This is a list of movies that, while they may not necessarily be the best acted or written pieces of artwork brought to film (most of them are), they are the ones that are just the most viscerally enthralling to look at in order, from my perspective. This post will range from puppet master classics to CGI symphonies of 'splosions and symbology from all of my personal favorite genres and most of the popular ones. So, without further ado, let's kick it off with a film that deserves to be on just about any top 10 best films list!
10. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back (Sci-Fi)
While many of the original Star Wars trilogy's puppets and rubber masks certainly don't hold up very well today with the evolution of CGI technology to near life-like quality, this film still stands today on the quality of the story and characters presented along with the revolutionary innovations it brought into the world of practical special effects which, in turn, led to a multitude of film-making techniques still used today.
Regardless of George's fall from grace in large part due to three people who were just bad enough to ruin the legacy of the once greatest and most innovative film makers and story tellers of all time. While Darth acting school eVader, the Mickey Mouse club reject, and a gangly frog creature with a stereotypical faux-Jamaican looney toons accent were certainly enormous missteps, one of them almost causing one of the most beloved franchises of all time to step off a cliff, there is no denying the lasting impact of George's original stories and artistic vision which live on in the dreams and aspirations of film lovers and film makers to this day.
Still one of my favorite scenes ever can be found below.
9. The Matrix (Action)
This film is still one of the best looking films ever made, expertly choreographed, beautifully shot, believably crafted, well-written and well-enough acted to get the point across that everyone in the film is awesome and not to be trifled with by non-computer hacking programmer nerds who know Kung Fu and also have the ability to fly. This film was one of the first and still best stylized modern action films and it nails nearly every aspect entailed to the tee. While I have no idea what inspired the Wachowskis to make their second attempt at a franchise, Jupiter Ascending, essentially be Twilight in space, their first film is no doubt a masterpiece that has rightfully been regarded as one of the most perfectly crafted action films of all time.
While the artistic musings of Keanu Reaves' 90s work may not have gone down in the annals of dramatic acting history, he has more than proved that he is willing to commit to a performance. Because, while he certainly is not a water work dispensary, he has a whole lot of dedication to the art form of bad*ssery to back it up and then some. Keanu Reaves' dedication to physical performances as displayed by last years fantastic John Wick makes it undeniably clear that Keanu Reaves is not a man whose dog you want to kill (as if anyone wants to kill a dog).
In fact, it seems the lethal and non-lethal a*s-kicking techniques of Mr. Reaves are enough to put the vast majority of the actual United States' police force to shame, as can be seen in their collection of hundreds of needless executions of American citizens caught on the cameras they, for some strange reason, love to unlawfully destroy (sorry about facts). Though I never thought I'd say it, I'd probably feel much more safe, secure, protected, and served if Ted "Theodore" Logan was patrolling the streets instead of any number of corrupt, hateful, resentful, murder-prone doughnut receptacles. Because, while Keanu wants the people of the world to be excellent to each other, good cops seem so outnumbered by police who are only excellent enough to follow the proper, universal protocol for the escalation of force so long as the soon-to-be victim is stationary within hand-cuffing distance, regardless of the actual threat posed, that it's legitimately difficult to find a good cop story nowadays in the unlawfully evaded prison-full of bad ones.
Said bodacious butt-kicking can be found here.
8. The Beatles Yellow Submarine
Take it from one of the most consistently successful experimental artistic bands of all time featuring arguably the most diverse and equally beautiful catalogs in rock history to bring an equally experimental and beautiful animated feature to put under their legendary and revolutionary belts. This is a film that successfully creates the surreal feeling of being inside of one of the extraordinary mental excursions in the minds of some of the most influential musicians ever and that is an applause worthy feat in itself.
However, the fact that the art of the timeless soundtrack combined with the incredibly inventive animations in the film merge so perfectly is the reason that this is still the most phenomenally crafted animated film ever made in my personal opinion.
Don't agree? Watch this and tell me it's not pretty amazing.
7. Inception/Interstellar (Mind-Bending/Space Opera)
Before a firestorm of hipster and non-science enthusiast rage begins to reign down upon me from the internet, yes, I do enjoy the work of Christopher Nolan, I am a person who has opinions that may not necessarily comply with your specific views of life (that's how an individual person works). From Memento, to the Dark Knight Trilogy, to all of his absolutely brilliant original work I am a fan of Mr. Nolan's quality film making through and through and debating that is entirely pointless for reasons previously stated.
Yes, Christopher Nolan likes Ann Hathaway, and she has an Oscar and seems nice, so I find it hard to understand why people trash talk her and glorify Kim Kardashian (a.k.a. brunette Paris Hilton with booty implants, sorry Kanye, I ain't sayin' she's a gold digger (but I kind of am)). Yes, if you don't understand the concept theoretical science, or as many appear to, even the meaning of a scientific theory, Interstellar was difficult to comprehend. Watch some Neil Degrasse Tyson sometime, and you may be in less of a confusion-fueled rage.
It is my personal belief that, on a planet, and specifically a country/continent in which the Yellowstone super volcano should have gone off several thousand years ago killing the majority on life on Earth, especially me and the rest of 'Merica, that building a few colonies (hopefully without Xenomorph infestations) throughout the galaxy would not only reinvigorate mankind's long-dead sense of wonder and exploration, but also drastically improve humanity's chances of survival as a whole. Just a crack pot factually proven theory though. We can always just keep rolling the dice and spending money on ways to kill each other before one of millions of potential apocalyptic events we could avoid through co-operation as a people rather than just blowing each other to bits and beating them all to the punch (Just sayin').
Also, Inception and Interstellar have scenes that look like this, no further explanation of awesomeness required.
6. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Mind-Bending/Psychedelic Biographical)
I must admit I have quite a strong personal bias on this, while some rated this film as garbage, I and many others in it's cult following view this as a near perfect representation of the masterwork of the man who compelled me to become a journalist. Not because he was brilliant, hilarious, constantly intoxicated on nearly anything you could think of, and not just because he was essentially a journalistic rockstar who had regular orgies at his house, while also being a respected journalist. Hunter Thompson inspired me to write because of his unapologetic criticism of people in power who, for once, failed to entirely discredit an intelligent person who called them out on their treason, war crimes, and other daily activities of the majority of modern politicians.
While his statements may have been quite harsh and drug-fueled, he spoke about things he believed needed to be discussed about politicians who recylce the same two recycled speeches from decades ago every election for them to gain our money and approval of their power to use it to commit mass murder amongst other atrocities (Like good old Parliament's child rape and murder scandals that the Royals are trying and failing miserably to cover up). Alongside the fact that they seem to feel entirely uncompelled to even show up for work when the people (for whom this country is supposedly by and for, instead of by and for the money) care, unless of course their own wages, or those of the corporations who pay them off to remove restrictions to allow them to continue evading taxes and profiting from Chinese child slave labor, are put in jeopardy in which case they spring into action by taking our money to sometimes show up to sit in a chair and not represent us and still complain about being paid twice the national average.
Aside from those things, the film is also accompanied by the ever brilliant, gloriously hilarious cinematography, writing and direction of Terry Gilliam, director and star of such classics as Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Time Bandits, Life of Brians, and the Adventures of Baron Munchausen, seen below.
WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE AND DRUG-RELATED THEMES
The film also received pointers from the man, the myth, the legend, the last real journalist at the Rolling Stone himself, Hunter S. Thompson. Who fun fact, envisioned possibly the greatest funeral ceremony ever which his good friend and best impersonator, Johnny Depp funded and brought to life in order to honor this amazing human being seen here in this,
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey (Classic Sci-Fi/Mind Bending)
The beauty and genius of this cinematic masterpiece directed by the late visionary director of some of the greatest films ever made has been beaten into the ground by every film aficionado in existence at this point that there really isn't much more to be said. That is, of course that the film's message that humanity would be able to evolve into something greater if we stopped intellectually repressing and oppressing each other as much, may not be considered as perplexing if we weren't still disputing the proven, video documented fact of evolution, which is the entire reason a yearly flu vaccination is required to prevent the spread of deadly diseases, to this very day, 47 years after the film's initial release and 14 years after its futuristic setting.
Here is the beauty of genius put to film, if you don't want to think of the intellectual message, look at the pretty pictures!
4. Avatar (Sci-Fi Epic)
Though it is clear to say that my worldview is much more strongly supported by most of the prior films and they are, in my very strong opinion, much better films, there is no denying that the cinematography in these films is much prettier. Here is a film that cost the amount the U.S. government spends on nearly all education related things each year directed by great director James Cameron, who basically just phoned it in for the plot due to so much prettiness and said let's make all of the Native American culture and oppression films made over the past several decades star a bunch of tall blue aliens who live in a tree.
Look at the pretty colors and things!
Also, here is South Park's hysterically satyrical take on James Cameron, because even though I love ya James, this still cracks me up!
BONUS VIDEO 2!!!
3. Tron: Legacy (Cyber Sci-Fi/Action)
If you ever want to see a film that makes next to no sense, is really silly for the most part has mostly okay acting, aside from Olivia Wilde being Olivia Wilde and Jeff Bridges as the Morpheus Dude being awesome but will also make your eyes possibly explode due to an excess of awesome looking things on screen, accompanied by a good, for once, purely techno soundtrack, here it is!
2. Life of Pi (Adventure/Drama)
If you're looking for a phenomenally acted, well-written, beautifully shot, entirely enthralling film that just might make you shed tears at the shear majesty at the artistic presentation of the film, you needn't look any further than Life of Pi, as can be seen by this absolutely beautiful small segment of this incredible looking film!
1. The Big Lebowski (Classic Comedy/Crime Mystery)
While it may seem that this last one is just a nostalgic thing to many, it is hard to argue that a film, which started with a small cult following and then eventually resulted in the founding of a religion (Dudeism) and the writing of a multitude of philosophical books about what many have called one of the greatest films of all time, isn't actually one of the greatest films of all time. This movie is hysterical, beautiful, ugly, meaningful, and meaningless all at once. It might just be the classic facial expressions of Zen Master Jeff "The Dude" Bridges/Lebowski. Possibly the fact that nearly entire film is a classic quote from start to finish. Or maybe it's that this film promotes peace, love, compassion, awareness, understanding, and a happy and content lifestyle all at once.
This is a disposition that I (for one?) hope beyond hope that the world might be able to return to before this World War III Israel and U.S. vs the entire Middle East nuclear arms race really kicks off and we all blow each other to smithereens instead of letting bygones be bygones and abiding for each other thusly fighting hatred with love rather than just with more hatred. But watching the Dude do his thing still just can't manage to leave me without a smile on my face after all these years.
Here are my favorite scenes of the film!
I know this list is just, like, my opinion, man, and I know all of you have yours which, as always, you can leave in the comment section below! I sincerely hope you've enjoyed my opinions, conjecture, and rants about movies and the societal ideals which they encapsulate from my perspective, keep calm and keep on abiding, Movie Pilots, peace and love!