10 of My Favorite Movies

Every so often I, like most people, begin wondering about the movies I�ve seen and liked. And, also like most people, I can sometimes be found making up my own "top 10 movies" list. Here's one such list.

My list is in alphabetical, not preferential, order. I�m not trying to assert which movies have been the best ever made, or have the best production quality, best acting, or best screenplay. No, I�m just listing my own personal top 10 favorite movies.

So why are these particular movies in my top list? I can't quote every line from them, nor can I name every actor or list off their producers & directors. There are films that, if I to choose only 10 movies that I could ever watch again, I'd stay happiest for the longest amount of time with this particular cinematic collection.

And even though I may note these 10 particular movies, I should note that I feel these sorts of lists are always "alive" and subject to change. Over time, I may bump off one or more titles either because I somehow forgot a movie that should have been on my list in the first place, or to favor some new release that fills me with such bliss or passion that it's an immediate "must have" for my list.

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981): You know how I wrote above that the films weren't in preferential order? Well, I fibbed a little--Raiders of the Lost Ark is my favorite movie of all time, and I wanted to make sure it got the lead position. [Internet Movie Database Link]

  • Aliens (1986): Pure action. There�s a kind of appealing "Magnificent Seven" and "Dirty Dozen" factor at play here, pitting a ragtag group of rogues, miscreants, and misfits against an impossible situation--and letting us watch their strength of will and rapid development of character bring possibilities out of the impossible. And yet the situation never becomes so clean and perfect that they make it out alive, and that keeps the threat level and believability high. [Internet Movie Database Link]

  • Blade Runner (1982): Every scene is like a perfect photograph, a beautiful composition that superbly balances colors, shapes, perspective, and pace. Not only is it cinematically wonderful, but there are several overlaying intriguing moral dilemmas and philosophical situations somehow interwoven with the imagery. Mixing in a delicate, ethereal symphony completes the experience. [Internet Movie Database Link]

  • Blazing Saddles (1974): A brilliant comedy, intermingling significant social commentary with bathroom humor. When I first saw it, it was funny even though I was too young to get either aforementioned aspect, and I'm happy that the humor stood the test of time and I can now be in on the jokes. I only wish Mel Brooks continued to make movies this funny and thought provoking--I may have also liked Young Frankenstein and The Producers but I hated Space Balls and Men in Tights. [Internet Movie Database Link]

  • The Magnificent Seven (1960): This one's fairly new to my list, even though I've seen it a handful of times over the years since I was young. Maybe I just wasn't paying attention, thinking it was "just another old cowboy movie," but this film and its message really have grown on me. I love how each person who enters the story is a completely individual character, with his or her own motivations, personality, and life. And no one gets out of this movie without some notable level of character development, either. [Internet Movie Database Link]

  • Mulan (1998): I like cartoons in general, and was so very glad when Disney jumped back in the saddle and started producing new ones starting with The Little Mermaid--which was on my list until Mulan took its slot.

    Disney often uses the "work hard and you'll get rewarded" theme, but most of their protagonists were born with silver spoons in their mouth and, to me, there's always that sense of "if you just leave them along long enough their nobility will catch up with them and everyone will be okay even if the story doesn't happen." Mulan still has the "work hard and be rewarded" theme, but the title character doesn't start out with anything in her favor. In fact, being a woman in ancient Japan, she actually starts out with several strikes against her. Her duty, loyalty, and honor for herself, her family, and her culture are all in conflict and working against her, and even though she despairs she never truly stops of doing what she feels in her heart needs to be done.

    Beautiful art, wonderfully integrated computer graphics, and a great musical score will keep it a favorite of mine for a long, long time. [Internet Movie Database Link]

  • The Rocketeer (1991): I liked the Rocketeer comic even before the movie was being made, but the comic came out sporadically, and its story wasn't even finished by the time the move was finished. I love successful comic-to-movie stories, and no matter what anyone else might say I know this was such a circumstance. For me, it was a thrilling action movie with a pulp-style hero thrown into an extraordinary situation and comes out successful at the end through luck, friends, coincidence, and perseverance. Plus I've got a fondness for Howard Hughes's Spruce Goose plane and I'm sweet on the beautiful Jennifer Connelly. [Internet Movie Database Link]

  • South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut (1999): If Blazing Saddles was full of bathroom humor, South Park embraced toilet humor. Any other movie wouldn't have been able to successfully mingle the foul language with the Broadway musical numbers and Disney-esque lyrics. In truth, I'll smile a lot but I don't laugh as much as some. Hours, even days after seeing this movie, it still had me laughing. It amuses me how one of the main messages in this film spoke out against parents blindly bringing their children to cartoons without knowing the content and, as if on queue, so many parents ended up bringing their kids to it without seeing what it was about. I'm sure they started to gain some understanding when the characters began singing the lyrically catchy "Uncle Fucker." [Internet Movie Database Link]

  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982): This was the finest sequel ever, which not only surpassed its predecessor but became one of the greatest action movies all by itself. I'm sure my being a Star Trek buff probably had me giving it extra points (and I don't discriminate, as a point of note--I liked each series, movie, and even the cartoon), but I think even aside from my personal interests there's something that can be found appealing here even from non-Star Trek fans. [Internet Movie Database Link]

  • Superman: The Movie (1978): Although the version that starred Christopher Reeve wasn't a strict interpretation of the Superman character & mythos, it was close, and it was a darn good movie even beyond its comic connection. One particular scene will always be one of my favorite movie scenes ever: the helicopter rescue scene. There's something there, in the pacing and anticipation, which still takes my breath away while waiting on the edge of my seat for Superman to swoop in and save Lois Lane from a helicopter crash. [Internet Movie Database Link]

So, that's my 10 favorite movies. There are certainly many more movies that I'm a huge fan of, and if I had also included "honorable mentions" I'd be including Blood of Heroes, Casablanca, The Crow, Escape from New York, Highlander, It's a Wonderful Life, Jaws, The Little Mermaid, Men in Black, Road Warrior, and X-Men. But I won't add them, because every list has to stop somewhere. Of course, just because my list ended shouldn't stop you from making up your own top 10 movies list.

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