Film Your Top 5 Films

Discussion in 'Movies & Media' started by Ars Nova, Apr 25, 2014.

  1. Ars Nova Merry Christmas dickheads

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    When I searched for this, the last result came up four years ago, so I'm guessing it's cool if I make a new thread. Funnily enough, Nova made the last one :L

    So let's hear your top five, preferably with a bit of background on each film/why you picked it. You can split them into categories if you want.

    5. Seven Psychopaths (2012)
    So this is a movie about seven psychopaths. And it was marketed in an "Oh those lovable psychopaths!" kinda way, the way you'd expect most movies about psychopaths to be these days. But then you watch the damn thing and they're not lovable. They're not lovable at all. This film wrenched my stomach and snapped my heartstrings, but anything that could move me so much must've really hit home somewhere along the line. Great casting, with a mix of new blood and old classics (who all do some of their best work ever). Check it out if you think you can handle it.

    4. Now You See Me (2013)
    We all love heist films. And we all love magicians. How do you feel about a magician heist film? All-star cast, brilliant use of its premises, and a keen mix of thriller tropes from caper and action films alike, if you get nothing else out of this movie you will get a damn good time. But beyond that there's a constant, potent message about belief and the nature of magic that really speaks to me. It's almost like a non-religious argument for faith in the unseen. The way it's all tied together is what really makes a lasting impression; you don't have to give up pulse-pounding excitement to get something profound and thought-provoking, and this film proves it.

    3. サマーウォーズ (2009)
    This is not a hard film to watch, but it must've been hard to make. Balancing a cyber-terrorism plot along with a family drama featuring a cast of well over twenty, and keeping the morals and themes of each plot in perfect sync... It takes some doing. But the end result is a masterpiece—not a complicated masterpiece that scholars will debate for years to come, but a simple one, one that speaks to all ages with themes that most of us can understand. Those who love technology and find comfort in it, versus those who feel intimidated and alienated by it. The pain of a great loss, and how to carry on afterwards. And finding love in the strangest places. I showed it to my grandmother and she liked it as much as I did; I think that says a lot.

    2. 괴물 (2006)
    Is it a monster movie? A family drama? A black comedy? A political commentary? I think the only correct answer is all of the above. If you can't wrap your head around that, all the more reason to watch this film. Every emotion is blended together in an awkward but ultimately genuine harmony; you will be about to cry, then burst out laughing in the next second, then jump to the edge of your seat in the next. At first the monster will scare you, then you will howl and cheer as it comes closer to defeat. It's a film unlike any other I have seen, and in its short time span it accomplishes so much with such grace and effortlessness that you'll want to watch it again the second it's over.

    1. The Breakfast Club (1985)
    I am never gonna forget this movie, and you shouldn't either. It is arguably on par with a Shakespeare play in the poignance and vitality of its message; it's something people could still learn from some thirty years later, and I bet it'll endure well into the next century. Rare for entertainment media in general, it preaches that the archetypes we fall into aren't who we really are: that we are defined by the sum of our actions, not just the ones people choose to see. And if you work hard enough, you can find a bit of yourself in people you never thought you could relate to. The one blemish on an otherwise perfect film is Allison's little make-over, but even with that in mind I'd still give it a 9.5/10.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2014
  2. Spike H E R O

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    5. Real Steel (2011)
    Wasn't expecting this to entertain me as much as it did, but what I thought would be a robot boxing movie turned out to be a hearty story about an estranged father and son bonding through their passion for this junkyard robot they find in a trash heap.

    4. The Last Samurai (2003)
    It's essentially a Pocahontas story, and there's samurai. There are some larger themes at work like how developing nations lose their integrity for the sake of progress, but you'll mostly be paying attention to the sword-fighting and philosophical dialogue that pops in every now and then. It's an interesting movie for people who are into old Japanese culture.

    3. Seven (1995)

    Dark, gritty, deprved, and catches you with your pants down.

    2. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1985)
    There's some good material here. Snappy sense of humor with a cast of likable characters make it a good watch.

    1. The Ocean's Trilogy (2001-2007)
    It has a classy sense of humour and an all-star cast that fits into their roles exceptionally well. If you're into heist movies but want something that'll let you put your feet up and laugh a bit, then this is a good choice.
     
  3. Ienzo ((̲̅ ̲̅(̲̅C̲̅r̲̅a̲̅y̲̅o̲̅l̲̲̅̅a̲̅( ̲̅̅((>

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    5. Star Trek into Darkness.
    This is mostly down to the fact I just thoroughly enjoyed it, like everything about it. I loved the character development and the music and the story and just everything about it. It mixes my love of Sci-fi and story telling into one. There is no deep and meaningful reason with this one like the rest.

    4. Monsters University.
    I have had to put this one in and I don't know if it's just a recent thing because I myself have been getting excited for uni but I think it's more down to the fact it's themes are incredibly grown up. You can try and try all you want but some things you can never achieve but that doesn't mean that you are useless in any way- you just aren't doing it in the correct way. Same with people who are born good at something or who have privileges or advantages just because of their genes or who they know, these things don't make you good at what you have to do. You have to mix both to be successful. The film itself just really spoke to me and the ending was rather unexpected for me.

    3. Inception.
    I have watched this film to death but I loved it the moment I saw it. It really got me thinking and I had to watch it a few times to get my head around it which was great plus it was all about dreaming and created a concept that I will forever adore. Also, DAT MUSIC!

    2. The Great Gatsby.

    Words cannot describe how much I love this film. And the reason is partially a nostalgic one. Back whilst I was doing my GCSE's, I had a massive crush on my English teacher and was so happy when I got him as my a level teacher for English literature and the first book we studied was The Great Gatsby. So the film reminds me of that time in my life, it was a very happy one because I just loved school and I miss it now and my English teacher had a huge influence on me. Aside from that, it's also a film that speaks to me personally, I just love the character of Gatsby, he is presented with so many flaws and you just feel sorry for him in the end but he is so incredibly hopeful and I just love that about him so much. He is ambitious and does everything he possibly can to achieve his dreams and yet people still don't accept him. He is also a man who craves the acceptance of others and wants nothing more than to fit in with the rich people but he never will.

    1. The Lion King.
    The only reason this goes before the Great Gatsby is simply because this film is my childhood, it is the reason I brought KH2 and I just love it so much. I watched it countless times as a child with my sister and it reminds me of her. It is a film that just encompasses my childhood and will always be my favourite film.
     
  4. PirateNinjaHanyou Traverse Town Homebody

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    I can't pick a top 5. I can't even pick a top 1. I just have a large conglomerate of favorites.

    Here, however, are the first 5 to come to mind:
    Dr. Phibes, House on Haunted Hill, House of Wax (the 1950's one), Pacific Rim, and Les Miserables
     
  5. Scarred Nobody Where is the justice?

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    Just to be clear, when I say these are my top five, these are movies that I can watch over and over again and always get something out of them.


    1. The Dark Knight (2008) - Probably the best technically made film on the list. I've always loved the story of the hero slowly becoming a villian, and this does this it the best. The Joker is a menacing villian and is just the imbodement of chaos. However, I don't watch the movie for The Joker's story; I watch it for Harvey Dent's. To me, that's the best thing of the movie: this fall from grace by his own hand, but still believing he's doing the right thing.

    2. 50/50 (2011) - It's a movie about cancer, so I was able to relate to it a lot growing up with terminal illness. Part of the reason I love it is because of how well it portrays living and overcoming terminal illness (unlike some other story out there that simply romanticizes it). Also, I saw this at a very critical time in my life; I had just been released from the hospital after a very extended stay (and a month before my transplant), and I had just been dumped by my long time girlfriend. I connected with a lot of it at that time, especially Adam's meltdown towards the very end.

    3. The Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2010) - I love the original series, and can enjoy season two. While this is a nice conclusion to the series, it also is a great stand alone story. It teaches you to appreciate the life you have, even if it's a little whacked out at times.

    4. Saw (2004) - I love horror. I don't watch Saw for the gore, I watch it for that psychological undertone of appreciating your own life. It goes into morality, personal ethics, and asks questions that a lot of people didn't want asked at the time it came out. It also was a very small project in the beginning, but it spawned into something much greater. As well, it was the relationship with the two leads that kept the movie going and never losing momentum.

    5. The Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Hannibal is brilliant, and he doesn't need to be a teen idol/heart-throb for a new generation to do so. While his appearance is considered supporting, Hopkins's performance is what everyone remembers about the film. Having also done a paper on the movie, I looked deep into the themes and liked how the story was told. Recently, my cousin asked me why the movie is told from Starling's and Bill's points of view. One could simply say that's how the story was just told, but if you look deep enough, you'll see that they both share the same inner problem, but they are handling it in different ways. It's little things like that that make me love this movie more and more.
     
  6. SoulboundAlchemist Gummi Ship Junkie

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    #5 Les Miserables (2012) - I love musicals, and this is easily the second best I've seen.

    #4 Final Fantasy VII: Advent Children - I loved Final Fantasy VII, and this was a really good followup to the game. I'm still shocked that this didn't do well in box offices.

    #3 Star Trek: Into Darkness - As far as sequels are concerned, this one scored a home run in my book! It did everything a sequel should do, and more, making this my all time favorite Star Trek movie.

    #2 Frozen - As I said before, I love musicals, and this is my all time favorite musical. Good story, good music and great plot twists.

    #1 The LEGO Movie - Easily the best movie of the year thus far! I really liked seeing all the pop culture references and the twist with The Man Upstairs was absolutely hilarious. Wish it would come out on DVD/iTunes already...
     
  7. LARiA Twilight Town Denizen

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    In no particular order,
    1. Rebel Without a Cause (1955) I am a sap for stories concerning childhood escapist fantasies. It's why I've always liked the comic book hero SHAZAM, it's also probably why I still enjoy reading children's literature. In any case, the characters depicted herein are a ragtag group of young teenagers but the concept is more or less the same and I feel the appeal thereof is summarized quite succinctly via this quote:
    2. Let the Right One In (2008) Vampire romance, but none like what you've been conditioned to expect from modern fiction. This is not a typical love story. It glosses over pedophilia, unhealthy/parasitic relationships, toxic home environments, bullying, prepubescent love, androgyny (one of the characters is a castrated male whom is frequently addressed as female due to his slim physique). It's a Swedish horror story through and through, very unique. I liked it enough that I bought the book directly after having viewed the movie, some of the topics such as pedophilia are far more explicit in the novel and are only skimmed upon or hinted at in the film but it's still worth your time. There was an American remake by the name of Let Me In which I haven't seen.
    3. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920) German silent film, pioneer in the expressionist movement sweeping the film industry during the early 20th century. Also introduced the first "twist" ending. Another horror film. The set design is charmingly bizarre, and weirdly this film has been cited as inspiration to film noir. I just really love Hermann Warm's set design, everyone should watch it for the atmosphere it invokes alone.
    4. The Secret Garden (1993) this film gives me life
    5. Rope (1948) Oh, god. Where to even start with this one? Jus' watch it. Alfred Hitchcock directed it. It's one of his lesser known films I suppose, relatively short too. The premise is that two guys-- boyfriends I think, of course it couldn't be stated outright in the '40s-- murdered this other guy and then staged a dinner party with some of the boy's relatives near to where they hid the body purely for amusement. The humour is pitched so black you may as well be doused in Cephalopod ink. Based on the real-life murder of Bobby Franks by Nathan Leopold and Richard Loeb which occurred in 1924. Oh, and the events in the movie take place in real-time, it's a unique film in that the film was shot in long takes to make it look continuous. Whole film takes place in approx. 1hr.
    as you can see the state of these summaries gets progressively worse as you read downwards

     
  8. parabola Destiny Islands Resident

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    1. Apocalypse Now (1979)

    It's one thing to improve upon Mario Puzo. It's quite another to improve upon Joseph Conrad. Even though the Godfather is of course a classic, I feel that it's often too clean, too self assured. With Apocalypse Now, things feel dangerous, horrifying, and both grippingly real and feverishly hallucinatory. It features the first synthesized soundtrack in film history, and it also happens to be the best. Martin Sheen and Marlon Brando are not at their best, but just past their prime, in a sort of sublime twilight era. Apocalypse Now is not only the ultimate post-colonial film (again, outdoing Joseph Conrad) as well as Vietnam War film (and war film in general), but in it Francis Ford Coppola mastered the cinematic art of imperfection.

    2. Ikiru (1952)

    Given all of Kurosawa's incredible experimental films, it's ironic that his best is perhaps his least ambitious. Ikiru is more than a great film dealing with a terminal disease, it's more than a film dealing with being a cog in a capitalist system, and while it comments beautifully on the epidemic of loneliness in urbanized Japan, its scope goes far beyond just one place and time. It's about human identity, happiness and life, and what it means when you're mere days away from the end of it all.

    3. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

    Stanley Kubrick is a notoriously crazy director; he doesn't seem to like or care about other human beings at all. His films are shot at a marked sociopathic distance, as often horrible things happen to the characters. It's because of this that the pride, vulnerability and longing for life and happiness in HAL 9000, the supercomputer, is so striking and touching. While it is a visual marvel, and the interventionist theory of evolution which the film opens and closes on is certainly interesting, the heart of the movie emphasizing the small divides between apes, humans, and (someday) computers, and whatever else will come is both sobering and exhilarating.

    4. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

    Although the three films make up a sort of fable, Episode V is definitely the best of the Star Wars films. It's essentially the perfect sequel, following the fairy tale-esque simplicity of the first film with a structurally bold dual storyline. Star Wars is the most culturally relevant film franchise of all time, and without the brilliantly envisioned and executed moments of Empire (I could list examples, but 1. there are too many and 2. we all know them), it simply wouldn't be.

    5. Samurai X/Ruroni Kenshin: Trust and Betrayal (1999)

    If I'm being objective, this probably isn't the greatest anime film of all time. However, I don't know if any film has spoken to me in my adult life as much as Samurai X. No, I have never been an assassin. No, I did not kill my future wife's fiancee. No, I did not live during the bakumatsu (thank goodness for all three). It's just that there's something about Kenshin, brutal murderer that he is, that is so innocent and so forthright that he's utterly irresistible as a character. And it's through this that we're able to understand Tomoe, who is if anything an even more psychologically complex character, and together the two make what I feel is cinema's greatest tragic romance. Samurai X is about the complexities of living in a civil war, for sure, but I think it's also a very truthful and beautiful movie about love, the good, the bad, and the ugly.


     
  9. Trigger hewwo uwu

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    in no real order:
    I saw the devil
    American beauty
    the girl with the dragon tattoo
    Leon the professional
    the Darjeeling limited
     
  10. Stardust Chaser

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    THIS IS ALSO MY NUMBER ONE WOW. Bless you. I think this just about covers it; I'll start from 2 then. But also let me add -- I hated Heart of Darkness. Loathed it. Hence, I went into Apocalypse Now wanting to loathe it also. I think it speaks volumes about the impact of the film that one can go in wanting to hate it, and come out with a new favorite movie of all time (not I have any authoritative judgement of quality, but still).

    #2. Amadeus (1984)
    I'm not even sure where to begin with this movie. It is all at once funny, moving, intense and sad. It seemingly explores all kinds of genres in its very lengthy runtime (about 2 hours and 40 minutes) but for its entire duration it is incredibly gripping. This film won eight academy awards, and I believe them to be well-deserved.
    An adaptation of the 1979 play following the (fictionalized) tale of the short life and eventual murder of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart by rival composer Salieri (or rather -- the mystery of whether he was murdered at all), Amadeus is wonderfully scripted, expertly acted, and beautifully filmed. I just can't get enough of it.
    (But actually to be brutally honest, I guess I can -- I feel the original cut to be much superior to the director's cut [which carries 20 minutes of extra footage]. But that is neither here nor there, I suppose).

    #3. Groundhog Day (1993)
    This one makes the list both by virtue of its sheer quality -- and I believe it to be a very good film indeed -- but also, in truth, a bit of nostalgia. I have some very good memories of watching this film with family. More than that though, Groundhog Day is a wonderfully entertaining romantic comedy that sort of transcends its own genre, in my view. The romance -- or I suppose, the desire for romance as an end-goal -- works not as the main focus but to provide motivation for the protagonist, ultimately taking a back seat to his character development. With a dry and at times dark sense of wit, the film is not only hilarious but also a rather smart story about bettering oneself, with a great core concept to boot.

    #4. How to Train Your Dragon (2010)
    Okay, okay, but hear me out, all right? My love for this film is no secret. But it's not just because Toothless is cute.
    This film is a surprisingly, and fairly subtly, intelligent picture. For all the reasons I initially fell in love with it, this wasn't why (at least not consciously), but it's why I've chosen to include it here. Doing so is admittedly a little intimidating, so I'm going to do my best to justify it, semi-succinctly.
    First off, this movie greatly rewards repeat viewing. It is full of parallels -- many are obvious, others likely won't be caught (or internalized, rather) the first go. The opening and closing sequences are clear "bookends", but the script does this throughout the rest of the movie, too, and it's fascinating to catch new things each time. I didn't have high hopes for this one when I first saw it on television -- I'd avoided it in theaters because the trailers came off as immature -- but the writing is also refreshingly free of pop-culture jokes and gross-out gags, with maybe one or two excepted lines (Gobber). The humor, in fact, is mostly courtesy of the protagonist's sarcasm, albeit with some visual gags for good measure.
    The movie is also beautiful -- famed cinematographer Roger Deakins was a consultant for the film, and it really shows. There's a really natural sense of lighting throughout, and the setting manages a surprising balance between appearing both gorgeous and harsh. Dragon has some wonderfully composed shots and lush colors, and a sweeping sense of movement during flight scenes that nonetheless still manage to convey a sense of gravity. Then there's the score, which is probably one of my all-time favorites.
    I really think this is a tightly-woven movie. It's not an ambitious/wholly original story, but it's one well-told, and I think the ending in particular makes it very memorable. I was really unsure about putting it on my list, but after consideration -- I don't just have a soft spot for it, although that's part of it. I also think it's a well made movie to boot. The sequel, by the sheer nature of its scope, probably can't compete with the clarity of direction in the original, but we'll see.

    And my fifth pick is... kinda-sorta undecided; I'm struggling with it. For now I'll put down some candidates: Fargo, A Few Good Men, Stand By Me, The Iron Giant, Paris Texas, Breakfast at Tiffany's (my most likely choice, I think). I'll have to come back.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2014
  11. Zekushion Traverse Town Homebody

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    My top five tends to change around a lot, depending on my mood and which movies I've seen recently. I just have a tendency to love every movie I see.

    1. The Princess Bride - Bear with me on this one. I have seen this movie, easily, a thousand times. I've watched it repeatedly since I was a child, to the point where I can and have quoted it word for word, scene by scene. It's stuck with me for most of my life. I love the story, I love the music, I love the actors and their characters. It's a fun, endearing film with a great story, funny one-liners, and many relatable characters.

    2. Rise of the Guardians - Dreamworks has consistently amazed me with their beautifully animated films and Rise of the Guardians is one of those masterpieces that never ceases to take my breath away. The detail work that the animators and effects people put into the film just blows me away. Additionally, the story itself really brings back a certain magic that gets lost as one grows older. Of course, Jude Law's voice is a wonderful bonus, as is North's use of the names of Russian composers in lieu of swearing!

    3. Thor - I've always enjoyed the Marvel films, but Thor was the one that really got me into the whole Marvel Cinematic Universe. Patrick Doyle composed a fantastic score for the film that I still frequently listen to, the costumes in the film are beautiful, I absolutely love the cast (bonus points for Anthony Hopkins as Odin, oh my god), and Asgard itself makes me cry with its beauty.

    4. The Lord of the Rings trilogy - I don't think I really need to explain why I love this trilogy so much. I can marathon LotR (and the Hobbit films) over and over and never get tired of watching them.

    5. Captain America: The Winter Soldier - Of course, having just seen the film, it makes my top five on principle because I'm currently just absolutely in love with it. I loved the first Captain America film, but the sequel really pulled me in. I won't say anything about the story because it's still in theatres and there may be people who still have not seen it, but I will say that Sam Wilson is a gift and I love him. Also, the Winter Soldier's theme is the best part of the score, oh my god, it's so intense, don't listen to it alone in the car driving down the freeway at 60mph.
     
  12. Te Deum Hollow Bastion Committee

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    5 - Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009)

    The best spin on a Roald Dahl movie I could have asked for. Also Wes's directing. And Jason Schwartzman. And George Clooney. And Meryl Streep.

    4 - The Grandmaster (2013)

    By far the most in-depth iteration of the story of Ip Man's life. The cinematography was surreal, for lack of a better word.

    3 - Thief (1981)

    In my eyes, a classic in the neo-noir genre. 2nd favorite 80s movie, next to...

    2 - TRON (1982)

    Young. Jeff. Bridges. And the visual effects were groundbreaking for its time. Although brought down by its archaic visual effects, it does have quite a great plot for a Disney movie. Unfortunately, it's beat by...

    1 - TRON: Legacy (2010)

    TRON: Legacy is what completes the original. The original lacks advanced graphics that would enhance the experience, and Legacy lacks a good plot to match the graphics. Honestly, a great plot was wasted, and the whole deal with ISOs and Ed Dillinger Jr. was not explored. The whole thing seemed kinda put together haphazardly, but whatever.

    At least we got to see Bruce Boxleitner.

     
  13. 61 No. B

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    I'm not including comicbook and anime movies on this list because in my head they're both totally separate entities with different lists of favorites.

    1. Metropolis
    2. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
    3. American Psycho
    4. Star Wars IV
    5. The Incredibles

    I wanted to put Monsters U and Chinatown on this list but just couldn't.
     
  14. Antidote Façade

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    1. The Virgin Suicides
    2. Battle Royale
    3. Velvet Goldmine
    4. Changeling
    5. Cool World
     
  15. Mish smiley day!

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    ha! that movie is such a cluster****

    No particular order:
    Terminator
    True Romance
    Heathers
    Back to the Future
    The Goonies

    The last two are mostly for nostalgia reasons.

    Honorary mentions:
    Battle Royale
    The Breakfast Club
    Edward Scissorhands
    Stand By Me
    Resevoir Dogs
     
  16. SoulboundAlchemist Gummi Ship Junkie

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    This is my top 5 list for 2014:

    5) How To Train Your Dragon 2
    4) The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
    3) Captain America: The Winter Soldier
    2) X-Men: Days of Future Past

    Honorable Mentions:

    Thor: The Dark World
    The Boxtrolls
    The Book of Life
    Guardians of the Galaxy

    1) Night At The Museum: Secret of the Tomb
     
  17. Antidote Façade

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    It's a complete mess but I love it. c;

    I was just thinking that Cry Baby and Who Framed Roger Rabbit should also be somewhere on my list...too many damn movies, man.
     
  18. Mish smiley day!

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    lol, Cry Baby. You're killing me here with these awful(ly good) movies.
     
  19. Misty gimme kiss

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    #1. Amélie (2001)
    When I die, bury me with this movie. I love it. I love it so much it's hard to talk about, because it's such an abstract and emotional ride for me, but I'll try. It's a fairly popular one for a French film, when it came out I believe it received its fair share of awards, and I really can't recommend it enough. It's fun and romantic and whimsical and fantastical and suspenseful and sad, and perhaps most of all, incredibly poignant. The soundtrack fits every moment unlike anything I've seen or heard before, it's a joy to look at, and it racks more scenes that make me positively bawl than any other movie I've listed. It's such a strange blend of the everyday and the surreal and changed, for me, the way I look at the world. If you're not used to foreign stuff it can be daunting to read subtitles for 2+ hours, but it's seriously worth it for this movie.

    #2. Upstream Color (2013)
    I watched this movie on a whim last year and it catapulted up my list. It was rec'd to me on Netflix, I liked the cover and their (incredibly brief and cryptic) synopsis seemed intriguing, so I gave it a go one night.
    I've never had such an unsettling and visceral reaction to a movie as I did with this film. If anyone is trawling through this topic looking for movie recommendations, I seriously caution you to check out a content advisory for this movie before you watch it -- I went in completely blind and there's a lot of triggering content, especially in the first thirty minutes. The majority of the movie, you're left to figure out what is even going on, let alone the overall point of the movie. I thought about this movie for weeks after seeing it, and now that I've formed somewhat of an idea about what I saw, I can't wait to rewatch it and have that completely blown up again. There's very little dialogue to the movie and it never shows or tells you explicitly what's going on. It's a really challenging, abstract film, but even in your utter confusion, it manages to evoke some extremely powerful emotion from you. It coalesces into something very beautiful, ultimately, at least in my view, but dear lord does it put you through the ringer to get there. This movie ****ed me up.

    #3. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
    I couldn't get through this list without putting at least one Star Wars film on it. @parabola hit it pretty well already, but Kershner's approach to the film not as the space fantasy of A New Hope, but as a drama, gave it a nuance, a humanity, that I don't think any of the other Star Wars films have achieved (to date).

    #4. Wristcutters: A Love Story (2007)
    While I could wax poetic about some of this film's thematic value, I think part of its favor with me lies in it simply being a fun movie to watch. It's steeped in an incredibly dark setting, of course, but at its heart it's really just a movie about friendship and family and falling in love. It's a real joy to watch and, while I've read some criticisms for it, I really love the ending -- to me it's everything that the movie promised and needed. Oh, and Tom Waits is in it.

    #5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
    Another acclaimed movie; unfortunately I've not watched it in quite a while but it's been a really formative influence for my taste in movies. It's also another unpopular (depending on who you ask) ending that I positively adore. I really doubted Jim Carrey's ability to play a serious role before seeing the film but he absolutely pulls it off -- and the movie has plenty of other great actors and actresses in it beside him (Kate Winslet, of course, Mark Ruffalo, Elijah Wood, Kirsten Dunst).

    Honorable mentions going to Pride & Prejudice (2005), The Science of Sleep (2006), Matilda (1996), Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012), and plenty of others that I'll be ashamed to realize I've forgotten.
     
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2015
  20. Anixe Hollow Bastion Committee

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2007
    Location:
    Dim Sum Palace
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    Well, here's my five as of right now (and in no particular order)...

    ~Rashomon (1950)
    First watched this in my Film and Philosophy class and had instant love for it. Perfect blend of Japanese and Western cinema, the way the story is told is brilliant and still keeps up to today's standards. I'm even still impressed about the acting. It's really hard to describe the genius of this film, which I suppose makes it all the more great. This and Seven Samurai are the films that got me greatly interested in Akira Kurosawa's works.

    ~The Joy Luck Club (1993)

    Excellent insight on mother-daughter relationships, especially centered around Chinese culture and heritage. Although not particularly the type of relationship I have with my mother, I still feel a sense of familiarity within the four stories that are present in my own family life. The switching between each story is seamless and connects very well to each other. Definitely a sad but very heart-felt movie that represents all kinds of love.

    ~Life of Pi (2012)
    Nothing like one tear-jerker after another. But in a good way. While the book presented a sense of realism and grotesque picture of survival, I was actually appreciative of how the movie's direction focused on wavering faith and optimisim. The CGI is great, the way the story is told is engaging, and of course, Richard Parker is both fearsome and adorable, haha.

    ~The Avengers (2012)

    Hurr durr, almost everybody I know loves this film. And yes, I feel it is overrated but I think what struck me most about this was the amount of expectations it delivered. The film basically put together an entire universe of characters coming from different styles of movies. It knows what it is and does it with amazing action, fun, and confidence. It really defines what a superhero movie is and should be.
    Second Thoughts: I would say Guardians of the Galaxy perfected the formula, but I felt that its natural humor overshadowed some potential moments for heartfelt drama. But nonetheless, comes in at a close second.

    ~Princess Mononoke (1997)

    Classic Hayao Miyazaki movie. Beeeeautiful animation and gorgeous music provide the backdrop to the epic and dark storyline. The English dub is also the best ones out of all the other ones out there, still capturing the essence of the characters and plot across languages. The most beautiful, defining moment of the movie is the beheading of the Forest Spirit. Definitely one of the top Miyazaki films for people to see before they die.