Monday, April 04, 2005

Desert Island Discs

I'm a big fan of Christianity Today's Movies website - which includes subscribing to their weekly e-newsletter, CT at the Movies. (Unlike many "religious" sites that rate movies, CT does a very good job of reviewing movies as movies and not simply as "attacks on Christianity." At the same time, they don't shy away from critiquing shoddy theology - or shoddy filmmaking.)

This last week, they challenged me (and a whole lot of other people) with:

So … let's play the Desert Island Disc game! You know how it goes: You're stranded all alone on a desert island, but you've got a DVD player and screen. (Hey, it's a desert island with perks, OK? Just play along, all right?) What ten movies do you want with you, and why? For the purpose of counting, I'm just talking about individual movies. So, even though I'm planning to take my Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King extended edition—and all four of its discs—it still only counts as one movie.

So, in no particular order, my 10 Desert Island Discs.

1-3) Lord of the Rings: Extended Versions. Yep. All three of 'em. I figure I'll finally have time to watch 'em straight through. And then time to watch them with the audio commentary tracks turned on. And then time to watch all the documentary stuff. And then time to actually look through & enjoy the galleries. If a rescue boat can't reach me by then, it ain't coming. The cast of ABC's Lost needs a DVD player, stat.

4) The Princess Bride: Special Edition. Because there is no possible way you can watch this movie too many times. (And it's a movie that should NOT work - a Frankstein-like combination of an Errol Flynn swashbuckler crossed with a Monty Python film, cast by an eclectic mix of neophytes, Broadway musical stars, independent film faves, and a legendary wrestler, and directed by the guy whose main credits up to that point were playing Meathead on All in the Family and directing This Is Spinal Tap. Yet it does - brilliantly.)

5) Singing In The Rain: Special Edition. I defy anyone (even people who hate musicals, because, to quote Dana Whitaker on Sports Night, "They often contain hoedowns") to resist the charms of this movie. (Another moment in How Did They Get Away This? movie history: the 15 minute "Lullaby of Broadway" sequence which has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with the plot, but still manages to be incredibly enjoyable.)

6) Raising Arizona. I don't think there's a special edition set for this movie (there should be), but that won't stop me from taking it with me. I find myself laughing harder & harder at this film each time I see it. The offbeat humor has wormed it's way into my heart.

7) Still Breathing. I don't even know if this movie is out on DVD. (I know, I know, I could check, but that would take time I could be wasting playing games on Brettspielwelt.) A very quirky romantic comedy about redemption and forgiveness... and a film that isn't in a rush to tell it's story or reveal it's charms. It makes me peaceful and more in love with my wife every time I see it.

8-9) Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3-Disc Set. Again, I'll have plenty of time before the rescue boat shows up to really enjoy the extras on these discs. Besides, I cry EVERY TIME I see Toy Story 2's "Jesse being thrown away" sequence - and want to go find Puppy (my first cuddly animal) and beg forgiveness for putting him in the trash can because I was in my 20's and he looked like he'd been run over by multiple cars.

10) Sabrina (the Harrison Ford/Greg Kinnear/Julia Ormond version from 1995). OK, I know it's some kind of cinema buff heresy to prefer the modern remake to the classic Humphrey Bogart/Audrey Hepburn film, but the fact that Audrey is so embarassed that she tries to kill herself with automobile exhaust just rubs me the wrong way. Besides, Julia Ormond is stunning & sweet & adorable, Greg Kinnear is swarmy & likeable, and Harrison Ford manages to play the Professor part of the Indiana Jones role for a whole two hours and make it work.

Well, that's it. Other things just missed the cut (the Star Wars films, Disney's Beauty & The Beast and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, the classic con movie The Sting and others... but I figure the 10 I chose would keep me busy & happy.

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