15 Movies…

…that stuck with you.

Originally a tag on Facebook by Tushar, I thought I’d expand the meager scope and also put down why the movies stuck. Who cares about a list otherwise? It should tell you something about the person, eh?

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.

MaqboolVB 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.

District 9http://daddy-san.blogspot.com/2009/08/there-are-lot-of-secrets.html

‘Nuff sed.

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.

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7 responses to “15 Movies…”

  1. Anjum says :

    haha thanks! I guess I’ve really become passionate about movies and hence that comment just came out in a flow. It was only after posting it I realised that it was kinda..too long!!

    I think it was good that you missed watching Paranormal Activity in theatre. I’ve heard that there was a lot of shrills and shrieks at every scary moment and a lot of ppl felt it spoiled their experience.

    Hurt Locker was good; somehow didn’t like it that much. It felt more like the usual Oscar fare. But I guess that’s just me, I havent been liking any of movies I’ve seen lately.

  2. daddysan says :

    Hey Anjum – Thanks for stopping by.

    And that ‘comment’ deserves to be a blogpost of its own! You have described these movies rather well.

    Just caught Paranormal Activity and regret that I didn’t see it in the theatre. May have been a lot more impactful than watching it On Demand.

    I have also added The Hurt Locker to my classic collection. That movie is simply unbelievable.

  3. Anjum says :

    Excuse me if this comment comes out of the blue; but I feel like blabbering!

    Exorcist has to be hands-down one of the best supernatural horror movies that came out of Hollywood ever ! My dad didn’t sleep for a month without lights after watching it for the first time. Mom saw it then (I have no clue how or why!) but has refused a repeat viewing ever since. It remains my favorite to this day and no other film has come even close to dethroning it. For me, the portrayal of evil in its purest form was the greatest achievement of the film. That’s what I look for in a horror movie; and that’s why slasher flicks like Saw and Hostel induce no more than a yawn. Another film which caught my attention recently was the recent “Antichrist”; though, it was good so far as its presentation of hopelessness and nihilism was concerned, the gratuitous nudity and certain images of unimaginable cruelty do not allow me to recommend it.

    The ring was good, but as I said, Exorcist remains my favorite!

    Schindler’s List was good, but I would like to see a movie coming out of Hollywood documenting the plight of the Palestinians at the hands of a once victimized people.

    The Devil Wears Prada – liked it a lot in the beginning. The first time I was watching I happened to get a call from my sister and I heartily recommended her over the phone. By the time it ended, I was pretty pissed off: what a load of corn!

    Terminator 2: great action; definitely a classic. But I am surprised most people don’t mention Aliens (sequel to the Ridley Scott classic Alien). I tend to think that was Cameron’s finest moment!

    District 9: Innovative idea spoiled by inconsistencies in the plot. I’d not delve into the details; just mention that when the credits rolled I wasn’t satisfied.

    Here are my other picks:

    The Godfather: I doubt if there is anyone who does not like this movie (and its sequel too for that matter). There is simply one word to describe this movie: Epic! I have read the novel as well and the movie does full justice to it. The 2nd sequel was a disappointment however.

    The Shawshank Redemption: Together with the Green Mile, this remains one of the most respected (at least for me) renditions of Stephen King’s short stories. I wonder why he’s known for his gazillion horror novels; all of his other celluloid renditions are, at best, lame. (cf. Children of the corn)

    2001 A Space Odyssey: I admit I never understood this movie, even to this day. Inspite of that, it remains my favorite (my dad’s too). I think Kubrick did an excellent job with capturing the loneliness of space. And how can anyone forget the uber-sinister HAL 9000! Or the creepy operatic chorus at the sight of the monolith!

    Empire of the Sun: Spielberg’s best, in my opinion. If I remember correctly, it was a gloomy weekend evening when this movie was being broadcast. Never heard of it and having nothing else to do, we watched it with a hollow conviction. Then a single powerful moment changed our perception: Christian Bale (of Dark Knight fame), portraying a British boy taken prisoner by the Japanese during the second World War, holds a dead woman (who was sort of a mother-figure for her in the camps) in his arms. Something draws his attention; he looks up in the sky and catches an arc of light sweeping across the heavens ! What it was didn’t immediately occur to me, but when it did I couldn’t feel less amazed at the subtlety and the elegance of that moment. I’d highly recommend watching this film; its a masterpiece.

    Pan’s Labyrinth: Brilliant imagination from the Mexican Guillermo Del Toro weaves an intricate tale of childhood fantasies and the realities of war; its a gritty film with a heart-breaking conclusion. Set in the background of the Spanish civil war it features many mythical creatures like a faun, a giant toad and an aberrant creature which has to be seen to be believed!

    Finding Nemo: When my dad insisted on watching it, I agreed reluctantly – clown fishes for a movie ? seriously ? Eventually when I watched it, I was speechless; and by the end, in tears!

    Ratatouille: Another great idea from Pixar ! The last time I tried watching a movie with rats (Willard), I could hardly begin. This one has kept me coming back for repeat viewing; simply delicious!

    Ironman: Always fun to watch! uber-entertaining, nuff said.

    Predator: Unforgettable sci-fi classic!

    Other films worth mentioning:

    Paranormal Activity: Ultra Low-budget handycam thriller; a fun watch. I started to watched it @ 12 AM with lights off all by myself and couldn’t sleep for the rest of the night. Scared the #$%^ out of my friends – yeah I made them watch in the dark too!

    Evil Dead 1,2,3 – Always fun to watch. Sam Raimi classics.

    4 months, 3 weeks and 2 days: A low-budget Romanian indie; its tagline is (if i remember correctly), “how far would you go to help a friend?” When you find out by the end, you are thoroughly shocked!

    P.S. : your “tit for tot” quip was brilliant !

  4. Neeraj says :

    @ KG: Y'know what? I saw Kaminey and honestly had nothing much to say about it. Nothing in it moved me. Even Omkara is a distant second on my list but is my wife's fave. Maqbool for me was just another level of remake. It was the most fitting Shakespeare tribute I have seen. So dark and so not melodramatic.

    On LOTR, I agree Peter Jackson has had to prune the book but that is reasonable given time and budget constraints. Strictly speaking for myself, I read the book after the movies and it was far more satisfying for me.

  5. Neeraj says :

    @ Monika: I didn't write it here but in light of your revelation I should state that me and my brother saw the "pirated" version on a 14" computer screen in broad daylight and didn't go near the TV for the rest of the day. I'm not making this up. I keep asking myself "WTF?" everytime I think of it, but the situation then was different :)

  6. KG says :

    So glad you picked maqbool- VB's best effort IMO. Brilliant acting, great adaptation.

    Although the LOTR movies are just fantastic, didn't you think they changed the tone of the book? I mean the book spends so much time 'looking around'- that's what's so great about it. For eg: The battle of the fields of Pellannor was dealt with in a few pages.

  7. Monika says :

    most of the movies me likes too…

    a have a funny story to go with ring, i had seen that movie in night show with friends and I was home alone that night and at abt 3 am in the night while I was sleeping in the hall the TV suddenly switched on… oh gosh I cant tell u how I felt… very well made movie that was

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