Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Laura's Top 10 Favorite Movies - OF ALL TIME!

I was recently asked what my favorite movie was. I was flustered, "what should I answer?" "How can I pick only one movie?" "I love too many!!" Since then I've given it a lot of thought. AFI came out with their top 100 movies, so I thought I could think of my top 10 favorite movies. I like AFI, but Citizen Kane? I watched it, thought it was good, but did not think it was better than my top 10!! I have many mini-series I love, but they are not movies so they aren't counted. I'll have to have a count-down of mini-series one day!

I chose these movies based on the fact that I can and have watched them a million times and still find myself entertained and obsessed. When I am sick or sad, these movies comfort me. I'm counting series in one spot because it's my list so I can! Give me some feedback - do you think my picks are crap or excellent? Let me know!

These movies are in no particular order - I still don't have one favorite, but I do have ten number ones!

1. Star Wars Trilogy. I have loved Star Wars since I was a kid. I love the good vs evil, adventure, and wry humor. I love how you can watch Luke grow from a winey teenager to a wise Jedi Master. I especially love Han Solo (he's what is missing from the prequels!); his romance with Leia, his every man take on the situation, his dry humor - it was all fantastic! The action, the adventure, the exciting planets. I still love it, but I still can not watch "The Empire Strikes Back" without immediately watching "The Return of the Jedi." Sadly, the prequels did not match the magic for me so I'm not counting them amongst my favorite movies.

2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. I love, love, love The Lord of the Rings Trilogy not so mysteriously for many of the reasons I love Star Wars. I love mythology and magic, and love the storyline of The Lord of the Rings with good vs. evil, the bond of friends, and the fantastic places. They were beautiful movies and I enjoyed them all!

3. Indiana Jones Trilogy. It's true - I like adventure. I've loved Indiana Jones since I was a kid, although I could do without the last half of the second one with all of the heart ripping out nonsense, but I think the 1st and 3rd are excellent. I am tentatively excited about Indiana Jones 4, but am afraid to get my hopes up after the Star Wars prequels.

4. It's a Wonderful Life. I have also loved this movie my entire life, but it didn't start bringing a tear to my eye until I got older (I'm turning into my mother!). I love the story of a man thinking that his life is worthless and him getting a chance to see what good he has done in the world. He goes from near suicide to thinking that "it's a wonderful life." I love it!! I also love Jimmy Stewart who is one of my favorite actors. I love his drawl and how is the "everyman" in the movies, not a flashy handsome man like Cary Grant (although I do love Cary Grant). I must admit that I actually like the colored version, which many purist hate.

5. Sense and Sensibility. I am slightly obsessed with all things Jane Austen. I love her timeless stories and have read countless biographies on her and countless fiction inspired by her books. I've also watched almost every mini-series or movie based on her novels. I CAN'T WAIT for the Jane Austen session on PBS Masterpiece theatre this spring. But back to Sense and Sensibility. The Pride and Prejudice 1995 mini-series is actually my favorite, but it doesn't count as a movie (I'll have to have a favorite mini-series count down!). Of all of the Jane Austen movies, Ang Lee's 1995 classic version of Sense and Sensibility is my favorite. The actors are excellent; Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, Hugh Grant, and who can forget Greg Wise as the very handsome Mr. Willoughby. The script by Emma Thompson is also excellent; it keeps all of the main points of the novel, while getting rid of some of the more boring episodes. This is a movie for a rainy day or when I don't feel good. It may be sad in parts, but it's happy ending and Elinor breaking into tears of happiness always brightens my day!

6. Vertigo. I am also slightly obsessed with Hitchcock movies, which I have enjoyed since I was a pre-teen. Out of all of the Hitchcock movies that I love, Vertigo is my absolute favorite. I remember being 12 or 13 and seeing it for the first time. I taped it off of TV and watched it over and over again. It was fabulous! I love Jimmy Stewart as discussed above. He is brillant in this movie as is Kim Novak. I love how it is almost two different movies and about one man's obsession. I just watched it with my sister Katie who was watching it for the first time and she loved it. I also realized that I need to upgrade to the remastered DVD instead of my old VHS. I'm glad that AFI is finally recognizing this movie! It is a masterpiece.

7. Last of the Mohican. I fell in love with this movie when I first saw it in 1992. I love historical fiction and this piece of history - the French and Indian War - is particularly fascinating. There is adventure, romance, heart-pounding battles, and fantastic music. Daniel Day-Lewis with his long and flowing locks is definitely in his best role out of many good ones.

8. Star Trek IV. Star Trek is also something I have LOVED my entire life. Star Trek IV is perhaps not the best of the movies (I think II and VI probably are), but it is the first one that I saw in the theatre and therefore my favorite. Also since I am an environmental engineer, saving the whales may hold a special place in my heart. I also like the light hearted humor of this movie. I remember having an earache and going to theatre with Dad and Mom to watch this movie and being fascinated. Ever since then, I've gone to each movie in the theatre with Dad. The last few movies it's been a three generation trip with Grandma Arlt, Dad, and me. I can't wait until Kile can go too! :-) Luckily Ben also shares my passion for Star Trek - I couldn't have married someone who didn't !

9. Back to the Future Trilogy. This is another favorite from my youth. I like the action and the comedy. I also like time travel movies and books so this fits into that category. The first movie is definitely the best, but I enjoy watching the other two as well. It will be strange to get to "2015" in a few years and be in the "future." Where is my flying car?

10. Little Women. I like watching all versions of Little Women, especially the Japanese cartoon my siblings and I watched as youths. My absolute favorite version though is the 1994 version with Winona Ryder (before her shop lifting days) as Jo. Winona Ryder is my favorite Jo (sorry Katherine Hepburn) as she actually looks the right age and not quite so mannish in manners. I love the story of four sisters in their triumphs and tragedies. This movie always makes me cry too . . . but I still might be bitter that Jo ends up with Mr. Bauer instead of Laurie. No!

It seems that most of my favorite movie picks are sentimental favorites from my youth except for LOTR. Believe me, I love many movies behind these, but these are my top favorites. What do you think is missing from my list?

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