My Five Favorite Films

Jack Brink

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In my young life, I have watched a ridiculous amount of movies. And please believe me when I say a ridiculous amount, because the amount really, truly is ridiculous. I would say that at least 75% of my human life has been spent watching movies.

The thing with watching such a ridiculous quantity of films is that there is often a severe lack of quality in a lot of them. I have watched everything from cheesy and over-sexual 80’s comedies to pretentious modern indie flicks to any action movie Nicholas Cage has been in.

However, this also means I’ve been able to watch a lot of great movies too. There have been so many films that I love and hold near and dear to my heart. Whether that be because I relate to them in some way, found them to be expertly made, or just really enjoyed them for no reason. I could list about twenty films that I consider my favorite, but I actually can’t. I can only list five, as the almighty title I typed up says so. So, without further delay, here are my five favorite films.

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

Starring: Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, and Kurt Russell

If you read my recent review for this film, then you no doubt, already know that I absolutely love this movie and consider it my favorite of all time. The Guardians of the Galaxy in general are my favorite super hero group and by far my favorite MCU property. I love the family dynamic the characters have and the humor displayed by them in the movies and comics are fantastic. I think another reason I love them is that the first movie seemed by far too weird to work at all. A talking raccoon and Vin “Tree”-sal should not have equaled critical and economical success, but somehow it spawned one of the MCU most beloved franchises, and I think that’s pretty awesome. The sequel to the first film, which I also loved, follows the Guardians taking on the “Space-Nazi” like Sovereign, new Ravagers, and also dealing with the revelation of Ego, who may or may not be Starlord’s father (Read my Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 review for a better description of the plot and characters). Vol. 2 improves on almost everything from the near perfect original film, greatly upping the dosage of hilarious comedy, awesome action sequences, wonderful music, and great character and emotional development to huge successes all around. It’s easily the movie I’ve had the most fun watching in my life, while also being one of the most emotionally satisfying ones as well. A must watch for MCU fans, as well as fans of good movies in general.

  1. La La Land (2016)

Starring: Emma Stone, Ryan Gosling

Another recent film on my list, and another I’ve reviewed this school year as well, La La Land tells the story of Stone’s and Gosling’s characters, Mia and Seb, who fall in love while struggling to achieve their dreams in Hollywood. I was absolutely floored the first time I watched this movie. I couldn’t begin to fathom how such a beautiful movie could be made, but I shouldn’t have put this past the visionary director, Damien Chazelle. Everything about this movie is gorgeous, from its powerful and blissful music, to its awe-inspiring scenery and color palette, to Emma Stone in that yellow dress. Equal parts charming, captivating, and heartbreaking, La La Land is an emotional tour de force that film historians should study for ages. It’s a shame its current legacy right now is the Best Picture flub from the 2017 Oscars, where it was announced as the winner by mistake, with the award then being given to the true winner, Moonlight (I still believe La La Land is far and away the better film). Here’s to hoping that this wonderful movie will be better appreciated in the coming years.

  1. The Royal Tenenbaums (2001)

Starring: Danny Glover, Gene Hackman, Anjelica Huston, Bill Murray, Gwyneth Paltrow, Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson, and Owen Wilson

I’m a sucker for Wes Anderson films, with their exquisite cinematography, offbeat humor, unconventional characters, and heartfelt emotion. These elements are epitomized here in The Royal Tenenbaums, where Hackman’s Royal Tenenbaum tries to reunite with his wife Ethel (Houston) and his three former prodigal children, Chas (Stiller), Margot (Paltrow), and Richie (L. Wilson), by pretending to have stomach cancer. This movie sat atop my top five favorite films up until very recently when I watched the two previously mentioned movies, and with good reason, as The Royal Tenenbaums is an excellent movie. Hackman is electric as Royal and is able to shine greatly among an ensemble cast that delivers with ease. Featuring a wonderful amount of subtle humor and wit, along with a deep emotional core, this film will hold your interest and feelings in the palm of its hand all throughout.

  1. The Way, Way Back (2013)

Starring: Liam James, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Rockwell and Maya Rudolph

The Way, Way Back is a terrifically made film no doubt, but that’s not why it’s on this list. I chose it for this list because it really speaks to me on a lot of emotional levels, bringing up feelings of first love as a teenager, not wanting to grow up, and of course the love for summer break, where you often achieve things and meet people you never want to forget, but knowing they will only become distant memories. Duncan’s (James) journey into growing up as a teenager is easily one of the most realistic ever put to screen with the movie really nailing a realistic, down to earth tone. The Way, Way Back details Duncan’s summer vacation in Cape Cod, where he has to deal with his mom’s (Collette) new, very unlikable boyfriend (Carell, who does a great job of going out of his comfort zone by playing a very serious and unpleasant character). Duncan must also face his first love Susanna (Robb), and his summer job at a local waterpark with his cool guy-boss Owen (Rockwell). It’s touching and fun, tragic and joyful, and exactly what it should have been. It articulately shows that the world isn’t all happiness and sunshine like fairytales and movies tend to make you believe, but that it also isn’t all doom and gloom either.

 

 

 

  1. Hotrod (2007)

Starring: The Lonely Island (Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer), Taccone, Sissy Spacek, Will Arnett, Danny McBride, Isla Fisher and Bill Hader

Hotrod is admittedly, probably a bad movie by most standards, with a lot of childish humor and a formulaic plot. But man, I absolutely love this movie. It is packed to the gills with great comedy, as witty humor, marvelous slapstick, and just all round randomness consistently bring out gut-busting laughs every minute. Throw in the Samberg’s extremely likable Rod, whose journey to be a great stuntman and win the girl of his dreams, Denise (Fisher), is a fun and investing adventure throughout the film, and you’ve got a picture that you’d have to try to not enjoy. I’ve watched this movie at least over twenty times, and it always holds up. I definitely recommend watching this amusing and enthralling feature.

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My Five Favorite Films