Top Ten Movies

So, now that my reading population may have doubled, I figured I might do a post to capitalize on my new found fame. I thought to myself: “Maybe I can post some awful stuff about a certain Health Care Provider based in Worcester. I’m sure I could find find something using the Google.” But that would be stupid. Why make some of their employees miserable about their jobs and/or employer. If indeed they are reading this here blog of mine, it might make them not really like me, so I decided to go a different route.

Recently, I have been having conversations with a certain someone about movies. Now, I used to think that I watched a lot of awesome movies, but when you mention movies and people respond with “huh?” it causes me to question just how important my “favorite” movies are. Either way, however, for my new reading public to discuss and digest, I am going to attempt to rank my Top 10 Favorite Movies Of All Time. I have 12-15 movies that I consider favorites, but they usually are in no particular order, but let’s see if I can come up with a decent list. I will try not to use two films from the same director; if I like two movies, I will pick the one that I like better. If anything, it will give my new readers even more insight inot the complexity that is me.

1) Dogma – All discussions about my favorite movie begin and end with this movie. This movie is a bit old (came out in 1999), but I have yet to find a movie that replaces it as my favorite. I don’t know why it is my favorite exactly, but I can watch it whenever and still enjoy it. I have probably seen it or parts of it at least 20 times over the years, and it is just as good every time I watch it.

2) Pulp Fiction – A tough choice of all the Quentin Tarantino flicks, but this is the one that made him who he is, that made people want to watch Kill Bill and others. Plus, it resurrected the career of one Samuel L. Jackson, who is one bad mutha.

3) Shawshank Redemption – Another one of those movies that is older but good. From 1994, this movies has great performances by Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins and is just a great story overall. Makes you feel compassion for the lead characters and root for them to succeed. Unfortunately, it was released the year that Forrest Gump was and probably lost out on a bunch of awards because of that.

4) Se7en – Another strong performance by Morgan Freeman, one of the most under-rated actors around. Plus, it has Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey, two of my other favorites. Kevin Spacey is going to make another appearance on this list, but that is later. It was from this movie that I got my idea for a tattoo, and if I ever man up and decide to get one, I will go with that idea. Until then, I’ll just watch this movie.

5) American History X – Ed Norton should have one the Academy Award for his role of a repentant skin head, but he went against the tsunami that was Roberto Benigni in 1997. Ed Norton is another one of my favorite actors, though I like him best in roles like this one where he becomes totally immersed in the character and makes it difficult to see the actor. Eddie Furlong was good too.

6) The Usual Suspects – Kevin Spacey won an Academy Award in this movie for his role as the cripple Verbal Kint, and the movie is enjoyable even after you have seen it once and know the answer to the question that is asked throughout the movie. Strong performances by an ensemble cast in a great crime thriller.

7) The Dark Knight – It is unfortunate that Heath Ledger dies after making this movie for numerous reasons, but two very important ones when it comes to talking about movies: 1) Joker was the role of a lifetime for him and 2) he will get the Academy Award based on the fact that he died and not necessarily because his performance was epic. Academy voters will feel like they owe him or something, and I am not saying that his performance doesn’t warrant awards, but the circumstances make it seem like an award for dying. His haunting turn as The Joker punctuates Christopher Nolan’s dark telling of the Batman story. I still can’t figure out why Christian Bale thinks he has to growl his words as Batman, but Ledger’s performance is what really stands out in this movie.

8) Saving Private Ryan – I can’t make a favorite movie list without including an “Army” movie, and this was one of the best. When this flick is on TV, I have to stop and watch it regardless, even though I have seen it so many times. Beaten by Shakespeare in Love for Best Picture (really?), it is one movie of many that really tell the story of WWII. It was soon followed by Band of Brothers as a miniseries on HBO, but Band of Brothers never would have happened without this one. It beats out another Spielberg movie, Schindler’s List, for this list, which is also a good movie but a tad long.

9) Seven Samurai – Now I am going old school for this one, but this is a great movie by a great director Akira Kurosawa. The basis for many American westerns of the 1960s and 1970s, this story about seven samurai (go figure) that come together to protect a town from bandits is probably Kurosawa’s best known work, though Rashomon may technically be a better movie. I like this one better, however, and should be watched by those who like good narratives in their movies.

10) Gladiator – Probably the most award winning film on this list, this movie has a great story and great performances for all those involved. Without this movie, Joaquin Phoenix is not Johnny Cash and Russell Crowe does not become Russell Crowe. Sure, he was nominated the year before for The Insider, but his win for Gladiator made him a household name and led to another nomination for A Beautiful Mind the next year. Ridley Scott is a great action director, but this movie showed that he can to poignant drama as well. Another one of those movies you just have to stop at if it is on TV as you are flipping through the channels.

Okay, that’s it. I hope that you enjoyed this little list. Outside of these ten, there are others, but ranking them gets pretty hairy after a while. Even these ten were kind of difficult to put in order, but I think I did an pretty good job. Tell me what you think, but no anonymous comments!

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