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Author Topic: What are your favorite movies?
Dr Strangelove
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Hmm... Off the top of my head and in no particular order:

Princess Bride
Fellowship of the Ring
Dr. Strangelove (surprise surprise)
Pan's Labyrinth
Twelve Angry Men
Harvey
Wall-E
A Knight's Tale

There are a lot more I'm sure, but nothing else immediately comes to mind.

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RivalOfTheRose
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Back to the Future - Trilogy
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Stone_Wolf_
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Princess Bride
5th Element
Knight's Tale
Shawshank Redemption
Braveheart
Gladiator
Garden State
Juno
Brick
Cruel Intentions
Dances with Wolves
Down Periscope
Serenity
Jurassic Park
Kung Fu Panda (1)
Terminator 1-3
Dark Knight
The Usual Suspects
The Sixth Sense
Rad
Brain Candy
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Die Hard 3
American Beauty
Forest Gump
Fight Club
The Matrix (1)
Memento
Se7en
Star Trek 4 and 6
The Professional
Saving Private Ryan
American History X
L.A. Confidential
Amadeus
Unforgiven
Indiana Jones 1 & 3
Galaxy Quest
The Incredibles
Aladdin

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Stone_Wolf_
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Oh yea, I forgot:

Willow
Hook
The Last Samurai
The Hunt for Red October
Courage Under Fire
Glory

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Aros
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Only 1 mention each of Scott Pilgrim and Shaun of the Dead? You're awesome, SteveRogers!

I'm surprised that no one has mentioned either The Fall or The Fountain.

My current list:
- The Fall
- Shaun of the Dead
- Braveheart
- A New Hope
- Scott Pilgrim Versus the World
- The Science of Sleep
- Eternal Sunshine and the Spotless Mind
- Back to the Future
- The Muppets
- Primer
- Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
- Twelve Monkeys
- Shoot 'Em Up
- Star Trek (Abrams version)
- The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (Fincher)
- The Fountain
- Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

Added after edit:
- Moulin Rouge
- SLC Punk
- Super

[ January 16, 2012, 10:17 PM: Message edited by: Aros ]

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Xavier
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I'm sure I'll add to this list as others post. Most everyone's list reminds me of a movie I've forgotten.

The hard part for me is the cut-off. I like Forrest Gump and Sixth Sense a lot, but are they list-worthy?

I've put them in chronological order for my own curiosity:

1974 Monty Python and the Holy Grail
1978 Star Wars
1980 Empire Strikes Back
1983 Return of the Jedi
1986 Aliens
1989 Dead Poets Society
1991 Terminator 2
1993 Jurassic Park
1994 Shawshank Redemption
1995 Braveheart
1998 Saving Private Ryan
1999 Fight Club
1999 The Matrix
2000 Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2001 Fellowship of the Ring
2001 Donnie Darko
2002 Whale Rider
2002 The Two Towers
2004 Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2004 Garden State
2006 Pan's Labyrinth
2006 Children of Men

I'm surprised no one else has the original trilogy of Star Wars.

Sadly nothing from the last 5 years has made the list. My wife might include Inception, but while I liked it a lot (and it was me who pushed us seeing it) it wasn't one I'd add to my favorites. Avatar was a great "movie experience" with the 3D, but the film itself was pretty mediocre. Maybe the last two Harry Potter movies, but I think while I enjoyed them, they probably don't make the final cut.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:

I'm surprised no one else has the original trilogy of Star Wars.

I had included the first movie. I loved the others (and to a lesser degree the new trilogy), but I felt that each had their flaws.
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Godric 2.0
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In no particular order:

Faraway, So Close!
You Can't Take it with You
Henry Fool
Aguirre, the Wrath of God
Say Anything...
Lawrence of Arabia
2001: A Space Odyssey
The Big Kahuna
Punch-Drunk Love
Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai
The Evil Dead II
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Aliens
The Big Lebowski
Brazil
Sneakers
The Fifth Element
Lord of the Rings Trilogy

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Aros
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It's odd. This list doesn't really have a high correlation with my favorite filmmakers. I think many of them have streaks of movies that I enjoy a lot but don't necessarily love.

Some of my favorite filmmakers include Steven Soderbergh, Michel Gondry, Wes Anderson, JJ Abrams, George Clooney, Tarsem Singh, Edgar Wright, Duncan Jones, Stanley Kubrick, Darren Aronofsky, Spike Jonze, Christopher Nolan, and David Fincher.

[ January 16, 2012, 01:52 PM: Message edited by: Aros ]

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Itsame
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In no particular order (though you might see how certain movies triggered other movies to come to mind), and very incomplete:

Princess Bride
12 Angry Men
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
Harvey
Rope
American Psycho
American History X
Kramer v. Kramer
The Graduate
All the President's Men
The Paper Chase
SLC Punk
Guess Who's Coming to Dinner
To Sir, With Love
Big
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
Cool Runnings
Monty Python's Life of Brian
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Hugo
Superman II
The Trotsky
You Can't Take it With You
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Pan's Labyrinth
A Knight's Tale
Moulin Rouge


There are many others and if I had to make a short list, it would be very similar to Dr Strangelove's.


Edit: As for The Fall and the original Star Wars trilogy, both are enjoyable but The Fall is overstylized and Star Wars is clearly a product of its day. Plus the acting just makes it too hard to think of as a great movie.

Edit2: Charlton Heston counts as a movie.

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Aros
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quote:
Originally posted by JonHecht:


Edit: As for The Fall and the original Star Wars trilogy, both are enjoyable but The Fall is overstylized and Star Wars is clearly a product of its day. Plus the acting just makes it too hard to think of as a great movie.

Perspective says a lot, doesn't it? IMHO some of the greatest works of art can be severely flawed in some aspects and still be masterpieces. Several movies in my list aren't great pieces of art by any stretch of the imagination, but they're so gosh darn entertaining that they exceed the sum of their parts (Bill and Ted, The Muppets, Shoot 'Em Up, etc).

In my list I can have a place for the most well acted and visually beautiful movie of all time (The Fall), even if it is a little boring. And if I can't find a spot for the greatest science fiction movie ever made just because the acting and effects are hokey (A New Hope), then I might as well trade in my movie-lover badge for that of a professional film critic.

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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
Sadly nothing from the last 5 years has made the list.

I included There Will Be Blood, which I believe was released in 2007, on my list of honorable mentions. Another great movie from that year, which was stylistically similar to There Will Be Blood actually, was No Country for Old Men, which should also be on my list of honorable mentions.

Admittedly, "favorite" movie is an idea which will vary from person to person and neither of those movies are the sort of thing everyone would love. But there are amazing films from the past five years if you dig deep enough. [Smile]

Also, thank you, Aros! [Big Grin]

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SteveRogers
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Sorry for the double post, but. . .

quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
And if I can't find a spot for the greatest science fiction movie ever made just because the acting and effects are hokey (A New Hope), then I might as well trade in my movie-lover badge for that of a professional film critic.

I think you'll run into some contention for what movie is the "greatest science-fiction movie ever made". I love Star Wars, but I also know that I, as well as many others, could make a better than decent argument to award "best science-fiction" movie to a variety of other films. [Smile]
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Stone_Wolf_
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I just wanted to add that for me, "favorite movie" is a movie I recommend without hesitation, own a copy of, watch at least every couple years and will stop and watch no mater where it is in the movie if it is on cable and I'm looking for something to watch.
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AchillesHeel
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quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I just wanted to add that for me, "favorite movie" is a movie I recommend without hesitation, own a copy of, watch at least every couple years and will stop and watch no mater where it is in the movie if it is on cable and I'm looking for something to watch.

Then I have to add The Punisher, the Thomas Jane movie.
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SteveRogers
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To varying degrees, that was my definition for it as well; however, I also have an absolutely massive DVD library, so that leaves me a lot of wiggle room to establish "favorites." And film is a major passion of mine, so there are many which I watch regularly and recommend often. [Smile]
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Aros
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I (for the most part) don't recommend movies anymore unless I know the person really well. Several that I loved and recommended in the past drew ire from co-workers, including Igby Goes Down, Party Monster, and Confessions of a Dangerous Mind.
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Itsame
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What makes A New Hope the greatest science fiction movie of all time? The acting is bad, the dialogue is terrible, and the effects are cheesy. It was certainly the beginning of an era, but that makes it the first, not the greatest. The story's so-so, but it's not particularly original.

On another note, Igby Goes Down is great.

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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

This is a movie which I often recommend, but I don't think anyone I've recommended it to has watched it.
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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
Sorry for the double post, but. . .

quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
And if I can't find a spot for the greatest science fiction movie ever made just because the acting and effects are hokey (A New Hope), then I might as well trade in my movie-lover badge for that of a professional film critic.

I think you'll run into some contention for what movie is the "greatest science-fiction movie ever made". I love Star Wars, but I also know that I, as well as many others, could make a better than decent argument to award "best science-fiction" movie to a variety of other films. [Smile]
Especially since a compelling argument can be made that Star Wars isn't even a science fiction film in the first place. It's pretty clearly fantasy.
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SteveRogers
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Well, you could make that debate about a lot of "science fiction" films.
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Dan_Frank
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You could!

But I think Star Wars is especially egregious.

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rollainm
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quote:
Originally posted by AchillesHeel:
quote:
Originally posted by Stone_Wolf_:
I just wanted to add that for me, "favorite movie" is a movie I recommend without hesitation, own a copy of, watch at least every couple years and will stop and watch no mater where it is in the movie if it is on cable and I'm looking for something to watch.

Then I have to add The Punisher, the Thomas Jane movie.
Hah! Agreed.
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Samprimary
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Star Wars pulls too deeply from futuristic, technological things to be 'very clearly not sci-fi' even though its thematic underpinnings are fantasy, it still has spacefights in space and spacetravel between worlds and laser fights with blasters and laser swords and robots everywhere and aliens everywhere and multiple worlds and floating gas-giant mining cities and hoverbikes and shield generators protecting planetary destruction superweapon stations that have to be resolved with space teddy bears and an even largerer spacefight and
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Aros
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My reference as the "greatest science fiction movie" doesn't mean that it's the best science fiction movie.

A New Hope changed film making. Prior to its release, science fiction wasn't accessible to mainstream viewers. It practically invented the "blockbuster". It established what is arguably the largest movie franchise in history (counting books, video games, merchandising, etc). It is almost universally loved.

From this perspective, Star Wars is to science fiction what Lord of the Rings was to fantasy. It was the prototype. I'll certainly not try to compare the two quality wise, however, but it is the flagship.

Now the best science fiction movie is probably either Back to the Future (mainstream) or Primer (niche).

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Aros
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Technically, science fiction is considered a sub-genre of fantasy. And the Star Wars series is Space Opera, a sub-genre of science fiction. The confusion is generally between soft science fiction, which can have unrealistic and fantastic elements, and hard science fiction, which typically cannot.

Of course there are fantastic elements in Star Wars. Have you read any other science fiction? Dune maybe? Slaughterhouse-Five? Honor Harrington series?

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
Technically, science fiction is considered a sub-genre of fantasy. And the Star Wars series is Space Opera, a sub-genre of science fiction. The confusion is generally between soft science fiction, which can have unrealistic and fantastic elements, and hard science fiction, which typically cannot.

Of course there are fantastic elements in Star Wars. Have you read any other science fiction? Dune maybe? Slaughterhouse-Five? Honor Harrington series?

The distinction between soft and hard sci-fi is a sliding scale, and Star Wars has every single level pushed to the maximum "soft" side. There aren't even any attempts at psuedo-science until the prequels.

I dunno, when every single one of the "sci-fi" aspects are 100% unexplained nonsensical soft-science, and the single most thematically significant device (and the only one that does get any level of dissection or examination) is literally magic... Sci-Fi just really seems like a misnomer to me. Where's the Sci?

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SteveRogers
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I think the greatest sci-fi film is Blade Runner.
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Mucus
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My current list without too much second-guessing:

God of Cookery
King of Comedy
Infernal Affairs
Lord of the Rings (Extended)
Police Story
Comrades, Almost a Love Story
Blade Runner
Once Upon a Time in China II
Dark City
Ashes of Time
Back to the Future

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Stone_Wolf_
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A couple more additions:

Murder in the First
Kuffs
The Neverending Story
Sleepers
Kingdom of Heaven
Proof of Life

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Jeff C.
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I'm surprised only two of you chose the Dark Knight. People love that film in a very unnatural way. Personally, I enjoyed Begins a lot more, although the Joker was amazing as well.

Aros, I agree with you about Star Wars. A New Hope may not have been the best movie in the world or had the best script, but it made other scifi films possible and that's what's important. You have to wonder...without Star Wars, would we still be getting an Ender's Game movie? And if so, what would be giving credit to instead of Star Wars?

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SteveRogers
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I used to list The Dark Knight as one of my favorite films, but I've kinda grown away from it as the years have passed. I still love Heath Ledger's performance, but I think parts of the movie drag a little. In recent viewings, I find I feel the movie to be too long.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Sci-Fi just really seems like a misnomer to me. Where's the Sci?

Everywhere. It doesn't focus on the why of the sci, but the sci is everywhere. Just in a run-down world where the workings of everything from junkheap droids in a mobile jawa fortress to gas harvester planetary cities suspended hovering in the breathable areas of atmosphere above a gas giant, is taken as-is, not explained with trappings and dialogue, it's just the environment for fantastical adventures, not a hangup requiring exposition to justify star wars as sci-fi. Pretty standard for space opera.
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SteveRogers
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quote:
Originally posted by Samprimary:
Pretty standard for space opera.

Firefly is often considered a space opera and science fiction, but they don't go out of their way to explain the science behind everything either. There are levels of science fiction. Not everything needs to be hard sci-fi a la Isaac Asimov or Arthur C. Clarke to be considered sci-fi. The science in Ender's Game isn't explained to an exhaustive detail, and it's still called sci-fi. I think it'd be reasonable to say that sci-fi could be called fantasy with a science slant. Space instead of Middle Earth. Science fiction is a pretty broad term. Where the issue might arise is when it comes to establishing subgenres. Is there really one single work which is purely just "science fiction" without having elements of fantasy, mystery, or even Western? Much of the genre is built upon the tropes of previously established genres.
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Stone_Wolf_
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I'd weigh in about what category Star Wars is, but I honestly don't care. I'm over Star Wars. I'm over Lord of the Rings. I am also over the music Elvis.

All are ground breakers, but since they broke ground, building has continued and the new buildings have in door plumbing!

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Aros
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I can't believe that I put Kick Ass on my list. I had mistakenly confused the name. I meant Super.

James Gunn is pretty awesome.

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SteveRogers
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I wasn't terribly impressed with Kick-Ass or Super to be honest.
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Samprimary
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quote:
All are ground breakers, but since they broke ground, building has continued and the new buildings have in door plumbing!
This is like saying you're over X-Com because you just played Civ V. You heathen.
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Dan_Frank
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One of my friends adamantly insists that space opera and sci-fi are different genres, as opposed to the one being a subset of the other.

But anyway, yeah, I'll concede to you guys. Star Wars is scifi, it's just unrelentingly fantasy as well. In terms of the "Feel" I get from the film, it feels much more like fantasy. Whereas something like Firefly, although obviously first and foremost a western, still feels like a sci-fi western to me.

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Aros
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All science fiction is fantasy. Look at Slaughterhouse-Five. A man travels through time for no explained reason. Fantasy. Definitely. But time travel is a science fiction trope. Conveniently classify as science fiction and move on.

Next?

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AchillesHeel
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Granted, but its still annoying when Netflix includes things like Futurama and The Secret of Nymh in the Sci-Fi & Fantasy category. They are, but they don't necessarily belong next to Donnie Darko and Metropolis.
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AchillesHeel
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You know, I had never seen the first trilogy of Star Wars until recently. I already knew all about tontons, x-wings and generally most of what went on in the movies by virtue of being in the nerd culture. I gotta say, after watching all three I just was not impressed. If not for the various and repeated jokes over the years that pull from tiny unimportant lines I wouldn't remember anything from the movies, not a bit. When your tv weighs one hundred pounds, and your family is considered to be well off because you have VCR I can understand some obsession with rewatching it but it just didn't age well in my opinion. Oh, and as a person who has practiced in a weapon martial art there is no reason for those lightsaber battles to so slow and boring, granted modern technology is why the newer movies have better fight scenes but you don't wire fighting to sword fight.
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Aros
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Star Wars was a product of the time, for the most part. What else was there to compete with it? For people that watched it when they were children, it left an indelible impression. Back then, there was really only Star Wars or Star Trek.

But they are still entertaining movies. Some of my kids favorite movies are the original Star Wars. They can barely sit through the new ones. But they do love Indiana Jones better (except for the new one).

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SteveRogers
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I think the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies just strike a chord with young imaginations. Kids love them more because it's often their introduction to a wider world of the fantastic.
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Stone_Wolf_
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
But they do love Indiana Jones better (except for the new one).

I think they should officially remove the last one from the series so we don't have to put notes like this every time we mention the series of movies.

Indiana Jones:
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Temple of Doom
Last Crusade

Iowa Smith:
Crystal Skull

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SteveRogers
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Aside from the mine car sequence, I'm really not that big a fan of Temple of Doom to be honest. I figure I just include all of them, are it's just the Indiana Jones duo in my book. If I'm going to remove one, then I might as well remove the other.
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Ron Lambert
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Recently I found in my public library a DVD of one of my all-time favorite movies, The Final Countdown, about the U.S. nuclear-powered aircraft carrier Nimitz, being transported back in time to December 6, 1941--the day before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor--and the ship is near Hawaii. Should they intervene, and change history? One of the most thrilling scenes to me is when a couple of Japanese Zeroes have just sunk a private yacht, and are coming back around to strafe the survivors in the water, and the captain tells the pilots of the U.S. fighters on the scene to "Splash the Zeroes!" Then the F-14 Tomcats--which had swivel wings--swivel their wings back into combat mode, like they're saying "Here we come Zeroes, this time we mean business!"--and dive down on the Zeroes on afterburners. The movie came out back in 1980, but it is still really good. Stars include Kirk Douglas, Martin Sheen, Katharine Ross, and James Farentino. The music score is quite good, too.
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Dan_Frank
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Yeah, I overall agree with Steve. I think that some individual scenes in Crystal Skull are actually better than anything in Temple of Doom, but both movies are not even remotely good.

Also, I'm of the opinion that, although the Sean Connery/Harrison Ford chemistry is pretty entertaining, Last Crusade is overall not a very good movie, either.

Raiders is the only one that would ever make it anywhere near a favorite movies list of mine.

Tangent: For those that are interested, RedLetterMedia's Plinkett has reviewed Crystal Skull (and, by association, the entire Indiana Jones franchise) and made some interesting observations. You can see it here. For those unfamiliar, this is the guy who did the Star Wars prequel reviews. His reviews are long and his sense of humor is macabre.

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BlueWizard
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You're testing a very bad memory here, but a somewhat recent film that I thought was superbly acted was -

The Lookout Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, with Jeff Daniels, Mathew Goode, and Isla Fisher.

Stunning performance all round, I thought these were all Oscar worthy performances.

In something a little newer, but more obscure, Hesher again with Joseph Gordon-Levitt. This is dark comedy, with language that would make a sailor blush, but it is a somewhat spiritual film, and the young star Devin Brochu certainly showed tremendous potential as an actor.

Of course, The Lord of the Ringstrilogy still stands the test of time very well.

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Itsame
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There's clearly a reason why Gordon-Levitt is being cast in everything nowadays. The first adult role that I saw him in was Brick and while I had mixed feelings about the movie overall, he stood out as stupendous. What did you think of 50/50?
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