I decided to compile a list of my favorite movies, movies that have affected me in some way. And while I was doing it, I was wondering if I left out any movies I would regret – so i posted it on Facebook just to see what the favorite movies of other people are. Now I think I have a more or less complete list.
Now, these are movies that I’ve watched. I haven’t watched any Godfather film (uh-oh), nor Inception (yikes), nor Casablanca (eeps). These are also movies that have affected me. The big budget movies – the Lord of the Rings, Matrix, Titanic, Avatar – were good and maybe even tearjerkers at times, but others affected me more.
And so, here they are (in time for the long weekend and the holiday upcoming break):
1. Good Will Hunting (1997) – This has got to be the best movie ever made. I end up crying EVERY SINGLE TIME I watch it. Maybe it is because we all like putting all the blame on ourselves, so when we are faced with the reality that “it’s not your fault”, it pierces the heart.
2. Amistad (1997) – Riveting! Djimon Hounsou was empathic when he rose up during the court proceedings shouting “Sets us free!” I still love the movie, the story and the history that went into this movie.
3. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) – I was 9 years old when this came out. And I can remember this made me afraid of the dark. I don’t know why I was allowed to see this! I stayed with the series – Freddy’s Revenge, Dream Warriors, Dream Master, Dream Child… but stopped at Freddy’s Dead. I haven’t picked up the new series yet. The original is still the best.
4. Aliens (1986) – This is part 2. Alien came out in 1979. The first one had a weak and whiny Ripley. The second one had her change into one of the very first heroines who can kick your butt. The aliens never had a chance! I watched every single Alien movie made.
5. The Sound of Music (1965) – A CLASSIC! No list of best movies is ever complete without The Sound of Music. Everyone knows the songs by heart. And I can watch it all the time. In fact, it is time to introduce Julie Andrews to my kids. I wonder when the Von Trapp family is now?
6. Memento (2000) – This movie was ahead of it’s time. The story was new, and the way it was presented was original and unique! A story told going forward and backward at the same time. Meeting in the middle for the resolution. Genius! You have to watch it again to get it.
7. Hotel Rwanda (2004) – This was a heart-wrenching movie. Seeing how people can be attacked because of how they looked – or even because of a history they are no longer a part of. But it showed the bravery of a few, and how we just need a few to save many. Sad thing is, there may be even more places that are still undergoing this until today.
8. The Shawshank Redemption (1994) – The triumph of the human spirit! You can lock him up, but you won’t beat his spirit. I recently watched a clip of this again – at the Theology of the Body class, no less – and it showed Tim Robbins piping opera music to the whole prison, lifting up their prisoners. And Morgan Freeman said it was a time when they all felt like free men. Beautiful.
10. The Wizard of Oz (1939) – This is just like The Sound of Music. A classic! Who doesn’t know the Tin Man, Scarecrow and the Lion? And Dorothy and Toto? And the Wicked Witches? You can also watch The Wiz for the Michael Jackson version. And then catch the musical Wicked for the back stories. There’s no place like home!
11. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) – Everyone needs a break! And Ferris showed us how hard it is to actually take a break. And it was a funny movie (still is, actually). This opened the way to Adam Sandler… wait, shouldn’t I have 50 First Dates on this list?! Yes, number 26!
12. Dekada ’70 (2002) – One of 2 Pinoy movies that I REALLY love. If I expand the list, I’d include Jose Rizal, Muro Ami, Patayin sa Sindak si Barbara and Kailangan Ko’y Ikaw. But for this list, Dekada ’70 makes the cut. It is an epic Pinoy movie. And the actors in it are all worthy of being in it. I should make a list of Pinoy movies…
13. Ngayon Nandito Ka (2003) – Ok, a cheesy pick, for sure. But it is a great love story, with a great pairing. I still cannot believe they didn’t end up together in real life. Well, they both aren’t married yet, so there’s still hope. 😉
14. Scream (1996) – This turned the horror genre on it’s head (I’d put Saw here as well, but my eyes were closed for more than half the movie). It made horror fun, and it sort-of-broke the third wall – by including the concept of watching a horror movie-horror movie. I am excited for Scream 4 next year.
16. The Usual Suspects (1995) – Don’t judge people by the way they look. And don’t judge the capacity of a person to make up a story – complete with all the details and intricacies of everything. In the end, people hear what they want to hear. And this movie captured that concept to a tee.
17. Blood Diamond (2006) – Leo DiCaprio had a great run with all these movies, one after the other. Even up to now. This was another movie based on real life – and those are always the good ones (if done well). The drama of war with the greed and the involvement of family always makes good TV. The Last King of Scotland would also make the list, and is just as good.
18. The Breakfast Club (1995) – The same era as Sixteen Candles, Stand by Me. Everyone can be mis-judged. And you never know what kind of a person people are until you spend time with them. Misfits put together, and then finding out that friendship goes beyond first impressions. Every teen should watch this.
19. Beaches (1998) – If you want to cry your eyes out, watch this. Even if Bette Midler is loud and obnoxious in this movie, she gets the job done. Every list needs a cry and eat ice cream movie. And this list has this (unless you want Steel Magnolias).
20. The House of the Spirits (1993) – The book by Isabel Allende is magnificent. And if you were to choose between the book and the movie… choose both. They both do it justice. Even if the movie combined 2 generations. Glenn Close is a wonderful actress here, and her portrayal is so real and eerie, it will leave you speechless. Even after her death (in the movie).
21. Supersize Me (2004) – I swore to never eat in McDonald’s after watching this. And I did succeed for a few… umm… weeks. Maybe I need to watch it again to remind me how unhealthy fast food really is. Why he did this to himself, we’ll never know. But he did almost kill himself. Ack.
22. Cinema Paradiso (1998) – A wonderful movie about friendship and love! And I guarantee it, at the end, if you are not crying like a baby, then you have no heart. I remember watching this in College, in the house of a friend – and I have put it in my favorites ever since.
23. Stand and Deliver (1988) – Perseverance! Even if people put you down and don’t think you are good enough for anything, there is someone who will believe in you. You just need to put in the effort. All these movies that pull you up always ends up on lists like these. I guess with all the things life throws at you, you need inspiration.
24. 28 Days Later (2002) – I was about to put in I am Legend, but 28 Days Later really beats that film hands down. The zombies here started the running trend. And the way the zombie virus spreads… whoa. You gotta keep running and keep your eyes closed! Too bad that England had to be sacrificed.
So many more movies came into my mind while making this. And now I understand how difficult it is to make a list of 25. I’ll improve this as my life changes, and my movie taste changes as well.
Time to find these movies and go an a movie watching rampage!
I just HAVE to add one more. A coming of age movie, though primal, was one of the movies that shaped a lot of people of that generation. Who’d ever forget 1980’s Blue Lagoon?! My number 26.