As long as I can remember movies have had a huge influence on my life. In fact, from ages 6 to 17 I wanted to be an actor badly–so much so that my first major in college was theater performance. That idea quickly kicked the bucket when my writing style began to develop. However, my love of motion pictures never flickered away.
Some will argue that movies are cultural artifacts that reflect the world around us, and others will debate that it’s all about Hollywood making a buck. More importantly, movies have a way of affecting us whether it is positive or negative (hopefully inspiring us for the better). My expectation and attitude vary depending upon the film. I’m no snob when it comes to the silver screen. I enjoy all types of cinema: romantic comedy, romance, thriller, horror, foreign, action, comedy, independent, and so on. I have only one goal in mind when it comes to watching movies: satisfaction.
With no further delay, here are my 10 favorite films over the span of my 33 years that I will happily re-watch any day of the week:
10. Any of the Twilight movies. I know it’s juvenile but I’m a sucker for the intertwining romance of humans, vampires, and werewolves.
My love for scary nocturnal creatures go way back to Dracula, A Werewolf in Paris, and Once Bitten.
9. Girlfight (2001) Michelle Rodriguez’s feature debut as Diana Guzman, a pugnacious teen who decides to become a professional boxer despite her misogynistic environment. You have this girl who doesn’t fit in anywhere and is without a mother. Diana’s jagged and lost, and I rooted for her in the ring, at home, at school, and to win the boy. Who can resist a female taking charge of her own destiny?
8. The NeverEnding Story (1984) If you’ve never seen this movie the you need to run–not walk–to your nearest Redbox or search Netflix for it because it’s worth the 107 minutes of viewing pleasure. It’s got a fantasy world (Fantasia), a young warrior (Atreyu), an assassin wolf (Gmork), a talking luck-dragon (Falkor), and child empress all rolled into one story. Can anyone say remake?
7. Wicker Park (2004) This remake of the 1996 French film L’Appartement is about a love triangle. I don’t know what’s up with me and twisted love stories but this one has me biting my nails every time. After two years away, will Matt find his one true live, Lisa, while following clues to her whereabouts in Chicago? How successful will Alex be in keeping them apart? I’m on the edge of my seat up til the very end at O’Hare Airport.
6. My Fair Lady (1964) Between the ages of 12 and 15 I was really into musicals, and this was my absolute favorite. I’d pretend to be Eliza Doolittle belting out Wouldn’t It Be Lovely and On the Street Where You Live. Thank goodness for George Bernard Shaw!
5. Shrek trilogy movies (excluding Shrek the Halls and Scared Shrekless) I got into this animated movie light years before my son was born, so I can’t blame it on him. What can I say? I enjoy being a kid at heart. 😊
4. A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984) What would my childhood be without a classic 80s movie? Boring. My brother, cousin, and I would huddle around the TV with popcorn and Kool-Aid to watch this horror classic. We were deranged for watching it but we didn’t care.
3. Love the Hard Way (2001) Adrien Brody and Charlotte Ayanna play characters from different worlds–she’s an innocent student and he’s a petty thief, both living in NYC. While she shows him the joys of enjoying life and being loved, he darkens the relationship with his evolvement in con-artist crimes. It isn’t your typical boy-meets-girl love story. It’s dark and moody–that’s what I love about it! And the ending is also quite fitting.
2. Star Wars Trilogy (1979-1983) This epic film convinced me that I had to be an actor. It had everything: plot, action, romance, and great/memorable characters. I can’t say that for the prequels that came out in 1999-2005. But what I will say is this: Disney better get these next three sequels right or else!
1. To Die For (1989) Don’t get this movie confused with that skanky 1995 Gus Van Sant film of the same title, starring Nicole Kidman and Joaquin Phoenix. I’m talking about the horror-romance film directed by Deran Sarafian, starring Brendan Hughes. Okay, so you don’t know who these people are and that’s not important. But what is important is that it started my obsession for the human-vampire relationship. If only I could purchase this on DVD then I’d be in heaven!
What are some of your favorite films?
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