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.
- 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.
- Angels and Insects (1995) period film. Yes! Lovely costumes, Gothic storyline and ants. Especially the ants.
- (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.
- 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.
- Antonia (1995) drama. This is a real chick flick. Each time I watch it, I can’t decide which woman is my favorite character.
- A Little Princess (1995) drama. I really like this version, especially Sarah’s relationship with the other girls.
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- My Neighbor Totoro (1988) SF/F. I like this one even better than Spirited Away. It feels like a vacation in the country.
- Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) SF/F. Claymation? – check. Spoof of Universal horror movies? – check. Racy vegetable jokes? – check. Evil bunnies? – ha! perfect.
- 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?
- 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.
- Clueless (1995) comedy. My favorite Jane Austen novel updated as a dumb teen movie. Made to order.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Dog Soldiers (2002) thriller. This is supposed to be funny but liked the soldier guys and didn’t want them to get hurt.
- 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.
- A Knight’s Tale (2001) adventure. Jousts, Sting, and naked Chaucer. If only Will had gone for the blacksmith instead.
- Pocahontas (1995) adventure. I feel guilty for liking this movie but I adore against-all-odds love stories.
- La Femme Nikita (1990) adventure. I was impressed by the pencil scene and she made me cry in the bathroom scene.
- Lagaan (2001) musical. By the end, I was worried that the good-hearted, underdog team would lose to the malicious, wealthy team. No, really.
- Strictly Ballroom (1993) musical. Crowd-pleasing steps. Heh.
- 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.)
- Now, Voyager (1942) romance. This movie ends so badly but I just can’t hate it because Bette Davis does a superb makeover.
- Moonstruck (1987) romance. I’m a sucker for makeover movies and big family dynamics.
- Original Sin (2001) crime. I have no justification for liking this movie.
- (2001) crime. I like macabre humor and this MacBeth update works really well. , PA