Monday, June 16, 2008

The best movie ever


Saturday Michael from Red Right Hand and I began talking about what movie each of us chucks into the DVD player when we're bored. Not what your official favorite is, but what's the one you never seem to get tired of watching.

Because when people ask what my favorite film is, I usually say Hero. I LOVE that movie, but I have to be in a particular mood to watch it because it makes me cry and it's got subtitles for me to read, although the awesome martial arts do make it easier. In the theater I instantly fell in love with the film the second I saw Yimou Zhang's brilliant use of color to visually enforce the theme.

But that's not the movie I go to when I'm looking for pure entertainment. And as Michael and I were talking about our favorite film cures for boredom we realized how much that choice says about each of us as a writer.

I personally love the anti-hero and bad guys who are good guys and good guys who are bad guys. I love bittersweet endings and surprising and meaningful deaths. I love fight scenes and beat-the-clock-or-die scenarios. I love a story that never loses sight of its theme.

I realized after I said what film I love to watch that it's a film that has all of the things I love for a film to have. Which makes sense.

So what movie exemplifies all the things I love in a film? What movie do I throw into the DVD player when nothing's on?

Pitch Black.

What's yours?

26 comments:

  1. It's a tossup for me. If I want light-hearted, I go for Grosse Pointe Blank. Otherwise, it's Rounders all the way.

    Honestly though, I find myself more and more tossing in favorite TV show dvds. I'm more likely to do a two or three or more episode marathon of Buffy, or Sports Night or Friday Night Lights than a movie nowadays.

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  2. Pirates of the Caribbean for me, hands down. Never get tired of that movie.

    When I was a kid it was Toy Story.

    For TV shows it's Entourage, Supernatural or Futurama.

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  3. Sneakers - I like Sneakers. I'll also have to admit an affinity for Blue Crush, but maybe I just wish I lived in Hawaii.

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  4. Anonymous12:37 AM

    I know Pitch Black is kind of bad, but I think it's cool.

    The Chronicles of Riddick sucked hard, though. Talk about obsessing screen time over the funky and boring villains.

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  5. Anonymous12:55 AM

    The Lord of the Rings (FOTR).

    That movie is like a dear old friend...who can just stop by without calling.

    I love that movie. I love the...

    "it's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"

    ...mentality.

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  6. Whoa, Carlo. Yes, Chronicles was terrible, but I take issue with your statement that Pitch Black was bad. What makes it bad? The fact that it has aliens in it? That it's sci-fi? That it was shot for low budget?

    You even say it's cool so how exactly is it bad?

    I think people have a tendency to call movies that fit a certain category "bad" simply because many other films in that category are.

    But this film is not Mansquito, and I will defend Pitch Black to the end. The story is about what it means to be human and our ability to redeem ourselves. That ain't nothin to sneer at.

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  7. I'm with you R.A. I do the TV discs more often not, but there is a flick that I've thrown in enough times that my DVD player has memorized the bits and can play it back on demand without the disc. And that movie is...

    http://www.redrighthand.net/2008/06/best-movie-ever.html

    ...in there.

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  8. Yes! You're the only other person I've met that loves Hero!

    As far as your question - All About Eve or Lord of the Rings.

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  9. Pitch Black is awesome, and defies expectations if all you've seen/heard of is Chronicles of Riddick.

    It's a tight tense thriller that deals with a spectrum of humanity, altruism/selfishness and determination.

    And it has the harshest ending of any film ever.

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  10. I'm a rare film lover in that I don't often watch films (even my favourites) more than once or twice. I've only ever seen three films in theatres more than once without being paid to do so, and most of the DVDs in my collection have only been viewed once.

    Having said that, and I'm slightly embarrassed to admit this, I've seen my "best movie ever" well over 10 times. Billy Madison is my "comfort film", although I imagine over the coming years Hot Rod will overtake it for similar reasons. They're both silly, you can laugh at them no matter what mood you're in, and neither require much (any?) thought to enjoy them.

    One note about Pitch Black: it is a surprisingly solid flick, but it's also a film that inspired an inside joke amongst my friends that has yet to get old this many years later. For that alone, I'll always have fond thoughts of the film. That and Radha Mitchell is hot.

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  11. ONE disk? I can;t play that game-- there is no "one" movie.

    Among those movies that I cannot -- CANNOT -- flip past when I spot even one flrame flickering on teh screen:

    LAWRENCE OF ARABIA
    NORTH BY NORTHWEST
    THE GODFATHER
    THE GREAT ESCAPE
    THE THING
    APOCALYPSE NOW
    RAIDERS
    REAR WINDOW
    BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER KWAI
    ALIEN
    THE GOOD THE BAD AND THE UGLY
    THE SEARCHERS
    CASABLANCA
    AFRICAN QUEEN
    GLORY
    THE PRINCESS BRIDE
    ROMANCING THE STONE
    TREMORS
    CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON
    FORBIDDEN PLANET
    20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA
    ANIMAL HOUSE
    PINK PANTHER
    DR STRANGELOVE
    SPARTACUS
    CLOCKWORK ORANGE
    MAGNIFICENT SEVEN
    JURASSIC PARK
    PATTON
    LITTLE BIG MAN

    Movies rock.
    .
    .

    B

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  12. That's cheating, Brett. The point of the exercise was to see how much your favorite film to watch compares to all the things you love to write into a story.

    You can't have eight million movies, sillyhead.

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  13. I usually surf the guide on TV until I find something that suits me.

    If there is a Scrubs episode on any channel I will watch it. I just received season four for fathers day, love that show. By the way does anyone else feel like the most recent episodes were a little "off" on dialogue and acting? Might just be me.

    Comedy movies always catch my attention. Specifically Super Troopers and Joe Dirt. No thinking, just laughing.

    Any Sci-Fi excluding the Sci-Fi channel original movies. I have to be drunk and in dire straights to watch Casper Van Dien battle the mummy nephelim gods.

    -Jim

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  14. Crap I cheated Emily, sorry.

    I would say Serenity. Sci-Fi with some great one liners next to intense drama/violence.

    -Jim

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  15. I have no one favorite child.

    Similarly, I have no one favorite movie.
    .
    .
    .
    B

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  16. Anonymous10:45 AM

    I felt Pitch Black was kind of cheesy at times in terms of the characters. It felt like a normal thriller movie in this case, where each character is a two dimensional charicature. But the rest of the movie, aside from this smidgeon, was fantastic. It's coolness allowed me to forget the standard-fare triller characters.

    Of course, the pilot and Riddick weren't flat characters, but mostly everyone else was. :P This isn't a BAD thing, but it's not the greatest thing about the movie and it tends to bother me in thrillers.

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  17. Anonymous4:28 PM

    Lately it's been Once or Lars and the Real Girl, a few years ago it was Punch Drunk Love and Two Ninas, but if I had my druthers I'd watch a marathon of The Magnificent Seven and The Great Escape on a continuous loop...

    I do not write rom-coms, but I am getting ready to direct (from my own script) a western which we're supposed to film in Spain--just waiting on SAG to make up their mine to strike or not. And I have a epic war movie waiting when that's done.

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  18. It changes for me but lately, more than any other, it's SHAUN OF THE DEAD.

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  19. Anonymous8:26 PM

    Mmm, Shaun of the Dead is good.
    The Princess Bride is pretty fantastic too.

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  20. For me it's either Dazed and Confused, Raiders of the Lost Ark, or The Big Lebowski.

    I'll go with The Dude.

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  21. Last Man Standing
    Then again, I like westerns ... regardless of time period or technology.

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  22. Dead Again or Blade Runner are my go to movies... though I do usually include these with my favorites.

    When asked to name one movie, I usually either say Manchurian Candidate (when wanting to sound "relevant") or Buckaroo Banzai (for the obscure-cool factor).

    Oh, and Hero is a wonderful film, though I don't place it in my top 10

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  23. Anonymous3:59 AM

    Lost in Translation. Detached people trying to reach out in a detached world.

    I'm trying to decide out of 12 ideas for plays which one sets my mind and heart humming together, and I noticed that nearly all of them are exactly that theme. And they take place at night, my favorite time to live.

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  24. Jeez,

    Can't name just one.

    The Royal Tennenbaums
    Army Of Darkness
    Out Of Sight
    Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
    Dumb and Dumber

    In College, if I had stayed up really late cramming for a test, after the test I would go out and rent movies that I liked that I could fall asleep to. On one hand, it says a lot about the movie - that I find comfort in it and I can fall asleep to. On the other hand, its a movie you want to watch if you don't really want to watch movies.

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  25. Big Lebowski, with Fast Times at Ridgemont High as a runner-up.

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