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September 22, 2012 / milesandhisfavorites

My Five Favorite Films (In More Detail)

In my Top 15 Favorite Movies list, I said that my top five movies were:

#5. Tron: Legacy

#4. The Avengers

#3. Jurassic Park

#2. Casabalanca

#1. Inherit the Wind

But I don’t think I went into enough detail about WHY I like these movies.  Sure, I talked about them, but didn’t really share what I liked about the movies, and what makes them so great.  So, these are my full reviews of my top five favorite movies of all time!

Of all the films for Disney to make a sequel to, a 1980s sci-fi adventure starring Jeff Bridges probably wouldn’t be your first pick.  Still, when I watched the film, I found it to be okay.  I mean, the plot made no sense, but the visual effects were good for the time, and I enjoyed Jeff Bridges as Kevin Flynn.  But this movie is the very definition of the word upgrade.  Everything in this movie is great.  Heck, I even like the things that most people don’t like!  I love Michael Sheen as Castor, I love C.L.U. and Jarvis as the villains, and I have to give it to Garret Hedlund, his performance as Sam Flynn is pretty good, if not incredible.

But by far the best thing, better than the villains, or the minor characters, or even the visuals, is the Daft Punk soundtrack, which has no bad songs, not one.  The best ones are, in my opinion, “Derezzed”, “Fall”, “End Titles”, “Overture”, and “C.L.U.”.  There is simply no beating that soundtrack.

This is one of the most, if not THE most anticipated comic book movie ever.  And it didn’t fail to deliver on the trailers’ promises of the perfect blend of action and comedy that this movie contains.  Robert Downey Jr. is the best actor in the film, and is easily one of the funniest superheros of all time, but Tom Hiddleston is a close second as Loki.  Samuel L. Jackson also has some great moments, even though the only really comedic one occurs aboard the Helicarrier (my one main problem with the movie).

But what really makes this film a legend is the third act.  There are giant snake-fish-machine things, an alien army, and explosions that would make Michael Bay feel inadequate.  There are funny moments, dramatic moments, and plenty of moments that just make you want to jump out of your seat and scream “HECK YEAH!”.  I’ve seen some of Joss Whedon’s other stuff (Read: Dr. Horrible’s Singalong Blog), and let me tell you, the guy is a master of entertainment.  This film easily earns its place as the third-highest-grossing film of all time.

If I were to define Jurassic Park in one word, it would most likely be “majestic”.  Sure, scientific inaccuracy and somewhat dated CGI may not be your idea of majesty, but Youtube the “Welcome to Jurassic Park” scene, and tell me that you aren’t left in awe by the Brachiosaurus simply walking onscreen, and the following images of the sauropod and Parasaurolophus herds.  Put in a fantastic concept, one of the greatest movie scores of all time, and some special effects that actually hold up really well.  I’m not kidding, either.  While the Gallimimus, I admit, aren’t incredibly impressive in this age, the T-rex, and especially the Brachiosaurus, still look gorgeous.  It doesn’t hurt that the film has a good cast of interesting characters.  I love the music, I love the story, I love the characters, and I love the overall sense of wonder that this film delivers.


No movie, not even the #1 pick, has drawn me into the setting than Casablanca.  I’m serious, from the first minute, I was hooked.  The city of Casablanca is what really makes this movie great, even more than Humphrey Bogart as the fantastically written and acted Rick.  The atmosphere is flawless, especially the club, and the drama is realistic.  I’m not a huge fan of romances, but this one is easily the best in film history.  Not to mention its extreme quotability, and an interesting story.  It’s a movie that does everything right, the setting most of all.

In my opinion, Jurassic Park is the greatest book adaption of all time.  Sure, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 or even The Hunger Games might be better from a critical standpoint, but Jurassic Park delivers on a sense of majesty and wonder that no film has ever done.  But my pick for greatest adaption from a source material has to be Inherit the Wind.  Never before have I ever beheld such a package of emotion, fantastic acting, quotability, and blatant ignorance of the historical record.  But lack of accuracy aside, this film is just perfect.  The story is perfect.  The setting is perfect.  The characters are perfect (especially Gene Kelly as E.K. Hornbeck).  But better than anything is the climax, where Matthew Harrison Brady and Henry Drummond (based on real-life William Jennings Bryan and Clarence Darrow, respectively) go head-to-head, Drummond throwing questions and points at Brady, who is just barely holding onto his worldview.  This film is just incredible.  It’s an American classic, and is my pick for my favorite movie of all time.

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