10 Movies to Know Me

These are a list of movies that evoke a type of ecstasy from me. I’m so passionate about these films that they help to define my love of cinema.

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Lawrence of Arabia

This is perhaps the most stunning movie ever made. I have no idea how such a movie was made without the use of CGI. It is without a doubt flawless filmmaking.

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The Assassination of Jessie James by the Coward Robert Ford

I never heard a peep about this movie until watching it on a whim nearly ten years after its release. More people need to see this film. It’s like watching a haunting poem with one of the best film scores ever.

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang

For many years this was my favourite film. Even after tens of viewings the movie retains the spark of director and writer, Shane Black’s darkly comedic voice.

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La La Land

Musicals are so hard to make good. We only see a handful every year if we’re lucky and maybe a great one every few. La La Land is a great one that combines my love of Hollywood with a beautifully devastating love story. It’s just as somber as it is bright.

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Parasite

Every year I become overly attached to one film that I want everyone to see and last year it was Parasite. Parasite may have been the best film of the decade. I am so very glad that it will be seen by more and more people after winning Best Picture this year. Mum’s the word on this one, just see it.

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About Time

This is no ordinary romantic comedy, and it’s deeper than any other. By the end of the movie your chest will tighten as your tears seep. There’s a scene that you will relate to if you’ve had a close bond with a parent. For me it’s my grandfather and it makes it all the more hard to watch.

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Paddington 2

There may be no better family film than this. If this was released this year it would be nominated for Best Picture and perhaps even win because it’s the uplifting film the world needs right now.

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The Wizard of Oz

Take me to the land of Oz anytime. If I was to enter any fantasy world, this is the one. There is nothing to dislike in this beloved classic. It’s always a source of inspiration for me.

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Beauty and the Beast (1991)

As I watch and rank the Disney Animated films, I’m yet to see anything come close to the masterpiece that is Beauty and the Beast.

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Shaun of the Dead

It may not be a scary movie, but it is my favourite horror movie. All the horror trademarks are here and they’re hilarious. I can watch this on repeat, and I do.

What movies define you?

Robert Ring

Aladdin (2019)

Classic literature always tends to stay in the vernacular. It’s usually untouched and repackaged solely with new cover art. That’s often all that’s necessary to modernize the classics. In film, it’s slightly different. Each film is constrained to a budget, a studio’s guidelines, the technology available, and finally the director’s vision. Every time somebody remakes the source material, they will be drawn to new things and give the film new perspectives and takes that were not originally there. Disney is now in a place where it can provide these new visions to new generations. It would be unfortunate if the live action Lion King is terrible, but I would move on because subjectively it may just not be for me, although it could be the favorite movie of a child today. To date, Disney has done a great job with the live action films from the animated classics.

Aladdin

Disney’s Aladdin (1992) is my second favorite Disney film right after Beauty and the Beast. It wasn’t just that original movie I fell for either. I loved the sequels and even the tv show. I was all in, and it was more to do with the characters than the story. Between Aladdin, Genie, Jasmine, Abu, Carpet, and Iago, you can’t go wrong. I wish I were going on incredible journeys with them as a kid. Seeing the movie play out in live-action was incredible; it also helped that Guy Ritchie directed it. The movie hit upon all the memorable points throughout the original Aladdin film and fleshed out other parts for dramatic effect. It all plays out like the Aladdin you know in live-action with a Bollywood flavor throughout.

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The cast at large are relatively unknown to the masses, all with the exception of Will Smith as Genie. For most, Genie was the make it or break it point because it’s unfathomable to go against Robin Williams. Tactfully, Will Smith gives nods with throwbacks to Robin and shapes his own performance into one that is more grounded. Next up is Aladdin (Mena Massoud), he is agile and charming as you would want, although it all means nothing if there isn’t any chemistry between him and Jasmine. Luckily the two are paired perfectly together. Jasmine (Naomi Scott) is the star of the film. She has a much stronger character here than just the damsel she was in the original, and I enjoyed seeing that play out for all the young girls out there that will watch it. Additionally, there is a new song that placates Jasmine as one of the biggest standouts of the live-action Disney films so far. People have had their problems with the live-action look of Jafar, but I’ll say that it works. If they portrayed Jafar like the animated film he would come off as an old creepy and perverted man.

Here is a sample of Naomi Scott’s talent as Jasmine

Unless you hold the original too close to your heart that you dare not see any interpretation, you will find something to like in this wonderful adaptation. Aladdin has been adapted in a similar fashion to Beauty and the Beast (2017). Nothing has been taken away, while some things have been added at no cost to the overall story. So I think you should take the journey with Aladdin and share in “A Whole New World”.

Robert Ring