma. With Joe Pesci starring as a gangster (what, like Joe would play a male nurse?), and George Hamilton in a supporting role, what could possibly go wrong? We”re embarrassed to even put this flick on the list, but the only other “eight” movie we could think of was “8 Seconds,” with Luke Perry as a rodeo champion. Don”t force us to go on.

7. Six Days, Seven Nights There is quite the controversy over where this fine film should fall, as it includes two separate numbers. The Harrison Ford/Anne Heche vehicle (scooter, if you will) clearly deserves a mention, as it is the best stranded-on-an-island flick to surface in years (take that, Hanks). While the six does come first and should take precedent, we frankly thought of a funnier entry for six. Speaking of

6. Leonard Part 6 Bill Cosby riding an ostrich, one would think, would be the highlight of the storyteller/comedian”s vast career. Cos himself told people to stay away from this superhero spoof. At a taut 85 minutes, the film comes in about two hours too long, and may be one of the worst films ever made. That said, we would rather watch solely this movie for the rest of our lives than have to see anything else with Chris Klein.

5. Rocky V Sylvester Stallone (“Rhinestone,” “Oscar,” “Stop or My Mom Will Shoot,”) decided that the only way to follow up an Academy Award-winning movie is to make four of the worst sequels in film history. Seriously, this makes “Look Who”s Talking Now” look like “Metropolis.” It makes you long for the good ole” days of “Over the Top” and “Judge Dredd.” Yet elitism aside, the fifth installment of the popular series was a hit with the fans, and that”s all that really matters, isn”t it?

4. Fortress Christopher Lambert and Kurtwood Smith are truly the Hope and Crosby of futuristic prison movies set against the back-drop of an America that prosecutes people who try to flee to Mexico in order to escape a new law prohibiting them from having more than one child. While there is no actual number, the first syllable is clearly a homonym for one (well, four). Now that this masterpiece of modern sci-fi is out on DVD, you have no excuse but to enter “The Fortress.”

3.14. &ltpi&gt Mathematics and the term “taut, suspenseful thriller” usually have about as much in common as corn-on-the-cob and the Spanish Inquisition (with the possible exception of “Euclid the Barbarian”). Darren Aronofsky”s (“Requiem For a Dream”) first feature is so good that we had to squeeze it in here between two “real” numbers.

3. Three Fugitives As if Martin Short, Nick Nolte and sheer hilarity were not enough, there is a cute little tyke to make this the warmest comedy in years. Barring, of course, every other comedy that has ever been released by a major motion picture studio. Oh, but there is that scene where Nolte has his nether-regions sniffed by a dog! Get it? Dogs like to sniff balls! At least the little girl doesn”t talk. Child actors, in general, should not be allowed to.

2. It Takes Two Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen stretch their onion-flake thin acting ability (they don”t even play sisters!) as two girls who bring Steve Guttenburg and Kirstie Alley together (a capital offense in some countries). The girls hone their skills by smiling and making surprised faces while hijinks ensue. The girls prove that they are the most precocious two-some to ever grace the silver screen. Macauley Culkin is waiting somewhere over the rainbow.

1. The One Identical Jet Lis are almost as good as identical Jean-Claude Van Dammes, Jackie Chans or Hayley Mills. Does the same guy write all of these? Do people actually think “Hey, twice the action, that kicks ass?” So “The One” is not particularly original, but it certainly has a number in the title that corresponds to our number on the list, and it has got some trippy Buddhist ideology and more kicks than you can shake a stick at.

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