Movie Favorites {Guest Post by Intern Madison Ward}

Introduction: Madison is our entertainment guru, keeping us up to date on the latest books, TV shows, and movies. She loves to cover pop culture and I'm glad to have her voice in this capacity.

{This post written by Madison Ward, Superstar Intern}

Coming up upon Christmas time makes me think about and appreciate all the holiday traditions and gatherings, especially over movies and television. Watching these childhood favorites always makes me happy, yet nostalgic for the times when I was younger and couldn’t focus on anything but presents and cookies from the moment the leaves started to fall off the red and orange trees in my backyard. Viewing these memorable films spark up the inner child of mine, but reminds me of day-to-day homey past-times as well, the movies that may not be about Santa Claus or winter wonderlands, but still make my heart happy and comforted.

Below are my top five favorite films of all time and then a few extra that almost made the list, are favorites from my childhood, and the recipe for a good cinematic Christmas. They aren’t The Godfather, or The Great Gatsby, or anything too fancy. They are what feels like home when I watch them and what makes me think and feel, the way I think and feel. Enjoy!

Favorite Movies:

  1. The Way Way Back

    • Music: * * * * *

    • Visuals: * * * * *

    • Heart: * * * * * * * * * *

    • Fun: * * * * *

By far my favorite movie, The Way Way Back focuses on a teenage boy whose family is less than perfect--his life in general is less than perfect--, but on a summer vacation that was supposed to be torture for him, only fun for the adults, he finds a haven, a small waterpark where he then finds some friends and with their help, himself. It somehow embodies both a heartbreaking and yet feel-good tone and proves that though life isn’t perfect, will never be perfect, some things in life are and those make you, you.
 

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  1. Spirit

    • Music: * * * * *

    • Visuals: * * * * *

    • Heart: * * * * *

    • Fun: * * * * *

Spirit is a common childhood favorite for many kids around my age, but it is still in my top five. Even at this time of my life, after watching hundreds of other movies and reading even more storylines, Spirit will always have an enormous place in my heart and my soul. The movie may be seen from the eyes of an animated horse and may have little dialogue, but that is what makes it relatable on a completely physical level. It is enveloped in the fight for freedom and the fight for ‘home’ and is amazing for children, because they are forced to read that, only through facial and ‘action-al’ reactions, not verbal cues. 

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  1. Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 1/Vol 2

    • Music: * * * * *

    • Visuals: * * * * *

    • Heart: * * * * *

    • Fun: * * * * *

Though for most, this movie may not seem that revolutionary or life-changing, the Guardians of the Galaxy movies have stayed a crucial constant for me, even compared with all the other Marvel films. The music, the visuals, the team all work so harmoniously together that I could never be bored with them. Action packed, but also family driven, the films relieve viewers with humor, but fortify them with determination and altogether badassery.

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  1. Remember the Titans

    • Music: * * * * *

    • Visuals: * * * * *

    • Heart: * * * * *

    • Fun: * * * * *

Every time I watch Remember the Titans it feels like the first time. I will never be able to fully understand how it feels to be in the situation in which all the characters live through and even then it breaks my heart and uplifts it to see the huge transformation that they undergo. This true story displays a tough time in our American history and how hard it is for some people to let go of traditions, of bigotry in general, and how good it can be if they would just try. It is a remarkable film that I will watch a hundred times in a row and always watch when it comes on TV.

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  1. The Giver

    • Music: * * * * *

    • Visuals: * * * * * * *

    • Heart: * * * * *

    • Fun: * * * * *

The Giver is a bit too mainstream and young adult in some ways for me, or it would be higher on my list, but it still does an amazing job of showcasing the importance of originality and feeling within a person, within a society, even with the bad and especially with the good. The memories, the colors, the hope that is what keeps a civilization alive, not just surviving, not just maintaining. Even with murder and death, with thieving and deceiving, the truth, the reality of everything, light and dark, is what means anything and everything.

Almosts:

  • Sundays at Tiffany's

  • Million Dollar Arm

  • The Intern

  • Real Steel

Childhood Favorites:

  • The Incredibles

  • Cars

  • Finding Nemo

  • The Aristocats

  • Mulan

Christmas:

  • It’s a Wonderful Life

  • How the Grinch Stole Christmas (animated)

  • Home Alone

Terrible and Will Never Watch for Christmas or for Anything Else in Life:

  • The Polar Express

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