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Friday, July 10, 2009

Top 5 Movies

After way too much thought and even more procrastination, I’ve come up with a list of my Top 5 Movies. The title of such lists puts a ton of pressure on anyone taking it even a little bit seriously. I found myself wondering if I was forgetting a movie that absolutely belonged in my Top 5, or if I had been prejudiced toward a movie I had just seen. Most of all, I wondered if I would just seem like an idiot for picking some movie the industry looked down it’s nose at. And what about new movies? How do should those be handled in a Top 5 list?

Then I realized I’m just some guy writing a blog trying to have a little fun and hopefully generate a response. Of course that didn’t stop my anal retentive side from coming up with a criteria for my list, albeit a rather simple set of guidelines. (Feel free to ignore it in posting your own list.) Besides obviously being a film I truly liked better than most, I decided that to make the list a movie had to be one that would stop my channel surfing regardless how far into the movie I discover it and be watched to the end even though I’ve seen it enough to know exactly what’s coming. This means new movies can’t sneak in, but the list can be tweaked later on.

Without further delay, here’s my list of Top 5 Movies:

5. My Left Foot – I had to put this one on the list. It’s the only film I’ve ever seen that explores life with cerebral palsy, and gave me the chance to see the disabled part of myself in a character. Based on a true story, it’s done without the “aww” factor that is so often a part any character with a disability in film, and shows the main character who has CP as a fully-developed person. Sadly, this movie doesn’t get to stop my channel surfing much because it’s simply not on enough.

4. Castaway – Easily my strangest pick on the list, but it just fascinates me. For a movie with relatively little dialogue it has some great lines, including one of my all-time favorites – “keep breathing . . . you just never know what the tide’s gonna bring.” The theme – or maybe more accurately said, the exploration – of the human instinct to survive is awesome.

3. Arthur – Dudley Moore and Liza Minnelli are perfect together in this hysterical romantic comedy. The story may not be all that original as Moore’s character – an alcoholic who never grew up – is threatened with being cut-off from his unbelievably rich family if he doesn’t marry the classic rich girl character, but he falls in love with a waitress played by Minnelli. John Gielgud is very good as the Butler. The sequel, Arthur 2 - On the Rocks, is decent, too.

2. You’ve Got Mail – This movie is about as cute as a movie can get without going too far. The fact that it’s a re-make would probably get me in trouble with some critics. The idea that the characters get to know each other via e-mail intrigues me for personal reasons, and once Tom Hanks’ character figures out who his e-mail pal is I think it’s very funny watching him manipulate the situation. Besides that, watching Meg Ryan for a couple hours is never a bad thing.

1. Rocky – Forget all the sequels for this discussion. When you go back and watch the original Rocky, it’s a great, character-driven film. No doubt the Philadelphia setting plays a role in my selection of this movie as my top movie.

Feel free to agree or disagree with any or all of my selections, and, more importantly, add your own list of Top 5 Movies in the comments section. Don’t hesitate to add your own creative angle such as a list of Top Summer Movies of All Time, Top 5 Action Movies, or other ideas. I really do want to make the Royal Steele Community section of this blog interactive. Be brave or, if you must, post anonymously.

Sure, you can do this on much bigger websites and potentially get lost in a sea of millions, or help us build something fun at The Stores @ Royal Steele. (Don’t forget to refer to my “CYA” rules & guidelines.)

Also, check out the “Best of” lists on The Stores @ Royal Steele in the Book Store, which include the 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time.

1 comment:

  1. MDefl Posting:


    You know that I enjoy your writing? So, I don't want you to get mad at me but I have to take serious issue with your list. Serious.

    You've got Mail should have been named Moved Like a Snail. This would make my top 5 worse movies ever. This was your stereotypical Meg Ryan performance - awful - you can only live on Harry and Sally for so long. Tom Hanks mailed this one in.

    Castaway - Nice little Tom Hanks movie (I am noticing a trend here) but top 5 for essentially an update on the Robinson Cruseo story?

    Arthur - Decent movie to be certain. Dudley Moore is very, very funny. However, any movie with Liza Minneli cannot be in the top 5.

    My Left Foot - I really liked this one. It might be in my top 10 - definitely 15.

    Rocky - This is the only one that I can agree with you on although I think it probably falls 6 or 7 on my list. I still get the chills everytime the music plays at the end and Rocky is screaming, "Adrian"! Even thinking about it gives me goosebumps.

    Here is my top 5:

    1. Godfather/Godfather II - I consider these to be one movie. An absolute cinematic masterpiece in everyway. Incredible, understated acting and a story that is unsurpassed. I still think this is the best cast, when you include the flashbacks, in the history of movies.

    2. Citizen Kane - Orson Welles best movie by far. This movie had innovations that are still used today. Great story on the corruption and lonliness of power.

    3. On The Waterfront - My favorite Marlon Brando movie - "I coulda been a contendor Charlie but what I am? A bum".

    4. Schindler's List - I only saw it once. I just can't handle it but it should be required viewing in every public high/junior high school.

    5. Animal House - This one is different than the others. I still laugh everytime I see it. The unique thing about this movie was how Landis had it scored like it was a serious movie. To me, that made this very good comedy into an all time classic. I still use many of the lines quoted in the movie today.

    As for Tom Hanks movies, I like every single one of his other movies better than You've Got Mail. Here is my list of movies (imo - naturally) that I find to be superior to Castaway:

    Forrest Gump
    Saving Private Ryan
    Apollo 13
    Road to Perdition
    Charlie Wilson's War
    Catch Me if You Can
    A League of Their Own
    Nothing in Common

    Just to be clear - every single Hank's movie would be better than You've Got Mail with the possible exception of Sleepless in Seattle. All IMO.


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