My Favorite Movies! Numbers 11-13

Now bringing you another batch of films. This'll be the last post obviously before the TOP 10!! I'm still debating if I'm going to do them one at a time.... for 10 days in a row or every other day or 2 at a time or 3 at a time and Numero Uno all by itself... So many choices, so little time.
And a reminder. Check ratings before watching these with kids. Also, the rankings don't really matter til the top 10. 11-25 are all better that 26+, but that doesn't mean 11 is better that 24 or anything like that. They're just there. They're kind of mood movies. Pick a genre, and one of them will fit, I'm sure. Comedy, action, sports (well someone is wearing a helmet in at least one of them...), drama, romance. It's all there in a lovely medley of movies.
And away we go!

#11: Gladiator
This movie epitomizes Russell Crowe at his highest moment. It's a war/action movie with a background of righteous vengeance to help the audience feel good about all the killing. Joaquin Phoenix is the creepy emperor after his dad (the original Dumbledore in the movies) croaks. Fearing that the noble general who loved his father would seek revenge, he orders some men to take him out to the middle of nowhere and kill him.
But wait! Generals aren't pushovers, and Russell quickly dispatches the men and runs away. He's then (luckily) picked up by some Arab-looking people who enslave him and make him fight. I do love how the world keeps playing to his strong suits.
He does overall encompass a noble man. When discussing how long he has until retirement, the old emperor asks him how long it's been since he's seen his wife. Without hesitation, he rattles off something like, "2 years, 4 months, 5 days and this morning". Now THAT is the pinnacle of family devotion if I've ever seen one. There's also the epic line delivered to his troops before the opening battle, "What we do in life echoes in eternity". Way cool.

Some trailer action for your viewing pleasure.

#12: Robin Hood: Men In Tights
Mel Brooks is awesome. I could probably make a top 5 of films he's done, but I won't.... yet. Spaceballs, Blazing Saddles, History of the World Part 1, and Young Frankenstein are all tributes in different ways to his parody brilliance. This was the first of his movies I was introduced to, and not long after seeing that wonderful Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves with Morgan Freeman as a Muslim. It's got Cary Elwes as the lead character, and Dave Chappelle as his awesome African sidekick. Numerous people stop by to help out, including the late Isaac Hayes and that bald guy from Star Trek. Patrick Stewart, I think.
This film follows the typical story of Robin Hood. He was away at war, and comes back to find the king away at war and the king's messed up cousin/brother/nephew/sister's 2nd boyfriend's childhood buddy has made a mess of England. There's also a sheriff with a speech impediment involved. Anyway, the whole film is typical Mel Brooks comedy, including a manly song about feeling manly while wearing tights. Overall I recommend all his films to teenagers and above. Again, check ratings before showing to some who might be too young... You know, every time I remind people to check the ratings I think of some friends of mine who let their toddlers watch Family Guy. I know I'm not a parent and criticizing in an area I lack experience probably makes me sound like a jerk, but just because it's a cartoon does NOT mean it's appropriate for babies and toddlers. But I digress.

And in an effort not to ruin the funniness for you... here's the trailer which takes the best parts out of the whole movie. Minus the musical numbers, obviously.

#13: Braveheart
You know what I'm talking about. Mel Gibson (not Brooks, Gibson) in his most macho role ever. Back in the day when he still had some street cred, he helped bring to life the story of William Wallace, a hero of Scotland known for fighting for the people against the tyrannical oppression of England. The comedy relief is provided by a lovely Irishman who talks to God out loud where everyone can hear. And not in a prayerful fashion, but as if he's talking to a buddy only he can hear.
Anyhow the King of England decided to bribe the royalty and nobles of Scotland into his service instead of waging war against them. He then pretty much treated Scotland like a stomping ground. And before that one guy from Great Britain who visits my blog challenges me to a history lesson, I'm giving my impressions of the MOVIE. I expect some of it to be dramatizations. For instance, I doubt William Wallace's uncle was actually William Stryker from the X-men universe. That would be really tough to convince me was true. I also bet that the actual Scottish and Irish of that day were so steeped in accent and idioms of their own culture as to be indecipherable to people of today.
Oh, and for the ladies who have difficulty watching violent films, there's also a love triangle of sorts between a prissy (fruity) prince, a cute French princess, and William Wallace. Take a guess who gets the girl?

In an effort to not ruin the ending but show you an alternative, here is 'how it should have ended' according to another site by that very name.

P.S. This officially makes kilts cool again.