Alex J Cavanaugh today is The Movie Dirty Dozen Blogfest!
Let me begin by saying that I survived the Fifteen Fantasy Island Favorites. I left a couple albums out, but I was happy with my fifteen choices.
Selecting just TWELVE movies was almost impossible!! Later this week I will be posting my list of The Other Movie Dirty Dozen, as too many missed the cut that deserve a mention.
I have no one favorite movie (the first five are my most favorite) so they are in a general order.
Let me present to you my Movie Dirty Dozen.
My list might surprise you…
I remember seeing previews for the movie, and a music video of “Is Your Love Strong Enough,” and experiencing chills. Surely, the movie isn’t as dreamy and gorgeous as the preview and video? To my utter delight, Ridley Scott’s fantasy epic fulfilled my expectations! And I have seen both versions - European director’s cut and American version - and the one with the Tangerine Dream soundtrack wins hands down. That is the most haunting soundtrack I’ve ever heard! The USA version is missing some key scenes, but so is the European version, most notably the sight of the male unicorn losing his horn. Somewhere between the two is a perfect movie. However, this has remained one of my most favorite movies for almost twenty years. And yes, I cried when Jack and his gang come upon the dead male unicorn. Okay, I’ve cried more than once…
This movie not only blew me away back in 1984, it sparked a fascination and admiration for James Cameron’s directorial style. Like all of Cameron’s films, at its heart, The Terminator is a love story. Separated by time and brought together for barely one day, Kyle and Sarah’s love and struggle to survive stirs the soul. I enjoyed the following two sequels (and pretend the fourth never happened) but the first movie remains my favorite to this day. I wish we could’ve seen Cameron’s vision of a future ruled by machines on the screen…
I recall following the production of this movie - until one fateful day star Brandon Lee (son of Bruce Lee) was accidentally killed on the set. It seemed doubtful it would ever come together after that, but the crew finished the movie without Brandon, and in the spring of 1994, released an incredibly sorrowful tale on the world. Based on a graphic novel of the same name, which was also inspired by true life tragic events, The Crow gains its power from Brandon and the performance of a lifetime. Perhaps knowing this was his final film - that his death, on top of the death of the original creator’s fiancé, was ingrained into the movie - made it all the more powerful. The Crow is a powerful tale of love and revenge.
Yes, the 1981 animated film. So sue me. It’s my guilty pleasure movie! I saw it eleven times in the theatre, owned a bootleg tape, and own it on DVD and Laserdisc. I loved the soundtrack, which was an awesome blend of heavy metal and rock. (I have three copies of that!) While the animation was an odd blend of good to sub-par (due in part to eight different studios working on segments of the film) the visuals and music really stuck with me. Ultimately, my love of this movie has to do with the final segment - Taarna. I’d love to own the original score, as it was so powerful during the last twenty minutes of the movie. And the story of Taarna, a warrior willing to sacrifice herself to vanquish evil, really struck a chord in my heart. (And that's Taarna on the poster.)
Oh, and I also own the making of the movie book, the t-shirt, two official movie posters, and my D&D character was called Taarna.
LORD OF THE RINGS
Since it is ultimately one long movie, I’m listing the trilogy as one pick! These films were so majestic, so well-done, so true to the spirit of the books, it’s incredible. (And even better, they skipped all those boring pages of description…!) No need to describe them, as everyone has seen LOTR, but it’s the ultimate fantasy story. (And considering their box office take, even more powerful than a wizard called Harry.) Fellowship is probably my favorite of the three, and my favorite character is Pippin. I mean, who wouldn’t want to hang out and cause trouble all day long?
From here, it gets real fuzzy… And the kid in me emerges.
I’ve been a Muppet fan since Kermit first sang “It’s not easy being green.” Loved the TV show, loved all the movies… This one hits a special note! Made in honor of the late Jim Henson by his son, Brian, the Muppets tell the tale better than any. We watch it every Christmas Eve, reveling in the music, laughing at the humor, and yes, crying at least twice during the course of the movie. The perfect Muppet film!
This movie came out the year I was born and as a child, I watched it every time it came on TV. I also owned the movie on record, so I listened to it repeatedly. (This movie was a big influence on my love for animals, especially cats!) This is the true story of Elsa, a lion raised by George and Joy Adamson, and then trained to return to the wild. The sequel is Living Free, which follows Elsa’s cubs. The movie will tug at your heartstrings, and while it has a happy ending, I watch it knowing what happens to Elsa just a few months later. Needless to say, I spend half the movie crying. My husband says I’m not allowed to watch it anymore…
I fell in love with Scrat from the first moment I laid eyes on the acorn-loving critter! The noises he makes are priceless. The characters are so quirky and it’s a touching tale of friendship and forgiving. I really dig prehistoric animals, too! They can make Ice Age sequels forever.
OVER THE HEDGE
I never read the comic strip, but I adored the movie. RJ’s tricks to entice the other animals to forage in the human’s domain result in some priceless adventures. Hammy the squirrel is easily my favorite - probably because I’m just about as hyperactive. (Although I’ve tried energy drinks and they do not make me so fast the world stops - darn!) Great cast, too!!
I love animals and this was such a fun and goofy tale. The voice actors did really well with their characters. Ultimately, the penguins steal the show. Watching them hijack the ship and plan the retrieval of Alex was great. I’ll keep watching these sequels as well. (At least until they suck!)
This one just makes the cut! When thinking of movies I enjoy (beyond the first five on this list, which are my favorites) I considered movies I can watch over and over again. This is one of them. If I wander through the living room and my husband has located it on a movie channel, it sucks me in every time. I like Bruce Willis as an actor and Gary Oldman is such a twisted and quirky bad guy. It has adventure, science fiction, and love. And the funniest scene in the movie? The main fight sequence on Flotsam Paradise - Chris Tucker’s character screams like a girl through the whole thing! Plus it’s got some great lines. Leeloo- “Multi-pass. Mul-ti-pass.” Corbin- “She KNOWS it’s a multi-pass!”
And that is my Movie Dirty Dozen!