Browsing Tag

anna’s favorite movies


15 Film Challenge meme, Part 2

The other day I did part one of a 15 film challenge meme, in which I listed out my top three of the 15 films–well, top five, really, because I was counting the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy as one story.

Here now are the films for positions 4 through 6, which I daresay will surprise none of you either.

The Empire Strikes Back

The Empire Strikes Back

4) The Empire Strikes Back

This of course being the OTHER major Harrison Ford vehicle that fueled my years-long fangirling–the movie that, when it first came out, convinced Young Me that I did in fact like Han better than Luke, and got me ridiculously excited when I learned that the VERY SAME GUY was playing Indiana Jones.

Of course, my Star Wars fandom REALLY didn’t kick in until I grew up and discovered Star Wars MUSH, the place that gave me Shenneret Veery, a character who (once I suitably modify her) WILL be showing up in an original novel. But Star Wars MUSH is also the place where I got to be Han Solo for two and a half years. And this movie is the movie I looked to for the crowning glory of my character inspiration. Luke discovering Vader is his father? Pffft. I was there for “I’D JUST AS SOON KISS A WOOKIEE!” “I CAN ARRANGE THAT!” 😀

Note: I am NOT calling out the whole original Star Wars trilogy in one spot here like I did with Lord of the Rings, in no small part because while each movie is certainly interconnected, they’re all still standalone adventures.

Which of course leads me to my #5 movie, which is…

5) Star Wars: A New Hope

I rank Star Wars (which is how I still think of it, without the A New Hope bit, to this day) right behind Empire because at the end of the day, Han’s a flimsier character here. I am, of course, a member of the Church of Han Shot First. But he’s also a flimsier character here and Ford hadn’t quite grown into him like he had by the time Empire rolled around.

Musically speaking, we didn’t get the grand Imperial March until Empire, either. So although the music all throughout Star Wars tugs at my heartstrings, the really iconic themes for me show up in Empire.

But that said, I’ll happily rewatch Star Wars at the drop of a hat. It is one of my very earliest memories of seeing a film in the theater near my childhood house–and I still have a visceral memory of seeing that gigantic Star Destroyer on a theater screen for the first time.

Superman: The Movie

Superman: The Movie

6) Superman: The Movie

There were three movies that were pretty much the holy trinity of movies of my childhood–Star Wars, Raiders, and the third of these, Superman: The Movie. This right here is the reason I love Superman more than Batman, and why to this day, as much as I loved Dean Cain in Lois & Clark and the animated Supes as well, Christopher Reeve remains my prototypical Superman. I absolutely believed a man could fly.

We even periodically watched this at school during free time over the school’s closed-circuit TV system–this being the same middle school that actually took us on a field trip to see Raiders, BEST SCHOOL EVER. And oh, the title theme for this one. Another of John William’s master works, which just makes me happy in a way all its own. Because this is Superman’s music, and it set the template for what I’ve expected out of every Superman theme I’ve heard since. It needs to not only be uplifting, it needs to make my heart goddamn fly. Lois & Clark‘s theme came close, and so did the theme for the animated Superman cartoon on the WB.

And OH GOD Gene Hackman. Over the top? Absolutely. But I adored his Lex Luthor for the unremitting ego and how Hackman must surely have been picking scenery out of his teeth for months after filming wrapped, so much scenery did he chew in this flick. I love him and Otis and Miss Tessmacher and the March of the Villains theme, too, heavy on the bassoon!

Next post–positions 7-9, which will require some thought!


15 Film Challenge meme, Part 1

I got tagged on a 15 Film Challenge meme on Facebook, and since I don’t tag people on memes as a general rule, and since I have Opinions on this in general, I thought I’d make this a blog post. A few blog posts, in fact, since like I said, OPINIONS.

So here you go, my 15 all-time favorite films, Part 1! Here are the first three!

Best. Movie. EVER.

Best. Movie. EVER.

1) Raiders of the Lost Ark

(Because in my house, it’s Raiders of the Lost Ark, dammit, not Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark. I don’t care what it says on the Blu-rays. Which I do own. Because yes, I have this movie in multiple formats. Laserdisc AND DVD AND Blu-ray. DON’T JUDGE!)

This should surprise exactly NONE of you, particularly those of you who spent any length of time roleplaying with me on any MUSHes, and were accordingly familiar with my longstanding fangirling of Harrison Ford. This was the movie that did it, with a strong helping hand from The Empire Strikes Back.

I love every frame of this movie, and every single character interaction. Especially the characters, and especially Marion. Marion was the template for how I played Shenner on Star Wars MUSH. It doesn’t suck either that this was Harrison Ford at the absolute apex of his swoonability. There were reasons I spent a long span of time on roleplaying MUSHes swooning hardcore over characters who were based on Ford, and the first and foremost of these reasons was Indiana Jones.

Musically, this movie also has a strong and special place in my heart. John Williams did a splendid job on the soundtrack for this one, and every time I listen to it, I can’t help smiling. Especially because I have fond memories of playing the Raiders March in middle school band, because there’s a particular sweet, prolonged note on the violins in the final track that is the very first time I remember swooning to the sound of violins, and because I happily match up every note of the soundtrack to the corresponding action in the movie.

2) The Lord of the Rings trilogy

This would be #1 on my list if Raiders of the Lost Ark didn’t exist, and it’s a HARD call to make, I assure you! But if you’ve followed my blog or its mirrors for more than five minutes, you know what a big raving Tolkien geek I am. I have to take the whole trilogy together, too, because it is after all one great big story.

Suffice to say, I’m entirely on board with Jackson’s realization of Middle-Earth. I could devote entire weeks of posts to all the various reasons I love these films so much, but I’ve already recently posted about all the bits in them that make me sob. That I regularly re-watch them AND keep crying over them is all by itself a huge indicator of how much these movies have meant to me every since they came out.

And as with Raiders, the music is critical here as well. Howard Shore did masterful work on this soundtrack and I would give much to be in an orchestra that performs works from it, just once.

3) Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World

O My Captain

O My Captain

Russell Crowe has been the only actor to date to ever surpass Mr. Ford for my fangirling affections, and while I’ve loved a great many films Crowe’s been in, Master and Commander is my hands-down, uncontested favorite. It beats out Gladiator, even though Gladiator was the first Crowe film I ever saw in a theater and what made me a Crowe fangirl to begin with, because I do rewatch this one semi-regularly.

Jack and Stephen are wonderful. The story is wonderful. And yet again, the music is critical. I always adored that Crowe made a point of learning how to make coherent noises on a violin to lend his portrayal of Jack additional weight, and I love the bits where he and Paul Bettany play their instruments. Mutual love of music is what made these characters become friends, and Crowe and Bettany do a splendid job of communicating their love of music throughout this movie.

The soundtrack’s a joy to listen to, too.

You may be seeing a common thread here to my top favorite films, and if you’re saying “music”, you would be correct. Just about all of my top favorites are important to me because of musical strength. But I’m also putting in a thought to how often I rewatch them, and whether they involve top favorite actors, and whether I’ve done any fan activity based on them (e.g., MUSHing).

Next post on this to come as I think about the next ones on the list! Expect more Harrison Ford, more Russell Crowe, Elvis, MST3K, and Superman!