Top Ten Movies (Only because I can’t think of a catchy title…)

I think it’s time for a little “light” blog post, since it’s been a while since I’ve blogged anything.

I was reflecting on what my Top Ten movies were. Because everyone has a top ten, but maybe they’ve never actually written it out.

So here is my Top Ten Favorite movies of all time:

10. Shining Through – During my teen years, I was on a huge historical kick thanks to a lot of movies and books released around that time. This is set in the 1940s during WWII. The plot surrounding the story of this man and woman and the Sherman Tank ride of their lives is surely of epic status.  There’s spy action, treachery, love, trust, betrayal, lots of running and hiding, and shooting Nazis. This was another one of those “VHS borrowed from the neighbors so my parents had to buy it for me” movies.  I recently reacquired my VHS copy of this after a long hiatus at a relative’s house.  I’m kind of excited to get to watch this again, and hope to someday upgrade this to DVD status, as I’m not completely sure about the workability of my VCR.

9. Sherlock Holmes – Back in the mid-late nineties there was a television miniseries about good ole Sherlock, and I instantly was fascinated by his mystery solving skills.  When I heard this movie was going to be released I could not wait! I went to see this in the theater, by myself actually, which was quite pleasant (you should try it sometime!).  Edge-of-my-seat-GOODNESS! I loved every minute of it! I loved the dynamic of Robert Downey Jr.’s Sherlock and Jude Law’s Watson. I loved the idiosyncrasies of their partnership that delved into their friendship and their trust of each other.  I thoroughly  loved the steampunk aspect of it as well.  I can’t wait for the sequel, and I may have to make this a 10.5 top ten list.

8. Last Holiday – Putting two of hip-hops biggest stars in one movie together? How can that not have the recipe for awesomeness?  I think why I love this so much is I see alot of myself in Queen Latifah’s character “Georgia”.  Her fears, weaknesses, dreams, aspirations…I really relate to this character.  I especially love how she throws caution to the wind after learning some devastating news and just goes on the biggest, best, most amazing holiday ever. Living it up.  Because that’s what life is all about, right? Living.

7. Kate & Leopold – Time travel.  That’s really all it took to make this one of my favorite movies. Combine that with the sweet, quirky Meg Ryan, and the handsome and debonair accented Hugh Jackman, well, I really didn’t have a chance.

6. Elf – My DVD copy of this needs to be replaced. That’s how much I love it.  It seriously gets better every single time I watch it.  Will Ferrell has me in stitches. I love the “singing in a store” and the chugging of 2-liter bottle of Coke in a single sitting, his uber hyperness, and the lovely Jovie. This actually made Zooey Deschanel one of my favorite actresses.  This is my highly recommended movies to anyone I talk to around the holidays. It will forever remain a “classic” in my book.

5. Star Trek (2009) – Parallel Universe. That’s what did it for me. I’ve always been a sci-fi fan, and even though I enjoyed Star Trek (mainly TNG), I never considered myself a Trekkie.  I didn’t have the books, the comics, or the RPG games.  But this movie quickly made me want to be a Trekkie.  A total re-imagination of the original series. I love re-imaginations. It is a great way to intrigue a whole new generation with a classic story.  They (TPTB – The Powers That Be) did that with The Wizard of Oz by introducing Tin Man, which would probably rank as No. 11 on this list if it went beyond 10.  Putting the parallel universe twist on this classic really opens it up to a whole new movie franchise for a brand new generation of “Trekkies”.  I cannot wait until a sequel arrives. Because it will.

4. Pride & Prejudice (2005) – I really loved the BBC version starring Colin Firth (because who doesn’t love Colin Firth, really now?), so I really had no desire to watch this until I watched it at a friend’s house. And absolutely fell in love with it.  In the Jane Austen realm, I consider this the “cliff’s notes” of Pride & Prejudice.  You get a great cast of characters and amazing cinematography, but it does sort of lack the depth of the character’s personalities and situations that the book and the BBC version contains.  Even so, Keira Knightly as Elizabeth and Matthew Macfayden as Mr Darcy is sublime.  Epic story. Mr Darcy’s “I love you. Most ardently,” gets me every.single.time.

3. Nacho Libre – When this movie was first released I swore I was not going to subject myself to this rubbish. It looked ridiculous and downright stupid.  I held out for over a year.  But then my boss started quoting it. And even though I had not seen it (not even clips) I thought his rendition was hilarious. Then I went to Mexico (for the second time) and the people on my trip were quoting it, and Nacho-isms kept popping up along the trip (Luchadores, Corn on a stick, etc). I think what really made me want to see it was the fact that it was filmed in Oaxaca where I had been in Mexico.  And then I watched it. And I was hooked! The BEST taglines ever! I really think it was destiny.

2. While You Were Sleeping – Bill Pullman and Sandra Bullock? How could I NOT love this movie?! I remember the very first time I saw this. It was 1995, the Saturday before the Christmas play at church. I simply fell in love with this movie, the characters, the storyline, the feel-goodness of it all.  A story of love at first sight that turns out to not be love at first sight, and the real (and often hilarious) journey to finding true love and the importance of those in your life.  A lot of people consider this one of Sandra Bullock’s least acclaimed films, but I feel that this is where she really started to build her acting skills.  She’s funny, quirky, lovable, admirable, sincere – so many things within this character.  And even today I can see little glimpses of this character in other characters she has portrayed. This movie is by far one of my favorites and will likely always remain so. I mean, it’s held the test of time for 16 years now.

1. Star Wars Trilogy (1977-1983) I know this is three separate movies, but since it is part as one epic story, it fully classifies as a singular entry. I discovered Star Wars when I was 13. I think I was the only girl in my school geeky enough to latch onto this galactic adventure. I had borrowed my neighbors VHS movies repeatedly that my parents finally got me the set for my own collection.  I have to say that Luke Skywalker was probably my “first love”, though eventually I crossed over into the Han Solo groupies.  I know I wore those VHS tapes out from watching them on a weekly basis, to the point of memorization. Then came the introduction of DVDs. I worked at Wal-Mart at the time, and was able to snatch up a boxset as soon as it was released.  To this day, it is still in my “collection”, and one of my prized possessions.  I am definitely an original trilogy fan over the prequel trilogy, although there are a few (young Obi-Wan) aspects that I enjoy of the prequels, they will never be in the Top Ten. Never.

Apocalyptic Prison Camps, Wizardry Wreaking Havoc on Local Farms, and So Much MORE!

Sounds like the header for a tabloid news paper, doesn’t it?  In reality, or subreality(?), this is what played out in my subconscious two nights ago as I was tossing and turning in bed.  Sleep is supposed to be restful, however I play out a whole other reality in my sleep.  This particular sequence is played out in 3 different parts or phases, none of them connected, but equally action packed.

Phase 1: Apocalyptic Prison Camps

The end of the free world began shortly after a famous celebrity was put behind bars for a little DUI incident.  The threat of an apocalyptic war loomed on the horizon, in which chaos ensued and the governmental system collapsed.  Loyalists swept through the nation, arresting anyone who was in complete rebellion of the new “system”.  A “make-up-rules-as-we-go” system.  Meaning you could be arrested for anything and everything.  I was one of those arrested.  Then came the prisons.  Since the “judicial” prisons were already filled to capacity, mobile homes and trailers and any type of small out building were set up as prisons.  Armed guards were posted at each mini-prison round the clock, with the exception of shift change, and even that was sparse.

My prison was a single-wide mobile home in the middle of no where. Dirty, peeling linoleum floors. Bare wood paneled walls.  The cliched “bread and water” meals.  Just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.  I was given “room mates”.  The infamous celebrity who had little care for authority or reason…well…she became my new “best friend”.  Her ability to anger the guards at every turn astounded me.  I tried reasoning with her to stop freaking out and to be normal and not cause any undue attention to turn our way.  Alas, she never listened.  On the last occasion that I saw her, she had a crazy idea to bring the guards’ barbecue grill into our prison during shift change and grill up some of their fare.  Bad bad bad idea.  But with her knack of getting into trouble, I wasn’t surprised, except I didn’t want to be in this.  I begged her not to do it, to put the grill back, to no avail.

And this is when everything exploded in a flurry of events.

A group of insurgents burst through the door, at the moment when the guards should have returned.  They issued the invitation to escape with them under the cover of dark.  I jumped at the chance.  My roommate opted to stay behind.

My new found rescuers rushed me along a fence line, urging me to stay low and to make no sound.  We noticed lights from a small farm house in the distance.  We could hear a search team pursuing us from behind.  Many in the group wanted to head toward the house and stay there for the night, until the search for our escape was over.  But everyone knew, during this time of pre-apocalyptic war, that seemingly innocent farm houses with warm beckoning lights were anything but.  Anyone not captured by the Liberalists were spies for them.  And those were the types of people that took up residence in seemingly innocent farm houses.  This was a bad idea, and I knew it.  However the insurgent group’s leader was swayed by the majority of our group to take over the house.  I followed them, unsure of where else I would go.

Spotlights threatened to reveal our cover.  Our small rebellion weaved our way through a fence and crawled for the longest time toward the house.  Lights were on in nearly every room in the house.  It had to be occupied.

Silently making our way to the back of the house, the leader of our group eased himself through the back door, after picking the lock.  Doing a quick sweep of the perimeter he determined it was safe, and he called us all in.  I kept thinking that we should turn off the lights, so that our cover wouldn’t go noticed by the search team.  However, not one in our group seemed concerned about this.

Some of the guys in the group started raiding the pantries, laying a bounty on the table.  It had been weeks, even months since any of us had had a decent meal, let alone supplements.  My eyes kept darting toward the doors, the windows, knowing that we were going to be found.

As I began to let my guard down, the guy sitting to my left, at the end of the table, slumped over suddenly.  I looked up, and there was a person standing in the shadows wielding a crow bar.  Blood pooled on the table before me.  Disorder ensued.  Another individual appeared before the first shadowed person.  I screamed.  Our group’s leader drew a sawed off automatic shotgun.  The second individual, who obviously had a death wish, launched himself at our leader, slamming a crow bar into his body, the gun flying out of his hands.  I panicked and grabbed the gun escaping out a side door.

I began running through the darkness, not knowing which direction I was going, or even what I was going to.  I just knew I had to get out of there, away from those trying to kill me and enslave me.

Phase 2: Wizardy Wreaking Havoc on Local Farms

I was driving down the highway in the country when I noticed several fields were on fire.  And a short, old man that was familiar to me was standing at the edge of one of them, a wizard’s wand glowing in his hand.  I watched as he cast his wand setting another field to a pre-fire ember, unbeknowest to my presence.  I realized I had to get help.  I drove to a relative’s house a few miles away, who I knew would believe me, because he knew this particular individual.

I drove as fast as I could, hoping that the little wizard man still hadn’t noticed me.  As I raced down another country road, I saw the path of destruction that he had already been privy to.  I pulled out my cell phone and called my relative.  I relayed to him everything that I had seen, and that we were all in danger of these fires that were spreading over the country side.  He sympathized with my concern, but didn’t think there was anything we could do at the moment.  I urged him that we had to, because his field had already been attacked with the fiery embers, and the surrounding fields were next.

We decided the best place to form a battle plan was at our grandparents old house up the road.  We, as well as several others in our family and community met there.  The fire departments had already been called and dispatched to the fields that were burning.  Smoke filled the horizon.

Then the little wizard man appeared throught the clouds of smoke waving his wand toward us.

We had to fight back.  There had to be a way to combat this otherworldly attack!

Phase 3: Rainy Days, Escalators & a Native American Sweetheart

It was raining and I was running late to the gym.  I had left my gym clothes at the gym from the day before, which was contributing to my lateness.  As I walked to the entrance of the gym, there were huge puddles everywhere, and there in one of the puddles amidst trash were my gym clothes! I was ticked and frustrated that they would do this to me! I gathered them up and rushed into the gym, anxious to find a dryer in the built in laundromat.

I had to make my way up several levels of the building on ancient escalators to reach the laundromat, because it had apparently been moved since my last memory of it.

To make the snail’s crawl of the escalators go faster, I started running up them.  I was going to be late if I didn’t get my clothes dried.

As I was racing around a corner to the next level I nearly careened into a Native American couple and their four tween children.  I apologized profusely when the man turned to me with shock and awe on his face.

“It’s me,” he said.  “Do you remember me?”

I searched my mind for some recollection of him, but found none.  I apologized again, that no, I didn’t remember him.

“We spent summers together, in the country, at your grandparents’ farm.”

Suddenly long-buried memories assaulted my senses and I was transported to a time when two kids, merely young teens, spent hours wandering the farm, talking and laughing, and making plans for the future.  These weren’t my memories, were they?  As surely as this thought flitted through my head, his eyes met mine, and I knew that it must be so.  The memory of when we confessed our love to one another as two headstrong kids ready to take on the world (and our families).  Sadly that memory ended with his elders ripping him from his summer haven and our plans for a life together.  That was the last time I saw him.

His eyes held sadness, yet a wisdom that had been missing from his eyes of youth.

“Yes, I remember you now.” I said.  I returned a sad smile.

He turned and put an arm around the young woman standing next to him, eyeing our brief exchange. “This is my wife.  And our children.”  I didn’t hear her name, or their children’s names as he spoke them.

I said how nice it was to see him again after all these years.  A cordial goodbye was issued from his lips as well.

As they descended the escalator, I couldn’t help but wonder what could have been.