Friday, March 25, 2016

Das Film Junkies Top 25 Favorite Non-Horror Films

Confessions of a Film Junkie: Das Film Junkies Top 25 Favorite Non-Horror Films

By: Brian Cotnoir

Hello All.  So the other day I got to thinking about how it’s been a long time since I posted my first Top 10 Favorite Films list and I decided that I wanted to do an expansion of my original list.  However, as I was compiling my new list, I quickly realized that many of the films on that list were already featured on my Top 25 Favorite Horror Films of All-Time, so in order to avoid repeating myself; I decided to make this new list my Top 25 Favorite Non-Horror Films. 

25.) Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

I wasn’t a huge fan of the Harry Potter books or films as a kid, and to be honest I hadn’t seen any of them films until a group of friends had me binge watch with them in college.  I really do appreciate the fun and mystique of the Harry Potter films and with that being said my favorite of these has to be the second film in the series “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”.  The first film was a great origin story, but I like “The Chamber of Secrets” better because now it’s just straight story telling.  It’s a story that has a lot of good mystery, scares, action, and plenty of entertainment.

24.) Goon

I’ve only recently seen this film, but it has quickly become one of my favorites.  I’m a big fan of Ice Hockey, and the 2011 Sports Comedy, “Goon” is about one of the most entertaining sports movies I’ve seen.  I know plenty of people who say “Slap Shot” is the gold standard for hockey movies, and I understand why (heck, I see a lot of references to “Slapshot” in “Goon”), but I really enjoy actor Sean William Scotts character Doug Glatt in the film because he is a character I can relate too: he is a bouncer who lives in Massachusetts who is a fan of hockey (just like me, only he gets to live the dream).  There’s also many other great acting performances that come from actors Jay Baruchel, Liev Schreiber, and Kim Coates. 

23.) Tokyo Gore School

Tokyo Gore School” is an indirect sequel to the 200? Japanese film “Tokyo Gore Police”.  The stories main premise is that that someone’s hacked the student records at a Tokyo High School.  If you send a text to this group then an embarrassing secret about that you will be sent to everyone in your contact list.   Soon kids go around beating up their classmates and texting the number from the kid’s stolen phones in order to find out their secrets, and primary attention ends up going towards a popular senior boy, and swarms of students all over Tokyo begin attacking him in an attempt to get his cellphone and find out his secret.

22.) The Lion King

This was the first movie I ever saw in theatres.  I’m amazed at how well it’s held up after all these years.

21.) Kongen Ov Bastoy

Kongen ov Bastoy” (or “The King of Devils Island”) is a Norwegian film inspired by some real life events from the Bastoy Prison Camp for Boys in Norway.  Our main story focuses on the lives of three boys who are incarcerated at the camp, and the events that lead them to stage a violent revolt against the corrupt adult leaders. 

20.) Beauty & the Beast

It truly is a “tale as old as time”.  I think the Disney adaptation is probably the best adaptation of the beloved fairytale.  It has spectacular animation, and a wonderful soundtrack created by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, and features my personal favorite Disney Princess, Belle.

19.) The Dark Knight

I’ve always been a fan of Batman ever since I was a little kid.  “The Dark Knight” is obviously my favorite Batman film (so far).  I know everyone likes to think that Superhero movies began to change with Marvels “Iron Man” and “Avengers” franchises, but the truth is it was actually Christopher Nolan’s “The Dark Knight” that took Superhero movies from a film for kids to films that could be for adults too.  I was 18 when this film was released in theatres; I had friends that couldn’t see it when it came out because it was Rated-R.  The film also features an All-Star Cast from Christian Bale, Gary Oldman, Morgan Freeman, Aaron Eckhart, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and of course Heath Ledger who won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for his role as the Joker.

18.) A Clockwork Orange

I’ve already talked to death about this film, and how much I love it, so I’m just going to post my Video Retrospective on “A Clockwork Orange” below for you to watch (and hopefully enjoy).

17.) Frozen

And now we go take a journey to the complete opposite end of the Spectrum.  I am very impressed and still amazed at how well made Disney’s juggernaut animated film “Frozen” is, and even more impressive is that I’m still not sick of it.  I mean, I have a 3-year-old niece, so everything we do revolves around the movie “Frozen”, and I’m still not tired of it.

Because you will NEVER be able to escape it :p

16.) Fight Club

What an entertaining film this is, and it’s not that hard to see why.  It’s based off of an awesome novel by Chuck Pahluniuk, and has an all-star cast featuring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Jared Leto, Meatloaf, and Helena Bonham-Carter.  Toss in an some awesome directing from David Fincher, and you have one of the best films of the 1990’s.

15.) The Godfather Part II

I understand why people love “The Godfather”, but too me “The Godfather Part II” is so much better.  I really like the origin story of Don Vito, and how he came to the U.S., and his rise to power it was the perfect offset to his son Michael’s descent into isolation and despair.  To me “The Godfather Part II” is just one of those Perfect Movies.

14.) Jumanji

I already talked about this movie in an Editorial Piece I wrote last year, so I’ll just post a link below to that below.

13.) The Nightmare Before Christmas

Another timeless classic from my childhood:  I love the style and soundtrack of Tim Burton’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas”, everything about this film is just perfect.

12.) Scott Pilgrim vs. the World

I’ve always thought of Scott Pilgrim from “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” as a kindred spirit I could relate too.  I mean we are both socially awkward Canadians in their mid-20’s that play the bass, and have an evil ex-girlfriend and are constantly pursuing women there are way better than we deserve.

11.) Cashback

One of my Favorite all-time movies in college, “Cashback” is a wonderful Rom-Dram that has fantastic cinematography, a unique story, and comical cast.  I’ve already talked so much about this film before.  That I won’t bore you with it anymore; just see it.

10.)  Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory

Who wouldn’t want to be Willy Wonka?  He’s a millionaire with the heart of a child, the brain of a mad scientist, and he lives in a massive chocolate factory with a tribe of Oompa Loompa’s who do nothing, but sings songs all day while they work.  Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka is one of the most brilliant casting decisions ever, and the film also features one of the Best Child Casts I’ve ever seen as well.

It truly is a World of "Pure Imagination"

9.)  Coming to America

This is another one of those films I could watch over and over again and not get tired of watching.  I’ve watched this film up to 3 times a day when it’s playing on television.  The story of an African Prince (played by Eddie Murphy) who heads to America with his best friend (played by Arsenio Hall) in hopes of finding a wife for the Prince in Queens, New York.  I think the best scenes in this film happen at the barber shop where both Murphy and Hall take on multiple roles.  The film also features great performances from James Earl Jones and Madge Sinclair.

8.)  Jurassic World

This film hasn’t even been out a year, and I love it!  Yes, I know it many people don’t think it’s as good as “Jurassic Park”, but it’s still a great movie! Just all the new dinosaur creations combined with an exciting story, and the awesomeness that is Chris Pratt make for a very entertaining film.  Plus, the sheer size and magnificence of Jurassic World, it makes the original Jurassic Park look like a petting zoo.  Even with the dozens of changes and rewrites I heard that went into the making of “Jurassic World”, it still turned out to be a great film in my opinion.

7.)  Lockout

I can’t begin to tell you how much I adore this film.  Luc Besson’s 2011 film “Lockout” is like the epic action film that the 90’s forgot to make.  It’s a film about a tough as nails agent (played by Guy Pearce) who has to enter a dangerous prison riot—in space!—in order to rescue the President’s daughter.  This film is a ridiculous action thrill ride, and I enjoy every single second of it.

6.)  Avengers: Age of Ultron

I already talked about this film last year in one of my video reviews so—again—I’m going to post my video review to explain why I like it.

My Review of Avengers Age of Ultron

5.) Five Minutes of Heaven

I adore this television film.  It stars two of my favorite actors James Nesbitt and Liam Neeson, and tells an epic tale partially inspired by actual events, about two men who met in their youth during the infamous killings in Northern Ireland.  Neeson’s character Aleister Little was a member of the Protestant Ulster Volunteer Force who murdered a Catholic man named Jim Griffin, while his younger brother Joe watched in horror.  Years later (after a much publicized stint in prison), Little has become a famous and popular television reporter, when his studio approaches him about doing a story about reconciliation and asking the younger brother of the man he killed for forgiveness they both agree to meet.  But little, does he know that Joe Griffin has been waiting and planning to murder Aleister Little for all the hell his family put him through because of what he did all those years ago.  This film has a lot of amazing tension, an interesting story, and probably the best climax, I’ve ever seen in film.

4.)  Hobo with a Shotgun

I’ve always had a fondness for the old Grindhouse style films of the 1970’s, and “Hobo with a Shotgun” is the perfect tribute to those old styles of films.  The story of an unnamed Hobo (played by Rutger Hauer) who ends up in the small Canadian town of “Hope Town” that is under the cruel reign of a corrupt drug lord known as “The Drake” and his two sadistic sons Slick and Ivan.  The Hobo decides one day he can’t take much more of the Drakes evil tyranny and begins going around the town, righting all the wrongs one shotgun shell at a time. 

3.)  Jurassic Park

I’ve always loved this movie, ever since I was a little kid.  I watched this film on VHS so much at my grandparents’ house that I wore out the tape.  I saw it multiple times when it was re-released in theatre in 3-D, I had a “Jurassic Park” themed birthday party for my 4th Birthday, and I still get goosebumps every time I watch the scene where Dr. Grant sees the dinosaurs for the first time.  This is an amazing film and is one of director Steven Spielberg’s best works, and every time I watch it I feel like I’m 5-years-old again.

It still gives me goosebumps to this day

2.)  Rocky Horror Picture Show & Repo! The Genetic Opera

Number two is a tie because anyone who is a fan of “Repo! The Genetic Opera” is also huge fan of “Rocky Horror Picture Show”.  I have seen both of these films in theaters dozens of times, and I never get sick of the events, the escapades, the call-backs, and the shear spectacle of these amazing films!  You must see both of these films in theaters at least once!  Just google local Rocky Horror Picture showings in your area, and just go to see it.

And My #1 favorite Non-Horror Film is...

1.)  Django Unchained

Man, oh Man do I love Quentin Tarantino’s “Django Unchained”.  I like the historical setting, I like the story, I like characters, I like the action, the comedic moments, I like absolutely everything about it.  What’s most amazing to me is that this is a 3-hour long film, and I can sit and watch this film in its entirety and not feel bored even for one second.  I have always been a fan of Quentin Tarantino’s films, and I believe “Django Unchained” is his best work to date.  

"I like the way you die, Boy"

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