The Exorcist – Let me first acknowledge the big-daddy of all horror movies. My parents had to flee the theatre in their day. My wife refused to even see the DVD cover. I looked on in horror and admiration. Rough around the edges, stark, scary and downright repulsive. Reading the book and watching the movie were equally terrifying experiences. But it wasn’t the green puke that stayed with me. To me, the story symbolizes the power of faith. When you believe, you can get anything done.
I bow to thee William Friedkin. Just quell the sequels please.
The Ring – I first watched it as a pirated version back home before the movie had hit the theatres. It scared the bejezuz out of me. A brilliant remake, top-of-the-line special effects, a cute child actor who’s social life is probably ruined by now, and the best last-10-minutes on par with The Usual Suspects. I haven’t seen a better contemporary horror movie since.
Lord of the Rings trilogy – The best remake is one that can substitute the original. And though students of the letters will always hold JRR’s magnum opus in the highest regard, I will first show the movies to my son. And I’m confident he will understand Frodo’s pain and struggle even better than when he reads Tolkien’s awe-inspiring tome.
The Matrix – I saw it twice to understand it. I didn’t need to convince myself that I was watching a genre-defining movie. The concept was unique but unfortunately done to death in the last installment. But still, Neo, Trinity, Morpheus and his pills rule!
Training Day – Denzel is the man for the job. Usually cast as the self-righteous, annoyingly correct know-it-all, Training Day redefined his scope of acting. He makes a mean villain. And Ethan Hawke can act.
Gritty realism that drew from real-life ‘hoodies. A masterpiece.
Schindler’s List – A profoundly moving experience for me. Recommended viewing for everyone who would like to believe learning history is important so that we never repeat our mistakes. Spielberg rises above commercialism to deliver a movie that is horrifying but keeps you riveted, and not out of a sense of morbid curiosity, but to feed and teach the conscience.
Satya – The first of a meager handful of movies that RGV can truly claim as a masterpiece. I seethed upon hearing that the atrocious Technicolor travesty Jeans had been selected as that year’s Indian entry to the Oscars. I think that jibe stung RGV so bad, he’s been making pathetic movies since. But Satya is an unforgettable in-your-face gangster epic that succeeds despite inconsequential music and the lack of a star cast.
Maqbool – VB makes really good movies. I would choose many, but Maqbool stuck not just because of the haunting quality of the story (thank you Will Shakespeare), but the haunting execution. Like the scene where Maqbool witnesses the ghosts of his mentor and his family dancing in celebration in a dark room. Eerie.
The Devil Wears Prada – What can I say? I love this movie! Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway really crackle in this soft-pop-corn (NOT soft-porn as it first reads) tale of following your heart. The movie contains many dialogues that are the same as the book, but somehow ends up appearing wittier. And did I mention Meryl Streep? She carries this to a whole new level.
The Sting – Dad is not a movie buff. So for him to mention “The Sting” at least once a year as his movie to watch eventually piqued my curiosity (in about 6 years J). The movie is such fun and two stylish stalwarts…Newman and Redford make this a hugely entertaining staple in my DVD collection.
Patton – What a madman! Portrayed by a bigger madman. This is a very inspiring movie that portrays the general for what he was: a fallible genius. George C Scott’s dialogue delivery is apparently the real thing and the power of his voice and emoting leave you breathless. Although the movie is a little long-ish, it keeps you glued.
Terminator 2 – Hasta La Vista hands down the best masala action movie ever. And really impressive special effects by ILM for this one. The next discontinuous innovation after Star Wars was coded in C++. I wish iTunes would retail the original thumping, haunting theme.
Snatch – After Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, there was no way I wasn’t watching this one. Brad Pitt became my style god. The man is fascinating and his acting repertoire is so diverse! “Ya like dags”?
Ocean’s 11 – Aren’t I a sucker for remakes. This one is a classy, witty and very enjoyable one. Light on the feet and easy on the brain without falling to crass depths. There are these little touches by Soderbergh that make this movie memorable. Like Brad Pitt always eating or drinking in most scenes and Basher’s British-isms like “Tossers”.
So all you fine folks on Facebook…give me an insight with your list of 15.