- Following a lengthy discussion over on Ratboy's Anvil, I've decided to post what I believe were the 10 Best Movies Ever:
- Waking Life (2001)
A wonderfully dreamy, thought-provoking film about a person's lucid dream-journey, full of philosophical discussions with some of the great modern minds. The film's animation is unique, having been created by drawing over actual shots of actors. (Each segment was drawn by a different artist and therefore exhibits a different style.)
- The Matrix (1999)
The first film was brilliant. The sequels unfortunately suffered from excessive funds. (What do you do when you spend thousands on creating a startling new effect? You play it repeatedly for 5 long minutes, even if it detracts from the plot). A Buddhist friend of mine who saw the first film repeatedly, remarked how the plot was a wonderful metaphor for the Bodhisattva path as put forth in Mahayana Buddhism.
- Hair (1979)
You should really go see the musical first, but the movie is great too. It does a great job of capturing the exuberance and idealism of the 60s and correctly situates what was happening within the tense atmosphere of the Vietnam War and the draft. The entire movie centers around a couple days that a patriotic mid-western all-American kid spends in Brooklyn with a group of draft-dodging hippies.
- Gattaca (1997)
I always felt that this was a great example of a science fiction film that didn't blow all its money on needless effects but instead relied on an intriguing and absolutely realistic plot.
- Quest for Fire (1981)
I'm sure no one else will agree with this pick but I loved the boldness of this film for its serious attempt to show primitive humans in a realistic manner. The film follows a couple members of a tribe that goes out on a "quest for fire" after losing their fire (taken from a fire occurring in nature) in the aftermath of a battle. Throughout the film, the characters speak a reconstructed Indo-European tongue (without subtitles).
- Vanilla Sky (2001)
I realize that this was a remake of the Spanish Abre Los Ojos, which most film officionados found superior. But sometimes I love the dreamy Hollywood visuals and wonderful sound-tracks.
- There's Something Special About Mary
By far, the funniest comedy I've ever seen. The film has a lot of over-the-top sexual comedy but unlike most American films, it never devolves into crass prison-humor. Anyone who likes this film should also see the less well-known My Best Friend's Wedding.
- Jacob's Ladder
This film's not for everyone. It's one of those bewildering movies that you have to be in the mood to watch. The film is enigmatic with few people agreeing on the significance of its conclusion.
- Titanic (1997)
Perhaps this is Hollywood fluff but sometimes we must give credit where credit's due. Who could resist this great epic told in grand style with the beautiful Kate Winslet starring along side Di Capprio, who seems to have been born to play the role of the romantic young American?
- Forrest Gump (1994)
This film incorporated a huge number of scenes which were well integrated into a central story. The film's hilarious, but beyond the humor, I felt it had a wonderful message. I remember critics tearing it up as a manifestation of American anti-intellectualism, but I saw it more as praising a particular personality type, the type of person who is always able to make lemon-aid from lemons.
I'll give honorable mention to The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980), Memento (a great pschological thriller), and The Game.