Welcome to the first post for Monday at the Movies. Choosing the topic for my first post was suprisingly easy – I am going to talk about my favourite movie of all time.
I, like most movie fanatics, have an endless supply of favourite films (as a child of the 80’s most of them revolve around Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Goonies, Back to the Future… you get the picture) and I am sure that I will expose you to many of them over coming posts but today I am talking about my absolute favourite movie.
Last week I was reading Bob Mayer’s Toolkit, where he speaks of being able to describe the idea for your novel in one short sharp sentence. I believe it is the same for movies. As Bob mentions in his book, the one sentence idea will probably have been done before but it is what you do with that idea that makes it great. I think this is more true for my favourite movie than for anything else I have ever read or watched.
So my version of the one line idea for my favourite film is – Two enemies must overcome irrevocable differences to find their way home. Cliche much? Sounds like a thousand other movies doesn’t it? But the way this movie deals with this cliched topic is the stuff of legend.
If you have worked out the movie already give yourself a gold star. If you haven’t I will give you a few more hints.
The first line of this movie is “This is a stick-up. Don’t anybody move.”
Got it yet? I could keep going (I am able to quote this movie from start to finish – I don’t know if that is an impressive achievement or just really pathetic!) but I won’t.
More hints required? The main characters are named Woody and Buzz Lightyear (and just a bit of trivia for you, he was in fact named after the astronaut!).
My favourite movie of all time is (I’m sure you have it by now) Toy Story.
Now try not to judge me too much, I know it is a kids movie (and no I wasn’t a kid when it first came out so I can’t even use that excuse), but I think the fact that it is a kids movie and still manages to top my list speaks volumes about just how great this movie is.
“You are a sad strange little man. You have my pity. Farewell” (input star trek hand signal here).
The reason this movie works, and moves beyond the cliche (in my mind at least) is the characters. And not just the two main characters, but all the supporting ones as well. Think of Rex and his self-esteem issues, and Hamm’s classic know–it-all one liners. Every character in this movie is crafted to perfection – we literally watch the toys come to life. I am not ashamed to admit that I cried at the end of Toy Story 3 (for about the first 10 viewings anyway) as saying goodbye to these amazing characters felt real – because THEY felt real.
This movie tops my list because it changed the way we watch film. It was the first full length computer-animated feature film (think about how many of these there are now!) and back in 1995 it was mind-blowing! There is a reason that Pixar are one of the few production companies that have not yet produced a dud movie – they spend months producing and outline and story boarding every idea to make sure that it works.
“A stranger, from the outside. Ohhhhh…”
Yes sure, this is a story about toys that come to life when noone is watching but it is so much more than that.
Obviously, given that it is my fav film of all time it gets the big 5 stars (*****).
Do you have a favourite movie? Do you have a favourite genre? Let me know your thoughts.
(The Exasperated Novelist)