The Soundtrack of my Childhood P1


I thought I’d blog purely for myself tonight. And myself wants to do some heavy tripping on the music/theme songs/sounds of my early childhood and youth. I’ve always loved music, especially the songs that help me retreat to  And how many childhood sounds do you and I possibly share?

One Radio Theme

Rush Limbaugh’s Theme. My parents were listening to Rush everyday even before I was born: so my lunches growing up in the kitchen was to Rush Limbaugh’s voice and theme with peanut butter and jelly. Mom and my sister and I would head bob to this song at the table while we ate. And I remember when I was older, like eight or nine, often holding the kitchen broom like a guitar and air strumming the bristles instead of sweeping. I don’t care if you’re conservative or liberal, but y’all gotta admit that this is an epic theme to hear growing up EVERY DAY. 😄

VeggieTales

VeggieTales. My childhood was awesome because of VeggieTales. We sang the songs all the time when I was just three and my sister a year old; I have specific vivid memories connected to the songs above. I love all the old silly songs, you guys. And the stuff mart rap was like pure dope. 😄 And LarryBoy was my first superhero. Since the entire show is strong in music, it makes sense that many of the early episodes were the background of my entire childhood.

The Busy World of Richard Scarry.

The Busy World of Richard Scarry songs. OH MY GOSH. THIS WAS MY EARLY CHILDHOOD. I WAS TWO OR THREE WHEN I WAS GIVEN VHS TAPES. AND HUCKLE AND LOWLY WHERE THE BROS AND I WILL NEVER HAVE ANYTHING BUT HAPPY FEELS. *pauses to take a chill pill.* But yes, childhood, the happy memories, the many songs: This was my Zootopia, guys.

Disney Songs/Musical Scores

Disney soundtracks. I have very distinct memories of these tracks! I WAS Tigger as a child and I bounced around the living room singing his song. 😄 The intro for 101 Dalmatians IS BURNED IN MY HEAD–I don’t know why. But it gives me the childhood chills. Any song from the Aristocats is pure childhood, to be honest. 😄 Little April Showers put me in awe. And The Jungle Book had that mysterious music that always grabbed my attention as the movie started.

Disney Cartoons

Assorted Disney Cartoon scores. I just need to hear the first few brass notes of Donald Duck’s theme to take me alllllll the way back. ❤ Now these cartoons above have very specific melodies that have stuck with me through the years. “It’s a lovely day, Dolores!” Goofy’s whistle in Crazy in the Heat. The little military melody in Whirl Wind. The great musical finale of Toby Tortoise Returns. And the song and piano diddly at the end of Two Chips and A Miss.

The Prince of Egypt

The Prince of Egypt soundtrack. I still count The Prince of Egypt as one of the defining musical moments of my childhood. My family didn’t own it, and I only saw it a few times growing up, but I’ll never forget the first time saw it. The music blew my mind and I was obsessed. I did have a cassette tape of the songs, and I listened to it constantly. Hans Zimmer will always mean the world to me because how seven-year old me felt when I heard his music.

 

I guess I’m going to stop there for the night; I’ll have to cover video game soundtracks and classical songs some other time. 😄 How about you guys, what childhood melodies do we have common?

~Jamie

Soundtracks//Hans Zimmer


When I first discovered as a teenager that I could listen to movie soundtracks by themselves, one of the first composers whose work I went to find was Hans Zimmer. He and John Williams were two names I knew whose work I loved, even at that point when I was quite clueless when it came the composers who score film soundtracks. So, as a sort of filler post which I’m needing at the moment, here are four tracks by Hans Zimmer that I instantly think of when I hear his name.

The Chariot Race || The Prince of Egypt: The Prince of Egypt left a strong impression on me when I first saw it as a kid, most specifically its songs and musical score. The animation was enchanting and the story well-told, but Hans Zimmer’s stirring, emotionally moving score was what stuck with me for years in my head. When I at last found and eventually bought the soundtrack, it was liking finding a piece of my being that had been missing. (One of these days, I will have to rank my favorite musical scores just so to see where this one falls!)

The Might of Rome || Gladiator: I heard the soundtrack for The Gladiator before I saw it, and I think that’s why I was left kinda disappointed by the film. The music swept me and my expectations so far away by its wonder that the film itself paled when I finally saw it, which is why I now highlight this soundtrack. The power of music, people! (This track specifically is my personal favorite because I have an old book scene completely mapped to this track by. the. note.)

An Argument/You’re Mufasa’s Boy/Remember || The Lion King: I love the music in this film, especially when watching the movie, as it adds an entire extra layer of amazing. The Lion King film is also incredibly important to me emotionally; my mom and I think it’s because she saw The Lion King in theaters when she was eight months pregnant with me and the music reached me through her belly–at least, that’s what I like to think. 😄

Final Credits || Inception: Finally, there is no way one can end this list without mentioning Inception. Inception’s music is one of the highlights of the film–even though the film is pretty much a highlight in and of itself. Definitely love the level of intensity the score reaches. Hans Zimmer is definitely awesome.

~Jamie

Top 100 Favorite Movies|10-1


The levels and elements of personal enjoyment, surprise, personal attachment/nostalgia, stand up to rewatches, and personal connection were fundamental in selecting these ten films. I include some personal connection in these reviews so they may look a little longer to read. 😛 Finally, a big thank you to my best friend James for inspiring me to attempt this list in the first place.croods-poster-emma-stone

10. The Croods | 2013 | PG

To everyone who assumes that once I’ve made up my mind that I will hate a movie and thinks “of course she didn’t like it then!”: let me present to you The Croods. I blame most of my first hate on the absolutely horrible advertising the film recieved–the films itself has so much more heart and deeper content than just slap-stick humor and modern family jokes. I liked it enough to rewatch it several times. Ultimately, what connects this movie to me so strongly is the story of Eep and her family leaving the cave and “never being afraid.” Almost literally my parents kept my sister and I in a bubble where “everything new was bad” and that everything in the world would result in our deaths. With my mom now trying to give Kayla and I freedom as young adults, I really feel like I’m finally leaving the cave and truly getting to live instead of “not dying.” 

Although this movie is pretty temporary here at the bottom of my top ten, I am positive that I will always love this film for it’s message and special-ness to my personal story. (Also the movie features a lot of great elements like meta modern family humor, a teenage guy who isn’t a oily or slick but is actually decent nice person, beautiful animation, Emma Stone, and a creative prehistoric world!)

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9. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 | 2011 | PG-13

Considering my history of being opposed to Harry Potter, for one of it’s movies to hold position 9 is pretty darn good if you ask me. This movie is exactly how you want to end a big franchise. It is the strongest Harry Potter film, extremely powerful with emotion, action, and satisfying conclusion. Even though I knew of several deaths, I was very surprised by how much I was moved by them and the ending was so beautiful that I cried during that too. The great battle of Hogwarts is one of the best adventures I’ve seen on screen as well.

On a personal level, getting to the position where I felt free enough to watch Harry Potter without feeling like a bad Christian was big all on its own, so to get a great ending to a beautiful saga is like double the blessing. Although I’m not completely free of fear of what people might think of me, on the other side there is still something very freeing to be able to own my love for Harry and not let what other people think hinder me personally. It’s for these reasons Deathly Hallows Part 2 made it to my top 9 movies!Ben-Hur-1959-movie-poster

8. Ben-Hur | 1959 | G

My most favorite classic epic, Ben-Hur has been one of my favorite stories since my early teens. The themes of revenge and forgivness have never been caputered on such a scope of epicness to me before or since. This is my favorite story tied into Biblical events as we see how Christ’s touch on Judah Ben-Hur’s life eventually effects him in the end. The build to the magnificent and raw chariot race is one of my favorite moments in cinema history. I have always loved Stephen Boyd as Massala and Charlton Heston truly owns Judah Ben-Hur in a way that completely makes the movie. The soundtrack is one of my personal favorites, the cinematography is amazing, and the story and characters are timeless. Truly one of the best epics ever created.beauty_and_the_beast_ver1

7. Beauty and the Beast | 1991 | G

Easily my most favorite fairy tale of all times, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast has been a favorite of mine since I was small. The magic of it’s heart, music, animation and characters has yet to die from my soul. Just like The Prince of Egypt, the songs are not only emotionally moving but they also move the plot forward or really give you a great glimpse into a character’s dimension that will help build the story at the end. I consider this the ultimate princess Disney feature and easily one of Disney’s best, most unbeatable works of art. The animation is flawless and the atmosphere never fails to fill me with intrigue and bated breath. To me, this is the ultimate love story and the impact it still has on me today when I think of heroines, love, selflessness, magic and animation itself is truly special to me.hot_fuzz_ver4_xlg

6. Hot Fuzz | 2007 | R

Easily my favorite comedy of all time (sorry, 21 Jump Street, but the Brits take it.) Hysterically clever, the film delivers laughs that are strongly balanced by fantastic characters, a strong mystery and lots of metaphorical moments that completely respect but laugh at the action genre on a whole. Simon Pegg perfectly captures Nicholas Angel’s rigid love for justice while Nick Frost plays the perfect sidekick Danny Butterman who isn’t too silly and perfectly compliments Angel’s personality—these two characters and actors are one of the most ultimate duos in cinema and TV history. Yes, I just said that. However, the one thing I love best about this movie besides the humor, action spoofy-ness and characters, is it’s Miss Marple/English Village flavored mystery. It hearkens back to my first love–a good old fashioned who-dun-it! Rolled together it creates truly one of the best comedies/action/mystery flicks of all time.Star Wars - A New Hope (1977) Style A by Tom Jung

5. Star Wars: A New Hope | 1977 | PG

I know everyone loves Empire Strikes Back; I love it too. But whenever I think of my love for Star Wars, I always think of A New Hope. There’s just a special place in my heart for the very first Star Wars film and that’s how it beat Empire. This movie is just about the definition of the word ‘classic’. The soundtrack is amazing, the effects still hold up well today and the story’s plot flow is perfection. I love the introduction we receive to Princess Leia, Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker , Han Solo, Chewbaca and of course the droids. Everything plays a role in the film with a solid opening and a conclusive ending which I prefer to the big cliff-hanger, even if that had a great impact on cinema history with Empire. There is so much to love in A New Hope but I really shouldn’t need to go on much longer here :P. There are few movies that can even come to rival the greatness of Star Wars and the impact it’s had on pop culture and intimate lives–myself included! All hail the great sci-fi film of the ages!posters12/11/08

4. Rocky | 1976 | PG

I love a great underdog story and this easily my favorite of them all. However, to me Rocky is more than just an excellent boxing story with a fantastic delivery of one man’s personal struggles in and out of the ring. To me, Rocky presents a strong representation of true manhood. Coming from a spiritual background where outward perfection was strived for more than a humble spirit in many of the men around me, watching Rocky was like a breath of fresh air and a strong reminder to me of what real men are made up of. Strength of body and mind are nothing in a man if they are not clothed in a gentle spirit. Rocky is one of my personal heroes because he is a very gentle man, shown by how he approaches people, goes out of his way to help others in his own way, and steadily attempts to win Adrian’s heart. For these reasons (and the simple fact that this is simply a stunning film) Rocky will always mean the world to me.tlk-new-poster

3. The Lion King | 1994 | G

The only reason The Lion King managed to beat Beauty and the Beast was because of my emotional connection, which even I find strange since I didn’t grow up seeing it a million times or anything. Recently playing the movie in the background of my day, I choked up about six times and got chills at least five and I wasn’t even paying that much attention. These are not even your classic moments like Mufasa’s passing; this is moments like Rafiki speaking to Simba and the log bridge scene during Hakuna Matata. I can’t explain my connection to this film, I only know it’s there. The songs and soundtrack, voice talent, and animation strongly combined with the grown up themes of throne-stealing, murder, and fear, creates one of, if not maybe Disney’s best animated film of all time.0103074_big

2. Thelma and Louise | 1991 | R

One of the best female-oriented films I’ve ever seen; this spoke to me and my own personal situation which is how it became my second favorite movie. I’ve always knew of the names Thelma and Louise; they’ like Lucy and Ethel or Lewis and Clark. 😛 But when I finally got around to watching the movie, I was so happy and surprised to discover it was a masterpiece must-see. Themed with timeless invaluable friendship and taking control of one’s own life and choices, Thelma and Louise both empowered and uplifted me as a woman and human being. Humorous and delightful while also being dark and somber, the film delivers a well balanced plot and character journey which I strongly related to because I myself am just beginning to make my own life discions. For more amazing reasons why this movie is fantastic, head over to my latest guest post on J and J Productions when you’re done here!5k8lv1eXe7vbeJ57eXLIKxFamAQ

1. Clue | 1985 | PG

Out of all the genres that could compete to win my number one film, my love for the who-dun-it mystery genre won out, and it actually won very easily. From the beginning of this list, I never had a hard time deciding that Clue would reign at the top. In fact, during the construction of this post, I rewatched Clue with my sister and about twenty minutes in, she turned to me and said, “This feels like it should be your number one movie, Jamie.” I definitely knew then that this movie was truly my cinema soul-mate.

It’s everything I want from a murder mystery; quotable dialogue, a fantastic period setting of the 1950’s, lovable slapstick humor that isn’t too over the top, continuous plot twists, a sly self-awareness of it’s genre, and truly quirky characters (all of them gems but my favorites including Mrs. Peacock, Mr. Green, and Tim Curry as Wadsworth the Butler.) The multiple endings hearkens back to the game board where you can get a different murderer each round; however there is an official ending that wraps up the film perfectly. I’ve rewatched this film countless times and continue to catch little things, expressions, or moments that add to the atmosphere or plot!

Interestingly, I’ve only played the board game a few times and my attachment to the film does not come from the game itself. Growing up, 80 percent of the books I read were mysteries, so it should be no mystery (HA!) that my personal attachment to the genre should transfer to films. Overall, Clue is simply a fantastically enjoyable mystery film. While one will either get it or not get it, either way I highly recommend it, because, after all, it is my number one favorite film of all time.

~Jamie

Top 100 Favorite Movies|20-11


Well, we’ve hit my top twenty (plus a bonus in this post-because of rearranging.) Although I’ve loved that I’ve been able to do this blog series, I’m also excited to be near the end! No lie; it has been very challenging to come up with 100 mini reviews within the past two months. Still, I’ve been thrilled just to have achieved this task of ranking some of my favorite movies, even if they rearrange themselves every so often. Seriously, it’s a huge accomplishment for me personally! Okay, enough talking, let’s go!

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20. How to Train Your Dragon | 2010 | PG

This actually feels a little low for How To Train Your Dragon because this movie is genuinely awesome–like, pretty much everything about it is awesome. I tend to be a little protective of the film-it always made me mad to hear church friends call Hiccup a modern day wimp, even before I watched the movie. Hiccup is one of my favorite animated characters Dreamworks has ever made because he’s a hard worker even though his size prohibited him from being like everyone else. He’s an underdog, he’s compassionate, smart, has a fun sense of humor and brave enough to change his entire culture by learning to not be afraid of new knowledge. Besides Hiccup and Toothless (who can dislike Toothless) being some of my favorite characters, the film has an amazing soundtrack, fantastic visuals, lots of fu and suspense along with the interesting setting of the Vikings. How To Train Your Dragon is very easily one of the best animated films I’ve seen and it’s very easy for it to be in my top twenty!

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19. The Help | 2011 | PG-13

Earlier I said “The Devil Wears Prada” was my highest ranked chick-flick and I would continue to hold to that statement because The Help, although a film that would appeal more to women, has content more deep than one would normally find in a “chick-flick”. Once again, Emma Stone is perfection, this time as Skeeter, an aspiring writer looking to talk about something deeper; with the invaluable help of Minny and Aibileen, she goes attempts to do just that. I love this movie for how many issues it touches without being overwhelming–standing up for something you believe in, even when it’s very very scary; being bold enough to write something revolutionary; learning that people are not always what they seem; learning what real beauty is: all with depth, humor, and heart. The story is moving and encouraging and sad and quite funny! A chick flick this is not.

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(Bonus) 19. Men in Black | 1997 | PG-13

Some last minute rearranging led to have Men In Black bumped around a tad bit; it is technically now the new number 19. 😛 Anyway. Men in Black! When I put the film into my laptop, I didn’t know much about it at all except that it was very popular, but that can mean so many things when it comes to certain movies, right?! So, I went in with no expectations and was shocked to fall in love with it as the film got going. In fact, I’m mad that I didn’t get to see it sooner than I did. I’ve always liked Tommy Lee Jones but this movie made me really love Will Smith. The combination of the two actors is a match made in heaven. Besides the enjoyable science-fiction/super-secret agent elements, it was also just darn funny and exciting! Definitely stood up to the hype and was incredibly fun! So, bumped up high because of surprise elements and brilliant script, MIB is definately one of my very favorites.

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18. Despicable Me | 2010 | PG

Despicable Me; it looks like one of those cheesy kid movies, and in some ways it is. It’s also heart warming and plain freaking hilarious . The minions are pretty much the pinnacle of success when it comes to comedy and animation. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t like the minions. Steve Carrel is perfect as Gru; the accent and everything is what makes the character so great. The three girls are very lovable and they balance each other’s personalities out well. Their interaction with Gru is great. One of my favorite parts about this movie is Gru’s transition from his bad guy persona to willing father to three girls who need a dad and what he’s willing change  for them. Considering I’ve seen my own dad choose things over me, these moments in the film are very touching to me, especially near the end. So, packing a punch to funny bone and heartstrings, Despicable Me is one of the best non-Disney movies in my book!

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17.  Iron Man | 2008 | PG-13

(I swear foreign posters are always the coolest–I had to use at least one! :P) The beginning of the Marvel Cinematic Universe franchise, Iron Man is still one of the best superhero movies I’ve ever seen. What a strong start! Tony Stark’s origin as a playboy genius turned terrorist fighter is rendered beautifully in this film. Tony Stark is one of my very favorite heroes because his journey towards heroism is gradual but real. I still consider Tony Stark one of my top ten favorite fictional heroes ever. Iron Man also introduced one of my favorite female characters from comic book origin, Pepper Potts. Pepper and her relationship with Tony is set perfectly in the first film and developed well throughout the Iron Man movies. I’m always grateful that the relationship was not rushed within this particular film as it kept it realistic and more lovable. Besides the AMAZING soundtrack, humor and heart, Iron Man is a fantastic superhero movie that begins one of my favorite franchises perfectly.

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16. Iron Man 3 | 2013 | PG-13

In which Tony Stark continues to get even more awesome! This was the perfect place to pick up right after The Avengers and it was also just a great continuation of Tony Stark’s story. The Tony in Iron Man 3 is way more sensitive and mature than the Tony in the first Iron Man. This is what continually reminds me that Tony is one of my favorite heroes. He’s still himself while becoming more responsible and dependable, like a real hero. Besides the movie just being all around entertaining, hysterical, and engaging, I really appreciated how much raw soul we got from the characters. There nothing like a “former” bad*ss superhero now dealing with panic attacks and making more effort than ever to make his girl feel secure in their relationship–seemingly small scale things that are actually very relatable, relevant and important! As Tony becomes more and more real, the more amazing he becomes. And Pepper Potts; she was just AWESOME in this movie. Also the climatic ending of this movie is one of my ultimate favorites.

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15. Wreck-It Ralph | 2012 | PG

I’M GOING TO SAY THIS FOR THE ONE THOUSANDTH TIME. THIS IS UNDERRATED GENIUS. From the minute I saw the first trailer, I knew I would love this movie. And boy is it good. I love the video game world that was constructed–the whole world just reeks with brilliant creativity! The plot delivery is great and main characters are so lovable! However, my favorite aspect of the movie is it’s message. I saw Wreck-It Ralph during a point in my life when I really didn’t know what was “me” and what was ‘what other people wanted me to be” and it was very confusing. I was at a place where I was becoming tired of trying to please everyone, of trying to keep from stepping on toes in my Christian circles and was slightly conflicted on what my dad wanted me do/be and what I felt was right. Wreck-It Ralph was a beautiful, funny yet perfectly timed reminder that the best thing to be in life is yourself.

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14. Thor: The Dark World | 2013 | PG-13

Oh my gosh this movie was so fun. Haha, that could be the tag line: Thor The Dark World: so much fun. While I was a little worried about how they would handle post-New York Loki, Marvel was amazing and handled him and Thor beautifully. What I loved best about Thor The Dark World was how well they continued the main characters’ stories while delivering a fantastic theater experience. It. was. so. fun! Thor and Loki’s brother dynamic was explored more and that was one of my favorite parts. I do not understand the hate for Jane, I loved her in this movie and waiting for the reunion between her and Thor was also high on my list of priorities for the movie to cover. I was pleased with the result! Despite Darcy being a little over the top, I can’t come up with any complaints that I have about the movie. It was everything I wanted from the Thor sequel and easily one of the most enjoyable times for at the theater!

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13. Die Hard | 1988 | R

The action genre at it’s best. I repeat, it’s best. I’m serious, I consider this the unrivaled king of action films because it’s basically as close as you can get to perfection. Especially in this genre where 90% of recent action movies can’t seem to handle a good plot, special effects, decent humor and believable characters all at once (resulting in the characters becoming limp, thus the inevitable flop into the mud.) Die Hard delivers the opposite of that in spades. Basically, if you haven’t seen this movie yet, you need to do whatever you have to do to see it. So, besides it being perfection, why else is it so high on my list? One name: John McClane. Your every day cop pushed beyond the limits. He’s such a great character, who not only is a perfect bad*ss action hero but also goes through some fantastic character development! One of the most touching parts to me is when he realizes what he should have done differently in his struggling marriage and takes it to heart. I wish I could have seen this in real life from my own dad, but the next best is from the good heroes in the movies. That’s what I’ll always say. Yippee-ki-yay!

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12. Captain America: the Winter Soldier | 2014 | PG-13

Of all The Avenger sequels, I was most worried about this one for the sake of my favorite Avenger. I didn’t want Steve Rogers’ conservative beliefs to be changed, watered down, or compromised to “make all audiences happy.” I didn’t want Sharon Carter to be introduced right away as a love interest and loose the specialness that Steve and Peggy had had. I didn’t want Natasha’s character to be handled wrong or taken in a weird direction. Thankfully, Marvel delivered and my faith in them is now stronger than ever before. 😀 I personally was relieved that my favorite superhero wasn’t tampered with but was delighted that he and his beliefs were respected throughout the film. So, not only was it amazing sequel to The First Avenger/The Avengers, it delivered it’s own story keeping true to the heart of what Captain America actually represents. Five stars from me!

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11. The Avengers | 2012 | PG-13

The Avengers bounced up and down my list constantly, from between my top forty and top ten. It was hard finding even a temporary point for this film. It’s not like I rewatch The Avengers all the time or anything like several of the movies in my top ten. However, it has finally settled here at number eleven, and so many of you have already seen it that I shouldn’t need to go into too much explanation as to the specialness of this movie. Because even though it didn’t make my top ten, The Avengers and it’s many movies have had a beautiful impact on my life. This movie is what I consider “comic book spirit adaption” perfection. Marvel gave us something very special. It gave me something special. Superheroes in New York. Who knew it could be so funny, touching, and exciting! That’s what movies are all about.

~Jamie

Top 100 Favorite movies|50-41


Intro

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50. The Devil Wears Prada | 2006 | PG-13

This is one of those popular chick flicks that one hears about and at least knows that Meryl Streep rocks the movie. When I finally got around to seeing this, I instantly fell in love with the film’s vibe and characters. So far, this is the only movie where I’ve really loved Anne Hathaway as a performer, as she played Andrea perfectly! This was my first film seeing Meryl Streep and she instantly won my fanship and respect by being fantastic! Her character Miranda Priestly was such a sharp yet quiet devil; it was just a delight to watch. Overall, this isprobably one of my most favorite chick flicks because it was funny (I absolutely adore the character Emily, she was hysterical,) it followed the world of fashion in an interesting way that didn’t drive the tom boy half of me crazy, and the end message was satisfying and didn’t feel cliche.

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49. Finding Nemo | 2003 | G

My love-hate history with this movie finally won over to the love side! You would think that it being the first and only Pixar movie I saw in it’s entirety as a kid, I would have liked it right away but it took years before I was finally able to understand the film’s message. Although Nemo still annoys me, I better understand his character to the point where he doesn’t make me want to punch a hole through my bedroom wall. I also better understand Marlin and fully appreciate his journey from uptight timidity to fearless trust. The undersea setting is one of my favorites from Pixar because of how well the animation and soundtrack compliment it. Dory is one of Pixar’s best characters and her and Marlin create a hysterical duo in this film! The only thing I still don’t completely like are those gosh darn sea turtles. Just no. But otherwise, this is one of my favorite Pixar films.

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48. Toy Story 2 | 1999 | G

The Toy Story trilogy is one of the only trilogies I know where each movie is better than the last. I love everything about this movie; Woody’s Roundup Gang, Star Wars references, the introduction to Barbie, the airplane scene at the end; the movie truly left the backyard and I absolutely love how much the world scale grew! The characters are as great as before, the animation is better, the plot is fantastic and the heart of the story still rings true to childhood. This movie makes it even harder to pick a favorite character; I would probably stand for ages trying to decide between Woody and Buzz, but I will say in a lickety-split that Mr Potato Head speaks to snarky soul within me. 😉

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47. Air Force One | 1997 | R

This is one of my most favorite Harrison Ford films. He plays a fantastic United States President! The plot is fantastic, now probably overdone, but in this movie the plane takeover works great. The little twists and turns the plot takes are delivered perfectly, making the ride unforgettably thrilling. The relief from suspense to even more suspense delivered on top is perfect–plot, action and character delivery all remind me of Die Hard in a sense. The action and thriller aspects combined with international drama is great and it all delivers one very fantastic film.  This is one of those movies where I walk away feeling very proud to be an American and wishing President Marshall actually existed.

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46. The Amazing Spider-Man | 2012 | PG-13

This was my first Spider-Man movie; I got to see in theaters without any knowledge of certain deaths or character turns, ect. Now, even though I dearly love the original trilogy, this one is my favorite Spidey movie for several reasons. I loved the dark modern feel of whole film, the deeper tones of blue and red in the suit, just the overall more serious tone. I love Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone together as Peter and Gwen. Their characters’ relationship has so far lacked the never-able-to-connect feel that Peter and Mary Jane seemed to have that always frustrated me. Speaking of Andrew and Emma, they are both great in this, especially Emma. I love Gwen’s character a lot more than Mary Jane’s; she helpful to Peter’s Spider-Man and I love how science-y she is. Also this movie has my one of my favorite Stan Lee cameos. Overall, Andrew Garfield plays a great Peter Parker/Spider-Man in this, so I’m very very excited for the upcoming sequel this summer!

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45. Transformers | 2007 | PG-13

I don’t care what anyone says, I love this movie too much and very much. Shia LaBeouf plays the wonderful Sam Witckey–Sam is one of my favorite teenaged characters because he’s endearing and witty and has a normal imperfect life before getting caught up in an alien war. I love how hysterical this movie is, Sam is hilarious, his parents are hilarious; I just laugh really hard at this movie. Moving on, in regard to plot and characterization, one of my favorite parts about this movie is how the military element is actually flushed out. You know how in movies when some monster or supervillian starts destroying a city and the army shows up and they’re at risk but you don’t care? Transformers actually fixes this by getting us invested with these army men right off the bat in the beginning of themovie. I love that  they actually get us involved with the usual “background military” reinforcements! To cut down this already overly-long blurb, I’ll just say that I really love the first Transformers movie and it’s one of my favorite sci-fi films.

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44. Toy Story 3 | 2010 | G

Picking a favorite Toy Story film is hard because they’re all just SO. GOOD. However I think I’ve settled on Toy Story 3 being my favorite. It’s hard to fight the whole “Andy’s leaving for college, oh my gosh, I’m college aged and my poor toys are in the attic all alone right now, oh no” reliability the film presents. The plot is once again great, the animation easily at it’s best out of the whole trilogy and the new characters are great additions to the family (Ken and Barbie are a stand-out pair of characters and one of my favorite film couples! lol) And once again, the connection the film is able to make to it’s young adult viewers is also fantastic. There’s not much left to say that the film wraps up the trilogy well and yet again succeeds at creating another great sequel for our favorite band of toys. Alsothismoviewillmakeanyonecry.

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43. Winnie the Pooh | 2011 | G

How did Winnie the Pooh beat Toy Story 3? Well, I guess in a sense nostalgia does win in it’s own way. To go back to 2011, I was a little nervous when this movie came out because of how much I loved the original movie and original books. For Disney to revisit Pooh’s Hundred Acre Wood and not screw anything up felt like a big deal to me. But they pulled it off! Not only did the movie have a similar if not slightly updated feel to The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, but it used some book quotes and plots that I both loved and wanted to see put into animation! That was very thrilling! Anyway, I adore this film. to. freaking. bits. The music and songs are lifting and cheerful, the characters were all revisited perfectly, the humor was as funny and decent as always, and the animation beautiful. I love how well the plot flows, how absolutely adorable Pooh is in this movie and how wonderful the overall experience is. I want another Pooh movie if they could make it just like this one.

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42. Alien | 1979 | R

Hey, hey, calling sci-fi nerdy girls like me? If you want to be introduced to the horror genre with something you already love such as sci-fi, than start out with this movie. I immediately knew I would at least like this because of the sci-fi outer space element; instead I ended up loving it! In regards to plot: you know the classic horror story “People trapped in haunted house being chased by supernatural who-knows-what”? That’s what this is except on a spaceship with an unknown alien form. 😀 Not only is the use of suspense and horror executed perfectly in this movie, it also introduces you to a fantastic female character who isn’t stupid, who’s smart and strong yet not an unbreakable wall with no emotion. Overall, I was on the edge of my seat watching this! The thrills and suspense are alone worth the time to watch, at least if you are interested in that type of movie.

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41. The Prince of Egypt | 1998 | PG

This is pretty much an out and out review but there was so much that needed to be said that I’ve simply broken it up for y’all for easier reading. 🙂 Anyway, out of nearly all my favorite animated features, I would call this one the most epic and maybe even the most beautiful in terms of execution, heart and soul. Since I’ve eight or nine years old, this movie has stuck to my sub-conscious like a burr, coming back to haunt me. One of the biggest reasons is because of it’s unbelievable soul stirring soundtrack and musical numbers; I’m still captivated by Through Heaven’s Eyes, Deliver Us, The Plagues and When You Believe; the neat thing is, is that all the songs in this movie serve to move the plot forward instead of putting the plot on pause. To me, these songs can stand their ground up against anything Disney has to offer.

For an animated movie, the film treads on a darker side with only a few slightly amusing characters and moments sprinkled throughout a rather serious film, which I strongly appreciate. The film’s style of sweeping grandeur yet gritty backdrops of Egypt are some of the best I’ve ever seen when it comes to the animated mood and setting for the epic tale of Moses.Even though I grew up with and still love Charlton Heston’s The Ten Commandments, The Prince of Egypt is hands down my favorite adaption of the Exodus story. Through the dimensional leading characters, songs, and classic twisting moments of Moses’s life, the film brings out the Biblical tale without making the well known story boring. This includes the elements of brotherly love and loss, tragedy and triumph, and the full awesomeness of God’s deliverance of His people from slavery. I’m sure this movie will keep my heart captured for many more years and it is only topped by a few other animated films on this list.

~Jamie