For whatever reason: story, writing, acting.. enlightenment.. etc. there are certain movies that have hit me harder than others. They created an emotion, a feeling, that has stuck with me for years, even decades. They live on in my mind as an emotional connection to a time or place in my life and it's not always clear to me why. LOL Some are great movies, some aren't but for whatever reason these movies made a strong impression on me.
Crimes and Misdemeanors
An ophthalmologist's mistress threatens to reveal their affair to his wife, while a married documentary filmmaker is infatuated by another woman. (104 mins.)
“ One of my "top 5" movies of all-time. Beautifully written. A lifetime of Woody Allen's psychoanalysis on display here. The insights into life and the meaning of it all are thought-provoking.
I walked out of the theater feeling different then when I went in -- always the mark of a great movie, for me. ” - lunaticprophet
The troubled life and career of the jazz musician, Charlie "Bird" Parker. (161 mins.)
“ Reprinted from my IMDB review:
There are certain movies that leave you dazed when you walk out of the theater. For me, "Bird" was such a movie.
On a nice evening in 1988 I decided to take in a movie on the spur of the moment. I walked to the nearest theater (Fine Arts, Downtown Chicago) and looked to see what was playing. I had never heard of Charlie Parker nor his music, but I was developing a love of jazz and the movie being directed by Clint Eastwood didn't hurt.
I went in, found a seat and had no way of knowing that, in a couple of hours, my life would be different.
The music penetrated my soul in ways I could never express. I was in awe and filled with emotion as the music carried me away while the visions of Charlie Parker's life flashed in front of my face. When the final credits scrolled up the screen, I could not move. I was frozen to my seat, dazed, overwhelmed, completely awed. I couldn't get the music out of my head, songs were playing back as if I'd listened to them a thousand times. My mind felt as if it were orbiting the sun.. spinning round and round, bathed in this warmth of beauty.
I didn't walk out of the the theater so much as stagger. I walked around for miles just playing over and over in my mind what I'd seen and heard and finally, hours after the movie ended, I found myself in front of an all night music store where I bought the soundtrack and raced home to listen to it.
No matter that I had to get up in the morning for work... no matter that the movie had ended before 10pm but I didn't find my way home until after 2am. No matter that I was dead tired from walking dazed miles in a haze of thought.
I played that CD until I fell asleep then took it to work and played it all day... I played it constantly for weeks and then I started to buy other Charlie Parker CDs and reading everything I could about him. Charlie Parker is my favorite musician of all time, to this day, nearly 20 years later (20+ years now --ed.)... and it began with this movie." ” - lunaticprophet
A sexually frustrated suburban father has a mid-life crisis after becoming infatuated with his daughter's best friend. (122 mins.)
“ Wow... what a movie! This movie is just incredible. From the first scene to the last, I was completely in love with this movie! Funny, ironic, witty, dark & twisted, beautifully written and acted -- it was a complete pleasure. I couldn't stop thinking about it for days afterward! This is, IMHO, one of the best films I've ever seen - a top five placement, easily. Alan Ball, who went on to create the incredible series "Six Feet Under", wrote the screenplay ” - lunaticprophet
After wishing to be made big, a teenage boy wakes the next morning to find himself mysteriously in the body of an adult. (104 mins.)
“ I was in my early 20s when I saw this movie and I guess I was still close enough to my teen years to relate to the young kid who wants to grow up and be "Big". Watching his progression from childhood (playing with friends, fretting about girls, dealing with parents) to adulthood (finding a job, getting an apartment, fretting about girls, dealing with parents) was like a mirror on my own life at that time... and that resonated with me powerfully.
I thought about this movie for days after. ” - lunaticprophet
“ I first saw this movie when I was in my early-teens... WOW! What a film! It was one of the best films that I had ever seen to that point. The movie is intense and brilliant with a story of an era (the great depression) and an event (marathon dance competitions) that I knew little of, but that completely fascinated me. This movie is in my Top 5 list of greatest movies ever. ” ” - lunaticprophet
Kiss of the Spider Woman
A gay man and a political prisoner are together in a prison. The gay man narrates the stories of two fake movies and his own life. (120 mins.)
“ I saw this movie when I was in college. I knew nothing about the film when I went in. After the first few minutes I seriously thought about walking out.. the first time I'd ever considered doing that while watching a film.
I was, like many young men at that time, very homophobic. A sociological disease that infected me during my H.S. years when we/I were taught, via peers, that homosexuality was a deviant lifestyle/choice and that gay men preyed on young heterosexual boys.
I had to make myself stay and watch "Kiss of the Spiderwoman" and for that decision I was rewarded with enlightenment. By the end of the movie... for the first time, I realized that homosexuality was about love, not sex.
This movie cured me of my homophobia. ” - lunaticprophet
The Bridges of Madison County
Photographer Robert Kincaid wanders into the life of housewife Francesca Johnson, for four days in the 1960s. (135 mins.)
“ The best love story I've ever seen on film. Meryl Streep's scene in the truck at the end of the movie, as Eastwood stands outside in the rain, is one of the most powerful scenes I've ever witnessed. The torturous longing, the emotion.. it's palpable. ” - lunaticprophet
City of God
Two boys growing up in a violent neighborhood of Rio de Janeiro take different paths: one becomes a photographer, the other a drug dealer. (130 mins.)
“ I don't remember how this movie came to my attention but the fact that it showed images of life in Brazil was enough for me. But I wasn't prepared for this story based on actual events. WOW... it's an incredible well made movie! The directing, acting and screenplay are all superb and the story it tells is sad and amazing. The DVD also includes a documentary that itself is worth the cost of the DVD. ” - lunaticprophet
The Shawshank Redemption
Two imprisoned men bond over a number of years, finding solace and eventual redemption through acts of common decency. (142 mins.)
Do the Right Thing
On the hottest day of the year on a street in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn, everyone's hate and bigotry smolders and builds until it explodes into violence. (120 mins.)
“ This was a big movie event for my friends and me, all young movie buffs at that time. Most of us had seen "She's Gotta Have It" and really wanted to see what Spike Lee would do next. We weren't prepared for "Do the Right Thing"! The camera work, the direction, the acting, the story... beautifully done!
As I grew older and more knowledgeable about films, I could see the influences of a host of great director's films in "Do The Right Thing" and how he applied these to his film (as all directors do) but this is a special film, told from a, then, new perspective and should be considered one of best truly American films ever created. ” - lunaticprophet
The Manchurian Candidate
A former prisoner of war is brainwashed as an unwitting assassin for an international Communist conspiracy. (126 mins.)
“ The first time I saw this movie was in the late '90s, thirty plus years after its release and even then I was blown away by it! Just imagine the impact it must have had during its time in the early '60s --- the cold war; the Cuban missile crisis; the unrest in S.E. Asia (from Korea to Vietnam and the Philippines); JFK's Camelot and soon, his assassination. These were all present day (or soon to be) events at the time of its release...WOW! ” - lunaticprophet
A member of Parliament falls passionately in love with his son's fiancée despite the dangers of discovery. (111 mins.)
The Breakfast Club
Five high school students meet in Saturday detention and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought. (97 mins.)
Selfish yuppie Charlie Babbitt's father left a fortune to his savant brother Raymond and a pittance to Charlie; they travel cross-country. (133 mins.)
Million Dollar Baby
A determined woman works with a hardened boxing trainer to become a professional. (132 mins.)
A high-school boy is given the chance to write a story for Rolling Stone Magazine about an up-and-coming rock band as he accompanies them on their concert tour. (122 mins.)
The Big Chill
A group of seven former college friends gather for a weekend reunion at a South Carolina winter house after the funeral of one of their friends. (105 mins.)
The Crying Game
A British soldier is kidnapped by IRA terrorists. He befriends one of his captors, who is drawn into the soldier's world. (112 mins.)
“ I saw this opening night, without having the slightest idea what it was about. Couldn't believe how packed the theatre was, literally not one seat open. I guess most there came out to see this movie, I was just looking for something to do, having already seen one film that evening and not ready to go home. When the famous scene happens... the singular gasp in the theatre sounded like all the air had been sucked out of the room, followed by a chorus of nervous laughter and outright bellows. I really loved this film. ” - lunaticprophet
A trip into the Mediterranean sea becomes a trip into the discovery of how society's frameworks of the rich and poor are delicate and temporary. (116 mins.)
A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together. (101 mins.)
“ Movie took me completely by surprise! Just loved the idea of this and it caught me. ” - lunaticprophet
Dances with Wolves
Lt. John Dunbar, exiled to a remote western Civil War outpost, befriends wolves and Indians, making him an intolerable aberration in the military. (181 mins.)
“ Seems that many people think of this movie as a love story. I never saw it that way... the most amazing and memorable part of the story to me was how Native Americans lived... which wasn't focused on nearly long enough, but nevertheless, it was given more description than I've ever seen in a movie. ” - lunaticprophet
After a simple jewelry heist goes terribly wrong, the surviving criminals begin to suspect that one of them is a police informant. (99 mins.)
“ A friend told me about this movie in '93. I'd never heard of it and it was available in video stores... so I grabbed it up.
As the movie unfolded, I was sitting there in awe! It was, all at once, oddly familiar and completely new. By the time Madsen strolls to his car (to the beat of Steeler's Wheel - "Stuck in the Middle with You") I knew I was watching one of the best and most memorable films of my life. ” - lunaticprophet
The Century of the Self
A documentary about the rise of psychoanalysis as a powerful means of persuasion for both governments and corporations. (235 mins.)
“ There is absolutely no synopsis I could write that could do ANY justice to this brilliant documentary. The truths revealed have to be heard and understood, they need to be pondered and studied... and then accepted with incredulity and amazement at how little we know of ourselves and our culture and why we and it "act" the way we do. ” - lunaticprophet
Lost in Translation
A faded movie star and a neglected young woman form an unlikely bond after crossing paths in Tokyo. (102 mins.)
“ Sometimes a movie effects me for no obvious reason... this was such a movie. I just felt for the characters, this feeling of being lost/isolated which they felt in a foreign land but much more in their own lives. ” - lunaticprophet
Gambler Jake Green enters into a game with potentially deadly consequences. (111 mins.)
The Lives of Others
In 1984 East Berlin, an agent of the secret police, conducting surveillance on a writer and his lover, finds himself becoming increasingly absorbed by their lives. (137 mins.)
Twin gynecologists take full advantage of the fact that nobody can tell them apart, until their relationship begins to deteriorate over a woman. (116 mins.)
The Talented Mr. Ripley
In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures. (139 mins.)
Billy Hayes, an American college student, is caught smuggling drugs out of Turkey and thrown into prison. (121 mins.)
An ordinary word processor has the worst night of his life after he agrees to visit a girl in Soho whom he met that evening at a coffee shop. (97 mins.)
“ When I first watched this movie I laughed so hard I thought I was gonna hurt myself. Rates among my top 10 movie comedies... maybe top 5. ” - lunaticprophet
Living in exile, Hannibal Lecter tries to reconnect with now disgraced FBI agent Clarice Starling and finds himself a target for revenge from a powerful victim. (131 mins.)
“ I actually like this film better than "Silence of the Lambs". Anthony Hopkins is a psychopath with Panache!! LOL
A beautifully horrifying and menacing film and Hopkins portrayal is excellent! ” - lunaticprophet
The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption. (154 mins.)
“ There are movies that are filmed/written/directed in such a way that I feel as if I'm seeing something completely new in film making -- and how RARE is that?!
"Pulp Fiction" is one of those movies as was Tarrantino's "Reservoir Dogs" (Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" is also in that category) ” - lunaticprophet
A horrific car accident connects three stories, each involving characters dealing with loss, regret, and life's harsh realities, all in the name of love. (154 mins.)
In the midst of a searing Florida heat wave, a woman persuades her lover, a small-town lawyer, to murder her rich husband. (113 mins.)
“ I probably rate this movie higher than it should be... that would be because of the good memories I have of the night I saw it, and the fact that it was the first time I'd ever seen Kathleen Turner (and what an INCREDIBLE babe she was in '81!). But it's probably also because it had one of the best and most memorable twists I'd seen (by the tender age of 16). 30 yrs later and I still remember this movie and that night fondly. ” - lunaticprophet
An ambitious but troubled movie director tries his best to fulfill his dream, despite his lack of support. (127 mins.)
A naive hustler travels from Texas to New York to seek personal fortune but, in the process, finds himself a new friend. (113 mins.)
In 1964, a group of high school friends who live on the Near North Side of Chicago enjoy life to the fullest... (107 mins.)
Searching for Bobby Fischer
A prepubescent chess prodigy refuses to harden himself in order to become a champion like the famous but unlikable Bobby Fischer. (109 mins.)
Terms of Endearment
Follows hard-to-please Aurora looking for love and her daughter's family problems. (132 mins.)
A young woman whose childhood was so harrowing to her that she developed 16 different personalities. (198 mins.)
Toy Story 3
The toys are mistakenly delivered to a day-care center instead of the attic right before Andy leaves for college, and it's up to Woody to convince the other toys that they weren't abandoned and to return home. (103 mins.)
“ Took my two little boys to see this... sitting in theatre, at the end, I couldn't believe that I was tearing-up! LOL A grown man, misty-eyed during "Toy Story 3"! LOL
I'm sitting there knowing that one day my two sons will be leaving childhood behind and I'll be saying goodbye to an era of my life that has meant more to me than I ever could have imagined. ” - lunaticprophet
The Stranger Within
(1974 TV Movie)
An expectant mother begins acting strangely and doesn't know why. Gradually she starts to realize that her bizarre behavior is being controlled by her unborn baby. (74 mins.)
“ Laugh if you must.. but I was completely obsessed with this film when it first aired .... when I was all of 9!! LOL!! ” - lunaticprophet
The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band The Doors
and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison
, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971. (140 mins.)
“ I LOVE the band, "The Doors".. one of my all time favs.
I couldn't wait to this movie when it was released and while the script is not a great one, Val Kilmer's performance as "Jim Morrison" is just INCREDIBLE! ” - lunaticprophet