Monday, March 18, 2013

Top 10 Movie Countdown Blogfest!

Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh is hosting the movie awesomeness today, also know as (or I should say officially known as) the Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest. So a big thank you to him and the link for the rest of the participants will be at the bottom of this post. 

I guess since this is a countdown I should start at number nine. Problem is, after about #2 my list gets a little messy and after #5 it's all fubarb. I watch a lot of movies, A LOT. It's hard to pick favorites after a certain point. So, with that in mind, I'll get onto the countdown.

#10 Ink

Released: 2009
Rated: R (Mostly for language, probably for violence too)
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy 

How I Got to Know This Film:

I've written about this stunning little film before , but that was a long time ago, so I'll hit the bases again.

This movie was introduced to me by my brother. It was on Netflix at the time, not sure if it still is. We had a horrible though and Netflix kept losing signal so we had to sit and wait sometimes half an hour before it would come back on. Given that the films style is rather disjointed, it was a bit maddening trying to piece everything together. Still, this movie blew me away and I got all teary at the end (and it actually has a happy ending. Sorry to spoil it for you. I think I'm getting soft in my late twenty somethings. My old age is going to blow).


Nope, that wasn't me getting all misty eyed watching the trailer. Didn't happen. You can't prove it. 


Two forces exist, battling for our souls through dreams. There are those who bring good dreams and  are sort of like guardian angles. Then there's the incubi, who bring nightmares.

One night a third entity appears, Ink. Neither good nor bad, Ink is a lost soul who believes that winning favor with the incubi will give him the peace he seeks. In order to do this, he has to provide them with the sacrifice of a soul. This particular soul happens to belong to a spunky little girl named Emma.

Emma lives with her grandparents. Her mother is dead and her father is estranged. When her soul is stolen from her body, the body is left in  a comma state and things aren't looking so good for her. Emma's fate rests in the hands of her guardians and their ability to get her back.

Meanwhile, her guardians are teamed up with a seemingly crazy blind man named Jacob who insists that the key to saving Emma is her self-absorbed father. 

Time flows differently between the realities,so the film can get a bit hard to follow if you don't pay close attention. So no texting or leaving the room to get your popcorn out of the microwave during the viewing of this film.

Since I've posted about this before, I can already tell you that my personal favorite scene isn't available via clip without giving too much away. But, there's is the movies most infamous scene, so I'll put that here instead. 

#9 City Lights

Released: 1931
Rated: NR (This was before they had a rating system. I think PG would probably be an appropriate guesstimated rating)
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Romance (Thank you IMDb for being so specific on what genre this movie is)

How I Got to Know This Film:

This is a movie a friend of mine introduced me to. Amazingly, some of the better romantic type films and TV shows I know of have been introduced to my by this friend. I say amazingly because this friend is male, straight, and (sorry ladies) married; but most of his suggestions came before he was married. Maybe being married has made him less romantic. And now I'm straying way off topic.

The movie, right. The reason this is on my list is because I'm not really a romance kind of girl. Sure, I've downed my share of chick flicks, especially at Girl's Night, but I don't really seek them out and I have a tendency to make fun of them and ruin the plot devices for my female friends. Come on, we all know how the mack & clap plot works. If you don't click HERE and I'll explain it to you real quick using cartoons. 

That said, this is the best romance out there. 



Charlie Chaplin plays a well meaning (if clumsy) vagabond who happens upon a well to do man about to kill himself. Chaplin saves the man and they go on to celebrate the night with the man taking Chaplin in as his new best friend. 

In the morning, Chaplin runs into a blind flower girl (it's been a while since I've seen it, so I can't remember if he met the flower girl before then or not). He gets money from his rich friend and buys all the girl's flowers then takes her home in the rich guy's fancy car. So now the blind flower girls thinks he's rich. 

Chaplin is completely smitten with this girl and her plight. When he returns to the home of his new best friend, the man has sobered up and doesn't remember him. 

In order to keep up the facade, Chaplin takes on odd jobs trying to earn enough money to help the blind flower girl and her grandmother out. 

In his final act, he finds out about a surgery that can restore his love's eyesight. But if she can see him, she'll know he's nothing but a vagabond. He explains that he'll have to go away for a long time after her surgery because of business, then sets about earning the money.

Through a series of events, he gets the money, but getting it lands him in jail. The blind flower girl has her surgery and goes on with her life while Chaplin does his time.

Now, I'm not going to blow the ending for you, because that's what really makes this a great film. 

As you can tell, this is a silent film. I personally find silent films to be amazing because they were done in the days when Hollywood was all about the fantastical (wow, that's actually a word). Those who know their film history will start the argument that film was originally about capturing real life blah blah blah, but I'm skipping that part and go right to where they figured out that film could make imagination come to life. Those films are frickin' amazing!

#8 Singing in the Rain

Released: 1952
Rated: NR (This was before they had a rating system. I think PG would probably be an appropriate guesstimated rating)
Genre: Comedy/Musical/Romance 

How I Got to Know This Film: 

I grew up on this film. Singing in the Rain is the movie that made me love movies. It also provided me with my first Hollywood crush, Gene Kelly. He's positively magic in this film. There's this whole "Broadway Rhythm" sequence that's mostly useless except to show how effing talented the man is.

Most children in my generation got their first definition of sexy from Jessica Rabbit. Mine was right here. 

*Warning, this trailer is 4 min. long.*


First off, can we say, "Wow, long trailer!" Sorry guys, that was all the gods of Youtube had to offer.

Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are at the top of their game on the silver screen, but that all comes crashing down when talking films are introduced. In order to keep up with the times, they must turn their latest film into a talky. Problem is, Lina has a voice that makes small children cry.

In the middle of all their woes, a beautiful solution presents itself. Spunky little Kathy Seldon (who got off to a bumpy start with Don, but later they start kissing so it's all good) has the voice of an angel. They turn their latest endeavor into a musical with Kathy voicing over all of Lina lines and it's an instant hit. 

Everything seems perfect until Lina has her say. With some witchy contract hoodoo, she plans to make Kathy forever be her voice while never receiving any credit. It's up to the good guys to beat the system and let Kathy's star rise the way it was meant too. 

Just for fun, here's Gene Kelly singing the title song:

#7 Stay

Released: 2005
Rated: R (Language, violence, I think the term "dark subject matter" applies here as well)
Genre: Mystery/Drama/Thriller

How I Got to Know This Film:

I rented this movie back in the day when I was living with my brother and his wife. We had that Blockbuster thing where you could have movies delivered to your house then take them to the store and  exchange them for a new rental. They later changed how all that worked, now I have Netflix and the local Blockbuster is going out of business. Funny how that works.

This is another brilliant yet disjointed film. I love how everyone I've ever shown this to gets to certain point in the film where they literally say, "What the f---?!" or "What the hell?!" This is one that I had a hard time figuring out what the big plot twisty thingy do was as well, so it's nice to see others struggle :) Although, the ending made my sister-in-law cry hysterically and I do feel bad for that. Still, I love this movie.



OK, so maybe if I'd seen that trailer I would've figured out the ending sooner. Anyhow...

Dr. Sam Foster has a new patient, Henry. Henry is a troubled young artist who is determined to kill himself on his 21st birthday.

As Dr. Foster tries to understand Henry and keep him from killing himself, he finds his own world unraveling. Nothing makes sense anymore and people aren't who he's known them to be his whole life. How can he save Henry when he seems to be going crazy himself?

Because the Youtube search engine BLOWS, I hope this embed code works. If not, you'll have to go HERE to see my favorite scene. (There is a little commercial beforehand).

#6 Slumdog Millionaire

Released: 2008
Rated: R (Violence, suggestive content, drug use)
Genre: Drama/Romance

How I Got to Know This Film:

I believe this one was another Blockbuster/ living with my brother rental. I went out and bought it the  next day. And I also bought the soundtrack. Then I proceeded to continuously skip over that stupid Paper Planes song. Somewhere in between all that I grabbed friends and family and made them all watch this film.

Going back to the whole "not really into romances" thing, this is my kind of romance. This is the epic kind of romance they don't know how to write anymore. Where the characters have to go through all kinds of hell in circumstance, in physical abuse, in powers beyond their control constantly separating them, but they don't give up because they remember that one impossible notion. Love conquers all.



All the hell Jamal suffered growing up as an orphan in Mumbai might be worth it if it gives him the answers he needs to be reunited with the woman he loves.

Jamal achieves the impossible when he wins a spot on Who Wants to be a Millionaire. He is there for one reason only, because he believe Latika (the love of his life) will be watching. Luck favors him in even more startling ways when he finds that the horrible events in his life have lead him to have all the answers to the questions presented him.

The film moves back and forth through Jamal's life. Starting briefly with his childhood, then moving to the present where he is being interrogated by the police who think he's cheating. The movie shows each event that took place in Jamal's past to explain how he had each answer. 

Jamal has more than simply losing touch with Latika to compete with, however. Latika is the rather unwilling girlfriend of one of the biggest mob bosses in Mumbai and Jamal's own brother is part of the gang keeping Latika at the mob man's side. 

Luck has favored Jamal this far. But will it get him the one thing he wants?

#5 Harold and Maude

Genre: Comedy/Drama

How I Got to Know This Film:
This movie was introduced to me in a Film in Culture class. It was one of the few movies the professor showed us that semester that was worth anything. I'll take the win though. I love this movie. I talk about it more extensively in a post I have planned for next month as part of the A to Z Challenge, so I'll be brief here.



Harold and Maude meet at a funeral, because funerals are a hobby they share. The vivacious Maude strikes up a conversation with Harold (or at least attempts to) and then offers him a ride... in his car... which she's stolen. 

The two become fast friends, Maude being the one person Harold allows himself to become close too. Maude sets about teaching Harold how to really live and opening him up to the joys in life. The relationship begins to blossom into more as Harold falls for Maude.

I'm saving my favorite scene for April's post, so you'll have to stop by on the 10th and check it out.

#4 Repo! The Genetic Opera

Released: 2008
Rated: R (Language, nudity, sexual content, violence, gore, basically the whole gamut) 
Genre: Horror/Musical

How I Got to Know This Film:

My brother, the same one I keep mentioning today, called me up and said, "I have a movie you need to see". Little did he know it was going to make me cry like a baby and I'd become completely obsessed with it. 

I actually went to a shadow casting of this and met Terrence Zdunich, co-creator and one of the films stars. Let's see if I can rustle up a picture. 

My sister-in-law Kate (of Kate Moir Photography) ,
sister Sara, Mr. Zdunich himself, and me.


Note to self: Repurchase soundtrack.


In the future an epidemic threatens to destroy humanity, but Geneco comes to the rescue with loans for organ transplants. The trend quickly picks up, and soon people are getting designer organs (after all, it's what's inside that counts). The only catch is, if you miss your payments the Repo Man comes to claim your organs. 

In this sadistic world, a young girl named Shilo remains isolated with a blood disease that claimed her mother's life. Little does she know that her mother is the key that turns all the player's hearts, and her own fate is completely bound to Geneco and it's owner Rotti Largo. 

Mr. Largo is dying and even the empire he created can't save him. Disgusted by his own vain and useless children, Rotti sets in motion a plan that bring crashing down Shilo's life, and the lies that have kept everyone safe in the dark.

Here's one of the safer clips from Repo:

#3 Ed Wood

Released: 1994
Rating: R (Language, questionable theme)
Genre: Comedy/ Drama

How I Got to Know This Film:

I honestly can't remember how it was that I first saw this movie. I remember seeing the commercials for it when I was too young to be allowed to watch it. Yup, I wasn't even 10 when it came out. It looked funny, but I really didn't know a whole lot about transvestites back then, so it's probably a good thing I waited. 

Fun fact, I have an cultural obsession with transvestites. They fascinate me. I actually got matched up with one once on a dating site, but that's a date I didn't go on and an opportunity for an awesome story missed. Stupid younger me! 

Anyhow, eventually (at an age much more appropriate for watching transvestite laden films) I did get to see, and it was love at first sight. 

I know a lot of people came out raging against Tim Burton for misrepresenting them and Bella Lugosi in this film, but I hope he did get Ed Wood right. I love the plucky, can do spirit of a dreamer he has. It sort of makes him my hero in pink angora.



This film is based on the life of Ed Wood, recognized as the worst director of all time. 

Ed spent his whole life struggling for acceptance, both in his personal life where he had a fetish for dressing in women's clothing, and in Hollywood as he tried and tried to make a great blockbuster. 

Ed Wood follows the director as he makes his start, fights through battles in his personal life, manages to sign on the once famous- such as Vampira and Bella Lugosi -and finally makes his most famous film Plan 9 From Outer Space

Just for fun, here's the trailer for Plan 9:

#2 Sucker Punch

Released: 2011
Rated: PG 13
Genre: Action/Fantasy/Drama

How I Got to Know This Film:

The guy I was dating at the time was totally gaga over this movie. He was a huge film buff who had apparently been tracking this film ever since the idea for it hatched inside of Zack Snyder's brain. So naturally, we went and saw it three times in the first like two weeks it hit theaters. 

It took me watching this film probably a good six times before I stopped doing the, "I accidently let my kid drown in the tub" sobs. I was seriously shoving my coat in my mouth at the theater to make it so people couldn't hear me. I've never been more affected by a character dying in a movie. 

Words cannot express how much I love this film. Even as I sit here typing, I look up and guess which film poster is above my desk. Sucker Punch is actually a very strong contender for the number one spot, it's pretty much a tie. 



This film gets a little crazy because you're dealing with fantasy worlds within fantasy worlds. I'm apply the same rule to it as I did to Ink. Don't blink, you'll miss something.

You never know the character's real names. They are only referred to by the names they're given within the first fantasy world.

Starting with that information, the film opens on a montage of the events that land Baby Doll in the insane asylum. Her mother dies, and her stepfather- in a jealous rage after discovering that nothing was left to him -goes on the attack. Baby Doll manages to fend him off, but then he goes after her little sister. Her attempts to save her sister go horribly wrong, and she ends up killing her.

Baby Doll is sent to the asylum, where she is to receive a quick lobotomy to cover up her stepfather's heinous acts. The orderly, known as Blue, is corrupt and arranges everything. But the lobotomist only comes once a week, leaving Baby Doll five days to try to escape. 

The first of the fantasy worlds in encountered here, where the girls play things out like they're hookers in a brothel in order to cope with the mistreatment and constant raping that happens at the asylum. 

During a therapy exercise, Baby Doll enters her own fantasy world, where she meets a guardian who tell her what she'll need to escape the asylum. She enlists the help of four other girls, all part of the first fantasy, to help her and themselves to escape.

#1 Pan's Labyrinth 

Released: 2009
Rated: R (Violence, language)
Genre: Fantasy/Drama/War

How I Got to Know This Film:

I'd been hearing a lot of amazing things about this movie, so when my film professor assigned at as something we needed to go see in the theater and then write like a paragraph about, I was stoked for a good excuse to go see it. (Poor students need good excuses to blow money).

I grabbed my sister and headed to the nearest cinema. She made us five minutes late. I'm going to go ahead and hold that over her head now. 

From word one of the film, I was hooked. The seemless blending of the world at war around Ofelia and the fantasy she escapes into is breath taking. Breaking it down even further, which I did the next year for a philosophy class, the symbolism in the film and the way it reaches back to the very core of humanity are what keeps it at number one. 



Ofelia's mother has remarried to a military man during the middle of the fascist Spain. The world around her is a war, her mother is sick with her pregnancy, and her stepfather is a wicked and cruel man. 

Lost and alone, Ofelia follows a fairy into a labyrinth. At the heart of the labyrinth, she meets Pan.He tells her she's a princess, but must prove her royalty by surviving three gruesome tasks. If she fails, she will never prove herself to be the the true princess and will never see her real father, the king, again.

Ofelia must find a way to complete these tasks while surviving the tyranny of her stepfather and protecting her mother and her unborn brother.

So that's it for my incredibly lengthy post. This is what happens when you get me talking about movies.

For more of the hop click HERE

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