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Top 10 Films That Give Me Goosebumps

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Now, before you jump to any conclusions about this week’s top 10, just bear with me for a minute. When I mention “goosebumps,” I mean these specific films listed provoke a profound reaction of euphoria, nostalgia, and wonderment in me, essentially any strong emotion. These feelings can be caused by breathtaking imagery, an ambient, sedating soundtrack, haunting dialogue, or simply a magnificent performance. I know this top 10 is rather personal and abstract, seeing as any film can evoke any reaction depending on the individual. I just think its time I put more of myself into these weekly posts. While the other editions of the top 10 segment are sorted and ranked by me and me alone, I do take other factors into account before concluding and publishing. You might think that this top 10 contains a lot of my all- time favourite films. Although it is a good indicator of what I look for and enjoy in a film, you’d be surprised at how many are actually considered to be some of my preferred films…but I digress…let’s just get into it!

For each film listed I’ll provide a brief clip for you all to check out. If you like what you see, I highly recommend all films listed, so give them a watch and be sure to let me know what you think!

Honourable Mention:

“The Trip” (2010) Michael Winterbottom.

 

10: “Melancholia” (2010) Lars Von Trier.

 

9: “Another Earth” (2011) Mike Cahill

 

8: “To the Wonder” (2012) Terrence Malick.

 

7: “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” (2004) Michael Gondry.

 

6: Into the Wild (2007) Sean Penn.

 

5: “The Tree of Life” (2012) Terrence Malick.

 

4: “127 Hours” (2011) Danny Boyle.

 

3: “Take Shelter” (2011) Jeff Nichols.

 

2: “Moon” (2009) Duncan Jones.

 

1: “Sunshine” (2007) Danny Boyle.

 

Okay all, that’ll do it for this week’s top 10, hope you all enjoyed it! If you have any comments or questions about the top 10 or any of the films listed, don’t hesitate to ask. Everyone have a great weekend!

Into the Wild (2007)

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Pulling on the heart strings of the rebellious adventurer inside all of us while it pokes holes in systematic evolution and the steadily growing restraint on our existence. Into the Wild is a visually breathtaking, thought-provoking journey told through an eager set of eyes belonging to a unique, fearless individual. Taking full advantage of the vast landscapes across North America and a highly likeable lead. Into the Wild is one of the most appealing and striking films to ever grace the big screen. Based on a true story and directed by Sean Penn. This cross-country trek is ripe with bright-eyed, kind-natured people living their lives to the fullest. While it may not sit consistently content with all of its viewers. Into the Wild is an unflinching look at the harsh realities of this world and teaches us to seize it instead of looking forward to what could possibly await us in the next.

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Upon graduating from Emory University in Atlanta, Christopher McCandless decides to destroy all his worldly possessions and leave his home and family behind in order to travel across America. Hating every facet of a conventional, conformists living. McCandless thrives in the wilderness working odd jobs to make a couple of bucks and makes new friends on his long journey. Spending all this time alone allows Chris to reflect on his troubled childhood, existence, and become one with nature. Eventually wanting to end his journey in Alaska, Christopher does whatever it takes to accomplish his goal while trying not to hurt anyone along the way.

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The path may be divided, long, arduous, and diverse. However, there is one steady, dependable aspect of Into the Wild and it’s lead Emile Hirsch. Never taking the easy route or shying away from a little manual labour. Hirsch radiates youthful ambition and an infinite supply of energy. Although craving nothing more than feeling the wind in his hair and to take the road less travelled. Hirsch’s character rarely stays in one place or calls any land home. Hirsch does a flawless job staying firmly rooted and never bitter.

While Hirsch gives a terrific, almost infallible performance. An even more remarkable, albeit technically smaller achievement is the acting of Into the Wild’s supremely talented supporting cast. However, just because they don’t garner as much screen time, doesn’t make their performances any less spectacular. Featuring Vince Vaughan, Catherine Keener, Zach Galifianakis, Hal Holbrook, Jena Malone, and Kristen Stewart. Into the Wild’s superb ensemble is funny, caring, and enduring.

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Keener, without question, gives the most sincere and honest performance out of the supporting cast. There is no denying her charm, vulnerability, and maturity, she’ll make you weep. Despite being limited to no more than a few minutes of screen time. Galifianakis manages to conjure up the biggest laughs and shows a more serious side to his talents. As for Stewart, what can one say with a bias as strong as mine. Her performance continues to give me ammunition for anyone discrediting her as an actor. A lot like Galifianakis, Vaughan showcases a much more dramatic edge and discards his comedic prowess for a nurturing, endearing element. Hal Holbrook poses the biggest opposition for Keener. His nurturing wisdom and gradual sadness evokes an ocean of emotion. Finally, the highly underrated and underused Jena Malone provides the trustworthy and formidable base for Hirsch and proves why her lack of use is a travesty.

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Sean Penn does an outstanding job capturing the wildness and ferocity of the unforgiving terrain. The only aspect of Into the Wild that rivals his ability to illustrate the sights is Penn’s weightless camerawork absorbing every emotion emitted by the talented cast.

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Extremely beautiful both externally and internally, Into the Wild is a highly visual drama that is not to be missed.

Into the Wild: 9 out of 10.

Also guys, don’t forget to check out this week’s top 10 posted yesterday. Have a good weekend!

The Game (1997)

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It may be a tad too predictable, bland, and overcompensating, which would make The Game David Fincher’s most tame chapter to date. That being said, a mediocre Fincher film is still a hell of a lot better than most of the weekly releases that lack emotion, intelligence, and pride. Don’t get me wrong, The Game is entertaining and it still stirs up deep questions and arguments about the human condition. It’s just that throughout the film you’re constantly being led to believe that your going to be wowed at some point and while it may set its sights high, it doesn’t fully reach them. The Game stars Michael Douglas and Sean Penn as brothers who have become distanced and unfamiliar. With a script strong enough to evoke a response and its two leads doing their best to make up for what is lacking. The Game is a fine outline of what Fincher is capable of and is an early look into the mind we’ve come to expect big things from. Despite its straight and narrow storyline, it’s still more captivating and rewarding than most half assed attempts at psychological thrillers.

Nicholas (Douglas) is a wealthy banker residing in San Francisco. His attitude and tastes are suited to a man of his stature and he embraces the loneliness that comes with importance. Nicholas has reached the age of 48 which is the same age his father committed suicide. When he meets with his brother Conrad (Penn), he receives an unexpected gift. It is some sort of gift card that gives Nicolas access to a unique form of entertainment. Giving in to his urges, Nicolas redeems the card and is transported into a surreal world of confusion and violence.

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The Game still may be able to catch a few off guard and provide a slight surprise but for the majority, what it’s building up to is visible from the get go. I’m trying my best not to bad mouth a piece of Fincher’s collection because I enjoyed the film and love Fincher, it just wasn’t what I expected. The acting good and the point it drives towards is relevant. The significance in the lesson is valuable to each individual, it just could have been masked better through a bit more deception and creativity. The game is a respectable piece of cinema, but it is sandwiched between two of the most celebrated films of all time (Seven and Fight Club). Maybe it’s the simple fact that in comparison to its predecessor and follow up, The Game just doesn’t perform as well and is forgotten, thus leading to the reason why I cut it some slack. The Game is a Fincher film, however brooding and atmospheric, it is a safe attempt. The plot and characters are just intriguing enough to drag you along for the ride. Long after the film finishes, it sticks like a splinter in your brain and grows on you with each passing day. Soon, The Game will make its way into your collection respectably and will always be a stepping stone for the magnificent director we know as David Fincher.

The Game: 7 out of 10.