After writing for the Leader for three years now, the time has come to move on as I will be graduating after this semester. I have enjoyed my time here, and writing for this paper has opened up many opportunities I would not have gotten otherwise. Anyone who has followed me during my time here knows I specialize in movie reviews, and my love of cinema is what has driven me to write at a high level.
I will leave you with a list of my top ten movies of all time. These are not necessarily the best films I have ever seen, or even the most influential in my personal life. These are my personal favorite movies, and the ones I can watch time and time again without them becoming dated or tiresome.
10. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”
If you can find a nerd somewhere who does not love this movie, I will be shocked. Chock- full of gaming, comic and film references, “Scott Pilgrim” has the pacing of a musical, except it breaks into a fight where it would break into song. While it was released into theaters the same weekend as “The Expendables” in August 2010, “SPVtW” endures as the better film due to a brilliant soundtrack and the hilarious way the titular character handles his situation. Challenge: Try to get through this film without developing a crush on Mary Elizabeth Winstead.
9. “Out Cold”
One of the most underrated comedies of all time, “Out Cold” deserves to be ranked with the likes of “Animal House” and “Dumb and Dumber.” Zach Galifianakis owns this movie and was the single reason I was telling people to be excited about “The Hangover” before it became a bona fide hit.
Challenge: Try not to laugh every time David Koechner opens his mouth.
8. “Clerks II”
While the original “Clerks” opened the door to Kevin Smith’s world, it was the sequel to his original film nearly a decade later that will define his career. Dante and Randall are back, and their banter has never been better.
Challenge: Try not to catch yourself using the phrase “I’m taking it back” in everyday life.
7. “Animal House”
The original college comedy that many have tried to replicate, failing miserably. Originally written for the male cast of “Saturday Night Live” in the 1970s, the legendary John Belushi was the only cast member allowed to take absence from the show, and he delivers the most iconic performance of his career. Full of memorable moments, “Animal House” is one of the few comedies that remains as funny today as it was in 1978.
Challenge: Try not to nickname the kid you hate “Flounder.”
6. “The Mighty Ducks”
Everybody has the one movie that can make them feel good no matter what. This is mine. Nostalgia is a huge factor, but I still get excited when the Ducks play the Hawks in the finals. Nothing makes me happier than watching Coach Bombay stick it to that cocky jerk from the Hawks. When all else fails, always remember, “Ducks fly together.”
Challenge: “The Mighty Ducks Drinking Game.” Hit me up if you think you can handle it.
5. “Army of Darkness”
While it is crucial to watch the first two films in “The Evil Dead” trilogy, “Army of Darkness” is the best of the three. It mixes gory horror with slapstick comedy in a way that makes this film so bad it is awesome. Bruce Campbell plays one of the most iconic characters in the history of cinema, and you can tell he is having a blast doing it.
Challenge: Try not to want to dress up as “Smart Ash” for Halloween next year.
With zombies being the popular craze at the moment, director Ruben Fleischer creates the greatest zom-com of all time. Sorry, “Shaun of the Dead” fans, but “Zombieland” is better. With the perfect cast, and a humorous performance from Woody Harrelson, this could be the greatest non-Romero related zom- bie movie ever. Plus, Bill Murray’s cameo is nothing short of epic.
Challenge: Try to not want the zombie apocalypse to actually happen after watching this film.
3. “Field of Dreams”
Every aspect of this movie screams classic from the get go. “If you build it, they will come” has become one of the most memorable lines in cinema, and Kevin Costner proves you cannot go wrong by putting him in a baseball movie.
Challenge: Try not to cry during the final scene.
2. “Forrest Gump”
The only Oscar winner on this list, “Forrest Gump” was my favorite movie for a decade before this past year. Tom Hanks delivers the performance of a lifetime while creating one of the most sympathetic and humorous characters in cinematic history. This is a movie that makes me stop whatever I am doing and watch whenever it comes on television.
Challenge: Try not to talk like Forrest for a month after you have finished the movie.
1. Marvel’s “The Avengers”
If I was deserted on an island and was allowed to bring one movie, this is the one I would choose. From Black Widow’s opening scene to the first time Captain America interacts with Iron Man to the epic battle that closes the film, I could watch this movie a million times without it getting old. When “The Avengers” dominated the box office last summer, it felt great to realize it was one of my movies that was raking in the dough for once instead of terrible sequel or a crappy teenage vampire movie. This is what filmmaking is all about.
Challenge: Try not to Google “The Avengers 2” when it is over.