My affection for James Cameron has been well documented, well, just about everywhere; but I’ve been watching T2, Titanic, and Avatar over the past several days and while James Cameron films do have a quality that links them all together their expansive content and entertainment value contains a diversity that is pretty damn impressive. At the end of the day the ingenuity that he’s brought to science fiction is second to none and his ability to tell a story remains my constant for my love of film. Not that Cameron has made fifty movies or created enough for even a real top ten, this is more of a personal high five to the man that made me really love movies.
Titanic really focused on the historical accuracies and exploited some of the most amazing special effects of all time, but the heart of the story was focused around the romance of Jack and Rose, played by Kate and Leo, who had some of the most gripping chemistry ever put on screen. The two of them played their roles with such dedication and honesty that Jack and Kate really came alive, and their affection for one another became palpable to anyone watching. The irrationality of their behavior, and the risks taken to share the love they developed in only hours is the kind of romance that just isn’t in movies anymore. In the most dire of situations, in the most intense way, their love was tested, but never conquered. In fact, it was only strengthened. The circumstances were certainly extraordinary, but so was their passion for one another. It is surely one of the greatest love stories of all time.
4. THE ABYSS
The Abyss contains so many different elements of great film making. The amazing cross over themes and the morality lesson that hopefully won’t be lost on most, through the eyes of the unknown entity give the story so much more to work with than a simple alien adventure. This is one of those movies that should be considered a required watch to anyone who considers themselves a movie aficionado. The Abyss is elegant in it’s story telling, breath taking in it’s visuals, and entertaining in it’s special effects. An amazing addition to the world of cinema.
3. THE TERMINATOR
Though I am partial to the second film it was the first film that connected me to science fiction. For a surprisingly low budget movie the effects were impressive and thoughtfully utilized. The sheer terror of a machine being sent from the future sent to kill you for something you hadn’t even done yet was a difficult yet engaging concept to wrap my head around. It was here I realized Michael Biehn should probably also father my children and I began my young crush on him, and little did I know what a tough lady Sarah would eventually evolve into. Though the effects haven’t aged well, the story, the dialogue, the chemistry of Biehn and Hamilton, and the ferocity of Arnold makes this movie well worth watching even today.
2. TERMINATOR 2: JUDGEMENT DAY
Terminator 2, Judgement Day may come gift wrapped in the decoration of an action/science fiction film, but the truth behind it’s flash and bang is a film that really evaluates serious questions about the nature of humanity and it’s coupling with violence and technology. The questions it asks about the destructiveness of our own kind is not punished by God in this film, but by ourselves, as we are the ignorant source of our own demise. There is a very realistic fear about this as we see these changes in technology and violence surround us everyday. Are we truly making progress or are we taking steps back in the evolutionary process? These are only some of the questions this film evokes from the brain. There is no doubt it is plain and simply entertaining, even funny at times, but truthfully the darkness of it’s undertones is what makes it stand apart from so many other films in existence today. This is one of the greatest films ever made.
Aliens was so perfectly sculpted into the masterpiece it became that there is no room for improvement. The time was taken for each character to be fleshed out even to seem real, and the story built layer upon layer of back story and structure to give it legitimacy. As stand out as some of the performances are, Sigourney Weaver captivates each scene she is in. Her conflict of fear and nightmares with her own strong will and bravery makes for a heavy, and extremely complex character, that has numerous motivators. It was without question Oscar quality. The physical appearance of the Xenomorphs and LV-426, and the vastness of space is still up to par with today’s work. These are only a few of the reasons why I would deem Aliens the best science fiction film of all time, and my favorite movie of all time. It is perfection in creation. A film that will last for eternity in heart and mind.
Remember, we here at Man, I Love Films don’t do definitive lists. We do our favorites and we want to hear yours. So, make sure and tell us about them in the comments section below.