In response to fellow blogger Sean's list of top 10 movies (see HERE), here's my own. Note that the relative order isn't all that important, as they are all really good.
1. 2001: A Space Odessey. Forget the beginning part; outside of the dawn of man, this is simply a great movie. The effects still hold up, 50 years later. The movie also reminds me of the sense of hope and wonder that the space program brought the nation in the late 60's/early 70's, only to be squandered by a lack of vision and funding. "Open the pod bay doors, Hal." "I'm afraid I can't do that Dave."
2. Star Wars, Episode IV: A New Hope. The original and still the best. It's still entertaining, even as I've watched it a dozen times. Terrific in part because of its simplicity; too many of the other Star Wars movies were overly (and needlessly) complex in terms of plot and characters. "May the force be with you, always."
3. The Goodbye Girl. I love the original movie version, starring Richard Dreyfus (who won an Oscar for his performance). This movie so reminds me of the 1970's. I also love the fact that it has a happy ending. Call it my version of Sleepless in Seattle. "You were never four and a half, you were born 26."
4. Aliens. The second movie of the series, and in my estimation, the best. Non-stop action, terrific effects and (what we thought was) a happy ending. The movie is like a freight train charging ahead, and the fact that the lead actor is a bad-ass woman makes it all the better. As an added bonus, I really dislike the most of the characters played by actor Paul Reiser; in this movie, his Burke character is a great example of why. "Express elevator to Hell...going down!"
5. Help! The best movie as a vehicle for music ever made. I find it very funny and obviously love the music. Watch Paul McCartney playing his Hofner bass during the song The Night Before and tell me you're not impressed. For the record, this is the first of two movies on this list that my wife thinks is, well, stupid. "You're a failure Scientist!"
6. Being There. Funny and touching. Peter Sellers is simply a genius. I've read where it was something of a personal crusade on Sellers' part to get this picture made. If you like Peter Sellers this is a must watch. "This is just like television only you can see much further."
7. The Godfather. I'll call this an umbrella listing for both the first and second parts. This created the modern gangster movie. Another movie that I can watch again and again. "You can act like a man!"
8. Lincoln. The word acting doesn't adequately describe what Daniel Day-Lewis did in this movie. I feel as if I am actually watching Abraham Lincoln on the screen. This is a profoundly interesting movie. "Buzzards guts man! I am the President of the United States of America! Clothed in immense power! You will procure me these votes."
9. Rocky I and II. Sorry, but another package deal. Both movies make me feel good. I'm reasonably sure that Rocky was one of the inspirations behind my late brother Chris wanting to be a boxer. "He's all wrong for us, baby. I saw you beat that man like I never saw no man get beat before, and the man kept coming after you. Now we don't need no man like that in our lives."
10. Love and Death. I know, he married his wife's adopted daughter and is a scumbag as a result. That noted I love the movie Love and Death. For the uninitiated, it's a parody of Russian literature. This is the second movie on this list that my wife thinks is stupid. "You're the greatest lover I've ever had!" "Well, I practice a lot when I am alone."
As a bonus, I would add...
11. Virtually Anything with Christopher Walken. I know, I'm cheating, but we're talking about Christopher Walken. The guy can make any character interesting, mostly because you always think "that how Christopher Walken really is" when he's on the screen. From the Deer Hunter to A View to a Kill and countless others. I'll watch a Walken movie any day.
As an extra added bonus, I offer the following three movies as examples of "memorable, but too damn disturbing to be a favorite".
1. A Clockwork Orange. I saw this on HBO when I was in my early teens. Just what a 13-year-old should never ever be watching. "Food alright? Try the wine!"
2. Event Horizon. A damn scary movie. In fact, I'd call it the best horror/sci-fi movie ever made by anyone. "What are you telling me, that this ship is alive?"
3. The Exorcist. While the effects seem a bit dated, I defy anyone to, for example, watch the outtake crabwalk scene and not be thoroughly creeped out. "Your mother's in here Karras..."