I’ve been watching a lot of the Rotten Tomatoes Show off of Current TV and YouTube and the segment that I always find I’m drawn to is the “Five Favourite Films”. I find it truly engaging to find out what the films are that actors, actresses, and directors deem to be their favourites. It got me thinking as to what my top five would be, and why they would take those spaces on my list. So without further ado, here we go:
(Pssst…if there’s any movies you think I should be watching or would like to share your favourites, be sure to leave a comment!)
The Italian Job (2003), Adam (2009), Across the Universe (2007), La Femme Nikita (1990), Lord of the Ring: The Two Towers (2002), Minority Report (2002), A Beautiful Mind (2001), Mission Impossible (1996), Virtuosity (1995), Taps (1981), Remember the Titans (2000), Assassination of a High School President (2008)
I had never seen this movie in its entirety until I sat down and watched it for my tenth grade film studies course. I know it’s cliched to put this movie your top five, but the sheer number of perfect film moments that occur are positively unbelievable. No other movie is ever quite so misquoted (“Play it again Sam” is never actually uttered in the movie), or quoted with such sincerity (“I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship”), while still truly leaning back on the sentiment in the movie. Just the utterance of any of the lines from this movie or the reference of Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in a film together truly conjures up a mainstream film noir and the sweet strains of the piano…
Yes, I am a hopeless romantic. Yes I love Debra Messing, and Dermot Mulroney is on my list of older man crushes. There is something so indulgent about this movie. From its simplicity, to the colour choices throughout the film in the costuming. It’s honest and real in its assessment of human interactions when you boil down to the truly sincere moments. It’s a great romantic film, perfect for girls nights, because in the end it really is a great love story born out of circumstance and you just want everything to work out. My favourite thing with this movie though, is to listen to the actor’s commentary with Debra Messing as I watch the film. Her assessment of how the film was made, and insight into the characters brings a little something extra to a film that I already love.
Again, this was a film that I was first exposed to in my tenth grade film studies class, but my goodness am I ever glad that I was. A truly bizarre movie where you’re left hanging with so many questions at the end (could Deckard be a replicant himself?), and the vivid pictures contrasting the bright neon lights with the grunge of the mechanized city streets. There is a beauty in the shots, the lighting, every frame has a certain contrast to it that I find mesmerizing. I do not possess sufficient words for this movie. I have the extended director’s cut that runs obscenely long, and I still never really want to press fast forward. I am still haunted by images of that movie whenever someone decides to start listing off their favourites, and the vulnerability that exists within the replicants. “More human that human is our motto.” Thank-you Ridley Scott.
Blasphemy, I know. To every film purist out there and every Rat Pack fan, I am truly sorry. Don’t get me wrong, I still love the Rat Pack and do truly love and appreciate the original – but I have seen the Clooney/Pitt/Damon under the direction of Soderbergh version of Ocean’s Eleven more times than I can count. I listen to the soundtrack and can tell you (without looking at the song title) precisely what’s happening in the film at that given point in the music. I’ve watched the entire Ocean’s trilogy, but I still go back to Eleven every single time. It probably doesn’t help that it also contains the vast majority of my favourite actors all in one script, or that I truly have a soft spot for heist movies (I find it shocking that more didn’t make this list). Again, this is a movie that I love watching with the actor’s commentary over the top, and it is one I will never get sick of.
“Goooood Morn-ing Vi-et-nam!” That is the best typographical representation I can make of Robin William’s signature line in this movie. Even if I could only watch the radio broadcasts of this movie on loop, I would die happy. The comedic genius of Robin Williams, counterbalanced with the harsh reality of Vietnam draws me in hook, line, and sinker, every single time I watch it. I will also watch the whole thing all the way through, and I find something new in the movie almost every time I watch it. I wraps you up in a cinema version of the whole situation and then smacks you on the back of the head with very true human interaction and reality just when you thought things were going to be alright. The imagery of the movie is also forever tied into my memory with Louis Armstrong singing “What a Wonderful World”. I still tear up just a little with every viewing of that closing sequence, and will always have shivers down my spine.