Friday, April 20, 2012

My Top Ten (Errr, Twenty Seven) Favorite Movies

So, last night I was driving to Weight Watchers.  It's a twenty minute drive through some of the most gorgeous parts of the island, and I look forward to it ALL WEEK.  Well, the Gladiator suite shuffled onto my iPod at the beginning, so I spent the rest of the drive thinking about my favorite movies.

Usually, when someone asks me my favorite movie, I break out into a cold sweat.  I love them all!! ALL THE MOVIES! How can I pick?!?! It's not right, don't ask me that!!

But I think I picked a few.  Maybe.  The ride back is dark, and a little boring, so I had a lot of time to think.  Sort of like that time I compiled my favorite albums.  But better, because movies are BETTER!!  These aren't in order.  I love them all, and I love a lot more.  But here's what I got so far.

Well, actually, this one IS in order.  My favorite movie, truthfully, if I were absolutely FORCED to choose, is Jurassic Park.  There's not even much hesitation.  It's also my favorite book.  I don't know if it's my favorite book because I love the movie, or if it's my favorite movie because I love the book.  Who knows.

It's hard to explain why I like it so much.  The story is far fetched, the acting isn't's more of a things-that-happened-to-me reason.  I remember this being the first movie where I sat in the theater and thought WOW. MOVIES ARE MAGIC.  MOVIES ARE JUST MAGIC.  My dad took me to see it, at the base theater.  I couldn't have been more than ten or eleven.  It was the first time I really noticed the way the world was transformed on a screen.  Stories were being told! Books, come to life!! I didn't read the book for a few years, but still, that feeling that this was a story, and someone had breathed life into's hard to explain.  But everything, the music (one of my FAVORITE songs in the history of ever), the cutting edge (at the time) special effects, the scenery (and now I LIVE here!!!), the tension, the questions about right and wrong, science and just blew my little ten year old mind.  And honestly, it still does.  It really does.  I love this movie.

If I had to choose a favorite part (which I do, because I decided to) it would be where Ellie and Dr. Grant first see the big dinosaur.  Remember, they're in the Jeep, and she's talking about a plant and he spots the long necked thing? And he's just got this look of wonder on his face...I love it.  Just love everything about that scene.

However, the Sound of Music is ALSO my favorite movie, but in a different way.  Obviously.  It's my mom's favorite movie, and I've probably seen it nine hundred and forty times.  I ALWAYS watch it when it's on TV, but I usually stop after the wedding.  Not into all that boring Nazi stuff.  Just kidding.  Sort of.

My favorite part is the wedding.  And the part where she says "I gave all my stuff to the poor." And the other one says "What about that one?" And she looks down at her dress and says "The poor didn't want this one." How hilarious is that?!?! I'm laughing out loud thinking about it.  Oh, no, my favorite part is when Captain Von Trapp first starts singing, where he walks in on them singing and joins in? And when him and his daughter sing Edel Weis or however you spell it.  I don't like the him and Maria version, I like him and his daughter better.

And my final favorite is Forrest Gump.  I don't think I need to say anything at all, this picture sort of sums it up for me, you know?

This was the first movie that changed my life.  My whole life.  Dramatic much?

Now here's an example about how sometimes the experience can make or break a movie.  For me, it's a lot more than just the MOVIE, it's about what was going on at the time. You know?

So, the first time I saw Gladiator, I thought it sucked and I couldn't figure out what all the hype was about.  It certainly was NO Braveheart.  Then, I watched it on video years later and I felt like someone punched me in the face.  WHAT?!?! Was I INSANE!?!?! That was the best movie I've ever SEEN!!!

So, then it dawned on me, when I saw it in the theater, I was with a bunch of idiots who talked through the whole thing and were pissing me off about everything else.  So I guess I just thought maybe I was pissed about the movie.

Thank God I rented it all those years later.  Can you imagine living your life thinking Gladiator sucks?!?!

Favorite part...hmm...I don't know.  It's been a while since I watched it.  I'll have to think about it a little more.  And watch it again.  Here's hoping my kids don't want food or clean clothes this weekend.

Here's one that I'm sure none of you sophisticated readers have even seen, let alone loved.

But you're missing out!!! Joe Dirt is one of the funniest, sweetest, oddest movies ever made.  I know every single line.  Literally.  There is not a single thing about this movie that I don't absolutely love.  It's so funny, and the message is so sweet: Keep on keeping on.  You can't have no in your heart.  Life's a garden, dig it.  You friends are your family.

Favorite part? Besides the entire thing? The part where Kid Rock reads Brandi's letter.  "Dear...Robbie..."  And the part where Joe tells Kicking Wayne "I'd change my name to Kicking Ass." Or when Kicking Wayne says "We're just an Indian and some guy."  And the part where Robbie says "Brandi.  That girl is SO FINE.  One day, I'm gonna marry that girl."  I love it all.  I really do.

Next is my first sorta-tie.  It's About a Boy versus Love Actually.  It's not a tie, I don't know why I said that.  I prefer About a Boy.  But just by a smudge, and they're a lot alike, so in my mind, they're connected.  About a Boy is more serious, and better, and sweeter.  But Love Actually is funnier, and everyone loves it and barely anyone has even seen About a Boy.  I love the soundtrack for About a Boy too, it's fantastic.  I just love the whole thing. And I love that there's a love story, with him and Rachel Weis, but that it's not like THE MOVIE.  It's sort of on the back burner.  The movie is him and Marcus, and him and Marcus's mother, and Marcus and his mother.

Favorite part? The part where Marcus is listening to his Discman (his DISCMAN!!!) and singing that song about shaking your ass and Tonks turns around and looks like she's gonna punch him.  And the part where Will is at the support group and they're all holding hands in a circle going "SINGLE! PARENTS! ALONE! TOGETHER!!!" And the last scene, when they're all at his house for Thanksgiving.  Except it can't be Thanksgiving because I don't think English people do that.  Because of like the pilgrims and Indians, I think Thanksgiving must be an America only holiday? Must be Christmas I guess.

Favorite part of Love Actually is when Billy Mac says he would rather hang out with his fat manager than go to Elton John's party.  Almost makes me cry.  And all the scenes with those people pretending to have sex to get the lighting right for the cameras.  And I really do cry every time Laura Linney takes the call from her brother instead of staying with Paula from Lost.  Breaks. My. Heart.  Every time.  I'm getting all choked up thinking about it.  I can't decide if she's doing the right thing or not, you know? Sure, it's nice and noble and all that, but Paulo's right, it's not going to change the brother.  You know?  You have to take care of yourself.  She should be able to have a night off every now and then.

Oh yeah, I mentioned Braveheart with Gladiator but forgot to put it on here.  Braveheart was my favorite movie for a long LONG time.  I would get offended if ANYONE ever said anything negative about it.
Basically, as with most of these movies, I love everything about it.  Great story, great music, great special effects.  History lesson built right in.  Scenery.  My favorite part is when he rides up on his horse after they slaughter his wife, and it looks like he's going to surrender, and then he pulls that thing out from behind his back and HACKS THE ENTIRE WORLD TO DEATH.

I like to think that Nick would do the same for me.

Ohhhhh, Contact.  Sigh.  I love everything about this one too.  Have you seen it? I feel like most crowds are split pretty evenly in half, half have seen it, half haven't.  But I don't know anyone who has seen it and not liked it.  I went to see it with my sister, and we both really really liked it, and then every time I saw it after that I liked it a little more, and now it's one of my top five faves.  I like how it's like two or three different movies all in one.  And I love how it's not really about the aliens.  It's about finally realizing that we are NOT alone.  They don't overplay the God part, but for me, that's basically what it boiled down to. She felt so alone for so long, and then...she didn't.  Because she realized that...she wasn't? I lost my steam, I can't remember where I was going with that.

My favorite part is the look of betrayal and devastation on her face when they don't pick her her to go up the first time.  I heart Jodie Foster.  Even though she introduced the world to that fucking Kristen Stewart with Panic Room.

My other favorite part is the look on her face when Palmer Joss walks in and she realizes who he is.  And the part where Col Willie Sharp from Armageddon comes in all blind and listens to the noise for the first time.  That guy is awesome.

Which leads me right into...Armageddon!!!
I can hear the universal sound of people groaning and smacking their foreheads with their palms.

I get that most people wouldn't chose this as a favorite movie.  I get that it's cheesy, and far fetched, and impossible, and ridiculous.  Trust me, I get it.  But, this is one of my favorite movies!!! What do you want me to say? I can't lie and pretend it's not, so there you go.

I love it.  I remember going to see it in high school and loving it then.  But then, when Nick and I started dating, we put in his VCR one night while we were 'studying.' So it's like, our first date movie.  So it has a special place in my heart.

But mostly I just love it because it's totally badass and awesome and if you make fun of me, you suck.  Favorite part? Where that Japanese man goes "Harry!! You are man!!" And when Owen Wilson says "Can you make mine extra tight? I don't want to fall out." And all of Steve Buschemi's parts.  And all of Col Willie Sharp's parts.  Why isn't that guy a more famous actor? He's amazing.

Anyway, there's lots of runners up in the Ridiculously Cheesy Actions category, but none of them have that extra special something that Armageddon does.  Namely, the fact that me and Nick watched it on our first date.  Some of the runners up are Die Hard one and four, Independence Day, Day After Tomorrow, Fifth Element...and probably a lot more.  Basically, if Bruce Willis is in it, I'm there.  Opening night.  I love him.

Next up is Seven.  Kind of a weird one for a favorite, but again, it's the circumstances.  My mother, who never ever banned me from reading anything, was not so generous with movies.  I wasn't allowed to see rated R movies at fourteen.  Weird, I know.  So, she said I wasn't allowed to go see Seven even though it looked totally awesome.  Well, we told her we were going to see Mission Impossible, so she drove us to the Hardy Court Cinemas and we got our Mission Impossible tickets and sneaked in to see Seven instead.

Mama was right.  I wasn't ready for that movie, not alone in a dark theater.  If I'd waited and rented it and watched it at home with some lights, it probably wouldn't have given me nightmares.  For months.  I had nightmares for MONTHS.

To this day, whenever I eat too much and get that too-full feeling, I just KNOW Kevin Spacey is going to show up and start kicking  me until my insides explode and I die all alone with my Asian Spicy wings leaking all over the floor.


My favorite part is when Gwyneth is talking with Morgan Freeman, when he comes over for supper.  I just loved her.  Still do, but not quite as much.

Tied with Seven is Twelve Monkeys.  No, it's not tied, I like it better.  Seven, man, it just freaks me out.  But Twelve Monkeys? Twelve Monkeys is just plain fanfuckingtastic.
Anyone who thinks Brad Pitt is just a pretty face and not a BRILLIANT actor has obviously never seen Twelve Monkeys.  I love every single thing about it.  Favorite parts...there's a lot.  The part where they play the message weird and it's all stretched out and she's saying "Have a merry Chrisssssstttttttmmmmmmaaaaaassssss." The whole part where Brad Pitt is giving Bruce Willis the tour of the nuthouse.  The part where that guy says "Some sort of psycho dentist!!" after Bruce Willis pulls his tooth out.  The part where Madeline Stowe glues his mustache on and they're sort of giggling and giddy about it.  The part at the end where he dies.  I just love it.  Such a great movie.

I want to go watch it right now.  Literally.  Think Warren is old enough yet?

Obviously, all of the Harry Potter movies are my favorite.  But if I had to pick one, I'd pick five.  Not sure  why.  It's sort of the first one where Harry realizes that he's not a kid anymore, he's a grown ass man dealing with grown ass issues.  Who knows.  I just like it.  And then there's Luna Lovegood, my favorite character, so that's good.  It's my favorite book too, if I had to pick.  I used to think it was six, but really, it's five.  Five was the first one that I waited for, when I started reading them, the first four were already out.  Me and my mom went to Hastings at midnight to get it.  That was when I realized what a BIG DEAL these books were, there were people dressed up and all that jazz.  Just some great memories there. Sigh.  And this movie is the only one I actually saw at midnight if you can believe that.

Ahh, the Terminator movies.  I literally cannot chose between one and two.  I just can't.  One is a better story, two is a better movie.  I don't really know what to say.  I can remember watching T2 at home with my dad.  It was the first movie I learn lines from, the first movie we would quote to each other at random, inappropriate time.  My favorite quote to hear him say is "Whoever's not wearing two million sunblock is gonna have a real BAD DAY, get it?!?!" And "she's not my mom TODD."  My favorite quote to hear Nick say is "Nobody says AFFIRMATIVE.  You say NO PROBLEMO."  My favorite quote is when Sarah looks up and says "Good morning Dr. Silverman.  How's the knee?"  I also love the part where he picks that baby up by the back of his overalls and just looks at it.  Hehe.

I can't think of any good ones from the first movie.  So let's just look at Kyle Reese with his kick ass trench coat.

Unlike Seven, which I found unnecessarily violent and gross (but still listed it as a fave? What is wrong with me?!?!) Silence of the Lambs is the perfect scary movie.  Just the right amount of gore and violence, but mainly what gets you is the SUSPENSE.  The unbearable suspense of OH MY GOSH WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN?!?!?

My favorite part is when her voice is all low and breathy and southern and she says "Dr. Lector." It's the simple things.  I also like when she's talking to those bug people playing chess.  And the part where the girl pulls the dog down the well.  And the part with the night vision goggles.  Basically the entire film.  As usual.

Mmmm, Face/Off and Blown Away.  I'm not sure if these two came out around the same time, but they're linked in my mind.  Even though they're two vastly different movies.  Face/Off is just good fun, and Blown Away is so dramatic.  But I love them both.  Face/Off was so brilliant because John Travolta played Nicholas Cage (and vice versa) so WELL.  It's hard to explain unless you've seen it, but they were perfection.  The way they carried themselves, they way they spoke, it was great.  My favorite part is when they spin around towards each other, but there's a mirror (? huh? In the middle of the fight scene?) between them, so they're aiming at their reflections.  Which is accurate, because they look like each other. So really, it looks like they're aiming at each other.  Get it?

Blown Away, my favorite part is the beginning where he's doing the bomb under that girl, where she as to keep typing.  And the orchestra part.  And the part with the hot tub, am I thinking of the right movie? And all the Tommy Lee Jones parts, because he is awesomesauce.

Warrior.  If you haven't seen it, go see it.  Best acting I've ever seen.  Ever.  I can't decide who's a more amazingly talented actor, Tom Hardy or Joel Edgerton.  I've never seen Edgerton in anything else, but Tom Hardy was pretty cool in Inception too.  But Edgerton was amazing in this.  They both were.  Nick Nolte sucks, I don't understand why he got the nomination.  I mean, sure, he was all right, but doesn't he sort of always play a rundown drunk? I mean, it just didn't feel new to me.  This was one of the best movies I've ever seen. Ever.  Go see it.  Now.

If Back to the Future is not on your list of favorite movies, consider our friendship over.  My favorite part? "Doc!! What the hell's a jiggawatt?" And "Do you really think I oughtta swear?"  And "Hey Chuck, this is your cousin Marvin.  Marvin Berry!!"  And every single other line from the entire film.

Right before we left Guam, they were showing all three.  And we sat there and watched every minute.  And it was the best day ever.

I sometimes wonder what my life would be like without Clueless.  A little less bright, a little less fulfilled. A little less awesome.  A little less amazing.  This movie...this movie speaks to me like no other.  I don't relate to them, my high school experience was NOTHING like this.  I don't know what it is, I just love it. My favorite part is when she's in the car with Josh and his hipster girlfriend and the girlfriend says "It's like Hamlet says, to thine own self be true." To which Cher replies "Hamlet didn't say that." Girlfriend: "I think I know Shakespear" with an annoying chuckle.  Cher, after rolling her eyes and sort of smirking: "Well, I know Mel Gibson, and he didn't say that.  It was that Polonious guy."

Boom.  Schooled by a bimbo you bitch.  I love it!  It's like the underdog anthem.  Perfection.

Also perfection? The wait a minute, I love Josh! epiphany at the fountain.

Jaws.  I love Jaws.  Although it's NOT Stephen King, for some reason, I always wished it was.  And I always think of him when I watch it.  I read the book and it scared the hell out of me.  But I never became one of those people who was scared to go in the water.  I probably wouldn't go swimming in Amityvile or whatever town they're in though.

Of the Molly Ringwald movies, Pretty in Pink is mine, hands down.  Don't even have to think about it.  Breakfast Club is great, Sixteen Candles is funny, but Pretty in Pink? Pretty in Pink is perfection.  Absolutely.  My favorite part the part where the movie starts, and then it goes on and on, and then it's over.

Along with Pretty in Pink, there's the Cutting Edge and Goonies.  I was exposed to all three at about the same time, in the theater with Nikki for the Cutting Edge and then at home for the other two.  My favorite part of the Cutting Edge is when Doug says "Those are figure skates pal." And when he says "Yes, Doug can read."

Sigh.  Does anyone NOT love the Goonies? I haven't met anyone who doesn't.  We let Ava watch some of it the other day, she was ENTHRALLED.  Best. Day. Ever.  I can't wait till she's old enough to read Harry Potter.  My favorite part of the Goonies is his speech under the wishing well.  "This is OUR TIME.  Our time, down here."

No movie list would be complete with Shawshank, am I right? I'm a tiny bit embarrassed to admit that I've never ACTUALLY watched this movie.  I have seen the entire thing, obviously, many times, but never from beginning to end.  I always just catch it on TNT.  But I bought it a few days ago, so one day I WILL watch it, end to end.  I promise.

My favorite part is the part where he plays the opera.  And all of Morgan Freeman's lines.  And the part where the guards take out the sisters. And the horrific part where that old guy kills himself.  So heartbreaking.  So so heartbreaking.

ET.  This one is a little weird for me.  I like it as much as the next guy, but what makes it one of my favorites is that it was one of my Grandma June's favorites.  It means a lot more to me because of what it meant to her than it does on its own merit.  I mean, it's good, don't get me wrong.'s hard to explain.  As always.
My favorite part of ET was when I watched it on October 26th, 2005 with Nick, went to bed, and woke up three hours later in labor with my tiny little baby Ava :)

There are approximately nine hundred and forty two other movies that make the list of my favorites.  But I have to go get Scott, and really, I could do this all day.  But probably shouldn't.

I'd love to know what your favorites are!! Did I offend you by leaving off yours? Sorry.  I love what I love.  And I changed my mind, I'm not sorry.  It's okay if we like different things!!


  1. Crap! This post was so long I forgot the original things I wanted to comment about!
    However, the Kristen Stewart line cracked my ass up.
    And if you love a cheesy move a la "Cutting Edge" check out "Strictly Ballroom" LOVE IT!

  2. oh my word, Cutting Edge. I am back in Jr. High even thinking about it. Or at least, that's when I saw it for the first time. And also Clueless. My friends and I used to talk like Cher, and I can only imagine how annoying that was to everyone around us. I also love Silence of the Lambs, and I don't like scary movies at all, but I adore Anthony Hopkins, and that story is just so great. A lot of these I haven't seen, but of course Harry Potter--those books; it almost makes me emotional thinking about how much I love them. But, my favorite movie of all time, and some may say it's girly and cheesy, but I don't think it is, is The Mirror Has Two Faces. I can watch it over and over again. Another favorite is Brokedown Palace. Love that one. Hmmm...I would love to hear the rest of your list.

  3. I LOVE JOE DIRT!!!! I didn't know anyone else actually watched that. JT and I used to watch/quote it ALL THE TIME!! And Love Actually is my favorite movie of all time. I love the part where Mark shows up at Juliet's place with those signs and one of them says, "To me, you are perfect." AHHHH! I mean COME ON!! And I love when Hugh Grant is dancing to that song.. so funny :)