Five Movies I Will Drop Everything To Watch - Dadstractions

Five Movies I Will Drop Everything To Watch

Just a smattering of my film collection

Just a smattering of my film collection

My friend iNeed A Playdate started a weekly prompt and a decided to participate because it is a topic I have a deep interest in.  Movies!

I’ve often tried to put together a list of my Top Five movies and I always find myself paralyzed with choices.  I’ve see so many movies and enjoy different movies for different things.  I was recently turned on to a podcast called “The Film Vault“.  On this podcast the hosts come up with a new “Top Five” list category every week.  Sure, they talk about a lot of the same movies, frequently, but they also frequently comes up with really good topics or really obscure movies that you may not have thought about in a long time (or have ever seen to begin with).

For this post, I decided that I wanted to write a “Top Five” list in the same vein.  This is my “Top Five Movies I Will Drop Whatever I’m Doing To Watch”. Basically, it probably comes down to my “Top Five Movies” but I wanted to leave some breathing room. I also don’t really want to give away anything from these movies so I’ll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum. Sure, they’ve all been out for years, and most people have probably seen them but, if you haven’t, I don’t want to take that “first viewing” experience away from you.

5.  Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
I can pinpoint this movie as the beginning of my love of musicals. I saw this in the theater when I was ten years old and it stuck with me. The comedy, the music, the giant plant – it has it all! Rick Moranis turns in a fantastic portrayal of Seymour Krelborn, the under-appreciated, unloved, bumbling botanical genius who toils away in obscurity in a Skid Row florist shop.  He pines for his co-worker Audrey (played by Ellen Greene), hoping she will notice him.  Then one day he finds a new breed of fly trap that starts growing immensely and attracts more business to the shop. And that’s when the bodies start to pile up!

I can’t praise this movie enough. If you like musicals and you like dark comedy, you need to see this. Just recently, this movie was released on Blu-Ray with a lot of extras, including an alternate ending which test audiences hated (but happens to be the original ending from the Off-Broadway musical). I received a copy for Christmas 2012 and watched it almost immediately. It still stands up to my memory of sitting in the theater and seeing this for the first time.  The songs are still catchy, the comedy is still fresh, and Rick Moranis as Seymour is still one of my favorite characters on film.

4.  Back to the Future (1985)
I love time travel stories. I can rattle off at least twenty movies that involve time travel and why I like them – regardless of whether or not the whole movie is considered to be a good movie. Thankfully, in Back to the Future’s case, it’s considered to be one of greatest movies of all time (#48 out of Top 250 movies on IMDB.com as of this writing). This movie has so much going for it that it’s hard to pick out one thing – it looks great, it has fantastic characters played by Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Crispen Glover, and it has a great story.

Marty McFly (Fox) accidentally gets sent back in time by his mad-scientist friend Doc Brown (Lloyd) and has to find a way to get back to the present without completely writing himself out of existence. Unfortunately, Marty was sent back to the 1950s to the time when his parents first met and the younger version of his mom falls in love with Marty instead of his dad, George (Glover). Comedy ensues.

This is another movie I saw in the theater at a young age and immediately fell in love. The comedy, the action and the chronological shenanigans have always had me coming back for more. Even the two sequels are worthy of some praise but the first one is definitely the best.

3. Se7en (1995)
Wow. Honestly that’s what I say to myself when I think of this movie. This movies still has some of the most disturbing images and disturbing concepts I’ve seen in film. Granted, I’ve seen tons of gore-fests, terrible horror movies and exploitation films, but this one STAYS with you and has an actual plot behind it! It has an excellent story, an excellent cast, and excellent cinematography. Currently ranked #23 on IMDB’s Top 250, this movies still stands up.

The story follows a rookie detective (Brad Pitt) who partners with a veteran detective (Morgan Freeman) to capture “John Doe”, a serial killer who is using the “Seven Deadly Sins” as his modus operandi. This movie is DARK. Not only the tone and topic but also the way it was shot. Everything feels dirty and gritty. And the set-ups for the “Deadly Sin” death scenes are very elaborate and shocking. This is not a movie for the weak of heart but it is a movie I love. It’s compelling story telling and will leave you shocked at the end.

2. Fight Club (1999)
This is the most thought-provoking film on my list. I would put this movie up there in my list of movies that make you question your beliefs and really give a hard, long think about your life and how you live it.  And, again, here is another movie that has been so ingrained in pop culture that it’s hard to talk about it without thinking that everyone who is reading this already knows what happens in this movie (currently #10 on IMDB’s Top 250).  Also, this movie is EASILY spoilable so this will be super “to-the-point” synopsis. Here it goes:  An office drone (Ed Norton) strikes up an unlikely friendship with a soap maker (Brad Pitt) who makes him question his life and the choices he makes as a man.  They come up with a way to channel their male aggression by creating a “Fight Club” where men can just show up and beat the crap out of one another unabashedly.  That’s when things really start to spiral out of control for the drone and the soap maker.

I saw this movie in the theater and was so entranced by it that I immediately wanted to go back in and watch it again.  Unfortunately the other two guys I was with did not.  There is only one other movie I can think of where I turned around, went back into the theater and watched it for a second time back-to-back.  That movie was Pulp Fiction.

This is a subversive, dark comedy that divided critics upon release.  No one could decide whether this was a great movie or a terrible movie.  Time has shown exactly how great this movie actually is and it has been a significant contributor to pop culture ever since.

1. Leon (“The Professional”) (1994)
When people ask me what my favorite movie is, this is the movie the first comes to mind.  I unfortunately did not have the pleasure of seeing this in theaters. And, honestly, I can’t even exactly remember the first time I saw this movie but I know that it grabbed me instantly. It’s currently ranked at 31 on IMDB’s Top 250 movies of all time and deservedly so

It’s the story of Matilda (Natalie Portman), a young girl who is rescued by a professional assassin (Leon, played by Jean Reno) after her drug-dealing father, and the rest of her family, are murdered by a crooked DEA agent (Gary Oldman).  Matilda coerces Leon into training her to become an assassin so she can exact revenge on the man who murdered her family.

There are many layers to this film.  It is a coming-of-age film, a love story and a story of revenge.  Natalie Portman’s portrayal of Matilda is mesmerizing (this was Portman’s debut film (at age 11) and it was immediately evident that she was destined for a great career in film). The dichotomy in the relationship between Matilda and Leon is well done and essentially the heart of the film. This is also, I feel, one of Gary Oldman’s best performances in his long, storied career, with many iconic scenes and quotable quotes.  The story here is good, but it’s the performances and the relationship between Matilda and Leon that really make this a great, great film, and my #1 go-to movie.

The next time someone asks you what your Top Five favorite films are, what will you say? Have you seen any of the above films and, if so, are any of them in your Top Five?