I'm 100% certain I'm not the only person in the world whose been chatting with a group of friends and all of a sudden that question pops up; "What are your favorite movies?". Good gravy! It's such a daunting question as there is SO many to choose from. So to protect myself from the question, I have listed My favorite movies and the reasons why, so for the curious crowd, this one's for you, and in no particular order...
It's hard to recall a time when M. Night Shamalyan's name didn't incur the wrath of fanboys and movies go-ers alike. "Unbreakable" is in my opinion M. Night's GREATEST film. If I ever get around to reviewing this movie I'll explain why in depth, but for an abridged version I'll say that it hits the nail on the head as far as realistic portrayals of superpowers go. M. Night doesn't over do it in the super-power department and doesn't under-play the strangeness of it all. Back in the day the man had a gift for taking the strange and unusually and bringing it down to Earth, giving it the feel that this very story could be happening down the street from you...he has long since lost that gift and shows no sign of getting it back either.
Undeniably one of the BEST superhero movies EVER MADE (the other is the one below this). Considering that Spider-Man is one of my favorite superheroes (which is funny because I'm arachnophobia) I was gung-ho for Spider-Man, as I am familiar with the character and his struggles and felt like I could relate 100%. By the end of this movie I was NEAR tears, despite the fact that I don't find Kristen Dunst all that attractive I was NO less routing for Peter Parker to finally get the girl in the end and he does, ONLY to reject her...and DAMN!! This movie was a BEAST, cast wonderfully, directed excellently, acted superbly and just all around incredible, and the theme of the movie "Hero" by Chad Kroger is officially my theme song for whenever it's time for me to get down to business. This movie has some real triumph to it about taking a stand, being responsible and making difficult choices. DAMN this movie is boss. Why are they remaking it again ?
THE DARK KNIGHT
This list is LAZY with super-hero movies but in all seriousness, how could this NOT make this list? While I don't buy into the major hype-machine, this time I have to. Not only is this a super-hero movie but it's actually a very legitimate crime film that deals with things like internal affairs and corrupt police departments. This movie actually felt like Gotham was a REAL city with a real crime problem, not only that but it dealt with the price of what it means to be Batman. Not to mention Heath Ledger's amazing performance as The Joker. This movie stands as the pinnacle of what it means to take a comic book as a serious medium. I understand people whole "Batman Begins" as the better film and while you'll get no argument from me, I say "The Dark Knight" is better because it defied the sophomore slump and will go down in history as one of the greatest sequels of all time!
Very rarely do I ever feel jealous of a movie, but THIS movie had me seething with rage and at the same time bursting with joy. It's no mystery that I love me some superheroes, but this movie goes above and beyond of putting superpowers in the hands of high schoolers who instead of using their powers to fight crime, they profit from it (although not financially), they do something I've ALWAYS dreamed of, PASS SUPER POWERS OFF AS VERY IMPRESSIVE MAGIC TRICKS! I've often thought of gaining the powers of telekinesis and other things and moving to Vegas to make a killing, and while I would be fighting crime, being a masked magician would totally be my day job. This movie also has an incredible origin story for a villain. I hope to crap this movie DOESN'T get a sequel, it's perfect the way it is and I LOVE this movie.
"Training Day" is one of those movies I can watch again and again and ALWAYS find something new in it. This movie solidified the real time aspect of filmmaking and exactly how much can go wrong in a single day. Also Denzel puts in a memorable performance as the films main villain (a role Denzel hasn't played yet), Alonzo. The movie takes several twists and turns and is just flat out enjoyable for anyone who enjoys crimes films as much as I do.
I'm not a HUGE fan of Woody Allen, but I do like his work. This movie was a milestone for me. This is far from a kid's movie, but it stresses the concept of individualism and explains why it's important. It's one of those essential movies that rely on simple good old fashion storytelling to get it's point across. The voice actors are great and hey, Christopher Walken!
LILO & STITCH
"Lilo & Stitch" is another movie that was a milestone for me. The year when it came out wasn't exactly a good year for me, but along comes this movie and...I don't know what it was, maybe it was the stressing of family or acceptance, maybe it was the concept of being able to change, maybe it was the concept for overcoming adversity, whatever it was this movie really spoke to me at that time. It spoke to me enough for me to buy a Stitch plush for myself. Great movie!
If you haven't seen "Pulp Fiction", you're missing one of the funniest crime films I've EVER seen. It took me awhile to get around to it, but I absolutely love this film! The nonlinear storytelling, the quotes, the performances, every single solitary second of this movie is strong from start to finish! I can't tell you how much I love this movie and how much it influenced my writing as a writer and as an amatuer filmmaker.
A CLOCKWORK ORANGE
Stanley Kubrick is yet another master filmmaker, and while many may debate on what his masterpiece was, I have to contend that "A Clockwork Orange" is his masterpiece. Long before the scourge of blood, guts and gore, "A Clockwork Orange" WAS THAT FILM! While it's not bloody or gorey, "A Clockwork Orange" is a movie that defined the shock aspect! Keep in mind, it's NOT a shock film! "A Clockwork Orange" sets up the moral debate of good & evil and what it means to have freewill. Performances are strong, the writing is strong and again, EVERY scene is solid from start to finish. This is a MUST see for crime films and precursor to psychological thrillers.
This makes the list because this is one of the VERY FEW MOVIES that managed to scare the high hell outta me! I'm putting the remake here because (while I still love the original) I think the remake managed to find it's own voice.
If I could pinpoint the BEST comic book to movie, movie, THIS WOULD HAVE TO BE IT! This was a DIRECT translation comic book to movie! The actual creator (Frank Miller) was involved and it's BY FAR THE SINGLE MOST INDULGENT FILM I'VE EVER SEEN...and it was BEAUTIFUL! Never have I seen a film so beautiful with special effects and YET so solid in story and performance! George Lucas WISHES he could get a story as solid as this! This movie is undeniably a special effects orgy, but they don't take away from the story, THEY ENHANCE IT with it's use of shadows, set pieces everything...Just a FANTASTIC FILM!
You CAN'T talk about crime films without mentioning the father ("The Godfather" being The Grandfather) of all crime films. While others may look to "Scarface" as a crime film, personally I think this movie is one of the most unintentional comedies EVER! To me, this movie was a PSA on the horrific effects of cocaine and prime example of the indestructibility of cocaine fueled rage. "Scarface" has inspired SO many forms of media from rappers to professional wrestlers (ie, Razor Ramon) and video games (Grand Theft Auto: Vice City). This movie can't go without being mentioned, and while many will prefer the refinement of "The Godfather" and while you'll get no argument from me, "Scarface" is still my favorite.
I'm not a guy who subscribes to chick flicks, but "Closer" was just SO messed and SO vulgar that I had to love this movie. Call me a sucker, but you put two angry English men in a room and make them swear at each other and hurl insults at each other relentlessly and I'll enjoy it. While the story is slightly complicated and takes a little paying attention to, the end result is well worth it. I enjoy this movie A LOT!