Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Best: Movies of My Life

I usually don't participate in Facebook lists (especially since I am not on Facebook), but this one intrigued me.

The challenge is to go through your life and list the best movie from each year of your life.  You can have a tie once per decade.

I found this idea challenging and interesting.  What I found the most interesting is how little interest I had in most of the movies that came out just before I was born, but I have a strong affection for movies from my early childhood.  I wonder if that is common to most people who do this?

Anyway, here is my list.  For the sake of anonymity, I have started my list with the decade of my birth rather than my birth year (maybe).

1970 Julius Caesar Heston and Marc Antony is cinematic gold.
1971 The Big Boss Bruce Lee's first starring feature.  A bit violent, but you can see the star power
1972 The Godfather  An unquestionable masterpiece that changed cinema.
1973 American Graffiti The influence of this movie is unnoticed but powerful, especially on television

Enter the Dragon The gold standard of modern martial arts movies
1974 The Godfather Part II Darker and a bit overly long, but the best movie of this year
1975 Jaws A nearly perfect film
1976 Rocky Despite being sequalized repeatedly, it is still raw and strong
1977 Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope Movie magic.
1978 Superman The best superhero movie ever.
1979 Time After Time A tense and clever thriller. Malcolm McDowall's best performance
1980 Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Even better than the original Star Wars
1981 Raiders of the Lost Ark For the sword fight alone
1982 ET: Extra-Terrestrial One of the most transcendentally child-like films
1983 Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi The best of the Star Wars Saga
1984 Ghostbusters Unrepeatable comedy/action/adventure/horror
1985 Back to the Future Extreme laughs, thrills, and nostalgia all at the same time
1986 Aliens The greatest action movie ever made.
1987 The Untouchables Brian DePalma's best film. Powerful.

Predator Manliest movie of the 1980's.
1988 Young Guns It has one of the strongest last lines of any film
1989 Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade The greatest adventure movie off all time.
1990 Presumed Innocent The best legal drama of all time.
1991 Dead Again The best thriller of all time.
1992 Noises Off! One of the funniest films I have ever seen.
1993 Schindler's List Every frame, every angle, every cut is genius.
1994 The Shawshank Redemption Overlooked when released, it has stood the test of time.
1995 Braveheart Epic in scope, action, and human spirit
1996 Hamlet Visually stunning and enveloping

Swingers A small, indie comedy with confidence and cool
1997 Titanic Despite the haters, this is actually a fantastic, moving film.
1998 Life is Beautiful A unique film that uplifts with laughs and tears
1999 The Green Mile Sad and profound. It sticks with you long after its over
2000 Memento One of the best films ever made. Unlike anything else.
2001 The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring A fantasy with some real gravitas
2002 The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Improves upon the first
2003 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King One of the most emotionally satisfying movies.
2004 The Passion of the Christ The greatest film ever made.
2005 Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith The best of the prequels.
2006 Casino Royale The bond reboot works on so many levels. Best of the Bond films.
2007 Juno Simple premise with lots of heart. Sneaks into your heart like a child's laugh.

Lars and the Real Girl A strange movie that should be filthy but is richly innocent
2008 The Dark Knight The best Batman movie ever.
2009 Up Devastating, hilarious, and uplifting.
2010 Inception A puzzle wrapped in an enigma
2011 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 The best of this franchise
2012 Les Miserables Pure emotional power
2013 Man of Steel Visually and thematically mature take on Superman
2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Taught political thriller and action film

Interstellar Amazingly bold in concept and emotion
2015 Cinderella A colorful, visually rich film of sweetness.

A few observations on my own list:

-5 movies directed by Steven Spielberg
-4 movies directed by Christopher Nolan
-3 movies directed by Peter Jackson
-3 movies directed by George Lucas
-3 movies directed by Kenneth Brannagh
-only 4 movies are comedies (not to be confused with drama-dies)
-only 6 are tragedies (in the sense that they do not have a "happy ending")
-4 of the 6 Star Wars movies are represented
-4 of the movies are superhero films 
-2 movies based on Shakespeare plays
-2 movies not in English
-only 1 Western
-only 1 Musical
-3 movies involve time travel
-only 4 of the movies have a woman as the lead.
-7 Harrison Ford movies


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