A few months back, I wrote up a post giving my ten favorite books of all time, along with a short explanation as to why I enjoyed each. Lately, I’ve written a handful of movie related posts (some have posted before this, while others will go up in coming days), so it got me to thinking about doing a list reprisal, only with movies in mind.
As with the previous list, these movies may not be the most critically acclaimed pieces, nor are they necessarily the best examples of their genre. That said, I see movies as a way to escape mind and enjoy myself, and these movies fit the bill. All videos are from YouTube.com for reference.
Honorable Mentions (in the order of being cut from last to first): Moonrise Kingdom, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, The Number 23, Kill Bill Vol. 1, Black Swan, The Shawshank Redemption, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Wanted, Kingsmen: The Secret Service
10. Talladega Nights
I debated between three comedies for the final spot on the list, and Talladega Nights found its way onto the spot. Frankly, it’s arguably less funny than Dodgeball or Monty Python and the Holy Grail, however it does something that neither of the other two films could. It lampoons the absurdity of the faux-Southern culture my parents (albeit separately) both tried to raise me in. Dale Earnhardt died 13 years ago and my dad STILL won’t watch a NASCAR race. So year, Talladega Nights wins the tiebreaker.
9. Sucker Punch
There are some films that are universally panned that I don’t get the hate for. Sucker Punch falls firmly into that category. Most people place their hate for the movie toward sexism portrayed in the film (either overt or implied), however if you watch the film for what it is — a young woman battling the dark demons of her mind — it’s easy to have a significant amount of respect for one of the better action films of recent years.
The greatest comedy film of all-time checks in at #8 on this list. Admittedly, the big things that keep this film outside of the top five on this list are that it’s a bit dated for some of the jokes to be funny, as well as my very late exposure to the film (didn’t see it for the first time until I turned 23 ). Even with those things in mind, it’s a must see for anyone looking to do comedy writing in any capacity.
7. Robin Hood: Men in Tights
Why yes, of course a Mel Brooks’ film had to make the list. While most people preferred Young Frankenstein or Blazing Saddles, I appreciate the absurdity of Robin Hood: Men in Tights, mostly due to the fact that it stays (relatively) true to the Robin Hood stories. Fun fact — this movie was Dave Chappelle’s film debut.
6. Howl’s Moving Castle
The fiancee had me watch a large portion of Hayao Miyazaki’s Studio Ghibli films, and the majority of them were very good. Howl’s Moving Castle was the standout best of the group though, particularly because of its heavy reliance on action along with the more traditional anime storytelling. I can’t be the only one who thinks that this movie is where Alim got the inspiration for their Fiora unit in Brave Frontier.
5. The World Is Not Enough
Thanks to my dad, I’ve seen every single Bond film to ever be released. While most of them are acceptable action films (which I’ll primarily use for background noise considering my family’s insistence on making action and western their movie genres of choice), The World Is Not Enough is my favorite Bond film for two reasons. First, the movie’s theme was composed by Garbage, so there’s an automatic boost to the film just from that. Second, this was the immortal Desmond Llewelyn’s final film, so there’s a bit of nostalgia value there as well.
4. Stranger Than Fiction
Much like another Will Ferrell film, Anchorman, it took Stranger Than Fiction took a little bit of time to grow on me. Yet, the more I write, the more I begin to appreciate the uniqueness of the Stranger Than Fiction storyline. What if one of my book characters showed up in real life? I think that’d be a really interesting experience.
3. Super Troopers
This is by far the movie I quote more than any other movie I’ve ever seen (distant runners-up are Dodgeball, The Princess Bride, and Airplane!). To this day, this is the one movie I can consistently watch whenever I’m in a bad mood and it’ll put me in a much better mood.
2. V For Vendetta
Why hello dystopian worlds. We meet again. The sad part about dystopian books that they rarely become good movies, so admittedly very few dystopian movies even scratched consideration for this list. And yet, there’s something oddly captivating about V For Vendetta. It’s a tie between this movie and the number one entry on the list as to which one I’ve seen more often, however both are fantastic films.
1. The Truman Show
I truly believe what made The Truman Show such a wonderful movie to watch upon its release is exactly the same thing that makes it interesting now. The movie’s dystopian premise — that someone is watching and controlling our lives — is both close enough to be ever so real, while being far enough away to not be threatening. It allows us to escape our world without truly breaking away.