My Go-To Movies For Any Unbearable Situation
I don’t know about you, but I find that having a good go-to list of movies on my computer is a must. It’s for days when you feel that there’s nothing good on Netflix, for plane rides on budget flights that don’t provide entertainment, for when you’re feeling blue, when you’re at a party and you all need something to entertain yourselves, when you’re running on a boring treadmill, or even when you just need a good poo.
Download them onto your computer or your phone, I don’t know, but somewhere accessible. I have them on my computer. I feel that I can’t enjoy them fully on the tiny mobile screen.
But why Amanda? Why is this list so important? Have you x run out of content?
lol, yeah. No lah, I actually have a backlog of stuff that I just haven’t finished writing up.
BUT, this is important for you guys to know because: 1) Turns out a lot of people haven’t watched these in Singapore and they need to be educated damnit! 2) Many of these are CLASSICS and shouldn’t not be forgotten 3) It’ll serve as a reminder to me to pop them back into my computer should I have the need to reformat my laptop.
Not in any particular order, with suggestions of when best to watch the show:
- Spirited Away
A tiny Japanese girl works in a bathhouse for the spirits (an allegory for young girls being forced into prostitution) and overcomes some magical difficulties to save her parents from turning into pigs.
When to watch: Anytime, all the time. It has a spectacularly magical soundtrack and beautifully drawn scenery that whisks you away to the Japanese countryside.
- Silence of The Lambs
A young FBI trainee (Jodie Foster, who speaks while chewing on her words) forms an unlikely partnership with a psychopath nicknamed Hannibal the Cannibal (Anthony Hopkins, who is both creepy and sexy at the same time) to find a serial killer who cuts off the skin of his victims.
When to watch: When you’re in the mood for something creepy but not terrifying.
- The Parent Trap
Lindsey Lohan’s best role – ever. She plays this pair of girls (movie magic!) who discover that they were twins separated at birth, and pull off the switcheroo of a lifetime to bring their parents back together. Man it has everything, cheesy summer camp cheer, a catchy soundtrack, a sweet romance, a cute supporting role couple and the fluffiest dog ever.
When to watch: When you’re in the mood for a feel-good, family-grade romance.
Iron Man aside, this was the first of the superhero movies that solidified Marvel’s place in history, and a stepping stone towards Infinity War. It had well-developed relationships, characters you wanted to root for, a villain you fell in love with (my heart beats for you Tom Hiddleston), a heart-stopping soundtrack and Joss Whedon’s classic wit and banter. Absolutely perfection.
When to watch: The soundtrack really gets me on my feet, so personally I watch it while running on a treadmill. Can’t punch while watching, but can run. By the time the movie is over, you’ll find you’d been running for over an hour.
- Tropic Thunder
The majesty of this film can hardly be put to words. At first glance, it appears to be some Saving Private Ryan crap when really, it’s a lot more unexpected than that. It’s satire. Playing up on Hollywood stereotypes – a bunch of actors, filming a movie about the Vietnam war, get caught up in an actual drug war. Their personalities unravel and the true heroes are revealed. *cue evil laughter* A stellar cast (some of whom you’d never suspect to be comedic geniuses) gives the weak plot the oomph it needs bringing to life caricatures of Hollywood types. It is beyond excellent. Here’s an example of its inanity:
When to watch: When you’re with a clever group of friends who want a good laugh. Like all satire films, it requires you to have some knowledge of the film’s topic (in this case, Hollywood itself). Like to get the FULL joke, you’ll have to be aware of the stereotypes already. Honestly some friends I’ve watched it with simply don’t get it. They think it’s stupid cause on a surface level, a lot of the jokes appear to be simple slapstick.
- Midnight In Paris
I’m not a fan of Owen Wilson, but he was surprisingly bearable here. Woody Allen’s beautiful film of a man who gets magically drawn into Paris in the 20s is one full of wonder and romance. There is the painful distraction of reality in the form of a painfully pragmatic and materialistic Rachel McAdams, but it turns into pure literary joy at midnight as Owen Wilson, a budding novelist in the film, meets his literary heroes and other icons from art history.
When to watch: When you’re in need of some whimsy and literary magic.
- Blue Planet
Narrated by David Attenborough, it’s an extraordinary exploration of one of the least explored places on Earth – the oceans. Visually it is amazing, but I actually really love undersea documentaries for their sounds. All the little blips, bloops, scratchings of sand as starfish scurry across the ocean floor – how do the foley artists do it! Such joy to learn more about our little blue planet.
When to watch: When you have some spare time to kill and want some light watching coupled with a sprinkling of general knowledge.
- Kimi No Na Wa (Your Name)
Much like the Studio Ghibli variety of dreamy, whisk-you-away animated films, this follows the lives of two teenagers who switch bodies across time. It’s beautiful, the richness of Japan’s culture, the innocence of youth, and the magic of fate all twisted into a richy, colourful story.
When to watch: When you’re looking for something memorable and sweet – perfect for watching with your partner.
- Ip Man
I particularly love this one cause #asianpride! Donnie Yen is a master at Kung Fu and just the most upstanding Chinese citizen in this classic China Hero story. He defeats the white/Japanese man (it takes place towards the end of World War Two so tensions between the countries are high) and proves to all that all a man needs is really his wife, his child and a good hobby that occupies most of his time and eventually becomes a job. Fantastic martial arts, a likable protagonist and a heart-wrenching story of Chinese pride.
When to watch: When you’re feeling patriotical and feel like improving your Mandarin.
- Mean Girls
Tina Fey’s masterpiece is a classic. Surprisingly Lindsay Lohan made it to my list TWICE, (as did Rachel McAdams) but she’s not the star here. It is the quotable movie of the century, an unforgettable hero of teen classics (up there with Clueless) and king of pop-culture references. If you don’t know this show shame on you! it’s about about a foreign exchange student who meets the queen bees in high school (the Plastics) and tries to take them down. Such class, such shameless high school tropes and all-round woke film ahead of its time.
When to watch: When you’re with hard-to-please friends.
- Kung Fu Hustle
By far Stephen Chow’s best movie. It’s this story of this bum who discovers he’s some kind of mystical wushu warrior (Think Kung Fu Panda) and he uses his powers to save his village. It is Chow’s usual brand of slapstick, sometimes gross humor. But perfectly harmless for some old-fashioned brainless fun.
When to watch: When you’re in need of some brainless humour, or if you want to introduce a non-Chinese friend to Chinese humour haha.
- White Chicks
Much like Mean Girls, this is a classic. In today’s context there’s a high chance it might bomb in the box office (bloody snowflakes!) but when it first aired it instantly became a classic. Two disgraced black cops go undercover as spoilt white chicks. Stereotypes galore, an epic Yo Mama battle, Terry Crews singing and more. The ending is cliched and stupid, but the build up is beyond excellent. Laugh-out-loud funny.
When to watch: You just need to laugh.
- When Harry Met Sally
Meg Ryan was the unequivocal Molly Ringwald of the 90s. Queen of rom-coms. This is the ultimate anti-rom-com though, that’s why it is the pinnacle of her movie career. It starts out like a rom-com but breaks most conventions of the genre before ending with a sweet, rousing familiar finish that leaves you warm and fuzzy. Of course Sleepless in Seattle and You’ve Got Mail rank high on that list, but none are as important as this film. This Youtube video explains the importance of it to film students:
- Spirited Away
When to watch: When you need to learn to love again.
To be honest, my list goes on and on and on but these are my top picks. You’ll discover that most are feel good ones (try Fight Club if you want something brilliant, dark and unforgettable), but like I said, these movies are for unbearable situations. Also, substitute the list with any Disney movie, including Disney Channel Original movie – except for The Good Dinosaur (throws up in mouth) if you can’t think of anything else.
I love movies, they really just take you away on magical journeys!