Sunday, May 4, 2014

My top ten favorite movies of all time.

I keep changing my list, so I may look at this later and think, 'How could I leave out ______?'

But for this particular moment, this is it.  The big list.  The top ten all time best films ever.  For favorite franchises, I'm going to give only one film a spot instead of having my top ten list be composed of (for example) nine Avengers movies and Jurassic Park.  There are no artsy superior films here, only ten movies I would happily watch again today.

 10.)  Airplane!  This is probably the funniest movie ever made, but then I'm a woman who likes puns and wordplay.  I laugh my head off every time I see this movie, and I've probably seen it a dozen times.

9.)  Labyrinth:  Every movie on this list is extremely nerdy.  I don't like chick flicks or historical dramas or most slapstick comedies.  I prefer fantasy and science fiction films.  Labyrinth is probably the nerdiest movie on this list.  It appeals to me on so many levels.  David Bowie was born to be a magical dancing goblin king, it was the most logical casting choice of all time.  Jim Henson really showed the strength of puppetry as an art with his work on this film.  The movie is full of memorable songs, distinct puppet characters, and unique writing.

8.)   The Lord of the Rings the Two Towers:  So far, this franchise has five drastically different movies.  Of those five, the Two Towers is my favorite.  These five films are all very visually compelling, exciting, humorous movies.  The Two Towers stands out with its darker tones, its critical character development for Aragorn and Gandalf, and its gorgeous soundtrack.

7.)  Star Trek:  The first film of the recent series really brought the appeal of this 60's franchise into focus.  I'm a diehard Star Wars fan raised by diehard Star Wars fans, and so I went into that experience with certain prejudices.  That first film really changed my perspective on Star Trek, and now I like Star Trek as a franchise more than Star Wars.

6.)  The Empire Strikes Back:  I have such a love hate relationship with Star Wars.  There are parts of this franchise that are just irredeemably terrible, and parts that I remember with fondness.  The things I love most about the series are all from the original trilogy.  The Empire Strikes back is the strongest film of the three, with its compelling love story, Luke's loss of innocence, and great new characters and locations.  It's hard to be a Star Wars fan and not also a fan of Boba Fett.

5.)  The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra:  This 50's horror movie spoof is hilarious and very quotable.  The endearing thing about this film is its ridiculousness.  It is intentionally campy and poorly written in the most clever way.  This film was available on Netflix last time I looked.

4.)  Captain America the Winter Soldier:  This was a close race, because I loved Thor the Dark World so much, with all its twists and turns and that superb Tom Hiddleston acting.  This film, though, was a game changer.  I won't spoil the film because it's still in theaters and I want everyone to enjoy it the same way I did, but it was a very impressive film.

3.)  Pirates of the Caribbean Dead Man's Chest:  The second installment of the Pirates franchise introduces Davy Jones and Tia Dalma, who play large roles in the mythology of the series. "What would any of you do? Would you sail to the ends of the earth and back to fetch back witty Jack, and him precious Pearl?"  This series is one of my favorites, although that is a controversial opinion.  I've heard many people express a general opinion that the films aren't any good, that they're too goofy, or even that they get progressively worse over time.  I like them, though, even if they are maybe a little campy or even sometimes bad.  I like the humor, the characters, and the strange mythology involved.  The movie industry doesn't make enough good pirate movies in my opinion.  I would pay serious dollar bills to see a good adaptation of the "Monkey Island" video game series.

2.)  Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2:  This film wrapped up the Harry Potter series with a bang.  The final installment revealed critical details about the life of double agent Severus Snape, who is my favorite character from the series.  I made it all the way through that whole film series without crying until I got to that horrible, devastated facial expression Alan Rickman made during the flashback sequence at the end of the movie.  After that there was no holding back that dam.  It's hard to pick a favorite out of a series with eight films, but this one really captured some of my favorite elements from the books.  One of my favorite scenes in the film is the one where Luna Lovegood told Harry off for failing to listen to her, because it was so unexpected.

1.)  Jurassic Park:  This is one of my favorite movies of all time, because it's a monster movie about people getting eaten and I still remember the names of all the major characters.  This film is very, very quotable.  "Nah-ah-ah, you didn't say the magic word!"  "I'm going to run you over on the way back down!"  "Clever girl."  "What do you call a blind dinosaur?"  "When you've got to go, you've got to go."  I could quote most of this movie verbatim, because I've seen it an enormous number of times.  This is the movie I watch to cheer myself up when I'm sick.  My favorite ride at Universal is the Jurassic Park ride.  I liked hanging out in the replica of the Jurassic Park main building more than I liked "The Wizarding World of Harry Potter."  I'm not as into the sequels, but I'm excited about the new upcoming film "Jurassic World."

That's my list.  Honorable mentions include "The Last Unicorn," "The Princess Bride," "Oz the Great and Powerful," "Batman Returns," and many others.