Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the bookishly inclined team over at The Broke and the Bookish.
We’re going to the movies this week with ten films that I can always rely on to help me escape from the everyday. Whether they’re funny or action-packed, classic or contemporary, these films are the perfect antidote for a rotten mood or a lousy day. Grab some snacks and get comfortable, and let’s pop in a video!
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Let’s start things off in a big way with this EPIC cinematic experience. I’d heartily recommend the Extended Edition for maximum storytelling excellence. J.R.R. Tolkien was a master world-builder, and director Peter Jackson embraced and continued this tradition to create a completely immersive viewing experience that features complex characters overcoming their differences to triumph over unspeakable evil. There are far too many inspiring Gandalf quotes to share them all here, but I will leave you with one that I think we all need to here right now:
The Harry Potter series
Friendship, magic and hope triumph over the dark forces of evil in this fantastic series. The tone of the films changes over time, growing darker and more intense with each entry as the danger increases and the stakes are raised. I doubt I need to introduce the main characters and plot of the Harry Potter series, but I will just say that the films have their very own Gandalf in the form of Dumbledore, complete with his own selection of inspiring quotes.
The Princess Bride
Swashbuckling adventure, sweeping romance, memorable characters, quotable lines and hilarious comedy make The Princess Bride one of my all-time favourite cinematic escapes. Follow along with Wesley as he embarks on a mission to save his one true love and encounters all sorts of strange characters and imaginative scenarios a long the way. The ultimate cure for a bad day.
Raiders of the Lost Ark / Last Crusade
Dr. Jones is an adventure-seeking archaeologist who travels the world rescuing precious artifacts and facing off against dastardly Nazis. Harrison Ford is the antithesis of the strong, silent hero, and Jones’ antics are sure to keep you laughing and sitting on the edge of your seat. There are technically four films in the series, but take my advice and save yourself some epic disappointment by sticking with the first and third films – you really can’t go wrong with either one.
Very similar in feel to Indiana Jones and set during the same time-period, this is a deliciously breezy, cheesy little cinematic romp that doesn’t take itself too seriously. The Mummy features likeable characters, terribly punny lines, and plenty of swashbuckling fun. It also features one of my favourite cinematic librarians of all time. I love you, Evie.
This movie is dumb. Dumb, dumb, dumb. But you know what? It’s also a lot of silly fun. A motley team of storm-chasers risks life and limb to study tornadoes in the hopes of better understanding how they work so that they can save lives by more accurately predicting them. Is this film scientifically sound? Goodness no. People survive Class 5 tornadoes by anchoring themselves to water pipes with leather belts. But it has that wonderful 1990s earnestness, unintentionally hilarious lines, and of course Phillip Seymour Hoffman. Turn off your brain and just enjoy the ride.
David Bowie and Jim Henson. What more do I really need to say? Well, if you insist, I’ll just add that this 1980s classic starring Jennifer Connolly really is head-scratchingly, mind-bendingly weird. In the best possible way, of course. Forget your troubles – you’re in Bowie’s world now.
I know, I know, this movie’s premise is beyond ridiculous, and Nicholas Cage is kind of insane. But what can I say, it’s so much ridiculous fun! Nicholas Cage plays a historian and writer who must put together a string of clues to solve a time-sensitive mystery that really doesn’t matter all that much to non-Americans, but which makes for a hilarious romp. Put your cinema snob to bed and enjoy this silly adventure.
Not as good as the book, of course, but still a lovely little fantasy adventure. Based on the novel by Neil Gaiman, Stardust is the imaginative tale of a young man who embarks on an epic journey to win the heart of the girl he loves. Oh, and it’s got Robert DeNiro in it too.
Think your life is bad? Just remember – being chased by a T-Rex would be infinitely worse. Is this a warm and fuzzy feel-good movie? Not exactly….but it’s got dinosaurs in it. And Sam Neil. And Jeff Goldblum essentially playing Jeff Goldblum. And more dinosaurs. And a wicked score. So, there’s that.
Hopefully some of these movies will help you plan your perfect escape from the everyday. Because sometimes we all just need to turn off the real world and turn on a movie that distracts us and refreshes us so we can tackle our problems head-on. Whatever movies help you feel better, enjoy!