Welcome back to the world of your favorite blog!
Unless you write your own and then you should like that one the most because positive self esteem is important. Anyway, I used to do a lot of movie reviews and analysis and I still enjoy doing it on the much more private forum of my brain.
I used to have another blog called Confessions of a Cinefile. On this blog I would occasionally do movie review before I got so busy that I just didn’t have time. But I did a post that highlighted my favorite films ever. And it has since Changed. Dramatically. A couple entries are the same but others have changed and I realized part of it is me changing my personality in the process, not dramatically, but I embraced another side of myself and thought more deeply about what movies I really say about who I am. Then I looked at my list from the last year and some other favorites and realized that they didn’t hold up to other films, for the most part.
Ball was dropped. #Toosoonforafootballjab?
So now as I have sat and thought about it a bit. I will break down this list in parts as I go through many of my favorite films. All of the films featured will be things I love and movies that have impacted me and explain why they stick with me and what they say about me and my personality. And I’m starting with one of the biggest blockbusters in the past 10 years and a movie that gets better and more exciting every time I watch it.
The Avengers may seem like an obvious choice for me. Big flashy superhero movie! Woo-Hoo! Kick Ass! ‘Merca! But if you were to read my previous list you would find that I didn’t choose the big flashy superhero movie. I went for the Dark Knight. Now here’s what changed and why the Avengers pushed it’s way onto the list. It’s because it got the characters to the fine balance I felt like they needed. The characters in the Marvel Universe are grounded in reality but also live in the larger than life bubblegum pop world of comic book heroes. And above all else, it’s fun! It’s rewatchable time and again and defines what a summer blockbuster should be. I like Dark Knight in a similar way to how I like Jekyll and Hyde: The Musical. 1 thing. Heath Ledger as the Joker is phenomenal. The rest of the movie is highly forgettable in comparison to the performance that he gave. Avengers is one moment after another of numerous actors stealing the screen. Downey Jr, Ruffalo, Jackson, Johansson, Evans, Hemsworth, Hiddleston. All of them take over and have a moment to shine and it’s proof that when it comes to directing brilliant ensemble films there is only one name you can call.
If you don’t know who this is you had better be googling like mad to find out.
What does this say about me? I can’t do everything grim and nuanced all the time. I like humor, I like wit, I like it when I can let my nerd flag fly and show off that I love the superheroes. I find so much joy in this film and I can’t handle it otherwise. If I want to watch a movie over and over again I need to find that quality and this is the pure popcorn masterpiece the one you watch with your friends to say the quotes as they happen and write your own fan fictions while watching. I love the Avengers.
I used to go to a lot of Harry Potter prefilm parties where you would waste and entire Thursday watching 75 hours of Harry Potter films in order and then go to the midnight premier. (Deathly Hallows Part 2, incidentally, reminded me why midnight premiers are the devil). I don’t know why people don’t do that with these type of films. The ever growing Marvel universe is one you could blow a weekend on it and it keeps growing, there is no limit to what marvel could do because it is taking existing characters and creating new and interesting stories with them. I love a lot of the Marvel films but the combination, the greatest hits of marvel as it were, is the best on of them all. Sometimes I don’t like to choose which superhero movie to watch, so Hulk, Thor, Iron Man, and my boy, Captain America can all be together for two hours and that makes me happy, and that’s all I want is to be happy.
Happiness is a warm Avenger…?
Next we have an entry that is the most recent movie in this set. And one that blew my mind when I watched it.
Birdman threw me for a loop, based on nothing else but the sheer reinvention of the medium that it performed. I already talked about this film in my best films of 2014 because it was the best film of 2014. I watched a bunch of other ones after I posted that list and it still holds up. It’s still mindblowingly good. The film grabbed me with the third line or so and then pulled me, literally pulled me, through the remainder of the film. I love the creativity, the edginess, the way it uses film in a way that is unique to film. And the perfomances, oh my word the performances. There is a scene about a quarter or so through the movie where Edward Norton and Michael Keaton are discussing acting. The process is brilliant and I went. Wow, that’s so stunningly good.
Jaw, meet floor.
What does the brilliance of Birdman say about me. That I like innovation and creativity. I am more mesmerized by something new and different that takes me to a new place. I honestly think Birdman should be the Best Picture of the year because it’s so different and fresh. I know Boyhood was shot over the course of 12 years and that too is a big achievement. But in the end it isn’t the directed vision, the narrative masterpiece that is Birdman. I also like the two major subjects of this film, Superheroes and Theatre. They both play a prominent role in the plot of the film as well as the themes of redemption, artistry, relevancy in culture, imagination, and so many more. The movie also moved and for an potential ADD child like myself that is important because the constant motion kept me interested. That being said it also knew when to cut the motion and remain still for a long period and you get hooked because of the balance. I like that switch I like to be surprised. Birdman took me to a new place and reminded me that there is a truly fresh inventive and creative way to tell stories and I like that because It gives me hope to tell those new and fresh stories as well.
Number 3 is another Joss Whedon penned film, one that the second the credits rolled I just wanted to rewind the damn thing and start it over again.
CABIN IN THE WOODS
I have a soft spot for horror. Mindless mass slaughterfests you make me excited to watch you. Now remember what I said about reinvention and originality a minute ago? Yeah that is this film. And if I tell you much more than that I will spoil the film for you and break a huge number of cardinal rules involving spoilers.
The kid was Darth Vader the Whole Time!
Cabin in the Woods reminds me that sometimes I want to be challenged in my thinking but also that I enjoy the heck out of traditional mindless moments as well. Sometimes there is too much going on and I just want to sit and relax and not think about too much, other times I want to be intrigued and think. Cabin in the Woods does both. You can watch it as a simple horror adventure or a mind bending thriller. And the best part is it isn’t actually scary. You can watch it and not pee yourself, unless you’re into that…
You are traumatizing this child.
I like so much about Cabin in the Woods that I can only watch it when I have just barely enough time to do so because otherwise I am gonna just start it over and keep watching it to grasp another new discovery with each viewing. Cabin says that I can stretch mentally or I can just sit around and mindlessly wander and I am fine with both.
The fourth film on this list is also the oldest entry on the list. And I’ve loved it the longest as well.
Rocky is the greatest sports movie ever made! I don’t care who you are, this is it. Because it’s themes transcend the sport. Perseverance, relevancy, love, passion, and accepting yourself. All part of Rocky Balboa’s journey from unknown the man who fought the champ. I found my love of this movie in Middle School at a time when I needed to be reminded that having heart is just as important as having skill.
I built a card tower once…and by that I put a bunch of cards in a random pile on the floor…
Rocky’s theme’s are what make it one of my favorites and the remind me how much I like to root for the underdog, how much I desire family values, how much emphasis I put on perseverance and heart in much of my life. I love Rocky because it really started the inspirational sports film and it’s truly an emotionally and heartfelt drama that deserves every ounce of recognition that it has received and much more. Also, a killer performance from writer star Sylvester Stallone? Who saw that coming? Sylvester Stallone did. All through many of the same journey’s that his main character takes in the film. It’s the one that tells me I can do anything. I can go anywhere. I have no limits as long as I work hard and never stop fighting. In the boxing ring of life, anyone can go 15 rounds with the champion.
Finally, the movie that topped my big top ten list last time as well. It remains a staple for all…time
BACK TO THE FUTURE
Now while Rocky taught me the power of being yourself and believing in your dreams, Back to the future reminds me that sometimes you just have to have fun. Which is what this movie is for me. I’ve seen it so many times I can’t count them anymore but I watched it this weekend with the Mrs. and it still holds up and is as fresh and fun as the first time Marty raced the clock to save his own future from a time before he was even born. When I was in High School, Marty McFly was the coolest dude ever. I wanted to be that cool and have the charm and charisma that he had. Unfortunately my life had given me a slightly different density…
See what I did there?
But as I watched the movie I realize the most important part is that even though he struggles and is pushed around, George still gets the girl and comes through when it matters most. And he is better off by going through it the hard way rather than getting the Florence Nightingale treatment from Loraine. And the same is true for Marty, he has to improve everything and fight for his own existence and make his own destiny come true. And his life is much more where he wants it as a result. Which is what this movie has taught me. I am both in and out of control with my life. Destiny, it’s a big thing. God is in control of where I end up but I still have to take the risks and make the decisions that will get me there and could impact me in a number of different ways.
I took the road less traveled…and it was f***ing awesome!
Back to the Future says that I like adventures, larger than life chances, and I like the idea that I can be myself and that will not ruin my future, in fact it could improve it greatly.
I mean what would have happened if Marty hadn’t given Chuck Berry Johnny B. Goode?
Back to the Future is my absolute favorite movie. I said it a year ago and I haven’t managed to top it yet. But the most important thing is that it shows me who I am as a person.
I am someone who favors innovation, likes witty dialogue, enjoys genre redefinition, likes to be inspired, and believes in destiny. I am someone who has a thing for superheroes, theatre, monsters, underdogs, and adventure. I am a complicated individual with many different interests and I hope that, as you have read this, you have thought of your favorite movies and what they say about you as a person. Because I guarantee you enjoy them due to a special connection beyond just the surface. You like that film for a reason. And you were going to like it because it says something about you. As I said, I believe in destiny, and you were fated to enjoy that particular film, it was in the cards before you even knew it.
Another film I really enjoy, but we will save this one for another time.
So there you have it. I hope you enjoyed hearing about my favorite films and why I enjoy them. If you would like me to do more film posts and even go back to reviewing movies as I watch them let me know if the comments. And tell me what your five favorite movies are, or maybe just three or two or one if that’s all you can think of. I’ve really enjoyed doing these blogs and I hope you have enjoyed reading them so keep liking and commenting and telling your friends about your really cool writer friend Preston. Because I only do this so you can enjoy it. Thanks again and I’ll see you next time with Preston’s Blog…The Sequel!
With more blood, guts, laughs, chills, thrills, family values, emotional journeys, and dancing monkeys because it’s not a good thing unless there is a dancing monkey.