My Favorite Movies! Numbers 7 & 8

Bring it on! These movies posts, I must say, have been very fun for me. I enjoy talking about movies and why I like particular ones. I hope you've enjoyed these posts as much as I have.
Disclaimer for this one is just for the presence of a lot of war violence in #7. Still be wary of watching around children too young.

#8: K-Pax

Of all the movies in my top 10, I really think this will be the one people are like 'What? Why is that on the list?'. Chances are few of you have even seen it. So I beg you give it a chance when you're in an odd mood and no other movie seems to fit your desires.
This movie actually inspired me to read the book. Yes, I think the book is better, but that's no reason to deprive myself of the fine acting of Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges. For those young folk out there that might not know who these guys are: Kevin Spacey played Lex Luthor in the last Superman movie and Jeff Bridges played the bald bad white guy in Iron Man. It wasn't until I wrote that last sentence did I realize they both play villains pretty well...
The story for K-Pax revolves mostly around a man named prot. I'd capitalize it, but you'd have to watch the movie to see why I don't. Prot (it's the beginning of the sentence, relax) claims to be an alien from the planet K-Pax who came here on a beam of light. Not surprisingly this behavior lands him quickly in a mental institution. Here Jeff Bridges plays his therapist who tries to help him see how nonsensical his claims are. The problem is, as the movie goes on prot starts to change HIS mind about the whole thing... or does he? Prot knows things that no human should know about astronomy. His eyes are far more sensitive to light than most people's, which is why he's always wearing sunglasses except in very dim rooms. He even escapes from the mental institution for a few days when he goes off to explore Iceland or something.
No, I don't believe in aliens. I have a coworker from Roswell who thinks they would explain a lot of things that go on down there. But overall I am quite sure they aren't out there. But slipping into a fictional world that blurs the potential of that without resorting to little gray men climbing out of flying saucers is kind of neat. I think it's this fascination with the extraterrestrial that made people like the movie Signs... Wait, I hated that movie. Anywho. And the movie really leaves the decision up to the viewer; is prot who he says he is or just a normal dude messed up in the head?


#7: Saving Private Ryan

Now this film I'm quite sure will get resounding cheers of 'YES! I KNEW IT WAS IN THE TOP 10!' from my readers. Especially the guys. This is by far the pinnacle of all war movies as I see it. Cases can be made for near 2nds, but still this one takes the cake.
Even if it's by star power alone this one rules. Tom Hanks, Vin Diesel, Matt Damon, Ted Danson, Nathan Fillion (Capt Mal Reynolds on Serenity), AND Paul Giamatti. Plus a slew of other guys I've seen in other stuff but whose names don't stand out. Seems like every time the scene changes there's another recognizable person strolling into this film.
Here's the film in a nutshell: WWII and Private Ryan's brothers have all died in combat. Captain Miller (Hanks) along with a team of rangers is sent on a recovery mission to find Private Ryan (Damon) before his family's name is destroyed. They venture a great distance, fighting along US troops all over the countryside as their search continues. It really helps show the human side of it; military members aren't machines who just blindly do what they're told all the time. Granted, in this instance they still did what they were told, but you get to see how they felt about their orders and how they had lives and families and histories of their own to think about.
Needless to say, many people die in an effort to save what boils down to one man. I like war movies as much as the next guy, but it's the ending that really seals it for me. Knowing that almost everyone has seen this film, I'm going to talk about the ending.
SPOILER ALERT! DO NOT READ PAST THIS IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE.
Did everyone stop reading who wanted to? Good. In the final scene, Ryan is an old man visiting a military cemetery with his family behind him. He's visiting the graves of all the men who died so he could live and come home and keep his family going. And it brings him to tears. In talking to his wife, he questions his own sense of importance. Who is he? Has he led a good life? Is he a good man? Pretty much asking who is he that all these brave men would have laid down their lives for him. It's heartfelt and beautiful. And yes, I'm bringing Christianity into it again. The guy's standing in a field of crosses questioning a man's value; how can you not think of it? The end of this violent war movie filled with humanity and sacrifice reminds me of the ultimate sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us on the cross.

Romans 5
6You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

This is the section that always springs to mind at the end of this movie. Mostly verse 7 and 8, but I included 6 for a little bit of context. In strictly human terms Ryan has kept a family alive at the cost of the families of those men sent to rescue him. It is because of our sense of righteousness and justice that comes from God that we see their sacrifice as great and good. And it is because of God's sacrifice for us, the most undeserving bunch of sinners imaginable, that we can have any hope of a life after death. I don't claim to have said anything important; I just hope the next time you watch this movie it touches you the way it has me.