Today’s Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and The Bookish is: Top Ten Favorite Movies or TV Shows. I’m going to go for movies AND TV shows and break them up into 5 each.
1. The Lost Boys
I think it is the quintessential teen comedy/horror from the 80s (although I think it was less comedy and more horror when it came out). Vampires aren’t my favorite monsters by a long shot, but I love them in this movie. They’ve all got mullets and the soundtrack is saxophone heavy and the whole thing is very campy. And yet, there’s actually a pretty good horror story underneath all the camp. Plus, it was the first movie where the unstoppable teen duo of Corey Haim and Corey Feldman worked together. I just have a special place in my heart for this silly movie.
This was the first samurai movie I ever had the pleasure of seeing and it sparked a love for the whole genre. It is about a wandering samurai (called a ronin) played by the very handsome Toshiro Mifune who stumbles into a town torn apart by two rival gangs. Using his wits and strength, the samurai takes it upon himself to solve the town’s gang problem by getting them to fight each other. It’s an old, old Japanese movie, but it’s full of action and some genuinely funny moments. This movie also served as the inspiration for the Clint Eastwood movie, A Fist Full of Dollars, which was the exact same story, but with less humor and cowboys. I’ve seen them both and I love this one exponentially more.
3. Whisper of the Heart
This is an animated film by Studio Ghibli, which is often described as the Japanese Disney. It’s the story of a girl named Shizuku who wants more than anything to become a writer, but she’s not confident in her abilities. Throughout the movie, she meets people who are passionate about what they do and she learns that it takes practice to be perfect and that it’s okay if you fail a few times before succeeding. There’s also a cute romance thrown in. It’s one of those movies I like to watch if I need a good, happy cry. I could watch this movie forever.
4. Pan’s Labyrinth
Really, it could be any of Guillermo del Toro’s movies with children as the protagonist, but since this is the first of his movies I saw, I’m picking this one. This is sort of a horror version of Alice in Wonderland about a little girl named Ofelia who is living through the Spanish Civil War. She meets a creature called a Faun who is a weird mix of man and goat, and he tells her that she is the heir to an underground kingdom and that she must pass magical tests before she can claim her place as princess. The movie is full of magic and horrific monsters, but the scariest characters in the movie are the people who live in the regular world. It’s such a great story about what really makes someone a monster and preserving your goodness in tough times. I liked this movie because the visuals were fantastic, but also because it’s a movie with a child protagonist that you take seriously. Guillermo del Toro frequently makes movies like this and I love it because he’s using his movies to tell a story, but also to tell the world that kids can be taken seriously, but he doesn’t really do it in a preachy manner.
5. Pacific Rim
I know, I know, another Guillermo del Toro movie. This one’s premise is a little sillier though: giant Godzilla-like monsters called Kaiju have risen from the sea and humans get into giant robots in order to punch them in the face. It seems like a mindless action flick, and don’t get me wrong, the fight scenes are full of explosions and it’s awesome. But it’s also about people from all over the globe putting aside their differences and international conflicts to achieve a common goal for the better of humanity. It’s about the importance of teamwork and relationships of all sorts. And it also stresses the importance of their not being one right way to be a hero. There are people of different genders, races, backgrounds, etc. all fighting and all achieving hero status in their own way. It’s just a really uplifting film, even though it’s about the inevitable destruction of mankind. Plus, there’s two wacky scientists that spend most of the time bickering and a giant gangster with gaudy gold shoes. What’s not to love?
1. Parks and Recreation
This show is my jam. The first season was really rough and hard to get into, but every season after that has been gold. It’s about a small section of local government in a town called Pawnee that deals with Parks and Recreation. The main character is Leslie Knope, a woman who doesn’t seem to have a life outside of work. Yet over the course of the show, she forms relationships with her coworkers and the whole department becomes this one big, wacky family that cares deeply about each other, even if they spend most of the time playing pranks and making fun of each other. This show also brought us the greatest concept of all time: Treat Yo Self.
2. Bob’s Burgers
It’s technically a show for adults, but it doesn’t rely on crude humor or characters being cruel to one another to get laughs. It’s about a family that genuinely loves each other despite everyone in it being a total weirdo. They also run a hamburger restaurant, but how it stays in business is a mystery to me. It’s a pretty great show about a family getting into hijinks together and although they sometimes fight, they always love each other at the end of the day. But it’s not like an after-school special where the lessons are clearly defined; rather it’s a really realistic portrayal of an every day family and the weird troubles they get into. Also, Louise (the girl with the bunny ears) is the funniest character on television right now. I’m calling it.
3. The Venture Bros.
It’s another animated show meant for an older audience. I grew up watching the Johnny Quest cartoon (well, the 1990s reboot version) and this show is for people like me. It’s basically Johnny Quest set in modern times where everyone realizes how campy the concept of a boy adventurer is. The two titular characters, Hank and Dean, seem to be the only people who don’t realize the world is making fun of them. The show’s full of costumed villains, over-the-top action and nerd references. But even if you don’t catch them, it’s still a pretty funny, smart show.
4. Game of Thrones
I loved the book series and I’m an avid watcher of the show. I have some problems with the direction that the writers are going (mainly because they’re straying from the books and I’m getting sort of confused as to how certain plotlines are going to pan out), but I still enjoy watching. I was never super big into fantasy like this, but this show hooks you in with it’s almost soap-opera quality. Yet it still manages to be realistic, even though their are dragons flying around. It’s sort of a dark show and you learn quickly not to get attached to any character, but as bleak as it is, it’s still an enjoyable watch.
5. Sailor Moon
This is a show I loved in my childhood that I still appreciate as an adult. It was an anime from the late 90s about a teenage girl and her friends who discovered they had magical powers and were really from the Moon Kingdom 1000 years in the past. It’s sort of a silly concept, and it became even sillier when they tried to Americanize it for audiences in the United States, but the core of the show was about friendship, love, and female warriors. Each girl was different from the other, but they were able to fight in their own way and were even stronger when they fought together. It was very empowering as a child and it still means a lot to me even as an adult. The show was also so popular world-wide that this year, they rebooted the anime series for the show’s 20th anniversary. It’s called Sailor Moon Crystal and my friends and I have already made plans for viewing parties. I’m so excited!