Saturday, March 21, 2015



Let's say someone came to you and said "We're going to air one movie a night for 15 days, and we want them to be your favorite movies."

What would your top 15 be? Full titles and dates. Countdown so that your number 1 is last.

Only other rule: If it's a tied franchise (like, let's say you like the Star Wars Saga fairly equally), pick only your most favorite one for your slot.

I want comments. I want lists. Top 15. Go!

My most recently updated list (as an example of how your responses should look):
15. Kill Bill Vol.1 (2003)
14. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
13. The Fifth Element (1997)
12. Raggedy Ann and Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977)
11. Beauty and the Beast (1991)
10. The Secret of NIMH (1982)
9. Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
8. Gremlins (1984)
7. Jurassic Park (1993)
6. Batman Returns (1992)
5. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2012)
4. Edward Scissorhands (1990)
3. Spider-Man (2002)
2. Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993)
1. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999)


  1. In no particular order.......

    Repo! The Genetic Opera, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Wreck it Ralph, Mulan, The Great Mouse Detective, The Princess and The Frog, The Lego Movie, Coraline, Paranorman, The Book of Life, A Walk to Remember, Kiki's Delivery Service, Pirates! Band of Misfits, Wallace and Gromit: Curse of The Were Rabbit, Clueless, Mean Girls, Chicken Run, The Simpsons Movie, Cowboy Bebop: Knocking on Heaven's Door, The Emperor's New Groove, Rent, The Producers, The Muppets (2011), The Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Peter Pan, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Hercules, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Shop of Horrors, I am Sam, The Story of Luke, Mozart and the Whale, Temple Grandin, Beauty and the Beast,
    Fairly Oddparents: Abracatastrophe (cheating, I know), the Despicable Me movies, Megamind, Radio, Dead Poets Society, Persopolis, Toy Story 3, The Incredibles, Teacher's Pet, The SpongeBob Movie, The Simpsons Movie, The first live action TMNT movie, Tank Girl (guilty pleasure), The Wild Thornberries Movie and all three Sailor Moon movies,

    1. Erm....particular order was kind of the entire point. Please re-read the post. That's also wayyyy more than 15

    2. P.S. just edited the post for clarification. There's a reason I'm asking for it this way, and I want you all to have fun with it.

  2. Hm...hmhmhm.

    Well, I've already had a Top 5 list, hard part now is to come up with the other 10. Lessee.

    1. Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
    2. The Fisher King (1991)
    3. Big Fish (2003)
    4. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)
    5. Sweet Charity (1969)
    6. My Neighbor Totoro (1988)
    7. 1776 (1972)
    8. Once (2006)
    9. Batman Returns (1992)
    10. The Great Escape (1963)
    11. The LEGO Movie (2014)
    12. The Dark Crystal (1982)
    13. The Muppet Movie (1979)
    14. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)
    15. The Princess Bride (1987)

    ...yeah, I think that'll do. Top 10 are definite.

    1. Oooh, a very eclectic mix. Haven't even heard of a couple of these.

      It's difficult for me to discern a common theme here, but when I look at the titles I am familiar with the word "atmospheric" comes to mind. Even the fantasy-type films tend to have a heaviness to them.

      First one and I'm already stumped. Am I anywhere close to a right track?

    2. "Atmospheric" is definitely a good descriptor--I've always been fond of films that have a very distinct style and texture to them, and particularly ones with a certain defined artifice to them--stuff like JCS and the Burton or Demy films have a mannered sort of aesthetic where a sort of falseness is almost part of the point.

      I'm also just a big romantic, though, and I like a particular somewhat-optimistic ethos to my films. More specifically, though, I find there's particular outlooks I really connect to--I like films with romances that don't work out, but are shown as particularly helpful or therapeutic to those involved (Sweet Charity, Once, Batman Returns, Umbrellas of Cherbourg). I like films about the power and allure of storytelling (Big Fish, LEGO Movie, Princess Bride).

      But more than anything else, I like films about *people*. Where there aren't real "good guys" and "bad guys", but instead earnest people trying to do what they feel is right, and where the film is really about people just being human. Messy, brilliant human. This is one of many reasons I love Jesus Christ Superstar, The Fisher King, 1776, etc. Even My Neighbor Totoro fits into this, with it's delightfully unassuming look at childhood and the experiences of growing up in a markedly new world.

      Ultimately, I think that's it. I love films with particular aesthetics about them, but more than anything it's the ethos and outlooks of the film I admire the most.

    3. That's beautiful. I like a lot of that kind of stuff too. It's weird with me, because I like good vs evil, but I also like character studies and nuance. Hell, I just like stories, and a wide variety.

      But when I look at the films that I listed, the ones that draw me in more than anything else, I find I tend to be attracted to films that have at least two or more of the following: fantasy, stylization, quirkiness, creatures, vivid colors, and copious amounts of ham and/or cheese.

      But the one thing that I think I've discovered, the one thing that every film in my list has in common, at least in my opinion: incredible music. I never thought about it before, but the movies I would always watch over and over again were the ones with memorable soundtracks, and I would watch again and again to hear the soundtrack in context (this started before I was aware of soundtrack albums, and once I did I was just used to the practice).

      Most of the deeper revelations came much later, and was really the icing on the cake. Do you think that's superficial of me?

    4. Nah-music one of the most inherently emotional arts out there, so it makes sense to be attracted first to the music and then come to appreciate the more intellectual sides of the art.

      I mean, heck, with my list a full 11 of my 15 have absolutely incredible soundtracks, with a good portion of those being films I first fell in love with almost *because* of the soundtrack (Dark Crystal, Once, and Totoro being the clearest examples). Music is powerful--probably why seven of my picks are musicals, after all.

    5. BTW, as a side note I'm somewhat curious--what are the films you hadn't heard of before? I can make a guess at a couple, but I'm interested to know your familiarity with some of my picks.

    6. Never heard of: Rochefort, 1776, Once, or Cherbourg.

      Heard of but have never seen: JCS, Charity, LEGO (mostly due to hype aversion at this point), and I've only caught bits and pieces of Escape.

      Aside notes: Totoro was one of my favorites for a long time, but I haven't seen it in forever because I'm having a lot of trouble finding the original English dub. I don't know why they felt the need to re-dub it.

    7. Presumably because the original wasn't Disney, so when they re-released it under their banner they needed to keep it all in the house. I've only actually ever seen the re-dub, and it's quite good, for what it's worth.

      Never heard of 1776 or Once? Both are really good, I'd definitely recommend though I don't know how much either would be in your tastes. 1776's got a lot of humor and charm I think you'd appreciate, and Once is just an absolutely stunning little indie musical that's just *really* good. And emotional, too.

      Rochefort and Cherbourg are both these little French musicals that are just really colorful and imaginative and charming. Rochefort especially is a delight--if you like stuff like Singin' in the Rain, you'd love it:

  3. I'm back with a final decision. Trust me it was NOT easy! XD

    15. The Muppets
    14. The Lego Movie
    13. The Incredibles
    12. Wreck it Ralph
    11. The Book of Life
    10. Chicken Run
    9. Rent
    8. Pirates! Band of Misfits
    7. Persopolis
    6. Dead Poets Society
    5. Beauty and the Beast
    4. Temple Grandin
    3. Coraline/Paranorman
    2. Mulan
    1. Repo! The Genetic Opera

    Of mine, which is your fave?

    1. Wow, okay, there's a real animation domination going on here. Also a lot of strong female leads in this list. Never seen Repo, so I don't know whether or not it fits either trend - if it didn't, then its number one status is very intriguing.

      There's also a common theme of underdogs and misfits here. Special people trying to make it in a world that doesn't seem made for them. I kind of know something about that - and I get the distinct impression that you very well know that I know.

      And as to your question, we'll, there's only one shared list item, so...

    2. Very true. I have always identified better with animation being an oddball and when I was at least 10-11 years old, I suspected I was a cartoon trapped in a live action body. Considering my personality, that wouldn't be too far off. And yes I identify with the whole "being an outcast" thing, always have been my whole life. I've always bounced from groups of friends, either they would deteriorate due to drama or the parting of the ways. And in most groups save for 2 in my life there was always at least one person who openly disliked me and would vocally express it. Even as an adult, I have bad anxiety over making friends due to ecounters with fake people. No matter where I am I always feel left out.

  4. Hello Adam,

    Below is my list:

    1. Star Wars Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)
    2. The Lord Of The Rings - The Return Of The King (2003)
    3. Star Trek 8 - First Contact (1996)
    4. Hook (1991)
    5. Willow (1988)
    6. Spider-Man 2 (2004)
    7. The Incredibles (2004)
    8. Treasure Planet (2002)
    9. Shrek (2001)
    10. Highlander (1986)
    11. Camelot (1967)
    12. Spirited Away (2001)
    13. A Christmas Carol (1999)
    14. The Adventures Of Robin Hood (1938)
    15. Dragon Ball - The Path To Power (1996)

    Besides this I'd like to say I very much enjoy your articles and hope you'll keep up the good work.

    Also, in regards to your request to suggest subjects for articles, I did came up with a question that might possibly be a subject for an article. And that is, as far as you've noticed, how are the United States divided in terms of interest in certain genres? That is, is Star Wars (or are fantasy and science fiction) clearly more popular on average in some regions?

    I myself live in the northeastern Netherlands where fantasy or science fiction are not al that popular, though now much more in comparison to a generation ago. People here are generally more interested in either drama (often about some sort of suffering), war films, crime stories or perhaps comedy, that is, things that aren't too far removed from literal reality. This also goes for Northern Europe, whereas Britain, (southern) Germany or France seem to have a much stronger Fantasy following as well as producing more films in that genre. Science Fiction is often has the weakest presence.

    So I wondered wether what your experiences in this sense are in the United States or perhaps America in general.

    The best to you!

    1. There's not a single item in this list that's not either science fiction, romantic fantasy, or some combination thereof. A relatively simple theme to deduce. If I wanted to stretch deeper, I'd say there's a common theme of hope and regaining a lost magic - figuratively as well as sometimes literally. But that may be reading into things quite a bit.

      I thank you very much for your kind words. I have not been outside of this country, so I don't really know about trends in others aside from I-III being generally more fondly remembered elsewhere.

  5. Interested to see what you'll do with these . . . I actually determined my 20 favorite movies and put them on my Facebook a few months ago, but a lot of them were series. If I have to stick with just my favorites, then . . .

    #15: The Princess Bride (1987)
    #14: School of Rock (2003)
    #13: South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut (1999)
    #12: Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
    #11: Drumline (2002)
    #10: A Shot In The Dark (1964)
    #9: Frozen (2013)
    #8: Inception (2010)
    #7: Pulp Fiction (1994)
    #6: The Avengers (2012)
    #5: The Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers (2002)
    #4: Bill And Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989)
    #3: Pirates Of The Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest (2006)
    #2: The Incredibles (2004) (It's really every Pixar movie, but this one's my fav)
    #1: Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)

    For all the ones that are part of a series, it's really the whole series, but I've picked my favorites. The Incredibles happens to be my favorite Pixar movie (I'd group all the Pixar films in my #2 slot together if I could).

    Also, LOVE your Star Wars essays, hope to see you keep on writing 'em! And I'm very curious about what you'll do with these lists . . .

    1. All I'm doing is trying to analyze them in the comments. To wit...

      Another really eclectic mix here. It's actually not dissimilar to mine - a lot of your franchise picks are my close seconds in the same franchise. And South Park is definitely an honorable mention and would show up on a Top 20.

      And yet there are still some key differences here. While my picks were generally more light-hearted, yours are slightly edgier (aside from Princess Bride, Shot in the Dark, and possibly Bill & Ted). Chest is darker than Curse, Towers is darker than Journey, Sith is WAY darker than Phantom. Heck, even though it's not a franchise, I'd even compare Pulp Fiction darker than Kill Bill - even if KB is more violent, it's much more styalized than the comparatively realistic PF.

      My instinct - and I could be wrong here - tells me you like the fantastic, the fairytale, and the quirky as much as I, but you have a far more cynical streak. There's room for hope, yes, but all the bad stuff needs to be slogged through first. You prefer the point where characters are at their lowest, as it makes the climb back up more memorable.

      Or not. I'm really grasping at straws here. What do you see as the common themes?

  6. 15. V for Vendetta
    14. Matrix Revolutions
    13., 12. Kill Bill vol 1, Kill Bill vol 2 (separately they´re not bad, but only together they realy work)
    11. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
    10. Bram Stoker´s Dracula
    9. Jurassic Park
    8. The Da Vinci Code
    7. Alien
    6. Aliens
    5. Alien 3
    4. Alien Resurrection
    3. The Sixth Sense
    2. The Village
    1. Star Wars Episodes I-VI; just as Lucas himself, I also see them as one single movie

    1. I see SW and KB as one as well, same as LOTR/Hobbit. But if you HAD to choose one, what do you lean more towards.

      P.S. looking forward to the "Whole Bloody Affair" edit of Kill Bill coming out soon.

  7. I'd be interested to see what you think of mine.

    Here I Go:

    1. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
    2.Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989)
    3.Once Upon A Time in the West (1969)
    4.Walk the Line (2005)
    5.Casino Royale (2006)
    6.Life of Pi (2012)
    7.Forrest Gump (1994)
    8.Toy Story 2 (1999)
    9.The Mask of Zorro (1998)
    10. Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003)
    11. Swiss Family Robinson (1960)
    12. Hidalgo (2004)
    13.John Carter (2012)
    14.What Dreams May Come (1998)
    15.The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013)

    1. I also happen to see that like yourself, the movies that I like have very good soundtracks to them, whether they are orchestral or not. In fact, "Walk the Line" was what sparked my interest in country music.

    2. Hmm...Adventure seems to be a MAJOR theme here. Even the films that wouldn't necessarily be classified as "Adventure" genre are still about characters' journeys and explorations.

      Swashbuckling also abounds, as does genre throwbacks.

      The only other common theme I'm picking up is a majority of these films deal with family in one way or another, particularly fathers (Jedi, Crusade, TS2, and Zorro spring to mind of the ones I've seen).

  8. Okay, why did I leave "Holes" off of my list?! XP How could I forget that? It was what got Shia Lebouf into the industry.

    1. Which one was yours? Next time it might be better to reply to the specific comment rather than the article as a whole.

  9. The one with Repo as number one. I forgot I could reply to comments.

    1. You can also reply to replies to comments. It keeps one from losing the flow of conversation.