The 50 Day Movie Challenge asks one question every day, to be answered by a few paragraphs and a clip, if possible. Click here to see all 50 questions in a nice and organized list. It’s such a pretty list.
TODAY: What is your favorite movie?
Whenever I tell someone that I’m interested in making movies or that I’m “kind of a movie buff,” they almost invariably ask me to name my favorite film. For the longest time I would randomly say whatever film came to my head that sounded cool or that fit the social scenario I was in. If I were among classmates from film school I would say that Dr. Strangelove was my favorite film in order to impress them, or if I were at a bar with people who quoted Old School like it were god’s gift to cinema I would say that The Princess Bride was my favorite film so I could feel superior to them. But somewhere in the journey that is life I decided to settle down and actually pick a favorite film. Garden State is that film.
Having just dealt with tragedy in my life and feelings of estrangement from my family I was able to connect with the film in a profound way. The selection of music and the overall mood “spoke to me,” to use a cliche. I was already a fan of Zach Braff from Scrubs and to see him take on a more serious role was refreshing. Not only that, but this film marked the birth of the “manic pixie dreamgirl” that we’ve come to roll our eyes at.
Here’s a trailer with great music and a pretty accurate feel of what the movie is like.
This past year I’ve spent a lot more time on the film-rankings site FLICKCHART, which is pretty much the best ranking site ever. The premise behind it is simple: Instead of giving a starred rating to a film, you rank it versus another film. In this way you’re able to build a more accurate top film list based off of your sensibilities, and if interested, see how all the films rank with all the users in a global ranking. It’s a little daunting when you first go to the site and sign up, but they guide you through and the next thing you know a few days have passed.
But the point of today isn’t to sell you a site, it’s to show off my Top Ten Films of 2010. This year has been rather great for film, and everything in my top ten list really impressed me. I also managed to see roughly 30 films that were released this year, up from the 10-15 from 2009. Didn’t hurt that I went to AFI Fest this year and got to see a most of those films.
THE GIST: I have an affinity for fish out of water tales and this one came with an extra helping of heart, as cheesy as that sounds. We got a glimpse into these people’s lives in this rather strange town and were able to identify with the main characters. I kind of want to see this again as soon as I can.
THE GIST: The first thing that stood out to me was the structure of the film. Everything is told in flashback, with the present depicted in still photography. Each character gets a turn to tell their point of view and we’re never on one person’s story for too long. Just this alone makes it an interesting watch, but there’s so much more to see here. This perhaps ranks among my top Korean films for sure!
THE GIST: A sci-fi period piece, and not necessarily what you might think. I’ll admit I teared up a bit at the end.
THE GIST: This film is about the resolution of an era. The old Yakuza get wiped out and replaced with a much younger set with “new” values. It’s quite a fascinating watch and I couldn’t tear my eyes away. Well, except for the various parts involving finger-chopping.
THE GIST: Bloody hell! Perhaps I DO like sword and sandal epics after all. There’s never a dull moment here and some of the more cliched moments aren’t offensive. I hope future films in this genre stray in the direction of this film and go for small, focused stories with an extra helping of grit. I’m so done with the sprawling epics *ahem*TROY*ahem*.
THE GIST: Two people compete for the love and affection of a rather striking youngster. It’s all style and all substance, and I kind of wanted to see it again after leaving the theater.
THE GIST: A film that accurately captures the zeitgeist of the 8-bit, 20-something gamer. Edgar Wright does well with the source material and Michael Cera impresses as the title character. Unfortunately, it’s a bit of a polarizing film for the nerds out there, which lead to poor box office. Personally, I think those who didn’t connect with the film really weren’t the type of gamers the source material was reaching out to.
THE GIST: Nolan’s best film, in my opinion. This one is hard to top.
THE GIST: I was stressed out for the entire film, and that’s a good thing! I liked the play of restraint versus letting go set amongst Swan Lake. Natalie Portman is great in this. SEE IT!
THE GIST: Props to the cinematography, which is a homage to the aforementioned Argento films. Pretty much every cinematic trick that I loved from those films is in play here and there’s a particular scene in the end that’s tough to forget. There’s no question. You need to see this film!
AND HERE’S A MONTAGE CLIP. WHY?
Video editor, graphic designer, producer, podcaster, and dungeon master. I do a lot of things.