Continuing with my list of my personal all time favorite films, I present you with the next wave after giving you my initial 10.
But first, allow me to re-emphasize to you that these are MY top 30. I did receive a comment in my first list that the reader would rank a couple of my films higher on THEIR list.
Everyone is different. This is my opinion. You probably won’t agree with my list. You’ll find movies that you find laughable to be ranked higher than others. You’ll find films omitted that you can’t believe were left out.
That’s kinda the point. This list isn’t a matter of National Security. I expect disagreement and if you do, perhaps this will be incentive for you to create your own list. So feel free to disagree. I don’t mind at all.
Without further delay….my personal list, #20 – #11:
#20 – Lion King
This timeless classic still gets you going when you hear that opening note of the first sound of the film (no, I can’t spell it). Unforgettable characters, an unforgettable story, great songs, comedy and animation, this one is one that you still love but don’t want to admit you still love.
#19 – Aladdin
A what? Yes I know. This movie is widely under the radar of most. And yes I realize that I have ranked it higher than the beloved Lion King. But personally I think Aladdin was more fun. Perhaps it’s the feel of the magical period of, whenever. Or the feeling of a true escape of reality. I enjoyed the ride. And I don’t care if you like Robin Williams or not (my mom hates him) but even if you don’t want to admit it, he absolutely stole the show with this film as the genie. Think this movie is nothing? Anaheim’s Disney California Adventure initially wanted to cancel the live version of this show a while back to make room for a new Toy Story live show….but the fan base refused. Aladdin is still in the same theater in California Adventure to this day.
#18 – Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Long before the Governator took over and somehow left for broke my state, there was the T2: Judgement Day. I don’t care who you are, if you’ve seen this movie you have never said this movie was not good, although it may not be as high on your list. In fact, it stuck with me so much that three days ago as I watched Safe House, I saw Robert Patrick, who had a major role in T2 and acknowledged to myself that no matter what he did he would always be the T1000 to me. The Universal Studios 3D attraction should also not be missed. James Cameron is a perfectionist and I have a lot of respect for what he does. I watched this movie daily. Despite not liking this films version of John Connor.
#17 – Finding Nemo
I still remember vividly when I went to the AMC Theaters in Burbank (that has since changed) to see Jet Li’s The One. When pulling up I surprisingly thought the line wrapped around the building was for the movie I was going to see, because obviously any movie I would want to see must be the movie of the year for everyone else too…just kidding. Anyway, I asked one of the people in line what that line was for and was admittedly surprised when they told me Finding Nemo. This was the evening and there was not one small child that I saw. Fast forward to years later on DVD thanks to my mom and I being forced to watch this film by my sister as part of family night at my apt, I finally watched Finding Nemo. I then understood the fuss in line. Surprisingly this film is amazing and without flaw. And, as my mom stated, “I don’t even like Ellen Degeneres, but she stole the show in this one.” Agreed mom. But wait, you don’t like any one do you? Just kidding.
#16 – Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
Let’s forget for a second that the three sequels of this film exist. Let’s remember back when we marveled at the existence of Captain Jack Sparrow before it became stale. Let’s remember the first ever Academy Award Nomination for Johnny Depp. Let’s remember when we couldn’t wait for Depp as Sparrow to be back on the screen as we watched any scene he wasn’t in during this one. Let’s remember back when we didn’t think a theme park ride would make an absolutely awesome movie. That is all this film. And more. Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom weren’t even annoying yet in this film. And Captain Barbosa was just as intriguing a character as Captain Jack Sparrow. Yes, I said it and I mean it.
#15 – A Few Good Men
I, personally, absolutely love court room dramas. If I had it to do all over again I would be a lawyer. I love the court room board game. Two players having to convince the jury to see their point of view while following the rules that the referee (The Judge) enforces. This one is powerful. Sure they give the ending away with the scene right before the famous “you can’t handle the truth” scene. But it doesn’t give away how it ends. You can’t deny the power of Jack Nicholson in this one and if he had a couple more scenes I believe he would have received the Oscar he was nominated for in this film. You should not ignore this film.
#14 – The Five Heartbeats
I had the chance to meet Robert Townsend, who wrote, produced and starred in this film (as Duck) at a Tyler Perry play at the Kodak. I informed him that I especially liked this film, to which he replied “Ohhh, Bless You”. Sure the acting was questionable, but it told a very good story (said to be based on old R&B group The Dells) and had unforgettable music, mostly sung by….yeah, The Dells. I remember that I didn’t want to see this movie. My mom did and when you are being raised by a single parent who is paying for your ticket, my sister and I had to watch what we were told. But we both, well all, ended up loving it. My mom, sis and I ended up watching this film almost daily on VHS in our apartment in Glendale, Ca. It also made the careers of most of the actors of the group.
#13 – Die Hard
I actually don’t find this one to be my favorite of the Die Hard series, but you gotta give respect where it’s due. This is a giant in the series, and it spawned a nation of cult followers. Perhaps that’s why there is a fifth installment for Grandpa Willis in the works. Reggie Veljohnson, aka Carl Winslow of Family Matters, became a household name after this film, despite being obsolete during the rest of this series. And I rank Hans Grueber of this film very high in my list of all time greatest villains (gasp, just came up with another idea for a post on this blog). Favorite Quote from the villain, Hans: “I wanted this to be professional, efficient, adult, cooperative. Not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way… so he won’t be joining us for the rest of his life. We can go any way you want it. You can either walk out of here… or be carried out. But have no illusions. We are in charge. So decide now, each of you. And please remember: we have left nothing to chance”. Classic!!
#12 – Lethal Weapon 3
Oh how I absolutely love this movie. I don’t care about being laughed at that this film is ranked so high. I am huge fan of the series and I think the chemistry between these two is at a level that is missing in films today. This was the ultimate buddy film series. And this was easily the best and funniest in my book. I watched this movie while waiting for the furniture delivery man – with that amazing 4 – 8 hr delivery window – a few weeks ago. To me it’s a personal classic. I believe that the chemistry between these two main characters will never be duplicated. And it was back before we knew just how crazy Mel Gibson really is.
#11 – Die Hard 2
Sure, a thinking man would find it unlikely that John McClane would find himself in a random hijacked situation twice in the same life. But once you get past that, oh this movie is good. Yes I think it was better than the first. Like a plane in the airport it took place in, once it got going there was no stopping it. I was never a fan of flying, but after seeing this film not only did I really not want to fly but I didn’t want to step foot in an airport either. Worthy villains, intelligent sidekicks, political back drop, and just enough of a splash from smaller characters from the first one to not make it a complete repeat of the same film, along with clearly more action makes this one my absolute favorite of the series.
My personal top 10 films of all time coming soon….