…(in no particular order)
There’s always time to fit a movie into the schedule. But sometimes it’s tough to find that movie you know you’ll enjoy and before you know it you’re stuck with New Year’s Eve, wishing to God that someone had been a friend and recommended a damn good movie for you. Now it’s up to me to release a list of some of my own personal favorites for you to run out and rent and/or find on Netflix. Because these are five of my favorite movies, expect them all to be a raging five-star quality.
1. Cool Hand Luke (1967)
This film is a fabulous movie about one Lucas Jackson, a man sent to prison for breaking the heads of parking meters. The basic plotline follows Luke and his prison mates as they work on the roads in the hot southern sun, until one day Luke gets some “rabbit in his blood” and bolts. It’s not long before the bosses of the prison catch up to him and bring him right back. Luke’s adventures don’t stop there. Excellent cinematography, superb acting and Paul Newman allow this movie to quickly make it into a favorites list.
2. Secondhand Lions (2003)
Michael Caine (Batman Trilogy, The Prestige) and Robert Duvall (The Godfather, Newsies) make this movie an absolute delight. A truly feel-good movie, Secondhand Lions is a story about a boy that is sent to live with his long-lost uncles, who have spent forty years adventuring in Africa and acquired a supposedly enormous fortune. The young boy, Walter (Haley Joel Osment, Pay It Forward), is thrown into uncomfortable situations but quickly becomes enthralled with the stories his Uncle Garth tells him about his forty years of travels in foreign lands. When conspiracies arise as to the true nature of their fortune, Walter has to choose what to believe.
3. Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
The most recent Wes Anderson (Director- Fantastic Mr. Fox, Royal Tenenbaums) film, Moonrise Kingdom, tells the rather adorable story of boy meets girl. Sam, a boy of about twelve, escapes from his Boy Scout camp and runs into the wilderness to meet up with Suzy, a girl he met one year earlier. Since they met they’ve been writing letters and planning to escape from their respective residences to meet up in the wild and survive together. The odyssey that ensues with chases and childhood romance and unexpected obstacles makes this an enjoyable and amusing film. Also worth mentioning is Anderson’s handpicked all-star cast of Edward Norton (The Illusionist, American History X), Bruce Willis (Pulp Fiction, Die Hard) and Bill Murray (Ghostbusters, What About Bob?).
4. Shawshank Redemption (1994)
If you haven’t already seen this film, shame on you. If you have, then watch it again. Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins (War of the Worlds) star in this movie about prison inmates that spend many years in Shawshank prison. Andy Dufresne (Robbins), a successful and intelligent banker, is falsely accused of murder and sent to prison. While he’s there, he makes pals with a group of inmates and begins his long-term plan of escape. With Morgan Freeman narrating the story, there’s no question as to why it is the number one movie on IMDB’s Top 250. So, I repeat myself: to any of you that have not seen this brilliant film, sprint to any video store (if you can find one) or get a Netflix account.
5. Django: Unchained (2012)
Quentin Tarantino’s (Pulp Fiction, Kill Bill: Vol. I, Inglorious Basterds) new movie has raised a rather considerable amount of debate due to racial issues. Django: Unchained is a movie about slavery in the Mississippi Delta; however, it is not a typical slavery story. Django (Jamie Foxx, Law Abiding Citizen) is bought from a Dr. King Schultz (Christoph Waltz, Inglorious Basterds) and recruited as a bounty hunter, killing white men across the south. Fueled by the desire to rescue his enslaved wife, Django kills practically every white man he meets. And, in traditional Tarantino style, it is very vulgar and violent. Co-starring Leonardo Dicaprio and Samuel L. Jackson, Django: Unchained is a very good film, but not for the faint hearted.