I love movies. I remember my parents taking me to see Annie in the theater, and I remember falling asleep, just like Annie did. The day I turned 16, I got my driver’s licence; the next day, I got a job at our local movie theater (what was then called the Capri III), working at the concession stand. In college and the early days right out of college, our weekend free time was spent at the movie theater or at Blockbuster Video (Remember those? We actually saw one still open when we were in Oregon.).
I think I might have once said that Netflix changed my life. I have over 350 movies in my queue. So, yeah, I dig movies. A lot.
In homage to one of my favorite pastimes, I’d like to share with you my top ten favorite movies. Here we go…
The all-time faves
The Last Unicorn
This movie has it all – fantasy, magic, action, adventure, romance, comedy, a beautiful soundtrack by America, an all-star cast and one scary-ass red bull. Oh, did I mention it’s animated? Not Disney animated (don’t get me wrong, not one thing against Disney), but this is different. It’s not candy sweet. The animation is more raw, as are the characters and the story.
It tops my list…seriously. If you haven’t seen it, put it on your queue.
I know, I know. How can you go from an animated movie to Pulp Fiction? Well, here’s why. It’s Quentin Tarantino. The comeback of John Travolta. Samuel L. Jackson (“say ‘what’ again, mother f____r!”). Eric Stoltz gets to stab Uma Thurman in the chest with a giant syringe. Bruce Willis, Amanda Plummer, Tim Roth, Ving Rhames, Christopher Walken. Does casting get much better?
The writing is superb. The music, too. I love how the stories are mixed in this crazy non-chronological way – what seems crazy, isn’t so much when you get to the end. It’s violent, but also hilarious (“sewer rat might taste like pumpkin pie”). To quote Jack Black’s character in The Holiday, “Totally brill.”
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” This movie is the reason I don’t go in the ocean.
The cinematography is haunting and Anthony Perkins will blow your mind.
Speaking of Hitchcock, if you haven’t seen Rope, put it on your queue right now. It’ll mess with your mind.
The Sound of Music
I used to sit by the record player, just listening to the music, reading the album cover and trying to memorize the lyrics. “I’d like to stay… and taste my first champagne!”
The Wizard of Oz
This is my dad’s favorite. I remember the days before cable, before VCRs and VHS tapes, when The Wizard of Oz would come on network TV. They showed it once a year, usually in the spring. We watched it every time.
The Shawshank Redemption
First off, it’s based on a Stephen King novella (that reminds me…note to self: write a post on Stephen King). When Andy Dufresne lifts up his hands towards the sky and laughs in the pouring rain, you know there’s hope.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Speaking of hope… “No…I am your father.” My mom took me to see this movie when it came out (at our local theater, the Capri III). You just know the good guys will triumph in the end.
The rom-coms (the closest thing to comedy that will be on my list)
One minute you’re laughing out loud. The next, you’re cheering. The next, you want to punch Alan Rickman in the face (well, not him…his character). Then, you’re cheering again. Plus, it’s English.
A little bonus movie trivia here. Did you know that Rodrigo Santoro, who plays Carl, the enigmatic chief designer in Love Actually, also plays Xerxes in 300? Seriously, it’s the same guy.
Well, it’s English. And it’s a fun “what would my life be like if _______ hadn’t happened” kind of story.
That’s it and that’s all, folks! If you’re into watching movies with the family during the holidays, then I hope you might include some of these. I, meanwhile, will be trying to pare down my Netflix queue.