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April 07 2009

Five Favourite Films with James Marsters. William the Bloody shares his five favo(u)rite films with Rotten Tomatoes!

Respectable list. I think a couple of those films are a bit overrated, but I can still respect his choices. Alien is always a classic, and I really liked his explanation.

Oh, and first! I've never been the first to comment before :)

[ edited by InevitableTraitor on 2009-04-08 02:43 ]
And I've never been the first to catch a scoop before! I liked the list. Blade Runner and Alien never get old.
Blade Runner is close to my (our, my wife adores it, too) top five, but not sure.

Here's my five list, for what little it's worth:

Branagh's Henry V

Original The Producers

The Third Man

Singin' in the Rain

Ruggles of Red Gap

(So many that barely miss the cut!)
Interesting to see his favourite films; I couldn't agree more with him about Blade Runner. Seems he must be something of a Ridley Scott fan.

Chris inVirginia, I'm ashamed to say I haven't seen a single one of those! But I did pick up a copy of The Third Man recently, and now your list makes me want to see it even more. Whilst we're listing our favourites, mine would be The Trial (the Welles' one, not the new one), The Dreamers and The Matrix (its 10th year anniversary is this very week as it happens).
I don't believe in favorites...
I'm glad to see Ratatouille getting some love. He has some great movies on his list. But how can you only pick 5? I can't even pick a top 10.
Blade Runner is certainly deserving (Joss appears to be obsessed with it, too, if you go by Firefly, Serenity and Fray), though not necessarily in my top 5.

My #1 hasn't changed for years now. I pretty much worship Amadeus. The Blues Brothers used to be my favorite film back in the day (and National Lampoon's Animal House by proxy). American Graffiti (I love Milner, Carol and Falfa!), The Empire Strikes Back (Han/Leia 'shipper to the core) and Raiders of the Lost Ark are also very high on my list. In my top 100, there is everything from '80s teen flicks (IE. John Hughes), The Princess Bride, Back to the Future, Great Balls of Fire!, La Bamba, Young Frankenstein, musicals (Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland, Elvis Presley, The Sound of Music), old tearjerkers like A Tree Grows In Brooklyn (just saw it the other day and bawled my eyes out) and Boys Town and horror classics like House of Wax, Freaks, The Bride of Frankenstein, Night of the Living Dead, etc... to Peter Pan, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty and Pinocchio. Of course, my childhood favorites were Hocus Pocus and Beetlejuice. Oh, yeah--I love Tim Burton. Edward Scissorhands!

Cool list from James, though. Blade Runner is truly, truly awesome and everyone should see it. Particularly if you want to see a very integral part to what inspired Joss' future worlds.

As far as Alien goes, I prefer Space Balls' version of the chest-popper. Hilarious.

[ edited by NileQT87 on 2009-04-08 12:35 ]
Not seen the two less expected choices on JM's list (Milagro and Ratatouille) but 'Alien' and 'Blade Runner' are both brilliant films. I think he's spot on about the sex in 'Alien' but then most horror films are about sex IMO (or at least the intertwined sex/death combo), some are just more subtle about it than others.

I like this list because it has the little blurb about each film which tells us something about him, without that these celebrity lists are almost entirely pointless since, IMO, they're largely about us and the dubious justification/identification frisson that comes from someone we're a fan of sharing our tastes.

And, cos these things are basically impossible for me to resist:

The Jerk
The Professionals
Blade Runner
hon. mention - Twelve Angry Men

In no order and as of today - ask me tomorrow and some or all of those may well change ;) - and these are favourites, not necessarily films I think are flawlessly made or dazzling in their sophistication ('Twelve Angry Men' for instance is incredibly contrived and "stagey" IMO, it's also great drama and a lovely ode to reason and basic human decency).
I can never do a "top Five" there are just too many brilliant films. But the ones that never fall off my list are:
The Lord of the Rings
Out of Africa
Blade Runner
American Beauty
The Matrix
12 Monkeys
Legends of the Fall

(see, no way I can narrow it down to five) ;)

Newer favorites that move up in my estimation with re-watchings:
Micheal Clayton
The Departed
No Country for Old Men
The New World

[ edited by Shey on 2009-04-08 11:08 ]
I would go with

Inherit The Wind
Casino Royale (the recent version)
Love Actually/Four Weddings and a Funeral

But me being me, this could be a totally different version in 10 minutes.
I could never pick just 5. But those definitely appearinmg on my favourites list would be:
Harry Potter (though I don't like the way they have made the last couple)
The Lord of the Rings
Star Wars
Pirates of the Caribbean
Dark Knight
Tim Burton films - Sleepy Hollow, Edward Scissorhands, Sweeney Todd, Nightmare Before Christmas
Schindler's List
the Indiana Jones films (last one wasn't as good, but still loved it)
V for Vendetta
Jurassic Park
Ben Hur
many animated films: Lion King, Shrek etc...
...and the list just keeps on going, and I'm still adding to it.

I've yet to see Blade Runner, Alien and the Matrix in full though. They do look awesome from what I've seen

Another one - The Good, The Bad and the Ugly. Love that film!

[ edited by Shep on 2009-04-08 21:42 ]
Oh please don't let's start with the whole 'FIRST!' malarkey. ;-)

I'm a real girlie girl and a tad immature, so my Top 5 always-in the-disc-player films are-

Wizard of Oz
Edward Scissorhands
The Princess Bride
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

I'm can't resist the tempation of making a list either:

I love Wes Anderson's movies: especially Rushmore and Royal Tenenbaums are huge favourites of mine. Woody Allen is another one of my favourite directors, though he has made to many great ones to pick just one favourite. The Graduate, West Side Story and Groundhog Day are also favourites of mine.

Qua fantasy/horror/sci-fi Terry Gilliam has made most of my favourite movies. I have a particular soft spot for Timebandits which I think really captures the essence of child-like imagination. The Monty Python films also remain favourites of mine. Polanksi's Rosemary's Baby is a film in the horror genre that is part of my absolute favourites and Stardust, while maybe not in my top 5, I think is an underrated little jewel. And I also love the sci-fi blockbusters Star Wars V and Back to the Future II/III.

I absolutely loved Ratatouille and it's atleast one of my favourite recent animations (so it's great to see it on James list), but childhood nostalgia blurred feelings make it difficult to compare it to older similar films.

Hmm. That didn't turn out to be very list-y.
Anyway I'm forgetting tons of stuff, but this is more than enough for now.
As a contrast to those who can't/won't decide, my top 5 almost never changes:
Ghost World
Love and Death
Dr Strangelove
Days of Heaven
Hmm. Favorites. In my mind favorites are stories that I obsess about and can watch over and over, always seeing/being told something new. Always being effected. Consequently, this list has changed quite a bit over time.

There are stories that use to feed me on a regular basis that I have somehow since incorporated into myself and now I no longer feel any need to watch them. Whatever I was looking for back then has been found. Star Wars (episodes 4 & 5) fall into this category.

Then there are those stories that for some reason, EVERY time I watch them I get swept up in their whole "How does one get from here to there?" Off the top of my head The Fellowship of the Ring, Pirates of the Caribbean, Oceans Eleven (remake), and The Matrix still do that for me.

But... films I can watch over and over, off the top of my head, at this precise moment?

Life Aquatic
The Lady Vanishes (Hitchcock's)
The Unbelievable Truth
The Thomas Crown Affair (remake)
Rear Window
A Mid Summer Night's Sex Comedy
The Princess and the Warrior
Under the Tuscan Sun
Love Actually

My list use to be much more action-y. However, eight years with the army has ruined(?) the entertainment value of some things for me. (That and instilled a strong desire never to see anyone wearing olive drab ever again.)

I gotta wonder, what am I trying to incorporate now? Weird list.

Crap. I was going to try and limit this to five... Honest!
Oooh, I see we're making lists! Now I have to join in.

Okay, top-5-in-no-particular-order:
Donnie Darko
The Shawshank Redemption
The Usual Suspects
12 Angry Men
Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Wow, 5 really isn't much, given alllll the films out there.

Serenity should also probably be in there, but for me it's such a 'fandom event', that it's impossible to compare it to "regular movies". Furthermore, I now don't have 'The Empire Strikes Back' in there, which is a bad thing. Or 'The Godfather'. Or 'Amélie'. And I'm severely lacking in classic movies...

I don't know why I always think making these types of lists is fun ;)
Oh yeah Lifeforce as well.
I think 'Lifeforce' is like The Complete Works of Shakespeare on Desert Island Discs - it's implicitly in everyone's top 5 films.
You know, this whole list thing would work much better for me if we could have categories. Like...films for escapism, films for when one is unbelievably depressed, films whose atmospheres I like to wallow in, films for when I want my buttons pushed. (Not those buttons! Although... there's probably a list for that too. ;-) )
Oh, man. Lifeforce. I can remember watching that obsessively. Or at least every time it showed up on cable. It's up there with The Beastmaster. I haven't thought of it in years.
It also happily fits into more or less every category you mention (including "button" presser, certainly for 14 year old me anyway ;). In this way I believe we've proven beyond disputation that 'Lifeforce' is the ultimate film.
Wow... I actually had to IMDB 'Lifeforce' as I'd never even heard of it. Heh.

But: "A space shuttle mission investigating Halley's Comet brings back a malevolent race of space vampires... ". That has to be good. Plus, Patrick Stewart! Or like my friends like to yell out whenever he's in something: "it's The Picard!" ;)
Harry from Spooks is the lead.
Never heard of Lifeforce either, so thanks for the IMDB link (since that's were I was going anyway), GVH.
Harry from Spooks is the lead.

Yeah, that continuity goof may be the only flaw in the entire movie - Harry was surely in Berlin at that time ? Ooops, red faces all round when that was noticed I bet.

And that IMDB review is very puzzling. Gratuitous ? She's a Space Girl FFS, they're all nude ! Can the film be blamed simply because Mathilda May is a Method actor ?
Shows something of how James thinks. Same with Billy Ray's list.
Excellent choices and great commentary from James. The add of Milagro was interesting; John Nichols' book is part of a trilogy, all involved magical realism, and all very moving. Milago as a book is somewhat humorous, or better, humor infuses its seriousness. But it painst a picture of anti-development forces in a rural community, fighting over water rights. It is much, much better than it sounds, and I love this film.

My faves:
Tokyo Story
Close Encounters
The Matrix
Let the Right One In (new but so damned good)
Aguirre, the Wrath of God

Guilty Pleasure- Meatballs

[ edited by Dana5140 on 2009-04-08 16:03 ]
Dana5140, I love Let the Right One In too, but just a word of warning to anyone reading this thinking about watching it -- the American DVD release apparently has some "dumbed down" subtitles on it (though I think they're trying to change that now, wikipedia has the details).

Nice to see some Woody Allen love on this thread too. I hadn't seen any of his films until recently when I saw Vicky Cristina Barcelona, which was absolutely wonderful, and I've been trying to watch as many of his films as I can since then.
Seen 'Annie Hall' yet ? Magic.

And yep, very much looking forward to "Let the Right One In" (finally) being released in the UK (on Friday IIRC). Considering how much closer we are to Sweden you'd think it'd already be out here but oh no, seems like every bugger and their dug has had it before us.
Talkin' Woody Allen...

I'm also rather fond of Manhattan Murder Mystery myself. It's got this quiet, creepy, deadpan sort of realism to it. I've always felt like "it" could actually happen that way. Also it's a bit Rear Windowish. Minus the fabulous jazz sound track. And minus Grace Kelly. But still good nonetheless.
MattK- was aware, but thanks. They will release with the theatrical subtitles shortly, but word is, the current release is closer to actual English translation. Whatever, the film just damn works.
My top five has stayed constant for a while:

Chinatown (best noir)
Casablanca (best classic)
Unforgiven (best western)
Sin City (best comic adaptation)
The Godfather (cause how can you not?)
And Naked as well. It left such a powerful impression on me that I haven't watched it since as not to destory the perfect memory I have of it. Anyone else do that sort of thing with really superb movies?
Simon- I did with Schindler's List, which hit me like few movies ever have, especially the second I understood the meaning of the final scenes.
Saje, haven't seen Annie Hall yet, but I just bought it recently, so it's just a matter of finding the time. :) I have seen Manhattan, Match Point, and Scoop (which was surprisingly charming considering its "bad" reviews).

Simon, I can't say the same for a movie, but I can for a book. I've never re-read the entirety of the His Dark Materials trilogy, just because the memory is so perfect. I think somebody's current circumstances and emotions are as much a part of the experience watching a film as the film itself, so in a way watching a film again will never be the same.
Simon: There are some movies that made a tremendious impression after the first viewing that I have seen again, but now think maybe I shouldn't have: Hitchcock's Rear Window, Psycho and North by Northwest and Love Actually and Groundhog Day for example are films I absolutely adore, but might have lost some of their magic after repeated viewings. On the other hand films like the Monty Python movies and Rushmore not only still hold up after countless viewings, but only grow on me the more I watch them. Grizzly Man is a film I haven't rewatched (yet), partly because I'm affraid the magic will be shattered.

MattK, nice to hear something positive about His Dark Materials as a whole. I'm almost through the final book right now, really like it so far, but I mostly hear bad stuff about the finale, so this makes for a nice change.

About Woody Allen (to take this back on topic): I absolutely adored Scoop. It's always a huge bonus to have Woody himself perform. Like I wrote years ago on the .org I really don't get the negative reviews. Then again, it's really my type of movie. Also have a huge love for Love and Death(great pick: redders!) Annie Hall, Manhattan and Matchpoint. And I really dugg Vicky. Like I said, Allen really has made an incredible amount of amazing films. (Other recommendations from his huge oeuvre would be Crimes and Misdemeanors, Hannah and her Sisters and Husbands and Wives).
Yes. Crimes and Misdemeanors. It features some of the best dialogue ever. Great movie.

Anyway, I, too, have recently bought 'Annie Hall' (I was at a DVD shop which had a closing sale and was selling 10 movies for EUR25,- from their entire collection, so I stocked up on some classics I have yet to see, including a bunch of Hitchcock movies, some Woody Allen's and stuff like 'The Maltese Falcon' and some European movies like 'La Haine' and the such :). The kind of movies one usually has to buy online and which are never, ever on sale ;). Best. sale. ever., that.). Anyway: I am really looking forward to watching it. I suspect I'll love it to bits.

All in all I haven't seen a whole lot of Woody Allen's movies, but that only means I can watch a bunch of 'em for the first time ever, which is good :).

ETA: oh, and re: His Dark Materials. Like MattK, I totally fell in love with those books. I think the third one might even be my favorite. Hadn't heard people complaining about the ending before. I felt it worked fine. Wonder if you'll end up liking it as much we do, the Groosalugg :)

[ edited by GVH on 2009-04-09 00:51 ]

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