Movies have been around most of, but not all of, my life. I don’t remember movies from my first era, the New York Era, but I do remember them from all eras after that one! (I may just not remember seeing movies in my earliest days.)
I didn’t become an active consumer, let alone a gourmet, until well into the Los Angeles Era.
It really wasn’t until college when I studied film and television making that I really got into films. They’ve been a special source of interest ever since.
As a fan of movies and science fiction, naturally I love the combination. (Like, a lot!) I’ve started a list of Science Fiction Movies.
I also love baseball, so I also started a list of Baseball Movies.
I used to have a thing for movies about assassins. Others apparently do, too; it’s surprising how many there are. (I’ve also noticed my list getting a fair number of, pardon the expression, hits.) I made a list of Assassin Movies a while back (for my website). It’s gotten a bit out of date now.
My Rating System
For the record, here’s my current movie rating system:
Wow! — A must-see film. A film that gets it as right as possible. Few or no complaints.
Ah! — A pretty good film, definitely worth seeing. Has some aspects that are especially noteworthy.
Eh! — Still a thumbs-up but didn’t have much that was particularly interesting or noteworthy.
Meh! — A film that doesn’t impress but doesn’t completely stink. Has some aspects that might make it worth seeing.
Nah! — Not a good film, not really worth seeing unless there is some special reason that compels.
Ugh! — A terrible film. A waste of time and celluloid. Avoid!
I’ve never been able to pick out a top favorite of all time (in much of anything). There are just too many good choices. But sometimes I can manage to narrow it down to five (or so). This list may change, but for the moment, here’s my favorite five. I’m not saying they’re the best films; they’re my favorite films, movies I’ve seen many times and could watch again:
- LA Story; 1991; Steve Martin; Mick Jackson
- Grand Canyon; 1991; Kevin Klein, Danny Glover; Lawrence Kasdan [post: Grand Canyon]
- His Girl Friday; 1940; Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell; Howard Hawks
- Galaxy Quest; 1999; Tim Allen, many others; Dean Parisot
- Zardoz; 1974; Sean Connery; John Boorman
Heavy on the comedy, perhaps, but I value laughter above just about everything. The last two, especially the last, might seem odd, but [A] I’m a big science fiction fan, and  both of those movies speak to me in special ways.
(Odd that I’ve posted about only one of them. I’ve mentioned LA Story several times. And Galaxy Quest, too. I really should write posts about them, though.)
Runners up are:
- Airplane!; 1980; large cast; Abrams & Zucker, Zucker
- Groundhog Day; 1993; Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell; Harold Ramis
- Get Shorty; 1995; John Travolta, Gene Hackman; Barry Sonnenfeld
- The Sixth Sense; 1999; Bruce Willis; M. Night Shyamalan
- The Man Who Knew Too Little; 1997; Bill Murray; Jon Amiel
And breathing down their neck:
- Maltese Falcon; 1941; Humphrey Bogart; John Huston
- Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid; 1982; Steve Martin; Carl Reiner
- Wild Things; 1998; Bacon, Dillon, Campbell, Richards; John McNaughton
- Gosford Park; 2001; large British cast; Robert Altman
- The Usual Suspects; 1995; large cast; Bryan Singer
- Hamlet; 1996; Kenneth Branagh
All films that are among my favorites. Sadly, not many modern movies find their way into my heart. Storytelling in movies has gone way downhill.
Here are some runners up:
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail; 1975; Monty Python
- Pulp Fiction; 1994; John Travolta, Uma Therman; Quentin Tarantino
- Scrooged; 1988; Bill Murray; Richard Donner
- Johnny Dangerously; 1984; Michael Keaton, many others; Amy Heckerling
- American Beauty; 1999; Kevin Spacey, Annette Bening; Sam Mendes
- Field of Dreams; 1989; Kevin Costner; Phil Alden Robinson
- Bull Durham; 1988; Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon; Ron Shelton
- Major League; 1989; Charlie Sheen, Rene Russo; David S. Ward
- Fantastic Voyage; 1966; Raquel Welch; Richard Fleischer
- Annie Hall; 1977; Woodie Allen, Diane Keaton; Woodie Allen
- Apollo 13; 1995; Tom Hanks and others; Ron Howard
- Waterworld; 1995; Kevin Costner, Jeanne Tripplehorn; Kevin Reynolds
- Johnny Mnemonic; 1995; Keanu Reeves; Robert Longo
- Dr. Strangelove; 1964; Peter Sellers; Stanley Kubrick
- Be Cool; 2005; John Travolta, Uma Therman; F. Gary Gray
Those are just the ones on my favorites shelf. There are a lot of other movies I’ve loved over the years. Far too many to list.
Lastly, some favorite must-see classics (highly recommended if you’ve never seen them):
- Maltese Falcon; 1941; Humphrey Bogart; John Huston
- Casablanca; 1942; Humphrey Bogart; Michael Curtiz
- The Big Sleep; 1946; Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall; Howard Hawks
- The African Queen; 1951; Humphrey Bogart, Katharine Hepburn; John Huston
- Key Largo; 1948; Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall; John Huston
- Citizen Kane; 1941; Orson Welles; Orson Welles
- The Philadelphia Story; 1940; Katharine Hepburn, Cary Grant; George Cukor
- It Happened One Night; 1934; Clark Gable, Clark Gable, Claudette Colbert; Frank Capra
- Desk Set; 1957; Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy; Walter Lang
- The Thin Man; 1934; William Powell, Myrna Loy; W.S. Van Dyke
To name but a few.