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

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The Amazing Spider-Man 2!


the-amazing-spiderman-2-new-posterHOW HAVE I NOT TALKED ABOUT THIS MOVIE ON HERE YET?! I know why, because I was talking about it with James and Jordan for James’ latest podcast! Had lots of fun doing that; you should check out the links to the podcast if you have time! But back to the fact THAT I HAVEN’T BLOGGED ABOUT THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. SHAME.

I like to say that it was truly amazing. Do not believe the critics and the naysayers, this was such a fun, great film! I will question the sanity of those who say this was ‘a bad’ film. (I also can’t comprehend the people who hate Spider-Man. There is not even a section in my head to comprehend what it takes to hate such a fun and wonderful character!)

Some spoiler free thoughts off the top of my head: I absolutely loved the development we got from Peter Parker/Spider-Man’s character; that was certainly a highlight for me! We have an awesome new villain Electro and he did not disappoint at all! Gwen Stacy continued to rock as one of the best on-screen girlfriends ever because she was supportive of Peter while still chasing her own dreams–Gwen has found a permanent place in my top three Marvel women alongside Pepper Potts and Natasha Romanoff because of how healthy her views on relationships and life were! And also, the brand new take on Harry Osborn was a refreshing change of pace (I still love James Franco’s version, though!)

The movie was just overall well-paced, well-balanced between characters, well-acted and well-developed and in every way amazing. If you haven’t seen it, then what have you been doing? Go watch it! Everybody needs a dose of Spider-Man!

~Jamie

The Winter Soldier (short n’ spoiler free)


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(I’m keeping this short since the movie just came out.) I saw Captain America The Winter Soldier Friday evening with my sister and we both really loved it! During a scene, Kayla randomly leaned over to me and whispered, “This the best movie ever!” That pretty much summed up my feelings too.

It was awesome seeing Steve Rogers front and center again. It was his movie The First Avenger that brought The Avengers into my sights in the first place. I fell in love with his heart, character and nobility. I take a moment now to say thank you to Marvel for the amount of energy and thoughtfulness that has been put into translating this character onto the screen without making him seem preachy or over in-your-face-patriotic or trying to make him more liberal. They’ve done right by him and that makes me extremely happy.

What makes this movie so great is that Steve shares this movie with SHIELD. Natasha Romanoff was amazing in this movie; she and Steve make such a great team. I really liked seeing more of her and I’m glad she got to share the spotlight. We also got to see a lot more of Nick Fury during the first half; it was very exciting seeing him in action rather than just directing people around. 😀 As to the rest of the movie, there was tons of fantastic action, intimate emotional moments, excellent introduction to The Falcon and some good twists throughout the plot!

Other than a few technical things that bothered me (two action scenes were little hard to follow because of the cinematography) I have practically no complaints about the movie! I highly highly recommend getting to a theater as soon as earthly possible to see this if you haven’t yet!

~Jamie

100 Favorite Movies|80-71


Intro

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80. Inkheart | 2008 | PG

Family fantasy, nearly at it’s best! I love the delivery of this story. It’s a plot I wish I had come up with myself. It’s almsot hard to talk about this movie; it’s just one of those films that everyone should watch once and give the tale a chance to win their hearts. As a writer, it’s only a dream to meet your own fictional characters in the flesh, so that element of the story is pure delight.

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79. Peter Pan | 1953 | G

It took me a little while to warm up to this movie. But non the less, I do like it now. Tinkerbell did annoy me for a long time but I’ve finally warmed up to her as well. Wendy and her siblings are extremely lovable, Peter Pan is the definition of ‘classic’, and Captain Hook is quite a character! The film’s wiggled it’s way into my heart within the past several months and now it’s one of the classic Disney movies I wish I could have grown up with.

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78. Corpse Bride | 2005 | PG

The plot (fantasy romance) is very simple and nothing that special but the movie is one of my favorite animated features because of almost everything else about it. The musical numbers are both spirited and beautiful. The Victorian and after-death settings are some of my favorite. The stop-motion animation is gorgeous. Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter are paired together once more, which I love, even if it’s just their voices. I also usually despise love triangles but I loved this one because of how it resolved. Overall a favorite animated film for the dark romantic within me!

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77. Scream 3 | 2003 | R

It was better than Scream 2, at least in my opinion! I enjoyed the scares as much as I was scared of them; Ghost Face is a terrifying yet fantastic villain. A big score for me was that two characters, who really needed a new act from the ones they’d gone through in the first two movies, finally got some conclusion together. Yes, I really adore this couple but I’m skipping names for spoiler sake. Trust me on this one. Also this film wrapped up the other two movies nicely with a good conclusion (even though there is a Scream 4, which is higher on this list.)

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76. She’s the Man | 2006 | PG-13

This movie is hysterical. Easily one of my top favorite comedies ever. Channing Tatum and Amanda Bynes are great together in this movie. Pure high school type fun, this is one of those movies you throw in when you need a really good laugh and want to see a ridiculous plot actually work. At least, I get a really good laugh out of it.

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75. Secretariat | 2010 | PG

Horse movies are some of my favorite and I love this movie to pieces. The characters are fun, the journey is great, the race scenes are powerful and exciting, and I appreciate the message of charging forward when faced with difficulties. Penny Chenery is a favorite female character; I love her attitude, enthusiasm and heart. I love everyone else as well, especially the jockey Ron. And any and all scenes with a horse in them are completely loved and appreciated. 😛

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74. Spider-Man | 2002 | PG-13

Even though I saw The Amazing Spider-Man first, I still really loved this movie when I watched it about a week later. Toby Maguire was perfect for Peter Parker; I love Peter and his beginnings as Spider-Man. The Green Goblin was hard to take seriously, though, at least when he was in costume. However, the rest of the film is great. I sadly watched it too many times too close together, so I’m rather tired of it in a sense. But it should speak that I really did love the ride it gave me because of the rewatches. 😛

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 73. Batman Begins | 2005 | PG-13

I like this movie a lot more than most. Bruce Wayne’s journey to being Batman, emotionally and physically, really hit home for me. The film communicated the conquering of fear very well and I connected to story and journey enough to really care about Bruce. Alfred became one of my favorite characters almost instantly. I really like the atmosphere of Gotham city in this movie as well, a lot better than I do in the other two movies. I like Cillian Murphy in general, so I like Scarecrow, too. Overall, an enjoyable, good movie which I consider underrated.

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 72. Return of the Jedi | 1983 | PG

I love this movie quite a bit, despite the Ewoks and the overall weirdness of Jabba’s palace. The characters are still great, most of them at the height of personal growth from all three films. I love the resolution the whole film gives the Original Trilogy. I love the soundtrack to this film–even though I don’t like the Ewoks, their theme is one of my very favorites from the entire saga. Han is just as classic and if not more heroic than ever; Harrison Ford is always a delight. The ending battle between Luke and Vader is also one of my ultimate favorites, especially with the twist-like ending to it. But seriously, it’s Star Wars, I shouldn’t need to go on too much here. 😛

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71. It’s a Wonderful Life | 1946 | PG

This is probably one of the most popular Christmas movies ever and for good reason! I love seeing the life story of George Bailey and his little town; it’s almost like going home each Christmas because it often feels so heartwarming yet realistic. Since seeing this movie as a younger girl, I’ve often wondered what people’s live around me would be like if I had never been born; so, the film not only creates and delivers a triumphant film but gives us things to think about in our own lives. This is one of the best things a movie can give us. 🙂

~Jamie

Top 100 Favorite Movies: Intro


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EDIT: Here are the links to each post below!

100-91 || 90-81 || 80-71 || 70-61 || 60-51 || 50-41 || 40-31 || 30-21 || 20-11 || 10-1||

James likes to ruin my film life as often as possible (ruin meaning make-even-more-awesome.)  Thank you, James, I count you as a true best friend. 😀

Anyway, he recently shared this link to Flickcharts, where I became addicted to ranking movies against each other for about 72 hours. I came out with a rough list of my top 100 movies! I would never have been able to make this list without it. The idea behind the blog series also comes from James and his top 100 movies. He is, amongst other things, revising that list and I’m really looking forward to seeing it in completion. You should all say thank you to him for letting me borrow his idea. 😀

So far not all my posts are completed; but have no fear, but I shall be working on them faithfully!

There are some things to cover before I start posting my 10 planned posts, though.

No, I couldn’t wait to see Lord of the Rings before doing this; it would have taken too long. Sorry guys. 😛

My list is strictly personal. This is not a “Top 100 Movies Ever Made” list. These are my personal favorites, pitted against each other. A question I asked a lot was, “How often can I rewatch this film and not get tired of it?” For example, some of my ultimate favorite films, like Star Wars, rank lower than some of you might expect: I love Star Wars, but it is not one that I re-watch over and over and over again.

And: this list changes all the time. Every time I re-watch one of these movies, they’re my new favorite, so the numbers a little rough. 🙂 My top ten are also little sketchy as it became too hard to pick my very top ten so I went with my heart and instinct on those. 😀

Anyway, I’m looking forward to posting this series and I hope they are enjoyable.

~Jamie