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Monday, 18 March 2013

Top Ten Movie Countdown BlogFest - My Top Ten

So, choosing my top ten movies was really hard! I have a lot of movies I love and picking just ten was a big ask. I could pick ten vampire movies, let alone any others. In the end what I did was go through my DVD collection (which took a while) and pick all of my favourites and then agonise over which ones of those to pick. Hence there may be some eclectic choices in my list. Eventually I just went with the ones I've watched the most.

I hope there may even be a couple of titles in my list you may not have heard of. So in reverse order, here are my top ten.

#10 Rockula (1990) 

This is one of the ones most people probably haven't heard of for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact it isn't available on DVD. I have the VHS tape which I bought from the US several years ago after I had been looking for it for years having seen it on Sky.

This (if you hadn't guessed) is a vampire movie. It is one of those wonderful late 80s and early 90s comedy vampire movies and it has moments of sheer brilliance. It's about Ralph, a vampire, who wants to be a rock star so he can win the heart of his one true love, who is a singer. The problem is that he has a curse on him. Every time he meets his one true love, who is reincarnated over and over again, she's killed by a pirate with a rhinestone peg leg wielding a ham bone.

Bits of the movie are filmed like music videos, while other parts are straight up film and it is wonderfully put together. The music is fun and Toni Basil as Phoebe (Ralph's mom) is just brilliantly whacky.
This is not a film to be taken seriously, but it is truly wonderful.

#09 V for Vendetta (2005)

Now I'm not usually fond of dour, the future is bleak movies, I much prefer an upbeat future like Star Trek, but there is just something about this film I love. The characters are superb and the way Hugo Weaving manages to convey so much while wearing a mask, is just incredible.

This is a film about a bleak future where much is outlawed and the totalitarian society is run by an iron fist. V (Hugo Weaving) uses terrorist tactics to fight for freedom and gains Evey (Natalie Portman) as an ally when he rescues her from the secret police. Parts of it are gut wrenching and not all of it is easy to watch, but it is utterly captivating.

It makes me cry every time and yet I come back to it over and over.

#08 X-men First Class (2011) 

What to say about this one? Just in case you haven't heard about it, this is the X-men prequel and is all about the first meeting of Professor Charles Xavier and Erik Lehnsherr or Professor X and Magneto, as they are to become. It's set in 1962 when mutants are just really beginning to emerge and it's brilliant.

I can give you one simple reason I love this movie and that is James McAvoy, well James and Michael Fassbender actually, but James is my favourite.

James plays Charles and he's so unlike the bald, controlled, careful Xavier we are used to in the other X-men films that he's completely new. First of all he has hair, lovely, floppy brown hair that makes me want to run my fingers through it. Then he's a bit of a lush and just coming out of being an eternal student now that he has submitted his final thesis. He's naive and a little bit arrogant, but so well meaning and loveable. In a word; brilliant.

Then there is Michael as Erik; Charles' total opposite. Hard edged, volatile, dangerous and honed into the perfect weapon by his time in a Nazi concentration camp.

One of the best things about this film is the chemistry between the two leads. They make the screen crackle and are totally superb. They have this habit of playing chess which could totally be a euphemism for sex :).

#07 RED (2011) 

This film is simply genius. RED stands for Retired Extremely Dangerous and Bruce Willis plays Frank, a retired CIA operative, who is in love with a woman, Sarah (Mary-Louise Parker), he has only heard on the phone. He keeps ripping up his cheques just so he can ring her up and talk to her. They talk about a set of romance novels they are both reading.

However, when someone tries to burn him he has to go get her and run so that she doesn't get killed. Along the way they pick up Joe (Morgan Freeman), Marvin (John Malkovich), Victoria (Helen Mirren) and Ivan (Brian Cox) while being chased by Cooper (Karl Urban). This film has action, romance, hilarious comedy, tragedy and everything else you could possibly ask for. It is brilliant and the cast is to die for.

#06 The Lost Boys (1987) 

It's hard for me to pin down exactly why I love this movie because there are simply so many reasons. This is the movie that started me on my drug of choice, which is vampire movies. These days I collect them and I have really good ones to really terrible ones.

I still think the late 80s and early 90s produced some of the best vampire movies in the genre. Some are funny, some are serious, but none of them took themselves too seriously, unlike some I could mention these days. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against totally straight vampire films, but teenage angst is given far too much credit these days. The Lost Boys does teenage angst, but it's far less emo and much more 'holy shit, I'm floating on the ceiling'.

I saw this film in the cinema when it came out and then I bought a copy of the VHS as soon as I could and the moment it was on DVD it was mine; I really must update to the Blu-ray soon. I can still quote most of it.

The basic plot is this: the Emersons move to Santa Carla because Lucy (Dianne West), the mom, has divorced and they have nowhere to live, except with Grandpa (Barnard Hughes). Sam (Corey Haim), the youngest son is of the MTV generation and just does not fit in, Michael (Jason Patric), the elder son is trying his best to help his mom and keep his little brother in line. What they didn't count on was vampires.

Michael starts running with a gang headed by David (Keifer Sutherland), because he falls for Star (Jami Gertz) who hangs out with them. He is tricked into drinking David's blood and starts turning into a vampire. Then it's up to Sam and some local teen vampire hunters (The Frog Brothers) (Corey Feldman, Jamison Newlander) to rescue him from the mess.

There are plot twists and humour and lots of action, and the script is beautifully put together. It is a classic and deserves its place in history. However, don't bother with the sequel, it is terrible, however, the third in the series is actually quite good. Not as good as the original, but not bad.

#05 Bicentennial Man (1999) 

I cry my way through the end of this movie every single time I watch it, but it is so good I always go back to see it again.

This film stars Robin Williams as Andrew, an android bought by Richard Martin (Sam Neil) for his family. It follows Andrew through his evolution from droid to synthetic human alongside three generations of the Martin family. It is an epic movie in the true sense of the word and it is touching and beautiful and poignant.
Have the tissues ready for at least three points in the film, but also be prepared to laugh and beam with joy, because it will take you on the whole journey.

#04 The Green Mile (1999) 

Another one that makes me cry; I'm seeing a theme, which is odd, because I don't like tragedies. Of course, I cry through E.T. as well, so it's not exactly Greek tragedy we're talking about.

This film has so many aspects I love; it has drama and supernatural powers and love and joy and sacrifice.
It also has scenes that make me hide behind cushions because they are so hard to watch.

All the characters are rich, good and bad, and the plot is complex and winding and exciting and heart wrenching. I don't think I could take the end in many films, but the way it is written is so well balanced that it rips my heart out, but patches it back together again. Tom Hanks is superb as Paul Edgecomb, the prison guard who comes to learn there are far more things in this world than he understands and Michael Clarke Duncan (RIP) is just amazing at John Coffey, the inmate on the Green Mile who teaches him these things.
The rest of the cast are equally as good, from Doug Hutchinson as Percy, the prison guard just made to be hated, to Bonnie Hunt as Jan, Paul's wife. This is a stunning film.

#03 The Avengers (2012) 

Not gonna lie, one of the reasons I adore this movie is Tom Hiddleston as Loki. He's the bad guy and he's bonkers and does lots of nasty things, but there's still something about him that makes him my hands down, favourite character. There's a depth there you don't often get with comic book villains and Joss Whedon did an amazing job of putting together this movie.

Robert Downy Jr and Mark Ruffalo make the most amazing science bros as Tony Stark and Bruce Banner. Jeremy Renner and Scarlett Johansson make you actually believe humans can keep up with superheros and gods. Chris Evans plays a very human Captain America and Chris Hemsworth brings humour and strength to Thor, even if his accent is somewhat wonky. Then there is Clark Gregg as Phil Coulson, not to mention Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury and they are all brilliant.

The script is funny and exciting in equal order. There are serious moments and moments that made the whole cinema laugh out loud. It is not only the best comic book movie I have ever seen, it is one of the best movies, hence it's place in my top ten. I only hope they can keep it up for Iron Man 3, Thor 2, Captain America 2 and Avengers 2.

#02 The 13th Warrior (1999)

I didn't see this when it first came out, I only discovered it on DVD, but as I understand it, that's because it wasn't a huge hit at the time. I have no idea why, because it is a film I can watch over and over again and enjoy more and more every time.

Antonio Banderas plays Ahmed Ibn Fahdlan, an Arab poet sent as an envoy to the north lands because he looked at the wrong man's wife. He ends up the 13th man on a quest with the Norsemen to find out why some of their settlements are being destroyed.

The film is full of fighting and mythology and adventure with strong characters, a very well thought out plot and superb acting. It is an epic tale and yet has very human elements and the script is superb. I cannot recommend this film more, which is why it has my number 2 slot.

#01 Moon Child (2003) 

Never heard of it, I hear you say, which does not surprise me, because it's a film written by and starring a Japanese rock star; Gackt. It's another vampire movie, but probably not quite as you have seen before. It actually stars two jrockers, Gackt and Hyde, who play the two leads, but don't let that put you off, they do the whole acting thing very well.

It is mostly not in English, but the subtitles are very well done and actually make sense of the subtleties of the plot. It was designed to be an international film, because it's not all in Japanese either.

Hyde plays the vampire Kei who we first see at the turn of the millennium with the vampire who created him. With his maker tired and wishing to die, Kei is left all alone.

Then we skip to 2014 after the Japanese economy has collapsed and many immigrants are living in a place called Mallepa. We meet Sho, a young street kid with his brother Shinji and friend Toshi who are looking to score big money by theft. While making a run for it, Sho finds Kei, who is waiting for light to kill him, and takes him back to their hideout where Kei saves Sho and the others by eating the gangster they robbed.

Hyde as Kei
The film them follows the ageless Kei and the growing Sho through their lives, finding love and friends and tragedy; growing apart, but coming back together again, until the poignant ending. I think one of the reasons I love this film so much is the ending, because it can be interpreted in many ways. It can be seen as a final ending, it can be seen as a stepping stone to something else entirely, or it can be a step along the same road the film had shown all along.

This film will make you cry twice at least unless your heart is made of stone. It is full of emotion and has some of the best fight scenes I have seen. Not because they are perfect and have the biggest budget, but because they have humour as well action.

Gackt as Sho
I would call this a live action Manga, because it's full of gangsters and vampires and impossible things, but all put together so you want to believe. It doesn't have a huge budget or big name Hollywood actors, but it is still my favourite film. I can watch it again and again while I cry my way through the middle and the end. It has clich├ęs, it has infinite bullets at times, but I don't care. The characters are engaging, the plot is gripping and it is brilliant.
Sho and Kei

Just in case you were wondering, here are the titles that didn't make the top ten, but did make my initial list :).
Chronicles of Riddick - Director's Cut
Con Air
The Dark Crystal
Ju-on (The Grudge) - Japanese version
Dog Soldiers
Galaxy Quest
Hawk the Slayer
The Hidden
Identity
Thor
Interview with the Vampire
Jack's Back
Kick-Ass
Let the Right One In
The Rock
Return of the Jedi
Midnight in Paris
Grosse Point Blank

70 comments:

  1. I really love your list - top ten and those less lucky mentions!

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  2. Top ten movie like top ten books or songs, are impossible to do. You look at you pile of favorites that didn't make it and yell, “I love you too!”

    I am not surprised that you would have so many vampire movies in the count and Lost Boys, hello, if that wasn't on your list we might have to revoke you vampire lovers fan club card. I love (maybe not top ten) the 13th warrior (family hated it) and many on your could have made it list would have been on mine. I may or may not own three copies of the Dark Crystal.

    However personally I am on the fence with X-men First Class. I really really love Eric and Charles, but a really really hate Kevin Bacon in this one. I am sorry I cant see him in a evil role and when he put on the helmet we (my friends and I) thought he looked like a human vibrator. And you just can't undo that thought :)

    I have a small list of movies to watch now if I can find them.

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    1. That's why I think it might have been better had I done the list from memory, that way I would not have had to agonise :).

      Me, have vampire movies in there ... now I can't think how you could have predicted that ;P.

      Phew, I would have been devastated if you had revoked my vampire lovers fan club card. :)

      I only have two copies of the Dark Crystal.

      Human vibrator *snigger* *giggle* *laugh* *falls off the chair laughing* - okay now I have to go look up piccies of Kevin Bacon. Oh god, I cannot un-see that now. Of course I still love the movie :), and I thought he made a fab bad guy; he was wonderfully evil. I think my favourite movie of his is Stir of Echoes, I adore his 80s movies, but Stir of Echoes has everything as far as I am concerned.

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  3. Not a vampire fan...but to each her own. However, some of your other movies are also favorites of mine. Loved The Green Mile, and Bicentennial Man. I found this post very hard to do because I'm a movie fanatic, so I just sat down and let my mind just spew what first entered it, or I'd still be agonizing...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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    1. I think you had the best idea with just going with what first came to mind :). Both the Green Mile and Bicentennial Man make me cry, but I still love them, they are simply epic movies of brilliance. We can't all be vampire fans :D. Thank you so much for stopping by and commenting.

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  4. What a fantastic list! The Green Mile is on my list, too. Wish I also had room for X-Men, The Lost Boys (*LOVE*), and The Avengers.

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    1. Thank you :) This sounded like such a simple blog hop, but it was really hard wasn't it. *goes to look at your list*

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  5. Way to go on Rockula... period. I am friends with the lead, well not really if you call facebook friends.

    Jeremy [Retro-Z]
    Howlin' Wolf

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    1. I really, really, really wish Rockula would come out on DVD, it is such a fabulous film :). Every now and then I Google it, just to see if my prayers have been answered.

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  6. You've definitely got some stellar selections here. My brother was just trying to persuade me to watch "V for Vendetta" last week! I guess since it made your top ten, I should give his argument more consideration. ;-)

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    1. It's a very good movie, dark, but superbly put together. I didn't think I would like it when I first watched it, but I was so wrong :). Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  7. It's been a while since I've seen Bicentennial Man. Great choices, and it's good to meet you! :)

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    1. Thank you, good to meet you too :). Bicentennial man is one of those movies that makes me run the full set of emotions from laughter right through to crying, I love it.

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  8. Following from the Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest.

    There's a couple of the list of which I've not heard, a couple more that I have never seen...but that just means I won't be bored anytime soon, right?

    Con Air ... I love that movie too! I had a crisis management techniques instructor that could have been a stunt double for John Malcovich!

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    1. I have found many new films to take a look at from the Blogfest too - people have such diverse tastes there is a huge variety out there :). I suppose crisis management techniques could be a good subject for John Malkovich :). He is brilliant in RED too.

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  9. I loved the Green Mile! It's been too long since I saw it. And I used to watch Interview With the Vampire over and over. Great writing. I checked out your book page, too, and now I want to read the Chronicles of Charlie Waters!

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    1. The Green Mile is such a wonderful film and Interview almost made it into my list, but I have three vampire movies already :).

      Thank you :D I'm writing #3 at the moment. It was supposed to be done by now, but things keep getting in the way.

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  10. Wow, you went all out. I love the 13th Warrior as well.

    Alex
    from A Heep of Everything

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    1. The 13th Warrior should have been way more successful than it was when it came out, it is epic :) Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  11. Ju-on! I couldn't sleep for days. Good choices. Very hard to narrow down favorites. I'm glad you listed your also-rans.

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    1. It was the scene with the sister in the bed that really scared the hell out of me - under the covers is supposed to be safe! :) I have even more also-rans as well, but I decided it was getting silly ::g:: - who knew it was such a hard blogfest?

      Thanks so much for commenting.

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  12. Oh, The Green Mile, I forgot that one!

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    1. I've been surfing round other people's lists thinking the same thing about other titles too :). Thanks for dropping by.

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  13. Great list, I've seen them all and enjoyed each one. But #10 and 1 I have not seen or heard of sadly under my sun.

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    1. *claps at the rhyme* That must be really hard. Both are great movies, but kind of specialist. Thanks for commenting :)

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  14. It's fun to see Lost Boys on a list. The vampire influence in your list is good. I'm glad to see none of them sparkle. ;)

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    1. LOL :). I have so many vampire movies, but The Lost Boys is definitely one of my all time favs; it's simply a classic. I have a bit of a vampire problem ::g:: - you would not believe how terrible some of the movies I own are just because they had vampire in the description, Cowboys vs Vampires jumps instantly to mind.

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  15. GREAT movie list. Wow. There are some on there that I maybe should have thought of on my list!!! LOL V for Vendetta rocked. X Men First class...LOVE that one, too. Makes me want to get that one out and watch again! :)

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    1. Thank you :). Any time is a good time to watch X-men First Class ::g::

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  16. Great choices! And yes, two I hadn't heard of. I worked with a lady who collected what she called C movies, ones that were so tiny and unknown, always cheesy, but enjoyable. I had started borrowing one or two each week, but then the job ended (it was a temp thing), and I stopped watching them. Love Lost Boys! I'm also loving that so far many have at least one horror movie in their favorites, though it's always an older one (was for me, too).

    Shannon at The Warrior Muse

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    1. I find that too many of the modern horror movies are slasher movies and they're not a genre I like a great deal. Give me ghosts and monsters rather than humans who are monsters - with humans I prefer psychological thrillers. Sometimes you find with C movies that the budgets were low so you actually get a better story because there are no excessive special effects :).

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  17. Fun choices! I still haven't seen X-Men 1st class - keep hearing how great it is. Gotta get on that :)

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    1. Oh yes, it's a superb movie - James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender playing off each other in an amazing manner. The rest of the cast are superb as well. Thank you very much for commenting.

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  18. THE LOST BOYS! Fab choices!

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  19. The Green Mile was a wonderful movie that really made you feel for the characters! I'll have to be on the lookout for Rockula, as it sounds like fun!

    Julie

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    1. The Green Mile is heart wrenching, but has such joyful moments as well and Rockula is brilliant :). Thank you very much for stopping by.

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  20. I love the movie Red and just watched it a couple of nights ago. I can't wait for the second one to come out.

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    1. Me too, I hope it's as good as the first. Thank you for commenting.

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  21. I really want to see The Lost Boys. I thought X-men First Class was good as well as The Avengers.

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    1. The Lost Boys is a classic of the genre, well worth seeing :). Thanks for dropping by.

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  22. X-Men, Avengers, and Lost Boys are all action packed greatess. Thanks for stopping by on launch day for Cover Girls!

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    1. I do have a fondness for action movies, but only if they have a plot too :). Thanks for returning the visit.

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  23. Awesome choices! I, too, have a taste (ahem) for vampire flicks and loved Lost Boys. In fact, it should have been on my list. Green Mile and Bicentennial Man are also fantastic. You're right though, never heard of Moon Child, but trust me, you definitely sold it.

    ~VR Barkowski

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    1. Vampires FTW! ;) Moon Child is fab and unlike Rockula it is available from Amazon ;)

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  24. The Lost Boys - an absolute classic!

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  25. Avengers made my top list. V for Vendetta is also cool.
    Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

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    1. Thank you for running it, it has been most entertaining seeing which films people have picked :).

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  26. Blogger ate my comment. sigh. I'll have to re-watch the 13th Warrior. I remember liking it but I'd forgotten about it!

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    1. Oh bother, I hate it when that happens. I had a heart attack the other day when it almost ate an entire post - thankfully manage to get that back. I love the 13th Warrior, it's a film that never loses interest for me. Thank you so much for dropping by.

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  27. What a great list! The Green Mile was awesome!

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  28. So interesting to see how different your list is from mine. Lost Boys is hands down my favorite on your list. Gotta love the Coreys.

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    1. There seem to be such a variety of films over the blogfest, it's fascinating, and yet there are a few that come up time and again :). Sam Emerson and the Frog Brothers - an unstoppable team! ;)

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  29. I saw V for Vendetta with my son and enjoyed it. I really want to see Moon Child after your synopsis.

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    1. It's a great film that mostly jrock fans know about because of the stars :). Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  30. Avengers was awesome. Bicentennial man made me cry. :)
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. With you on both those points :). Thank you so much for stopping by.

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  31. A lot of these I have not seen - will be adding to my list of movies to watch :)

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  32. Great list-I was surprised at Avengers being on so many lists (I must have had my fill of comic book movies by then-I dozed during the alient battles)...but I had forgotten ALL ABOUT "RED"....also comic-based, I believe, but a great film!

    Larry

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    1. Thank you :). I loved the Avengers, it had me hooked all the way through, even more so when I managed to see it in 2D rather than 3D - I really loath 3D most of the time. How did you manage to doze through the battle, it was so loud? ;)

      RED is superb, can't wait for the sequel.

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  33. Love Lost Boys. People are Strange was my ringtone forever! Jason Patric was one of my first crushes. Great list...some I've missed and will have to watch.

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    1. I loved Jason Patric back then, which was why when he played a baddie called Max in The Losers, the other year, it made my day :). Thank you very much for stopping by.

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  34. Just dropping by from the blog hop. I love your list! I watched "Moon Child" ages ago so I more or less forget how the movie went. I just remember crushing on Gackt. :D

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    1. Well Gackt is a very good person to crush on, personally, I'm a bit of a Hyde fangirl ;). He's so dainty and it always surprises me when such a deep voice comes out of such a small body.

      Thank you ever so much for dropping by.

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  35. I love Loki...and yet I was one of the only people on the planet who didn't ADORE The Avengers. :)

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    1. We can't all love the same things :). The Avengers hit all my buttons, but there have been other movies that everyone else seemed to love that I just don't get. C'est la vie :).

      Thank you so much for commenting.

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