14 May 2009

Reader's Respond 5 Favorite Films with Chase Francl

Reader's Respond- Top 5 Films

The quintessential Average Joe with a penchant for psychology, he possesses the unique skill to blame your mother for all of your problems. Chase Francl is a Hillsdale grad who’s headed to Washington, D.C. this fall to watch the world implode from the epicenter. But until then, these are his five favorite films.

5. Lions for Lambs

—An intriguing and surprisingly balanced look at the psychology and reality of war from contrasting perspectives. Breaking the mold of an explicitly left-leaning Hollywood, the movie explores the personal, political, and strategic difficulties simultaneously from differing perspectives, tempering theory with reality through the convergence of alternating plotlines. Also implicit is the tacit recognition of the goal of education as enabling students to think for themselves, rather than an indoctrination of professorial ideals.

4. Lord of the Rings Triology

—Coming from a die-hard Tolkein fan, this movie had me at “I amar prestart sen…” Despite its at-times significant divergence from the source text, Lord of the Rings is Hollywood-Blockbuster-Masterpiece at its best. Replete with characters, histories, and cinema-friendly battle scenes, the story itself redefines the fantasy/epic genre while the movie manages keep pace. A classic in every sense of the word.

3. Dumb & Dumber

—No explanation here is needed—Hands down the pound-for-pound funniest movie of the last two decades. Relying on the comedic brilliance of Jim Carrey in his prime, this film predates the sophomoric humor that defines much modern comedy and allows Carrey’s immense talent to take center stage. While the emergence of Will Farrell may now challenge Dumb & Dumber’s place among the all-time most quotable movies, this is the one comedy that dominated the genre throughout the 90’s and will forever remain one of the best.

2. Crash

—A movie that left me speechless for 20 minutes as the credits rolled and went to black, it’s a highly acclaimed film that more than lives up to its award show dominance. Examining the shades of grey that permeate racism and bigotry with more class than is expected of Lion’s Gate films, the movie steadily builds to an unexpected-yet-foreshadowed crescendo that feels neither contrived nor twisted. The interweaving of characters and plot lines is second to none, and the all-star cast allow their singular talents to be subjected to the overarching theme, culminating in the most thought-provoking movie I’ve seen to date.

1. The Matrix Trilogy

—Another film that makes you think twice next time you experience déjà vu, The Matrix wisely leverages Keanu Reeves’ innate cluelessness to their advantage as the awestruck-computer-geek-turned-savior of the not-so-free world. While the second movie does little except serve to bridge the vastly superior cinematic bookends, it reminds viewers that this is truly a sci-fi film in all its glory. Replete everything a movie-goer could ask for—a superior soundtrack, CGI well ahead of its time, cinematography that raised the bar, an underlying philosophy that is spookily plausible, and the redemptive theme that rings true to each of us—the Matrix Trilogy single-handedly made sci-fi fashionable again and tops my list of top 5 movies.

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