Category: Favorite Movies


*I have a post that explains what some of the rules/guidelines will be for my lists of favorite movies. I have two other favorite movie lists also (Hayao Miyazaki and Pixar).

This post will discuss my top 10 favorite zombie movies, and I thought it was fitting for the month of October. I’m not a fan of horror or gory movies because I’m easily startled and can get quite queasy at the sight of blood. However, I’ve seen a few zombie movies. I’ve been slowly exposing myself to movies and shows that contain some scary elements or gore because I’m tired of skipping out on good movies because I’m afraid of blood. Although, I still have limits, so the Saw series is a big no no for me.

I found my admiration for zombie films in college when I took a zombie class. Yes, a zombie class. It was titled Sociology of the Living Dead. I took it to mainly challenge myself with what I could handle in movies. The class went very well, and I was able to watch all of the movies for the most part. A lot of the movies in this list are ones that we watched in class, and I really enjoyed them.

TL/DR: Not a fan of horror or gore, but I still have some favorite zombie movies.

 

*All descriptions taken from IMDb.

Night of the Living Dead
Rating: Unrated

A group of people hide from bloodthirsty zombies in a farmhouse.

Thoughts: What list of favorite zombie movies would be complete without George Romero’s Night of the Living Dead? Maybe a lot, but not this list. This is the first movie we watched in my zombie class, and I really enjoyed it. It was a good movie to start with. It’s in black and white, so viewers can’t really see any blood, but there are plenty of intense moments and scary elements for a 1968 movie. With today’s standers for horror and gore, the movie can be kind of unintentionally funny at times but that doesn’t take away from its enjoyment. It’s definitely worth watching, especially if you want to start watching zombie movies because this is a great movie to begin with.

 

Dawn of the Dead
Rating: Unrated

Following an ever-growing epidemic of zombies that have risen from the dead, two Philadelphia SWAT team members, a traffic reporter, and his television-executive girlfriend seek refuge in a secluded shopping mall.

Thoughts: Dawn of the Dead is far more graphic than The Night of the Living Dead but still delivers a powerful message and a great story. I loved George Romero’s take on consumerism and how he represents it in this movie. It’s a clever way to show society’s need for material possessions by having zombies gather in and around a mall. I really enjoyed the ending of this one. While the ending of Night of the Living Dead is epic, I felt this ending fit well with Dawn of the Dead.

 

Dawn of the Dead
Rating: R

A nurse, a policeman, a young married couple, a salesman, and other survivors of a worldwide plague that is producing aggressive, flesh-eating zombies, take refuge in a mega Midwestern shopping mall.

Thoughts: The 2004 version of Dawn of the Dead is a remake of the original by George Romero. It’s directed by Zack Snyder, and he takes a different approach to zombies. While Romero’s zombies are slow and dangerous in large groups, Snyder’s zombies are fast and aggressive. I’m not sure which would be scarier to come in contact with, but I’d probably lean toward the fast zombies being more terrifying. At least you could have some strategy to get away from the slow ones and might have more time to think about a plan, but with the fast ones, you only have so much time to get away from them which leads to impulsive decisions and more fatalities. Zombies, in general, are pretty scary without any additional abilities. Adding breakneck speed to the list just seems unfair to humans. Even though I find Snyder’s zombies scarier, I like Romero’s zombies better.

 

Resident Evil
Rating: R

A special military unit fights a powerful, out-of-control supercomputer and hundreds of scientists who have mutated into flesh-eating creatures after a laboratory accident.

Thoughts: Resident Evil is not a fantastic movie and completely ventures away from the source material, but there’s something about it that’s entertaining. This is the first zombie movie I watched by myself when I was younger. Of course, it’s not as scary or gory as other movies, but it was a big accomplishment for me. I’m quite disappointed with the series though. I did like Resident Evil: Apocalypse, but I watched Resident Evil: Extinction and gave up on the following movies. It focuses more on how amazing Alice is instead of the threat of zombies. This is why I really enjoy Resident Evil. There’s a larger focus on zombies and the fear of not being able to escape them. This movie is a guilty pleasure of mine, and I love re-watching it.

 

Shaun of the Dead
Rating: R

A man decides to turn his moribund life around by winning back his ex-girlfriend, reconciling his relationship with his mother, and dealing with an entire community that has returned from the dead to eat the living.

Thoughts: Shaun of the Dead is a unique movie. It’s a zombie comedy that pays tribute to movies, video games, and television series. While it has some graphic scenes, it’s not as gory as other zombie movies. The movie is funny and clever with the way it presents the story and characters. It’s good to watch Dawn of the Dead before watching this movie because it’s fun to spot all of the references. After watching Romero’s zombie movies, I was able to fully enjoy the references that appear in Shaun of the Dead. Of course, you can watch Shaun of the Dead without seeing any of the others because it’s a great movie on it’s own.

 

Warm Bodies
Rating: PG-13

After a highly unusual zombie saves a still-living girl from an attack, the two form a relationship that sets in motion events that might transform the entire lifeless world.

Thoughts: This is definitely a different type of zombie movie than the previous ones mentioned. Warm Bodies is an interesting twist on zombies, and it’s entertaining to watch how these zombies differ from others. I love the commentary at the beginning when it pokes fun at humans being zombie-like because of technology. It’s interesting to see how this zombie romance story plays out. I never thought I would ever say that. While it’s not the best zombie movie, it’s a lot of fun to watch and see what happens to the characters.

 

28 Days Later
Rating: R

Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.

Thoughts: I know they’re considered infected and not zombies, but I feel like they have certain zombie aspects, so I’m including the movie on this list. 28 Days Later has an interesting filming style. It’s very dark and everything is quiet until zombies appear, which makes everything eerie. It makes the viewer feel like he/she is there with the characters while they try to survive. The opening scene is memorable, and it’s one of the few I still remember without watching it again. The characters are engaging, and it’s easy to root for them.

 

World War Z
Rating: PG-13

United Nations employee Gerry Lane traverses the world in a race against time to stop the Zombie pandemic that is toppling armies and governments, and threatening to destroy humanity itself.

Thoughts: While this is not the best zombie movie and it goes far from the source material, it’s action-packed and just a fun summer blockbuster. The situations Gerry gets into are sort of ridiculous, and the fact that he somehow survives throughout the movie while others around him die is sort of humorous. However, if you can look past the silliness, it’s a lot of fun to watch. The ending is especially impressive and makes you want to be as awesome as Gerry seems to be. Plus, there’s no gore whatsoever in World War Z, so it’s a great way to introduce yourself to zombie movies.

 

I Am Legend
Rating: PG-13

Years after a plague kills most of humanity and transforms the rest into monsters, the sole survivor in New York City struggles valiantly to find a cure.

Thoughts: I know in the book, the infected are considered vampires, but I feel like in the movie they have elements of both vampires and zombies, so it’s in my list. I really enjoy Will Smith’s performance in this movie. He carries the entire movie, and I feel that takes some great acting skills and charisma. His character, Robert Neville, is portrayed well for a man surviving the zombie apocalypse by himself. Well he does have his dog, Sam, with him but still. The viewer can develop an emotional connection to the character and his dog. One scene in the movie might even make you tear up. I know I was extremely close to crying in the theater. I won’t say specifics because I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it. Another movie without gore, but it’s still an intense movie experience. It’s definitely worth watching.

 

ParaNorman
Rating: PG

A misunderstood boy takes on ghosts, zombies and grown-ups to save his town from a centuries-old curse.

Thoughts: Of course this movie doesn’t have any gore, but that’s not surprising for a children’s movie. Even though it’s directed at children, it’s a great movie the whole family will enjoy. Lots of jokes for adults as well as kids. I was surprised by the social commentary, and I love how the town initially reacted to the zombie threat. It was amusing and made complete sense for the town who knew what zombies were and how to deal with them. This movie was a nice story on zombies and witches, and it was entertaining and refreshing to watch.

So far, I have loved every movie directed by Hayao Miyazaki. Of course I haven’t seen them all, but I’m hoping to change that. I just need more money to buy them. I have been slowly adding to my collection whenever I see a really good deal on one of the movies. Feel free to comment and let me know about any movies from Hayao Miyazaki or Studio Ghibli that I need to watch.

*All descriptions taken from IMDb.

Spirited Away
Rating: PG

In the middle of her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures.

Thoughts: This was the very first movie I saw by Miyazaki. I remember seeing the VHS in the store and asking my parents if I could get it. I didn’t know anything about the movie, but I knew I wanted it. I had seen anime before and enjoyed it. My parents let me get it along with Castle in the Sky, and as soon as I got home, I started watching them. I watched Castle in the Sky first, and I liked it, but it wasn’t one of my favorites. I immediately put in Spirited Away and instantly fell in love with the story. I couldn’t wait to see what happened next. I still own the VHS, and I love it. I’m surprised it isn’t broken with how many times I have watched it. I adore this movie.

Ponyo
Rating: G

An animated adventure about a five-year-old boy and his relationship with a goldfish princess who longs to become a human.

Thoughts: I know that Ponyo is not the best by Miyazaki, but there is just something so charming about it. It’s a cute movie that’s very entertaining. There are plenty of flaws in it, but I can’t help re-watching it. The details in the movie are just as good as any other Miyazaki film. I feel like the story is the only thing that is not up to par with the other fantastic movies. However, it’s still worth a watch.

Kiki’s Delivery Service
Rating: G

A young witch, on her mandatory year of independent life, finds fitting into a new community difficult while she supports herself by running an air courier service.

ThoughtsKiki’s Delivery Service is such a unique movie that brings up the struggle of a child growing into a young adult. Kiki must train away from home for a year to become a better witch. She brings along her cat named Jiji on her journey (Jiji is one of my favorite characters). Miyazaki has interesting ideas about what a young witch/girl would be going through during this important time of her life. In a sense, the movie reflects a young girl losing her childlike imagination as she grows older (the friendship between Kiki and Jiji). Near the end, there is a bittersweet moment as Kiki starts becoming a young adult and her relationship with Jiji changes.

Howl’s Moving Castle
Rating: PG

When an unconfident young woman is cursed with an old body by a spiteful witch, her only chance of breaking the spell lies with a self-indulgent yet insecure young wizard and his companions in his legged, walking home.

Thoughts: I love the message this movie sends to young women. When I watched this, I was an insecure teen. I related so much to what Sophie felt about herself, and the movie helped me see that even if you might feel like you’re not pretty enough, there is someone out there that will think you’re beautiful. Plus, it shows being pretty is not the only thing that matters. There is a lot of focus on the romance aspect of this film, but there is plenty of humor throughout. There are subtle scenes and dialogue that just make it a wonderful movie. It’s a nice romance story that I feel anyone could enjoy. 

My Neighbor Totoro
Rating: G

When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wonderous forest spirits who live nearby.

ThoughtsMy Neighbor Totoro is the most recent Miyazaki movie I have seen, and let me tell you, this one is a tearjerker. I was not prepared for all the emotions this movie put me through. There is so much raw emotion that the sisters feel, and it is portrayed amazingly well. It was as if the audience was watching the lives and struggles of these real life girls. It’s a beautifully told story. I loved that there was no bickering or drama between the sisters. They didn’t fight over silly stuff, and they actually got along. The movie mainly deals with the girls’ adventures with the forest spirits.

The Secret World of Arrietty
Rating: G

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family’s residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered.

ThoughtsThe Secret World of Arrietty deals with loneliness that the two main characters face. This one is a bit sad because of the subject matter, and it doesn’t end in the way that I thought it would. One thing I like is that not every movie ends with a happily ever after, but there is hope and the promise of happiness. Even though the movie’s main character is a tiny borrower, the characters are realistic with the characterization and character development that takes place. This movie is a nice step away from cliches, and it’s a very entertaining film.

Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
Rating: PG

Warrior/pacifist Princess Nausicaä desperately struggles to prevent two warring nations from destroying themselves and their dying planet.

Thoughts: One thing I really love about Miyazaki’s movies is that there is a deeper message in each of them. Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind focuses on saving the environment and how important it is to protect the planet and animals. It’s also nice that in each of these movies, there are strong female leads, taking charge of their lives and not letting life just pass them by when times get hard.

Princess Mononoke
Rating: PG-13

On a journey to find the cure for a Tatarigami’s curse, Ashitaka finds himself in the middle of a war between the forest gods and Tatara, a mining colony. In this quest he also meets San, the Mononoke Hime.

Thoughts: If you want your friend/boyfriend/fiance/husband to watch a Miyazaki film with you, this would be the one to show them first. I’ve made Chad watch all of these films, and he says this one is his favorite. It has a higher rating than most because there is a lot more violence. I believe this adds to the struggles brought up in the film. There was a real threat/real bloodshed that had to be dealt with.

Here is the first installment of my favorite movies. I decided that I would start off with Pixar, and I know that Pixar is a part of Disney, but since there are so many in this category, I figured I would make a separate post. Plus, it’s amazing, so it deserves its own post. So enough about my love for Pixar, let’s continue to the list and don’t forget to let me know your favorite Pixar movie(s).

*All descriptions taken from Disney Movie Guide

Toy Story
Rating: G

The first production from Walt Disney Pictures’ Pixar Studios is the ground-breaking computer-animated Toy Story. The film was the first feature film to fully utilize CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), and is nearly unanimously hailed as the benchmark film for animation.

Aside from being technically revolutionary, Toy Story features a virtual “Who’s Who” of contributors, from executive producer Steve Jobs, director John Lasseter, music by Randy Newman, and voicings by such iconic performers as Tom Hanks, Don Rickles, Tim Allen and Jim Varney. The film also introduces such unforgettable characters as Buzz Lightyear, Woody and Mr. Potato Head.

Thoughts: As a little kid, I remember wanting my toys to come to life so we could all play together. There’s something about toys coming to life that is exciting for a child (well except for Sid’s toys, that was just scary). I was an only child, so when my parents were busy, I didn’t really have anyone else to play with. I would just play with my toys by myself, so when I saw Toy Story for the first time, it was amazing to me. For a week afterwards, I would shut the door and wait for a few moments before I would burst in to catch my toys coming to life. Of course, it never happened, but it was still really fun. 

Toy Story 3
Rating: G

Toy Story 3 is the third installment of the popular series about a group of children’s toys that come to life and engage in all sorts of wild adventures. Toy Story 3 brings back all of the characters from the previous two movies, including Buzz Lightyear (Tim Allen) and Woody (Tom Hanks). In this installment, Andy (The child who owns the toys) is all grown up and preparing to enroll in college. The toys are supposed to be put into the attic for storage but are thrown away by accident. The toys end up on a new adventure looking for a new place to call home. Toy Story 3 captures the magic of the previous movies while introducing some new twists. This is a wonderful family movie that everyone can enjoy.

Thoughts: When Pixar announced the release of Toy Story 3, I saw a quote from the internet that stated “Move out of my way children! I’ve been waiting 11 years to watch this movie!” This was basically my mindset because I really had been waiting for this movie. I was not disappointed, and I have to say that I felt many emotions while watching this. For those who have seen it, I’m sure you know what I mean. I also heard that there might be a fourth installment, so I’m excited to watch that one when and if it comes out.

A Bug’s Life
Rating: G

Flik is a big thinker with bad luck. After years of watching his colony of ants work hard to stockpile food for the winter and then have a greedy group of ferocious grasshoppers sweep in a steal it all, Flik decides it’s time for a change. Even though no one believes in him, Flik is determined to find some new fighters who will help him stop the evil grasshoppers and their ruthless leader Hopper.

Thoughts: This was such a unique idea and that will most likely be the theme of this favorites list because every movie is just so original. I enjoyed the idea of looking into the lives of bugs and seeing the world from a different perspective. I mean it doesn’t sound exciting but when mixed with funny, quirky characters and an entertaining plot, it provides a thrilling movie. Besides, it was great to see Kevin Spacey as an evil grasshopper.

Monsters, Inc.
Rating: G

Disney’s Monsters, Inc. will easily resonate with practically every parent (and child) that has experienced the unique sensation of “things that go bump-in-the-night.” This Pixar Studios animated comedy production takes viewers to Monstropolis, that shadowy and mysterious land that can only be accessed via closet doors in children’s bedrooms.

Two-year old Boo accidentally wanders into Monstropolis and sets off pandemonium in both the human and monster worlds. With the help of two Monsters, Inc. (Monstropolis’ power plant) employees who’ve become charmed by the tyke, a series of thrilling chases and calamities ensue as they attempt to hide Boo from the power plants’ security staff.

Thoughts: This was such an interesting take on the fear that monsters lived in the closet. I loved how the monsters were freaking out because of Boo and how the monster world went into panic mode over it. Plus, I always tend to sing “Put that thing back from where it came from or so help me” any time I see the quotes. I bet you sang it in Mike’s voice, didn’t you? It’s okay, you can admit it.

Monsters University
Rating: G

The prequel to the smash animated comedy hit, “Monsters, Inc.,” is “Monsters University,” which takes place roughly ten years prior to the original and relates the story of how the film’s two main characters first met.

We meet college-bound Mike Wazowski as he prepares to further his education at fabled “Monsters University” (MU). From childhood, Mike has dreamed of someday becoming a “Scarer,” (the epitome of monsterdom) which happens to be MU’s curriculum specialty. One of his first acquaintances at MU, Sulley, turns out to be not only a B.M.O.C,. but is also the absolute definition of a “Scarer.” Both are competitive to a fault, which leads to the pair being expelled from MU’s distinguished “Scare Program.” Chastened, but now forced to either “toe the line” or abandon their dreams, the duo are thrown together with several other misfit wanna-be “Scarers” as they attempt to regain their formerly elite status.

Thoughts: At first, I was really skeptical about this movie. I was not happy there was a prequel coming out when I clearly wanted a sequel so I could find out what happened to Boo. One day I just sucked it up and decided that I would watch this movie to see if it lived up to my “Pixar” expectations. I have to say that it exceeded my predictions. This was such a wonderful film that stayed away from predictable plot points and told an amazing story. I loved everything about this movie. I still want a sequel though.

The Incredibles
Rating: PG

Mr. and Mrs. Parr, also known as Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl, gave up their crime fighting careers as superheros to raise a family under the long arm of the government protection program. Life as an every day citizen was great for Mrs. Parr, but Mr. Parr longed for his glory days as a superhero. When temptation gets the best of Mr. Incredible, can Elastigirl and the rest of the Incredible clan save him?

Thoughts: Speaking of sequels… I want one for this movie so bad. As I grew up, I still enjoyed “children’s” movies, but I didn’t love the ones solely targeting children. I liked the ones that had jokes for kids and adults. The Incredibles entertains a wide range of audiences. Jokes that were making me laugh were also making my parents laugh. It was a modern family twist on the superhero genre.

Ratatouille
Rating: G

Fine food, fine dining, and fine restaurants are all fine for people, but not so fine for rats. Unfortunately, Remy Rat thinks he’s just as entitled to eat in a nice French Restaurant as anyone else. Maintaining his restaurant home and reaching his dream of being a chef both seem like long shots, but Remy is committed to making it happen.

Thoughts: Ratatouille is a movie that’s cute and will make you crave food. While watching it, my thoughts consisted of “Wow, I want an omelette,” “Remy is so cute. I would want to be his friend too,” “I really want to eat now.” While this movie made me hungry, I will say that thinking about rats preparing my food disturbs me. If real rats looked like the ones in the movie, then it would be a little better, but rats are not adorable (not as cute as mice). Besides rats cooking food, I enjoyed everything about this movie.

Up
Rating: PG

Some dreams never die, they just grow older. When an elderly man pushes to make his lifelong dream of being a real life Indiana Jones adventurer come true, he finds determination and perseverance may be all the tools he needs.

Thoughts: During the beginning of this movie, I almost cried. I looked over at my fiance with a look of “What on earth is going on? I’m not prepared for this.” It was a better love story then most I have seen, but wow, it was sad. After the initial “I think I might cry” moment was over, the story was amazing. It did have an Indiana Jones feel to it and a real sense of adventure. Up is such a beautifully crafted movie that I think everyone should watch.

Brave
Rating: PG

Set among Scotland’s legendary rugged Highlands, where epic battles between warring factions have taken on near-mythical proportion comes the Walt Disney Pictures/Pixar Animation Studio’s production of Brave, a fantasy adventure film featuring 3-D animation. Co-written by Brenda Chapman and Irene Mecchi (who co-wrote The Lion King and Hercules), and jointly directed by Chapman and Mark Andrews, Brave relates the tale of an impetuous and headstrong princess, Merida, who, quite innocently, creates chaos and upheaval in the kingdom by offending the Lords of the Land with her audacity. Merida’s quest to atone for her actions form the foundation of the film.

Thoughts: I know there are mixed feelings about this movie. However, I kind of liked the focus on the mother/daughter relationship in the story. I also thought it was a great idea to have a headstrong princess be the main protagonist. It fits the generation of no damsels in distress, and if they are, they take care of it themselves. I’m loving the recent Disney princesses that are able to handle situations by themselves. It’s a refreshing change of pace.

Favorite Movies

I had originally decided to do my top 20 movies of all time, but as I was going through my movies, I realized that I had way too many favorites to pick out 20. I’m such a movie girl, and I’ve seen so many amazing movies that I would love to share with others. My plan now is to make a series with different categories for my favorites such as: My Favorite Disney Movies or My Favorite Hayao Miyazaki Films. That way I can share my love for movies without trying to limit myself to only a few.

Rules of the Movie Favorites:

First – Don’t talk about Fight Club.

My Movie Shelf

Just Kidding. On to the actual rules.

First – Each list will not be in any order because my brain would explode if I tried to arrange them (unless stated otherwise, of course). I have way too many favorite movies to try and pick my number one favorite. This is probably because I’m indecisive, but I’m sticking with the idea that it’s because I have a lot of favorites.

Second – I will only be picking from the movies that I own personally. Trying to remember every movie I have watched would be impossible, and I figure if it was my favorite, I would have bought it by now. Of course, this doesn’t include new releases that I will purchase later.

Third – Sadly, I haven’t seen every fantastic movie, so I might not have everyone’s favorite on my list. I am open to suggestions and would love for others to recommend films to me.