Most people have a favorite movie. You know, that one movie that they can rewatch endlessly above all else and that they’ll reference to at any chance they can get. I don’t. I have five. There’s no order to them either. The more I think about which of these movies I like more than the others, the more confused I get. It’s simply impossible to choose above the holy five. No other movie comes even close to the amount of enjoyment I’ve gotten from these five titles.
When I was a lot younger, I didn’t have a favorite movie. Didn’t really gave it much thought either. I either liked a movie, or I didn’t like it. I didn’t like overly deep stories in movies either. What I usually stuck with was comedy. Mostly the Jim Carrey or Adam Sandler stuff. Right now I find that stuff unbearable. Not that I don’t mind good comedy, but comedy needs a bit more of a punch to actually do something for me. It doesn’t help that we have some of the worst comedies gracing theaters these days. I wouldn’t even mind another overly silly movie like Airplane, The Naked Gun or heck, a weird musical like Rocky Horror Picture Show or Little Shop of Horrors. They’d at least be different from what we’ve got now. Not saying there aren’t any good comedies around now, I remember seeing Burn After Reading in theaters and laughing my ass off at it. I was the only person laughing in the theater. There were about 12 people total that went to see it that night. Half of them walked out. It’s quite sad that this is what happens to decent comedies these days.
Anyway, I’m rambling now. Let’s just get started on that list of five movies.
The Shawshank Redemption
My first favorite movie. I remember that this movie was going to be on TV. A week before my aunt told me I should really watch that one. After looking up what day and time it was going to be on in the holy TV Guide (I was still a massive fan of television back then), I came across spoilers in the listing for it. He’s in jail. He escapes at the end. I wasn’t pleased. My aunt told me to watch it anyway. She said it wasn’t that big of a deal to know that he escapes. The important part is how.
I didn’t believe her, but I watched it anyway. By the end of the movie, I got what she meant. It was one of the few movies that wasn’t either filled with action or with over the top silly moments to still grab my attention. I started looking at movies differently from that moment. It quickly became my favorite movie. Nothing was ever going to top it or stand next to it. Nothing. Ever.
At least, not until I saw…
I saw this one on TV as well, although a year or two later. I didn’t really know Tarantino that well. I knew that my aunt was obsessed with his stuff to some extent. I knew he was the guy in From Dusk Till Dawn and that he had written it. What I didn’t know was that he could present a movie with strong characters so well that you just feel completely drawn into it. Quickly after seeing this movie, I watched Reservoir Dogs. Not too long after that, Kill Bill was in theaters and I saw it. Twice. A year later Kill Bill 2 would blow me away again.
I don’t even want to know how many times I’ve seen Pulp Fiction. Somehow it manages to remain just as good as that first time. Especially the famous for the “What Does Marcellus Wallace look like?” scene. I can still feel the intensity of that scene whenever I see the movie. It just never gets stale, even with all the internet memes surrounding it.
And don’t forget the amazing soundtrack!
The Big Lebowski
Some time ago, I was browsing /v/, the “Vidya Gaem” board of the infamous chan sites, where I came across a quote that accurately sums up my feelings towards this movie.
“I’m usually quite lenient and easy with people, but if they don’t like The Big Lebowski, I can’t be friends with them.”
I can accept people not getting into a slow-paced movie like The Shawshank Redemption. I have no problems with people disliking Tarantino. But if you’re against The Dude… then well.. like… this won’t ya know, stand. This aggression will not stand, man.
The Big Lebowski has it all. John Goodman as a lovable selfish bastard, Steve Buscemi as a guy who’s real name doesn’t even appear in the movie (seriously, look it up, Donny is just a nickname), and Jeff Bridges as a hippy that just wants his rug back because it tied the room together. They go bowling too. A lot.
And it has The Jesus.
Nobody fucks with the Jesus.
It’s not a secret that I used to be a massive Japanophile. Strangely enough, I saw this movie long after that period had passed and I started to seriously dislike Japanese culture. It’s the only black-and-white movie on my list, and it’s easily the oldest, slowest and quite possibly biggest and most influential of the list. A lot of things in movies seen as normal these days started with this movie. Multiple cameras filming from separate angles at the same time at a distance to make sure they actors can’t play into a single camera and just have to act the scene. A lot of the editing techniques and story telling mechanics for movies… Heck, if you pay close attention you can see how much Star Wars ripped directly from this movie alone. The way the screen tends to fade when they change scenes being the most obvious factor.
So this movie is only here because of how old it is and how it was made from a technical view-point? Fuck no. This is one massive beast of a movie. It gives us Mifune, easily the best actor Japan has ever had, at his very best. There’s an amazing story in there as well, which I really don’t want to talk about before I end up spoiling it.
Seriously, if you haven’t seen this movie, do it. Now. You won’t regret it.
The Boondock Saints
This movie just gives me that same feeling as Pulp Fiction does. It’s highly rewatchable. Fully quotable. And just plain fun. I want more action movies like these. Plus the novelty of seeing Billy Connolly playing an extremely awesome hitman never gets old.
Although I’m writing this now, but this movie might get bumped off of the list soon. There’s a few movies that I feel I need to rewatch, and if they hold up… The Saints lose their slot. The biggest contender for this spot is The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.