Top Ten Tuesday (87): Favorite Movies

TTT stars

Top Ten Tuesdays is a meme hosted by the Broke and the Bookish.  This week’s topic is

Top Ten Favorite Movies

1. The Fellowship of the Ring: Of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, the first film is my favorite.  I think it is the happiest.  We get to meet many of the beloved characters at a time when they still feel relatively safe in the Shire, in Rivendell, in Lothlorien.  Though the characters meet many obstacles, they still find many reprieves and they don’t all fully realize the extent of the danger into which they have thrown themselves.  All too soon that illusion will vanish.  I like to cherish these early moments.

2. Disney’s Sleeping BeautyAurora receives a lot of criticism these days for not saving herself, but the girl still has many good qualities–she is kind, helpful, and relatively cautious (at least she wants to bring her new crush home to meet the family!).  Really, though, I think the Princess Line may have given the mistaken impression that this film is supposed to be all about Aurora and girl power, but it’s not.  The fairies really steal the show and Prince Philip gets an awesome action sequence that no mutterings about how Aurora should have slain the dragon can ruin for me.  Everyone in this film plays a part and does it admirably.  And, of course, I can’t not mention the beautiful artwork.

3. The Two TowersEveryone knows that middle films sometimes lag a little, but The Two Towers is, in my opinion, a solid addition to Jackson’s trilogy.  I especially love this film because Rohan is one of my favorite places in Middle-earth and there’s nothing like seeing it come to life onscreen.  Plus, the music that goes with Rohan is absolutely fantastic.

4. GloryGlory tells the story of the 54th Massachusetts, one of the first African American units in the Civil War.  The movie tells an important part of American history and does not flinch from the prejudice the unit faced, from having to be led by only white officers to receiving less pay than their white soldier counterparts.  It is a moving, gripping film with a ton of fantastic actors and a beautiful soundtrack.

5. The Return of the King:  Though this film received many accolades upon its release, it is my least favorite film in the trilogy.  The heart is still there, but sometimes the action threatens to overtake the film.  And some of that CGI is ridiculous.  The oliphaunts look as if they could conquer Gondor simply by stepping on Minas Tirith.

6. From Up on Poppy HillGorō Miyazaki directed this 2011 film for Studio Ghibli, which focuses on the innocent love of teenagers Umi and Shun as they fight to save their school clubhouse.  The film possesses a rare, quiet beauty belying the power the story has to move audiences.  Some great comic relief is also included.

7. Kiki’s Delivery Service: This 1989 film from Hayao Miyazaki inspires with its story of a young witch trying to find her place in the world.  The stunning artwork is as big an attraction as the bright young protagonist, her talking cat, and the feel-good plot.

8. Kenneth’s Branagh’s Henry VAction, romance, the St. Crispins’ Day speech–what more could you ask for?  Kenneth Branagh is absolutely stunning in this Shakespearean adaptation.  My favorite part?  Act V.

9. Kenneth Branagh’s HamletThis was the film that finally helped me to understand why everyone thinks Shakespeare is so great.  I’d read a few plays before, but they’d never come alive for me until Branagh showed me how it’s done.

10. Kenneth Branagh’s Much Ado About Nothing: Emma Thompson is fabulous in this film, but I have also watched it simply for the chair scene.  That’s how funny I find it.


34 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday (87): Favorite Movies

    • Krysta says:

      I’m so pleased to find another Sleeping Beauty fan! Usually people pick Beauty and the Beast (which is, of course, another wonderful movie.)


  1. Nobody@The Story Goes... says:

    Great list! I love Glory, my brother is kinda obsessed with the civil war and he made me watch it and it is such a good movie. I actually think that Sleeping Beauty is the only Disney(animated) movie I’ve never seen. I just never got around to watching it when I was little and it’s not easy to find these days.


    • Krysta says:

      I seldom find anyone else who’s seen Glory. I’m so glad you like it, too!

      I know! Younger children especially don’t seem familiar with the classic Disney films and I think it’s because they’re all in the vault. 😦


  2. Amy Wallin says:

    I actually liked Two Towers more than The Fellowship. LOTR breaks all the basic movie rules. The second was better than the first. And. don’t kill me. but I found the movies better than the books.


    • Krysta says:

      The Two Towers is a really strong second film. That seldom happens in trilogies! I have to say, though, I’m still going to have to vote for the book over the films. 😉


    • Krysta says:

      I think Sleeping Beauty is a little different from the other “princess” films in that the focus is really more on the comedy of the three fairies. I don’t know if that would make it seem slower to some people, or if it’s just unexpected. Beauty and the Beast is a wonderful film, though. I love the animation in the ballroom scene.


  3. revgeorge says:

    Sigh, another toughie. (I’ll refrain from saying anything negative about Jackson’s abominations, though.) 😉

    Godzilla, 1954.
    Blade Runner
    Star Wars Trilogy (Before Lucas tried to “improve” them.)
    Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
    The Maltese Falcon
    Les Miserables
    The Fifth Element
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    Although there’s so many more movies I’d consider favorites.


    • Krysta says:

      Well, the LotR films are by no means perfect. I think Jackson rather missed Tolkien’s underlying philosophy (especially with many of the character changes, which seem to assume that no one would find a character who would unreservedly do the right thing believable) . But, compared to the recent Hobbit films, the LotR ones are looking pretty good, I think. 😉

      Unfortunately, I haven’t seen many of the films you listed, though! Star Wars I’ve seen and Casablanca. Possibly part of Les Mis–I assume you don’t mean the recent musical version with Anne Hathaway.


      • revgeorge says:

        I do mean the recent version. Absolutely loved it.

        And yes, I concede the point that the LOTR films are definitely better than The Hobbit films.


        • Krysta says:

          I have nothing against the recent version (though I thought some of the singing was a little weak). It’s just that I usually see people referring to one of the older non-musical versions. I thought Anne Hathaway was wonderful.

          Perhaps that’s not a particularly high bar to set, though. 😉


  4. The Polished Page-Turner says:

    Sleeping Beauty is my FAVORITE Disney princess and I agree that she doesn’t get enough credit. I really need to rewatch all the LOTR movies because it has been too long and I think I would enjoy them more now.


    • Krysta says:

      More fans of Sleeping Beauty! Hooray!

      I sort of go in cycles with the LotR films. Sometimes I find the dialogue cheesy and the effects a bit much and sometimes I’m weeping over my popcorn. 😉


  5. Reno @ Falling Letters says:

    Of the LotR movies, The Two Towers is my favourite, due in large part to the prominence of Rohan, as you mention 🙂 Maybe this is a bit odd, but sometimes I find FotR and RotK too sad/emotional – because of the innocent beginning and bittersweet ending. I watched Branagh’s Hamlet in high school and I was surprised at how much I actually enjoyed it! I might have to check out Much Ado About Nothing.


    • Krysta says:

      I understand what you mean. It can be a bit hard for me to watch both FotR and RotK–hard to see the Hobbits lose their innocence and hard to see how the journey changes all the characters. The Two Towers, meanwhile, focuses largely on the Battle of Helm’s Deep (which I would not say is sad) and gives the Hobbits all a bit of a respite, whether in Ithilien or in Fangorn.

      If you liked Branagh’s Hamlet, I’m sure you’ll also enjoy Much Ado About Nothing!


  6. Small Review says:

    I’m so glad you included Sleeping Beauty on your list. It’s one of my favorites too, and I hate hearing all the bashing on it lately because of Aurora’s minimal role. To me, that overlooks everything the movie has to offer and tosses it aside based on one single criteria (and, really, does the girl need to save the day ALL the time? What about boy viewers??). The music based on Tchaikovsky’s ballet score is one of my favorite interpretations by far, and I love that Disney included such high caliber music in their movie. And the animation is gorgeous! Plus, you’re right, the fairies steal the show and Prince Philip going head to head with Maleficent (and Maleficent in general) is a fantastic scene.


    • Krysta says:

      I think the creation of the Princess Line has created a mistaken impression that those movies are all to be linked together, when in fact many of them are attempting to do different things. You have bolder, more aggressive princesses in other films–why can’t Aurora portray a different type of female, one whose strength comes from her kindness? But I guess, in the end, I don’t think Sleeping Beauty was even supposed to focus on the titular character (ironically enough). It’s supposed to showcase all the characters and their roles–the Princess Line just makes it confusing because it suggests that Aurora has a bigger role than she actually does and then people are disappointed she “doesn’t do anything” (as if being a nice, caring person isn’t good enough).

      I agree, though, that I am constantly impressed by Sleeping Beauty’s soundtrack and amazed that Disney had the vision to take high culture like ballet and use it in *gasp* an animated film. It gives the film such an air of enchantment.


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