My Top 5 Favorite Movies
- Die Hard- This one will be obvious to anyone who read my post about Die Hard last Christmas. I still consider Die Hard to be the best movie I have ever seen. It is smart, funny, exciting, and packs a surprising emotional wallop. There’s not much more to say here that I didn’t put in my earlier post, so in an utterly shameless act of blatant self-promotion I am going to advise you to read my post about the Greatest Movie Ever Made to get all the juicy details. Coincidentally, the fifth Die Hard movie, the stupidly-titled A Good Day to Die Hard, is out on Valentine’s Day and I am very much looking forward to it, stupid title and all.
- The Dark Knight- As much as I loved The Dark Knight Rises and Batman Begins, my favorite Christopher Nolan batflick has to be the second installment, which I personally consider to be the Greatest Superhero Movie of All Time. It’s beautifully acted, technically flawless, tremendously exciting and engaging, and makes you feel the weight that Bruce Wayne carries on his shoulders. Far from being perfect, Wayne is a very flawed and human protagonist, and he has to deal with pain and loss just like everyone else. The late, great Heath Ledger’s performance is instantly iconic and remains utterly chilling and captivating. He is a textbook example of a villain who is terrifying yet magnetic- you don’t want to look at him but it’s impossible to look away.
- Hot Fuzz- I love this movie so much. A brilliant and hilarious British sendup of the buddy-cop genre (think Lethal Weapon, Point Break, Bad Boys, etc.) that just never gets old. My dad and I quote this movie to each other constantly and get a good chuckle or two every time. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are perfect comedic foils, and Edgar Wright’s zippy direction gives the film heart and style to spare. An endless supply of memorable lines and some hilariously over-the-top gore effects are icing on the delicious, delicious cake. I also love Pegg, Frost, and Wright’s zombie sendup Shaun of the Dead, which is my favorite zombie movie, and I eagerly await their next collaboration, The World’s End, due out later this year.
- Casino Royale- There was a lot of hullaballoo when Daniel Craig was announced as the new James Bond circa 2005. I too had my doubts, but Craig had completely won me over before the opening credits had even started. Last year’s Skyfall was similarly excellent, but for me it is a very close second. Casino Royale reinvigorated Bond and made the often-outlandish character grounded and relatable, making him a human being with a soul instead of an unstoppable superman. He gets hurt and he actually bleeds! Did Roger Moore or Sean Connery ever emerge from a gunfight or climactic showdown with even a hair out of place? I don’t think they did. Casino Royale is a remarkable movie, and Craig’s Bond is closer to the Bond of Ian Fleming’s books than any previous incarnation. I think that if Fleming were around today he would be very pleased with where the character is now. I know I am.
- Gladiator- I’m a big fan of swords-and-sandals epics, and Gladiator is my favorite of the bunch. I liked Braveheart and LOTR and Kingdom of Heaven, and I even fully own up to liking 2004’s much-maligned Troy movie. Yes, the one with Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom. Don’t judge me. Anyway, Gladiator. It was a landmark movie for me, since it was the first R-rated film I ever saw, and it made a big impression on me. Russell Crowe has never been better, and Joaquin Phoenix has never been slimier. I’m a big Ridley Scott fan and while I agree that his most recent films Robin Hood and Prometheus had plenty of flaws, I still enjoyed the actual experience of sitting in a theater and watching them. He’s got a hell of an eye for spectacle, and Gladiator has plenty of that with sympathetic characters, great acting, despicable villains, and epic action in abundance. What more could you ask for?
So there you have it- my top 5 favorite movies of all time. I have plenty of other favorites, and I’m thinking about maybe making this an ongoing series and adding another five periodically. Matter of fact, I already have the next five in mind.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got a movie to (or five) to watch.