10. IT/Horns: Couldn't decide between these two, and since they do sorta have a connection(one based on a Stephen King book one based on a Joe Hill book), I decided they should share my #10 spot. IT is such a great adventure movie. It has humor, thrills, emotional moments, and some truly terrifying moments. The cast all around is fantastic, and the movie looks great. My only real problem is that the beginning is paced a bit weird given the decision to cut out the flashback framing device, but I can easily forgive this.
Horns gets the spot for beings emotional, funny, and having a really interesting concept. It plays on ideas of morality and religion, the mystery is good, and it manages to balance humor and horror in a way that few other films can. My only problem is that it feels a little heavy-handed, but honestly, I'm fine with that. Two excellent film adaptations of two excellent books by two excellent authors.
9. La La Land: Honestly this'd be higher if not for the ending. I don't know, I just can't fully accept that ending. And I get that that's kind of the point, but it doesn't change the fact that it makes La La Land a less enjoying movie for me. Aside from that, this film is absolutely gorgeous, with fantastic music, amazing chemistry between Gosling and Stone, great writing. Another minor quibble - not enough musical numbers, and the score overall is too broadway show-y and not jazzy enough, but it's mostly fine.
8. Snowpiercer: Honestly I love how completely ridiculous this movie it. Balances outright absurdity with some very intense emotional moments and great action, not to mention some top-notch visual storytelling. Again, the ending kinda kills it for me, but the ride getting there is fantastic.
7. Drive: I love that this is one-half cutesy indie romance film and one-half Hotline Miami. Just, that tonal whiplash is incredible in a completely good way. Aside from that, the visual storytelling here, as expected from Nicolas Winding Refn, is top-notch, Gosling as always gives a great performance, and the style in the Hotline Miami half is just incredible. It's a little shallow, definitely style over substance, but man does it have style.
6. Catch Me If You Can: A flat-out classic. Love it. I love Dicaprio and Hanks, I love the score, I love the directing, I love the writing, just overall fantastic film. The cat and mouse game is incredible, lighthearted yet still intense, balances humor and whimsy with some pretty chilling scenes later and near the beginning of the film. I could sit down and watch this any time.
5. Only God Forgives: Honestly? This movie makes me feel uncomfortable. Every time I watch it I get this sinking feeling of dread and disgust. Just like Drive, it has style that washes over you matched with some powerful, understated performances, but what really knocks this film into my top 5 is its perfection of visual storytelling. There's a subtext to this film that makes it so much more than just a nasty crime-thriller, and it's carried entirely through symbolism and the way those symbols are framed throughout the film. The Revolver, The Sword, The Boxer, Julian's Hands, The Demon.... these things tell a story running counter to what the characters are actually doing on screen, and the way these two incredibly unsettling stories run parallel to each other is just incredible. This isn't a movie I really ever look forward to watching, but when I do, the experience sticks with me.
4. Arrival: Arrival is just beautiful. Perfectly beautiful. This is the gold standard not just for what a sci-fi film can be, but for what a talented director can do with a movie. Denis Villeneuve is an auteur that I hope never stops making films. The way this film is constructed is amazing and makes the final emotional punch hit like a truck. The message of the film is moving and makes you feel like you can be part of something larger than yourself. It delivers a message that truly feels as if it speaks to the human condition, and combines the beauty of that moment with such personal loss and sadness that I couldn't help but cry, even though I knew that final punch was coming far in advance. Final note: Amy Adams gives an incredible performance in this movie.
3. Howl's Moving Castle: My personal favorite film to actually sit down and watch. This movie is so charming, whimsical, fantastical, and imaginative. Its characters are instantly loveable and at times hateable. It draws you into its world and the characters in that world effortlessly. Not to mention, the animation and the score are just mind-blowing. I LOVE this movie. I know it's got problems with its pacing and certain plot holes, but I don't care. I LOVE it.
1/2. Cloud Atlas/Blade Runner 2049 Honestly can't decide. After more viewings and some time has passed on Blade Runner, I'll probably be able to sort it out, but for now, I just can't decide.
Cloud Atlas is beautiful, telling a story that spans centuries and speaks to the interconnectedness of the human species. Each of the stories running in tandem is engrossing and powerful, and as they all race towards their conclusions it's impossible to keep the tears from coming. It's a masterful piece of storytelling that is unmatched by anything else in its pure majesty.
Blade Runner, on the other hand, is slow and thoughtful. It makes you question what makes you human, it makes you question the systems that rule our lives. It makes you question the individual agency of people, and what it means to be a person in a world that doesn't care about you. Even if you are human, if you are an individual, a person who loves and hates and questions, does it mean anything if all you are can't make an impact on the world around you?
Watching Cloud Atlas is emotionally overwhelming, and it's a beautiful experience, but watching Blade Runner makes you question your reality, it makes you deconstruct the world around you. Both are unmatched in their visual mastery and storytelling, so at the end of the day, I suppose it's just a matter of which experience you personally prefer.
I honestly don't know what I'd put down for my favorite movies. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is one of my favorite stories of all time, but the book is better in quite a few areas, and the movie loses a lot of the thematic punch by changing perspective to McMurphy.
Other than that, I have a deep seated love for Dumb and Dumber, Hot Fuzz, Forrest Gump, Evil Dead 2: Dead Before Dawn, and Tommy Boy. So I guess those movies in pretty much any order.
Think I've said this before, but never in this thread... Prince Avalanche is far and away my favorite. It speaks to me on a molecular level, which is insane because no other movie I've seen has spoken to me even in the least.
😃🍔🦖🔥🍻☠️🤔🤔🎄😂😂😂 "Maybe we are condemned to walk in circles, chasing the skyline. Maybe it is all a lie. Oh, this is a terrible land of broken promises."
So I watched the other two Alien movies. 3 was pretty weak, all things considered. HUGE downgrade from the first two. The only thing I'd say it did well was the environment/atmosphere. That prison they were in was cool, I can't deny that, but the rest of the movie was far below average.
Resurrection, on the other hand, was completely without any redeeming factors whatsoever. Godawful train-wreck of a movie that should have been smothered in its crib. Goddamn it was abysmal. Everything about it.
Watch the first two movies then stop. Forever.
Except buy Alien: Isolation and play that. That game is like Alien 1.5 and it's the only good to come from the Alien franchise since the 1980's. It helps that it's also fantastic on its own, too.
"I cannot be caged. I cannot be controlled. Realize this as you die, ever pathetic, ever fools!"
Also, with more time having passed on Blade Runner 2049 (plus a second viewing).... I still can't decide. I think it might just be a straight tie between Blade Runner 2049 and Cloud Atlas. They both have actors that give incredible performances, meditate on the nature of humanity and reality, are visually stunning, have incredible music.... I really can't decide. Blade Runner 2049 is a bit darker, while Cloud Atlas is more hopeful, so I guess they just share the title of My Favorite Movie Ever, with just slight prefferance given to if I want to be depressed or joyful.
Triple post: I seriously need to consider if The Disaster Artist might not usurp IT/Horns as my #10. Maybe even take the #9 spot and push La La Land back a bit. I'm probably going to see it again, so I'll think about it more.