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Top 100 Movies Part X - Finale

I'm back with the finale to my Top 100 Movies countdown. Throughout this list, I've been counting down my 100 favorite movies. The order is by no means in concrete but I did try my best to sift through every movie I've watched and try to pick out my all-time favorites. One hundred may say sound like a huge number, but there are actually quite a few movies that I really like that didn't quite make the cut at the time I made this list. Here are some key honorable mentions:

- Die Hard

- Jurassic Park

- The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

- Halloween

- Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

- Up

- Kiki's Delivery Service

- Stand By Me

- Pyscho

- No Country for Old Men

- The Revenant*

- Captain America: Civil War*

* Did not watch until after I organized the list

So yeah, some real heavy-hitters there and I could even go on. Looking back, there are a few movies from that list I would have included on the list. Just as there are movies on the list that I wish I placed higher/lower. Again, 100 is a difficult number to work with when you are ranking your favorite things. Well, here's the complete list:

100. The Descendants

99. The Grand Budapest Hotel

98. X-Men: Days of Future Past

97. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

96. 2001: A Space Odyssey

95. Inglorious Basterds

94. The Aviator

93. Napoleon Dynamite

92. Reservoir Dogs

91. The Fast and the Furious

90. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

89. 3:10 to Yuma

88. Catch Me If You Can

87. The Godfather Part II

86. Blade Runner

85. Man of Steel

84. Chinatown

83. Spider-Man

82. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

81. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

80. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

79. American Psycho

78. A Clockwork Orange

77. Zodiac

76. Captain America: The Winter Solider

75. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

74. Inside Out

73. Casino Royale

72. Saving Private Ryan

71. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

70. Sideways

69. Fight Club

68. I Love You, Man

67. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

66. Full Metal Jacket

65. True Grit

64. Rebel Without A Cause

63. Iron Man

62. Cast Away

61. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

60. The Shining

59. 50/50

58. Wall-E

57. X-Men: First Class

56. Boyhood

55. The Lion King

54. Moneyball

53. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

52. Dumb and Dumber

51. Mad Max: Fury Road

50. Finding Nemo

49. Princess Mononoke

48. Raiders of the Lost Ark

47. Django Unchained

46. Shutter Island

45. The Place Beyond the Pines

44. Casino

43. My Neighbor Totoro

42. Toy Story 2

41. Guardians of the Galaxy

40. Monsters, Inc.

39. Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire

38. Ratatouille

37. Raging Bull

36. The Dark Knight Rises

35. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

34. The Illusionist

33. Interstellar

32. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

31. (500) Days of Summer

30. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

29. Rear Window

28. The Wolf of Wall Street

27. Watchmen

26. Spider-Man 2

25. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

24. The Godfather

23. Toy Story

22. Pulp Fiction

21. Batman

20. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

19. The Incredibles

18. Toy Story 3

17. Midnight in Paris

16. Batman Begins

15. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

14. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

13. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

12. Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens

11. Forrest Gump

10. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

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2003

Directed by Peter Jackson

Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen

Why It's a Favorite: Return of the King is the perfect ending to a flawless trilogy of films that still amaze me today, thirteen (!!!) years after ROTK was my first IMAX experience. I was nine years old when I entered an IMAX theater for the first time, getting ready to say what I thought was my goodbye to Middle-earth. I will never forget being mystified by the gigantic screen and thunderous surround speakers. I try to re-watch the six Middle-earth movies as often as I can and every time I do, Return of the King is always the highlight. The series' epic scale reaches its peak in the movie and argument can be made that cinema reaches its epic peak here too.

Favorite Scene: People joke all the time that Return of the King has more than a few endings and while the pacing might feel different, there is no denying that the overall ending to the final LOTR film is perfect. The destruction of the ring, Aragorn becoming King, Aragorn and his whole kingdom bowing to the hobbits, the hobbits returning to the shire, Frodo and Bilbo leaving.

Favorite Character/Performance: Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins. While Ian McKellen's Gandalf is my favorite character from the trilogy and while the title of this movie bears Aragorn's namesake, to me, ROTK is about Frodo facing his demons and ending his adventure. That's part of what got lost in the shameful ending chapter of the recent Hobbit trilogy. But ROTK comes full circle and Elijah Wood absolutely nails his emotional part.

9. Gangs of New York

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2002

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, Cameron Diaz

Why It's a Favorite: Gangs of New York was well received at its time back in 2002, although losing its 10 Academy Award nominations, but I can't help but think this movie doesn't get enough love today. It may be Martin Scorsese's most ambitious film he ever made and it's certainly one of my favorites of his. The set pieces that bring a post-Civil War New York City to life, the grand fight scene that kicks off the movie, Day-Lewis' legendary performance as Bill "The Butcher" Cutting, the complex tale of revenge, the memorable final shot and all that it stands for. It's the first film of what is already a legendary series of collaborations between Scorsese and DiCaprio.

Favorite Scene: The aforementioned marching/fight scene is really just a kickass way to start a film as epic as Gang of New York. I mean, we get to see Liam Neeson and Daniel Day-Lewis fight to the death with melee weapons.

Favorite Character/Performance: Daniel Day-Lewis as Bill "The Butcher" Cutting makes this movie. It would be on my Mt. Rushmore of favorite acting performances next to Heath Ledger, Robert De Nino, and Marlon Brando.

8. Inception

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2010

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Marion Cotillard, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Why It's a Favorite: Only one other film in my top ten is a completely original idea. Not a sequel, a prequel, a remake, a reboot, or an adaptation. A purely original film with an original story. The other film is at the very top of my list, while Inception settles at eight. Original is the word I keep coming back to to describe Inception. It's a movie unlike any other, besides maybe Nolan's Interstellar. Inception is a brilliant idea that is just as brilliantly made. I think it took me five viewings to fully understand its plot but that's not a knock on it at all, in fact, that's what I love about Inception. It keeps me guessing and thinking, even after I've watched it more than a handful of times. It never fails to amaze.

Favorite Scene: Out of all the great scenes, I would have to point to the famous, ambiguous final shot of Cobb's totem spinning on the table as he finally embraces his kids. Is it reality or just another dream? We will never know and I think that's more powerful than any other way the movie could have ended. I'm a sucker for "open for interpretation" endings.

Favorite Character/Performance: While not one of his legendary, award-nominated roles, Leonardo DiCaprio's Cobb is certainly among Leo's most iconic roles. Someone like Brad Pitt or Ewan McGregor probably could have taken his place and I would have the same reaction to the movie, but I just really like the mysterious nature of Cobb and DiCaprio pulls off that distant performance nicely.

7. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2

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2011

Directed by David Yates

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Why It's a Favorite: As I stated numerous times throughout this series, Harry Potter meant everything to me growing up as a kid. The books, the movies, all of it. I grew up with Harry Potter and I am so glad that I was able to. Seven of the eight movies appear on my list (sorry Chamber of Secrets), obviously the most of any series. Well, Deathly Hallows - Part 2 was the end of Harry Potter's story and it came at a time in transition in my own life, when I was 17 and ready to graduate from high school. The finale to Harry Potter was everything I had hoped for. The ultimate battle of good vs evil and a farewell to many unforgettable characters and adventures.

Favorite Scene: Snape's secret. It turned a seemingly evil character that everyone hated into the most complex character in the series who every fan adores.

Favorite Character/Performance: The late Alan Rickman as Severus Snape. I still stand by my belief that Rickman should have received an Academy Award nomination for his last, tragic turn as Snape. It also helps that his character defining chapter was beautifully written by J.K. Rowling.

6. Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back

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1980

Directed by Irvin Kershner

Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Why It's a Favorite: Empire Strikes Back is what takes a novel idea such as the first Star Wars movie and makes it into the complex, epic opera powerhouse that Star Wars is today. It made everyone care about Luke, Han, and Leia. It expanded the Star Wars universe into something special, throwing fan favorite characters our way such as Yoda, Lando, Boba Fett, and The Emperor. It's the gold standard for Star Wars and science fiction.

Favorite Scene: The confrontation between Luke and Darth Vader is one of the most iconic scenes in the history of film. The lightsaber duel, the revealing line, Luke's scream and fall. It was the ultimate turning point that left me anxious to switch out VHS tapes and watch Return of the Jedi.

Favorite Character/Performance: Harrison Ford as Han Solo. Luke Skywalker wasn't the only character to have a dramatic cliffhanger scene. Han Solo, now a completely reformed hero, still had to answer for the bounty on his head, collected by Boba Fett. I can't imagine leaving the theaters in 1980, wondering what was going to happen next, having to wait three years to discover the fate of Han Solo.

5. The Departed

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2006

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Matt Damon, Jack Nicholson

Why It's a Favorite: There's a lot going on with The Departed that makes it one of my absolute favorite movies. It all starts with Martin Scorsese, who has eight movies on this list (three in my top ten). With Scorsese comes all-star casts only he can assemble, stories with unforgettable twists and turns, bold direction and cinematography, and a use of music that always brings its setting to life. Then, there's its Boston, Massachusetts setting, a city I am very fond of. Many films take place in Boston, but I can't think of a movie that captures the city better than The Departed. The city of Boston is as much a character as the film's three main leads. What really makes The Departed unique apart from the other Scorsese classics is its hectic third act, featuring an ending that dropped my jaw the first time I saw it.

Favorite Scene: It has to be the ending. There's really no way to talk about it without spoiling the whole movie. Let's just say it's the perfect way to end the game of cat and mouse (or rat and rat) in which The Departed is all about.

Favorite Character/Performance: Jack Nicholson as Frank Costello. In likely one of his last performances, the legendary Jack Nicholson stars as the head of the Irish mob in Boston. Each scene that he is in is chilling, unsettling, and tense.

4. The Prestige

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2006

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale, Michael Caine

Why It's a Favorite: Christopher Nolan is already well on his way to being the filmmaker of his generation. Anything he touches today is a must-see. Everyone likes to point to The Dark Knight trilogy, Inception, Interstellar, and Memento as his defining works. The Prestige is often overlooked and it's one of my all-time favorites. The tale of two magicians obsessed with outperforming one another in 1900's London takes many unexpected turns, leading to the type of mind-blowing film Nolan is known for. The style of 1900's London is vividly brought to light on camera and features some of my all-time favorite shots. The Prestige is a pretty movie to look at, has a brilliant plot, and is led by an amazing group of performances from Hugh Jackman to Christian Bale to Michael Caine to David Bowie to Andy Serkis to Scarlett Johansson to Rebecca Hall.

Favorite Scenes: Finding out the truth about Tesla's machine. It's quite the cinematic moment for a movie that is quite the cinematic achievement.

Favorite Character/Performance: Hugh Jackman as Robert Angier. It's so easy to get caught up in Jackman's defining role as The Wolverine and forget that he can act with the best of them. Prisoners and Les Miserables can also attest to that. But seeing Angier's insane drive to be the best magician in the world and the lengths he took to compete with Bale's Borden is really something else.

3. The Dark Knight

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2008

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Michael Caine

Why It's a Favorite: Forget the title of "best comic book movie ever made," I think that an untouchable title, I think that The Dark Knight is one of the very best movies ever made. It's impossible to think that it wasn't even nominated for Best Picture back in 2008, especially given the extreme lack of quality among the nominees that year. It's an amazing tale of Batman and The Joker, how The Joker exists for the sole purpose of chaos and Batman exists for the sole purpose of justice. When chaos ensues, justice becomes blurred, pushing Batman to his limit. Holy s*** do I remember watching this movie for the first time in theaters. Its intensity hasn't since been matched and its hard to imagine that it ever will be.

Favorite Scene: The interrogation of The Joker by Batman. What else? It's one of the great movie scenes of all-time. The writing, acting, direction, music. It's chilling.

Favorite Character/Performance: Heath Ledger as The Joker. It's my favorite acting performance of all-time.

2. Goodfellas

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1990

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring Ray Liotta, Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci

Why It's a Favorite: Goodfellas feels like home in a weird way. It just hits all the right notes and is forever a movie I can watch over and over again. Many of Scorsese's movies have a rise and fall theme and Goodfellas plays to that theme the best. What makes Scorsese's rise and fall movies like Goodfellas, Casino, and The Wolf of Wall Street extra special is how they include the audience. They all are narrated to the viewer through the main character(s) and in a few cases, the characters look right at the camera and let you in on certain things. On top of the narration, Goodfellas started Scorsese's style of luring the viewer in to the lifestyle the main character is also being lured into. It's the music, the in-joke laughs, and even the way the movie is filmed. Henry Hill is lured into the life of a gangster as an outsider and, in a way, so is the viewer. It's all high times and good fun until things catch up to Henry. Realizing the people he called his friends and family for so many years are really just snakes in the grass, ready to cut him off at any point for their own sake. On top of the roller coaster of a plot, the movie is fun to look at and listen to with the long takes, montages, iconic shots and lines, and the best ever use of a soundtrack. Goodfellas is a rare movie that has everything going for it.

Favorite Scene: There are so, so many to choose from. "Funny how?," the dinner scene with Tommy's mother, "Go home and get your shine box," the uses of "Layla" and "Atlantis," the whirlwind of an ending... I'll settle on the iconic long take of Henry taking Karen on a date to the club, cutting a long line by coming in through the kitchen back door, tipping everyone he sees with a handful of cash and getting a table carried to the front row of the stage. It shows Henry's power while also glamorizing his gangster lifestyle.

Favorite Character/Performance: Joe Pesci as Tommy Devito. An Academy Award winning performance based on a real person, Pesci's character is explosive and unpredictable.

1. Spirited Away

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2001

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Starring Daveigh Chase, Jason Marsden, Suzanne Pleshette

Why It's My Favorite: On top of a long list of all-time favorites, Spirited Away will always remain at the very top. It's impossible to think anything will ever top it. There's one word I always come back to to describe Spirited Away and why it's my all-time favorite: imagination. There isn't a more imaginative movie than Miyazaki's Spirited Away, visually or thematically. When I look back at my childhood, getting this movie in my Easter basket all those years ago was an important moment in my life. This movie gave my childhood a boundless imagination and probably made me look at the world differently in some ways. Personal connection aside, Spirited Away is a creative and cinematic achievement. Its handcrafted animation is amazingly detailed and wildly original, Joe Hisashi's soundtrack is beautiful, the story has strong ties to Japanese culture but is thematically universal, and the English voice direction (the only version I know) sounds natural. I've watched this movie countless times yet every time I re-watch it, I'm taken back.

Favorite Scene: I love the start of this movie. The moving to a new town, getting lost, exploring what seems like an overgrown amusement park, and then entering a strange, at first terrifying new world.

Favorite Character/Performance: While Chihiro is my favorite character from the movie, I'm always impressed with Suzanne Pleshette as Yubaba and Zeniba. In a dual performance of similar looking and sounding characters, Yubaba and Zeniba are rival twin witches. Both act as mentors to Chihiro at one point while Yubaba ultimately acts as the movie's villain and Zeniba turns out to be a pretty interesting, complex character.

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And that's that. I think I'll have a blog that breaks down my list posted pretty soon but after that, only my farewell blog remains. I'm thinking about setting up a blog through another site soon. I don't have any big plans for it at the moment, but I'll post a link for it nonetheless. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Top 100 Movies Part IX

I'm back with the penultimate chapter in my Top 100 Movies countdown, my very last blog series here on Gamespot. It took way longer than I originally anticipated to post this part. My laptop's backlight died out soon a couple weeks back and it took me a while to replace it. The laptop was old and cheap; I actually had plans to replace it soon anyway, so I'm really not at all frustrated. It's nice to have a new laptop and I'm very fortunate that all of my old files are easily accessible by simply hooking up my old laptop to an external monitor via HDMI. Anyhow, nobody cares about my laptop situation. Let's get on with the countdown. It's the top 20. I love each and every one of these movies from here on out. Here's the list so far:

100. The Descendants

99. The Grand Budapest Hotel

98. X-Men: Days of Future Past

97. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

96. 2001: A Space Odyssey

95. Inglorious Basterds

94. The Aviator

93. Napoleon Dynamite

92. Reservoir Dogs

91. The Fast and the Furious

90. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

89. 3:10 to Yuma

88. Catch Me If You Can

87. The Godfather Part II

86. Blade Runner

85. Man of Steel

84. Chinatown

83. Spider-Man

82. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

81. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

80. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

79. American Psycho

78. A Clockwork Orange

77. Zodiac

76. Captain America: The Winter Solider

75. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

74. Inside Out

73. Casino Royale

72. Saving Private Ryan

71. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

70. Sideways

69. Fight Club

68. I Love You, Man

67. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

66. Full Metal Jacket

65. True Grit

64. Rebel Without A Cause

63. Iron Man

62. Cast Away

61. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

60. The Shining

59. 50/50

58. Wall-E

57. X-Men: First Class

56. Boyhood

55. The Lion King

54. Moneyball

53. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

52. Dumb and Dumber

51. Mad Max: Fury Road

50. Finding Nemo

49. Princess Mononoke

48. Raiders of the Lost Ark

47. Django Unchained

46. Shutter Island

45. The Place Beyond the Pines

44. Casino

43. My Neighbor Totoro

42. Toy Story 2

41. Guardians of the Galaxy

40. Monsters, Inc.

39. Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire

38. Ratatouille

37. Raging Bull

36. The Dark Knight Rises

35. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

34. The Illusionist

33. Interstellar

32. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

31. (500) Days of Summer

30. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

29. Rear Window

28. The Wolf of Wall Street

27. Watchmen

26. Spider-Man 2

25. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

24. The Godfather

23. Toy Story

22. Pulp Fiction

21. Batman

20. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

No Caption Provided

2001

Directed by Chris Columbus

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Why It's a Favorite: From the seven books to the eight movies, Harry Potter played a huge role in my upbringing throughout my childhood and into young adulthood. I'm part of the Harry Potter generation. I grew up with Harry, Ron, and Hermione. I'm proud to say that the 2001 film wasn't my introduction to the wizarding world (I read the books before the movies) but the visual imagining in the first film was everything I could have dreamed for. At the age of eight, I had no idea how movies were made, they were magic to me back then, as movies like this, Star Wars, and Jurassic Park are to any other innocent child. But now that I look back, save for some body swap CGI scenes that stand out, it's easy to why the Harry Potter films were and are so enchanting. The set pieces, art direction, costumes, makeup... it's all done so well. The people behind the scenes of the HP saga had an imagination so vivid, leading to realization. The first Harry Potter movie isn't perfect. Parts of it haven't aged well and the inexperience of the young actors shows. But it's the start of something truly special and opened my world of imagination along with another 2001 movie that appears higher on my list.

Favorite Scene: The arrival to Hogwarts is still an amazing shot. Seeing Hogwarts for the first time...

Favorite Character/Performance: Richard Harris as Albus Dumbledore. While I am a huge fan of Michael Gambon's Dumbledore and while it's impossible to picture Harris as Dumbledore in the later movies, the late Richard Harris brought so much wisdom and mystery to the legendary character. I still read Dumbledore's lines in Harris' voice every time I re-read the books.

19. The Incredibles

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2004

Directed by Brad Bird

Starring Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Jason Lee

Why It's a Favorite: The Incredibles is my favorite original Pixar film and it's hard to imagine that it will ever be topped. It's hilarious at times, endearing at others, and cool always. Up until last year's Inside Out (which I'm already regretting I didn't place much higher), no computer animated movie looked as impressive to me or had nearly as much style. But what really makes this movie stand out from the Pixar pack are its characters. Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, Dash, Violet, Syndrome, Frozone, even Jack Jack. They were instantly memorable and I can't wait to see them again in the upcoming sequel. Speaking of which, I'm interested to see when the sequel takes place. Will it be directly after with everyone at the same age? Will it be more contemporary with the kids grown up? Somewhere in between? I'm excited in any case.

Favorite Scene: The prologue with Mr. Incredible, Elastigirl, and Frozone as their younger selves. It's a great way to introduce the characters and the backstory of their superhero world. The interviews, the way that superheroes fell from grace. I know Brad Bird said he never read Watchmen before he made this movie and I don't know if I believe him, but the parallels between the two are awesome.

Favorite Character/Performance: Holly Hunter as Elastigirl/Helen Parr. Out of all the great superheroes in this movie, I find Elastigirl to be the most original. She's a mom which is an interesting take for a superhero and I really like how she reluctantly returns as a superhero to save her family. She also has the coolest action scene in the movie.

18. Toy Story 3

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2010

Directed by Lee Unkrich

Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack

Why It's a Favorite: Not only is Toy Story 3 a great time and a great movie, but its sentimental value can't really be touched. Of course, this movie is a kid's movie and it's stuffed with all sorts of silly laughs and the imaginative sense of adventure the Toy Story brand is known for. But I really believe this movie was for the 90's kids who grew up watching the first two movies. I'm basically the same age as Andy and at that point in time in 2010, I was saying goodbye to my own childhood. But the spirit of this movie is a happy one. I can only recall four animated movies that made me cry. Up, The Illusionist, Inside Out, and Toy Story 3. Unlike The Illusionist and like the other two Pixar films, the sadness is cleansed by a hopeful message. That it's okay to grow up because your childhood lives on through other generations. The passing of the toys from Andy to Bonnie is the most important part of the movie.

Favorite Character/Performance: Tom Hanks' Woody may have been at his best in Toy Story 2, but he has the best scenes again in Toy Story 3. He seems like the most heartfelt character and the one who has the strongest bond with Andy. An honorable mention goes out to Lotso, who turned out to be a pretty great Disney/Pixar villain.

17. Midnight in Paris

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2011

Directed by Woody Allen

Starring Owen Wilson, Marion Cotillard, Rachel McAdams

Why It's a Favorite: Out of all the movies in my top 20, this is probably the one you most likely haven't seen. It comes at my highest recommendation, even if you don't like Woody Allen films. Hell, I don't even like most Woody Allen films. But there is something truly special here and I have a feeling that this movie will grow to be not only a cult classic, but a classic. It has a really interesting and unique plot. Think Inception and Spirited Away but starring Owen Wilson as a nostalgic author with writer's block. I really don't want to give away much of it because I went in completely blank and it has since turned into one of my all-time favorites. It has an all-star supporting cast playing well known roles and is set in, you guessed it, Paris, in the most enchanting light its ever been captured on film. It's one of my favorite screenplays and has one of my very favorite soundtracks.

Favorite Character/Performance: Corey Stoll as Ernest Hemingway is just perfect. He appears every bit the folklore hero he's known to be. It made me a fan of Stoll's.

16. Batman Begins

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2005

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Liam Neeson

Why It's a Favorite: I really don't know if I agree when people always say that Batman Begins changed the way comic book movies were made. The movies that tried to copy its formula mostly fell flat on their face, and then Marvel really reinvented the genre with 2012's The Avengers for better or worse. I'm sure it's an influential movie, but most comic book movies overlook what made Nolan's trilogy so good. It wasn't because they were dark and gritty and had big drums for its soundtrack, it's that when you look at the movie by itself, Batman aside, each movie really stands as its own movie. You don't need to know a thing about comics to enjoy any of the Nolan Batman movies, especially Batman Begins. I remember my grandfather being completely enthralled with Batman Begins back in 2005 or 2006. I really can't see him or any other non-comic book lover being as fascinated and entertained by any other comic book movie, even the MCU greats.

Favorite Scene: Bruce embracing his fears in the bat cave as thousands of bats swarm around him is Batman Begin's most iconic scene. I also really, really like the scene where he confronts Carmine Falcone in his club. "You didn't bring a gun? I'm insulted."

Favorite Character/Performance: It's hard to look over Christian Bale's Batman/Bruce Wayne or Michael Caine's Alfred, but Gary Oldman's Jim Gordon is something really special and perhaps underappreciated. I've always liked to think that Jim Gordon is the second main character in the world of Gotham City. Two of my favorite Batman graphic novels, Year One and The Black Mirror, heavily feature the character and so does Nolan's Dark Knight trilogy. I'm interested to see where J.K. Simmons takes the character in next year's Justice League movie, but living up to Gary Oldman's chameleon performance will be no easy task.

15. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

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2004

Directed by Alfonso Cuaron

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Why It's a Favorite: So here's where the Harry Potter movies start to get really good and escape the rather formulaic plot of the first two Hogwarts adventures. Radcliffe, Watson, and Grint all make their largest leaps in acting ability here, solidifying the saga's future. It's also directed by the legendary Alfonso Cuaron, which, looking back, I have no idea how that happened. With him come his mystifying visuals and special effects that still look amazing twelve years later. The interesting plot (which deviates from the book more than any other film in the saga), acting, directing, and special effects are all strong with this fan favorite, but I think Prisoner of Azkaban's biggest strength is in its supporting characters. Making their debut are Sirius Black, Remus Lupin, and Peter Pettigrew. Along with Severus Snape and the deceased James Potter, the group of characters grew up together at Hogwarts and share an interesting history. This leads to a mind-bending scene near the story's finale, revealing of who's friend or foe.

Favorite Scene: The whole time-turner sequence is one of the best moments in the 8-film saga.

Favorite Character/Performance: David Thewlis' Remus Lupin is one of my favorite characters in the world of Harry Potter. He's a mentor to Harry and has a mysterious and dark story of his own, which comes to light near the film's end.

14. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope

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1977

Directed by George Lucas

Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

Why It's a Favorite: I'm part of the last generation who (briefly) had an understanding of Star Wars before the prequels and "special editions." And while I do like the prequels overall and think they get way too much flak, I'm very happy and proud that the original, untouched trilogy on VHS was my introduction to Star Wars. I will never forget that weekend where I watched the three movies for the first time, becoming a Star Wars fan for life. Nostalgia aside, the original Star Wars is the ultimate adventure. Luke is just a seemingly ordinary kid when he meets Obi Wan, and later Han, Chewie, and Leia. Soon enough, his life is about as extraordinary as it gets. It's a simple enough plot that works enough to gravitate so many fans to it. Honestly, it amazes me why this movie, over countless other sci-fi movies around the same time became a phenomenon. The original movie wasn't exactly plain, but more so mysterious; it didn't have the pool of depth and lore it has now or even in the mid 80's. I guess it all comes down to the characters of Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Leia Organa, R2-D2, C-3PO, Ben Kenobi, and Darth Vader.

Favorite Scene: To date, Darth Vader still has one of the coolest introductions of any movie villain. It's the very first scene in Star Wars and really sets the stage for what to expect.

Favorite Character/Performance: Harrison Ford as Han Solo. I'm a sucker for anti-heroes turned heroes and I probably get that from Han Solo. Han does shoot first and from that point, we know he isn't a clean-cut good guy. He's a pirate or a smuggler or a mercenary, whatever. He's just a cool, charismatic guy trying to get ahead and stay alive. As the story unfolds, Solo becomes as much of a hero as Luke without sacrificing much of his cool demeanor.

13. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

No Caption Provided

2001

Directed by Peter Jackson

Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen

Why It's a Favorite: The Lord of the Rings film trilogy has three distinct parts. The third film is an epic conclusion, the second film is an action packed, fragmentary chapter, and the first film is a pure adventure. While I might prefer the grand, final sense of ROTK, I always get most excited for Fellowship whenever I re-watch the trilogy, if that makes any sense. It's the start of the greatest trilogy of all-time, in any form of entertainment. I often think we take for granted how perfect LOTR translated to film. The movies were made at the turn of the millennium and yet they still look better than any other special effects driven, high fantasy movie made to date. But it's not the aesthetics that make LOTR my favorite film trilogy, it's the characters. The hobbits, Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond, the trio of Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli, etc. All perfectly written, cast, costumed, and portrayed.

Favorite Scene: The final scene where Gandalf sacrifices himself by fending off the Balrog is a classic scene that features a classic line.

Favorite Character/Performance: Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey tops an excellent cast. Again, it's very telling of the character of Gandalf to sacrifice himself. He may be the most powerful being in Middle-earth but he realizes the importance of the Fellowship's mission. And yes, Gandalf does return from the dead even more powerful, but he's never quite himself again.

12. Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens

No Caption Provided

2015

Directed by J.J. Abrams

Why It's a Favorite: Simply put, seeing the Force Awakens the night it came out (well, Friday night) was my favorite theater experience. Seeing The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, and Return of the King in IMAX all fall short of it and I didn't even see Episode VII in IMAX, it was just that special. I remember joking texting my friends while on break at work, "wouldn't it be cool to see Star Wars tonight?" "Yeah, but it's opening day, we'll never get tickets." Well, I sped over to the theater across the street with only minutes to spare and checked if they had four more tickets. Apparently, every theater in the complex was playing Star Wars (sorry, Tarantino) and there were still only a handful of tickets left. I bought them and couldn't believe it, I was seeing the next Star Wars movie earlier than I thought I would. As I left the theater with my tickets, I noticed it was starting to snow hard in typical Buffalo, New York fashion. I told my friends that I had the tickets and we planned to meet an hour and a half before the movie to make sure we all got seats together. I got out of work and noticed that there was a foot of fresh snow on the ground and that there was more coming, much more. I had to go back home and pick up my brother who was seeing the movie with us and then come all the way back to the theater across my workplace. I had to hurry if we wanted good seats. A commute that usually takes 15 minutes took 45 minutes of driving safely through more than a foot of snow. I got trapped behind slow-moving behemoths of snow plows at some spots, traversed through untouched roads packed with snow at other spots. I finally reached home and contemplated just eating the ticket costs and staying home safely. Young, foolish, and driven to see the first Star Wars movie in ten years, we decided to go anyway. Truth be told, it was much easier getting back to the theater and we met up with my friends and all sat together, four Star Wars fans since childhood seeing Episode VII. It still sounds hard to believe. Seeing the Lucasfilm banner instantly brought a chill down my spine and tears to my eyes. Then came the surreal opening crawl and the epic opening scene with Storm Troopers invading and savagely destroying a village accompanied by Kylo Ren. The movie continued to get more special until the very end. I ended up seeing the movie again in theaters and again on blu-ray, and the movie withstands the hype drop-off. Of course, it wasn't as meaningful as seeing it the first time, but every time I watched it, the amount of care that went into making it is always apparent.

Favorite Scene: Again, that Lucasfilm banner shot and the opening crawl was a special moment. But if we're talking actual scenes, I have to point to what came exactly after it. There is such a feverish level of tension during that Storm Trooper invasion. Kylo Ren had a pretty badass entrance too.

Favorite Character/Performance: Daisy Ridley as Rey. I was so worried that Ridley lacked the chops to carry a massive movie as the main character. Please don't let her be another Jake Lloyd or Hayden Christensen, I thought. Ridley turned out to be a great main character and I'm so excited to see where she goes next in Episode VIII. There's something so likable about Rey. There's also her mysterious background despite seeming at first to be an ordinary scrapper. She's like Luke in those three regards, but what separates her is that she's independent and already pretty kickass pre-lightsaber.

*As an aside, I almost gave this spot to Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux. I liked all four of the main villains very much, but who would have thought that General Hux would have been the scene stealing villain next to the likes of Kylo Ren, Captain Phasma, and Snoke?

11. Forrest Gump

No Caption Provided

1994

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Starring Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise

Why It's a Favorite: This movie is very "love it or hate it" but I absolutely love it. It's a classic. I love all the mid-20th century pop culture references that are incorporated into the story, told through the eyes of Forrest. It's my favorite feel good movie that I like to watch and then spend a few years not watching, only to relive it at a different place in my life. It's a special movie every time and it brings out the best in me.

Favorite Scene: The ending of the movie with Jenny passing is pretty heartbreaking. But the way Forrest carries on by raising their son alone is touching and inspirational.

Favorite Character/Performance: Tom Hanks as Forrest Gump. Who else? Nobody carries a movie better as a lead actor than Tom Hanks and this is his famous role.

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That took a while to write! :P I had fun writing it at least. I thought that by this point, I'd regret my decision to include 100 movies and start to get sick of it but a I reach the upper tier of my favorite of favorite movies, it gets easier and more fun. I won't promise on when my finale will be, but I don't think it will be very soon or very far away. I have a lot to do for school coming up this Fall and I've been busy with work. I haven't even had much time to do much gaming. I guess it's a good thing that the usual summer drought of video games is fully upon us. I haven't played a new game since Uncharted 4 in May. Next up this year is in August when the first chapter of Telltale's Batman comes out and then Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, which I am super excited about. For now, I'm bouncing back and forth between two JRPG's which I know is a bad tactic: Kingdom Hearts II: Final Mix on PS3 and Persona 4: Golden on Vita. I like to take my slow time with RPG's and walk away from them after a while and that's what I'm doing here. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Post-E3 2016: Top Ten Games and More

I wanted to let some time pass between the week of E3 and my reactions/post-E3 blog. Let everything from that week marinate and then reflect. I thought that E3 as a whole was great. It was pretty obvious to me that Sony "won" E3 while Microsoft and Nintendo also had strong showings. But man, that Sony PlayStation conference... I think it might be one of the all-time greats. There was game after game after game. And the big thing is, almost all of them were exclusive to PlayStation 4. That's a strong opposition to Microsoft's lineup of games that they showed, of which none were exclusive to Xbox One. And even if you do count "also coming to Windows 10" as exclusive, I honestly didn't find Microsoft's games all that interesting or impressive. Not even Gears of War 4 grabbed me the way the series always has. My big takeaway from E3 2016 is that Sony is not stepping off of the gas even thought they are trouncing Microsoft in console sales. In fact, Sony appears to be just getting started. The PlayStation 4 has gotten off to a historic start in terms of sales with only a small handful of big, exclusive games. While Microsoft has dumped a significant amount of money into making exclusive and timed exclusive game deals, Sony's approach to aggressively market huge AAA multiplatform games under the PlayStation brand continues to pay off. Looking at their upcoming exclusive game library, it looks like the PlayStation 4 is going to further distance itself from the Xbox One.

Console wars aside, there were a ton of great, fun looking games at E3 this year no matter which console you prefer. Here are my ten favorite games from E3 2016:

*Note that to appear on this list, each game must have shown actual gameplay footage. I'm not including Persona 5 because as awesome as the game was presented, it wasn't in English and I couldn't understand much of anything.

10. Days Gone (PS4)

No Caption Provided

Release Date TBA

Sony Bend hasn't made a game since 2011's Uncharted: Golden Abyss on the PlayStation Vita. Given how good that game was (especially with the Vita's limitations) and the time they've spent in the dark, I've been hoping that they've had an awesome PS4 game in the works that would hopefully let Sony Bend join the upper ranks of game studios. Well, they do have a PS4 game and it does look interesting. I'm not quite sold on what we saw from the conference-closing demo, but the concept of an open world biker gang drama set in Portland with zombie-like creatures is intriguing. I just hope the game isn't as shooter heavy as the demo was.

9. We Happy Few (XBO, PC, TBA)

No Caption Provided

July 26, 2016

Every year at E3, there is always at least one indie/smaller game that makes waves in a pool filled with giant AAA games. This year, it was the Bioshock inspired title We Happy Few, coming first to Xbox One and PC. The bizarre demo was he highlight of Microsoft's conference for me. It was awesomely weird and unsettling with an art style that looked creative. Between We Happy Few, Inside, Cuphead, Tacoma, and Below, Xbox One's upcoming indie (timed) exclusives look remarkable. After losing its indie ground to PlayStation for a few years, it's looking like Xbox is the best home for indie games once again.

8. Mafia III (PS4, XBO, PC)

No Caption Provided

October 7, 2016

Along with the likes of Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Mafia III's presence at E3 felt a bit underwhelming. I'm still expecting big things from both games and alongside Dishonored 2, the three games are probably tied for my most anticipated game for the rest of this year. I don't know if it was the heavy run and gunning or the explanation overload in the game's pre-E3 demo video, but I wanted to see how the open world is incorporated in Mafia III. Mafia II's shortcomings were thanks to having a really cool open world with nothing to in it other than get a shoe-shine and hunt for Playboy magazines. An open world game is only as good as its side objectives and activities to do. It's why Grand Theft Auto V, Red Dead Redemption, Infamous 2, etc. work so damn well. To stay positive, I was impressed with the how the driving looked and the whole sit down thing with your three capos looked really cool.

7. Detroit: Become Human (PS4)

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Release Date TBA

Quantic Dream's Heavy Rain is one of my all-time favorite games. To me, it was a unique experience that challenged what a game could be. Their next offering, Beyond: Two Souls, lost me at its two hour demo which I did not like. Detroit: Become Human is their next game and to me, it looks like Quantic Dream is looking for redemption. The story, gameplay, and tone of the game looks very similar to that of Heavy Rain's, which is a huge plus. It's decision making, interactive cinematic gameplay where you play as multiple characters with different perspectives. Announced at Paris Games Week last year, its presence at E3 was surprising to me. I thought this game would be one of those games that goes dark for an extended period of time. Not only was it surprising to see it again so soon, the nature of its presentation was very unlike of Quantic Dream. No focus on graphics, no David Cage talking, and no lengthy dramatic cutscenes. Instead, it shows quick clips of the different outcomes of players' choices. And it looked cool.

6. Ghost Recon Wildlands (PS4, XBO, PC)

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March 7, 2016

Remember that game that awkwardly closed out Ubisoft's E3 2015 conference and looked barren of identity and fun? Well, it was surprisingly one of the most fun looking games at E3 this year and I totally dig its task force vs cartel theme set in an open world Bolivia. The scripted, pre-recorded co-op demo was awesome. A group of players had a tactical plan that they were perfectly executing in stealth before one missed bullet set their objective into chaos. They improvised and the result was spontaneous, exciting action gameplay. I would have placed the game higher if I actually trusted Ubisoft. Their graphical downgrades are notoriously bad to a point where its unacceptable. I'm also afraid that the game will be a bore if you don't have a tight-nit group to routinely play online with. Nevertheless, the game looked awesome and its definitely on my radar for the first time.

5. God of War (PS4)

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Release Date TBA

Another surprise! Look, I've never cared for God of War whatsoever. I like the idea of a video game that deals with ancient mythology, but both the wide angle, button-mashing from start to finish (and I mean MASHING) gameplay and the non-stop anger/kill everything story never grabbed me. I tried playing three God of War games before giving up soon. But this game looks almost completely different than anything God of War has ever done. It's Norse mythology, the camera is tighter, the gameplay looks more varied, and the story actually looks interesting. It started Sony's conference with a loud bang and the whole conference fed off that and never let up.

4. Battlefield 1 (PS4, XBO, PC)

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October 21, 2016

I've spent six years away from playing multiplayer shooters. Battlefield: Bad Company 2 was the last multiplayer shooter that I really got deep into. Since then, it's been play a few times and lose interest. Why? I miss the tactical, slower-paced gameplay where you play as part of a team. I'm nostalgic for games like the Battlefield: Bad Company series and the earlier Call of Duty games. And while Call of Duty has only gotten more fast-paced, futuristic, and ridiculous, Battlefield is taking a bold step by setting their next game during World War I. I still can't believe that. EA's conference closed with three rounds of a giant multiplayer match and it looked amazing. The open fields, the vehicles, the different classes, the massive destruction, teamwork based gameplay... my memories of playing Bad Company and World at War came rushing back. And on top of that, I feel like I can trust what EA DICE was showing because the presentation of their last game, Star Wars: Battlefront was astonishing at times. And the giant multiplayer demo was being played live on console. I'm sold on this game.

3. Dishonored 2 (PS4, XBO, PC)

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November 11, 2016

The first Dishonored was a surprise. A brand new IP from a rookie developer that was a unique experience, had a cool art style, and had tight gameplay. Its sequel has been a long time coming and now that its release is in sight, we finally got to see some gameplay and it looked just as wickedly awesome as the first game's. I was worried after last year's cinematic teaser trailer at E3 that the game had lost its identity but that is clearly not the case. The rich sense of environment was there and so was the gameplay that lets the player decide how to play. Lethal or non-lethal, stealth or head-on, supernatural or blood and steel.

2. Horizon Zero Dawn (PS4)

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February 28, 2017

The surprise game that stole much of the spotlight at last year's E3 did the same thing again this year. This time, we got to see the game's open world and RPG elements really take shape. We got to see the inventory system, crafting elements, more of the open world, some new characters, the dialogue system, and some new hints at what the story is going to be about. What's really cool about how Sony is showing this game off is that most of the game is still a mystery. This has potential to be a huge new IP for PlayStation, something they desperately need. Its release date a week or two after Persona 5 has me a bit frustrated, but I am very much looking forward to Horizon.

1. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Wii U, NX)

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2017

Hell. Yeah. It's been a long wait for the full reveal of Nintendo's next main entry of the Legend of Zelda series. After not quite feeling Twilight Princess or Skyward Sword (ew, motion controls!), I wanted Zelda to come back in a huge, modern way. The long wait looks like it's well worth it because Breath of the Wild is looking like the Legend of Zelda game I've been dreaming about for years. It reminds me a lot of Ocarina of Time and Wind Waker, which are the perfect Zelda games to take inspiration from in my opinion. It's open world, has deep RPG elements (eating food for health recovery, a complex inventory system, weapons that get damaged, an expansive map), and appears to be distinctively modern, yet it still looks like the Zelda we know and love. It has a ton of new gameplay mechanics that are new not only for the series, but for video games in general. Breath of the Wild looks inspired but it also looks innovative. For what it's worth, it also reminds me a great deal of my favorite game of all-time: Jak and Daxter: The Precursor Legacy in its scope. You can stand on top of a mountain, look at a swamp in the distance, descend down and eventually reach that swamp without a load screen. That sort of stuff. The game looks awesome and has officially punched my ticket for buying an NX, whatever the hell it actually is.

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Of course, there were some games that made their debut at E3 this year and didn't have any gameplay to actually judge the game. I try not to read into these types of trailers. It has paid off wonderfully in the past but it also can be very misleading, which can turn into massive disappointment. But hey for now, these games at least seem pretty cool in concept:

5. Batman: Arkham VR and Resident Evil VII (tie)

With the extreme lack of games coming to PlayStation VR when it comes out later this year, it was nice to see two intriguing games announced for it at E3 this year. While Batman: Arkham VR is sure to be a less than one hour experience specifically designed for VR, Resident Evil VII is, of course, a full-fledged AAA game that is optionally fully playable in VR. It's two different approaches and it will be interesting to see which one pays off better. Resident Evil VII had a playable demo available to all immediately very similar to Silent Hills' "P.T." demo. Also similar to it, the gameplay probably isn't going to be the gameplay in the actual game when it comes out. But it is at least apparent that the Resident Evil is going back to its horror roots, which is great news.

4. Mass Effect: Andromeda

In the most disappointing presence at E3, Mass Effect: Andromeda might as well not even have shown up at EA's conference for a third year in a row. First, it was some behind the scenes BS when the game was in pre-development with out a name, then a reveal teaser trailer, and now more behind the scenes BS with a few shots of the game (not gameplay, mind you). Andromeda is set to have its full reveal later this year, undoubtedly on N7 Day, but for a game that was supposed to come out this year only to be delayed to early 2017, it's worrisome that we have yet to see any gameplay or even an extensive trailer. But to be fair, I did like what I saw. I'm excited to get back into the world of Mass Effect.

3. Prey

One of three big surprises at Bethesda's conference (the others being Quake Champions and Skyrim Remastered), Arkane Studios' second team is making a Prey reboot. Arkane is the developer behind Dishonored, so we kind of have an idea of what to expect. The trailer was very mysterious and had some horror elements behind it.

2. Death Stranding

As awesome as Hideo Kojima's trailer was, it was probably a mistake to show this game off so soon on Sony's part. The game could easily come out in the 2020's, given how long Kojima's games usually take. Apparently, the game doesn't have an engine yet and is only aiming to start development this year. But hey, it was a pretty dope trailer.

1. Spider-Man

Having an exclusive Spider-Man game is a huge get for Sony and PlayStation. Having Insomniac Games develop it makes this a colossal exclusive game. it's unclear how far along the game is and if a few shots from the trailer were in fact early gameplay, but the sense of it seems like Insomniac is going to treat Spider-Man with game the character has been in need of for a long time. The music, the suit, Peter Parker's voiceover, Spidey's combat moves, NYC, it looks awesome. The future of the PS4 is bright.

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Next blog, it's back to my Top 100 Movies countdown, with only a couple parts left. I'll be posting the next part soon. Thanks for reading and please comment with what your favorite games from E3 were :)

- Dylan

Pre-E3 2016

Taking a quick break from my Top 100 Movies countdown, I wanted to do a last couple of E3 blogs. The week of E3 is always exciting. Whether its the leaks leading up the the expo or the conferences themselves, it's something I've always looked forward to since I first joined this site back in 2008. Just looking back at the E3's of years past, there have been so many exciting announcements. The Uncharted 2: Among Thieves demo, the excitement surrounding like 5 consecutive Assassin's Creed games back when the series was on top of the world, the sheer happiness surrounding each Nintendo presentation, that time Sony's PlayStation 4 absolutely embarrassed Microsoft's Xbox One, the Kingdom Hearts III reveal, and the Fallout 4 reveal spectacular I had been waiting years for. For videogame fans, E3 is always exciting. We get updates on games that we've known about for years (a full decade in Final Fantasy XV's case!) and we get plenty of surprise reveals. This blog is a bit of a primer for E3 2016, including the games I'm most looking forward to seeing again as well the games I'm foolishly hoping get announced.

In honor of 2016, here are the sixteen previously revealed games I'm looking forward to getting another glimpse of:

16. For Honor

First Announced: E3 2015

Where it Could Show Up: Ubisoft's press conference

Why I'm Excited: Remember how weird Ubisoft's E3 2015 conference was? Packed full of way too many games we didn't dare put our trust into after the disappointment surrounding Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed: Unity? For Honor was one of them. It's a grounded medieval knight/viking third person action game and it looked pretty, with some of the best sword gameplay I've seen in a game. We still don't know what what its nature is. Could it be yet another Ubisoft single player focused open world franchise? Or is it their take on a multiplayer arena game? We should find out soon.

15. Yooka-Laylee

First Announced: Spring 2015

Where it Could Show Up: Show floor

Why I'm Excited: Yooka-Laylee is a small game made by a small team, including several ex-Rare developers. It's meant to be a callback to the 3D character platformers that dominated the 90's, like Banjo-Kazooie, Crash Bandicoot, and Spyro the Dragon. If its latest trailer debuting its gameplay is any indication, it's shaping up to be a nostalgic treasure. Already a common trend surrounding this year's E3, it has been delayed to 2017.

14. Pokemon Sun and Moon

First Announced: February 2016

Where it Could Show Up: Online

Why I'm Excited: While Nintendo has said that their E3 presence will entirely consist of the new Legend of Zelda, it appears as if the latest generation of Pokemon will sneak in somewhere. It's releasing worldwide later this year to commemorate Pokemon's 20th anniversary and there's quietly been plenty of information and gameplay revealed about it over a few months. Similar to Black/White (and its bizarre sequel editions) on the DS, Sun/Moon is going to be the second generation of Pokemon to appear on the 3DS, after 2013's X/Y. I don't know how Game Freak is pushing the 3DS' capabilities, but the game looks like a significant improvement on top of X/Y's massive revitalization of the long-running series.

13. Batman: A Telltale Game Series

First Announced: The Game Awards 2015

Where it Could Show Up: Show floor

Why I'm Excited: I have never gotten into Telltale's episodic game series. Call it a mix of not caring about the franchises they've toyed with (except for Game of Thrones) and the ugliness of the game engine. I played the first episode of The Walking Dead and couldn't invest in the world and its characters, nor could I get past how poorly the game played. Telltale's next spin on a franchise should change both of my problems with their games. Their comic book inspired Batman game is supposed to debut their brand new game engine. It is said to still be the same type of situation based adventure game, which I feel would be a cool way to tackle the world of Batman and Gotham City. I don't expect to be punching bad guys in the face, but I am very intrigued to interact with Batman's world, rich with lore and characters. Recently, it was revealed that the first episode is set to come out this summer.

12. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided

First Announced: Spring 2015

Where it Could Show Up: Show floor

Why I'm Excited: I was a late adopter to Deus Ex: Human Revolution, buying it about a year after its release after finding it in a clearance bin at Target at a price I couldn't believe. A game I had no intention of playing became one of my favorite games of the PS3 generation. Even after buying the game late, I feel like like this game has taken forever to come out. I get that the same developer made the (lame) Thief reboot, but it's been five years. Well, the game is finally coming out in August of this year. After a lot of action-packed and stealth gameplay, very little is known about the story and how open the game is going to be. Human Revolution had a fantastic story and unique hub world exploration RPG gameplay. I'd like to get a taste of both elements in a brand new booth demo.

11. Final Fantasy XV

First Announced: E3 2006

Where it Could Show Up: Sony's and/or Microsoft's conference

Why I'm Excited: Final Fantasy XV is setting up to be one of the biggest game of the year. With Persona 5's North American release pushed to 2017, FFXV is back on my radar to kick off the always packed Fall gaming season. Its massive open world and road trip theme has me intrigued. However, after finally getting a taste of the game's action-RPG gameplay in the Platinum demo, I almost completely wrote the game off. I understand that the game is Japanese made and some of it was lost in translation, but the entire experience was confusing as hell. Not just the story, which I am used to after playing quite few Square games, but the gameplay didn't make much sense and what actually made sense played like crap. There's no nice way to put it. For a game that has been in development for a decade, you would think its gameplay would be refined and smooth. For a game that has everything else going for it, it's sad that its core gameplay could keep me away. I am desperately hoping that the demo was not indicative of the final product coming out in three months.

10. Battlefield 1

First Announced: Spring 2016

Where it Could Show Up: EA's conference

Why I'm Excited: While Call of Duty keeps going further down the rabbit hole of futuristic warfare, Battlefield is making the bold move of going back in time, like World War I far back. World War I is pretty much unfamiliar territory for not only video games, but popular media in general. It will be interesting to see how approaches the most horrible war of all-time in terms of violence. Trench warfare and gas warfare haven't really been touched on in video games. I'm also interested to see how the campaign and its story comes together. After taking multiple years off of multiplayer shooters, I am itching to get back into the genre. Battlefield 1 has my attention and curiosity, now its up to EA's conference at E3 to sell me their game.

9. Mafia III

First Announced: Summer 2015

Where it Could Show Up: Show floor

Why I'm Excited: Mafia III has the potential to be a massive game as well as one of my all-time favorites. While Mafia II was a great game, it felt lacking in many ways. It was a very linear story set in a huge, impressively detailed open world. With Mafia III, it's looking like a more complete open world game with all sorts of objectives to complete. The idea of an open world game set in 1970's (fictional) New Orleans about the mafia is fresh and it sounds awesome. It's unexplored territory in many ways. Not many games are set in the 70's, not many games are set in New Orleans, and not many games are about organized crime. If the game is as good as it looks, I can see Mafia III blowing up and becoming a huge franchise, similar to how Assassin's Creed II, Uncharted 2, Grand Theft Auto III, Far Cry 3, and Red Dead Redemption elevated their respective franchises. Mafia III comes out in October and this E3 should have plenty of coverage on it.

8. Detroit: Become Human

First Announced: Paris Games Week 2015

Where it Could Show Up: Sony's conference

Why I'm Excited: Detroit: Become Human was one of the best surprise announcements across Sony's three separate presentations in 2015. It's the next game from Quantic Dream, it's based off of their "Kara" tech demo, and the premise of it looks awesome. Quantic Dream has been working on the PS4 for a while now and the game's release could be sooner than expected. A gameplay debut would be a highlight of Sony's confence.

7. Ni no Kuni II: Revenant Kingdom

First Announced: PSX 2015

Where it Could Show Up: Sony's conference

Why I'm Excited: Ni no Kuni II's reveal was one of the only noteworthy reveals from Sony's second annual PlayStation Experience, last year. Nobody saw it coming and it looked incredible. The first Ni no Kuni was one of the best JRPG's since the genre's glory days on the PS1. The unfortunate truth is that the game is still probably a while away and a Level-5 appearance at E3 seems unlikely.

6. Persona 5

First Announced: 2013

Where it Could Show Up: Sony's conference

Why I'm Excited: I've been slowly and casually playing through Persona 4 Golden on the Vita since last summer and I love it. While the dungeon turn based grinding parts of the game can feel like work and the multiple menus and skill/persona optimization options can be daunting, the simpler half of the game is something I've truly grown to care for. The story, the characters and your relationships with them, the town of Inaba, the dialogue system, the soundtrack... I've grown attached to Persona 4. Again, I don't want to rush through it. So its North American version being delayed until 2017 (three years after it was supposed to come out in 2014 and only on the PS3) was actually good news for me. The game's art style looks beautiful and its gameplay looks a lot more modern than its 2008 PS2 predecessor, obviously. I'd like to be introduced to the NA version of the game this year during E3, complete with the characters voiced in English.

5. Dishonored 2

First Announced: E3 2015

Where it Could Show Up: Bethesda's conference

Why I'm Excited: I loved the first Dishonored and consider it to be one of the best games from last gen. It had a unique art style, cool take on an open world, and had some of the finest stealth gameplay I've ever touched. It was a rare hit for a new IP. Four years later, we are finally getting a sequel from Arkane Studios this November and I am absolutely stoked for it. It's a straight up sequel to the first game, favoring one of the game's two endings over the other and allows you to play the game as two characters at any time, much like Grand Theft Auto V or Assassin's Creed: Syndicate. We've seen an awesome CGI trailer and GameInformer recently had a great cover story on it with a few screenshots, but we still have yet to see the game running. It's looking like Dishonored 2 is going to be the star of Bethesda's mysterious second ever E3 conference, so we will definitely get to see it in action soon.

4. Mass Effect: Andromeda

First Announced: E3 2014 (formally E3 2015)

Where it Could Show Up: EA's conference

Why I'm Excited: It's the next Mass Effect. Games do not get much bigger and carry as much might as Mass Effect games do. After being late to the party with the Mass Effect trilogy, Andromeda will be the first Mass Effect I buy at launch, if I buy it. This game would be higher on my list if we knew exactly what this game was. While I and probably every other Mass Effect fan wants a brand new single player space opera trilogy, there are rumors circulating that the game could be more akin to Destiny or The Division, with less depth and more social features and multiplayer. If that's the case, I can't even fathom the outrage EA and BioWare will be under by fans. People thought that they got a lot of s*** for Mass Effect 3's ending... But hey, I want to believe that those rumors are false and that Q1 2017 will bring back the rich universe that is Mass Effect. An absence at E3 this year for Mass Effect: Andromeda would be a shocker, it will likely kick off EA's presentation.

3. Horizon Zero Dawn

First Announced: E3 2015

Where it Could Show Up: Sony's conference

Why I'm Excited: With Uncharted 4 in Sony's rear view mirror, it's up to games like Detroit: Become Human and Horizon Zero Dawn to not only be PlayStation's big exclusive games, but the brand's new franchises. Horizon has the potential to be a huge new IP for PlayStation. It's an open world sci-fi RPG where civilization has to begin again on the ruins of our world's future. The concept of the game is rad, the game looks incredible visually, and the gameplay looks fun. Being delayed to February 2017, Horizon has some room to work with, but I expect it to be a headlining game at Sony's conference.

2. The Legend of Zelda

First Announced: January 2013

Where it Could Show Up: Online, Show floor?

Why I'm Excited: While Nintendo's handling of E3 and their "NX" console is confusing, I'm going to skip over all of that and just say that there's a lot of excitement for the next official Legend of Zelda game. We saw the game running during Nintendo's Digital E3 Event back in 2014 before the game suffered delay after delay, likely connected to the downfall of the Wii U and the company's transition to the NX. It's now coming in 2017 and we should be reintroduced to the game this year after two years of silence. The game is supposed to be a major step for the series and there are all sorts of rumors surrounding its new features. Personally, I want the series to be innovative in its own right and for Nintendo to be the pioneer in gameplay they once were while also remaining true to the series. That said,I do think that there's a lot they can learn from other open world fantasy RPGs such as The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Dark Souls III, The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, and Dragon Age: Inquisition. One thing I really want to see in LoZ is fully voiced characters, not including Link. It's 2016 and there's no excuse for text bubbles and gibberish mumbles. This LoZ is huge for the Nintendo and the future of their second biggest franchise. It will be exciting to see the direction Nintendo has decided to take LoZ.

1. Kingdom Hearts III

First Announced: E3 2014

Where it Could Show Up: Sony's conference

Why I'm Excited: I've been waiting for a proper sequel to Kingdom Hearts II for a decade. Half of my life. I'm a huge Kingdom Hearts fan and other than those few short months between Fallout 4's reveal and launch, KH3 has been my most anticipated game for a long time. With Final Fantasy XV's release near, Kingdom Hearts III should be on the fast track with a likely 2018 release date. It's coming to Xbox One as well, but with KH's long history with Sony (including revealing KH3 on their stage), if Kingdom Hearts III is going to show up at E3, it would probably be at Sony's conference. We've already seen the game running a few different times, so Square Enix is not afraid of sharing footage and information. Perhaps we get another gameplay trailer with Sora and the gang, perhaps a full on demo, or even just another ambiguous story trailer with unnamed characters. Anything!

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So, those are the games we know about. What about the surprise reveals? Here are some of the unannounced games that could show up at some point:

- Red Dead 3

Likelihood: 30%

The sequel to the 2010 western masterpiece Red Dead Redemption supposedly had its map leaked earlier this year and it looked legit. Rockstar Games has been silent since its 2013 release of Grand Theft Auto V in terms of new games. It's uncommon for a massive publisher (even as a subsidiary) to go three years without not only releasing a game, but having one announced in-development game in its portfolio. Obviously, the numerous teams over at Rockstar have the luxury of swimming in GTA V's historic profits while they take all the time they need. But they must have multiple games pretty far into development. Red Dead 3 has to be one of those games. I could see Rockstar making a rare public appearance at either Sony's or Micosoft's showing with a massive reveal, including a November 2016 release date.

- Jak & Daxter 4

Likelihood: 10%

Just when I had given up all hope for a new Jak & Daxter game, an artist recently leaked a piece of concept art he professionally made for an in-development game. It could all be a hoax, it could have been old concept art from the abandoned Naughty Dog reboot, or it could be for the new Jak game I've been dying for for well over a decade. Recently, there seems to be a large demand for another Jak and Daxter game, so an E3 announcement would go over well as a final announcement to end Sony's conference. It would have to be from a new studio rather than Naughty Dog, which I would be fine with at this point.

- Star Wars (Visceral)

Likelihood: 35%

We already know that the Dead Space developer is working with Uncharted's creator and director on a new Star Wars game for EA. Recently, we heard straight from EA that the game is likely at least two years away. But I think that it's important for EA to show off a new Star Wars game at this year's E3 to wash out some fans' bad taste of last year's Star Wars: Battlefront. At least a teaser trailer with the game's name, promising more details and footage at next year's show would be enough.

- Middle-Earth: Shadow of Mordor 2

Likelihood: 70%

Shadow of Mordor was a surprise gem in 2014 that ran away with multiple Game of the Year awards, including my own. It's obviously going to be a series and I'm surprised we haven't heard about a sequel yet. The developer doesn't need to change much about the game or its engine. It's already a pretty game and has some of the greatest gameplay from this gen to build upon. I could easily see it being released this year, but it would need to be announced ASAP. As for what I want from it, I would like to see some RPG elements incorporated into it as well as some more variety with its Tolkien lore other than just orcs, men, one elf, and one dwarf. There's so much they can work with. I'd love to explore Lake-town, Bree, Rivendell, Hobbiton, etc. It's worth noting that a stunt performer listed Shadows of Mordor 2 on his resume recently.

- Sucker Punch's next game

Likelihood: 50%

Sucker Punch has been quiet since early 2014's inFamous: Second Son. They must be getting ready to show off what they've been working on. If not at E3, possibly PSX later this year. There are heavy rumors that they are making an open world Spider-Man game exclusively for the PS4, which would be massive for Sony and a perfect match for Sucker Punch's talents and the type of games they make.

- Sony Bend's next game

Likelihood: 75%

Sony Bend has been making a game for the PS4 since their 2011 release of Uncharted: Golden Abyss. It's likely that Sony is giving them all the time they need to release a great game and truly become another one of their coveted studios. A fifth year without any information on their next game would be surprising and disappointing. So what could their game be? Maybe they take another one of Naughty Dog's old franchises and make a Jak 4. But more than likely, it's a new IP for PlayStation.

- Warner Bros. Montreal's next

Likelihood: 55%

I'm not sure if E3 is the place to do it, but WB Montreal's follow up to Batman: Arkham Origins must be ready to show off soon. It could be anything. Another Batman: Arkham Origins game, the rumored Superman game, or the Suicide Squad game that was hinted at after Arkham Origins' credits.

- Bioshock 4

Likelihood: 15%

2K is supposed to reveal a major game at E3 this year and while it's more likely to be Borderlands 3, I'd love to see Bioshock make a return. I'm not sure who would make it with Irrational Games closing after Bioshock Infinite, but Bioshock 2 wasn't made by them and it turned out more than fine.

- God of War 4

Likelihood: 95%

While I unsuccessfully tried to get into God of War, it is a big franchise for Sony that routinely does very well. The next God of War has been rumored for some time now and an announcement seems imminent. Personally, I'd like to see the franchise get a fresh start. Maybe with a new protagonist and a new mythology? Maybe Kratos could be the main villain or a supporting character.

- Assassin's Creed: Ezio Trilogy

Likelihood: 35%

There was a rumor a while ago about an Assassin's Creed collection for the PS4 and Xbox One. With no new AC this year and a movie coming out, it would be the perfect time to remaster the Ezio trilogy with better graphics. I would love to play through those games again and I'm all for preserving games for the future. It's now or never.

- Infamous: Cole McGrath Collection

Likelihood: 35%

Again, this is another rumored collection and another set of games I would personally love to play. Uncharted got its Nathan Drake collection, what about the second best PS3 exclusive series? It could be packaged with inFamous, inFamous 2, and inFamous: Festival of Blood, making for a great gift for the holiday season.

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That might be one of my longest blogs to date! I had fun writing it, I guess. I'll make some sort of post-E3 blog as well before I get back to my Top 100 Movies countdown. Thanks for reading and please comment with what you are most looking forward to at E3 this year :)

- Dylan

Top 100 Movies Part VIII

Sorry it took this long to post this next part, my computer crashed as I was just finishing up my first attempt at writing this. I didn't have the heart to start from scratch until now. And now I’m realizing that Gamespot’s blog editor isn’t working well at all. It seems to be skipping most of my spaces. So to combat both problems, I’m writing this post on Microsoft Word and then hopefully I’ll be able to copy and paste it over without. Anyways, this is the third to last part in my Top 100 Movies countdown list. It’s my last “list” blog series here on Gamespot. I think I’m going to throw together an E3 predictions and E3 reactions couple of blog posts and then it will be a final farewell blog. But until then, here’s the list so far:

100. The Descendants

99. The Grand Budapest Hotel

98. X-Men: Days of Future Past

97. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

96. 2001: A Space Odyssey

95. Inglorious Basterds

94. The Aviator

93. Napoleon Dynamite

92. Reservoir Dogs

91. The Fast and the Furious

90. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

89. 3:10 to Yuma

88. Catch Me If You Can

87. The Godfather Part II

86. Blade Runner

85. Man of Steel

84. Chinatown

83. Spider-Man

82. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

81. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

80. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

79. American Psycho

78. A Clockwork Orange

77. Zodiac

76. Captain America: The Winter Solider

75. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

74. Inside Out

73. Casino Royale

72. Saving Private Ryan

71. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

70. Sideways

69. Fight Club

68. I Love You, Man

67. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

66. Full Metal Jacket

65. True Grit

64. Rebel Without A Cause

63. Iron Man

62. Cast Away

61. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

60. The Shining

59. 50/50

58. Wall-E

57. X-Men: First Class

56. Boyhood

55. The Lion King

54. Moneyball

53. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

52. Dumb and Dumber

51. Mad Max: Fury Road

50. Finding Nemo

49. Princess Mononoke

48. Raiders of the Lost Ark

47. Django Unchained

46. Shutter Island

45. The Place Beyond the Pines

44. Casino

43. My Neighbor Totoro

42. Toy Story 2

41. Guardians of the Galaxy

40. Monsters, Inc.

39. Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire

38. Ratatouille

37. Raging Bull

36. The Dark Knight Rises

35. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

34. The Illusionist

33. Interstellar

32. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

31. (500) Days of Summer

30. The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

No Caption Provided

1966

Directed by Sergio Leone

Starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, Eli Wallach

Why it’s a Favorite: As the third movie in the Leone/Eastwood trilogy, TGTBTU wraps it up in an epic way, with a wide scope and numerous characters and moving parts whereas the other two “Dollars” movies have more centralized and focused plots. Personally, I refuse to believe that these three movies are in the same universe and feature the same main character. However, TGTBTU does feel like the definitive ending to Leone’s vision of the Wild West.

Favorite Scene: The shootout ending is pretty much the essential western scene. The music, the wide shots, the extreme close-ups, the tension that leads up to it… It’s cinematic brilliance.

Favorite Character/Performance: In his last role as The Man with No Name, Clint Eastwood’s rugged Western protagonist is iconic.

29. Rear Window

No Caption Provided

1954

Directed by Alfred Hitchcock

Starring James Stewart, Grace Kelly, Thelma Ritter

Why it’s a Favorite: Alfred Hitchcock is often called “The Master of Suspense” and Rear Window is probably the best example of why he’s earned that moniker. Rear Window introduces you to seemingly ordinary characters and their nosiness finds them trouble. Rear Window builds its plot with mystery and suspense until it pays off in its climax. But there’s more to Rear Window than its suspenseful plot, what sets Rear Window apart from other Hitchcock films is its cinematic beauty. The film only takes place inside one apartment complex room with a window overlooking an entire courtyard full of its own characters and subplots. With an awesome set, brilliant cinematography, and a great color pallet, the film’s limited environment is a beauty to look at.

Favorite Scene: The opening in which the camera scans the apartment complex courtyard on a hot summer afternoon, introducing the film’s many minor characters until it settle’s upon James Stewart’s protagonist sets the film up wonderfully.

Favorite Character/Performance: As great of a lead as James Stewart always is, Grace Kelly is a standout in Hitchcock’s gallery of female leads. She’s the character who really engages solving the film’s mystery and finds herself in the most danger. Her famous introductory shot is one of my all-time favorites.

28. The Wolf of Wall Street

No Caption Provided

2013

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill

Why it’s a Favorite: The Wolf of Wall Street is a call back to two of Scorsese’s earlier crime movies, Goodfellas and Casino, in that they revolve around the rise and fall of the narrator breaking the law and cheating the system. The audience more than sees the main character living large, they experience it with him. The money, the parties, the drugs, the fast cars, the sex, it’s all fun and looks enticing. Then, it all comes crashing down. What makes the journey of Wolf of Wall Street truly electric is its massive cast of overflowing talent and in front of and behind the camera. Martin Scorsese’s direction, Terrence Winter’s writing, and the acting chops of Leonardo DiCaprio, Margot Robbie, Jonah Hill, Matthew McConaughey, Kyle Chandler, Jon Bernthal, Jon Favreau, and Jean Dujardin in all of their most ridiculous movie. Even the soundtrack is remarkable. It’s a masterpiece, in my opinion.

Favorite Scene: While there are plenty memorable scenes of debauchery to choose from, my favorite scene is *SPOILER* when the FBI takes down Stratton Oakmont. From the understated scene of a wired Belfort slipping his best friend a note to not incriminate himself to the FBI raid montage to the Lemonhead’s “Mrs. Robinson” cover. It’s a fitting ending.

Favorite Character/Performance: Before he took home the Academy Award for his role in The Revenant, this was DiCaprio’s best performance in my opinion. His role as Jordan Belfort was an energetic and daring role that was probably uncomfortable at times, even though the movie seemed fun to shoot. The delayed Quaalude trip sequence alone was a different kind of acting brilliance. Jonah Hill is a close second, as he has most of the movie’s best lines.

27. Watchmen

No Caption Provided

2009

Directed by Zack Snyder

Starring Patrick Wilson, Jackie Earle Haley, Malin Akerman

Why it’s a Favorite: The film adaptation of Watchmen is about as “love it or hate it” as it gets. It’s the Zack Snyder effect, I guess. Well, I loved it. I went in to this movie not having much of a clue about the classic Watchmen graphic novel and fell in love with this movie’s cinematic style and “what if superheroes were real?” plot line. It sets two generations of heroes in an alternate history of the mid-20th century. The visual combination of the 1970’s and an alternate, dysfunctional, and outlawed Justice League is like a complete meal. The cinematography, set design, and costumes are treats for the eyes while the complex superhero existential plot is food for thought.

Favorite Scene: The opening still-frame montage that explains the history of the two generations of Watchmen to Bob Dylan’s “The Times They Are A-Changin’” is just awesome.

Favorite Character/Performance: Jackie Earle Haley as Rorschach. Cool costume, dark origin, neatly imagined voice, has the best action scenes…

26. Spider-Man 2

No Caption Provided

2004

Directed by Sam Raimi

Starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco

Why it’s a Favorite: Spider-Man 2 captures the essence of Spider-Man perfectly: Peter Parker trying to balance his normal life with his secret life as Spidey. It’s what makes the character of Peter Parker so great. In the second chapter of Sam Raimi’s trilogy, Peter Parker is put to the ultimate test as to whether or not he wants to continue being Spider-Man, when his life is looking bleaker than ever. He can’t keep a job, he’s struggling in college, he has lost Mary Jane, and his best friend eventually hates him. Eventually, he gives up being Spider-man altogether. But what brings him back isn’t something predictable like MJ being kidnapped again (although that does happen two more times), it’s guilt. Seeing cop cars unsuccessfully tracking down robbers, hearing a kid ask if Spider-Man is coming back. Top it off with Alfred Molina’s awesome Doc Ock and Harry’s subplot of misery, and you have one of the greatest superhero movies what will ever be made. Oh, and the action scenes and special effects are better than the stuff being put on screen today!

Favorite Scene: The train scene was perfect. It’s Spider-Man connecting with the people of New York City and an awesome action scene showdown between one of his best villains.

Favorite Performance/Character: While Alfred Molina played one of the best comic book villains to date, while James Franco brought the conflicted nature of Harry Osborn from the comics to life, and while JK Simmons again struck gold as J. Jonah Jameson, this was Tobey Maguire’s best turn as Spider-Man and without him, this movie doesn’t reach the heights it did back in 2004.

25. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

No Caption Provided

2009

Directed by David Yates

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Why it’s a Favorite: Before the race and fight against Voldemort and his followers that was the Deathly Hallows two-parter, there was one last “regular” Harry Potter movie that took place at Hogwarts where the trio of heroes deal with high school hijinks and drama. It was one last look back at the fun of the early Harry Potter movies. Meanwhile, Draco Malfoy acts as the movie’s second main character as he has his own, much darker plot as he’s assigned to assassinate Albus Dumbledore himself. It’s a well-balanced scale of light and dark that adds much needed context to the characters of Tom Riddle and Harry Potter before they face off once and for all.

Favorite Scene: Every scene surrounding Draco Malfoy and his dark mission is great. Again, he’s essentially the second main character of this movie alongside Harry Potter. Tom Felton does a fantastic job in transforming that spoiled brat kid Malfoy everybody hates to one of the most complex and conflicted characters in the entire saga that everybody can’t help but feel for.

Favorite Character/Performance: Pretty much summed it all up in the last paragraph. Tom Felton’s scenes as Draco Malfoy made him a fan favorite in this movie.

24. The Godfather

No Caption Provided

1972

Directed by Francis Ford Coppola

Starring Marlon Brando, Al Pacino, James Caan

Why it’s a Favorite: The Godfather is one of the greatest films ever made. Even its minor characters have been thoroughly studied and have their own Wikipedia pages. It’s easy to see why it’s widely regarded as one of the all-time best. Every scene is rich is acting, direction, writing, music, and decoration. A true masterpiece. The Corleone family is a very interesting one and with this movie, we get to tragically see to it fall apart very quickly as Michael becomes the next Don, something his father wanted for him.

Favorite Scene: The ending scene with Michael becoming a godfather and the Don at the same time. Michael plainly watching his godchild being baptized while Corleone associates assassinate his family’s competitors and enemies is symbolic.

Favorite Character/Performance: Marlon Brando’s performance as Vito Corleone is about as legendary as it gets.

23. Toy Story

No Caption Provided

1995

Directed by John Lasseter

Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles

Why it’s a Favorite: Toy Story not only started the imagination powerhouse studio Pixar but it also started the popularization of 3D computer generated animation in movies, inspiring a generation of artists and laying the groundwork for a colossal industry. More personally, Toy Story meant a lot to me and my imagination growing up. The movie is pure fun in its concept and features a roster full of memorable characters.

Favorite Scene: The opening recon mission anxiously orchestrated by Woody and the gang to find out what new toys Andy got for his birthday is clever and hilarious, setting the tone for the mega franchise from the jump.

Favorite Character/Performance: While Woody comes off as a jerk for pretty much the entire movie (he more than makes up for it in the latter two movies), Buzz Lightyear has the movie’s best lines and biggest laughs. Tim Allen’s voiceover is perfect for the character.

22. Pulp Fiction

No Caption Provided

1994

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma Thurman

Why it’s a Favorite: The concept of intertwining characters and storylines is a tricky concept that not many movies have tackled well but Pulp Fiction masters it. Each different act with different characters is as interesting and compelling as the next. Quentin Tarantino’s trademark conversational screenplay is at its best here, hilarious at times and brilliant at others. And how about that cast? John Travolta, Sam Jackson, Uma Thurman, Bruce Willis, Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, and Christopher Walken all give some of their career’s best work.

Favorite Scene: The briefcase retrieval and the car ride leading up to it is perfectly written and filled with classic lines.

Favorite Character/Performance: It’s hard to pick between Vince’s cluelessness and Jules’ badassness, but John Travolta really gave his character everything he had. He has two hilarious car ride scenes, yet another classic dance scene, a whacked out scene of paranoia, and one of the most shocking final scenes in film history.

21. Batman

No Caption Provided

1989

Directed by Tim Burton

Starring Michael Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Kim Basinger

Why it’s a Favorite: I love everything about this movie and it’s crazy to think so many awesome people came together and made a Batman movie. Tim Burton’s direction and gothic art style, Danny Elfman’s now classic score, Prince’s legendary soundtrack, and Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson going head to head as Batman and the Joker, respectfully. It’s an all-star movie that had a colossal impact on Batman (we wouldn’t have Batman: The Animated Series without it, which also had a colossal impact) and the comic book world in general. This movie was my Holy Grail as a kid. It, combined with BTAS made me the Batman fan I still am today.

Favorite Scene: The cathedral scene is pretty awesome. It’s as gothic and dark as anything in the movie and that’s what I love it for.

Favorite Character/Performance: Jack Nicholson played the Joker. One of the greatest actors of all-time. How did that even happen? That would be like Daniel Day Lewis playing the Joker today. In any case, he nailed it, bringing a twisted element to the character rather than just a comical villain. Nicholson helped define the character.

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Only the top 20 left! I beat Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and absolutely loved it. A perfect ending that was more than just another Uncharted game, which would have been fine. I loved the new gameplay mechanics and the heavy focus on its serious story while still having plenty of classic Uncharted fun. It feels weird to live in a post-Uncharted 4 world. I’ve been looking forward to this game for a very long time, since the night the PS4 launched back in late 2013, where Uncharted 4 was first announced. I always had that game pegged as my “most anticipated game” except for the few months between Fallout 4’s reveal and release. Now, I’m not sure what holds that title. I guess Kingdom Hearts III, but that game is probably still so far away. I’m super interested in Horizon: Zero Dawn, Ni no Kuni II, and the new Legend of Zelda, but all are still so mysterious and far away. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided, Dishonored 2, and Mafia III are up there too but nothing has me doing backflips. Hopefully E3 will clear it up. Maybe the Red Dead 3 or Jak and Daxter 4 rumors will pull through for once. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

Top 100 Movies Part VII

Back to it. Here's the list of my Top 100 favorite movies, so far:

100. The Descendants

99. The Grand Budapest Hotel

98. X-Men: Days of Future Past

97. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

96. 2001: A Space Odyssey

95. Inglorious Basterds

94. The Aviator

93. Napoleon Dynamite

92. Reservoir Dogs

91. The Fast and the Furious

90. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

89. 3:10 to Yuma

88. Catch Me If You Can

87. The Godfather Part II

86. Blade Runner

85. Man of Steel

84. Chinatown

83. Spider-Man

82. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

81. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

80. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

79. American Psycho

78. A Clockwork Orange

77. Zodiac

76. Captain America: The Winter Solider

75. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

74. Inside Out

73. Casino Royale

72. Saving Private Ryan

71. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

70. Sideways

69. Fight Club

68. I Love You, Man

67. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

66. Full Metal Jacket

65. True Grit

64. Rebel Without A Cause

63. Iron Man

62. Cast Away

61. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

60. The Shining

59. 50/50

58. Wall-E

57. X-Men: First Class

56. Boyhood

55. The Lion King

54. Moneyball

53. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

52. Dumb and Dumber

51. Mad Max: Fury Road

50. Finding Nemo

49. Princess Mononoke

48. Raiders of the Lost Ark

47. Django Unchained

46. Shutter Island

45. The Place Beyond the Pines

44. Casino

43. My Neighbor Totoro

42. Toy Story 2

41. Guardians of the Galaxy

40. Monsters, Inc.

No Caption Provided

2001

Directed by Pete Docter

Starring Billy Crystal, John Goodman, Steve Buscemi

Why It's a Favorite: Up until Inside Out, Monsters, Inc. was probably Pixar's most clever idea for an animated movie: Monsters working for an energy company that is fueled by screams of children they torment. OK, so it sounds like a pretty dark and messed up concept for Pixar's follow up to Toy Story and A Bug's Life (by the way, can A Bug's Life please get a sequel now that Pixar is shamelessly doing them?) but the chemistry between Billy Crystal's Mike Wazowski and John Goodman's James P. Sullivan made it bright, enjoyable, and Pixar's funniest. But of course, it also pulls heartstrings as most Pixar movies tend to do. The relationship between Boo and the two main characters makes it memorable. It's an element of the story that I felt was sorely missing in its recent prequel, Monsters U.

Favorite Scene: Behind only Toy Story 3, Monsters, Inc. has my second favorite ending from a Pixar movie. Again, this movie does character relationships very well.

39. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

No Caption Provided

2005

Directed by Mike Newell

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Why It's a Favorite: Goblet was a perfect stepping stone between the light-hearted tone and school hi-jinks of the first three HP films and the darker tone and war against the dark arts of the last four. Whenever reading or watching Goblet of Fire, I always find it to be a unique change of pace opposed to the rest of the saga. And besides getting rid of Hermione's "S.P.E.W" story arc, some good Hagrid character building, and that awkward chapter about veela at the World Cup, I find Goblet to be the most loyal to the books. Every bit as funny and every bit as dark and unnerving. Goblet of Fire is an unorthodox turning point for Harry and his story. It's never really the same after. "Everything's going to change now, isn't it?"

Favorite Scene: The graveyard scene near the end was a perfect visual imagining of the book's dark, memorable chapter. I'm still pretty amazed with how well they pulled Voldemort off. It could have gone bad here, but instead, Ralph Fiennes jumps in and completely crushes it in the creepiest way possible.

38. Ratatouille

No Caption Provided

2007

Directed by Brad Bird

Starring Patton Oswalt, Ian Holm, Peter O'Toole

Why It's a Favorite: Now here is a feel good Pixar movie with another wacky idea I'm not sure how was successfully pitched yet alone made. I think this movie, along with pretty much every movie set in Paris, France, is infectious. I remember watching it for the first time at home and immediately going into my kitchen with a smile on my face and trying my best to whip up something creative to eat. There's something about the soft yet detailed art style, amber color scheme, and inspiring soundtrack. I also thought that there were some really great characters in Ratatouille, mainly Remy and Anton Ego.

Favorite Scene: The movie's climax, Anton Ego's food tasting review, was handled very well, making the movie's antagonist one of Pixar's best characters.

37. Raging Bull

No Caption Provided

1980

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring Robet De Niro, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent

Why It's a Favorite: In my opinion, Raging Bull is as perfect as films come. I would match it next to The Godfather for the sole distinction of the best of all-time. Robert De Niro's performance is absolutely legendary and the direction by Scorsese is flawless and bold. Think about all of the great moments this movie has going for it: the Sugar Ray fight, the home video montage, the jail cell, the long tracking ring entrance, the closing monologue...

Favorite Scene: The Sugar Ray Robinson fight. I'm a sucker for cinematography and this scene is about as good as it gets. The flashing lights, the blood and sweat splashing, the slo-motion shot of Sugar Ray... "You never got me down, Ray."

36. The Dark Knight Rises

No Caption Provided

2012

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman

Why It's a Favorite: Look, this movie had to follow not only the greatest comic book movie of all-time, but also one of the greatest movies of all-time. I almost feel bad for Christopher Nolan that he had to go back and find a way to finish the trilogy. And while it's my least favorite of the three, it's still head and shoulders above most comic book movies. Because it's just a great movie as it is, that's what makes the Nolan trilogy so good. To sum up what exactly made his particular movie special: Bane. Tom Hardy's intense presence was always felt, similar to Ledger's Joker.

Favorite Scene: Oh man. That plane scene was just... Well, it was IMAX experience I will never forget.

35. Batman: Mask of the Phantasm

No Caption Provided

1993

Directed by Bruce Timm, Eric Radomski

Starring Kevin Conroy, Mark Hamill, Dana Delany

Why It's a Favorite: In my opinion, this is the best Batman story in a film. It's not the best story that Batman is in on film, I even have three Batman movies ahead of this one. But I've always considered The Dark Knight Rises to be a Gotham story, The Dark Knight to be a Joker story, Batman Begins to be a Bruce Wayne story, and well, Batman 1989 isn't a classic because of it's story. Here, we get to see the origin story of Batman on screen for the very first time as Mask of the Phantasm jumps around in time. I think the story between Bruce and his ex-girlfriend Andrea perfectly exemplifies the character of Batman. Bruce Wayne chooses to be Batman and let Bruce Wayne be his true mask, destroying the Wayne name in the process. He can be more as Batman than as Bruce Wayne. The duality of Batman is my favorite aspect of the character. Some say it's because he has a "no killing" rule or he has the coolest outfit or that he has the best villains or that "he's just a normal guy under that suit with no superpowers." Other than completely nailing the character of Batman (and to be fair, Batman Begins does is masterfully too but again, I consider that to be a Bruce Wayne coming of age story), the Batman: The Animated Series art style, voice acting, animation, soundtrack, atmosphere, tone, is all here but with a motion picture budget that lets everything soar.

Favorite Scene: The climactic fight between Batman and the Joker at the abandoned futuristic World's Fair site was probably the best Batman-Joker exchange in film before The Dark Knight came along.

34. The Illusionist

No Caption Provided

2010

Directed by Sylvain Chomet

Starring Jean-Claude Donda, Eilidh Rankin

Why It's a Favorite: The Illusionist is a hand-drawn animated film that doesn't have dialogue. That said, it tells a story as beautiful and heartbreaking as any I've ever watched. It tells the story of a stage magician who struggles to find work in his day and age. I really don't want to get into the story too much to avoid spoiling it since it's probably the least known movie on my list, but if you give it a shot, it's a film that will move you. It made me think, it made me happy, and it's one of the only movies that made me cry. On a surface level, the French art style is absolutely stunning. It's one of those rare animated movies that you could pause it at any frame and it would make for a great poster. The soundtrack, also made by the film's director, is magical.

Favorite Scene: The train scene at the end destroyed me emotionally. I'll never forget it.

33. Interstellar

No Caption Provided

2014

Directed by Christopher Nolan

Starring Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Chastain

Why It's a Favorite: I'd have to imagine that out of all his films, Interstellar is probably the one that Christopher Nolan is most proud of. The amount of care an thought that went into Interstellar is apparent at its first viewing. Inception is a mind-bender that took me a handful of views to completely grasp its story and how it was made but Interstellar is a mind-bender I'm unsure I'll ever truly understand. I don't think that's a bad thing either. Far from it. It's an intense ride that was masterfully crafted. Christopher Nolan is the movie's chief architect, but Hans Zimmer's score may be his very best. The large, all-star cast all give performances that rival their very best. And the special effects may be the most amazing I have ever seen. But it's the story and all of its unexpected and epic turns that make Interstellar a future classic.

Favorite Scene: The time jump freaked me out.

32. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

No Caption Provided

2004

Directed by Michel Gondry

Starring Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Mark Ruffalo

Why It's a Favorite: Even though it has sci-fi elements of erasing memories, Eternal Sunshine is a movie that everyone can relate to in some way. We all have precious memories we want to go back to and stay in for a while. We also all have painful and sad memories that we wish we could forget. Eternal Sunshine plays with this idea in a very unique and beautiful sci-fi way. Jim Carrey gives perhaps his career's best performance as an actor, as does Kate Winslet. The well known supporting cast ties into the story in a neat way and adds an interesting layer to the movie.

Favorite Scene: SPOILERS: Joel's subconscious running away from his memory wipes with Clementine was Nolan-esque 6 years before Inception came out.

31. (500) Days of Summer

No Caption Provided

2009

Directed by Marc Webb

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Zooey Deschanel, Chloë Grace Moretz

Why It's a Favorite: JGL and Deschanel have remarkable chemistry in this movie. Pair that with an iconic soundtrack and really funny and charming writing and you have a good movie. But what makes this movie really special and unique is its non-linear, unconventional narrative. It jumps around in time over a year or so of a young couple's complex relationship in a really smart way.

Favorite Scene: The "expectation vs reality" scene best represents the experimental filmmaking this movie is known for.

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It's only my top 30 from here. I'm really excited to get to the top of the list, it should be fun. What else can I write about here... I could turn on my soap box about Nintendo's handling of the NX or the situation at Warner Bros. over the DC Comics movie directors "dropping out" but I'd rather keep it happy. Well, I just finished up replaying the Uncharted trilogy, this time on the PS4. I believe it was my fourth time playing through Uncharted: Drake's Fortune. I still remember being amazed by this game when it was one of my very first PS3 games. It's obviously the weakest of the trilogy in terms of gameplay, but it's still very enjoyable and I always love going back and meeting the great trio of main characters again. It was my fourth time playing through Uncharted 2: Among Thieves as well. It was the biggest quality jump Naughty Dog had as a developer, my favorite of the series so far, and is rightly regarded already as one of the greatest games of all-time. I loved how this game varied its settings, had some great character moments, and of course, featured epic set piece action sequences. It was actually only my second time playing through Uncharted 3: Drake's Deception. I think this game undoubtedly has the series' best story and most mind-bending set pieces. The game is also by far the prettiest to look at, not only graphically, but visually as well. However, similar to the third entry in the Jak & Daxter trilogy, Uncharted 3 is relentless with its shooting. I always saw Uncharted 1 and 2 as action/adventure games first and a third person shooter when it needed to be. Uncharted 3 is the opposite in my opinion. It's still a fantastic game, but especially by beating the game on "hard," a lot of time is spent in cover and managing ammo. That's a fine video game mechanic, but its not what I want from Uncharted. Hopefully, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End (which is less than two weeks away!) is able to pick out what worked best in the Uncharted series so far and give Nathan Drake the sendoff he deserves. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Top 100 Movies - Part VI

This blog crosses the halfway bridge on the landmass that is known as my Top 100 Movies list. It's my final list here on Gamespot and I'm having a blast writing these blogs every week or so. Yes, it's my last "list blog" here on GS and while I might throw in a blog or two about the quickly approaching E3 2016 (it's shaping up to be interesting to say the least), my final blog here is near on the horizon. I'll have a "farewell" blog and that's likely that. Back on topic, this part of the series and future parts will be a bit different than previous parts. I want to focus on why these are my 50 favorite movies of all-time over any others. Basically, it's less long paragraphs and more short snippets. I did this to avoid repeating myself and to again, focus on why these movies are my favorites. These are the 50 movies that I love and spent extra time ranking. The others weren't assigned a random number but looking back at them, there's some uncertainty. Some movies I'm already looking back at and wishing they were higher... That's the downside to doing a "top xx" list over 50. It gets messy and I wouldn't usually recommend it. Anyways, here's the list so far:

100. The Descendants

99. The Grand Budapest Hotel

98. X-Men: Days of Future Past

97. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

96. 2001: A Space Odyssey

95. Inglorious Basterds

94. The Aviator

93. Napoleon Dynamite

92. Reservoir Dogs

91. The Fast and the Furious

90. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

89. 3:10 to Yuma

88. Catch Me If You Can

87. The Godfather Part II

86. Blade Runner

85. Man of Steel

84. Chinatown

83. Spider-Man

82. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

81. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

80. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

79. American Psycho

78. A Clockwork Orange

77. Zodiac

76. Captain America: The Winter Solider

75. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

74. Inside Out

73. Casino Royale

72. Saving Private Ryan

71. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

70. Sideways

69. Fight Club

68. I Love You, Man

67. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

66. Full Metal Jacket

65. True Grit

64. Rebel Without A Cause

63. Iron Man

62. Cast Away

61. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

60. The Shining

59. 50/50

58. Wall-E

57. X-Men: First Class

56. Boyhood

55. The Lion King

54. Moneyball

53. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

52. Dumb and Dumber

51. Mad Max: Fury Road

50. Finding Nemo

No Caption Provided

2003

Directed by Andrew Stanton

Starring Albert Brooks, Ellen DeGeneres, Willem Dafoe

Why It's a Favorite: Pixar's movies frequently introduce us to imaginative worlds we are unfamiliar with. With Finding Nemo, set in the vast ocean, its characters are as unfamiliar with their world as we are. The ocean itself is pretty to look at, but its also dark and mysterious. Pixar's animated version of it is just the same. Marlin goes on an adventure into the unknown to find his son. Its a simple enough story but the world that he and Dory explore is just as magical as anything Pixar has ever created.

Favorite Scene: The jellyfish field scene is my favorite of the many obstacles that Marlin and Dory must overcome. After a traumatic experience that happens at the start of the movie, Marlin is a hyper-worried character. Dory, the polar opposite, gets him to overcome his fears and also have a bit of fun in an otherwise second traumatic experience.

49. Princess Mononoke

No Caption Provided

1997

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Starring Billy Crudup, Billy Bob Thornton, Claire Danes

My It's a Favorite: Other than The Lord of the Rings, which spans three three hour films, Princess Mononoke is as epic as movie epics get. The handcrafted animation visuals are absolutely stunning. And if Miyazaki's anti-war, environmental themes are a bit too strong in Howl's Moving Castle or The Wind Rises (both are great movies, do not get me wrong), they feel more natural in Mononoke. The war between Irontown and the forest spirits is a spectacle to look at and insightful to ponder.

Favorite Scene: Princess Mononoke is a visual feast, but the scene that strikes my imagination the hardest is the emergence of the forest spirit from the forest. The flowers growing and dying as it steps with each foot, the kodama spirits clicking, it's as epic, beautiful, and magical as anything in Ghibli's catalog.

48. Raiders of the Lost Ark

No Caption Provided

1981

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Starring Harrison Ford, Karen Allen, Ronald Lacey

Why It's a Favorite: Raiders is the ultimate globe-trotting adventure. The hero, the love interest with an on/off relationship, the different setting, the set pieces, the villain and his treacherous plan. It's all there and it basically created the genre that is still being replicated today. But even when you look at all the Indy-inspired adventures (including its two, yes TWO, sequels), Raiders of the Lost Ark not only holds up extremely well for an early 80's movie, it's arguably still the best adventure movie. It's timeless.

Favorite Scene: The opening sequence. It is Indiana Jones. The perfect opening to establish a movie and a character.

Distinction: Favorite Steven Spielberg film

47. Django Unchained

No Caption Provided

2012

Directed by Quentin Tarantino

Starring Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz, Leonardo DiCaprio

Why It's a Favorite: Django is a modern spaghetti western-inspired revenge story masterpiece. The blend of Tarantino's signature dialogue-heavy, violence-heavy and classic western turns out perfectly here. Sadly, not many western movies are made today and this movie is the epitome of what they can be if they were made today. I love the relentless cinematic style that Tarantino brings and the performances by the cast are incredible. From Foxx's motivation he brings to the title character to Waltz's chillingly cool delivery to DiCaprio's insane level of energy to Samuel L Jackson's overlooked bizarre but awesome supporting role. It has a quartet of Academy Award worthy performances.

Favorite Scene: The shootout in Candyland is magnificent. It's bloody, brutal, shocking, and amazingly choreographed. One of the best shoot-outs of all-time in my book.

46. Shutter Island

No Caption Provided

2010

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Mark Ruffalo, Ben Kingsley

Why It's a Favorite: The atmosphere in this movie is second to none. Shutter Island itself is darkly mysterious. It makes the perfect backdrop for a murder mystery that turns into something else entirely. A 1950's insane asylum that is located on an island that the protagonist claims has a dark secret he needs to get to the bottom of. The setting, music, cast of interesting characters, and cinematography all blend scarily well. It's one of the most underrated movies of the past half-decade, in my opinion.

Favorite Scene: SPOILER WARNING! The ambiguous final shot of the lighthouse is just as mind-boggling as the movie's twist that comes before it. Is the main character indeed actually a mental patient himself or did something happen to him in that lighthouse that brainwashed him? The movie never tells you, instead it's open for interpretation and I love it for that.

45. The Place Beyond the Pines

No Caption Provided

2012

Directed by Derek Cianfrance

Starring Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Dane DeHaan

Why It's a Favorite: First off, if anyone hasn't watched this movie, I greatly encourage you to change that. It's a cult classic for sure. That said, SPOILERS follow. This movie is unlike anything I've watched because of how the story traces. It switches main characters not once but twice and spans a long period of time. It starts as a bank heist movie and turns into something more beautiful and meaningful: family. The soundtrack is amazing, as is the cinematography. The large cast of characters is an all-star lineup that doesn't disappoint. Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper, Eva Mendes, Ben Mendelsohn, Ray Liotta, Bruce Greenwood, and Dane DeHaan are all great.

Favorite Scene: There are honestly a lot of memorable scenes in Pines. But its ending is one of my favorite movie endings ever. It's moving.

44. Casino

No Caption Provided

1995

Directed by Martin Scorsese

Starring Robert De Niro, Joe Pesci, Sharon Stone

Why It's a Favorite: Goodfellas is one of my all-time favorite movies that you will see very high on this list. Casino is very much a spiritual successor to it that was made five years after. Scorsese reunites with stars De Niro, Pesci, and Frank Vincent and writer Nicholas Pileggi for another movie about the Italian Mafia. This time, it trades New York City for Las Vegas. It's not told as smoothly as Goodfellas, but it features the same type of fast-paced filmmaking complete with whacks, drugs, fancy suits, money, and rock and roll. I honestly would couple this movie along with Goodfellas and The Wolf of Wall Street for an amazing crime trilogy. Scorsese does rise and fall stories so well. What makes them unique is how they are told through a narrator that keeps the viewer "in" on everything that's happening.

Favorite Scene: With so many scenes to choose from, I'll go with the "cheater's justice" scene where Ace Rothstein catches two of casino's guests cheating at a blackjack table. It doesn't end well for them. It's a masterfully shot scene.

43. My Neighbor Totoro

No Caption Provided

1988

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki

Starring Dakota and Elle Fanning, Tim Daly

Why It's a Favorite: I don't think any movie connects me with my childhood better than Totoro and for that, it's special. It's a movie I saw once when I was very young back in '98 or '99. I then went about twelve years without watching it until the blu-ray released a few years back. I was reconnected with the movie, but the young characters that find Totoro in the movie reminded me about my childhood. Playing with my siblings and friends outside, adventuring in nature, imagining things you could only imagine as a kid. It takes me back to simpler times.

Favorite Scene: The bus stop scene is perfect. It's one of my favorite scenes in any animated movie.

42. Toy Story 2

No Caption Provided

1999

Directed by John Lasseter

Starring Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Joan Cusack

Why It's a Favorite: It's always difficult ranking the Toy Story movies. Each of them are fantastic. Toy Story 2 usually gets the least amount of love from me because it splits up a cast of characters that work so well together. It's a very Woody-centric story when compared to the other two. And while it's a bit frustrating to see Buzz and the gang as secondary characters, the movie is still classic Toy Story with plenty of humor and heartfelt scenes to be found. The new cast additions of Jessie, Bullseye, and Prospector Pete and the Woody's Roundup side of the movie give more character to Woody other than that he's "Andy's favorite."

Favorite Scene: I'm torn between three. The video game opening with Zurg is always awesome. Woody watching the "Woody's Roundup" episode on TV is unforgettable. But Jessie's flashback scene has the slight edge. It's heartbreaking.

41. Guardians of the Galaxy

No Caption Provided

2014

Directed by James Gunn

Starring Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista

Why It's a Favorite: It's my favorite movie from the MCU thus far, by far. It's such a stark difference from the rest of the franchise. Characters I mostly had no idea about going in, goofy humor throughout that fits in, a great soundtrack of licensed music, and the coolest sci-fi setting. But why it's my favorite MCU movie is because of its quintet of memorable characters. Again, I had no idea who any of them were going in and I came out with their names memorized and wanting more from them. The chemistry between the five of them is unmatched in my opinion. I really think that Marvel has something special on their hands here. I wouldn't be surprised if Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is the biggest MCU movie yet and overshadows everything they are doing with The Avengers.

Favorite Scene: The prison breakout represents everything I love about this movie. It has such an odd sense of humor that I get and totally find funny. It's a really great action scene too.

Distinction: Favorite Marvel Cinematic Universe film

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That's it for now. Four more parts to go. Last blog, I sad I'd give my thoughts on the Rogue One teaser trailer. I have mixed feelings about it, honestly. I am so glad that Disney and Lucasfilm are making more Star Wars movies outside of the new trilogy. The world of Star Wars is an infinitely fascinating one. It's so vast. I mean, look at all the races of aliens between the seven movies alone. There must be over a hundred and I'm led o believe they each have a home planet. So of course I want to see more from Star Wars than just the trilogy of ultra-important stuff in the galaxy. There are so many characters and storylines to look into. That said, I'm a bit disappointed that this movie looks so safe. It's another rebel story about trying to take down the Empire? We've seen that already and with the new trilogy, we're getting that again. I'm happy that Rogue One doesn't look like its about the Jedi, which is refreshing (I love the Jedi and lightsabers but it's absurd to think they need to have their foot in every Star Wars story). But I just want something that's brand new, not original trilogy nostalgia fueled. The love and nostalgia for the OT is getting way out of hand. We're at a point where that's all that matters and it looks like Disney wants to pretend the prequels never existed. I like (not love) the prequels and think they get way too much hate. They were at least a fresh look at Star Wars. The nostalgia with all of the old soundtrack teases and whatnot in Episode VII was awesome. With Rogue One, it looks like even more of that, and it's already getting annoying. I just want something brand new from Star Wars. I love the Clone Wars or Rebels episodes that takes place in weird locations that haven't been touched on in the trilogies. I wish the spin-off movies followed a similar route. But to be fair, the movie does look pretty good so far. Donnie Yen's, Forest Whitaker's, and Ben Mendelsohn's characters look awesome. They look new and unique to Star Wars. The rebel stuff, I'm just bored with, honestly. I will give big props to the movie's special effects and costumes so far though. They look practical and real, which is a good sign. We'll have to see later this year how it all turns out. These anthology spin-off movies are a blessing though, they make the wait for the next episodes easier.

Don't even get me started on the young Han Solo movie...

Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Top 100 Movies - Part V

Nearing the halfway mark with this list, my final list here on Gamespot. Here's the list so far:

100. The Descendants

99. The Grand Budapest Hotel

98. X-Men: Days of Future Past

97. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

96. 2001: A Space Odyssey

95. Inglorious Basterds

94. The Aviator

93. Napoleon Dynamite

92. Reservoir Dogs

91. The Fast and the Furious

90. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

89. 3:10 to Yuma

88. Catch Me If You Can

87. The Godfather Part II

86. Blade Runner

85. Man of Steel

84. Chinatown

83. Spider-Man

82. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

81. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

80. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

79. American Psycho

78. A Clockwork Orange

77. Zodiac

76. Captain America: The Winter Solider

75. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

74. Inside Out

73. Casino Royale

72. Saving Private Ryan

71. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

70. Sideways

69. Fight Club

68. I Love You, Man

67. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

66. Full Metal Jacket

65. True Grit

64. Rebel Without A Cause

63. Iron Man

62. Cast Away

61. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

60. The Shining

1980

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Starring Jack Nicholson, Shelley Duvall, Danny Lloyd

No Caption Provided

The Shining is my favorite Stanley Kubrick film and my favorite Stephen King story. It's really fortunate for us that their work was combined to make a classic horror thriller. I love movies, books, games, etc. that focus on one particular setting, especially one that is haunting and mysterious. The Shining's Overlook Hotel is the godfather to Shutter Island, Arkham Asylum, and the island from The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The setting is just as interesting as the plot, which revolves around Jack Nicholson's cryptic performance as the unhinged Jack Torrance.

Fun Fact: Stephen King originally was not pleased with the film that was based off of his story, saying that it was "style over substance."

59. 50/50

2011

Directed by Jonathan Levine

Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick

No Caption Provided

Perhaps one of the most misunderstood movies in recent memory, 50/50 is more than the Seth Rogen comedy about cancer that is may seem to be. It's actually one of the most heartfelt, touching movies that I've ever seen. It gets the character relationships down perfectly. The main character and his best friend, his parents, his ex, his new love interest, and his fellow cancer patients. It can be funny, heartbreaking, and relatable. Seth Rogen co-wrote the script with his longtime friend, basing it on their own experiences. Since, Rogen has developed into a true talent behind the camera. Meanwhile, Joseph Gordon-Levitt gave one of his best performances, which came in the middle of the JGL fever that spanned three or four years of him in great roles. The final third of this film truly moved me.

Fun Fact: JGL accepted the main role just two days before filming was scheduled to begin.

58. WALL-E

2008

Directed by Andrew Stanton

Starring Ben Burtt, Elissa Knight, Jeff Garlin

No Caption Provided

Oh, 2008. The year that had WALL-E and The Dark Knight, yet it was Slumdog Millionaire, Benjamin Button, Frost/Nixon, The Reader, and Milk that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. WALL-E isn't among my top five favorite Pixar movies, yet I'd say that it's possibly their finest achievement. It's purely visual storytelling without much dialogue yet it has so much to say. WALL-E is a silent character yet through animation and sound effects, we feel everything he feels and understand everything that he does. I'm not even a huge fan of its heavy message towards the end of the movie. To me, this movie is about the characters of WALL-E and EVE.

Fun Fact: The Pixar team watched Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton silent films during their lunch breaks for inspiration.

57. X-Men: First Class

2011

Directed by Matthew Vaughn

Starring James McAvoy, Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence

No Caption Provided

My favorite X-Men movie and one of my favorite comic book movies overall. First Class was a genius way to reboot the X-Men movies without exactly rebooting them. Rather than recasting Wolverine, Cyclops, and Jean Grey, Fox had the rare benefit of having the movie rights to a massive amount of great characters to choose from. I've always viewed the X-Men as Marvel's best and most important characters. It's just a really cool universe with infinite possibilities. Well, Fox either had an amazing eye for young talent or else got really lucky in casting. Michael Fassbender, Jennifer Lawrence, James McAvoy, and Nicholas Hoult are all stars. Fassbender and Lawrence are two of the best actors in the entire industry currently, in my opinion. And the chemistry between Fassbender's Magneto and McAvoy's Xavier is just perfect. Aside from the cast that also includes Kevin Bacon and January Jones in great villain roles, I really loved the Cold War setting this movie and its sequel had and thought it fit well with the X-Men.

Fun Fact: McAvoy shaved his head in preparation for his role as Charles Xavier, but learned soon after from the filmmakers that Xavier in this film had a full head of hair. In fact, McAvoy had to wear hair extensions at the start of filming.

56. Boyhood

2014

Directed by Richard Linklater

Starring Ellar Coltrane, Patricia Arquette, Ethan Hawke

No Caption Provided

When I first heard about this movie during the 2014 award season, I thought that it was just another gimmick movie looking for awards. Its gimmick being that it was filmed over 12 years of a boy's life. When I finally caught it on Showtime some time after the award season, I watched a movie that reached me unlike any movie before it. Seeing that kid grow up and drawing many comparisons to my own life was surreal. The character/actor and I are roughly the same age. We both grew up in the late 90s and 2000s. Seeing the pop culture references that we were both into from Dragon Ball Z and having a sister to Soulja Boy Tell 'Em and long hair to indie rock and girls and going to college. This movie is about growing up and its very personal to the characters' lives and the fictional lives they lived that seemed very real because of how well this movie was written, directed, and acted. When I watched this movie for the first time (I've already seen it a few) and the credits started rolling, I remember just sitting there at like 3am on a summer night just thinking about life. It awakened ancient feelings. Boyhood is a powerful movie.

Fun Fact: Ethan Hawke was set to finish directing had Richard Linklater died during the 12 years of filming.

55. The Lion King

1994

Directed by Roger Allers, Rob Minkoff

Starring Matthew Broderick, Jeremy Irons, James Earl Jones

No Caption Provided

The Lion King and Toy Story are the two animated movies I attribute the most to my early childhood. The Lion King is part epic and part just a fun, enjoyable ride. There's "The Circle of Life" and Simba's return to dethrone Scar that's very Shakespearean. Then, there's "Hakuna Matata" and the parts of the movie that I associate with being a carefree child in the 90's. Also, I think there's something to be said with the strength of the all-star voice cast, specifically Irons and James Earl Jones.

Fun Fact: Considered to be the best-selling home video of all-time with 55 million copies sold and counting.

54. Moneyball

2011

Directed by Bennett Miller

Starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Chris Pratt

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Moneyball is a baseball movie, but its also just a great movie. It's less about the ballgames on the field and more about the behind the scenes, front office work of the birth of sabr analysis in baseball. It's the small market Oakland Athletics looking at statistic probabilities and managing a budget, out-winning teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox, who effectively could afford to sign the very best players because of their massive budget. It's basically Rocky but with stats. Brad Pitt is great as usual, but it was Jonah Hill who stole scenes. The writing is great, it was impressively authentic to the MLB, the cinematography was great, and the soundtrack is one of my all-time favorites. I am a huge baseball fan. I love watching the games, managing a fantasy team, keeping track of players stats, etc. so this movie was right up my alley. But I honestly believe that you don't need to fully understand baseball to enjoy this movie. There is also a very human side of it that Brad Pitt captures well.

Fun Fact: A year after the film released, the Oakland Athletics won the AL West with the lowest payroll in the MLB and a record-setting 54 wins from rookie pitchers.

53. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1

2010

Directed by David Yates

Starring Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

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The penultimate chapter in the eight-film movie franchise is probably the most underrated. It is without a doubt the most unique of the lot because it isn't set in Hogwarts and has a decidedly dark undertone throughout. That said, it is still every bit as magical, just with higher stakes. The characters of Harry, Ron, and Hermione all progress significantly by the movie's tragic ending. We got to see the trio outside of school and into the real world, where danger could be around each corner. It's probably the darkest HP movie right from the very first scene, in Malfoy Manor, which I loved as an opening. It built up the epic finale nicely but still had a lot going for it on its own right.

Fun Fact: Michelle Fairley played the small, non-speaking role of Hermione's muggle mother before her famous role as Catelyn Stark in Game of Thrones.

52. Dumb and Dumber

1994

Directed by Peter and Bobby Farrelly

Starring Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Lauren Holly

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The highest pure comedy movie on my list. It's always been my favorite to laugh at. I've watched it probably well over twelve times and still laugh at it every time. Its such a cleverly written and acted comedy that there's nearly always something new to notice as completely hilarious with each viewing. I think that Jim Carrey is one of the funniest people to have ever lived. He continues to make me laugh, even after two decades. There's another one of his movies further up on my list, one of his non-comedies, but this is the sole Carrey comedy that made the cut. It's a classic that not even its mediocre sequels could make unfunny. It's timeless.

Fun Fact: Jim Carrey/Lloyd Christmas' chipped front tooth in this movie was real. Carrey chipped his tooth when he was younger and thought that taking out the cap used to fill it would be funny for his character.

51. Mad Max: Fury Road

2015

Directed by George Miller

Starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult

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Possibly the greatest action movie ever made. I will never forget watching this movie for the first time in theaters. I've watched it on blu-ray since and its still fantastic, but seeing it on the big screen with loud speakers reminded me why going to the theaters is so special. The Force Awakens on opening day is my favorite theater experience, followed by The Dark Knight, but Mad Max would probably round out my top three. It was made for the big screen and it totally crushed. The stunts, the music, the tight editing. It's an action masterpiece.

Fun Fact: Principal photography began in June 2012, almost three years before the film's May 2015 release.

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As stated last blog, the rest of the list will be a bit different. I'm going to focus more on what makes each film among my all-time favorites, leading up to my undisputed number one. Other than that, I've seen Batman v Superman and... I really, really liked it. I'm disappointed that so many are quick to judge it against Nolan's trilogy and The Avengers universe. It's its own heavily comic inspired thing and I love that. It's different and of course that's going to divide people. Just like Snyder's Watchmen and Man of Steel. I would rather have a movie that some people love and others hate than a movie that nobody thinks twice about. That said, the movie was far from perfect. The script was bad at times, I could tell where the 35 minutes of cut content was supposed to be (the pacing was off), the Justice League cameos felt forced and awkward (except for, you know which one), Lex Luthor didn't make much sense for now, and just as I feared, the trailers gave away too much to a point where the one-liners sounded dumb. There was so much to like however. Ben Affleck as Batman (and as Batman as Bruce Wayne) was amazing. In my opinion, he is hands down the best on-screen Batman to date and I cannot wait to see more. I loved how broken down and brutal he was. I also thought that Superman held his own as a very interesting character. The court house fallout scene, the Day of the Dead montage... wow. Snyder's visuals were just incredible at times. I loved the conflicted nature of his character rather than the do-no-wrong boy scout we all know. There's a lot to feast on there from a character perspective. The action scenes I thought were anywhere from pretty good to flat out glorious. On the supporting side, Wonder Woman was cool, I loved Amy Adams as Lois for the first time, and overall, I just really dig the direction the DC movie universe is heading. I'll save my Rogue One trailer thoughts for next blog, which should be quite soon. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Top 100 Movies - Part IV

A bit of a hiatus between posts, but I will certainly try to avoid that moving forward while also not rushing myself. On to part four. Here's the list so far:

100. The Descendants

99. The Grand Budapest Hotel

98. X-Men: Days of Future Past

97. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

96. 2001: A Space Odyssey

95. Inglorious Basterds

94. The Aviator

93. Napoleon Dynamite

92. Reservoir Dogs

91. The Fast and the Furious

90. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

89. 3:10 to Yuma

88. Catch Me If You Can

87. The Godfather Part II

86. Blade Runner

85. Man of Steel

84. Chinatown

83. Spider-Man

82. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

81. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

80. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

79. American Psycho

78. A Clockwork Orange

77. Zodiac

76. Captain America: The Winter Solider

75. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

74. Inside Out

73. Casino Royale

72. Saving Private Ryan

71. Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi

70. Sideways

2004

Directed by Alexander Payne

Starring Paul Giamatti, Thomas Hayden Church, Virginia Madsen

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Not many movies do a better job at establishing character than Sideways. Based on the Rex Pickett novel, Sideways is much like the other Payne movie earlier on my list, The Descendants, in that it it's incredibly intimate to its characters and that it tells a story that seems very real. It made me laugh, it made me feel, and it made me think. Paul Giamatti and Thomas Hayden Church (yes, Sandman) are fantastic in this one.

Fun Fact: Sideways had an effect on the wine industry shortly after its release. Sales for Pinot Noir rose while sales for Merlot dropped.

69. Fight Club

1999

Directed by David Fincher

Starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter

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Bound to appear on many "top movies" lists, Fight Club has well grown out of its cult classic status and grown into recognition as a modern classic. I will never forget watching this movie for the very first time. Its twist was shocking but unlike most "twist" movies, Fight Club is still just as enjoyable after its first viewing. And I credit that to how the movie doesn't just have one or even a small few of memorable moments, but several. It's hard to even pick a favorite. But if I had to, it would honestly have to be the ending. It's the Pixies.

Fun Fact: Helena Bonham Carter had the idea for her makeup artist to apply her makeup with only her left hand. The idea behind this was to slightly make it look like her character doesn't care that much about her appearance.

68. I Love You, Man

2009

Directed by John Hamburg

Starring Paul Rudd, Jason Segel, Rashida Jones

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There's no analysis of any sort to be had here about this one. It's a movie with a unique, fun sense of humor that makes me laugh silly. There are so many quotes to be shared among friends. Rudd and Segel make for a hilarious duo. The many supporting characters played by Jon Favreau, Joe Lo Truglio, Thomas Lennon, Andy Samberg, and JK Simmons among others have memorable laughs as well. As far as pure comedies go, it's only topped by one other. "Slappa da bass mon!"

Fun Fact: After their scene filmed, the band Rush stayed around and played an hour long set just for the cast, crew, and fans on set.

67. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

2013

Directed by Ben Stiller

Starring Been Stiller, Kristen Wiig, Adam Scott

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It's hard to find a movie that is inspirational without being a true story or else overly-cheesy. I knew the first time I watched the excellent debut trailer with Of Monsters and Men's "Dirty Paws" playing over it that it was going to be a divisive movie that I would totally dig. It's one of the best stylized movies I've ever seen and clearly was a passion project for Stiller, who wanted to do something outside of his usual comedy roles. It's not overly serious, but it is an adventure movie that made me want to get out and try new things. I thought this movie was beautiful and it means a lot to me.

Fun Fact: Walter is jokingly told that "there are like eight people in Greenland." Walter only ends up seeing eight people in Greenland.

66. Full Metal Jacket

1987

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Starring Matthew Modine, Vincent D'Onorfrio, R. Lee Ermey

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FMJ was the first Kubrick movie that I watched. Kubrick is perhaps the most powerful filmmaker of all-time and certainly one of the most influential. This movie came very late in his career yet it's arguably his boldest and most controversial. It showed a very human element to war from boot camp to the battlefield without really trying to raise discussion or make a statement. But I don't view it solely as art, but as a story and a look into a group of characters' lives.

Fun Fact: Vincent D'Onorfrio gained 60 lbs for his role, breaking Robert De Niro's 50 lb record for "Raging Bull."

65. True Grit

2010

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

Starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, Hailee Steinfeld

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My favorite Coen Brothers film. It's one of the best westerns I've seen and is a shining example that the western genre still has relevance in today's world of cinema. I love its style, its character development, its environment, but above all, I love its story. The cast is wonderful, especially Hailee Steinfeld, who managed to steal scenes next to Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Josh Brolin.

Fun Fact: Contrary to popular belief, it is not a remake of the John Wayne film of the same name, but rather an adaptation of the same book it was also based on.

64. Rebel Without A Cause

1955

Directed by Nicholas Ray

Starring James Dean, Natalie Wood, Sal Mineo

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The oldest movie on my list and I find that it's still very relevant to today's world. It's obviously James Dean's iconic role that sets this movie apart. It's magnetic and authentic, which makes for a very compelling character who is more than just a "rebel." And if this blog has a theme, it's style and Rebel Without a Cause is one of the best stylized movies ever in my opinion.

Fun Fact: Plain white t-shirt sales soared after its release.

63. Iron Man

2008

Directed by Jon Favreau

Starring Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Jeff Bridges

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Similar to the previous entry, Iron Man is special because of its lead actor. It's often been said that Downey Jr. was born to play this role and I tend to agree. He perfectly embodies his comic book superhero better than any. He is Iron Man. It's the smart quips, the sarcasm, the depth of actually caring, the intelligence, etc. It kicked off an extremely popular saga of movies that has transformed into something akin to a long running TV series that has yet to run out of fuel. What makes Iron Man the pinnacle of the MCU (and my second favorite) after all these years and sequels and spin-offs is that it stands as its own film on its own.

Fun Fact: It was originally planned to be revealed in this movie that it was Tony Stark who created Doc Ock's tentacles in Spider-Man 2.

62. Cast Away

2000

Directed by Robert Zemeckis

Starring Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Paul Sanchez

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Not many actors can carry a movie almost entirely on their own. Tom Hanks certainly does it here. There's not much else to say other than that its a fun journey to watch multiple times over. The final crossroads scene is one of my favorite movie endings.

Fun Fact: Production was put on hold for an entire year so that Tom Hanks could lose 50 lbs and grow his hair out for the movie's second half. Robert Zemeckis filmed another movie during the hiatus.

61. Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

2005

Directed by George Lucas

Starring Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Ian McDiarmid

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Controversial pick, I know. Over Episode VI, I know. But I'm among the minority I guess that loves Star Wars for all of what it is. I don't try to immaturely act like the prequels never happened or that the original trilogy is sacred or believe that George Lucas sold his soul for merchandising profits. To me, Star Wars is more meaningful when it has the depth of the prequels and the Clone Wars. It only enhances the original trilogy in my opinion. That said, I do think that Episodes I and II could and should have been a lot better and are poor movies overall. The same does not apply to Episode III. I love it. It's extremely dark and I completely dig that. The fall of Anakin Skywalker and the Jedi Order to the Dark Side and the Republic is tragic. I love that Lucas decided to go there and not hold anything back. The scene alone where the audio is cut entirely except for a haunting soundtrack as Anakin chooses the dark side is perfect. Order 66 is one of my favorite Star Wars scenes overall. It's a decidedly dark movie and in my opinion, a near masterpiece that people try to cover up because of nostalgia.

Fun Fact: This was Peter Mayhew's first film role since 1983 (ROTJ) besides voicing a character in a Dragon Ball GT movie.

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From 50 onward, I plan to switch up the format a bit to really focus on why each movie is inside my top 50 favorites. Other than this list, I just wrapped up season four of House of Cards. I was really low on season 3, which I thought was uneventful and boring, but s4 seemed like the show-runners wisely corrected their path, even going as far as to disregarding several subplots as well as what I thought s4's main plot was going to be about. I thought that s4 was fantastic and as good as anything that was previously on the show. I really liked the cast additions of known actors Joel Kinnaman, Ellen Burstyn, and Neve Campbell. Now, it's on to season two of Daredevil, which I am pretty stoked for. Oh, and BvS is this friday, which I am even more excited for. Not to rant, but I am so excited that DC is going in the complete opposite direction as Marvel. It's not that the MCU is bad by any means, but why would anyone want two sagas of the same? Marvel can have its jokes, flashy action, and happy endings. That's fine and I'm excited to see more of that. But I am also excited to see a super hero saga that is dark, consequential, and visually stylish. I'm even ready for the Zack Snyder effect of polarizing opinions. I love it when people wholeheartedly disagree over a movie like Man of Steel or Watchmen. It means more that some people love it and some people hate it rather than another Thor movie where everyone is just like, "okay, whatever." What I'm not ready for are the sure fanboy wars and people who hate it trying to ruin it for people who love it. But that's the age of the internet that we live in, I guess. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan

Top 100 Movies - Part III

Back at it. Here's the list so far:

100. The Descendants

99. The Grand Budapest Hotel

98. X-Men: Days of Future Past

97. Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery

96. 2001: A Space Odyssey

95. Inglorious Basterds

94. The Aviator

93. Napoleon Dynamite

92. Reservoir Dogs

91. The Fast and the Furious

90. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

89. 3:10 to Yuma

88. Catch Me If You Can

87. The Godfather Part II

86. Blade Runner

85. Man of Steel

84. Chinatown

83. Spider-Man

82. Rise of the Planet of the Apes

81. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

80. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

2014

Directed by Matt Reeves

Starring Andy Serkis, Jason Clarke, Keri Russell

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The sequel to the breakout (no pun intended) Planet of the Apes reboot had high expectations to live up to. We got to see how a faction of apes came to power, but where would the story go from there? To start out, I thought for sure this movie was going to tank. The trailers and spots leading up to its release did not seem to carry over the smart storytelling and tone of its predecessor. I feared that this movie would be all about action and violence with very little to play off of Caesar's character development. It turned out that the trailer was a poor indicator of the full movie, in a great way. Dawn of the Apes is about as smart as sci-fi gets. The entire movie had a theme to it that reflects on our own world, evident even during its suspenseful action scenes. Basically, there is good and bad on both sides. We might all get along if there weren't jerks screwing it up on both sides. Commentary aside, this movie does suspense, drama, and action all exceptionally well.

Fun Fact: Contrary to most movies with a heavy reliance on performance capture technology, most of the outdoor scenes were filmed outdoors.

79. American Psycho

2000

Directed by Mary Harron

Starring Christian Bale, Chloe Sevigny, Willem Dafoe

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While I'm not a huge fan of movies that throw a twist at the end, I do admire the movies that pull off twists the right way, leaving it all up to the viewer's interpretation. Movies like Inception, Shutter Island, Blade Runner, etc. masterfully pull it off and American Psycho nails it as well. The elephant with this one is that it's extremely violent. But the whole movie has a darkly comedic tone to it that makes it worthwhile. Patrick Bateman is a completely self-obsessed psychotic and it's amusing to watch him unravel, whether in real life or his imagination. It's a cult classic that has become widely known thanks to Bale's rise to fame over the last decade. And hats off to him. He goes from a murdering lunatic to Batman/Bruce Wayne to an obsessed magician to a junkie boxing coach to a sleazeball con man. He's a dedicated chameleon of an actor and is one of my favorites.

Fun Fact: Bale spoke an American accent on and off the camera at all times to stay in character and not let his British accent bleed through. He surprised many of his fellow cast and crew with his natural accent at the movie's wrap party.

78. A Clockwork Orange

1971

Directed by Stanley Kubrick

Starring Malcolm McDowell, Patrick Magee, Michael Bates

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From one extremely violent movie to another. A Clockwork Orange is really a madhouse of a movie. The main character does despicable things throughout most of it in one of my favorite views of a dystopian future. If you can't draw the line between reality and fiction and get upset over themes, this is the last movie for you. But if you can, this is one of the best movies of all-time. It's a landmark in cinematography and is my favorite shot movie. It's bold, bizarre, thought-provoking, and it exceeds in making you feel uncomfortable. It'd be higher on my list if not for the last part. Some movies make me uncomfortable to a point where I don't really enjoy what I'm watching. Taxi Driver, Requiem for a Dream, Se7en, etc. There's something about Kubrick's vision that really draws me to this movie. Sidenote: I would consider each of the three referenced movies as perfect or near to it. Again, feeling depressed is not for me when I'm watching movies.

Fun Fact: Stanley Kubrick ordered that all unused footage be destroyed after its completion.

77. Zodiac

2007

Directed by David Fincher

Starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Robert Downey Jr., Mark Ruffalo

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Nearly falling into the category mentioned in the last spot, Zodiac does not end happily. It doesn't end with a terrible event, but its ending is one of the best gut punches I've ever watched. Spoilers: the way it suddenly jumps forward in time at the end actually put time in perspective for me. And why did that work so well? Because the movie was told very personally through the characters in a way that made the movie's giant running time engrossing. It's an amateur detective story where obviously, the killer is never caught. And despite knowing that going in, I think its fantastic in the way it made me feel suspense better than any non-Hitchcock movie. Zodiac is a forgotten, under-appreciated gem.

Fun Fact: The Zodiac case was re-opened after the film's release.

76. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

2014

Directed by Anthony and Joe Russo

Starring Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford

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2014 marked a major comeback for Marvel's cinematic universe. After a pair of lame follow-ups to The Avengers, it was up to Cap 2 and Guardians of the Galaxy to try and reignite my interest in this universe of superheroes. Both movies went for a unique tone and both turned out phenomenal. TWS was something of an espionage thriller with a story that was very personal to Steve Rogers, making him the saga's best developed character. Cap trying to re-enter everyday life, the split between SHIELD and Hydra, Cap having to face his old friend, the action scenes, the laughs, it was all perfectly done. The action scenes in particular were great because it actually looked fighting as opposed to just a bunch of stuff flying around. And the action was actually plot-driven. There are only two MCU movies ahead of this one, yet I'd argue that it's by far and away the best "Avengers" movie.

Fun Fact: Anthony Mackie e-mailed Marvel repeatedly to let him play any comic book character before being offered the role of Falcon.

75. O Brother, Where Art Thou?

2000

Directed by Joel and Ethan Coen

Starring George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson

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I find this movie very similar to Forrest Gump. It has a traceable, fictional story that is surrounded by real events with characters moving in an out, it has a legendary soundtrack, and the lead cast is magnetic. But most importantly, it's timelessly a blast to watch and enjoy. It was my introduction to the Coen Brothers and is still one of my favorites from them. It nails its time period and has a fun tone.

Fun Fact: The film's soundtrack was actually more successful than the film itself in terms of profit and awards. It won the Grammy for Album of the Year.

74. Inside Out

2015

Directed by Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen

Starring Amy Poehler, Phyllis Smith, Bill Hader

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It took me a while to finally watch Inside Out, just a few months ago. It came in with a ton of hype and praise and blew past my suspicious expectations. It's one of the most endearing and heartfelt movies I've ever watched and I almost know for sure that its spot on my list will rise with time and additional viewings. Comparing it to the Pixar classics that I've watched numerous times is difficult in this reason. Pixar movies grow on you like no other. In Inside Out's case, it's a girl with feelings you can relate to. And not just that, a girl with feelings who have feelings you can relate to :P It's brilliantly and uniquely animated, funny, adventurous, and one of Pixar's best realized ideas.

Fun Fact: In the scene where Riley's father is daydreaming about sports, the sport varies depending on which country the movie was released for.

73. Casino Royale

2006

Directed by Martin Campbell

Starring Daniel Craig, Eva Green, Mads Milkkelsen

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My favorite 007 movie and it's not even close. Craig plays Bond perfectly, Eva Green plays a Bond girl who is both gorgeous and an integral part of the plot, Mads' villain was uniquely driven, and the many supporting characters were interesting pieces. But what truly astounds me about Casino Royale every time I watch it is how it swims through genres with ease. It goes from a whole classic espionage thing to a action-packed chase scene to Bond being Bond to cheesy action to drama to love story to tragedy... It's all told with a unique rate of pacing. People say that this movie has too many endings, but I view it as unconventional storytelling. The movie revived a franchise that was thought to be dead. Do you remember those last two Brosnan movie? Yikes.

Fun Fact: The opening parkour scene took six weeks to film.

72. Saving Private Ryan

1998

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Starring Tom Hanks, Matt Damon, Vin Diesel

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This is one of those movies that is defined by a single scene, as great as the rest of the movie may be. The opening Normandy invasion scene is one of the greatest accomplishments in modern cinema. But the rest of the movie doesn't fall apart after. It's the finest war movie, one that focuses on the character, played by Tom Hanks, without revealing anything of his life back home until the very end. Spielberg aimed high with this movie and in the end created a movie so good that not many decided to follow his giant footsteps in making a WWII movie.

Fun Fact: Spielberg cast Matt Damon as Private Ryan specifically because he wanted an unknown actor. Damon became a star after Good Will Hunting came out before SPR's release.

71. Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi

1983

Directed by Richard Marquand

Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher

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Star Wars was the movie that started a timeless adventure in a galaxy of wonder. The Empire Strikes Back gave that galaxy depth and began to expand upon its characters. Return of the Jedi ended the trilogy full circle. Star Wars was always there for me and I'm glad to be one of the last kids to have seen the original trilogy before the prequels came out. That said, I've never been as in love with ROTJ as I always have been with the original and of course, Empire. Whenever I re-watch the trilogy, the ending is just there and I never look forward to it. The Endor stuff, the second Death Star run, how dumb it made the Empire look on multiple occasions... You look at some of the other saga finales like Harry Potter and LOTR and they end perfectly on high notes. ROTJ is not a high note. But that's not to say it's bad. Every scene that Luke is in is great. Walking through the front door of Jabba's palace as a Jedi knight to save his friends, going back to Yoda and realizing he still has a lot to learn, leaving his friends to take on Vader personally, convincing his father away from the dark side and not making the same mistake he did, it's all great. It's not a perfect finale, but it's Star Wars. And now you know what, we now live in a world where Luke looking up at Hayden Christensen isn't the end of Star Wars.

Fun Fact: George Lucas only decided while writing ROTJ that Luke and Leia were siblings. He originally wanted to make a sequel trilogy about Luke looking for his sister. He decided to wrap up the story in this movie.

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A good mix of modern and classic with this group of ten. From here on out are movies I have a hard time believing aren't in my top 30, let alone 50. Aside from this list, I've been diving back into Fallout 4. I've been trying to treat it like its own game and not comparing it to the Fallout I know and love. Thanks for reading and please comment :)

- Dylan