Entertainment-the purpose of movies. You go to the theater to have fun, escape from the troubles of reality, and maybe/hopefully the movie will provoke thought and emotion. These are the movie that gave me the best movie-going experiences. (I’m not saying these are my favorite films, while some of them are, but they are the movies that gave me the best time at the cinema.)
The Dark Knight
Easily one of my favorite movies, this film probably gave me the most intense experience I have ever had at the movies (which is most likely the reason I saw it five times in theaters). The first film in this nearly complete trilogy, Batman Begins, already one of my favorite movies so my excitement for this movie was already sky high when I heard it was being made. I was at the beach the week before this movie came out and while it was supposed to be a period of fun and relaxation, I was suffering from anxiety because of my dire need to see the film. But, that ridiculous amount of excitement just ended up making watching the movie so much more entertaining and relieving. The entire film had me on the edge of my seat (literally) and I was actually sweating because I was so into the film. The unpredictability of the plot, the emotional toll put on Bruce Wayne, Commissioner Gorden and Harvey Dent, and the philosophical/ethical ideas put forth by the script all added up to one exhilaratingly breathless time at the movies. There is no doubt in my mind that the final movie in this film’s saga , The Dark Knight Rises, will be just as good of an experience as this epic movie.
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Sadly, I wasn’t able to see The Fellowship of the Ring or The Two Towers in theaters though I was able to watch them dozens of time on DVD. I was more excited for RotK than I had ever been for any other movie. The previous two movies were my favorite movies and I was in dire need of seeing the conclusion of the series. Even though this movie ended up being three-and- a-half hours long, it felt as if it was five minutes. The characters in these movies are some of my favorite characters and I so involved that I just felt it was all real. From the disturbing opening scene to the massively epic battle scenes and to the heart-wrenching finale, I felt as if I really was a part of Middle-Earth. Now this film and its two precursors are my favorite films of all time and I still watch them regularly, even after all these years. I hope and believe that Peter Jackson will replicate the same success with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and The Hobbit: There And Back Again.
When I found out James Cameron was going to direct an “original” sci-fi epic of his own creation all the way back in 2007, I was excited. When the trailers came out I was ecstatic. The visuals amazing and I knew Cameron was a master entertainer (he directed two of my favorite, and in my opinion, two of the best action movies ever with Aliens and Terminator 2: Judgement Day) so I trusted that it would be spectacular. It ended up being one of, if not the most visually spectacular films ever made. From beginning to end I was utterly stupefied by how great this movie looked and the amount of epic grandeur that Cameron could fit into 162 minutes. The cinematography is some of the best in the past decade and the quality of the special effects is so far unmatched. I know that the film does have its fair share of haters, but what popular film doesn’t? I know the plot is cliche and some of the dialogue is a little to cheesy, but those features don’t stop Avatar from having relatable characters, good old-fashioned story telling, a classic villain who you love to hate, and moralistic and environmental message which push it far above most other special-effects driven blockbusters in history. It’s definitely not one of the best movies ever, but it sure is one of my favorites and is a film that entertained me greatly.
King Kong (2005)
With Peter Jackson, the director of my favorite movies of all time (LotR), directing a retelling of the classic 1933 film featuring a 25-foot-tall gorilla? How could I, or anyone else for that matter, not be excited? When I saw the trailer for this film back in the summer of 2005 my dreams had come true. I had always had a love/obsession with dinosaurs and animals so a movie that has dinosaurs fighting gorillas is obviously going to play right into my ballpark. I ended up loving every second of the film, and when it came out on DVD, I annoyed everyone in my house because I watched it so often. It was Christmas time when the movie was released in theaters and the day I saw it school was cancelled because of snow, so it was already an great day, later perfected by the enjoyment of seeing this awesome movie. It is another film that is so visually spectacular that you might as well not pick your jaw up off the floor because you’ll just have to do it another twenty times. The film is also very emotional for me as an animal lover because I just felt so much sympathy for the lonely, misunderstood ape. Though the movie does suffer from some over-the-top scenes and a bit too much CGI, I still love the film. Many people complain about its length (190 minutes) but almost all of that length is either leading to character development or awesome action scenes, two things that I think add a good deal of quality to the a movie