Friday, April 4, 2008

Best Movie Ever

So if you're going to have a post about the worst movie ever, you inevitably must have a post about the best movie ever. But for me, that's harder to admit. I mean, you're really putting your neck out there to say "This is THE best movie of all time," because it's hard to narrow it down to just one. But I'm going to try, and I think you'll be surprised at my winner.

To start out, I'd like to give a shout out to Kulani's favorite movie of all time: the Shawshank Redemption. I don't think that movie ever gets old. I love it too, but I will leave that movie to Kulani.

The first movie I ever saw that really affected me to the core was E.T. I saw it in the movie theaters when I was around 6 years old, and I had nightmares the rest of the summer. I hated the scene where E.T. is sick and white and on the verge of dying. When I was living with Grandma McEuen as a freshman, I watched E.T. again. I fell head-over-heals in love with it. I re-watched it right after having watched it, as if I was 7 again re-watching Disney's Robin Hood for the third time in a day. When the 2002 Olympics were in Salt Lake City, the host city also gets to host a lot of cultural events. So Steven Spielberg allowed E.T. to be shown at Abravanel Hall for the 20th anniversary of the release and for the Olympics. The two producers flew out to introduce the film and spoke a little bit about the magic behind making the film. I bought 10 tickets to attend the premiere, but not very many people were interested in going with me. I invited a few work associates, and gifted them the $10 tickets. I didn't enjoy the film as much, because I was nervous that the others wouldn't like it as much as I did. But even so, I think what spoke to me was the love between the boy and E.T. As prickly as I may appear on the outside, love is what really speaks to me when viewing art. And I don't mean love in the sense of "I'm falling in love with you," although that can definitely be part of it. But I'm thinking more in terms of charity--the pure love of Christ. So with that in mind, let's continue.

I was also in college when I discovered my affinity for It's a Wonderful Life. I'm pretty sure one of the most romantic scenes I've ever seen in any movie is when George Bailey and Mary are both talking to Mary's boyfriend and George's good friend on the same phone together. George is in a foul mood about having to stay in this "crummy little town," and the electricity between them is amazing, when he finally puts down the phone and turns to Mary and just starts kissing on her. The whole movie is just so absolutely, gut-wrenchingly sweet, but it pulls it off. The dialog and acting couldn't be better. And the overall message of the movie definitely wasn't lost on me.

And now for a different tone. I present to you a movie that has no overarching theme of love and forgiveness, but rather quite the opposite: The Godfather. The Godfather may be the textbook movie about how to get even. But if you love movies, as we do, The Godfather can't be overlooked. It's just a beautiful movie. It's a gripping story. And it's a classic. The Godfather was my gateway drug to other gangster films, which I craved watching for many years.

And finally, for my favorite movie of all time...brace's Forrest Gump. From start to finish, that movie gripped me and did not let go. It's simple and deep at the same time. Perhaps I see myself as a bit of a Forrest Gump-type person. Life seems somewhat easy. You have a few simple rules to live by, and you live by them. Others may think you are dumb, but what do they know? Two scenes that really get to me are when Forrest finds out he has a son, and the first thing he wonders about is whether his son is dumb like him. The way Tom Hanks reflects that in his face says it all: I don't want my boy to have to suffer the way I have. And then the next to last scene always does me in. Forrest is standing by Jenny's grave and he's talking to her, and in those few sentences he sums up pretty nicely the whole point of the movie, and coincedently, how I also feel about life: "Jenny, I don't know if Momma was right or if, if it's Lieutenant Dan. I don't know if we each have a destiny, or if we're all just floating around accidental-like on a breeze, but I, I think maybe it's both. Maybe both is happening at the same time." It brought back into focus the feather floating through the breeze motif. And the music in the movie--few movies have used music as well as Forrest Gump. It was like listening and watching a slice of Americana being served up ala mode. I just loved it.
So now I want to hear your favorite. Don't be shy. Defend it with your thoughts and own up to what is you.


Mr. Flynn said...

I won't write as much as you, but I will state some of my favorites.

Favorite movies as a kid were the Star Wars movies. I will count them as one. I loved Star Wars, and I was even in the Fan Club for a couple of years.

The Matrix. That movie, flaws and all, blew me away when I first saw it. I went to the theater 3 times to see it. It was the movie that helped me rationalize a DVD player and surround sound system.

Field of Dreams. I know it is cheesy, but it flippin' makes me tear up everytime. Thus, I don't watch it much--no one wants to see that.

Shawshank is a good one, I agree.

Guilty Pleasure movie: Mallrats. I haven't watched this movie in a long long time. It is a disgusting, immature, low budget, stupid movie. I love it. But I don't watch it anymore becuase frankly it is pretty foul.

I will post some more when I can think of others that are worthwhile. I can't pin down a favorite.

Mr. Flynn said...

By the way, I have never seen ET. I have seen about the first 30 minutes and that is about it.

Weird that I missed it.

MarySquare said...

I too love Forrest Gump. I remember seeing it in the movie theater and I loved it.

Hey, I went with you to see ET at the Olympics -- what am I, chump change?

My favorite movie of all time is A Brilliant Career. It's an Australian movie about a turn of the century (19th to 20th) woman who chooses a career instead of a husband. Makes me cry every time.

Guilty pleasures = Pretty in Pink and Reality Bites. If I'm sick at home and want to watch something, it is inevitably Reality Bites.

One of my favorite movie going experiences, going to the Burley Theater (the old one) with Cousin Jill, alone, we were 10 years old and we saw Dick Tracy. We bought the giant dill pickles and I remember sucking on it throughout the entire movie. Man I wish theaters still had dill pickles.

Morkthefied said...

Chump Change,

Forgot you were whitch me at the E.T. premiere. Sorry 'bout that. I so love Reality Bites. It takes me back to the early '90s like no other. I think at one time I could quote 90 percent of the movie. Movies 8 in Provo used to sell pickles.

Lion & Lioness said...

I remember Dick Tracey. That was the best.
My favs are: New fav-Dan in Real Life.
Man on Fire
The Pirate Movie. You know the one I am talking about with Kristy McNichols.
Pretty Woman
Pretty in Pink
Breakfast Club
I love to watch What a Girl Wants. Super silly but I like it.
I love just about any movie if there isn't pornography, too much sex and the F word. That just ruins any good flick.

Morkthefied said...

I noticed the Pirate Movie was on TNT the other day, and of course, I remembered watching that at Becky's birthday parties. So funny. I realize now that, although I've never seen it, it might be based on the musical Pirates of Penzance. And I will always count Pretty in Pink as one of my favorite movies.

Lion & Lioness said...

I forgot to tell you that Leo LOVES the Godfather movies. I personally don't care for it too much, but everytime all three are on A&E Leo records them and then watches all of them all night.

That is awesome that the Pirate Movie was on TNT. I lent it to my friend and I have yet to get it back. Good times.

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Anonymous said...

I love Forest Gump. I always thought Lt. Dan's finding peace with his life after spending time with Forest on the shrimpin' boat was one of the more poignant scenes of that movie, along with when he comes to Forest's and Jenny's wedding.

As for me, I see movies so seldom, I forget which ones I love, but in recent years The Lord of the Rings really affected me. It scared me to death -- I had dreams of those shrieking ring-wraiths all the time, but I also thought it was an excellent commentary on sacrificing for the greater good.

My guilty pleasure when I was young was Dirty Dancing (no rolling your eyes Mary and Cindy) and Gone with the Wind. I saw bits of Gone with the Wind the other day and thought, I need to get that out again!

Nate and I also love Frequency. I'm sure the list could go on, but I have to get back to work.

P.S. A recent movie I saw that was very exciting and excellent is I Am Legend. I never want to see it again because it was quite disturbing, but it kept my attention and I thought Will Smith was great!


go mom go said...

It's so hard to pin it down to just one. I loved Forrest Gump (have you ever ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.?). I, too, liked Dirty Dancing, and did anyone else like Secondhand Lions besides me? There's more profanity in my home than there was in that movie...that's a good thing. I've held off posting here because I've been trying to decide on THE best one, but it's just not happening.

real? said...

cindy, i haven't read your blog for a while, but here are a few i have liked. (i think i missed the 80s so i won't comment on those).
1. newer ones: Bella, Meet Joe Black, Castle in the Sky
2. concensus: E.T. and Star Wars
3. old ones: Against the Crooked Sky, That Darn Cat, The Robe, The Grinch
4. interesting: Contact, O Brother Where Art Thou, The Bruce Lee story, The Postman
5. family fav: The Pump