Posted by: CeCe | May 4, 2013

And now for something completely different…

I was reading the blog of another user here on WordPress (link to her blog will be below), and I realized that out of all the subjects that I’ve written about over the last 16 months since a friend set up this blog for me, I have never, ever done a post about movies that I enjoy.  I must rectify this immediately.  So what kind of movies does a self-professed “elitist” watch?  Well, a short list is below, along with my reasons for loving them.

10)  Super Troopers (2001)

This is probably going to seem like kind of a strange choice, especially in light of some of my other favorite movies, but come on, who doesn’t love a great comedy?  You know how sometimes when you watch a preview for a comedy, and it looks hilarious, but then you watch the movie and discover that they showed all the funny parts in the preview?  This is not one of those movies.  I’ve seen it multiple times, and every single time, it makes me laugh until I cry.  It’s raunchy, yeah, and definitely earns its R-rating, but it’s just hilarious!  Some comedies rely on fart jokes, or something similar, but this is not one of those.  Instead, it’s got some of the best lines in any comedy ever, like when one of the troopers dares another trooper to work the word “meow” into a conversation with someone they pulled over at least 10 times… which he does.  It sounds stupid, but seriously, if you haven’t watched this movie, do it!

9)  Dazed and Confused (1993)

I love this movie.  Seriously.  It’s goofy and some of the characters are kind of scumbags (what’s up with Randy “Pink” Floyd cheating on his girlfriend Simone, played by the adorable Joey Lauren Adams, seriously?!), but it’s got some of the best acting I’ve ever seen in any movie.  Some of the actors are still recognizable as big stars today, like Ben Affleck, Matthew McConaughey, Milla Jovovich, Cole Hauser, Parker Posey, Jason London, Joey Lauren Adams, and Rory Cochrane.  This is a movie that’s just meant to be fun, which it most definitely is.  And on top of that, the soundtrack is epic.  It follows a group of high school students on the last day of school in a small town in Texas, in 1978, as they come to terms with their impending adulthood in their own ways.  “Fry like bacon you freshman piggies, fry fry!”

8)  Pink Floyd’s The Wall (1982)

I still clearly remember the first time I watched this movie.  I had stayed the night at a friend’s house, and the next day, we decided to watch it.  I remember that we weren’t smoking anything except cigarettes, but by the time it was over, I felt as though I had taken several bong hits, and my mind was blown.  I’ve since watched it dozens of times.  I wouldn’t recommend this film for anyone who does not enjoy the music of Pink Floyd since that is the main focus of the movie, but the animation, the symbolism, and even the story are all incredibly thought-provoking, engaging, and pleasing to the eyes (and ears).  It follows the life of a rock star by the name of Pink (by the way, which one’s Pink?), played by Bob Geldof, who is slowly going insane.  Over the course of the film, one learns various details of Pink’s life, some of which parallel the life of Pink Floyd’s former main songwriter, Roger Waters, such as the loss of his father in World War II.  In my opinion, it’s one of the best movies ever made, though I could be biased because I love Pink Floyd.  Some people may dismiss it as a stoner film, but I think it’s more than that.  One of the questions that I was asking myself during the movie, and still ask myself, is how many of us wind up building walls to insulate ourselves, both as individuals and as societies, and do we realize the damage we do to ourselves and each other when we build them?

7)  Equilibrium (2002)

Before he was Batman, Christian Bale played an enforcement officer by the name of John Preston in this dystopian science-fiction film.  The movie takes place in the “near future”, in a time after a devastating war has resulted in the loss of millions of lives.  Afterwards, the world’s governments decide that in order to prevent such a thing from happening again, they must remove mankind’s propensity for anger, but to accomplish this, they wind up removing all emotions.  Each citizen must take a shot containing a drug called Prozium at certain times during the day in order to ensure that they remain free of emotion.  Anything that could possibly invoke emotions within anyone is contraband, and John Preston belongs to an elite group of warriors who seeks out those who attempt to hide these objects (such as art, literature, music, and even pets), and destroys them.  It is an absolutely amazing movie, with some of the best fight scenes ever.

6)  Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

I recently watched this movie again for the hundredth time, and was reminded once again how adorable it is, even if it does have one of the most racist, bigoted depictions of an Asian person in any movie ever.  Audrey Hepburn plays Holly Golightly, a mysterious woman who is living the high life in New York City.  It’s a romantic comedy, but I think that there’s enough humor in it to appeal to almost anyone.  Just please ignore Mickey Rooney as I.Y. Yunioshi, it’s terrible that they thought it necessary to make fun of Asians in that way.  Buddy Ebsen is also in this movie as Doc Golightly; he was originally cast to play the Tin Man in Wizard of Oz.  I can’t say enough about how cute this movie is!

5)  Amelie (aka Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain) (2001)

I normally don’t like romantic comedies, but this movie was so adorable (and the quirky lead character, Audrey Tautou as Amelie, is delightful!  Plus she reminds me of a different Audrey *wink wink*) I couldn’t resist it.  This follows the story of a young woman by the name of Amelie who makes a startling discovery in her apartment the night of Princess Diana’s death: Someone who lived in the apartment before her left a box filled with childhood treasures behind a tile in her bathroom.  She then makes it her life’s mission to find the person to whom these treasures belonged and return them to him.  This awakens something within Amelie, and once she finds the man to whom the box belonged and sees his reaction to having his childhood treasures returned to him, she begins to go through life doing random kindnesses for those she meets.  It’s an incredibly hilarious and heart-warming movie.  It is in French, but there are English subtitles and there are also dubbed versions available.

4)  Dracula (1931)

This wasn’t the first movie based on Bram Stoker’s classic ever made (that would probably be Nosferatu, which was made in 1922), but in my opinion, it’s the best.  Bela Lugosi is charismatic, sexy, and more than a little creepy and dangerous, and he plays the lead perfectly.  Sure, this movie lacks a lot of things that one normally finds in modern movies, but what it lacks in music and special effects (and color), it makes up in style!  The acting and cinematography are both amazing.  Plus it’s got some of the best lines in any vampire movie, like: “I never drink… wine.” and “Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make.” and “They’re all crazy. They’re all crazy except you and me. Sometimes I have my doubts about you.”  Absolutely marvelous film!

3)  Life is Beautiful (aka La vita è bella )(1997)

This movie follows the life of a Jewish-Italian bookkeeper by the name of Guido (played masterfully by Roberto Benigni), in the 1940s.  He falls in love with a schoolteacher named Dora, and they eventually have a son, whom they name Giosue (pronounced similar to Joshua).  Unfortunately, this is a bad time to be a Jew in western Europe, and one day, Dora comes home to find that her husband and son are gone, and she discovers that they are being relocated to a concentration camp.  From there, the movie follows the family to the camp, where Guido attempts to shield Giosue from the horrible truth about where they are, while also trying to reach his wife and let her know that he and Giosue are safe.  Gah, just thinking about this movie makes me want to cry, I sob like a baby every time I watch it.  It’s an incredibly moving film.  Yes, it’s in Italian, but if that’s an issue, there are dubbed versions available.  However, I recommend watching it in its original Italian, because dubbed over movies are horrible, in my subjective opinion.  I once tried watching a dubbed version of this movie, and hearing Roberto Benigni read his lines in an Italian accent while everyone else was American was horribly disconcerting.

2)  Waking Life (2001)

This film was created by Richard Linklater (whom some may remember as having directed the cult favorite, Dazed and Confused), and it is amazing.  I’ve seen it multiple times, and it blows me away every time.  Some people may call this movie pretentious, and maybe it is, but it asks important philosophical questions about the nature of dreams, the meaning of life, and what reality actually is.  My philosophy-loving friends should definitely watch it!

1)  Birth of a Nation (1915)

This movie is actually one of my all-time favorites, even though it’s a little bit racist.  And by a little bit, I mean a lot.  Its portrayal of the freed slaves (played by white actors in black-face) as being lazy and/or mindless criminals is absolutely shameful, and yes, the KKK is portrayed as a bunch of heroes, which they definitely were and are not.  However, the movie itself is the pinnacle of art, especially for its time.  The cinematography is stunning, as are the visual effects.  One has to remember that this movie was produced just 27 years after the first surviving moving picture (the 1888 Roundhay Garden Scene, which is 2 seconds long) was made.  It would have been like if someone had created a laptop back in the 19th century.  This is a silent movie, but the acting is phenomenal.  I was positively riveted, even though it was difficult to watch.

It follows two families, one southern and one northern, throughout the Civil War and Reconstruction.   I would highly, highly recommend that anyone interested in the Civil War watch this movie.  And even if you’re not a history lover like I am, this movie brings that time in our past to life.  But again, it is racist, and also sexist.  Still a marvelous movie, technically speaking.

There are many many more movies I could list, but my word count is insane, and I don’t want to bore you all to death more than I already do.  😉

What are some of your favorite movies?  Please feel free to tell me about it in a comment!

And this is the post that inspired this one (big thumbs-up, Rachie!):
http://rachieadventures.wordpress.com/2013/04/27/my-top-11-favorite-drama-movies/

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Responses

  1. This is awesome! You’ve got some great ones here, and some I’ve never seen. I’m going to have to see “Amelie” – I’m not much of a romantic comedy person for the most part either, but I really like your review!

    • Thanks! Amelie is a really wonderful movie. 🙂


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