#1 Greatest Movie of All Time
Wow…the one movie to beat them all…#1! It’s been many weeks and a few months getting here, with scrambled last-minute entries from our incredible braintrust to doing our best to put into words why these movies mean so much to us. Why we chose these ten above the hundreds of thousands of movies that are out there. It’s big stuff here, ladies and gents. Have no clue what I’m talking about? The Top 10 Greatest Movies of All Time list of course! If you’re behind, check out the others here–#2, #3, #4, #5, #6, #7, #8, #9, and #10.
Drum roll, please… I would now like to present #1 of the Top 10 Movies of All Time!
Kai – “Memento”
I don’t know if there’s a better existential thriller than Memento. I only watched it once with my dad and some friends in high school, but it really captured my imagination. The movie realistically depicts a man suffering from anterograde amnesia, only able to remember his last 10 minutes. Played by Guy Pierce, he must constantly write or tattoo anything he wants to remember, yet constantly feels he’s being manipulated by those around him (played by Carrie Anne Moss and Joe Pantoliano).
The most distinctive aspect of Memento is its structure. It follows two threads, one in color, one in black and white; one forwards, one backwards. Eventually the movie concludes with the two threads concluding the movie. Christopher Nolan does a great job to turn the jumbled mess into an enjoyable narrative, leaving the viewers questioning their own reality and memory. The movie is considered “neo-noir” (one of my favorite genres) and its dark mood conveys the existential questions that the protagonist struggles with. Many elements have been used by other movies, but if you’re looking for a movie that’ll make you think, look no farther than Memento.
Andrew – “Superman 2”
So many great things in this movie. Lex Luther tries to sell the world out so he can be ruler of Australia. Superman tricks them and drains their powers (spoiler). One of the all-time greatest movie themes too.
Sophie – “Jurassic Park” (1993)
JURASSIC PARK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It’s the best movie of all time, based on the best book of all time. I love the adventure, the fantasy, the characters, the jungle, the dinosaurs. This movie came out when I was 6 years old and my parents went to see it in theaters. When my mom came home she gave me a play-by-play of the movie while I listened in amazement. When it came out on video we rented and I got to watch! Scared and thrilled, it had just the right amount of wonder for my young mind. In middle school, I did a project on the book and created a Jurassic Park themed board game. To this day it stands the test of time and remains my favorite movie.
Po – “The Royal Tenenbaums”
Hate to make such a declaration, but I’m pretty certain it’ll always be my favorite movie. I watch it at least once a year, and for good reason. It has the rare power to brighten my mood if I’m in a rough patch, or simply run through every emotion I’ve got in my heart’s arsenal if I’m not in any particular mood. The cast is littered with personal favorites from Owen Wilson to Bill Murray, and there’s no more hilariously awful character than Gene Hackman’s Royal Tenenbaum. Plus, like all of Wes Andersen’s flicks, it’s got an absolutely killer soundtrack.
Randy – “Blade Runner”
The Director’s Cut released in 1992 of Ridley Scott’s 1982 sci-fi noir masterpiece has all my favorite building blocks: a science fiction script, understated compelling performances, Scott’s artful direction, astonishing futurist production design with plenty of great gizmos, Los Angeles locations, Vangelis’ haunting score that never goes out of date and . . . romance. It stars Harrison Ford as Deckerd, Sean Young as Rachael and Rutger Hauer as the chilling leader of the replicants. Outstanding support from Darryl Hannah, M. Emmet Walsh and Edward James Olmos. Even though it was made 36 years ago with the rudimentary special effects of the time (miniatures & models and very little cgi), the sci-fi concepts and highest quality work delivered by every department make this picture more compelling to watch than just about any current sci-fi.
Hauer’s death scene in the rain on the roof of the Bradley building is a many leveled scene – it makes you think about life, who has the right to live, so many things. Even though the movie is based on Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the title comes from an unrelated novela by William Burroughs called oddly enough Blade Runner (a movie). It’s set in 2019 Los Angeles — we have 2 years to go. Our weather has gone the other direction (hotter, not constant acid rain) and instead of replicants running about killing people we have ISIS bombers threatening us. Los Angeles is not as dark. Yet. Vangelis’ saxophone love theme guides Deckerd’s transition from questioning to love … and it is heart breaking. These two (Deckard and the replicant Rachael) in the middle of a broken society have found each other. Deckard tells her she plays piano beautifully. She says, I want you, I want you. Put your hands on me. In the midst of a dark world there is love. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9KAqhbIZ7o
Scott – “Blade Runner”
Hungry – “Beauty and the Beast” (1991)
It might have been our Beauty & the Beast-themed wedding complete with my take on his ballroom outfit, the iconic stained glass window hanging over our bed or my overall love for everything, but it will either come as a complete shock or no surprise at all that this tale as old as time is my favorite movie of all time.
Now, let’s be clear that it is the 1991 Disney animated version that sits on top of this list. While I did enjoy the live-action remake as you can read here, and have seen the live play as well as other adaptations, there is something beyond magical for the version that was released as I was a young child.
My list is filled with action, adventure, fantasy, swords, sorcery and more of the same. While Beauty & the Beast might be a much more child-friendly movie than Blade or Conan, they all have a lot in common. There is a sort of tragic hero, a story filled with challenges and am amazing soundtrack. Our wedding song was Beauty & the Beast and I am eternally grateful to my beautiful wife for letting me choose it.
While I’ve never been shy about it being my favorite Disney movie and always in top contention as my favorite film of all time, it definitely contrasts with many of the films on my list. However, my overall love for animation and my connection to this story through the main characters and the soundtrack, the cursed castle and a desperate race against time easily makes this my favorite film of all time. I can’t help but know that there is something there.
Fit – “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back”
Anyone who knows me would have seen this coming. Star Wars is a huge part of who I am and will continue to be so. I picked Empire Strikes Back in the same way I picked Fellowship for my #2. It’s in light of and also within my deep love for all the other movies in the series (except the prequels). Without the other movies, my favorite couldn’t be Empire. It was a hard choice and I kept going between A New Hope and this one. It’s a movie where actors don’t shy away from authenticity and where directors and writers don’t shy from putting characters in tough places. I chose Empire above them all because of the depth of story, character development, and gravity it brings to the series.
Star Wars, when it comes down to its bare bones, is a story of hope. Hope means a great deal to me and I believe it’s what keeps the world turning through all the darkness. It has heart-gripping yet subtle romance (Han & Leia–swoon) with a female character who taught me to never put away my sass and strength. It has a spiritual energy field connecting all living beings called “the Force” that still inspires me to work harder each day mentally, spiritually, and physically. It has fantastic saber battles and in-space fights that keeps your heart racing and your eyes alight. It has a soundtrack that is so rich with talent that it remains well-known to all households. I don’t think I can put to justice my love of this universe through words. The Star Wars world is vast and seemingly un-ending with more knowledge, stories, and information than you can possibly imagine.
Star Wars has always had a great influence on my life, for better or for worse, but I think it’s made me a better, more unique person. May the Force be with you…always!
Wow. There are many home runs here filled with descriptions coming from the heart. Pretty crazy that two people have the same #1! This list was a whole lot of fun to do. I know that Hungry and I looked forward to doing the write-up each week for this incredible and tough list. It always helps to write things out and explore what means the most. We also have an epic list of movies now. But, wait! it’s not over! Hungry is going to do the post-game analytics for this awesome blockbuster list and compile which movie was the overall favorite and more fun stats. Look for that post coming up next week! And until then, stay hungry and fit!