This seems like a very easy blogfest (click on the logo to the left for a complete list of participants), but the real trouble comes from having to narrow down your favorite movies to just ten titles. I solved part of this problem by posting lots of my favorite movies all last week, but really all that did for me was leave me with a list of new movies to watch (Mystery Men, Time Bandits and more!). Not that this is a bad problem to have. It's just a time consuming one.
Anyway, I'm delaying. So here it is, after hours upon hours of careful deliberation, my current top ten favorite movies of all time...
(All movie images come from imdb.com)
I know I just raved about this movie last Thursday but the truth remains that this is one of my favorite movies, and I will watch it constantly (much to the delight of my significant other) so, for now, it gets a spot on the list. I don't want to rehash my favorites moments (but if you look at my last post, you can read them) so here are a couple more...
Steve Rogers: Are you nuts?
Tony Stark: Jury's out.
Bruce Banner: Captain America is on the threat watch?
Natasha Romanoff: We all are.
Tony Stark: [to Steve Rogers] You're on that list? Are you above or below angry bees?
This is one of the two Will Farrell movies I actually like (Elf is the other) and the only one I built a lesson plan around so I could show it in my classroom.
It's the story of an IRS auditor named Harold Crick (Will Farrell) who suddenly finds himself the subject of narration only he can hear as he's the main character of a novel being written by Kay Eiffel, an author (Emma Thompson) known for killing her main characters. Queen Latifah is Penny, Kay's assistant. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the object of Harold's affection and Dustin Hoffman plays the literature professor who attempts to help Harold figure out which story he's in.
Some favorite lines:
Penny: And I suppose you smoked all these cigarettes?
Kay: No. They came pre-smoked.
Professor: Little did he know. That means there's something he doesn't know, which means there's something you don't know. Did you know that?
Kay: Like anything worth writing, it came inexplicably and without method.
King Arthur and the knights of the round table go on a quest to find the holy grail. Hilarity ensues. This is another movie for which I created a lesson plan because I really wanted to show it to my students. It was a good lesson plan, too, I swear. It's hard to pick a favorite scene but I think I have to go with Arthur's encounter with the Black Knight (Look, you stupid bastard, you've got no arms left!)
Some favorite lines:
Black knight: It's only a flesh wound!
French soldier: Now go away or I shall taunt you a second time.
Arthur: What are you going to do? Bleed on me?
7. Dead Poets Society (1989, written by Tom Schulman and directed by Peter Weir)
This movie is about an English teacher (Robin Williams) who inspires his students to love literature, think for themselves and challenge society. It all goes horribly wrong, of course, but it's a beautiful film that makes me cry every damn time. And yeah, I liked showing this one in school too. (Please note that there were days in which I did not show movies in my classroom) My absolute favorite scene in this film is at the end... it's the O Captain My Captain! part where Ethan Hawke and a bunch of the other boys stand on their desks. Awe. Some.
6. The Princess Bride (1987, written by William Goldman and directed by Rob Reiner)
Early on last week, I talked about my favorite 80's fantasy films and this particular title was conspicuously absent from that list. This is the reason why. Even though it's a kissing story (or maybe because of it...), this movie has been on my top ten list ever since I first saw it. If the other 80's fantasy films didn't already make me love the fantasy genre, this one would've done it on its own. The entire damn movie is awesome and quotable, and I love to reference it.
And though I firmly believe there is no bad part of this movie, some of the best of the best are... the rhyming scene (would anybody like a peanut?) on the boat. At night. In eel-infested waters. Inigo and Westley's sword fight, and the visit to Miracle Max.
Miracle Max: Have fun storming the castle!
Valerie: Think it'll work?
Miracle Max: It'll take a miracle.
This movie chronicles the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart as seen through the eyes of his jealous rival, court composer Salierai. It's pretty damn amazing and takes my breath away every time I watch it. My favorite scene takes place at the end when Salerai helps a dying Mozart write the La Crimosa. I don't know if you've seen this movie or know of this particular song, but this scene is a perfect example of how music can take a story to a completely new level. My favorite line would probably be anytime Tom Hulce (who played Mozart) giggles and/or laughs. If you've seen this movie, you know what I'm talking about.
4. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001-2003, written by Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh and Phillipa Boyens (based on Tolkien's works) and directed by Peter Jackson))
Yeah, I know. I'm totally cheating by including all three of these films into one spot on this list, but it's damn near impossible to watch one without watching the other two, so I'm counting them as one. My favorite scene is probably in Return of the King, at the end where everyone's in Gondor watching Aragorn be crowned and he tells the hobbits "My friends, you bow to no one." But I also love Pippin at the secret council meeting in the first movie when he asks "Where are we going?"
William Shakespeare meets his muse and writes Romeo and Juliet (in which the first draft was called "Romeo and Ethel, the Pirate's Daughter) Delightfully witty and did I mention it stars a very swoon-worthy Joseph Fiennes as William Shakespeare?
Favorite scene: There's a scene where an inspired Will writes pages and pages and pages and, as a writer, I love it quite a lot, but I'm going to go with the moment he convinced Ned Allyn to perform the part of Mercutio by telling him that the play is titled "Mercutio."
Henslow: No, no we haven't the time. Talk prose.
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994, written and directed by Frank Darabont, based on the short story by Stephen King)
Red: I find I'm so excited, I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it's the excitement only a free man can feel, a free man at the start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain. I hope I can make it across the border. I hope to see my friend and shake his hand. I hope the Pacific is as blue as it has been in my dreams. I hope.
C'mon. Did you really think the Big Damn Movie wouldn't be my #1?
Some favorite lines:
Mal: I aim to misbehave.
Jayne: Shiny. Let's be bad guys.
Zoe: At last we can retire and give up this life of crime.
And last, but not least, here's my favorite scene...
Thanks to everyone who made it through my entire list. I tried to keep it short; I really did. And a big shout out to Alex J. Cavanaugh for hosting today's blogfest and giving me a reason to drone on about my favorite movies. I'm looking forward to reading everyone else's picks!