Daniele Bolelli – Suggested Movies

Facing Ali

I had the honor of working with Pete McCormack for his documentary I Am Bruce Lee. The man is one of the coolest human beings on the planet and a damned genius. Facing Ali’ is one of his earlier works–an absolute work of art featuring beautiful, even poetic interviews with some of the men who dared to share the ring with the one and only Muhammad Ali.

Standing Silent Nation

This is one of my favorite documentaries. It runs about one hour and it focuses on the White Plume family (from the Pine Ridge Reservation) and their efforts to grow industrial hemp in spite of a federal government ban. It exposes the stupidity of the war on drugs and offers a humorous insight on modern Lakota life.

The Union

Excellent documentary by Adam Scorgie on the marijuana industry in Canada.

Lost: The Complete Collection (Seasons 1 through 6)

I still have no idea what the hell the plot is all about, but I don’t care. Lost sports the best character development I have ever seen on a screen. Forget about the incredibly complicated plot details. Lost is a modern day epic – no less than the Iliad was for its times. Highly emotional and powerful beyond words. Watch it and then watch it again!

Rome: The Complete First Season
Rome: The Complete Second Season

This is one of my all-time favorite TV shows. Titus Pullo is a Roman version of Conan the Barbarian. He has a special talent for violence, loves his women and his wine. Rome perfectly weaves humor, drama and a great historical recreation of ancient Rome. My only regret is that they cut it at season 2 (because it was too expensive despite great reviews).

Spartacus: Blood and Sand (first season)
Spartacus: Vengeance (second season)

If Rome was radical in pushing graphic sex and violence to the limits, Spartacus follows the same formula except it blows up accepted limits. It’s basically soft-core porn meets 300 – and I mean that as a compliment. The plot and the writing may not be quite as sophisticated as Rome‘s but it’s still a hell of a lot of fun to watch.

The Lord of the Rings: The Motion Picture Trilogy (extended version)

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (extended version)
Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (extended version)
Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (extended version)

Yes, I’m a geek, but I love The Lord of the Rings trilogy with a passion. It’s one of the rare cases (maybe the only one) in which I love the movie adaptation even better than the novel (which I already loved to begin with).  In keeping with the heroic epic vibe of the movies, go for the extended version of the trilogy. They are insanely long… that much is true, but the extended version is full of gems that make the extra time absolutely worth it. One of my winter rituals is to pick the coldest day of the year, wrap myself in a blanket, and watch the extended version of all three movies while eating pizza (it may take anywhere from one to two days).

Legends of the Fall

I have only seen this movie once because I got too emotionally wrapped up in it. It was weird. It was like having a strange past life experience. A bit too close to home. But I remember absolutely loving this.

Conan the Barbarian

This is the original 1982 edition. Beware of later editions released on DVD that feature a different ending and poor sound. Everything I know about life I have learned from Conan the Barbarian.

Girlfight

Michelle Rodriguez is an awesome actress and this independent film is the perfect vehicle to show it. I love everything about it.

The Princess Bride 

One of the funniest movies of all times. I could never date a woman who doesn’t dig The Princess Bride (ok, well… if she was insanely hot, I may forget about this rule).

Point Break (blu-ray edition)

This is where I got the inspiration for my email address. Swayze stars as the leader of a group of Zen surfer-bank robbers. Can’t ask for much better.  Another case of a horrible DVD release, but a good blu ray.

Jerry Maguire

Yes, ok, I’m a closet girl but I like Jerry Maguire.

The Last Samurai 

Considering I’m not a Tom Cruise fan, it’s weird that this is the second one of his movies that I enjoyed very much. Historically, it may not be all that accurate but who cares… it’s a great movie about the ideal meaning of what the ideal of the samurai is all about.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

Like 99% of Chinese movies, this is depressing as hell but it’s also visually stunning.

Dances with Wolves

Packed with stereotypes? Sure, but so what? Still a good epic.

Thunderheart

Thunderheart is a little known gem that combines hilarious dialogue and drama against the backdrop of a barely fictionalized political thriller set in the 1970s on an Indian reservation in South Dakota. I absolutely love this movie.

The Last of the Mohicans (blu-ray)

Unfortunately only the VHS version and the blu ray “definitive director’s cut” are somewhat faithful to the original theatrical release. The DVD version cut many great lines of dialogue and added next to nothing, so stay away!

Fist of Legend

One of my favorite martial arts movies of all time. Jet Li stars in the same role that made Bruce Lee famous and he does a wonderful job.

The Phantom of the Opera 

It makes the musical score come to life. Great cinematic adaptation of the Phantom.

The Count of Monte Cristo

Luigi “Oh, and by the way, Jacopo is the best knife fighter I have ever seen” Edmond “Perhaps you should get out more”… with lines of dialogue like this you really can’t go wrong.

Sin City

It’s like looking in the mirror…

Shoot’ Em Up

Hilarious, completely over the top, excessive and a super-hot Monica Bellucci.

300

It may not win a prize for the most historically accurate movie of all times, but legend is always more fun than nitpicking about historical details. If you are gay or a heterosexual woman, there’s plenty of eye candy. Otherwise, you should watch it because it’s a beautiful meditation of what it means to face death as a warrior.

Kill Bill Volume 1
Kill Bill Volume 2

Quentin Tarantino at his best. Revenge, kung fu, sweet motherly instinct, beheadings…

Last Man Standing 

A gangster remake of Yojimbo with Bruce Willis as the lead character (he says about 6 words in the whole movie and none of them are above a whisper… he shoots a lot though).

The Bourne Identity
The Bourne Supremacy
The Bourne Ultimatum 

Great political thriller/martial arts sequences.

The Godfather
The Godfather II 

This is what I watch when I miss my family.

Desperado 

A stroke of genius by Robert Rodriguez. “Did I thank you?”  “No”  “I will.”

Star Wars: The Original Trilogy (Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Return of the Jedi)

A martial arts epic set in space. It may be dated but it’s still a must watch.

The Hurricane

Denzel Washington stars in this angry, mostly true, biography of a boxing prodigy framed and set to jail.

Gladiator

If only they had cast a different lead, this would be one of my favorite movies. Crowe is good but fails to draw me in.

The Matrix

I didn’t much like the second and third movies but the first is great. It’s supposed to be science fiction but that’s what reality looks like to me.

Braveheart

Mel Gibson has become a bad joke by now, but Braveheart had its moments.

Chocolat

There are no sword fights or gun fights but somehow I still managed to really like this movie.

Dead Poets Society

Here’s another mostly non-violent movie I like. What’s happening to me?

From Dusk Till Dawn

Rodriguez and Tarantino working together… fireworks! Here’s a line for you: Kate “are you ok?” Seth “peachy, Kate. The world’s my oyster, except for the fact that I just rammed a wooden stake in my brother’s heart because he turned into a vampire, even though I don’t believe in vampires. Aside from that unfortunate business, everything’s hunky-dory.”

The Seven Samurai 

You may need coffee for this one. Ok… a lot of coffee… enough to keep Starbucks in business for the next decade. It lasts more hours than I can count. It’s in Japanese with subtitles. And it’s black and white. Oh, and it’s really slow moving. The fact that I still recommend it should speak volumes about how good this movie is.

Big Wednesday

John Milius is the guy who produced HBO’s Rome, helped create the UFC, and directed the original Conan. This is one of his best films: a surfing epic.

Army of Darkness

Hilariously stupid – just the way I like it.