My Top 21 Favorite Movies Picture

Well, since today is my 21st birthday, I suppose it's fitting that I show you my 21 favorite films ever.
These days as I was working on the descriptions of each movie featured in this list, I felt so good and positive. If it's not a proof of how much I love these movies and how happy they make me when I'm thinking about them, I don't know what it is.
With all that said, let's begin...

21= Birdman (2014): I strongly believe that this is a great movie and everyone can enjoy it, whether you agree with the protagonist's opinions or not. Michael Keaton plays Riggan Thompson, who is both really intelligent and really immature, mostly because he had a pretty infortunate career in which he went from hero to zero and he's stressed upon seeing how the "simple" superhero blockbusters get more attention and success over more complex and challenging indie stories, and on the other hand he has very irresponsable and yet kinda of creative and thought-provoking behaviors.
Do you despise him, or pity him?
Well, the film actually doesn't really tell you how to feel about Riggan, it shows you the man and lets you decide for yourself. The question of how much it's true or not that big budget blockbusters are an inferior form of entertainment or that indie stuff is just pretentious rubbish is questioned quite often in this movie. Riggan believes he's doing superior things with his Broadway play, but at the same time he feels like he's missing out alot by rejecting his old superhero role when the genre is at its peak, so much that his "Birdman" role becomes an alter ego that constantly mocks him.
While I do have some issues and I'm still not convinced on what to think about this film's thematics and statements on the entertainment industry, I really do like what director Alejandro G. Iñárritu wanted to do with the direction style of the movie making it look like one gigantic take with outstanding editing and in many ways I do think it raised the bar for other films of the genre and pushed the envelope. The dialogue is also witty and solidly written and it's shocking to see a script with four collaborative writers working together that flows so well.
Its thematics might be polarizing, but the film is so well crafted and unique that I can't stop admiring it. It's definitely the best movie to open up the dances with this list of favorite films.

20= Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009): When I talk with people about favorite stopmotion animated films, they usually bring up "The Nightmare Before Christmas" or "Coraline". But the title of my favorite one, that sadly many people overlook, has to be "Fantastic Mr. Fox", based on a Roald Dahl novel.
The movie is about, big shocker, a male fox called, big shocker number two, Mr. Fox, who after making up family has to stop his fox routines (stealing from humans) in order to guarantee their safety. But his animal instinct and recalling his old times lead him into stealing from farms again, this time he causes more trouble that he could ever expect and oddball situations ensue.
Wes Anderson gives a beautiful and warm feel to the film's general design and the well constructed visuals, but the real strength of the movie is the writing. These as just GREAT characters and on top of that, it's a great setup for a story about self-discovery: Mr. Fox is not the problem of the story for wanting to be what he is, his family is not the problem for wanting him to stop for the greater good, it's just a form of behavior that we have all born with. In fact I don't think this movie has much of a villian. Ok, there are Boggins, Bounce and Bean wanting to kill the protagonist, but let's face it, they're just being what they are: businessmen who are trying to eliminate the thing that's disturbing their business, wouldn't you too if you were put in their situation? Every character, even the three greedy farmers, are fun and identifiable! The writers try hard to make sure that everybody has a motivation that we can actually understand and relate to.
And personally I related with every single aspect. I relate with dealing with the inevitable, what will ultimately happend in the end, what should I do, what's the better thing for myself and the others, what's the selfish thing, what's the unselfish thing, ALL this stuff plays in, and it's very, very smart and very, very well done.
The idea of forest critters going against humans is absolutely nothing new, we've seen it a million times, but it's not about the concept, it's about the execution. It's just SO well done and unique, it's the new twist and spin that they can give to the concept that suddenly makes it wonderful.
Overall, "Fantastic Mr. Fox" is really smart, really entertaining, really delightful, really fun and creative. For a modern film like this to take a such fresh and different turn in such a old-fashioned turn while still throwing all their talent and all their great writing and all the character development into it, makes it an animated classic for me. It's not a re-hash of the basic concept. It's clever, it's funny, it's dramatic, it's visually interesting, it's musically interesting, the characters are wonderful... I've talked about this movie long enough, let's move on.

19= The Elephant Man (1980): By far one of the best biopics ever made. I always loved John Hurt and I think this was the best role of his career: in this movie he's John Merrick, better known as the infamous "Elephant Man" because of his gruesome body deformity, who lived in the late 19th Century when poor and infortunate people like him were stroked only by the cruel prejudice they had to confront in the Freak Shows, until Merrick meets up with Frederick Treves, a medic who manages to get him out from this inhuman life condition and tries to help be as human as possible, but even outside the sideshows Merrick has to deal with the prejudice of the surronding people.
But he doesn't back up or let the others achieve for him, Merrick starts seeking for more respect himself showing off his merits and hidden talents of the benevolent man trapped inside his deformed shell, hoping that the people will reciprocate with their own love.
The look of the movie is quintessential David Lynch, it's just like something out of a bad dream: everything is moody with the black and white sucking out the life of the Victorian environment and the broken lullaby-like score by John Morris mixed with the insecurity of the main character being exposed in the most morbid way really make everything feel like a nightmare. Anthony Hopkins playing Dr. Treves as this good man unsure on whether or not he's helping Merrick or just treating him like a curiosity in a different way is so beautiful and John Hurt managing to emote underneath all that makeup and give so much meaning to the little dialogue he has is also wonderful.
It may be way too hopeless and depressing to some because of the powerful thematics about accepting people for what they no matter what, and I know it's though to deal with and the film doesn't sugarcoat anything at all. If nothing, it just makes the positive moments alot more enjoyable; when good things happen to Merrick they feel so great and glorious because we're watching so much dramatic stuff!
And thus, we're left with the truly tragic, unique, inspiring, complex and yet remarkable human being, as well one of my favorite films.

18= Johnny got his gun (1971): This is sort of a hypnotizing movie, almost if you're in a strong daze most of the time. A movie that draws you in from the beginning to the end and makes you confront the real, undeluted pain and fear with the hopes of conquering them. I haven't read the book by Dalton Trumbo, who also directed and wrote this film adaptation, not yet at least, but this movie impresses me enough.
Timothy Bottoms plays a WW1 soldier named Joe who's left horribly mauled during the battle and he lies in a hospital bed after having lost both legs and arms and even his ears, eyes and mouth. Prisoner of his own body, Joe begins to drift between reality and fantasy as he remembers his old life with his family and girlfriend Kareen, and sees trippy shit like a quite douchey Jesus Christ being an ass to Joe's comrades or just meditate and monologise about the ridiculous hopelessness of the situation in which he's stucked.
It is a visual genius to differentiate reality and Joe's memories and deliriums with black and white and technicolour picture, but the biggest strenght of the movie is the marvelous acting and the script by Trumbo, which I believe has to be one of the most well written and effective scripts in Cinema History.
He really does put you into the shoes of Joe's character and it totally gives you a taste of desperation the movie is trying to express. It is probably the best and most effective anti-war film ever made because it rightfully depicts war as this toxic, hellish and senseless thing that just ruins people's lives and totally makes you refuse the idea of joining the army. It's definitely one of the most dark and depressing movies ever made and in fact I'm not gonna lie... At times the ending really does manage to get some tears out of me.
The reason why I rank this movie higher than "The Elephant Man" is because while I do understand that Merrick was a very disabled and weak person who couldn't do much, in the film he's kind of written as a magnet for your sympathy. While Joe is a fictional character, in terms of movie characters I simply cared more about him because he was deep and had a complex backstory and some very compelling dialogue on top of being a victim. That of course doesn't disqualify number 19, but it's still a personal preference. In both cases, the reason why I love movies such as "Johnny got his gun", aside from the effective anti-war message, I like feeling sad and sympathetic towards characters and situations like those shown in the film to prepare me in case something similar happens in real life, and it makes me appreciate that I'm not being subjected to those. And simply because I appreciate how a movie manages to get me emotional with some well written drama.

17= 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968): Ever since I decided to make this list of favorite films of all time, nothing has scared me more than the idea of trying to write about why I love "2001: A Space Odyssey". The fact that everything has 'already been said' about this movie has itself already been said so many times that there's not even an original means of expressing my lack of originality left at my disposal. So I'll try to get to the point:
I believe that this is probably the best movie of all time. I'm sorry, but I cannot think of a movie that was THIS groundbreaking! Sure, in cinema class the teacher always shoves "Citizen Kane" down your throat telling that's the best movie ever made and I agree, that one was really groundbreaking indeed, but... Just look again at this movie, look at the animatronics, the spaceships, the music, the characters... It's a timeless story about mysterious lifeforms visiting our world and Man trying to find out its true origins.
I disagree with people using this film as an example of a film "completely open to interpretation" because first of all the movie clearly has a precise and calculated series of events, just because there isn't alot of dialogue and there isn't a main character (even though thematically Humanity is the protagonist as we see it evolve through the three acts of the film) it doesn't make it hollow. It's a film you can see in both ways, that makes sense and also as something deeper with stuff to interpretate.
And that's exactly what Stanley Kubrick had in mind, he wanted to give people an experience and try new stuff, and not only did he made an amazing job, he delivered big time: whenever I watch this film, I feel as if I'm being taken into another dimension, it really does take me away from reality as I'm watching it, even if I watched it in a different language, I'd still be captivated by how visceral it is.
That's why I think it's the best movie ever made.
For 1968 it's just unbeliveable what they have accomplished with the special effects, still today they look gorgeous and most of them are still a mystery to me, it's not like now where everything is CGI and you have specials and making of clips on TV and on the web, back then it was more for the art and less for the money. And let's not forget the sound design. The idea is wonderful: playing classical music during quiet SciFi scenarios thus creating visual poetry.
It's an excellent film on every level and it actually makes your brain WORK and meditate around the images you see, and it's also a movie accessible to everyone because it doesn't have any swearing or inappropriate content, so...
Why can't "2001: A Space Odyssey" be the greatest movie ever made?
It shows fantasy and imagination and THAT's what movies since the dawn of filmmaking were about.
Now I know that's weird to put what I consider to be the greatest movie ever made in history of cinema just as number 17, but remember, this is the list of my personally FAVORITE movies in order of preference, not the list of movies that I consider to be the greatest. Either ways, this film is totally going to stay on my list. Pretty hard to don't like a film I consider to be the greatest, isn't it?
Overall, "2001: A Space Odyssey" is music for my ears, visuals for my sight, engaging concepts for my thought and a great movie for my Top 21 list.

16= Total Recall (1990): This movie has some of the best build-up I've ever seen in a film. It's gripping, curious, and knows how to keep your attention. The plot is about Douglas Quaid, a man who is obsessed with the dream of visting Mars, so he decides, at his own risk, to undergo his mind to the "Rekall" virtual treatment in order to have a live memory about visiting the Red Planet.
But something goes wrong in the process and it seems that Quaid is actually the piece of a bigger puzzle that would lead him to discover who he really is. Which of course will lead us to action, mystery, plotwists, bloodshot special effects, all that good stuff.
But this is not your same Schwarzenegger fare, the action is surrounded with thoughtfulness and a complex story that's so superbly executed and riddled in a way you really can't tell if whole thing is happening or it's just a dream. The futuristic New Brutalist architectures, the fantastic makeup for the Martian Mutants and the canyonish landscapes of Mars are in my opinion pure SciFi genious.
The whole movie is like a roller coaster ride, combining big action with big themes in one well paced and extreme adventure that in my opinion, makes this one of the best science fiction action flims. It's by far my favorite film starring Schwarzenegger and I also feel like it's the best movie Paul Verhoeven has done. It mixes the raunchy and gritty action of "RoboCop" with the militaristic outer space feel of "Starship Troopers", it's a combo of everything that makes that director stick out and unique. With a great build up, great story, great effects and indistinguishable style, "Total Recall" makes up for an action packed classic that entertains the brain as well the eyes.

15= Metropolis (2001): I just love when a movie manages to take so many angles and being based off from more than just one medium and yet be a well told SciFi epic tale on its own.
The plot revolves around various characters that are in the city of Metropolis and how their interactions will lead the society of humans and robots into a better or worse future.
The movie constantly shows dualisms that constantly face one another, both visually than thematically: hand-drawn animation against CGI, old style against modernity, childhood innocence against adult edginess, humanity against artificiality and everything that could happen in between, which will result to the World Domination to supposedly hope for the Greater Good or lead to the total destruction by a technological Armageddon.
It doesn’t take one and only theme, it instead attacks many different themes together into a cohesive whole. In the end, there are no clear answers on humanity and progress, but it leaves with stuff to think about.
I love that while this is a movie about a dystopian future, it's also fairly optimistic on Humanity, and it's not preaching against progress, the message is simply that if we're going to use our ambition to create bigger and better things we have to do it for the right reasons. And I also love that while the message could come off as preachy, I found myself liking these characters and caring for what happens to them so that the whole thing isn't a sermon in the guise of an animated film.
The soundtrack is also worth to mention, because it's an odd and yet somehow a such astonishing mix between Jazz and Orchestra which perfectly fits in the dieselpunk environment of the film.
I also appreciate the fact that this movie not only made me more interested on Japanese animation (introducing me to Osamu Tezuka's works), it also introduced me to Fritz Lang's 1927 classic, so it kinda opened me to alot of things. And after all these years I think it holds up at being rewatchable in a way every time I view it, it's a brand new experience of music, visuals and storytelling. What more can I say, "Metropolis" kicks ass.

14= Dick Tracy (1990): You know what's funny? By all its appearances, I should HATE this movie, it has so many things I usually dislike in a movie, the characters being all archetypes of the genre, the hero having a misunderstanding with the love interest that leads to moping and doping, the child sidekick, existing only because it's following a trend of its period (in the early '90s movies trying to be like Tim Burton's "Batman" like "Darkman" and "The Shadow"), all these are things I usually can't stand.
But for some reason... I get the feel that here it works! There's just something about this film and the way it handles the story and the characters and the pacing that just really gets me. Like if I was seeing this story and these people for the first time even though I already saw them many times before.
The reason why I think it works here is because the source material Dick Tracy wasn't really something mindblowing or especially deep, it was mostly pulpy action and adventure with these archetypes, and the movie gets the titular character and the others fairly well. I mean, these archetypes are actually charming in their semplicity and with the exception of the score, the movie itself is pretty unique, it doesn't copy-paste scenes and characters from other gangster movies like "The Godfather" or "Scarface". The other reason might be that I find the pacing of this film to be very good; it's quick, it's straight to the point, and while there are some plotpoints I always find to be faulty (like the misunderstanding) they just go on long enough so that you get the message across and then they immediately move on with the story. And the child sidekick character was surprisingly good! Not only was Charlie Korsmo a rather good childactor, I'm glad that he and Tracy get along with each other quickly without dragged scenes of initial enmity (again, thanks to the pacing) and aside from that he's actually helpful and proactive, not only would I not mind him being MY sidekick, I just got the feel that there was a genuine relationship between him and Tracy. And that's another thing I love about this film, it feels genuine: when the characters are angry, they really look angry, when they're happy they really look happy, when they're sad they look sad, despite the makeup and the over the top archetypes I still got the feel that they were human beings.
And of course there's the visual style. The sets and the design of the setting are just unbelieveable to look at, I mean they're just beautiful. No other film or comicbook movie has ever looked as gorgeous as this, it's just a colourful and stylish environment and I would love to visit this place if it was real.
Yes, this movie is DEFINITELY style over substance but I still think it's alot of fun. The substance is still not too void of development and some amusing factors and the characters, though maybe alittle too simplistic and two dimensional, are still likable and decently acted, and the movie doesn't have rancid morals or is pretentious, it's just its own thing. I still can't tell what is my deal with this movie, but it's simply a film I keep getting back and watching again and again and I'm never tired of it after all these years since I first saw it.
Ironically despite its colourful nature "Dick Tracy" is the black sheep in this list of favorite films when compared to the others. But you know what? I'm glad I appreciate this movie more than other people do because it's one of the few films that have this combination of things I usually dislike seeing in a film and somehow pull it off. I just love it.

13= Cloud Atlas (2012): Allright, this is one of those movies that are kind of hard for me to explain why do I like it.
Part of the reason is because of this movie's relationship with comicbooks. Don't get me wrong, the film is not based on a comicbook, but I believe it's influenced by them, especially in the pacing.
The premise and structure of "Cloud Atlas" feel tailor-made for a comicbook, it would have made an exceptional one, maybe the most surprising thing about this film for me is that it pulls off to be an exceptional movie: it's an ambitious fantasy film, an exploration of the human nature and condition that blends Science Fiction, Exploitation, Drama, Action, Thriller and even Comedy all together and keeps the viewer as uneasy and confused as the many protagonists of the movie for as long as it can, dropping clues all the while about what's really going on, but disorenting and misdirecting us into a vortex of ambivalence until the final payoff, which I found to be epic.
The movie has its problems, but in the end it's a towering example on how to manipulate the audience in the same feel the characters are supposed to feel.
The film is organized the same way as their minds are, designed to disorient and misdirect us, which is a simultaneously uncomfortable and exhilarating way to experience it. Eveytime I watch this film I feel like if someone was jerking me around and trying keep me from seeing the big picture, in fact from the very start I, like every imprinted human character, can tell something's off, that this world is very misleading and omnifarious and I don't know why, and the film tries to tell me what's really going on only as the characters get those questions or face their own opponents.
You may have not fallen for it, but I did and when the credits rolled ...I was glad I did! Probably my favorite idea about this movie is that the visual design is built into the premise; it's not style over substance, it's not even equal style and substance. The substance gives to us a rational reason for the style, and that's something I don't recall seeing in lots of movies.
I like how the various characters we follow through the film are real people and they're not that developed because they can't be, the point is their memories are not their own and so even those who have a whole lifetime of experiences in their head still walk around with the day's expression, not fully engaged on what they're doing, as if the perpetually in that mindset of having just woken up from a long sleep. But then the film intelligently uses those modes to advance the big ideas in story points. I could go on and on discussing about all the aspect of the film, but I've already talked long enough.
In short, "Cloud Atlas" is definitely one of the richest movies I've ever seen and I'm never tired of watching it. Historic and futuristic, comedic and mightily dramatic, thrilling and introspective, this movie is one of its kind.

12= Who framed Roger Rabbit (1988): The power of this film is a curious thing. This is literally the ONLY movie I know that everyone universally loves. I kid you not, I have never met in real life or on the internet someone who genuinely dislikes "Who framed Roger Rabbit". It seems to be a movie everyone has fallen in love with. It's filled with so much wonder, funny moments, sad moments, suspenseful moments and everything in between and it appeals to the people of any age. When I was a kid I was in for the cartoons looking real and the outstanding special effects, as an adult I follow the story and fully appreciate everything else that went into this movie and with repeated viewings it's always just as great. From a technical standpoint I think it's really impressive what director Robert Zemeckis, animator Richard Williams and his team have done and all the imagination and creativity than went into making all the visual marvels of this movie. What I think makes the story so timeless is that not only it establishes its time period, it uses the various things we're familiar with in a classic noir tale, whether we identify with them or not. It borrows from classic movies and classic cartoon shorts that it's like one clusterfuck of awesome. Bob Hoskins gives an amazing performance as detective Eddie Valiant, who has a tragic backstory that makes him despise cartoons, but goes through a character arc that gives him back the hopes of living and makes him a better person. But even if the movie can turn poignant or even straight up horrifying and fucked up (I'm looking at you, Judge Doom), you're just too busy having a good time! All the cartoon characters that act just the way you love and know them, the catchy songs, seeing things in an innocent way like Roger Rabbit does, it just makes you feel like a kid again.
Do I need to explain what else is good about this movie? You all know the awesome quotes, you all know how awesome the animation and the special effects are, you all know these characters, it's just a flawless film. It took chances, throw alot of talent and effort into it, as I get older and older it only gets better and better, I've seen it a million times and I'm probably gonna see it a million more.

11= The Adventures of Baron Münchausen (1988): This movie is incredible, without a doubt my favorite Fantasy film. When you're not being sucked in by all the imagination, visuals, and surprising interesting characters, you're sucked in by the technical wizardy that makes this movie work. But it's weird because not once do you question how they did so many of the effects. How can you when you have so much creativity just exploding around you?
This movie tells the story of Baron Münchausen, who was actually a real-existed person in history and a popular character among courts because of his exaggerated Tall Tales about himself he used to tell, in which he was always a hero no matter how absurd the situations he described were (so think of him as the Chuck Norris of the 18th Century). Münchausen, despite being old and decrepit, wants to prove the authenticity of his tales in the Enlightenment time, where the people have become cold and less imaginative.
The Baron and his friends will also face the most extreme places and elements: air, space, fire, water and more. The many obstacles seem chaotic and impassible, but it's the golden and yet innocent heart of Münchausen and his friends that shows us the way. It's a wonderful movie about believing in yourself and how our dreams and imagination can bring us far.
The music, the atmosphere, the effects, the acting and the glorious storytelling are beyond compare. There's so much going on; turks invading, people from the Moon with floating heads, locksmith cyclops that go on strike, giant sea monsters, you play the movie and it's just a blast of special effects and crazy shit going on. Plus being born in Belgrade just made me proud of myself when it's part of the story at one point. It's a such rich story, but aside from that I just love looking at it. The backgrounds and the practical effects are such a spectacle that make the whole thing look like a beautiful painting and seeing the Baron riding a flying cannon ball is an image that I will never forget. When you watch this movie you subject your imagination to it, you feel magic and wonder and tension. The whole film is a mixture of different emotions and when it's all over, it leaves you with a positive outlook that the world is full of magic and wonder. It's a powerful and charming flick that just like the protagonist doesn't get old, and it just gets better and better the more you experience it.

10= American Splendor (2003): I didn't really know who Harvey Pekar was before watching this movie, so I'm glad that I was being introduced to him in this way. It's the story of a quite unhappy and grumpy guy who became a smash hit with the underground comics American Splendor he wrote and with the help of cartoonist legend Robert Crumb, who illustrated his slice-of-life everyday stories. Pekar goes beyond to just writing fantasies for comicbooks and we witness his rise to fame and his getting together with Joyce Brabner, his neurotic match. Eventually, he is diagnosed with cancer and the only thing that can get the couple through it is to co-write a graphic novel about the experience.
I love the dialogue of this movie, I love how calculated, fun and to the point it is while dealing with ordinary life, which, in Pekar's words is "pretty complex stuff" while also fighting for some controversial acts of his when he became popular. This movie has also to be my favorite biographic flick, because VERY little was made up for this film, the 97% of the things shown actually happened, they even show off the real footages of Pekar arguing with David Letterman back in the '80s! And even the MTV skits in which Pekar's autistic friend Toby Radloff appeared, which lead him to realize how much Letterman invited him in the show just to poke fun at his pessimism instead of taking his words and statements seriously.
In fact, it's quite a pessimistic film and you know it just with the way it opens:
«If you're the kind of person looking for romance or escapism or some fantasy figure to save the day... Guess what? You've got the wrong movie!»
Not the entire movie is negative, because you get that the most memorable experiences have both negative and positive developments, there's plenty of joy to be found in the film: the completely unromanticised human relationships, the humour, the continuous bummer that is Pekar's existence. It's also kind of curious to notice how many other cartoonists on the Internet and even DeviantArt represent their lives in comics and strips, and sometimes I do it myself because it makes me realize how everyone has something to say about their own life and drawing about it can help us get through stuff.
The way the story is told is very unique with this postmodern, meta thing going on, where the illusions behind filmmaking are undermined and dispelled with the REAL Harvey Pekar and his friends interacting with the actors who portray them. This reminder that the story is about genuine, flesh-and-blood people with human frailties adds tenderness, makes the film feel as pathologically honest as Pekar himself.
When all is said and done "American Splendor" is by far my all time favorite biopic, the way the story is told is unique and the outstanding performances make it humble and sincere, it's just my personal Bible.

9= Watchmen (2009): I already talked in detail about why this is my all time favorite comicbook movie in my "Top 11 favorite comicbook films" list, so I won't talk too much about it here. I just love the atmosphere, the characters and how the whole story is put together. I said already about how I saw this film as something that really pushes the idea of superheroes being the modern day Geek Mythology, and I still believe that. The story juggles with ethics, choices, the Greater Good and responsabilites of every person all in one film. The fact that they were able to make a movie adaptation of a graphic novel which alot of people believed was impossible to put on film that is so faithful and yet being its own thing is really fascinating. And while I obviously have issues with that at times, I really do like what they did with Alan Moore's source material and in many ways I think it's probably the best movie based on one of his works. I just get the sense that this is the real deal, and actual superhero film for adults only with no marketing towards children playing any part of it. Sure, there are differences and variations, but to me the dialogue and the performances of the actors playing the protagonists just makes me believe that these are exactly the heroes the graphic novel talked about.
Some people still don't understand why I like this movie so much despite the source material being better, but honestly it's simply because... THIS movie introduced me to the source material. I went into the movie completely blind and I still think it stands on its own feet wonderfully for the majority and the good things in it definitely outsmart the negatives. Overall I talked about this movie many times already so I won't say anything more, all I can say is that "Watchmen" feels like the real deal to me and it always will.

8= Planet Terror (2007): To explain why this movie works so well, I kinda need to explain the premise, which shows a couple of characters that go from a Go-go dancer and her boyfriend, a bisexual doctor abused by her husband, two brothers trying to support each other despite one's role and the other's flaws, and a bunch of deranged soldiers messing around with a toxin that spreads quickly thus turning people into morbid, zombie-like mutant cannibals. When shit hits the fan it's up to these unusual characters to stand up against the evergrowing epidemic on top of their own problems in their personal lives.
All of Robert Rodriguez movies (at least the ones he made for adults) have this interesting quality, they're films that embrace the violence and even the silliness you'd find in bad movies, the kind you'd riff with your friends. But just because the premise and the style sound a bit odd and over the top, it doesn't mean the plot can't still be solidly written, that the characters can't still be unbelievably likeable, that the choices about this film's look can't still be excellently pulled off despite the limited budget in order to feel invested in the story and in the characters, and "Planet Terror" is no exception.
What I love the most about it, besides being one kickass action film with the perfect zombie apocalypse team imaginable, is that the over the top violence and the gore never detract from the serious amount of clever filmmaking and passion for the genre in its script, in fact if anything it helps solidify the whole point of the story. And I also like how this movie completely embraces the look and the way old exploitation films looked, while at the same time not making it look dated and out of place for our modern times, it just knows which areas to update and which areas to leave alone, in a certain sense by dating itself to the right degree it makes everything in the movie feel outdated.
In my humble opinion Josh Brolin, Bruce Willis and the 'Sickos' make up for memorable villains while Freddy Rodriguez as El Wrey is a fucking badass hero, the score that pays homage to John Carpenter's soundtracks is great, the practical effects and the prosthetics and the use of CGI are perfectly put together, and it's all held together by Rodriguez's wonderfully exaggerated gory violence.
Overall, I think "Planet Terror" is definitely the type of film I'd make if I had the means to make one, there are many movies that I love but few reach the levels of being as funny, unique and engaging as this one. This is a perfect blend of '70s exploitation films, modern action, horror, sleazy style and an odd premise executed flawlessly. "Planet Terror" is batshit insane and I fucking love it. What a movie.

7= Phantom of the Paradise (1974): Most of my friends and followers already know this, but in case you don't, "Phantom of the Paradise" is my all time favorite musical. Why? Because it has everything I always love: surreal images, dark humor, messed up characters, stylish production and most importantly the atmosphere. One of my favorite plays is The Phantom of the Opera and this movie is something of a modernized cyberpunk version of that. It also pokes fun at how corrupted and merciless the entertainment industry is, how success and media attention are treated as more important than someone's life and how much artists seeking for their golden opportunity are willing to give.
I love how the movie satirizes the world of music business while also creating its own, and the satire is surprisingly just as relevant today as it was back then. The visuals at times are artsy and strange, but can also get creepy and nightmarish, and that's the overall tone of the film: the gothic settings upholstered with the shadows being muted by bright colours and the dark side of the main characters that's constantly being exposed in the most fucked up way really makes the whole film look like something right out from an acid trip. The contrast between love for the personal life and love for the profession is constantly being adressed, asking the rough question that many musicians bring up but never fully confront. While running on a cartoon logic, combining/paying homage to many different Gothic stories like Faust and movies such as "Psycho" and "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" AND having many music genres mixed together, the movie surprisingly enough avoids being a mess thanks to a fluid and well orchestrated script that is able to give humanity and development to its characters despite all the madness going down. It's very over the top oozing with '70s cheese while it goes from being upbeat to being poignant, but it handles its tones so well.
Paul Williams is not only brilliant as a villain, but he did an amazing job with the music. I absolutely love every single song of this musical, words cannot describe the beaut of the lyrics. It's brilliantly photographed and edited, nothing less than the work of a master like Brian De Palma.
Overall "Phantom of the Paradise" is a statement on the entertainment industry, a celebration of both music and cinema, and an unique adaptation of a such classic story that still holds up to this day.

6= Brazil (1985): This is probably one of the most weird looking movies ever made, I don't think there is a minute that goes without any kind of object or action that catches your eye, it's just insane, I don't think there are 60 seconds without some strange device stiring, an oddly-designed backgroud character or just a detail passing by the frame! So you'd think it's hard to get some character development in there...
Well, in my opinion the protagonist Sam Lowry has one of the greats. The movie is essentially an adaptation of George Orwell's 1984 as if it was a black comedy and it centers around Sam, who works as a mediocre employee that gets undeserved and unwanted favors from his mother, helps out his incompetent superior and deals with some invasive and obnoxious workers. Sam overall doesn't have an such colourful life. Well, at least not in the real one.
But when he sights a civil woman called Jill, who looks exactly like the damsel in distress he rescues in his evasionist dreams, Sam finally has a purpose in his grey and unsatisfactory life: all the troubles he's going to cause in this bureaucratic world while seeking for her mean nothing to him, because he finally has something to live for and more importantly, go crazy for.
So he wants to escape from this unjust and chaotic society to live happily ever after with Jill just because he dreams her.
And that's it, there is no other reason!
Sam doesn't even know a lot about her, but she was the only figure that even through dreams, gave him something that he has never really experienced in all his life. It's so simple, yet so perfect.
That kind of dedication is hard for me to not find engaging, it says so much about what Sam's going through in his life.
Yeah, I know that what he causes is campy and cartoonish, but it's not the oddity that makes it interesting to me, it's the character and the motivation, the fact that somebody who had nothing worth to even exist suddenly does, that his life finally has a purpose, and I think anyone can identify with that because let's face it, at some point in our life we felt like and even WERE this guy.
In my opinion "Brazil" is Terry Gilliam at his best, and it's kind of ironic how the message of this movie is pretty much the polar opposite of what "The Adventures of Baron Münchausen" was about, and while it does make it less hopeful and heartwarming, it does stay true to the dark and unforgiving themes expressed in Orwell's source material. The more times I watch it, the more clever details I notice because of its rich visuals, but the characters are so funny and there are so many memorable lines that leads me to believe that it's one of the few films where it's just as visually compelling as it is deep storywise, so I can't help but admire Terry Gilliam's "Brazil" in all its wicked glory.

5= A Clockwork Orange (1971): This is one of the most mesmerizing films I can think of. "A Clockwork Orange" is one among a larger trend of films from the '70s that both pushed the impositions of violence in movies aside whilst communicating something about the society depicted.
Alex DeLarge is one of those characters who you're never 100% sure how to feel about. On one hand it's extremely easy to hate his guts because of his reckless lifestyle where he lies to his parents and is a violent sociopath even to his own Droogs.
Alternatively, Alex becomes sypathetic when he's forcefully brainwashed for political goals almost into a completely different person with contempt for the more degenerate side of society and is even tortured by the supposedly "normal people", even though some of them are getting their revenge for what he has done when he used to be a horrible person.
Whatever your thoughts on the protagonist are, it's still an intense character study told through the first person and I can't recall any scene that breaks away from this. Stanley Kubrick's direction in this film is at his best, making the art, design and scenes outdated.
It seems to be a movie that crosses all the lines and that speaks to everybody, even those who don't like Stanley Kubrick can find something that they enjoyed in "A Clockwork Orange". There's always something to talk about, something to discuss, something to raise an eyebrow at and get people chatting. It's just an amazing movie that I can enjoy at any given moment. It's thought provoking, compelling, and thrilling. It's Kubrick at his best.

4= The Last Circus (2010): I know it looks insane to put some recent spanish movie over a Stanley Kubrick's classic, but I can't help it, I simply LOVE this friggin movie. It's a drama, it's a dark comedy, it's a war film, it's a horror film, it's an action film, it's a romance, it's a trippy psychological thriller, this crazy flick has everything!
A humble dude with a tragic past named Javier joins a circus to be the new "Sad Clown" and here he falls in love with the trapeze artist Natalia, who's engaged with Sergio, Javier's stage counterpart as the "Funny Clown" and the main star of the circus. This leads to a love triangle, and since these aren't exactly ordinary people and this isn't a very peaceful time period in history of Spain, it becomes a small-scale war. Natalia has an abusive relationship with Sergio and Sergio is an out of control psycho who you don't want to fuck around with, while Javier slowly becomes more and more insane because of his mental scars and because of this new hellish situation where he's stucked with Sergio and Natalia, and everything that could possibly go wrong, DOES.
The different people that surround the main storyarc with the two clowns and Natalia cross the paths here and there, Javier himself re-encounters an old face and it all ties together so nicely by the end. The biggest claim to fame of the film is that it's a balls-to-the-wall social commentary on what was going on in Spain during dictator Francisco Franco's regime and at times the protagonist interacts with some of the stuff that happened in real life and they go on real amazing locations such as the gigantic monument at Valle de los Caídos. Most of these things are probably not gonna affect those who aren't spanish or didn't study the Spanish Civil War in history class like I did, but as far as the main cast goes they all do such an amazing job and their tale is so interesting that you won't care if you're not familiar with the politics, the movie just shows you how things were back then and it stands on its own feet.
This movie can be quite hard to look at and it doesn't go light with the graphic violence and surrealistic visuals, but that's the world director Álex de la Iglesia intended on making: it's wild, insane and totally out of control. I cannot think of a movie that kept me glued to the screen and interested on the protagonist despite being so messed up. All the tension that builds as stuff gets worse and worse leads to a suspenseful finale with the three main characters facing off and it's just one hell of a ride. It mixes drama and comedy, fantasy and reality, and it just entertains the fuck out of me.

3= Beetlejuice (1988): I don't need to explain the plot in detail, "Beetlejuice" is one of the most popular movies Tim Burton has ever made, and it's a cult classic for good reasons! The film focuses on Adam and Barbara Maitland, who die in a freak car accident and become ghosts stucked in their home, which gets owned by the very obnoxious Deetz family. Not knowing what to do in order to get rid of them, they summon the living-buster Betelgeuse (name pronounced as "Beetlejuice"), who only ends up making matters worse.
At the heart of the story is the characers: the Maitland couple and Betelgeuse. Barbara and Adam have such a great relationship, one that surprisingly doesn't have a lot of backstory to it but you just sort of understand it right away. They're such great characters because they're so relatable and welcoming. They're just a couple of loving people and I don't think anyone could've played them as well as Geena Davis and Alec Baldwin did. Then of course there's the title character played by Michael Keaton, who is so brilliant in that he can go crazy without getting annoyingly over the top. His energetic performance and delivery are just perfect. There are some pretty damn funny moments in the film, especially when Barbara and Adam's attempts at scaring the Deetz fail or the hilariously awkward and pathetic mannerisms of Charles, played by Jeffrey Jones, which perfectly contrast Catherine O'Hara as his overbearing and annoying wife Delia. She's the character you love to hate, whenever something bad happens to her you just want to cheer. This movie has by far my favorite depiction of ghosts and the afterlife, a depiction that cheers me up about what could happen after dying while at the same time making me appreciate life itself. It takes something serious like Death and makes a great speactacle out of it with the surrealistic German Expressionism only Tim Burton can pull off, Danny Elfman's awesome score, the weird visuals and witty comedy, but it all flows so well. It's a movie that celebrates the comedy of life, it's about normal, ordinary people who aren't happy with their existence and want to do something about it, but they're overcome with humanity's greatest flaw which is the difficulty of cohabitating with those who're different.
To me, "Beetlejuice" is the ultimate 'feel good' film. It's got magic, it's got comedy, it's got romance, it's got a horror edge, it's just an amazing good time.

2= Alien (1979): This is the film that changed everything for me. Back when I saw it as a 11 year old kid, I was like: "Come on movie, show me people getting killed and goodnight..." But I was so wrong. As soon as this movie started, I was immediately hooked.
This film did pretty much the same thing the 1933 "King Kong" did to Peter Jackson and James Rolfe.
I loved the atmosphere, I loved the gothic angles and I loved how human and relatable the protagonists were despite being simple.
It's the movie that for me changed the way of seeing movies. Before watching this, I always saw movies just as a plain and simple form of entertainment to turn on in order to kill time, but after watching "Alien", my mind was blown because I understood how much passion, creativity and heart films require and what a wonderful form of art they are. I mean, the story on paper looks like a basic SciFi horror film you'd even see in a '50s B-Movie, but again, thanks to alot of passion, creativity and a wonderful execution, the makers used a very simple concept and evolved it into something HUGE.
I love the characters, I love the visual design that contrasts the industrial cargo ship by Ron Cobb with H. R. Giger's visceral alien architectonics and biology, I love Jerry Goldsmith's amazing score and I love how edgy and mysterious the whole thing is. Every single shot in this film is just unbelievable to look at, even by today's standards. The shadows are wonderful, they just complement the mood and atmosphere that the movie is trying to create. In fact I also love it for how visually uncompromising it is: everytime I watch this film, I always see something new, something in the background or even in the foreground I haven't noticed before. I just love movies that are so rewatchable and that constantly continue to evolve each time we watch them.
"Alien" is also the film that inspired me to constantly seek for newer stuff and search for other SciFi films that aren't "2001: A Space Odyssey" or "Star Wars". It burst a bubble that, as a kid, didn't make me interested on SciFi films that weren't as highly regarded as those two were, and thus I was opened to so many films that in the same fashion of "Alien", experimented with something different or unusual and gave me a brand new experience.
It's the same reason I love "Brazil", "Total Recall", "RoboCop" and the "Mad Max" series, it just takes me to another world and gives me a different kind of SciFi story using all of its potential to make a great story on its own. And it's a search that keeps going on to this day.
I definitely owe alot to this film and after 10 years it still keeps me entertained and interested no matter how many times I watch it. In fact, I actually think it just gets better and better everytime I see it.

1= Mr. Nobody (2009): This movie is everything I love from film; It's meta, it's highly stylistic, it's about life, it's about choices, it's about a lot of things.
Jared Leto plays the role of this dying old man calling himself "Nemo Nobody" who lives in a future society of humans who got themselves immortal lifespan while Nemo is the last mortal on Earth and he barely remembers anything about his past. All he remembers are two images from his childhood: when his parents divorced and he had to decide between living with his father or his mother and three little girls: Jeanne, Elise and Anna... His possible future wives. Not remembering a single thing, Nemo begins exploring every single possibility. The outcome of every single choice he could've made.
The film is in all honesty overambitious (I don’t care though that's what I like) and unable to handle all of its themes with appropriate care. Its 160 minute running time might sound a little overwhelming but there's so much here that it barely allows the creators to scratch the surface of all the things he included. This might be a little problematic if you expect a conclusive story and tightly wrapped whole, but ironically that would be missing the whole point of the film. It is one of those rare films that can suck the viewer into its world. As you watch "Mr. Nobody" and the various events you might not fully understand at the time the meaning of everything you see, but you will remain intrigued and as the movie progresses it starts to make more sense. There are quite a few things left up to interpretation, but the film should keep you thinking about it once the ending credits begin. To me this is a film that has a life of its own, celebrating the randomness of life and the importance to never second judge the path we have created for ourselves, because "all paths are the right path".
The whimsical nature of the production is just top notch, mimicking the child-like wonder that one has when growing up and experiencing the world for the first time. The film's prophetic nature is unsettling yet at the same time, perfectly acknowledged within the inner workings of the narrative, giving us a God's eye view of all that can happen or could happen to Nemo. But this is much more ambitious filmmaking, spanning a century, two continents and a spaceship bound for a Mars colony. The way time is handled via editing was fantastic, a scene zooming out to become a postcard in another memory, for example.
The entire cast also does an impeccable job in delivering a film that is more of a feeling and experience then anything else, while at the same time giving us bits and pieces to cling on to and sympathize with as we embark on this wonderful journey of realization and self preservation. I could go on about talking about this film, but I think you've got the picture: if I could cross over into an alternate timeline, I can see alot of things changing in my life, I could be living in a different country, I could be a completely different human being, but no matter how many different timelines there could possibly be, one thing that will hardly change is "Mr. Nobody" being my all time favorite movie.
Continue Reading: Ages of Man