The Ten Movies That Have Shaped My Life (At Least Currently, as of Sept. 15, 2014)

Posted: September 16, 2014 in Blog
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My passion for film has been… well, it’s been a part of me since I can remember. Recently friends on Facebook (Jack and Andy, looking at you guys) took part in a challenge to list the ten films that mean the most/have affected them in some way and in turn I was challenged by them to do the same. So I posted my list on FB, but on here I am going to explain each one-

1.) Jurassic Park (1993)

No duh. Anybody who knows me knows that this movie is THE movie that has had the biggest role in shaping my life and passions. Seeing it at 2 1/2 years old was probably the best thing that ever could have happened to me. I love and hold JP as close to me as Trekies do the Star Trek franchise. I could go on and on about it but I won’t. Simply my passion for everything dinosaurs and paleontology, art, film, music all stemmed from this one film. It’s a cornerstone in my life.
2.) The Dark Knight (2008)

Kind of the same deal here. I have been a Batman fan nearly as long as a dinosaur nut, and I’ll get to that later. But TDK was a game changer. Batman Begins rekindled my passion for the caped crusader, but TDK came out at a time that I was trying to discover who I was as a person (cause, well ya know being a junior in high school totally does that for you :P.) But seriously, I was exploring different interests and hobbies in my life, especially with college around the corner and TDK inspired my to get in to acting.
3.) Schindler’s List (1993)

The storytelling, and cinematography of this work helped inspire my love for film as an art form. But the actual story itself shaped my interest in history as well as inspiring me to want to teach others about the Holocaust. It, like TDK, also came at a time where I was getting in to acting. It’s an amazing film, and one that I hold as, to this day, the greatest film I have ever seen.

4.) The Departed (2006)

This movie. THIS FREAKING MOVIE man. It got me excited about movies. Every time I watch this movie I think “YEAH, THIS IS WHY I WANT TO MAKE MOVIES!” It’s so cleverly constructed, EXTREMELY well acted by all parts, and just a big bag of fun all wrapped up in one giant Irish bow. I think I put Boondock Saints in the same boat as The Departed but even though I have hug love for Saints, The Departed just can’t be beat here. It’s just an amazing film.

5.) Halloween 2 (1981)

This is the first horror film I ever remember actually watching, and while it may not be my favorite horror film or the best one (although… let’s face it, it’s pretty dang good!!) it’s still my first one. It’s the one that really kindled my love for horror. That iconic last scene after Michael Myers gets shot in the eyes, and blood pours out of his sockets, but he STILL keeps coming… I remember seeing that at six years old. I remember being scared and anxious all at the same time. AMC Fear Fest baby!

6.)The Passion of the Christ (2004)

I identify as a saved christian. Many will question this, I’m sure, and I realize that I’m not a shining example but I am. An I feel that this movie has a major part of as to why. I saw it in 2004, and as soon as I stepped out of the movie theatre I just started sobbing. The story I knew, and had been told a million times since I was young suddenly became real for me. I needed to change my heart then and there.

7.) Frankenstein (1931)/ The Wolf Man (1941)

These are some of those “better” horror films I mentioned, and while people may quickly point out that a lot of the stuff in these movies (as well as many/most of the “classic” horror films) don’t “hold up” to today’s standards… I don’t care. Most of these classic movies are inspirational, even today, as an actor and they are the basis for EVERY horror to follow. And Frankenstein and The Wolf Man have always been my favorites. To me the are the most well made, and well acted. Sometimes I flip flop between Frankenstein and Bride, but today it’s the original. The makeup effects back then were top notch and set the stage for years of makeup evolution to come. Modern day “tropes” of the genre started and were usually perfected here. I can’t help it, these are some of the best.

8.) Alien (1979)

Like flip flopping between Frankenstein and Bride, I flop flop between this film and the original Halloween. But today Alien wins.  This film, even today, has moments that chill my bones. This is another one of those “perfect” films that holds up even by today’s standard. The shocks still shock, and the horror it still horrifying. The art design, acting, direction, and writing are just so perfect. The creature, and just the concept in general just gets under your skin…or chest I guess. It starts off as a slow burn, and quickly becomes one of the most terrifying films that will continue to haunt your dreams. 

9.) Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (1993)

This is the movie that began my passion for the caped crusader. And actually, even though it’s an animated film, it’s one of the best Batman films ever made. In fact, a LOT of animated films will be the best films you ever see. People need to get over the idea that animated = kids, because they don’t. Watch this movie, or Batman: The Dark Knight Returns Part 1-2, Batman: Under the Red HoodJustice League: The Flashpoint Paradox, or Batman: Assault on Arkham.  Animated, shaminated. These films are some of the most adult, violent, well acted, well written movies you will ever see. And they typically get looked over by people. True, superhero films may not be everyone’s cup of tea- and sometimes animated films are a gamble. But I highly suggest going back and renting a few of these. You may be surpised.

10.) The Lion King (1994)/ The Prince of Egypt (1998)

Not a lot to say about these two really. I don’t exactly know how to explain how they shaped my interest in film- but they did, Lion King was the first film that my dad ever took me to as a “father and son day”… yeah. Think about that. Both films are very emotionally involving, and breathtaking visually. Every time I see them I’m just in awe at how amazing every aspect is of them. The scores, which was actually composed by Hans Zimmer for both of them, is awesome and the animation is very stunning.

That is my list. I could easily name ten more films that have helped shape my into the person and artist I am today, but I wont.

I’m sure as time goes on this list will change. Heck, it may even change tomorrow for all I know. But all I know for certain is that M=movies have been, and always will be an important part of my life.


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