30 of my favorite movies

 

 

So, otakuscribe asked me to make a list of my favorite movies. Asking me to make a list is like rewarding me with chocolate for breathing.

I decided not list popular favorites but I like Raiders of the Lost Ark, Lord of the Rings Trilogy and Pirates of the Caribbean. I also like critical successes such as Double Indemnity, Unforgiven, and Sunset Boulevard.

But I thought it might be more entertaining if I listed movies that I acknowledge are shallow or weird. I’m ashamed of loving some of them. Still, I do love these movies, so much so I couldn’t limit myself to 25.

Well, a few are good by most standards.

  1. An Ideal Husband (1999) period film. Oscar Wilde’s plays generally leave me cold but I adore this film. I want to be Julianna Moore’s Mrs. Cheveley when I grow up. Cate Blanchett manages to make unlikable Gertrud a sweetheart. And Jeremy Northam is serious and cute.
  2. Angels and Insects (1995) period film. Yes! Lovely costumes, Gothic storyline and ants. Especially the ants.
  3. Scarlet Pimpernel (1982) period, TV show. Ian McKellen makes such a lovely villain of Chauvelin. The rest of it is misunderstandings, last-minutes rescues, and breathless romance, which I helplessly enjoy.
  4. Much Ado About Nothing (1993) period film. Sunny, frolicking movie except for the overlong, dreary middle part. I prefer Beatrice and Benedict as romantic couple over Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett, so there! Emma Thompson is a flat out treat.
  5. Antonia (1995) drama. This is a real chick flick. Each time I watch it, I can’t decide which woman is my favorite character.
  6. A Little Princess (1995) drama. I really like this version, especially Sarah’s relationship with the other girls.
  7. Grave of the Fireflies (1988) drama. I remember choosing this movie because it didn’t have a naked girl or a robot on the cover. It affected me so much I had to stop the movie until I could see the subtitles again. I can’t bear to watch it again and let it become less painful. (I don’t know how to explain it.)
  8. Blue Seed (1995) SF/F, TV. Not one but two episodes revolve around Momiji’s underwear. By the end of the series, the question is whether humanity is worth saving.
  9. Earth Girls are Easy (1989) SF/F. “He’ll recognize in second they’re aliens! He’s like — a trained doctor.” I have a faulty sense of humor.
  10. Galaxy Quest (1999) SF/F. This movie has no right to be as entertaining as it is. I adore Alan Rickman and I feel for the existential angst of the red shirt guy.
  11. Time Machine (1960) SF/F. It’s weird but my favorite part is the dress shop mannequin. More adventurous than philosophical – like a pulp adventure come to life.
  12. My Neighbor Totoro (1988) SF/F. I like this one even better than Spirited Away. It feels like a vacation in the country.
  13. Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) SF/F. Claymation? – check. Spoof of Universal horror movies? – check. Racy vegetable jokes? – check. Evil bunnies? – ha! perfect.
  14. Westworld (1973) SF/F. Killer androids at a theme park. The only thing better would have been setting it in RomanWorld. On second thought, wouldn’t it be great to see a cold blooded Colin Firth android dispatching Jane Austen groupies in RegencyWorld?
  15. Ball of Fire (1941) comedy. If you don’t laugh watching the professorial Gary Cooper attempt a fistfight, you need to watch a few more movies.
  16. Clueless (1995) comedy. My favorite Jane Austen novel updated as a dumb teen movie. Made to order.
  17. Surf Ninjas (1993) comedy. You have to say, in a decisive manner, “Money can’t buy knives.” The person who’s never seen it will look blank and then argue with you heatedly. It works every time. (See, faulty sense of humor.)
  18. Charade (1963) thriller. Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn are witty and romantic. It also features macabre humor, double- and triple-crosses, and the scary matches guy.
  19. Dog Soldiers (2002) thriller. This is supposed to be funny but liked the soldier guys and didn’t want them to get hurt.
  20. Quigley Down Under (1990) adventure. I don’t like Westerns but I liked this one, mostly because of Alan Rickman’s villain and the pathetic, crazy prostitute’s story.
  21. A Knight’s Tale (2001) adventure. Jousts, Sting, and naked Chaucer. If only Will had gone for the blacksmith instead.
  22. Pocahontas (1995) adventure. I feel guilty for liking this movie but I adore against-all-odds love stories.
  23. La Femme Nikita (1990) adventure. I was impressed by the pencil scene and she made me cry in the bathroom scene.
  24. Lagaan (2001) musical. By the end, I was worried that the good-hearted, underdog team would lose to the malicious, wealthy team. No, really.
  25. Strictly Ballroom (1993) musical. Crowd-pleasing steps. Heh.
  26. Mad Hot Ballroom (2005) musical. The kids are so genuine that it’s hard not to care about their fate (and wonder what happened to them after the documentary.)
  27. Now, Voyager (1942) romance. This movie ends so badly but I just can’t hate it because Bette Davis does a superb makeover.
  28. Moonstruck (1987) romance. I’m a sucker for makeover movies and big family dynamics.
  29. Original Sin (2001) crime. I have no justification for liking this movie.
  30. Scotland, PA (2001) crime. I like macabre humor and this MacBeth update works really well.

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