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My Favorite Movies


Welcome to my screening room. Here I present for your viewing enjoyment a selection of both my favorite and antifavorite movies. This area will always be under perpetual construction. Look for lots of expansion and improvement as time goes by.

Rating system:

***** A one-in-a-million flick; a movie of
      the very highest caliber!
 **** A very good movie
  *** A good flick, though not great
   ** A so-so flick
    * Save this for when you're bored
[]      A poorly-made flick
[x]     A bad movie
[xx]    A very bad movie
[xxx]   An EXTREMELY bad movie
[xxxxx] Assassinate the director!

My Top Ten Most Favorite Movies

  1. The Neverending Story *****   This is my all-time favorite movie. It not only lays forth directly, succinctly, accessibly, the cancers and evils which are eating away at the souls of all of us who have the fortune/misfortune to be part of "modern civilization", but it even prescribes remedial action, something no other movie I've ever seen does. This movie bids you set aside your fears and doubts, and dare to do what you dream.
  2. Gandhi *****   A beautiful telling of the life of visionary Mohandus K. "Mahatma" Gandhi. It was filmed on a "shoestring" budget of a few hundred thousand dollars, and yet it has an epic grandeur greater than many movies costing 100 or even 1000 times as much money! (It costs a cool half-billion bucks to film a typical "blockbuster" these days. Richard Attenbourough made this flick on a thousandth of that!) This movie is a historical epic. It is very long, and it is full of uncomfortable ideas that actually make you think. Those expecting fast-paced, non-stop, slam-bang action will be sorely disappointed. But it is my all-time number-two favorite movie, because of the important and compelling ideas in it: that we human beings can learn to tolerate each others' differences, that we can live together in peace, that war is ultimately unnecessary, that we can solve our conflicts by negociation rather than aggression, that we can be assertive without being hurtful. This movie compellingly illustrates these powerful ideas in a non-preachy way, making it (in my opinion) one of the greatest movies of all time.
  3. Koyaanisqatsi *****   Koyaanisqatsi is one of the most bizarre movies ever filmed. It is also, in my opinion, one of the best. It is a feature length motion picture, yet it has no dialog and no plot. Koyaanisqatsi is about nature versus modern civilization, balance versus imbalance. The title, koyaanisqatsi, is a word in the Hopi language meaning "life out of balance". This film shows that imbalance very poignantly, even without dialogue or plot, at about 5 times normal speed. Beyond that, it's indescribable. You'll just have to see it.
  4. Star Wars *****   One of the best-ever tellings of the ancient story of the on-going battle between the forces of good and evil in the universe. This movie is about courage, honor, loyalty, betrayal, and faith in a higher power. Certainly one of the greatest movies of all times. I saw it the day it first came out back in 1977 and it changed my life forever.
  5. Star Trek: First Contact *****   Since the days of Copernicus and Galileo, when humankind first learned that we are living on a small, insignificant planet, orbiting a very ordinary star, far out on the edge of a very ordinary galaxy among millions of other galaxies, as far from the "center" of things as imaginable, one overwhelming question has seared the mind of anyone who looks up at the night sky contemplatively: "Are we alone? Have we no friends out there?" The answer comes to those of us who are honest with ourselves: "We are probably not alone. There are almost certainly others out there, friends or enemies. But where are they? Why have they not come? And what would I do, one lonely human, if they did come, and they landed in my backyard, and one of them stepped out of his spacecraft and said 'hello', and raised a hand in a gesture of peace, or a weapon in a gesture of hate?" That is the main point in First Contact. The whole movie leads up to that moment when the young space traveler from a distant star -- the first-ever visitor to Earth from another planet -- raises his hand in greeting to Zephrim Chochran and says... well, I won't tell you what he says! See it yourself!
  6. Titanic *****   This movie is the best of all the movies about the Titanic. Titanic works very well on many different levels, including scenic grandeur, maritime action-adventure, historical epic, love story, disaster story. Titanic features incredible, breathtaking cinematography, especially in the external shots of the ship. These scenes were filmed using a combination of live-action, scale models, and computer animation, but you can't tell! You'll swear you're really there. While Titanic does include some fictional story details, all of the main events of the real-life Titanic disaster are accurately portrayed. This movie presents the tale of the life and death of the greatest ocean-going ship ever built in a way that is more real, more compelling than any other Titanic movie I've ever seen. I was also greatly moved by the fictional but deeply-moving love story between Jack and Rose, a tale of a love which transcended even death itself. The very last scene of the movie is especially poignant. But more than anything, this movie is a historically-accurate tale of how people reacted to one of the most horrifying maritime disasters of all time. Courage and cowardice, poise and panic, murderous greed and selfless sacrifice -- all are portrayed in this movie as they actually happened on that tragic night. Come take the boat ride of your life; but be sure to reserve a seat in the lifeboat!
  7. The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King *****   Director Peter Jackson's first two episodes of JRR Tolkien's classic tale The Lord Of The Rings were good, but not great. This episode, however, is truly one of the greatest movies ever filmed. (It is also the fifth-longest movie ever filmed in all of human history.) This third episode adheres to both the details and the spirit of Tolkien's original tale much more closely than Peter Jackson's first two episodes. It also has much more coherence, better acting, better directing, better continuity, better emotional "rightness", better pacing... hell, better everthing. It is simply the best Tolkien movie ever made, bar none. It blows anything else ever filmed out of the water. Intensely exciting, ravishingly beautiful, deeply moving. Two thumbs up! Way to go, Peter Jackson and crew!
  8. The Untouchables *****   A badly titled movie, in my opinion. But a very good movie, none-the-less. This is all about the battle between a small band of men ("The Untouchables"), who include US Treasury agent Eliot Ness (well acted by Kevin Costner) and a street-smart Irish cop (one of Sean Connery's greatest performances), against gangster Al Capone (Robert DeNiro). This movie is about courage, and the will to fight evil at all costs, and the tenacity to keep on fighting until the battle is won. As Eliot Ness says near the end of the movie, "Never give up! Never give in! Never stop fighting until the fighting's done!"
  9. Casablanca *****   A lovely b&w flick about love, loss, jealousy, bitterness, and redemption, among other themes. Well-made, and well-acted by Humphrey Bogart. The song "As Time Goes By" is one of my all-time favorite movie songs.
  10. Terminator 2: Judgment Day ****   This movie is a warning of the dangers of letting technology, power, and money get in the way of more important human values on a national/global level. The first scene shows the Third World War in progress, children bursting into flames in a schoolyard as a million watts of gamma rays (from a thermonuclear weapon which just detonated a mile away) suddenly sear their flesh from their bones. The next scenes show a nightmare of post-holocaust war. Then the rest of the movie goes back to the present day, and shows hints of what lead us to the war in the first place. The protagonists then have the task of preventing that war. A sometimes-gruesome, but eminently watchable flick. The "father-son" relationship between Arnold Schartzenegger's "Terminator" character and the little boy is especially touching.

Other Favorites


Written Saturday, July 31, 1999 by Robbie Hatley.

Last updated Thursday March 1, 2018.

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