Favorite movies of all-time (and why)?

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  • Ben
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    @benjikunz

    I browsed through these forums thinking there had to be a thread for this. Come to find out, there was not!

    I’ve become a lot more invested in film the last couple years. There are few things more satisfying to me than sitting down with a good movie and mulling over its themes. There are also few things less satisfying to me than sitting down with a bad movie (or even an okay movie) that wastes my time and gives me nothing to think on, pretentious as that may sound. 🙂 Anyway, I was just thinking about how there’s still so many movies I haven’t seen and I know people on this site have excellent taste. So give a list of your favorite movies with a brief explanation on each (no spoilers, of course!). I’ll post seven of mine below.

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    Ben
    Hutchmate
    @benjikunz

    My favorite movies (in chronological order):

    The Awful Truth (1937)

    This is a screwball comedy starring Cary Grant and Irene Dunne as a couple who separates after a series of misunderstandings. The plot is simple, but the dialogue and acting both represent so much of what’s lost in modern day comedies. There’s so much subtlety that you can watch it ten times and catch a new facial expression or vocal nuance that heightens the jokes. It’s also a moving and redemptive story, despite being a pretty simple comedy.

    To Kill a Mockingbird (1962)

    Not a whole lot to say about this one. It may be the most perfect book-to-film adaption ever. There are so many parts of this movie (like the scene with Scout and Mr. Cunningham) that make me weep. It’s a story that brings the most gorgeous truths out of the simplest of interactions. And it’s brought to life perfectly here.

    The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001-2003)

    I don’t think I have to go into detail here. But I also can’t separate one film from another so I’m counting all three as one. Also, go Samwise Gamgee and go Sean Astin for playing him so perfectly. Best literary/film character ever.

    No Country for Old Men (2007)

    If I had to classify any of the movies on my list as a technically perfect film it would be this one. Everything from the acting to the cinematography to the dialogue is so intentional from beginning to end. Also, for how dark and violent it is, I find it strangely and undeniably edifying. There’s an emptiness throughout the whole film, which is seen most clearly in the final anticlimactic shot, but even the emptiness seems designed to make the viewer ache for a better world. I don’t think there’s another movie I’ve talked about more…it’s so loaded with incredible themes on top of some of my favorite performances (esp. Javier Bardem and Tommy Lee Jones).

    Inception (2010)

    Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors and I love how his films always find the balance between a big Hollywood blockbuster and a smaller art house film. My greatest film going experience ever was seeing Inception on opening night in IMAX on the front row. But since there’s just so much going on, it was five viewings before I could pick up on how deep and redemptive the themes are and a few more viewings before I picked up on how good the acting is. The depth Leo brings to Dom Cobb is so underrated in this movie. I’ve seen this movie more times than any other movie and the themes continue to get richer and the logic of the dream world continues to make more sense as I notice things I hadn’t before. And it’s just so COOL!

    Room (2015)

    This is the movie that inspired this list because I watched it for the second time today and decided it’s easily one of my favorite movies ever. I don’t know how a movie with such dark and painful subject matter can be so simultaneously innocent and hopeful, but I love that juxtaposition. James 1:2-4 factors heavily into the framework of this movie and it just destroys me in the best possible way. Also, Brie Larson and seven year old Jacob Tremblay have unbelievable onscreen chemistry and both give two of the best (and most realistic) performances I’ve ever seen. Especially Brie Larson, who was also awesome in the nearly-as-good Short Term 12.

    Sing Street (2016)

    I actually watched this movie after listening to the Rabbit Room podcast on the best films of 2016 so thank you Pete Peterson and John Barber! I’m absolutely obsessed with this movie now and so are my friends. The way the boys’ songs and clothing are inspired by what they listen to and the way Conor’s songs drive the story (instead of diverting from the main plot) is just so cool. And it details the songwriting process in such a relatable and accurate way. It makes me grin from ear to ear before it makes me sob, which is right in line with the “happy-sad” mantra that’s woven into the film. It’s perfect. Plus, “Drive It Like You Stole It”.

    Blade Runner (1982)

    “I watched him die all night. It was a long, slow thing… and he fought it all the way. He never whimpered, and he never quit. He took all the time he had, as though he loved life very much. Every second of it… even the pain. Then, he was dead.”

    Oh Brother Where art Thou (2000)

    I love the music most of all but the story keeps me entranced and laughing every time I watch it. The characters are all such living cartoons they mesmerize me.

    Constantine (2005)

    Good ol’ evil vs good. Not deep, entertaining. Just enough creep and scare.

    Zombieland (2013)

    Zombies! I love the characters in this movie. Love the humor.

    Babette’s Feast (1987)

    The metaphor of the gospel in this movie smacks me upside the head and brings me to tears every single time.

     


    Ben
    Hutchmate
    @benjikunz

    Blade Runner (1982)

    “I watched him die all night. It was a long, slow thing… and he fought it all the way. He never whimpered, and he never quit. He took all the time he had, as though he loved life very much. Every second of it… even the pain. Then, he was dead.”

    Oh Brother Where art Thou (2000)

    I love the music most of all but the story keeps me entranced and laughing every time I watch it. The characters are all such living cartoons they mesmerize me.

    Constantine (2005)

    Good ol’ evil vs good. Not deep, entertaining. Just enough creep and scare.

    Zombieland (2013)

    Zombies! I love the characters in this movie. Love the humor.

    Babette’s Feast (1987)

    The metaphor of the gospel in this movie smacks me upside the head and brings me to tears every single time.

    Blade Runner is my dad’s favorite movie, but I actually haven’t seen it, which I know is a travesty. Zombieland is the only one of those movies I’ve seen. Whole movie is so good, but the little stretch will Bill Murray is just priceless. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

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