high fives: favorite movies


i’ve been writing on this website for almost 4 years.  i cannot believe that.  where did the time go (that’s a rhetorical question – we all know how time works)?  if you’ve been coming here for awhile, then you probably feel like you know me a little or maybe not at all or maybe you just want me to shut up and post pics of clothes.  regardless of how you feel, i had the bright idea yesterday to start posting random lists.  who doesn’t love a list.  i will stop traffic to read a list.  these lists might give you a better idea of who i am or it might inspire you to watch a movie you’ve never seen or pick up an album you never thought you’d listen to.  and if you’re not a fan of lists, then you must be terrible human being and i cannot help you.  i’m kidding ’cause that’s what i do sometimes.

we’re going to start this new series i’ve dubbed “high fives” with my top 5 favorite movies.  unfortunately, jaws barely missed the list.  that movie still frightens me to this day.  big thank you to my sister for making me watch it at a very early age.  i didn’t get in the ocean for a solid year after said viewing.  it’s also an incredible resource for fall style inspiration (see here).  other movies that barely missed the cut: raiders of the lost arkone flew over the cuckoo’s nestthe godfather, cool hand luke, and the dark knight. 

5. the departed


scorsese is and will always be my favorite director.  nicholson and dicaprio are two of my favorite actors.  the departed is a no-brainer on my high fives list.  i realize it’s heresy to put this movie ahead of taxi driver, raging bull, and goodfellas, but this is my list and i’m not trying to impress the internet or some a-hole critics.  after all, the movie did take home best picture and best director at the 2007 academy awards.

4. rear window


grace kelly, in my opinion, is the most attractive woman to walk the face of the earth.  that’s not what makes rear window my fourth favorite movie of all time, but it certainly does help.  rear window is one of those movies that feels ahead of it’s time.  the main character, jeff (jimmy stewart), breaks his leg and entertains himself by spying on his neighbors.  he becomes obsessed with one particular neighbor and tries to convince himself that something is not right with mr. thorwald.  i will stop there as not to spoil the ending.  the amazing thing about this movie is that it’s as relevant today as it was in 1954 – maybe even more so now as we’ve become a society obsessed with spying on our neighbors (hey paparazzi) and broadcasting everything we do on the internet (hey social media).

3. waiting for guffman 

waiting for guffman

don’t let the terrible poster fool you.  this movie is one of the funniest movies of all time and it gets funnier and funnier the more you watch it.  i almost gave up on it after 2 viewings.  i just didn’t get it.  luckily for me i caught it one night on hbo after several hours of drinking.  it finally clicked.  i quote it on a daily basis.  shows like the office and parks and recreation wouldn’t exist if not for christopher guest’s “mockumentaries” (see also spinal tap best in show).  the most amazing thing about this movie and all of christopher guest’s films is that they’re mostly improvised i.e. there is no script.  “it’s a zen thing, like how many babies fit in a tire.  you know that old joke.”  that’s a little inside.  you’d know if you’d watched the movie.

2. braveheart 


i know.  i know.  it’s so obvious.  braveheart is the ultimate dude’s movie and for good reason: it’s badass.  william wallace (mel gibson) basically saves scotland from being dominated by england after some english pricks soldiers kill his wife.  he goes straight up beast mode and starts a war, and it’s all for love (cue color me badd).  i don’t care if it’s not historically accurate, because let me remind you again it’s badass.  it started a whole trend of epic 3-hour war films that studios are still pumping out today.

1) casablanca 


you were expecting citizen kane weren’t you?  come on now.  i’m not that predictable.  i watched casablanca for the first time during a film class in college.  it didn’t grab me at that time in my life.  i thought it was good, but not life changing.  after college, i started getting into film and began watching all of the classics from the 40’s and 50’s.  i would start with an actor like bogart and work my way through their catalog.  my second viewing of casablanca changed my entire view on film making and story telling.  it’s a perfect film from beginning to end.  think about how many classic lines came from casablanca.  “here’s looking at you, kid” and “play it again, sam” are ingrained in our vernacular even if you don’t know where they came from.  you’re also not going to find a better on screen couple than humphrey bogart and ingrid bergman.  there’s a reason they’re both hollywood legends.  not to mention that bogart’s rick blaine is one of the coolest characters in movie history (there’s no telling how many white dinner jackets were sold after this movie came out).  if you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and spend a free friday or saturday night on your couch watching casablanca.  you’ll thank me later or maybe you won’t.  i don’t care.  either way “i think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”    

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