5. Garden State (2004)
This movie changed my life. I swear. (And that’ll be the last time I damn near verbatim the dialogue from this film in this write-up, I swear.) After watching this movie (four times in theatres!) I discovered a lot about myself. For one thing, I started to actually follow popular music. I bought the soundtrack to this film, which opened up doors for me to buy more and more CD’s until eventually, all of my paychecks were going to CD’s and DVD’s. I also found myself relating to a main character in a film more so than perhaps any other movie I had ever seen. Most importantly, it made me realize that the only thing I want to do with my life is to one day make a film that affects just one person the way this movie effected me. (Oh… and it also fortified my opinion that Natalie Portman was, is, and always will be, the hottest woman on the planet.) In short, for about a year’s time, this movie became the story of my life and I loved every moment of it. It’s been far too long since Zach Braff followed this movie up with anything, and I await that follow-up film now, just as impatiently as I awaited it six years ago.
4. The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966)
The best western of all time is also the best directed film of all time. Despite its lengthy run time, not a single moment of this film is wasted and every beat is so damn kinetic that it threatens to spark and set the celluloid film it’s printed to on fire. Films don’t get much more classic than this one… in fact, they don’t at all. Period. I can still recall showing the final stand-off in this film to my history class in High-School. And despite it being nothing more than fifteen minutes of Clint Eastwood, Eli Wallach, and Lee Van Cleef staring at each other, not a single person in my class moved. They were all glued to their seats. Also? Best original film score ever.
3. Inception (2010)
There are three movies that I have seen more than twice in theatres, and all three of them are in the top five, here at the end of my list. I saw “Inception” four times in theatres, and I loved it more and more each time I saw it. Despite how damn good each and every film Christopher Nolan has made has been, “Inception” will be remembered as the film that pushed him into the higher echelon of the all time greats, like Spielberg, Hitchcock, Ford, Kurosawa, and Allen. Yes, I strongly believe that Nolan deserves to already be mentioned in the same breath as those men, and his career is still just getting started. There’s so much to love about this movie, and since most of you have already probably seen it, I won’t waste my time talking about all that here. I will only say that thinking about the final two minutes of this film gives me goosebumps every time. “Inception” is about as close to cinematic perfection as one can possibly get.
2. Forgetting Sarah Marshall (2008)
With “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”, Jason Segel created what has to be the most unbelievable thing ever. He created the funniest movie of all time. Very, very few comedies retain that same level of enjoyment the more times you watch it, but “Sarah Marshall” somehow manages to get funnier and funnier with each viewing. It’s a testament to the strength of this film, that even despite my own personal emotional baggage that comes packaged with it, each time I see it, I never for one second think it’s any less funny than I did that first time. In general, I think that everybody’s top five favourite films of all time have more to do with the personal experiences of watching those films than it does necessarily the quality of what’s being seen on-screen. It’s very rare that a movie can be so good that it overcomes outside personal influences, but “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” is just that good.
1. The Evil Dead (1981)
By this point, I think that this should come as no surprise to anyone. “The Evil Dead” is my favourite film of all time. It has been ever since I first saw it eleven or so years ago now. At the time, it was the scariest movie I had ever seen (though that has since changed) but more than that, it was just awesome fun. It showed me that a bunch of friends with very little money and a whole hell of a lot of heart can get together and make a movie. And not only that, but they can have a hell of a lot of fun (and a hell of a lot of suffering) while they do it too. After watching this film, I’ve always seen Sam Raimi as a genius, and Bruce Campbell as a God, because with “The Evil Dead” they showed the world just how good a movie can be, if made with the proper amount of enthusiasm. “The Evil Dead” is a movie for people who love the art of film, and for that reason if no other, I can’t think of any other movie that deserves my number one spot more.
Well, what can I say? If you actually read each and every one of these twenty posts all I have to say is Thank You. I’ve struggled with writing this thing because I can’t really think of a more narcissistic way to spend my time, and I hate making myself feel self-important, but I do appreciate those of you who actually spent your precious time following along this list with me. As a parting gift I’ll leave you with this little drinking game: Go back and start reading from Post 1 again, and every time you read the word “Awesome”, take a shot of your favourite alcohol. (Which I am clearly not providing for you, sorry.) I promise that you’ll be very, very, very drunk long before you reach this, my last thought: Movies Are Awesome.