Monday, June 21, 2010

On Dirty Dozen (12 movies I will watch again. And again)

Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting a blog hop today. It seems as though half the blogs in my Google Reader are participating in this, so who am I to think alternative, huh? Nevermind that I already did a list of favourites on Saturday - those were books, this one is dedicated to movies. Anyways, here goes - twelve of my favourite movies (and why):

12. Love Actually

I know a bunch of people who cannot stand this movie – either because it is too sweet, or because it is not sweet enough. Personally I think it has just the right amount of sweetness. I like how the different stories are interwoven, and I like both the ones that work out and the ones that doesn’t. I think two characters in particular are priceless: Hugh Grant’s Prime Minister and Bill Nighy’s Legendary Rock Star.

11. Mamma Mia
I know a bunch of people who cannot stand this movie either, but I honestly have no idea why. Alright, the actors might not be the best of singers, and for a musical that can get annoying. And yes, the story is pretty lame. But HELLO feel good movie! There are half-naked men dancing in flippers!

 10. Catch Me If You Can
When I was 13 I loved Leonardo DiCaprio. You know, before his Bad Boy period, and WAY before his Serious Actor period. I think I watched Titanic 13128943 times, or at least six. But Titanic didn’t make it to this list. Catch Me If You Can did. And it didn’t make it to this list because I love Leonardo DiCaprio anymore (because I don't. I don't know if it is because I grew up or because he did, but somewhere along the way my afections waned). But I do like his acting in this movie, and I do like Tom Hanks’ part as well. What I really, really like about it, though, is the instant feeling of being in the 1960s. It’s a very clever movie, and the sympathetic con man certainly keeps the audience rooting for the criminal.

9. Finding Nemo
On my first overnight flight (to Japan) I watched this movie three times. On my second overnight flight (from Japan, one week later), I watched it three more. This movie is so well-made, so colourful, it promotes several valuable lessons and it is funny on so many levels. The only movie that ever made me want an aquarium.

8. Ronja Rövardotter
Ronja must have been the first fictional character I ever consciously knew I looked up to. This beautiful movie adaption puts modern technology to shame by its use of 1984 hand-animated dolls (I am guessing) for the various creatures living in the forest, mini-models of the fortress that is Ronja’s home and other old-fashioned props and effects. It works like a charm! This movie certainly has a lot of charm. Also I love the (original Swedish) soundtrack, with the robber's choir.

7. Aladdin
It took years before my parents bought a VCR, but once they did our three first movies were Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, Lion King and Aladdin. I watched all of them over and over again – my copy of Beauty and the Beast barely works anymore – but the one I continued to watch when I grew up was Aladdin. I love the humour in this movie, and I think I’d watch it alone for Genie’s jokes.

6. Stardust
I almost didn't watch this one (I have a post coming up on the subject sometime, if I ever get it written), but I am glad that I did, because I absolutely adore it. The cast, the look and feel of it – it’s pure gold. If you liked Princess Bride, then you’ll love this one. It's got magic, fairy tales, difficult love and Ricky Gervais. Who can ask for more?

5. Pirates of the Caribbean. The Curse of the Black Pearl
This movie goes on the list for two main reasons: a) Johnny Depp; b) Keira Knightley’s character’s line: “If you think that hurts, try wearing a corset”. Aside from this, this movie has nearly nothing to offer. You know, aside from wicked swordfights, spectacular sets, an awesome cast, great music, brilliant humour and a wooden eye. I *heart* this movie!

4. Le Fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain
When I took French in high school we watched this movie a zillion times. Since it’s so good, though, that did not make me loathe it (as it very well might have). The character Amélie is amazing – I just love her quirks. The portrait of Paris is gorgeous, and the soundtrack is one of my favourites of all times.

3. Billy Elliot
This movie manages something I admire greatly, both in books and in movies, to treat serious themes respectfully, with warmth and humour. The Britain shown in this movie is one with high unemployment and violent strikes. The problems of a little boy who just wants to dance (but is afraid to breach the local do’s and don’ts) becomes heart-wrenchingly difficult in the midst of these national problems that affect his family directly.

2. Saving Grace
Like Billy Elliot this one is also set in Britain, and money problems is also at the core of this movie. And it is also very funny. But this is where the similarities end. Grace is a recent widow who discovers that her husband’s finances were nothing to be proud of. In a desperate attempt to keep her house and the way of life she is used to, Grace joins her “gardener” (splendidly played by Craig Ferguson) in an illegal sort of agriculture. Especially the tea party scene is priceless.

...aaaand number one is:

1. The English Patient
I cry and I cry every time I see this movie, and it is not (just) because I know I will never get to marry Count Laszlo de Almásy. No, what makes me cry are the tragic (and epic) love stories, the hopelessness of war, how beautiful the desert looks in the yellow light, and, strangely, how sad it is that Willem Dafoe drops an egg on the ground.

That’s it! 12 movies I am now craving to watch.



Mason Canyon said...

Like your list, but I'd have to say #5 is my all time favorite. Love some of the crazy lines in the movie and of course Johnny Depp isn't bad to look at either. :)

Thoughts in Progress

Cruella Collett said...

Yeah, it was hard putting it all the way down on #5, but I felt #4-2 needed more attention, and #1 really is my #1, so there you go.
But I really, really, really love PotC (and Johnny. Especially as Jack Sparrow. I have no idea how he pulls it off, but he so does!).

Christine Danek said...

Love your list! Love, Actually is one of my favs too.

Jan Morrison said...

So far, of all the lists I've read this morning (about eight) yours is definitely and far away the closest to mine. I'm just going to jump in now - but I'll tell you The English Patient, Finding Nemo and Amelie are sure to be on it!

Renae said...

Great list! I'm going to have to watch Stardust. I've seen it on two lists now.

Southpaw said...

Love Actually made it on several list. I guess I'll have to watch it.

Watery Tart said...

I can't believe how few of your favorite movies I've seen, considering there have been times we've been passing the same brain back and forth! I think I've only seen 3--and I loved them... I will have to make a point of the ones here done in English...

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Fun choices. Aladdin has always been a favorite of mine, too.
Thanks for participating!

Elspeth Antonelli said...

Many of these movies would be on my list as well. In fact, I just rewatched Mamma Mia the other night, and Love Actually is a staple around this house at Christmas. However, I'd have to have Shakespeare in Love somewhere on my list. Love it, love it, love it.

lbdiamond said...


"Are you my conscience?"

welcome to my world of poetry said...

A fine selection, I have either heard or watched some of them others I didn't know,
A pleasure to read your post.

Cruella Collett said...

Christine - it lovely, isn't it? I think the story within the story I loved the most was the one with Colin Firth. So romantic!

Jan - I'm starting to suspect we have a similar taste in movies as well as books :)

Renae - oh, you're in for a treat!

Southpaw - save it for Christmas. Make some hot chocolate and invite someone you care about to watch it with you. It's gonna be awesome :)

Tami - I think you'd love the non-English ones as well, but I'd start with Saving Grace if you haven't seen that one. I'm pretty sure it's going to be right up your alley. Especially since you're more liberal than me when it comes to drugs.

Alex - thanks for hosting! I had a great time making this list, and I've seen some very good ones floating around the net. (Seriously, half my Google Reader. You must have advertized GOOD)

Elspeth - I like Shakespeare in Love too, but mostly because I got to watch it in English class in high school, and my teacher declared (with a dreamy look in his eyes) "Joseph Fiennes is so HOT!" We had the best English teacher! (Of course I prefer the older brother, Mr. English Patient)

lbdiamond - (any chance your L stands for Lucy?) "I speak Whaaaaleeeee!" (I *heart* Dory!)

Yvonne - it amazes me that the bloggers participating in this have come up with such various choices. I've got some great tips for movies to look for today!

DEZMOND said...

a very sensual list, Cruella :) I love seeing SAVING GRACE here!

Summer said...

Oh, great list! Finding Nemo is one of the best animated films ever! Can't believe I forgot it. :-)

Cruella Collett said...

Dezmond - sensual? Hm - now that you mention it... That is definitely an apt description of The English Patient, at least.
Glad to have found a fellow Saving Gracer! It is a hilarious movie.

Summer - It's becoming hard to chose between the Pixar movies, but I still count Nemo as the best one. A close number two for me is one of their shorts ("For the Birds"), and then I could go on to list "Toy Story 1 & 2", "Up", "The Incredibles", and so on - they are all so wonderful.

Clarissa Draper said...

Oh, great choices.


Gregg said...

Great list. Yikes, I can't believe I forgot Titanic for my list. It was so hard going through tons of movies in my and narrowing it down. I like Catch Me if You Can also. Great movie!

Michelle Gregory said...

honestly, when i saw your blog's name, i hopped on over from the dirty dozen blogfest list just to see what this was. i love giraffes. and i give in to peer pressure too.

Jemi Fraser said...

Great list - I really enjoy a few of these, although there are quite a few I've never seen. I'll work on that! :)

Jennee said...

Great list! I love Aladin and I thought about making my list all kids movies....

I'm sorry to say that I've never seen the English Patient. It's been on my list for some time so I need to buckle down and watch it!

Cheeseboy said...

Oh boy. I am with you on all of them except 1, 6, and 11. After all, I am a guy.

Rayna M. Iyer said...

I haven't seen the movie, but I loved the book. Maybe the reason I haven't seen The English Patient is because few movies live up to the books.

and we have not only seen Nemo several times, we have a Nemo picture book, and a nemo puzzle

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

I loved Catch me if you can and Billy Elliot too! Great choices!

Cruella Collett said...

Clarissa - thanks :)

Gregg - since I've watched Titanic so many times I considered putting it on my list, but because I'm not sure I'll ever watch it again, I didn't... Logically I know it's not a bad movie, but since I LUUUURVED it so much when I was 13, it's hard not to think of it as somewhat outdated for me...

Michelle - thank you! That is very nice to hear. Especially since I have been fearing that most people only hop away from me thinking I clearly must have been wired the wrong way to come up with such a silly blog title...

Jemi - I think we all have discovered new movies to watch through this blog hop!

Jennee - Oh, you should! I love, love, love it. And I think making an all kids' movie list is a great idea!

Cheeseboy - while I can agree that some of these are somewhat girly, I don't agree that Stardust is one of them. Did I mention there are swordfights in it? And a flying pirate ship? SOOO not a girly movie! (Even if it is a little sappy. But not in a non-masculine way...)

Natasha - the book had more of India than the movie does. Perhaps that is why you loved it and I didn't, as I read it at a time when I knew nothing about your wonderful country. Now that I know a little more I might be able to appreciate it better. I'm going to see if I can find my copy and try to reread it sometime.

TAA - thanks :)

Powdered Toast Man said...

cool list. Some of those made mine or would of made mine.

I spotted your blog on Alex's blog and had to check it out. I love your blog title because I love giraffes. Girrafibilty is my new fave word

Cruella Collett said...

Giraffes are the best, aren't they? And WOHOO - I made up a word someone thinks is cool (most of my made-up words go fairly unnoticed, I regret to inform).

arlee bird said...

I've only seen a few of these, my favorite being Catch Me If You Can. I really liked the book that the movie was based on.

Tossing It Out

Cruella Collett said...

While I may have been sort of aware that there was a book behind Catch Me If You Can (I knew it was based on a true story), I didn't really. I might have to check it out! Thanks for the tip! :)

arlee bird said...

I read the book back in the 80s (it first came out in 1980). It is by Frank Abagnale, Jr. and goes into fascinating detail about how he pulled some of the scams. It's an easy, intriguing read that was a best seller when it first came out.

Tossing It Out

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