10) Les Amitiés Particulières (This Special Friendship) – 1964
This is a French film, based on the novel written by Roger Peyrefitte. It takes place in a strict all boys French Roman Catholic school in the 1920s. The story tells the tale of the forbidden special friendship between a twelve-year-old and fifteen-year-old boy. However, the school provides no privacy and forbids relationships, regardless of how innocent, between the boys. Although the movie is quite old, and the book even older, and despite the fact that it’s filmed in black and white with English subtitles, this movie is well worth watching. I guarantee you that this movie will make an impact on your emotions. This is also the movie that inspired my latest story, “Corridor VI”.
9) Troy – 2004
Although this movie isn’t quite true to the actual story, Troy is simply an awesome film. Despite the fact that Achilles didn’t actually live to see the birth of the Trojan Horse, the people who put this movie together deserve major kudos for all the thought they wrote into the script. If you’ve ever studied Greek mythology, or at least Achilles or the city of Troy, you too will appreciate the inclusion of all sorts of mythological rumour and scandal and assumption that people have been deliberating over for years. For example, how Achilles’ famous heel was actually his pride and arrogance. Not only that, but did you know that in the movie, Achilles’ cousin Patroclus isn’t actually his cousin? In fact, some believe that the two were lovers, while the rest prefer to call it a “special friendship”.
8) Jurassic Park – 1993
Jurassic Park makes it to the list for its far-beyond-its-time visual effects and sentiment. I first watched this film in Maidstone, England not long before I moved to Canada. To say the very least, this movie left me in awe. The effects were astounding and the presence of Joseph Mozello (playing the part of Tim Murphy) was the icing on the cake. In case you haven’t guessed yet, Joseph Mozello was one of my earliest crushes. Beyond these things, Jurassic Park brought dinosaurs to life! It’s because of this movie that the entire world knows about raptors. In fact, I am convinced that the only reason Toronto named their team the Raptors is because of Jurassic Park. Seriously, the two appeared around the same time. The Raptors, of course, just after.
7) 28 Days Later – 2002
Despite popular belief, and the fact that “zombie” is even plastered on the cover, 28 Days Later is not a zombie flick! Although the disease is spread much like the zombies, these so-called zombies are actually infected with a virus called “the rage virus”. Not zombies; the infected people are not dead. If they were, then they wouldn’t have starved to death after 28 days. That’s only one of the reasons I loved this movie, though. There was also the primal rage expressed by even those who weren’t infected, like with Jim when he was trying to rescue Selena. Then there was the portrayal of how even the most organized groups could lose their civility and humanity when they faced the end of the world. 28 Weeks Later should also be mentioned here, too. It was more than decent, especially for the curse plagued against all sequels.
6) King Arthur – 2004
I’ve been a huge fan of King Arthur, the Knights of the Round Table and Merlin since as far back as I could remember. What I liked about this take on the story is that there was no magic of any kind, yet it was still just as magical as the original tale. Don’t get me wrong, though. I’m obsessed with things like monsters and paranormal events and magic, but this movie didn’t need it. The magic in this movie came from the characters and their will to do what’s right. I should also mention that I really like Clive Owen, so I may have been a tad biased from the start.
5) The Cure – 1995
Here’s another Joseph Mozello film, with a side order of Brad Renfro! If you hate having your heartstrings pulled then you might want to skip this movie. Joseph Mozello plays as Dexter, a young boy who’s dying from aids. Not long after Dexter meets Erik (Brad Renfro), the two set out on an adventure to find The Cure for Dexter’s illness. If you haven’t seen this movie before, I highly recommend that you do. The story is wonderful, the boys are good actors and… it’s just a damn good movie.
4) The Sixth Sense – 1999
This is one of those rare films that became an instant classic the moment it came into creation. Not only was this story creepy as hell, but it was very, very, very well written, directed and acted. Not to mention that both Haley Joel Osment and Bruce ‘freaken’ Willis are in it! The two made an excellent pair, and I strongly believe that if they had cast anyone else to play either of these parts, the movie would not have done nearly as well as it did. If you have any negative comments about this movie, well, you’re wrong!
3) The Mist – 2007
Based on the novella written by Stephen King, “The Mist” is both creepy and shocking, which is what you expect from Stephen King. The movie takes place in a small town that gets consumed by a mysterious mist. Not surprisingly, “there’s something in the mist.” Yet another end-of-the-world movie that throws a group of ordinary people into extraordinary circumstance, and how their primal instinct for survival forces them to do things far beyond what they ever thought themselves to be capable of. However, the thing that sets this movie apart from all the other apocalyptic films is that it plays off of emotion instead of relying on gore and cheap surprise-shots. Because of this, and the fact that it was well directed and professionally acted, ‘The Mist’ immediately earns its place in the short list of instant classics.
2) Martian Child – 2007
Don’t you just love those feel-good movies that give you goose pimples and make you smile the whole way through? If so, this is the film for you. It follows a widowed, obviously depressed author who adopts an awkward, out-of-this-world orphan boy, who thinks he’s from the planet Mars. Before her untimely death, David (John Cusack) and his wife planned on adopting a child. Now that she is gone, David decides to carry out her wishes and go on with the adoption, which turns out to be a match made in outer space. This is a sweet, heartfelt movie that is guaranteed to thaw even the most chilled of hearts. This is one of the few films in existence that I could watch again and again and still walk away smiling every time.
1) August Rush – 2007
Apparently 2007 was a great year for goose-pimple, heartwarming, feel-good movies! “August Rush” is a fantastic film, from start to finish. The story is superb, the emotions are all-consuming and the music is constantly causing your body to betray you. Not only does this movie have a great cast, but the story is probably the best told tale I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. Not in the literal sense, of course. The movie enthrals you and pulls you in; every scene and character plays an important part and is there for a very specific reason. If you’ve ever thought about writing a story, this film can teach you everything you need to know in order to write something wonderful. If you haven’t had the fortune of watching this remarkable movie then you’re really missing out.