‘‘Top 100 Favorite Feature Films #10-1′ (Post #45)

My transition from home to school has been a long one and I have not taken the time to update my blog even though I have had the time. It is a struggle to decide between all of my interests. So here it is my top 10.

10          Inception (2010)

The Nolan brothers never sees to amaze me. I was initially introduced to Nolan in the Batman films, but my admiration grew with the release of Inception. Inception put me in a state of mind I’ve never been before. The pure imagination needed to make this film was unbelievable. I have never seen the topic of dreams put into such a well developed and interesting movie. Inception, in my opinion was the best film of 2010. Though many would fight to say Memento is Christopher Nolan’s best film (Mind you, I myself would agree in some ways with this statement) but I believe this his most creative and mind bending. Inception is a block buster classic.

9          Tree Of Life (2011)

The most emotionally captivating film I have ever seen. A cinematic beauty. The greatest film of the year! Sadly under rated! To many peoples minds were to weak to understand how spectacular this film is. Everyone should give it a chance. This movie left me speechless. Maybe the most beautiful film I have ever seen. Reaches a level of philosophy and meaning that not even 2001 can do.

8          West Side Story (1961)

West Side Story in my opinion was sadly beat out by Music Man for the Tony for best musical when released but the film version of this musical outdid that of The Music Man. West Side Story is one of my favorite musicals I have ever performed in or had the pleasure of seeing it adapted on film. This movies is well deserving of its 10 Oscars including Best Picture.

7          It’s A Wonderful Life (1946)

I was not brought up on It’s a Wonder Life for some reason or another. We had it on dvd but during the Christmas season I always watch the cartoons as a child as well as Alistair Sim’s  A Christmas Carol, White Christmas and Holiday Inn. But I can remember the first time I finally saw this film and fell deeply in love. It is everything a film should be and more. Not only is it a great Christmas film if not the best Christmas film ever made but a great time film for any time of the year.

6          Saving Private Ryan (1998)

It’s ironic that I am writing this sick with a bad cold because when I first saw Saving Private Ryan I was in the same state. Lets just put it out there and say that the opening sequence of this film almost outdoes the rest of the story. Though I believe Schindler’s List to be Spielberg’s masterpiece this movie is my favorite. I am a sucker for WWII films and this of course is my favorite. This film should have won Best Picture but sadly was beat by Shakespeare in Love (Which I love too and actually almost made this list.)

5          Vertigo (1958)

Vertigo was one of the first Hitchcock films I had ever seen and boy did it leave an impression. When I first made this list it was right around this same spot and I hadn’t even seen it since the first time I watched it about 3 years ago. After I originally made my list I decided I needed to revisit this spectacular. Now with a more educated film mind, I was even more blown away. This is Hitchcock’s masterpiece and I am happy to tell you it won over Citizen Kane in Sight and Sound Magazine for the first time in over 50 years!

4          The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers (2002)

Now, I originally wanted to put all The Lord of the Rings films to be in one spot but sadly knew I couldn’t do that as they are separate films. So I decided to put this film in 3td from least to greatest of the films. Many people place this as an inbetweener for the trilogy since Jackson made some interesting changes to the story but I love what he did. (But also a favorite for many) The Two Towers is a beautiful film that I will love no matter what.

3          Singin’ In the Rain (1952)

As I have stated before, I was raised on musicals. And Singin’ In The Rain plays one of the biggest rolls in my life. This film explains so many things about me. This is my all time favorite musical and would rank #1 if it weren’t for a certain trilogy. Singin’ In the Rain is the best film ever made about Hollywood. I have recently learned some interesting things about this film from the BluRay release. For instance, that most of the Good Morning number was done in one take, which is incredible because of the amount of synchronization and dancing done in this number. Some of the best film making ever done, they don’t make them like this anymore.

2          The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

I understand we film thy the academy waited until the third film to give The Lord of the Rings its Best Picture win. This is therings ev movie that brings everything together from the previous two films. The Return of the King is an amazing spectacle that deserves all 11 awards it was nominated for and won. Many favor this over the rest of the trilogy but there is still a soft spot in my heart for my number one favorite film.

1          The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

When The Fellowship of the Ring came to theaters when I was in third grade, I was unaware that it would leave such a huge impact on my life. My mom didn’t initially let me see the movie but introduced me to The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings and the Return of the King animated films. It wasn’t until the summer before 4th grade she finally bought the film and let me watch it. I can remember like it was yesterday, sitting down to watch the VHS. This launched my years of obsession with the franchise. It lead me to reading the books for the first time in 4th grade as well as documenting numerous LOTR styled drawing by my friends and I. I would come home almost everyday and watch The Fellowship. (I have seen this film more than any other movie….ever!) I was in love and have really never fallen out of love for Tolkien’s Middle Earth. I believe this to be one of the greatest films ever made….Now I really want to watch this film! AWWWW!

Thank you so much for putting up for my delays and sticking with my list. It was so much fun making this list. I hope you all continue reading my reviews and enjoy more lists to come.

Grant Fitzgerald


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About grantfitzgerald

God. Family. Friends. Parkour. Film. Theater.

5 responses to “‘‘Top 100 Favorite Feature Films #10-1′ (Post #45)”

  1. Deb Gnemi says :

    Spot on about SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN–best Hollywood musical about Hollywood (taking itself so seriously.) I had seen a documentary on musicals and remembered also the one-take info about “Good Mornin'” Watched Robert Osborne of TCM interview Gene Kelly’s widow and she remarked how he regretted not realizing how much damage he and other dances of that era had done to their bodies; but other than that, had no other regrets about his dancing career and would have done it all over again if given another chance. Have you ever seen Steve Martin’s movie, “Bowfinger?” If you want to get a good satire about everything wrong with Hollywood and see some extremely subtle humor in many of its scenes, this is the one for you. There are parts where I couldn’t stop laughing; and other parts that are just doggone philosophical.

    Couldn’t agree with you more about IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. I am making plans to go to a radio broadcast on the theater stage in Minneapolis about this story. I did not realize it had been broadcast on the radio way before it had been made into a film. Anything Jimmy Stewart is in is usually on by list of favorites. But this one stands out for me. The scene in the diner/bar where he breaks down and crys has me in puddles every time I’ve seen it. It’s so real, as if he knows what it feels like to be at your wit’s end and there is nowhere else to turn but to God.

    My nephew was a LOTR fanatic before the films came out. He made me go to the 1st one and didn’t tell me it was going to be a trilogy. So….when it came to the end and they had to go find the ring and the credits came up—-I turned to him and said, “Hey…they didn’t finish the story”—-that’s when he told me it was a trilogy. I could have punched him because it just wasn’t my cup of tea at the time.Now after having seen all 3 of the movies and putting the pieces together, I, too, believe it is a wondrously filmed movie. The story is timeless and it is a great piece of cinema!

    SAVING PRIVATE RYAN——–I was exhausted after the first 45 minutes. After that, I also thought the movie really slowed down a lot——–I think that was intentional to show the day-to-day drudgery often omitted in WWII films. I am a WWII film nut too. I have watched a lot of them—some not so great and others that I wondered why they never got the recognition they should have received. Ever seen MRS MINIVER with Greer Garson and Walter Pidgeon (spelling?)

    BAND OF BROTHERS and PACIFIC are better treatments of the overall WWII experience I think. SCHINDLER’S LIST is in a class all by itself as is IT’S A BEAUTIFUL LIFE.

    I love any Hitchcock film. We watch the Alfred Hitchcock TV Hour every night and see all of these 1960’s t.v. episodes which I watched as a kid and teen. Love them even the second, third or fourth time around.

    WEST SIDE STORY is not one of my favorite musicals(not really sure why)—–now having said that I want to let you know that I like parts of it. I’ve seen the film numerous times and find my mind wandering—-the songs are great; the dialogue, not so good for me. On the other hand, lots of musicals are weak in dialogue and strong in the musical numbers—so not sure why I am so hard on this particular one. I just can’t get into the film. I have been to the play lot sof times as well; and the same things happen —-I find myself zoning out in parts of it. Sorry.

    I went to INCEPTION with Rick. I thought the computer graphics were outstanding. But, like the MATRIX, I just could not make myself want to know more. Maybe it’s a generational thing—I like to think I am more open to films like this–but maybe I am not. On the other hand, maybe my mind can only accept one level of a dream ! ha ha !!!

    TREE OF LIFE was a real thinker film. I need to see this one several times and I’ll bet I still miss things. It’s a beautiful, beautiful, beautiful film. Great musical score.

    Hope you feel better soon from your cold. The next time you are in Owatonna for a stay—have your mom give me a call and we’ll do another movie night—-it was really a lot of fun to talk over a film with people who care beyond what outfits the actor wore! 🙂 ha ha!!


    • grantfitzgerald says :

      Thanks so much for all your comments. You are one of the most insightful people I know and I always love hearing you talk and discuss anything.

      • Deb Gnemi says :

        Well, thank you, kind sir. Some of my “friends” —-and I use that word loosely —-are not so eager and/or receptive to receive my comments, especially, for example, pertaining to politics these days. But I am a passionate person about a lot of passionate subjects. Politics, theology, government, movies, books, plays, life in general are subjects I care deeply about, and I am saddened by so much apathy and utter intentional ignorance out there. In a time of instant knowledge, there is so little wisdom a person can find with the exception of the Bible.

        I went to the Obama’s America 2016 documentary and then listened to the director and author of the book on C-Span last night. He is from India, either president or dean of King’s College –a small Bible College—don’t know where it is, etc.—and is a believer in Jesus. What an incredible mind the man has been given! Rick said he reminded him of William F. Buckley, Jr.—another great Conserviate thinker of our modern times—whom I believe has passed away.

        Don’t know if you have seen this documentary; I hadn’t heard about it until a friend of Rick’s (a non-believer) advised us to go see it. I went in with a completely open mind and wanted to see what all the hub-bub was about concerning this film. It is in no way an Obama-bashing film. It quotes directly from Obama’s book about his father and a host of other writings of the President’s. It reminds me of the news reporting we used to get back in the 50’s and 60s —much to the tune of news reporter greats such as Walter Cronkite for example. “Just the facts, ma’am” as Sgt. Friday of DRAGNET used to say.

        The most outstanding feature of this documentary is the calm, politeful way the author asks questions of folks who know, have known or were associated in any way with the President regarding what their take is on a variety of topics that the President has talked about for the past 4 years. Many are inside government officials and military advsors, some retired and some not. He is in earnest to find out their perception of the man, why they believe the way they do–either nay or yay when it comes to the President. He interviews the President’s half-brother in Kenya; is respectful and naturally inquisitive as to how the half-brother perceives his relationship with the President.

        It is an eye-opener if you want to get some insight of anti-colonialism as defined by the relatives of the President in Kenya vs. the President’s view of anti-colonialism and how this relates to socialism or “social justice” as the President likes to term it. This may sound like an antiquated notion of colonialism since it’s been over 200 years since American was a colony of Great Britian, but there are number of African nations that have only broken away from countries like Great Britian, etc. in the past 25-50 years, so this is a still a hot topic in these countries, such as Kenya, where the President’s father was born. Obama discusses in his book how he had to come to terms and make peace with his father who held some radically different viewpoints on anti-colonialism than even his son(s.)

        Anyway, it is definitely a documentary worth the 75 min. watch and well worth the viewing if you want to listen to some very thought-provoking topics for discussion brought out in this film. It helps the viewer understand why the President thinks as he does, what drives him to the decisions he has made prior to being in the White House and during his present Administration. The author does not brand Obama as a socialist or even a communist but more of a believer in collectivism (the idea that we all should share everything we have—even our earnings e.g. if need be) which is a form of socialism but actually much more radical in its philosophies and also an anti-colonialist (not to be confused with the anti-colonialism of 200 years ago in this nation) but more closely related to doing away with the form of government which he believes we have become enslaved to in this nation—and ultimately attacking the foundations of the Constitution which Obama believes are antiquated, have served their usefulness in another time but have no direct bearing on this modern age.

        I told you it is thought provoking—-I didn’t actually come away with any new ideas about Obama other than the conjecture and conclusion concerning the anti-colonialism and collectivisim put forth by the director and author.

      • grantfitzgerald says :

        I am don’t know anything about politics. But I know it is something I should learn to understand.

  2. Deb Gnemi says :

    If you want to get “baptized” into the world of politics, government, and what’s happening in the US scene, this film-documentary would be a great place to start. The documentary goes by quickly and you get a lot of food for thought! DG

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