I own a lot of movies. It all started with Columbia House and their VHS tape subscription and it grew into a massive DVD and Blu-ray collection. I take great pride in my collection and I recently started whittling it down so I can have an uber collection that I can proudly show off. Recently, I started wondering which films I would showcase if I only had room for 10 on my living room bookcase. I could still keep all my movies, but I could only showoff 10. The following films are all eclectic and don't even follow my own personal favorites. Here are my top five in case you were wondering.
2. Dr. Strangelove
3. The Royal Tenenbaums
4. Hot Fuzz
The following aren't my favorite all time films. Basically, I looked at my collection and these films spoke to me. There is no rhyme or reason to my selections but this list just feels right. It could all change next week but for now here are the 10 films I would showcase on my bookshelf.
Sidenote: I realize Band of Brothers is an HBO miniseries. However, it is awesome. You need to watch it.
1. The New World - Criterion Blu-ray
What I love about the Criterion edition of The New World is that is features three versions of the film (Awesome!). I watched this film alone in a theater and it might be the best experience I've ever had watching a movie. I was immersed in the experience and it opened up my world to the glory of Terrence Malick. The New World is in my top five of this century (Bloody Sunday, The Royal Tenenbaums, Take Shelter, The Act of Killing) and I don't think there is a more engrossing and beautiful journey you could watch.
2. Deep Blue Sea - DVD (first one I ever bought!)
I was working in a movie theater when Deep Blue Sea was released and I used to go into the theater to listen to the crowds go insane. People lost their mind during the final battle with the shark and I'm pretty sure LL COOL J engages in the greatest kitchen fight ever. Deep Blue Sea is a beautiful mess that never fails to surprise, excite and prove that monologues are dangerous. Deep Blue Sea is dumb perfected and I love every second of it. Also, it is the first DVD I bought for like $29 in 2000.
3. Unbreakable - DVD
Unbreakable is my favorite superhero film and it just keeps getting better and better with age. We are in a golden age of superhero films and I still don't think that any of them are as good as Unbreakable. What I love about Unbreakable is it is an original piece of work that creates a wonderful new world. Samuel L. Jackson and Bruce Willis are perfection and I love how they play off of each other as polar opposites in the strength spectrum. M. Night Shyamalan created a world with actual stakes and I'm still terrified by the orange man who broke into the house and attacked the family.
4. The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou - Criterion Blu-ray
The Royal Tenenbaums is my favorite Wes Anderson film but I've watched The Life Aquatic the most. I was a senior in college when I got the DVD (now Criterion) and I watched it several times a week and showed everyone I knew. The reactions were mixed, but I love the film and have great memories. I own the soundtrack, have pretentious Life Aquatic art on my wall, and I own a Bill Murray coloring book so I could color in Steve Zissou. Watch Life Aquatic!
5. Kingdom of Heaven: Director's Cut - DVD
Kingdom of Heaven came and went out of the theater with a little bit of fanfare. However, since the director's cut was released it has become an underground favorite (weird for a mainstream movie) that has been steadily building a cult audience. I think the director's cut is Oscar worthy and it should have been released in theaters. What I love most about it is how HUGE everything is. The battle scenes are truly epic and the scale of everything is still mind boggling. Ridley Scott directed a masterpiece that got hacked apart and eventually was put back together. Watch the Director's Cut now!
6. Big Trouble in Little China - Blu-ray
Jack Burton is my favorite action hero on the planet and Big Trouble in Little China is one of my favorite films. I love how unselfish Kurt Russell was and his work with John Carpenter has given us some bona fide classics like They Live, Escape From New York and Big Trouble in Little China. The reason Big Trouble in Little China works so well because it is a pure experience that is genuinely weird and features a hero that is actually a bumbling blowhard who gets lucky. Watch this elevator scene, it is glorious.
7. Calvary - Blu-ray
Calvary is an original and moving piece of art. It is a quadruple threat of directing, writing, acting and cinematography. You won’t find many films that are this mature or darkly funny. It tackles religion in a mature manner and in no way makes it all simple. It goes deep into the grey and comes out warranting serious discussion. Director John Michael-McDonagh (The Guard - watch it now!) is awesome and I love how he manages to walk a tightrope of intelligent insanity. Also, Brendan Gleeson's beard is glorious.
8. 13 Assassins - Blu-ray
13 Assassins is the best action film of this decade and the final battle is a glorious melee of blood, guts and more blood. I love that the bad guy is truly despicable and you can't wait for him to meet a terrible end. Tikashi Miike is madman director and 13 Assassins might be his most accessible work. If you are looking for a beautiful action film that brings the goods look no further. More people need to watch 13 Assassins.
9. Band of Brothers - DVD
Band of Brothers might be the greatest thing ever put on screen (hyperbole....maybe not). I've watched it at least 10 times all the way through and I keep finding out more awesome things about it (Michael Fassbender has a bigger role than I remembered). I would watch it all again tomorrow and enjoy every second of it. I also have a hard time getting rid of it because the old HBO box sets used to cost a fortune.
10. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Extended Cut DVD (The one that looks like a book)
Peter Jackson and New Line Cinema have made a lot of money off of me. I bought the initial DVD releases, extended editions and the Blu-rays. I hate that I've fallen prey to multiple editions, but I would do it all again. I love my extended edition DVDs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy and the movies never get old. I picked The Fellowship of the Ring because it is the best of the series and features the greatest action scenes of the trilogy. Also, it proves that there is no simple way to walk into Mordor.