Hollywood Movies: Memorable Collection

Recently we were asked a question. Name the best 5 movies you would like to see if you are stuck in an island with no option out. Very familiar to words I had spoken to someone in India…Going forward this would keep coming as an ongoing reference. 

If I am left out on an island with no one around, I would like to watch Cast Away not because I love Tom Hanks but because of Daryl Hannah. Just Kidding…But it would equip me with ideas to survive (I am noting there might be differences between the two entities and we can do a difference in difference analysis. Difference in difference analysis is a tool in program evaluation to understand the difference in evaluation of some variables between two comparable entities.

Maybe watch Splash…Its going to be very lonely and there might be mermaids around the island to fill in companionship since Coffee Meets Bagel might not work on the island. Coffee Meets Bagel is an online dating app very poplar in US and University of Michigan. BTW I never met anyone through this app. Hey Nish you are incorrigible. Please address me as Cool Dude, just being funny and creative.

Coming to creativity, my favorite director Christopher Nolan is coming out with in his own words, one of his best works Dunkirk

So here are some of memorable movies I will always remember. Its not going to exhaustive but will be iterative..

The best would be Dark Knight. This is Heath Ledger’s movie. We will take a look at this movie at a later date.

“Madness is as you know is like gravity, all it takes is a little push” 

Shawshank Redemption: Needs a separate review. Dots connect in the last 10 minutes of the movie. Tim Robbins lifetime performance with a memorable supporting performance by Morgan Freeman.

The Artist: No words to describe this one. Wow…Brilliant…A silent movie but exemplary in every sense. Jean Dujardin, Oscar performance magic and Bérénice Bejo lively presence are enough to watch the movie. Romantic love story with a funny twist is how I would describe the movie.

Jerry Maguire ( Tom Cruise’s best movie apart from Mission Impossible and of course Top Gun, although it would always be remembered as Cuba Gooding Jr’s movie. Tom really looks handsome in this movie and gives a very measured performance. Show me the money. Thats what I should be shouting now. quawn…Give me my quawn. Remember when Tom meets the little kid and he says the iconic words ” You talk too much” Not sure why a kid said same thing to me… One of the greatest american dramas of all time and in my humble opinion Quintessential American movie with a subtle love story… “You had me at ‘hello’ said by Rene in the movie. Great story with sports as the background with a humane and philosophical touch to value relationships over money, an eternal sunshine script, superlative performances by all especially Cuba. Cuba won the best supporting Oscar for this movie and the song Secret Garden by Bruce Springsteen, one of my favorite Rock dudes of all time.   

Bourne Ultimatum 

Matt Damon‘s best action movie with magic of Paul Greengrass makes this movie the greatest action thriller of all time edging out Casino Royale starring Daniel Craig. Coming to Matt Damon, he rocked the world with Good Will Hunting, a movie which inspired me to study at American universities. Premise is loosely based out of life of Ramanujan, an Indian mathematician who without any formal training discovered mathematical theroms which the best of the minds could not at that time. Movie based on Ramanujan’s life is The Man Who Knew Infinity.  I have reviewed this movie here on the blog. Good Will Hunting, will remain one of the greatest movies of all time, for its script, Matt Damon as The Quintessential Nerd but Robin Williams who steals the show. Minnie Driver stood out in her cameo and his movie always was instrumental in launching Ben Affleck, who is a childhood buddy of Matt Damon. Matt Damon has starred in many movies across genres which range from Drama, Action, Romance, Thriller with an effortless ease. Some of his best works would include Talented Mr Ripley, Interstellar, Bourne series among others.

Back to the Future Series

Michael J Fox and Robert Zemeicks. Michael J Fox…cute cute…super cute…charm personified with evergreen handsome boyish looks. Other movies which I have seen are greed and Teen Wold. Its very sad Michael suffers from Parkinson disease. Robert Zemeicks is one of the greatest directors of our time, known for mixing visual effects with incomparable story telling. Remember Bewoulf and FORREST GUMP. FORREST GUMP another American classic is so good that it basically talks about US Foreign policy over decades. The movie can only be appreciate if you known American history. The movie stunned the world through time spaced visual effects. Remember Tom Hanks shaking hands with John F Kennedy. The movie is also known for a very talented and stunning actress…Robin Wright famous for Princess Bride. Entertaining and funny, a great scifi comedy.

Indian Jones Series especially Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom and The Last Crusade. Last Crusade stands out for the wonderful chemistry of Harrison Ford with Sean Connery. A father son story at its best with Steven Spielberg magic.

This last scene of The Last Crusade is very insightful and philosophical. In this scene, the Nazis are looking for Grail, supposedly the cup which Jesus possesses or drank from his last. This cup is the cup of eternal life. Given a choice to choose all the cups in world which Jesus would have possessed, it should actually be an easy choice. No need to be an historian. Simplest, in simplicity lies timeless beauty i.e. puritan beauty.

Steven Spielberg truly is  trailblazer who changed the paradigm of movie making in Hollywood. Jaws made sure many people around the world could not take bath in a tub forget about daring to go to beach. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind is one of the best science fi movies. In this movie earthlings communicate with extraterrestrials through OM, an ancient sacred Hindu chanting. ET is the must see movie for ant child during the 80s and 90s and will always remain a popular movie with kids. Kids reminds me another super funny movie…Honey I shrunk The Kids. ET’s iconic scene, kid with ET flies in his cycle supposedly to moon… No they do not reach moon, the boosters fail out. Schindler’s List and Munich ( breakout movie of Eric Bana who also starred in Troy opposite Brad Pitt) to Saving Private Ryan and Hook, Steven Spielberg has done it all. He married Kate Capshaw, who starred in Indian Jones and The Temple of Doom and was considered as one of the most beautiful and promising stars in Hollywood.

Brad Pitt considered by many as the most handsome star at one point of time in Hollywood has his share of unforgettable movies. His best would be Fight Club and Seven.

Matrix ( 1 & 2)

Triumph of philosophy, partial truth and technology, starring one of the greatest spiritualist, humane and handsome actor of my generation…Keanu Reeves. So which pill have you taken my friends ? Go Blue

Keanu Reeves is a great guy in personal life although sadly his personal life is bestowed with tragedy. His long time partner and sister died apart from other numerous instances. He is a superlative role model because he did not use substances to overcome grief but found solace in spiritual quest. He briefly became a monk and  practices meditation and mindfulness for personal and spiritual growth. Hollywood should make a movie on his life story…Will be one of the most inspirational movies. Only one actor should have played the role of Little Buddha…Keanu Reeves. The movie was successful because of its out of this world plot and cutting edge special effects with Keanu as the central figure but the message is so profound to tabulate is next to impossible. Speed, Bramstokers Dracula, John Wick and The Devils Advocate are some of his exemplary movies. The Devils Advocate is one of Al Pacino’s best performances and one of teh earlier movies of one of the most talent, gorgeous and visionary actress in Hollywood…Charlise Theron. Al Pacino will always be remembered for Godfather and Scarface and his trailblazer role in Scent of a Women.  I have seen amputated men in my life but worse is an amputated spirit and this is what you are doing to this boy. His break out roles were in two movies, Serpico and Dog Day Afternoon.  

Charlize Theron is undoubtedly a find with her breakout role in Monster for which she won Oscars, The Italian Job and her recent foray into action with Mad Max Fury. In Monster, don’t expect her heavenly looks since she portrays a real life serial killer.   

With Mad Max Fury we come to another fabulous British actor Tom Hardy. Tom Hardy is known along with Christian Bale are known to change their appearance through weight modulation. Tom Hardy’s had to significantly gain weight for his role in Batman Rises as Bane. He had to lift Christian Bale and break his back which was not easy considering Tom Hardy is 5 9 in height and Christian Bale is 6 2. Christian Bale physical transformation can be seen in the movie The Mentalist and Batman Begins and I think the gap between the shooting for the movie is about 6 months. Christian Bale breakout role is in the movie American Psycho although I loved him in Prestige with Hugh Jackman.  American Hustle a multi starer with Amy Adams, Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper, based on a true story could easily have been an Oscar winning performance for both Christian Bale and Amy Adams. Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence are undoubtedly the two most beautiful and talented actresses in Hollywood today. I feel in love with Amy Adams when I saw her singing in the movie Enchanted (break out role) and you can just watch the movie for her elegance and singing which could launch 3 ships. Current heartthrob and versatile actor Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence starred in Silver Linings Playbook which landed Jennifer an Oscar, is a movie worth watching any-day. The greatness about Jennifer as an actor, is that she did not receive any formal training in acting lessons but her acting skills could make heavens look down momentarily at Hollywood.

Tom Hardy’s movie The Warrior is a must watch.  Its a movie based on wrestling and teh angst between two brothers. Its has its emotive best moment at the end when two brothers confront each other with Jujitsu martial art at its best. Tom Hardy reminds of of another British Actor and my personal favorite, Benedict Cumberbatch whose portrayal of Sherlock HOMES in the BBC series makes British look good. I said before Britain’s Got Talent…my favorite talent show. With movies like Imitation Game, Dr Strange to name a few, Benedict will not disappoint and much more is coming. He is a very simple person and practices mindfulness. My money is on him along with Tom Hardy for many thoughtful and measured roles going forward.

Action genre cannot be complete without mentioning the man who not only changed the way action is choreographed in movies but rightfully brought Chinese martial art to the world. Bruce Lee, the real deal or dinosaur will remain eternally as the greatest gifted action hero of all time. His movies transformed fight scenes through his portray of JKD. JKD is an improvised version of Kung Fu which is again a bit different from Wing Chun. Bruce Lee was trained by IP Man, considered by many as the last true master of Wing Chun. Wing Chun is Chinese ancient martial art which gave rise to many other variations including Kung Fu, JKD etc. Enter the Dragon is an exemplary work of art and this movie would be the benchmark for all action movies.

Game of Death, The Boss and Fist of Fury are all work of art but many people do not know that Bruce Lee was Cha Cha king in Hong Kong. He won the dance competition and trained Chuck Norris in JKD. There will be many other great action heroes but Bruce is immortal and his tragic death robbed the world of something so deep and profound that is immeasurable. Sadly his son, Brandon Lee also died under suspicious circumstances when he made known that he was interested in investigating his fathers untimely death. There are many conspiracy theories about Bruce Lee’s death and will rest it here. The difference between Bruce Lee and other action stars is that Bruce did not fight, he meditated. He was mindful every-time he fought, others fought, Bruce meditated…Thats the amount of focus and concentration he achieved while planning his moves and remains the greatest perfectionist of action genre of all time.

Usual Suspects and American Beauty 

Kevin Spacey at his best. Love the dude for his simplicity, scrupulous character and an actor par excellence. More on Unusual Suspects later on. His supporting role in Seven as a serial killer was so intimating that it might be next to only Anthony Hopkin’s role in Silence of the Lambs. 

Inside Man 

Denzel Washington as his best and also starring Clive Owen. I have not seen Denzel’s Oscar award winning movie, Training Day so not be able to add here.

My Cousin Vinny will go in history as one of the most accurate law movies which is so funny and hilarious that no words can describe the movie. Joe Pesci in his breakout role and Marsia Tomei who won the Oscar in a best supporting role, is triumph of humanity and American cinema. Stunning in both looks and talent, her iconic quote…my biological clock is ticking and ticking and ticking…She delivers monologue with ease and charm that heavens would hand still. Spoiler Alert…Do not watch this scene if you have not seen the movie. Undoubtedly the greatest acting performance of all time.


Cohen Brothers 

How can any list be without these two winners. From Raising Arizona to Big Lebowski, Fargo, True Grit to name a few.Most of the movies achieve both commercial and critical success with many Oscar nominations and awards.

Quentin Tarantino

Most of his movies are great but they violence that’s the reason not put them higher up. He reinvented parallel story telling so effectively, that he is one of his kind. Great masterpieces: Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs, Inglorious Bastards and many more. He deserves a separate feature here. Coming to violence, Godfather 1 & 2 might go down as the greatest movies of all time and loved them at a time. Usually do not want to recommend movies with Mafia as the central theme with Dark Knight I took an exception. Talking about gangster movie, Untouchables will undoubtedly be one of teh greatest. Based on the quest to nab Al Capone, Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, one and only Robert De Niro  along with Andy Garcia deliver a lifetime performance. The iconic scene where Andy shoots one of the gangster, is shot at Chicago terminal. When I had traveled to Chicago, I had visited the place and its truly magnificent terminal.

Guy Richie is know for his own great movies with violence as the central theme in many movies. He is a gem of his own kind.

Comedy movies which stood out

Zoolander, There is something about Mary, Austin Powers all three esp. the first and third one, Young Frankenstein (There are many more…forgotten), Its a MAD MAD World, If Gods Must Be Crazy, Crocodile Dundee, Death Becomes Her, A Night At The Museum   

Inspirational Movies

Passion of Christ, Ten Commandments, Lincoln, Courage Under Fire (Featuring Danziel Washington and breakout movie of Meg Ryan and Matt Damon’s first movie), Pursuit of Happiness, Sommersby, Braveheart, 12 Angry Men (great movie to learn about negotiation skills), A Few Good Men, Coach Carter, A Beautiful Mind, Lion King, Ben Hur, Tale of Two Cities (Old Version),  Les Miserables ( French Movies), Laagan, 

Science Fiction

Movies not mentioned before: Contact, Gravity, Star trek Voyage Home (more of a drama), Transformers (the original), Minority Report, The Fifth Element  

To be continued…I am really tired…Have a good night…no have a good one…if you are reading in US