Fave 5 - Movies (Part II)

Last week, I finally got around to unveiling the first part of my Top 10 favorite movies of all time. Now, before I get to the actual Top 5 on the list, I want to address some movies that just missed the cut.

- Clueless
I mentioned this in last week’s entry, but with a new movie cracking my Top 10, “Clueless” dropped out. It’s still, to me, an incredibly quotable movie. Just last week I responded to an E-mail with the line “That was way harsh, Tai.” Both I and the person who got the E-mail got the reference and found it funny.

- Gladiator
Another one that dropped out of my Top 10 in the last year. I re-watched it about 6 months ago and found it to be slow. I really like the 2nd half of the movie, but it’s hard to make it through the first half.

- Cruel Intentions
A couple people asked me about this one, since it’s Sarah Michelle Gellar at her sexiest, and has Reese Witherspoon (one of my less publicized favorites). I just feel like the SMG-JLH combo of “I Know What You Did Last Summer” is hard to top.

- Fight Club
I’m not sure how this one didn’t make my Top 10, it just didn’t. I guess when you have more than 600 movies on DVD/Blu-Ray, and another 250 in iTunes, 10 movies represents less than 1.5 percent of your collection. So not being in the Top 10 isn’t a bad thing. The same can be said about “WALL•E” and “Iron Man”, two movies released in 2008 that I want to see if they’ll stand the test of time (so far so good on both, since I’ve watched them multiple times on Blu-ray since I bought them).

OK, now for the long-awaited (by the 7 people who read this blog) Fave 5.

5. Star Wars, Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Back
This is by far the best of the six Star Wars movies. This isn’t even really a matter of debate. When I re-watched the entire “Star Wars” series in episode order a few years ago at Christmas, I very much considered stopping right after this movie. Not because there’s anything wrong with Episode Six (it’s actually a solid movie), but because I really thought it would be the best way to end the marathon. Sure, it ends on a cliffhanger, but that actually adds to its appeal, strange as that sounds. Oh, and if you’re the last person in America who hasn’t seen any of the Star Wars movies, let me spoil it for you... Vader is Luke’s father.

4. Serenity
Like “Buffy” and “Angel”, “Firefly” was not a series I watched when it first aired (it was off the air before I got into any of the Joss Whedon series). Because of that, I didn’t see “Serenity” when it was in theaters. But when it came out on DVD, I was enamored. Not only was it a beautiful movie to watch, it might have been the perfect Sci-Fi story. I immediately went and watched the entire “Firefly” series, and while I like the show, the movie is just flawless. I’ve probably seen it a dozen times in the past year alone, and it never gets old. I still tear up when the crew is watching the video explaining the situation on Miranda, and I still get fired up when I hear Mal’s subsequent speech. In fact, everything Mal says from the halfway point of the movie on fires me up.

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
When I started formulating this list, I made a couple rules about trilogies/movie series: I couldn’t pick more than one movie for a series, and any movie I picked had to stand on its own (otherwise it’s possible that all 3 LOTR movies would be in my Top 10). Well, ROTK is definitely the best of the 3 LOTR movies, and it definitely stands on its own. It’s a great movie from start to finish, even if you haven’t watched the 2 preceding films. I remember how excited I was to watch the extended edition of the movie, even though it pushed the runtime close to 4 hours. That runtime is probably the only reason I haven’t watched this movie as much as the other ones in my Top 10, and that will change once this comes out on Blu-ray, because I can’t imagine anything looking better.

2. The Shawshank Redemption
For the longest time (basically, up until the release of “The Godfather” on DVD), this was the No. 1-ranked movie on IMDB.com. It was also, for the longest time, my No. 1-ranked movie of all-time. I saw this movie in theaters with my grandmother, bought it on DVD the day it came out, bought the special edition on DVD the day it came out, and I STILL watch it whenever I stumble across it on TV. Seriously. Just a couple weeks ago I was flipping through the channels and it was on TNT -- about 30 minutes into the movie. I told myself, “oh, I’ll just watch a couple minutes, then find something else.” I didn’t turn it off until Red was meeting Andy on the beach by the Pacific Ocean. This movie just has a mesmerizing hold on me, and I think most people who like the movie (that is to say, most people, because I don’t know anyone who’s seen it and not liked it) feel the same way.

1. The Dark Knight
At this point, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve written on this blog that “The Dark Knight” is the best movie ever. But I still feel that way. Just last week, PooZ and I were recording our Dark Knight commentary (which didn’t exactly go well from a technological standpoint, but we’ll ignore that). I kept pointing out these minor things that weren’t quite perfect about the movie, and PooZ was getting on me about it. I had to point out that the only reason I was noticing these things is that, as a whole, the movie is perfect. In fact, those little imperfections only add to it (I know that doesn’t make sense, but work with me here). It gives it more of a sense of realism. I can’t say enough about how incredible Heath Ledger’s performance was. PooZ brought up the possibility to me that Ledger might be considered under the Best Actor category instead of Best Supporting Actor. I said he probably deserved it, but I’d rather see him nominated for Best Supporting Actor, because he’ll win that one. Then I thought, wait, I don’t see why he wouldn’t win Best Actor. He was that good, and he carried the movie. And he was playing the BAD GUY. That’s how awesome this movie is. I will not debate this spot (honestly, I really won’t debate any of my top 5, but this one is more iron clad than the others).