Bonus Anniversary Episode: Our Favorite Movies

Special Episode: Top 5 Favorite Films

Loren and Scott celebrate one year of Movies You Should Love by discussing their Top 5 Favorite Films of All Time.  And something about Star Wars.

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Disney Buys Star Wars!

FoxNews on The Purchase

Kevin Smith Has a Star Wars Film Idea  (that should be ignored)

What George Lucas is Going To Do With All That Money

 

Loren’s Favorite Films

Scott’s Favorite Films

Comments

About Scott

Writer. Day Dreamer. Narnian.

Comments

  1. Claudiu Dobre says:

    Like the lists! Prefer Scott’s (nothing personal, of course, though he and I do seem to have rather more similar tastes in movies – we both love Christopher Nolan’s movies, Les Miserables and aren’t that crazy about There Will Be Blood or Citizen Kane, to give just a few examples from what I’ve found out so far listening to some of the podcasts). He has at least 5 movies on his list that I also love to death, and I also quite liked most of the others. I’ve not seen The Iron Giant or Disney’s Robin Hood (thanks for the tip!), but I like The Great Dictator quite a bit and have watched it more than once, The Prestige I also liked quite a lot; the only one on the list I’m not completely sold on is Children of Men, for some reason. Everybody seems to love that movie and, while I found it very interesting, I personally just couldn’t relate to any of the characters at all. I’ll have to rewatch it. However, the others are all big favorites of mine as well: Amadeus is completely brilliant, beginning to end, and I love it immensely. I’ve been in love with Almost Famous since forever; Back to the Future is possibly my favorite comedy of all time and The Dark Knight is insanely brilliant as well. As for Braveheart, which is very high on both lists, I also think it’s fabulous and it’s definitely one of my all-time favorites as well, so I love that you guys have it so high, especially since most people don’t include it in all-time best lists at all, which is somewhat strange.

    Loren’s list is cool too. I love Singin’ in the Rain especially, and Blade Runner blew me away when I first saw it and I plan on rewatching it soon. I’m a big fan of Ridley Scott’s work in general, so I expect I’ll like Kingdom of Heaven (DC) too – again, thanks for the tip! Raiders is, of course, awesome, and The Sting and The Adventures of Robin Hood are both great. I’ve not seen The Passion of Joan of Arc, another one I am planning on watching some time in the future, of course, as it’s considered such a classic. As for the ones I like a bit less: Lawrence of Arabia… while I admire it and it’s extremely beautifully executed, it too doesn’t make any kind of real impact with me. I don’t know why. I expected to love it before watching it for the first time, and I’ve since seen it a second time as well, just to make sure… and yes, I do find it exceptionally strong, but just don’t love it in any way. And The Princess Bride was a very nice and fun movie, but I was probably expecting too much from it, since I knew about all the hype. That probably ruined the enjoyment for me a bit. I definitely don’t hate it, though, far from it!

    What I love most about your lists is that they’re different. They’re not full of the standard critics’ picks like Citizen Kane, Casablanca, Goodfellas, or tons of films by Bergman, Kurosawa, Kubrick, Truffaut, Malick and all those guys, or full of the obscure stuff that populates most such lists among IMDb users. Those lists always seem fake to me, like those guys are trying too hard to be interesting and high-brow, or follow the critics’ preferences far too much. I’m not saying those are bad – I myself have seen my fair share of “artsy” films, some of which I quite like (though I’d not deem them all-time top 10 material or anything), and I certainly have quite a few obscure movies that I enjoy -, I’m not even saying that including them in your list of all-time greatest films is a bad thing. All I’m saying is I much prefer lists such as yours, that are more “down to Earth”, because, honestly, that other kind of list is just not that original to me. I can get lists like that anywhere, without even having to look too hard. Such lists are of no real use to me. I know that’s not their purpose; I’m just saying…

    My own list is quite different from yours (and others’) as well. You probably won’t find it very interesting, since it consists of eight Oscar Best Picture winners (most of them, 5, from the 90s, which I love immensely), one nominated in that category but which didn’t win, and Ridley Scott’s Alien. People have accused me of liking movies that are too “mainstream”, and I didn’t particularly enjoy it when they did that, even though I don’t get why people are so prejudiced about it, nor do I agree with the idea that that’s actually a bad thing… Anyway, that’s their problem, really. You will notice that Braveheart and Amadeus are also there. I probably won’t catch any flack for naming Unforgiven, The Godfather I & II and Schindler’s List, since those are mostly agreed upon as all-time greats.

    Maybe even The Fellowship of the Ring, my number 1 pick, is a safe choice in that respect. The Adventures of Robin Hood is “what movies are all about” for Loren, and that’s how I feel about this first installment of The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In my eyes, movies should create alternate universes that we want to explore and are fascinated by. Some create/recreate realistic universes (well, most of them do, like dramas, period pieces, war films etc.), while some attempt to bring to life fantasy worlds (fantasy movies, of course, some science-fiction movies, certain animated movies etc.). The Fellowship of the Ring is among the latter, and it does that far, far better than anything I’ve ever seen, before or after. The strength of the source material helps a lot, of course, as does the decision to stick closely to it. My two most controversial picks, Gladiator (which is hated on with a passion by many) and Forrest Gump (same applies) have also been accused of not being realistic, each in their own way. That’s not what it’s all about, for me. That’s what documentaries (a genre I also love) are for. Fiction, for me, is about how well the universe of the movie (or book or play or whatever) is recreated, how believable it is in its own context, how fascinating it is and to what extent it draws me into its world. All of the movies in my top 10 (and quite a few others), in my opinion, are pretty much impeccable when it comes to all of these aspects. The list:

    1. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
    2. Gladiator
    3. Alien
    4. Schindler’s List
    5. Unforgiven
    6. The Godfather: Part II
    7. Braveheart
    8. Amadeus
    9. Forrest Gump
    10. The Godfather

    Some of the more interesting ones I had to reluctantly leave out (I can’t mention all of them, they’re too many) are: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, Doctor Zhivago, All the President’s Men, Terms of Endearment, The Last Emperor (visually, one of the best movies I’ve ever seen), Philadelphia (which you guys might hate, I don’t know, but which I love), Pulp Fiction, The Shawshank Redemption, The English Patient, Titanic, Little Miss Sunshine and Inception. There are many others, of course.
    And yes, I do have one of the highest approval rates for Best Picture winners of anybody, ever… even though I’ve definitely not been too thrilled with most of the winners of that award since 2005. The same goes for many of the winners from the 40s and early 50s, for instance. But I do agree with their picks waaay more often than most people.

    1. Scott says:

      Oh man what a great list! Obviously it’s different than mine, but I really can’t argue you with it. Those are some great movies.

      The only one I would disagree with is The English Patient. I understand why people like it and I would never try to convince you to change your mind on it, but after reading the screenplay for it, I really came to despise almost all of the characters in it — especially Hana. I just have no sympathy for her whatsoever. But it is a well-written, well-executed film. It’s just a personal thing and I have a hard time seeing past my emotional responses to characters and stories sometimes.

      And I haven’t seen The Last Emperor yet. I want to. It’s on my to-do list.

      Thanks for listening and continuing to respond!

      1. Claudiu Dobre says:

        Wow, quick answer! :) Thanks!
        About The English Patient – there are actually some characters I also don’t necessarily like in that one (even though I haven’t read the script). I can’t say I like any of them too much, in fact. I don’t have a lot of sympathy for the characters, but I do sort of understand where most of them are coming from and their story is so beautifully tragic nonetheless. Normally, the lack of a character I can relate to would detract from the whole experience for me too (as is the case with There Will Be Blood, a good example of a movie that DOESN’T make up for it in other areas, not enough for me to truly like it), but the movie is just so unbelievably spectacular in almost all other aspects (the score, the visuals, the narrative structure, which I LOVE, the tragic ending which is so amazingly executed, the direction etc.) that I can’t help but love it nonetheless. It just profoundly fascinates me, even though I’m not a big fan of the whole secret affair the lead characters are having, for example. I can’t really explain why it works so well for me, but it does. Part of it might be because I just generally love (well made) period pieces, but it’s not only that, clearly. It’s just such an amazing cinematic experience, I guess that’s the best way to put it. But yeah, obviously, if a movie doesn’t work for you, it just doesn’t – like it is with me and Lawrence of Arabia. It’s weird! :) But it’s good. If everybody liked everything the same, life (and people) would be much, much less interesting…
        That kind of discrepancy doesn’t happen to me very often. One other example would be precisely The Last Emperor – the characters are all supremely interesting but I don’t necessarily like them or feel any kind of need to get to know them better. However, everything else about the movie is completely brilliant and the story is so compelling and fascinating (I use that word a lot) that it hits me incredibly hard every time, and I love it more and more each time I revisit it. So yeah, even though it’s brilliantly done, beware – there is a possibility you might not like it, if you can’t get into the characters enough. I’d still recommend it, though. It’s for sure at least worth one viewing, if nothing else!

  2. Douglas Ratcliff says:

    After listening to this podcast last night and enjoying Loren’s and Scott’s top ten list, here is mine, more or less off the top of my head.

    1) Lon Chaney’s Phantom of the Opera — I first saw this movie just before going to see the Hobbit and for weeks afterward I was comparing everything to this film, “It was okay, but it’s no Phantom of the Opera”

    2) Immortal Beloved – Love Beethoven and this epic celebrates the music while painting a portrait of the artist warts and all. One of my favorite DVD commentary tracks too.

    3) The Truman Show – As a long time fan of Philip K. Dick, having discovered his writing only months before he passed and before even knowing Blade Runner was coming out, and also as a great fan of Patrick McGoohan’s The Prisoner, well as it turns out a lot of my favorite films contain the theme of Man vs. Ersatz Reality.

    4) Bringing Up Baby – Katherine Hepburn never looked more beautiful and I don’t think there was ever a more flummoxed Carey Grant and the whole movie has this chemistry. One of my most viewed movies.

    5) The Producers – I am not a fan of Political Correctness and, obviously, neither is Mel Brooks. I think this is his best and funniest film. I find new things to laugh at every time. I have not seen the new version and with Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel, I don’t really feel the need to.

    6) Blade Runner – Having just discovered the writing of Philip K. Dick about a year to 18 months prior, I was excited to see this movie and it meant Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? was re-released (with the wrong title) to paper back. I devoured every book the library and Walden Books would let me get my hands on. I must say I was disappointed when I first saw the film and in no way does it compare to the novel, which one page paragraph of PKD can have more holographic depth than any movie. Eventually I grew to love the style, dialogue, and visual metaphors and it has become of of my most watched most versions film.

    7) Network – Network! OMG! This is the true adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ This movie is so holographic it seems like a different movie every time. Howard Beale’s humanoids are Philip K. Dick Androids. Man vs. the ersatz reality network television. This could be the Best Movie Ever Made if there weren’t so many others.

    8) Videodrome – Okay, before the Matrix, before The Truman Show, before the phrase “virtual reality” ever existed, David Cronenberg nailed it down. This is definitely not a PG-13 movie. This is the first movie I ever saw where when I came out of the theater, I wasn’t sure what was real anymore. James Woods creates a kind of seedy hero who you actually root for even when he’s doing really terrible things. David Cronenberg creates a very nuanced reality influenced by Marshall McLuhan and, yes, once again, PKD. Another holographic film that seems to change and grow with every viewing.

    9) Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight saga. It’s all one movie cannot really say one is better than the other. I actually skipped Batman Begins, paid no attention to it because Batman had become either Adam West or Tim Burton and neither really satisfied me and I just thought, “Here we go again.” When I finally saw Batman Begins, I was hooked. Here we have the story of a very scarred man but a man with resources. And not simply worldly resources but inner ones that give him the strength to remake his life. There’s a lot of talk of trans-humanism these days and usually it involves merging man and technology but Bruce Wayne transcends humanity by force of will and determination. I also love the father/son scenes in the first movie. Everything just fits together so well.

    10) The Thin Man. I enjoy the entire series but the first one is the best. Myrna Loy and William Powell have such chemistry and the little dog, Astor. And William Powell is great in everything I’ve seen him in. And Myrna Loy is so beautiful I had a crush on her for years. And even though there is a murder to solve the movie is more about Nora is learning about Nick’s past at the same time the audience does. And it is a great first outing but the scene that comes back to me is Nick and Nora on Christmas morning lounging around their hotel room and Nick is playing with a pea shooter and it has been too long since I have seen this movie. Even in subsequent films, the main characters have their own story arcs that remain consistent. Although I don’t think any of the sequels are as strong as the first they are all worth watching. I think Jimmy Stewart was still relatively unknown when he was cast in the second movie. But these are just great, great fun but the first is definitely the best.

    1. Scott says:

      You, sir, have great an eclectic taste. I’m bumping Lon Chaney’s Phantom to the top of my Netflix queue . . .

      1. Douglas Ratcliff says:

        I look forward to your thoughts.

        1. Claudiu Dobre says:

          Your list is pretty evenly split between movies I haven’t seen (1, 2 and 8), movies I really like (The Thin Man, The Dark Knight, Blade Runner and The Truman Show) and movies I wasn’t particularly impressed with (4, 5 and 7). That’s more than can be said for most top 10 lists I’ve seen, so I would say… I like it! I know you don’t need my approval or anything. Had I not liked any of them particularly I wouldn’t have bothered to comment at all. So I’m just saying: I like some of your picks… especially since they don’t necessarily make such lists too often, and maybe they should.