Continuing on with the lists, here are my top 5 movies. This list was super tough to make. I’ve watched a ton of movies in my time, and while I love watching movies, since their stories are generally so short I don’t get as involved and lost in them as I do TV shows. When looking at movies, I had trouble separating out which ones I thought I liked better, so there might be a fairly long honorable mention list. I also had trouble separating what is really more enjoyable for me — for example, do I love the goofy 80’s movies more than some other movies that were more impactful for me in a non-this-is-just-entertainment way? Anyway, with that said, here are my top 5 movies.
5. Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
This movie is one that kind of straddles the line between a more serious film that’s not just entertainment, and one that’s a ton of goofy fun. It pokes fun at capitalism and Cold War hysteria, and uses names that lampoon things in a subtle way. I really like Stanley Kubrick’s work in general, and this is my favorite of his work, with The Fearless Vampire Killers as a close second. Dr. Strangelove has also spawned so many iconic moments, like riding the bomb down, that it’s hard not to appreciate what it’s done in culture as well and how it’ll still be referenced from time to time.
4. Sky Captain And the World of Tomorrow
This one’s a controversial choice, but I really can sit down and watch Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow anytime, though I know of people who can’t stand this film. It was one of the first almost all-CG movies to come out, and I love the aesthetic of this film. They do a great job of making it feel like it is 1939, but a very alternative-timeline 1939. One of the reasons that I do like it so much is because of this concept, and the fact that it doesn’t become too dark with it. It stays generally quite light and fun, and the actors in it do a really good job. This movie is one of a few that I can just put in and watch at any time. I’d recommend that people give it a try, but understand that this movie is trying for the look and feel of an old-timey movie/radio play — I think it achieves this, but as a result, it isn’t as flashy as most movies now.
3. Dale and Tucker vs. Evil
First, let me say that there is a reason I picked the Blu-Ray version that comes with Cabin in the Woods as the option to buy on Amazon — I’d finished most of a write-up on Cabin in the Woods when I realized that I like Dale and Tucker vs. Evil better as a critique on the horror genre. Because of this, I clearly realized that I love both of them, and I want to encourage people see both. However, I went with Dale and Tucker vs. Evil for my write-up because it’s more cliched, more satirical, and is funnier. While it doesn’t have the Easter eggs that Cabin in the Woods has, it’s easier to put in and watch over and over again. I will say, it does get gory at times. This might deter some people from watching it, but it works really well as a movie and is definitely worth checking out for a good laugh and a fun take on horror films.
2. Finding Neverland
This one is my very serious one for the list. I love Finding Neverland even though I don’t watch it all that often. I love it because it has really helped inform my creativity and the concept of never growing up, or at least never losing my creativity. Without going into too much detail, I felt like I grew up quickly in my childhood (though not because of reasons like those portrayed in the film), and watching this movie allowed me to lean back into my creative side. It’s a lot of the reason I love writing, running D&D, and watching great (but not always serious) stories in TV and movies. This movie is also very well done, and has Johnny Depp in a very different role than you normally see him in — compared to so many of his roles now (where he’s basically just playing Jack Sparrow), this role has more depth to it.
1. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang
In case you can’t tell, I like movies that do some sort of commentary on society or a genre and that are weird. Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang is that to a tee. Making fun of the action genre and movies like Lethal Weapon, this film is just a fun romp and so over-the-top. Robert Downey, Jr. and Val Kilmer are perfect in their roles and play off each other in a great way. This is a movie I can put in anytime and watch, and the absurdity and jokes never grow old. It has the over-the-top complicated plot, and then everything ties together at the end. The characters are absurd stereotypes of the characters in the Lethal Weapon-type of movie, and at the same time they feel like they have some heart, and have something that really matters informing their characters. I highly recommend this movie, and I really do love it for how it takes on the genre. It’s also a Shane Black film — Black wrote for Predator and Lethal Weapon 2, and directed and wrote Iron Man 3.
Now for some honorable mentions — like I said, it was hard to make this list, so bear with me: Cabin in the Woods (see above with Dale and Tucker vs. Evil). Army of Darkness and My Name is Bruce, because Bruce Campbell is amazing. Big Trouble in Little China, R.I.P.D., and Mutant Chronicles (I did say I liked B movies…) Dog Soldiers and Repulsion are two horror movies on different ends of things, but both really good. I have a whole lot more I could say and really want to say, but those are some that I really do love.
So what are some of your favorite movies? What do you think my most controversial pick is for my top 5 movies?
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