Updated: Feb 14, 2018
Hi everyone! Kellie and I did a segment on our favorite movies on Episode 37 of A Sandwich and Some Lovin’ and a few of you have asked me to repost my movies so you can check them out. Here they are ranked from 10 to 1 and a little commentary on why the movie resonated with me.
One thing I noticed about my list…all the movies have outstanding music or soundtracks and I own every one of the movies AND the soundtracks. Also, several of the stories have to do with a character starting from humble beginnings, overcoming adversity, and returning triumphantly in the end. I love stories like that!
10. The Greatest Showman (2017) - Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron
We just saw this movie a few weeks ago and it blew me away. After the show, I leaned over to Kellie and told her that was the most entertaining movie I’d seen in years. From the very opening scene until the very end, I was into it and tapping my feet. I loved everything about it, the storyline, the costumes, the acting, but most of all the music, and the performance by Hugh Jackman and the Bearded Lady played by Keala Settle. The movie has a great message (it’s ok to be different) which resonated with me since I’ve not always gone along with the mainstream...(all magicians are just a little bit "off".) But the film is not a documentary. In real life, P.T. Barnum was kind of a sorry guy. Don’t let that spoil it for you though, it was the best movie musical I’ve ever seen.
9. Batman Begins (2005) - Christian Bale, Morgan Freeman
I’ve always been a Batman fan (I used to own a full Batman Dark Knight costume that I’d wear at Halloween) and the Batman reboots starring Christian Bale and Morgan Freeman were perfect. Christopher Nolan directed these Batman reboot movies. Like alot of Nolan's films, they were dark, brooding, beautifully shot, and to me, Christian Bale was the perfect Bruce Wayne/Batman. I had a big man crush on Bale. I even tried to grow my hair out like his for awhile. The reboot movies just had this really cool, dark vibe to them. It was unbelievably cool seeing Liam Neeson train the young Bruce Wayne in the arts of deception and having a flair for the theatrical. I loved how the movie told the story of how Bruce hit rock bottom after his parents were murdered, but then he was called to do something bigger than he ever could imagine. One of the big themes to me was “embrace your fear”.
8. Seven (2008) - Brad Pitt, Kevin Spacey, Morgan Freeman
I’m admittedly a scaredy cat when it comes to scary movies, so I don’t watch a lot of them, but this movie was one of the greatest thrillers I’ve ever seen. It proves movies don’t have to be “jumpy” to scare you or get your blood pumping. But it was so dark, edgy, sinister and DISTURBING that it gives me goose bumps thinking about it even after all these years. I remember watching in the theatre, literally sitting on the edge of my seat with all the hair standing on my arms during the last scene when the truck is racing to Brad Pitt and Kevin Spacey in the desert. And then the plot twist when the package is delivered to Brad Pitt was MIND-BLOWING!
7. A Beautiful Mind (2001) - Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly
Well, the huge crush I had on Jennifer Connelly was real but this movie really resonated with me because of the ups and downs John Nash, played by Russell Crowe, endured over his lifetime. It was thrilling, funny, scary, sad, made you feel just about every emotion, but in the end triumphant. And John Nash eventually learned to accept the demons that always haunted him. And it’s one of just about 3 movies that actually made me cry in the movie. (The others are E.T. and The Passion of the Christ.). This is also the movie Kellie said made her get off anti-depressants after she saw it. Very, very powerful story.
6. The Empire Strikes Back (1980) - Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Mark Hamill
I am a Star Wars nerd and I always will be. Most hard-core Star Wars fans would agree that this movie was the best of all of them, past and present. “I am your father!” is one of the most famous lines in all of movies. I remember sitting in the theater as a 9-year old thinking…wait, what did he (Darth Vader) just say? And then having the same reaction as Luke (Mark Hamill)! “No!! That’s impossible!!!!”. The light saber fights were better, the special effects were better, we met Jedi Master Yoda..... it was just a cool time to be a kid, in the 80s.
5. Goodfellas (1990) - Robert DiNiro, Joe Pesci, Ray Liotta
There have been dozens of classic mob movies made over the years and I’ve liked a lot of them. The Godfather, The Departed, Casino, were all great… but Goodfellas was by far my favorite. When I think of mob guys, Robert DiNero, Joe Pesci, and Ray Liotta are some of the dirtiest, toughest, most authentic-looking and sounding characters I’ve ever seen on the big screen. Paul Sorvino adds instant credibility to any mob movie as well. There’s a lot of violence and there’s a lot of bad language….but it wouldn’t be a mob movie without that right? And all of it based on a true story, the life of mobster Henry Hill.
4. Amadeus (1984) - Tom Hulce, F. Murray Abraham
The movie won Best Picture in 1984 and bet you didn’t know I’m a closet classical music fan! Mozart is my favorite composer so seeing a movie based on his life was incredible. Apparently as an adult, he was a LEWD, somewhat off-color individual but he was also a genius. He composed his first piece at age 4. He composed his first symphony at age 8. Performed for royalty as a child. Think about that! He lived a short life, but in that brilliant lifetime, he composed works that are still fun to listen to today. The music has so much energy and life and complexity. If you’ve never listened to the soundtrack, check it out. Even if you don’t like classical music, you will tap your feet to all the music that was in this movie. The costumes and the acting were as incredible as the music.
3. The Natural (1984) - Robert Redford, Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Kim Basinger
I’ve seen this movie at least 20 times. It’s the story of a baseball player (played by Robert Redford) named Roy Hobbs and his life from a young man to a man in his 40s or 50s. He was a promising young player, then a young star. But, along the way to chase his dreams, his life took a turn for the worse, and his dreams were put on hold until towards the end of his professional life. At that point, everyone had forgotten who he was. But he always knew inside that he could be the "best there ever was, the best that ever played the game". And in the end, HE WAS. The Natural always reminds me that it’s never too late in life for things to work out the way you want them to, and to always surround yourself with people who are good people, who believe in you, and who are positive influences. Again, the soundtrack is amazing. Did you know that the Texas Rangers MLB team plays the theme from The Natural when one of the players hits a home run? Gives me goosebumps!!
2. The Shawshank Redemption (1994), Morgan Freeman, Tim Robbins
Another movie I’ve seen at least 20 times. It’s based on a Stephen King short story and has King’s dark theme’s woven throughout the film. But it’s another story of redemption and triumph after failure. There are two phrases from this movie that I will always remember… and that I really think are words I try to live by. “Get busy living, or get busy dying”. And “Fear can hold you prisoner. Hope will set you free”. The final scene of Red (Morgan Freeman) walking up to Andy (Tim Robbins) on the beach in Mexico is one of the happiest movie endings I can think of.
1. Unforgiven (1992), Clint Eastwood, Morgan Freeman, Gene Hackman, Richard Harris
I’m not a huge western fan. But my all time favorite movie is Clint Eastwood's last western. Unforgiven, also directed by Eastwood, won Best Picture in 1992 and is the story of William Munny (Clint Eastwood), an ex-outlaw who had given up his former, evil ways to finish life as a family man and pig farmer. But his wife contracts a disease and dies young, leaving Munny alone on the farm with two children. When he’s offered an opportunity to get back into the outlaw business (to find and kill a man who violently abused a woman in a brothel), he takes it. And the journey along the way shows you that even though he convinced himself he was done being a bad guy, deep down….he in fact is the baddest, meanest outlaw there ever was. When Ned (Morgan Freeman) is murdered by Little Bill (Gene Hackman) and displayed outside the town saloon in a coffin in the pouring rain, William Munny, the devil himself, walks in that saloon with a shotgun and two revolvers to avenge his friend Ned's death. "That's right, I've killed women and children. I've killed everything that walks or crawls at one time or another. And I've come here to kill you Little Bill. For what you did to my friend Ned." The last scene in the saloon I can almost quote verbatim. It's an insanely powerful movie from start to end.
There they are! Go check them out and drop me a line and tell me what you think of my list!
#movies #moviereviews #asandwichandsomelovin #kellierasberry #allenevans #helloimallen #thegreatestshowman #batmanbegins #seven #theempirestrikesback #abeautifulmind #goodfellas #amadeus #thenatural #theshawshankredemption #unforgiven