**Please note: the giveaway is now closed. Winner will be announced shortly.
We’re in the full swing of summer now. . . and you know one thing summer makes me think of? Movies. So Beth Kery, Lea at Closetreader, Stacy at Stacy’s Place on Earth, and myself are teaming up to bring you a fun giveaway that centers around–you guessed it–movies.
A few weeks ago, Beth came up with the idea for this giveaway: the four of us would name our Top Ten movies of all time. Each of us would give away prizes through our blog, and all anyone has to do to enter is name three of his or her favorite movies. Sounds fun and easy enough, right?
See, I love movies. Lots of movies. Lots of different types of movies. And I have always said that I could never, ever name my favorite film. My favorite book? No problem–Pride and Prejudice. Favorite TV show? That’s easy– Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Heck, I can even tell you my favorite episode of Buffy— Becoming, Part 2. (And, TV-wise, Seinfeld would be a close second.) But favorite movie? Impossible to decide. Some movies inspire me, some make me laugh, some make me sigh. How does one compare the feelings evoked by the perfect romantic comedy versus those evoked by an epic special effects-laden action-adventure? Impossible.
But the more I thought about it, there definitely were certain movies that stood out to me, those movies that have continued to be my “go to” movies over the years. The ones I can never turn off if I stumble across them on cable. The ones I curl up with for company on those nights my husband is out of town. Am I ready to declare these my official “Top 10 Movies of All Time”? I don’t know. . . how about this instead?
THE SEMI-OFFICIAL LIST OF MOVIES I REALLY, REALLY LIKE,
THAT MIGHT BE MY TOP TEN,
ALTHOUGH I’LL PROBABLY REALIZE I FORGOT SOMETHING
FIVE MINUTES AFTER POSTING THIS
Interestingly, despite the fact that I’m a big fan of many classic films, the vast majority of the movies on this list were released in the last forty years. And since there’s no way I could ever rank the movies, this list is going to be in no particular order–except for #1. I think there is probably a certain movie that I would likely consider my “favorite.” So without further ado, here we go:
The Princess Bride. Bar none, some of the funniest, most memorable, lines ever spoken in a movie. With romance. And pirates. This movie is so good even guys will admit to loving it. That alone speaks volumes.
The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring. I liked all the films in the trilogy, but in my opinion, this one was the best. Granted, the story was Tolkien’s, but Peter Jackson couldn’t have brought that story to life any better. One of the few times I’ve left a theater and just said Wow.
Shakespeare in Love. A woman who goes against societal constraints to pursue her dreams? Star-crossed lovers? Two big checks in my book.
Signs. I say this to my husband every time I watch Signs–I think this movie is genius. The tingling suspense of a Hitchcock film; excellent, amazing characters who are so well-developed they leap off the screen; and an incredible performance by Joaquin Phoenix, who stole the show virtually every scene he was in. I know many people think The Sixth Sense is M. Night Shyamalan’s best film, but I disagree. If you haven’t seen it, put Signs in your Netflix queue now. Seriously.
Speaking of Hitchcock…
North By Northwest. Hitchcock + Cary Grant = gold. Cary Grant is perfect in this as the everyday man who’s in the wrong place at the wrong time and inadvertently becomes involved in an dangerous intrigue. (One of Hitchcock’s favorite plots.) And did I mention it has Cary Grant? A man whose swoon-worthiness is timeless.
Pretty Woman. In terms of modern-day romantic comedies, this film sets the gold standard (along with When Harry Met Sally, which just narrowly missed this list). Everything about this movie was just so. . . right. One of the best on-screen pairings, chemistry-wise, in recent film history. From the moment Julia Roberts saunters up to that Lotus and into the life of rich, uber-dashing Richard Gere, I was sold.
Sixteen Candles. Jake Ryan–need I say more? (Okay, I will.) John Hughes just nailed high school life in the eighties/early nineties. And I think almost every woman who had a crush in high school can identify with Molly Ringwald’s character. The scene where she steps out of the church and sees Jake leaning against his red Porsche, waiting for her? Sigh.
Clueless. Okay, if you’re tempted to laugh out loud over this choice, I ask this: have you seen this movie? Because I thought it would be a silly piece of fluff–and, okay, it kind of is– but it also has some of the best, snappiest, wittiest dialogue I’ve ever heard. An incredibly smart screenplay disguised as a teen rom/com–and it’s even based on a Jane Austen novel! (Emma)
Aliens. A kick-ass heroine who also has a softer side. How often do you see that? Plus special effects galore. And one of the best lines ever uttered in an action film: “Get away from her, you bitch!” Simply because this movie shows that heroines can save the day as well as heroes, it goes in my top ten.
So I think that brings me to the movie I probably can call my Favorite Movie of All Time. . . any last-minute guesses? Drum roll please. . .
Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope. I know that Empire Strikes Back is, in many senses, the best of the three films in the trilogy. (Notice I don’t even mention the abominations that were the three recent Lucas movies.) But this is the movie that started it all, and introduced us to that famous world from a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Sure, the special effects were beyond impressive for its time, but what really makes this trilogy timeless is the characters and the story. Heck, I grew up wanting to be Princess Leia. As an impressionable youth, I think Princess Leia set the stage for my earliest musings on how girls should handle boys:
Princess Leia: Someone has to save our skins. Into the garbage chute, fly boy.
Han Solo: Great girl. Either I’m going to kill her or I’m beginning to like her.
Princess Leia: Listen, I don’t know who you are, or where you came from, but from now on, you do as I tell you. Okay?
Han Solo: Look, Your Worshipful-ness, let’s get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me.
Princess Leia: Then it’s a wonder you’re still alive. [about Chewbacca] Will somebody get this walking carpet out of my way?
So there you have it–my top ten list. What do you think? Let’s hear your thoughts and comments!
And now here’s the giveaway part: I’m giving away a $25 gift card to Amazon, Borders, or Barnes & Noble, at the winner’s choosing. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below that lists at least three of your favorite movies of all time. Feel free to tell us all why you chose the movies you did (although that’s not required for entry in the giveaway).
THEN, you should head over to Beth, Lea, and Stacy’s blogs and check out the lists of their Top Ten Movies. Each of them is running a separate giveaway with fun prizes, so you should feel free to leave comments (and enter) at all four blogs. My contest here will remain open until 10pm CST on Friday, July 16th, and the winner will be announced Saturday, July 17th.
So good luck–and let’s start the movie discussion!