…or What makes a good book? What makes a good film? What makes a good story?
Have you ever wondered what makes you sit on the edge of the seat at the 90 minute spot during your favorite film? What keeps you up until 2 am turning the pages of a book you can’t put down? Is it just coincidence or did someone spend a lot of time planning a story to make you react that way?
A lot of research goes in to finding out what makes people tick, what makes them buy certain items and what will move them emotionally. But in the end, there are very few story lines out there. Put quite simply:
Get the hero up a tree, throw rocks at him and get him back down again.
Now make that story line memorable with some great characters. With that in mind, I want to put together my Top-Ten List of Great Movies. These are my favorites, in no particular order:
1. Matrix (1999) written by Larry and Andy Wachowski.
2. Pirates of the Carribean (2003) written by Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio.
(A short breather here to say that I didn’t like any of the sequels.)
3. Anonymous (2011) written by John Orloff and directed by Roland Emmerich. (Was Shakespeare a fraud? I don’t really care because the movie was great and the guys were hot.)
4. Gladiator (2000) story by David Franzoni and directed by Ridley Scott. (I’m starting to see a trend here. The first ingredient of a good film is some hot guys.)
5. The Princess Bride (1987) novel and screenplay by William Goldman. (Hot guys and swordplay.)
6. Alatriste (2006) based on the novels by Arturo Perez-Reverte, screenplay by Agustín Díaz Yanes and Arturo Perez-Reverte. (All the makings of a great film–hot guys, swordplay–but if you didn’t read the books, you’ll be lost. Too bad that they packed like six books into one film.)
7. Since we’re talking about Viggo Mortensen: Eastern Promises (2007) screenplay by Steven Knight. (No swordplay but, well, you just go watch it for yourself.)
8. Ladyhawke (1985) story by Edward Khmara. (One of my all-time favorite movies, but the soundtrack from Alan Parsons is so dated, that it is almost impossible to watch it today. The lesson to be learned? Hot guys, swordplay and a good soundtrack.)
9. Forest Gump (1994) based on the 1986 novel by Winston Groom, screenplay by Eric Roth. (What? No hot guys, no swords? This absolute hammermäßig* movie gets two thumbs up from me!)
10. Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). Based on the novel Who Censored Roger Rabbit by Gary K. Wolf, screenplay by Jeffery Price and Peter S. Seaman. (The hottest of them all! Roger Rabbit!!)
*hammermäßig means something like Super Affen Geil!
Did I forget your favorite? What are your favorite films anyway?