Top Six Star Wars Movies

The Star Wars Saga is a staple in not only the the science-fiction genre, but the movie industry as a whole. Back in 1977, audiences were taken on a vast and mythical journey and I imagine were blown away by something so fresh, little did they know the true journey that had just begun. Rumor is that Star Wars Episode VII is to be released in 2015 by Disney who just purchased the franchise for over 4 billion dollars and I’m very excited to see what will be done with it. I whole heartedly believe there’s no way anyone could possibly make worse Star Wars movies than Episode I and II. I won’t lie and say I’m even that huge of a Star Wars fan, but I think the saga is a substantial piece of filmmaking and very enjoyable to boot. Here’s an ordered list of the films thus far.

6. Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones

Attack of the Clones is horrible, that’s all there is to it. I consider it to be one of my least favorite films if only for sheer disappointment value. Even after the disappointment that was Episode I, I thought there was no way he could make a worse Star Wars movie so I was excited for the sequel. I was wrong, Attack of the Clones is worse, much worse. Attack of the Clones is just the perfect example of spectacle taking the forefront. It didn’t matter how bad the movie was, it had enough battles and explosions.

5. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

The Phantom Menace was the Star Wars movie everybody wanted to see. Star Wars had acquired its gargantuan fan base with the original trilogy, so upon the announcement of a new Star Wars movie how could anyone who witnessed the original Star Wars story not succumb to a bit of excitement. Then, unfortunately, everyone actually saw the movie. Yes, The Phantom Menace was a disappointment, but I will always argue that it is not the worst one. Sure Jar Jar Binks sucks, but at least Episode I had the pod race, Qui-Gon Jinn and Darth Maul.

4. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

With Return of the Jedi, the Star Wars saga is brought to a supremely entertaining and satisfying conclusion. Luke Skywalker fulfills his destiny of becoming a legendary Jedi worthy of honor and glory, while the redemption of Darth Vader is simply breathtaking. This is all while adorable Ewoks help prevail over the evil Empire on Endor. Return of the Jedi was tasked with a lot and though it wasn’t as groundbreaking as A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back, it tells a great ending to a great story.

3. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope

A princess, a wise jedi, an iconic villain, a rising hero, two quirky droids, a fuzzball and Han Solo; these are the chess pieces that make up the game that is the first extraordinary excursion into the galactic epic that is, Star Wars. There’s a sense of adventure around every corner and on every new planet you see. The characters you meet are memorable and vital to the telling of quite the tale of the forces of good and evil. A New Hope was the story that started it all and it is a spectacular one. It’s truly a classic movie that will forever remain in the pages of history and the minds of the fans inspired by its excellence.

2. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

In terms of progression of story, if A New Hope is a thrilling adventure than The Empire Strikes Back is a poetic drama. While hope was indeed instilled back into the galaxy with the arrival of a Rebel Alliance in A New Hope, that hope is all but vanquished when the empire strikes back. There are different worlds, new faces, thrilling set pieces, action, inspiration, betrayals and a few surprises. “No. I am your father,” the sith lord, Darth Vader, reveals to his fallen son in arguably the most pivotal scene in all of Star Wars. The Empire Strikes Back is one of the most astounding sequels ever created. I thought A New Hope was amazing, but it was all leading to this.

1. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is the greatest of the six Star Wars films. It’s my favorite and it has been since I first viewed it back in 2006, so sue me for loving one of the prequels better than the original trilogy. Darth Vader is my favorite character in the Star Wars saga (Hayden Christensen’s performance is definitely lacking, he did some maturing since his awful performance in Attack of the Clones) and in Revenge of the Sith we witness the birth of this powerful villain. It’s a dark and very fascinating story in its prominence and its not without some extravagant spectacle.

The film is just chock full of evildoers from Count Dooku to General Grievous, and of course the malevolent Emperor Palpatine. The arc and villain at the heart of the film is Vader and there’s never a point when I’m not having a good time watching Episode III. It’s hard not to root for the wise and good-hearted Jedi Master, Obi-Wan Kenobi. The film culminates in an epic battle between master and apprentice on the eruptive planet, Mustafar. It’s the greatest moment in Star Wars and just one scene that helps make up for the greatest Star Wars movie that is ever likely to be made.

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Top Ten Guilty Pleasure Movies

This was a confusing list to make. It’s one I’ve been wanting to make for a while, but I just wasn’t completely sure how to go about it. I don’t actually even like the title of the list because I certainly don’t feel guilty about loving these movies, I just do. As I stated before, this was a confusing list to make. That’s because I wasn’t quite sure where to draw the line between the masterpieces I call the best and the movies I love regardless of their flaws.

Making this list helped me realize that, in terms of movies, when you like the big picture, you’ll almost always look past any slight flaws because you’re enjoying yourself and vice-versa, when you don’t like a movie you’re going to look for flaws. At the end of the day, this is simply a list of  movies I love  that don’t hold a candle artistically and thematically to the many movies I would call my favorites.

10. Saw Saga

If I were to feel guilty about enjoying a movie (or series for that matter), I would probably feel guilty about enjoying the Saw movies. Of course the first one is my favorite, but I’m actually a big fan of the entire story. For some reason I really enjoyed watching the whole complex story pan out. It is the horror series of my generation and it entertains me to no end.

9. Star Trek

Star Trek is the newest film on this list and while I love most of these movies because of nostalgic reasons, that didn’t play a part with Star Trek. I had never seen anything Star Trek before this movie and I wasn’t expecting much, but with this new Star Trek film I was blown away. It was fun, exciting and everything just worked.

8. Sin City

By essentially recreating the panels of Frank Miller’s original stories Sin City tells a fast-paced collage of intertwining tales of brutality, crime, lust, etc. Like all of the movies on this list, I could pick up and watch Sin City any second and be whole-heartedly entertained. I might just add that, visually, this may be my favorite movie.

7. The Punisher

This is the movie that inspired me to make this list. After watching it recently I realized that every once in a while I should definitely take a break from what I see as art and just watch a movie and enjoy. Watching The Punisher again was like watching a combination of Batman Begins, Gladiator and Unforgiven. It doesn’t reach the amazing levels of those movies, but it is fun as hell.

6. Hot Fuzz

I was a big fan of Edgar Wright’s latest film Scott Pilgrim vs. the World and I absolutely love Shaun of the Dead, but I don’t enjoy either of those films as much as I enjoy Hot Fuzz. The give and take of Nick Frost and Simon Pegg is ridiculous and when you match that with the great satire on cliché action movies what you get is a fantastic time through and through.

5. The Matrix Trilogy

From this point on, this list was nearly impossible to make. When I came up with the idea to make a list out of my top ten favorite guilty pleasure movies, the movies from five on came almost immediately to mind. I’m obsessed with The Matrix Trilogy, and I’d like to emphasize “Trilogy”. Like everyone, I’m a huge fan of the first and how it showed what an action movie could be, but I also love both sequels and The Matrix Revolutions holds a special place in my heart. I might even call it my favorite.

4. Death Proof

Quentin Tarantino is one of my favorite director’s to have ever made a movie. While Death Proof is no Kill Bill, Inglourious Basterds or Pulp Fiction, I still can’t help the fact that I always feel the need to pick it up and watch it again because of how much I enjoy every single moment. No one writes dialogue as well as Tarantino and its just as good here, then there’s Kurt Russell as the awesome villain, Stuntman Mike and a fantastic two-part set up that builds to one of the greatest car chases in film.

3. Casino Royale

If I viewed all of the movies on this list the way I view most movies and take in every aspect, this could easily be called the best movie on the list. Daniel Craig fully embodies the James Bond for a new generation. This is new 007 series filled with realism and grit. This is a James Bond who can almost die, who has only his wits and strengths as a secret agent to save him, not a ridiculous array of gadgets. It manages to change almost every aspect of the series, while paying homage to the gimmicks you need from a 007 movie. In terms of execution, this is far and away the best movie on this list and it also manages to entertain from beginning to end.

2. Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith

Before Christopher Nolan’s Batman series came into my life, I had never anticipated a movie more than I had anticipated seeing Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. I obviously didn’t enjoy The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones  that much, but this one looked appealing. This was to be the final Star Wars movie that would not only connect the two trilogies, but also essentially tell the origin story of my favorite character in the series.

At the time, I was not disappointed. I loved every single moment. I couldn’t get enough. I had built this idea up in my mind of how amazing this film would be and some how it turned out to be just that. As I matured it became clear that this wasn’t the masterpiece I had made it out to be in my mind, but it still means so much to me and I can say with out a doubt that it entertains me more than any other Star Wars movie.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End

This is it, there is no other film that has ever been made that comes close to Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End. There are many films that reach a level of perfection and I would call them my favorites for many different reasons. With Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, like no other film I can look past its flaws and be completely taken away by the swashbuckling adventure at hand.

One of the reasons it stands apart as my favorite guilty pleasure movie is because of the incredibly memorable characters. I have an unconditional love for what Geoffrey Rush did with the character Hector Barbossa, even Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley play some what of an important part to the epic that is At World’s End, Bill Nighy is fantastic as villain, Davy Jones, and every secondary character has something different to offer. Let us not also forget that Johnny Depp manages to offer one of the greatest characters in history with the now iconic, Captain Jack Sparrow.

I love the whole series, I really do. But I just wanted to emphasize how much I care for this single film in particular. Artistically and thematically this film pales in comparison to films I’d call my favorite films. However, for lack of a better phrase, this is the ultimate guilty pleasure movie in my mind. Sometimes you need some mindless fun. It’s nice that not every film is trying to say something broader, but merely trying to entertain. It’s nice to just have some escapism and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is one of my favorite forms of escape.

Top Ten Sci-Fi Movies

Sci-Fi movies aren’t my favorite, but some of my favorite movies have come out of the genre. Science Fiction movies will always be around  having interesting views of the past, present, and most of all, the future. Most of the time science fiction movie aren’t just movies, their away to give an opinion on where society is headed whether that’s good or bad. Sci-Fi fan or not, you’ll enjoy afew of the movies on this list.

10. Empire Strikes Back

An incredible equel to an incredible sci-fi movie.

9. Back to the Future Part 2

Another fun sequel that won’t soon be forgotten.

8. The Thing

One of the greatest horror movies of all time is also one of the greatest sci-fi movies.

7. V for Vendetta

An interesting look into a future where we puppets try to get out of the control of our puppet masters.

6. Back to the Future 

The original Back to the Future is still breath taking today.

5. Star Wars

The amazing film that helped mold an industry for the better.

4. A Clockwork Orange

A crazy, yet terrifying look into the future of violence and human emotion.

3. WALL-E

The new Pixar movie is in my mind, a Sci-Fi classic and will probably never leave the third spot.

2. Blade Runner

The intense sci-fi/noir classic that’s both incredibly entertaining and disturbingly philosophical.

 

1. 2001: A Space Odyssey 

The astounding movie that changed a genre, an industry, and a nation.