Yes, we are enjoying my FAVORITE top ten list today. I’m not claiming these to be the most relevant or even most elegantly contrived and delivered films, but they are the ones that I enjoy the most. There occasionally is movies that find themselves in and out of this top ten, but in general this has been a pretty solid list for myself for quite some time. I think it’s clear who my favorite film makers are! So here is my list, please share what your favorite movies are too!
10. Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas
There are hidden profound messages and without doubt personal discoveries or ideals that may be stumbled upon, but really the essence of Fear and Loathing lies in the fact that it is actually hilarious. Just as you should never turn your back on a drug carrying a butcher knife, you shouldn’t turn your back on insightful comedy. While the visual trip of Fear and Loathing is just as shocking as it’s peculiar narration, this is one of the best films ever made. I adore everything about it.
There is an element of The Wizard Of Oz and Dorothy here that can’t be ignored, but it’s nowhere near a copy. Obviously, the influence of Oz is here, and unquestionably inspired some of the theme. Sarah meets friends along her journey as well, but her friends aren’t obediently loyal to her and in search of their own rightness. Her friends are troubled beings, outcasts amongst outcasts, and have had to battle good and evil to make their way in the menacing world of the Labyrinth. The dark overtones of the film make it an even more exciting adventure and when mixed with great humor it has all that is required of a great movie. Labyrinth was my favorite movie as a child and is still one of my favorites today. It is an original classic that will forever be remembered as my favorite piece of art Jim Henson left behind.
8. Jurassic Park
Jurassic Park is exciting, intelligent, thrilling, suspenseful, funny, and visually absolutely stunning. Even now part of me wants to believe that those walking giants are real. The brilliant pacing, combined with suspense driven scenes creates for a thriller like never seen before. It proves a box office hit doesn’t have to be a mindless popcorn flick, it can have depth and great FX, and turn out to be a great movie. Jurassic Park is timeless.
7. Fight Club
This film had incredible depths, entertainment value, and a shocking balance of all the elements that make a good movie. Fight Club is without question one of the greatest films ever made, with some of the most extreme concepts, perplexing questions, and moreover a plot that will drive those who are compelled to look further into it than it being a “cool” movie, even though it IS cool. Hands down one of my favorite movies of all time and by far one of the most relevant movies of a generation ending and a new age opening. This is the transition of a lifestyle and ideology of people while still entertaining. What more can you ask for? Guys beating each other up? Check. Buildings exploding? Check. Brad Pitt? Check. Ed Norton? Check. Telling your boss to take a flying leap? Check. A twisted plot so complex in it’s levels of self exploration it never fully meets an end? Check. This pulls out all the stops. Go watch it now. It’s definitive of a generation.
6. Indiana Jones Trilogy
Lucas hit it right on the head when he created Indiana Jones, with a keen ideal for a world that was ours but different nonetheless, the spirituality, the history, and the action combined, not to forget about the brilliant character’s and vision of it’s obviously untouchable spectrum, Lucas must have known he was opening yet another door to a Hollywood franchise that would be forever loved and adored by the general public. Then handing the script to a man with a vision like Steven Spielberg, the man who made Duel, was perfect fit to create the trifecta of perfection that became Raiders Of The Lost Ark. Even today it still has the same feel of mystery and magic as it did when I was a young girl.
5. The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy
The Two Towers has a very different feel to it than the Fellowship which focused around developing character’s, relationships, and plot lines. The Two Towers was essentially the action climax that never fully happened in the Fellowship. With new character’s entering our already complicated story and with the plot diverting into three different directions it seems like a lot to digest, but it moves so quickly the viewer moves on to the next event without having time to reflect on what happened. When the film ends it feels like half the length of it’s predecessor. This middle portion of the epic tale is more entertainment based than story or plot building which felt necessary after the Fellowship. This final installment of the trilogy, Return Of The King, is incredibly powerful, and really evokes a compass of emotions. There is fear, hope, love, and desperation. Almost seven hours of story telling has brought the viewer to this point and Return Of The King does not let you down. It has all of the elements of both The Fellowship and The Two Towers. There is amazing character development and plot twists, but there is also one of the most overwhelming battles scenes ever onscreen. This trilogy is some of the most amazing film making ever in the history of cinema. A frequent question is what the best of the three is, but in truth there really isn’t one. Each are unique to the part of the story they told, and each are portions of the journey. The Beginning, the Middle, and the End.
4. Terminator 1 & 2
The Terminator films may come gift wrapped in the decoration of an action/science fiction film, but the truth behind it’s flash and bang are films that really evaluate 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 these films, 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 these films evoke 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 both movies stand apart from so many other films in existence today. Both Terminator movies are some of the greatest films ever made.
3. Star Wars Series
It is a popular choice to rip on Star Wars by critics and fans alike, but I wont waiver on my undying loyalty to the series, the new, the old, and even the novels. Points made about the failures of SW are always countered by me feeling conflicted at the validity of the point while simultaneously conjuring not only a defense, but a detailed explanation for each SW Faux Pas I don’t just love the “idea” of Star Wars, I love it for everything that it is and everything that it isn’t. The fact that I still obsess, still watch the movies over and over, read the books (some ARE in fact terrible at best, but some are DAMN good), try out the often failing video games, (but again gems like Battlefront II become invented), the stories, the flaws, the inconsistencies, and everything Star Wars I can get my hands on after twenty-eight years tells me there’s more to this blind affection the superficial ideals. I don’t own our own light saber because it is “cool”, I own one because I still dream of being a Sith or a Jedi someday. Being able to still hold on to that childhood enthusiasm and energy is priceless, and shocking that it’s inspired from a silly Science Fiction series, but it’s why I LOVE Star Wars entirely. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Star Wars is for geeky fans who love it, not for critics and people who claim to be fans, that take score of what’s right and what’s not. Game Over.
Se7en is possibly my favorite film of all time. It has every element of excellent story telling, the intricate look inside the head of a maniacal serial killer, and the development of characters that are unforgettable. It is a film that delves into the depths of mankind in darkest light. So many different emotions run like water during the course of it’s story. Be prepared to be shocked and dismayed. Pure genius film making.
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 Aliens 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.