Movies of Interest


I only have three movies to discuss this time, but I’m excited for all the summer flicks that are coming up! I’m sure I’ll be doing this blog series a bit more often! So many good movies coming. But for now, I’m still playing catch up with last year’s. 😄
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Exodus: Gods and Kings | 3.5/5

After watching the trailer I knew I would want to see this. I was nervous that it might turn out to be a terrible adaption like Noah had earlier in the year. But I kept my fingers crossed, and was pleasantly surprised by the film that I got. In comparison, Exodus sticks closer to the original biblical story than Noah did…not super closely of course; I don’t go into Hollywood adaptions of biblical tales and expect a good adaptions anyway–you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment that way. The cinematography and effects were amazing though. I’ve been waiting for a movie to show the plagues and it be realistic, so that was definitely a home run. The overall technical parts of the film were simply fantastic. The only thing that really failed for me was that the characters themselves were flat and didn’t affect me as a viewer. To me, that’s worse than not giving a word for word adaptation. On an overall scale, it was an enjoyable movie for what it was.

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Unbroken | 2.5/5

Disappointed. Everyone was raving over the book and movie when it came out past Christmas. I’m sure the book is a lot better than the movie, or at least I hope it is. Mom and I decided to watch this together, as we were under the impression that it was an inspiring story. We were not that inspired once we hit the end. We followed this young man through trauma and torture for two long hours, waiting and waiting and waiting for that triumphant ending. Instead, it just…ended. Flatly. There was no triumph. There was no emotional punch at the end, like “Wow! He survived! He made it! We’re so touched!” The film completely failed to communicate any positive emotion at the end other than exhaustion. Which is how we felt when it FINALLY ended. No disrespect to the real man himself, please understand. I just think Angelina Jolie’s movie failed miserably at what it was trying to do. I’m sure glad I didn’t go see this on Christmas day.

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Interstellar | 4/5

While I got a few elements that I didn’t expect, Interstellar basically delivered what I thought I would get. Space. Wormholes. Family. Science. Overall it was good, if a bit long. It was much more interesting that Gravity, thankfully. The acting was on point, too; I loved Mathew McConaughy in the lead role! The only person who felt odd to me was Anne Hathaway. Not that she was bad, but because her face and name was distracting–I didn’t even remember that character’s name, I just remember “oh, and Anne Hathaway.” 😄 Overall, it was great movie, a little heady, but enjoyable in its own right. Was it the next Inception? To me, no. Inception was tons more fun. 😀 But if you liked Inception, you should definitely give this a watch!

~Jamie

27 Reasons I Love The Cornetto Trilogy


tumblr_mqmy5kvxze1rrglv9o1_500I’ve found a lot of great movies this year and I have two trilogies I need to talk about before the year is over–Lord of the Rings and The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy. Since I watched Cornetto first, I’m going to talk about them first– also because they’re among the most funny, entertaining, and quirky films I’ve ever seen in my life. For the longest time, I couldn’t come up with anything to say about them outside of ‘THEY’RE SO GOOD. GO WATCH THEM RIGHT NOW” which would not have made the best post. Well, I’ve remedied that today with nine thoughts on each film. 🙂

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But what exactly is The Cornetto Trilogy?

The Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy:

The Cornetto Trilogy consists of three comedic genre films written by Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg starring Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. They are unrelated to each other but I consider it proper to watch them in the order they were made; you’ll catch references and jokes from the first film if you pay attention during the second and third. Cornetto is a brand of ice cream that inadvertently appears briefly in some form or fashion in each film, which leads to the name The Cornetto Trilogy. (Alert to Martin Freeman fans: he appears in all three, each role bigger with each film!)

The Films include:

Shaun of the Dead, the first, is a romantic comedy zombie film–“Shaun becomes so lost in his personal troubles and dull life that he barely notices the zombie apocalypse happening around him; when he does, his first reaction is the protect the woman that he loves.”

Hot Fuzz is the second film, a comedy/thriller/mystery/action homage–“An exceptional police officer, Nicholas Angel, is transferred to sleepy little town of Sandford that turns out to be not so sleepy.” (Fuzz is a derogatory term for cop or police.)

Finally, there is The World’s End, which focuses more on character issue and dynamics more than the alien invasion spoof– “Chasing nostalgia from his youth when everything felt perfect, Gary King drags his four old”friends” back to their old town for a pub crawl only be caught up the extraterrestrial.”

Let’s start those 27 reasons now. 😀

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1. In the zombie films I’ve seen, most apocalypses are portrayed as taking the characters by surprise in a split second,  changing the world in a flash. In Shaun of the Dead, the apocalypse is slow; over a day and a night goes by before the main characters even notice because they’ve been so involved in their own mundane lives and problems. I consider this twist on zombie apocalypses brilliant!

2. The film’s image of humanity’s lack of zest for life being similar to just existing like a zombie is fantastic and a little nudge in the ribs. It’s presented very humorously, too, specifically during the title credits!

3. I consider this trilogy, especially this film, to be the essences of quirky-ness. I can’t stand over-done or fake quirky-ness in people, films, and the internet (for an example of fake quirk: Anna from Frozen–she’s not quirky, she’s an awkward air head. Gr.) I cling tightly to the truly quirky things I find. Out of the three Cornetto films, this is the quirky-est of them all!

4. The chemistry between the actors, especially Simon and Nick, lay groundwork for the film to really work. In many ways, it lays groundwork for the next two films as well–I walked away  from Shaun wanting more of Simon and Nick acting together!

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5. The main character, Shaun, is the most lovable guy–he’s well-meaning and soft-hearted. Although he lets the consequences of his passiveness sneak up on him, he does make a real effort to fix things with his girlfriend after it’s shaken him up. When he finally comes face to face with zombies, he’s more than capable of taking them down, too. I would want Shaun on my zombie team if I could!

6. This might be a short reason but worth noting… I love Shaun’s goatee in this film! I’m not really a beard person, but Simon Pegg really wore it well. ❤ I missed it a little bit in Hot Fuzz, lol. 🙂

7. This film is flavored with a distinct smart British humor–trust me, all the films are, but I’ll talk about it here with this film. British humor is smart and used effectively! Unlike a lot of American humor, British humor relies on sharp dialogue rather than sexual innuendos and fart jokes. British humor can sometimes be more subjective to personal taste, but if you enjoy TV shows from England like Doctor Who, the humor isn’t a hard jump to get and is very refreshing! It’s nice to have a trilogy of movies assume I’m a smart viewer who can understand good humor! A+!

8. That theme song–I love it, it’s so strange!! You gotta hear to believe it! (It is one of those songs I don’t mind getting stuck in my head.)

9. The film is unafraid to smartly. kill. off. characters. I won’t say much else, but a zombie film is no good if nobody dies…

Because zombies aren’t always everyone’s thing, I can see a lot of people avoiding this movie and going straight for Hot Fuzz. However, to me, although not mandatory, it’s still ideal to watch them in order if it is possible. My sister told me she was glad she saw Shaun first because she didn’t think she would have enjoyed Hot Fuzz as much as she had without it. Of course, that’s not to say you won’t enjoy Hot Fuzz without Shaun, I simple think Shaun makes Hot Fuzz an even more enjoyable experience. This has become a tongue twister so let’s move on. 🙂

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1. The freaking opening…dramatic chilling walk, fastest character assessment ever, narrated by Martin Freeman… This film KNOWS how to begin and it’s amazing!

2. This film has a fun cast of quirky characters; from the villagers to the members of the police force, everyone is memorable! I’d hate to spoil anything, so I won’t say much here except that this film’s cast is outrageous fun!

3. Nick Frost’s best character work is in this film in the form of Danny Butterman. Danny is sweet and earnest; the perfect sidekick to Simon’s sharp character Nicholas Angel. Danny wants to learn how to be a better cop, and befriends and respects Nicholas as a friend and fellow cop in a very endearing way. Gotta love Danny!

4. Out of the three movies, the buddy relationship between Simon Pegg and Nick Frost’s characters is at it’s best here between Nicholas Angel and Danny Butterman. The friendship’s development is so fun to watch, especially because their cops. Buddy cop films are the best, after all!

5. The murder mystery is actually great. When I first heard about this film, I thought it was going to more action driven. While there is homage to action, much of the story is more driven by a chilling murder mystery! The mystery element is handled very well throughout the script and editing, and it’s terribly fun to get caught up with Nicholas trying to unravel who the killer is!

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6. Due to fantastic acting, chemistry, and writing, the depth of emotion in Hot Fuzz’s core characters is surprisingly touching! Every once and awhile, the film slows down just enough to give us little glimpses into the characters before dashing on. This makes for a more heartfelt ending. This is often lacking in action movies where the drive is more plot or action, so it was very satisfying to have a balance throughout this film.

7. The cameos in this film are outrageous! 😀 Even more Martin Freeman, a Bill Nighy cameo from Shaun, a Peter Jackson cameo (hard to spot!), a Cate Blanchett cameo…

8. Overall, this film is near perfection. It has an amazing atmosphere and plot pace; laughs are stretched throughout entire film; characterization is amazing, the action at the end is hysterical and fun, the mystery is well thought-out… it’s just an outright hoot!

9. Surprise! You knew I had to mention this: Hot Fuzz is one in my top ten favorite films of all time because I loved it so much!

What more do I need to say; I flipping love this movie as it’s everything I love from the murder mystery/action/comedy genre!

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1. In the last two films, Simon Pegg’s protagonists had always been likable, but we get a change of pace with the character Gary King! Simon’s acting as an obnoxious character is actually great fun and really proves his abilities as an actor. Gary King comes off as very unlikable and insensitive throughout most of the film, but I somehow liked the character by the end of the story. I’d say that is all because of Simon…

2. This film has Martin Freeman’s biggest role in The Cornetto Trilogy. Martin plays one of Gary’s old high school friends and obviously does a smashing job. I’m a huge fan of Martin since his amazing work in Sherlock as John Watson. I get a kick out of seeing him play other roles while Sherlock on hiatus.

3. Even though this film is also a comedy, it’s a little different from the other two. The underlying theme of chasing nostalgia has an almost tragic feeling. The characters are more tragic-like, too. It’s a nice change of pace.

4. Martin’s character has a fun line where he exclaims “WTF”–he literally says WTF instead of the actual swear line–and it gets me every time.

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5. The opening montage narrated by Simon Pegg is fantastic (this has become a regular with these movies–strong openings!) It’s a memorable part that gets paralleled throughout the rest of the film. It really sets the whole mood of the movie–a wish for the good old days, which is something we all chase in our own ways.

6. I love the soundtrack of this film; it reminds me of the type of soundtrack Guardians received, in a sense. Most of the songs come from late 80’s/early 90’s era and perfectly gives me a taste of what Gary chases after throughout the story. Out of all the films, this might be my favorite soundtrack.

7. This one is short, but I kinda want to cosplay Gary King. He has a smashing coat, car, and swagger.

8. They were completely R rated, but before the gang even got to their destination, there were two jokes that made me laugh so hard, I cried and had to stop the movie. I wish I could write snappy dialogue that this film displays among the five main characters. (The Three Musketeers bit. Oh my gosh, I was left for dead at the side of the road from that bit.)

9. I find it interesting that this is the most picked on of the three films. A lot of people don’t like this film–it may be because the main character is annoying and or ‘the magic spark has gone’ but I frankly enjoyed this film quite a lot. Comparing it to Shaun and Hot Fuzz, it doesn’t quite reach the same heights, but compared to your average American flick, it’s still very good.That’s where I stand on that subject.

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Well, there is nothing more to say. These are some of the best films I discovered this year and it was about time I wrote about them. If you’ve seen one of these, you must tell me what you thought of it! Until next time…need anything from the shop? Maybe some ice cream?…

~Jamie

Me and Harry Potter


715b1ed5ec0956f1db5e008cf3187e5bGrowing up in a Christian environment, there were certain things I just didn’t get to do growing up. My parents sheltered my sister and I more than any other family I knew growing up: I didn’t go trick or treating, I didn’t have many good friends, I didn’t go to Sunday School after my eighth birthday; I didn’t see most of your standard Disney and Pixar movies, I didn’t listen or watch Adventures in Odyssey, and I rarely got to paint my nails until after I reached my mid-teens.

Now, I don’t tell you this to make you feel sorry for me, but to show you where I have come from. It gives gravity to my journey. Growing up, I didn’t get to do a lot of normal things and I saw that as just what my family did.

Although we didn’t much talk directly about big Christian taboo topics, I grew up under a strong, firm impression that magic, especially in fiction, was bad. Like, really, really bad. Magic could look good in fiction, so my parents didn’t even let me read Narnia, even though our pastor’s children were allowed to enjoy them. Magic became something that I feared, in a way, as though Aslan or the play witch’s hat in Wal-Mart at Halloween was going to hurt me with their evil-ness if I looked too long. Sadly, my family didn’t really discuss the topic heart-to-heart that much and besides, most of the time I was too afraid to even ask that many questions. This unspoken-ness lasted till up to only a couple of years ago.

41a5cf2a5e1ffc9da9f19ff9b237d0ecWhen I was about sixteen or seventeen, my dad decided to read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe aloud–“for fun”. We didn’t discuss what had changed in the unspoken family rules, just of all of sudden, years waay too late, it was time to read a children’s fantasy story. It wasn’t that enjoyable; just, randomly, Narnia was “okay” with no explanation. (Mid-teens to late teens was such a confusing period of my life for so many reasons!) This was difficult because Lord of the Rings still seemed forbidden, and–oh yeah, don’t anybody even mention those two really, really, really bad words.

Harry Potter. Oooh, as a child and even as a young adult, it was such a literal “he-who-shall-not-be-named” situation. Harry Potter was our Christian community’s Voldemort.

Although I couldn’t watch Harry Potter then, I knew I would watch it at some point when I was so old nobody could stop me. That wasn’t really a super-conscious decision, though, and I didn’t go about flashing my thoughts off to people I knew: “When I grow up, I’m going to watch Harry Potter!” It was never in the plan to tell anyone even afterwards either. Of course, it took a lot of inward struggle for it to actually come about.

66f8c998c3556a82724246dc5a40f238When my parents separated for a second time in early 2013, I didn’t immediately run to the Harry Potter series–“Dobby is free! Dobby is free!” Even though Mom had and continues to become way more relaxed about things, I still kept away…

You simply don’t walk away emotionally or mentally free from years of fear of trying to make sure people aren’t questioning your Christian conviction by what you are or aren’t avoiding. I was very afraid of what people would think of me for watching Harry Potter–from my confined social circles, I didn’t know anybody who liked Harry Potter, so I felt very outnumbered for a long time. 

I was afraid of having to own my decision of choosing to watch those eight movies–especially since during my teen years, my family became very soaked in the Patriarchal culture where fathers were in complete charge of their daughters and, in my personal case, pretty much thought for them too. So, for the longest time, even though I could have investigated, I only dabbled in other shows or movies instead.

dumbledore_edited-1In the mean time, I started maturing. Although it had started back about 2012, my thinking process really changed gear in 2013. I slowly stopped inwardly judging other people for their own personal choices and opinions. I realized everyone’s story is different, so God takes people down different roads at different times in their lives–why should we all look the same and do the same things at the same time?

I learned people are just not going to agree over everything, so I just had to do what I felt I needed to do despite fear. That’s being courageous. I realized I was an individual soul with individual needs that needed to be voiced and that that was okay. I learned the world was not actually black and white but millions of shades of grey. I learned the no matter what, many people in my lifetime are just always going to hold up a yard stick and see how I measure out–but how they feel doesn’t need to tell me how to feel.

I learned that I was not a bad Christian for deciding that I needed to watch Harry Potter and form my own personal opinion for myself. That in and of it self was very monumental.

Finally this past year, I got to meet Harry Potter.

b6117ad8d9bbcacac6dd83ea80a38613Harry was not at all what I imagined him–I’d always known what he’d looked like, of course, but I hadn’t known other things–what his personality was like or what his story was about. He turned out to be quite ordinary while at the same time quite extraordinary. He was an orphan, a survivor of neglect, who, through his gift of magic, was able to be who he meant to be and defend himself from abuse and evil, one new year after the other.

By the time I watched the Harry Potter series, I was tired of trying to mentally weigh EVERYTHING the movies communicated in an attempt to catch some secret agenda they may be trying to feed me. (This was something my dad pushed too hard at my family, making movie watching a chore instead of a family pastimes, and ruining initial movie glows–like after watching the first Iron Man.) In many ways, I’m still tired of having to justify myself for liking certain movies to other people or to myself. However, what with how taboo HP can be perceived, I decided I wanted to say what I thought of it–to own my own choices and let people take me or leave me for how I truly think.

4e8c2d6df1994797d913f2d21a0240d1The world of Harry Potter was full of magic, of course. Magic was everywhere. The fact that most of the films took place in Hogwarts, the school that taught witchcraft and wizardry, simply meant that magic was a strong part of the story. However, I didn’t come away from a Harry Potter movie feeling, “Gosh, they really think magic is something I should be seeking out in my regular life. Maybe If I join the Occult my life will get better.” I never felt that the film series actually promoted witchcraft in real life. The films themselves knew they were a made up story and magic was just a part of that story, like the characters and the made up version of London, ect.

Ultimately, in the end, magic turned out to not be a big issue for me; shocker! It didn’t really matter to me that they attended a school to learn how to control their magic (something they were born with–and isn’t it a good thing to be taught how to properly handle your gifts given to you, guided by teachers wiser than you?) used wands, and other magical items. That wasn’t the make or break element. What I thought was a big deal was the characters themselves. The fact that they actually turned out to be great heroes and role models really, really surprised me and that’s what made the series worth watching.

c14598173a3099105b113e9e45338f1bHarry strove to do what was right as often as he could; he tried his hardest to be respectful of teachers and fellow students, and learned to stand up for what was right, even though he made mistakes. Hermoine was a fantastic student who took her school seriously and who could hold her own ground mentally and emotionally. Ron, and his whole family, was very supportive of neglected Harry; Ron was always a friend who pulled through at the end. When it was all said and done, the cast of characters who weren’t bad guys all upheld decency, kindness, pluck, friendship, bravery, and a will to do good. It was truly surprising to walk away from each movie thinking, “These are actually great characters, why was I supposed to dislike them again?”

I can hear people of my past, saying, “But that’s what makes it so dangerous! It looks so good.” If you’re one of those people, check this article out sometime; I mostly agree with it. I mean, sure, I wouldn’t let my brother watch these till after his eleventh or twelfth birthday and he was critically thinking, but at that point I think it would be a great series he could enjoy.

At that age and up, as young people, the stronger impact comes from the characters who are of similar age. We can watch as they make mistakes and grow from them, in relate-able ways of demonstrating noble character and plucky spirit and it leaves us encouraged. The magical school is simply a unique setting for those uplifting character traits to be put on display.

6fc2a3d620af012ec3b5141b040d4f5cSomething I heard forever, and this would still capture my dad’s thinking, would be “If I want my children to have good fictional role models, I’ll give them Christian books.” Having grown up with many of those type books, I can say that I find great characters and character development strongly lacking in a lot of Christian books, and movies too–I’m sorry, but it’s true. I had a hard to time relating to many of those characters’ journeys or finding them convincing yet was inspired to stand up for myself and what I thought was right, after watching the Harry Potter franchise. The irony is ridiculous here but extremely true.

I cannot cover or defend everything on the element of magic of course, nor would I necessarily want to hash it out for days and days either, but I think you all understand what I value more from a film. To me, I decided that for the story, there was little difference between Harry pointing either a wand or a gun or heavy-duty baseball bat at Lord Voldemort. What mattered most was that he knew Voldemort was evil and needed to be stopped because he was hurting people. So, just like in any other movie I would watch, the characters were the make or break point, and I found the cast of Harry Potter characters to be the making of the series!

bccc2e6cce8e4d824f7c7af2ac902957Now, sure, the Harry Potter series has its dark moments and it isn’t Star Wars or anything, but I enjoyed them all. The final film was especially fantastic and is still one of my top ten favorite movies of all time. The characters carried the series forward in a way that was very satisfying by the time it all ended and Harry himself is my favorite character. He could definitely make my top fifteen favorite fictional heroes. I’m often mad to think about how long I associated his name with an idea of evil, when really he’s a selfless, kind character–someone who dealt with temptation but rose above it, rallied friends together to fight evil, and eventually survived neglectful and verbal abuse.

I have come a long ways since I was a little girl who didn’t understand Narnia or watch a Disney movie that contained a little bit of magic, or couldn’t read Harry Potter like the rest of my generation. Please don’t misunderstand me; this is not me saying “HARRY POTTER IS FOR EVERYONE” because, sure, it’s maybe not, and this is not me saying real witchcraft is something to not be concerned about…but that was never the topic of this blog post anyway. This is only my story of how magic made me stronger.

Nowadays, Harry is a good friend of mine. I own seven of the eight Harry Potter films and I hope to read the books someday. In Hogwarts, I would be sorted into the Hufflepuff house (thank you, Pottermore, for making it official!) a house which I hold in high esteem. On top of it all, I still have a long ways to go in life; I’m still afraid of the dark sometimes and I’m still working on being open about myself. But that’s okay. My story of magic is a very strange one but it’s taken me to a safer place from where I started and left me encouraged in my journey to Spiritual freedom from legalism and fear. I only hope I can continue to be as brave as the little boy who lived beneath the stairs.

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~Jamie

my links


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I’ve gotten behind linking to my last two guest posts, guys! How did I do that!? Anyway, here there over on J and J Productions!

Ghibli and Disney Paired//Five Animated Double Features

A “Girl” Movie Everyone Should See // Thelma and Louise

And that’s it for today. 😛 I have longer posts that need more attention right now so I can post them soon. 🙂

~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