Scenes Spotlight: Shakespeare’s Sonnet 116 in Sense & Sensibility

Today’s the Bard’s 448’s birthday!

I didn’t realize it until Garrison Keillor, the host of NPR Writer’s Almanac, talked about it this afternoon on my way home from work. At the end of the segment, Mr. Keillor read one of William Shakespeare‘s most famous love sonnets published in 1609: Sonnet 116

Of course it was such a delight as that sonnet was used in my favorite film of all time, Sense and Sensibility. In fact, since I regretfully wasn’t taught Shakespeare back in high school, that is perhaps my introduction to this beautiful sonnet that talks about what LOVE is [or supposed to be], and what LOVE is not.

The sonnet appears twice in the Ang Lee film, though it wasn’t part of the Jane Austen’s novel. Emma Thompson who deservedly won an Oscar for the screenplay must have been a fan of this particular poem, and why not, it’s so beautiful and poignant.

The first instance the sonnet was spoken was in this scene when Willoughby asked Marianne what her favorite sonnet was… and of course, as soon as he started reciting it, she was done for.


The second time it’s spoken, the circumstances between the two has changed dramatically… it’s such an emotionally-charged scene that is filled with deep pathos of a young woman mourning the loss of her first love…


So whether or not his intention was honorable in the beginning, Willoughby’s love is not exactly ‘an ever-fixed mark.’ Winslet’s rendition of the sonnet here is so heart-wrenching… it’s as if she could barely notice the soaking-rain and though she should’ve been shivering in the cold, the stormy weather still can’t drown out the bitterness of Willoughby’s betrayal.

This is just one of the reasons I love this movie so much… the use of the sonnet is so fitting, so brilliant and so iconic that I think I’d forever associate this sonnet with this film. It goes to show just how timeless Shakespeare’s work really is.


Thoughts on this movie? Feel free to share YOUR favorite Shakespeare-related work in movies.

Flix Blog-a-thon: Double Feature Theater

A few weeks ago, my blog pal Marc from Go, See Talk invited a bunch of us to participate in this fun blog-a-thon called “Double Feature Theater”.

The idea here is that we all get to imagine ourselves as bona fide Theater owners. As such we set up our schedule for a week’s worth of Double Features Monday-Saturday, with a Triple Feature on Sunday. The criteria is completely up to you to pair the movies be it actors, directors, a common theme, original/remake, you name it. Start your post beginning what you’d show on Monday, a sentence or two of why or how they’re related and so on for the rest of your fictitious week.

Truthfully, I rarely go see two movies back to back. The only time I’ve actually seen a Double Feature in a theater was when I was 15 with my mother and one of my brothers on New Year’s Eve (it was the last time I went to the movies with my mother as she passed away six months later). The movies? Tango & Cash and Showdown in Little Tokyo! Yes, my mom was pretty cool indeed 😀 I still smile every time I remember that, I actually don’t recall much from either films, but the experience of going to see them with my mom will always be dear to my heart.

With that in mind, I’m going with a bit of nostalgia them for most of my Double Feature Cinema week. Ready? Here we go…

MONDAY – Comedy


Well, what else could beat the Monday blues but a pair of side-splitting comedies! If you haven’t seen The Gods Must be Crazy yet, then you’re in for a treat! I picked this one as a movie that always makes me laugh meme last year, and once you see the trailer you’ll know why. Top Secret is one of my all time guilty pleasure, this spoof of WII spy movies is a brainless, riotous fun in the vein of Naked Gun and Hot Shots. Val Kilmer is a hoot as a rock ‘n roll singer getting caught in a Resistance scheme, oh and Omar Sharif also had a silly cameo!

TUESDAY – Action

Ok, with work piling up and workload mounting, why not get some release by watching some bombastic shoot-em-up? Both Die Hard and Face/Off have some awesome villains (both Hans Gruber & Castor Troy get a mention on my bad boys list), plus the full-on action with quotable one liners make these two fun to watch back to back.

WEDNESDAY – Science Fiction


These two are considered the top of this genre for good reason. I had recently re-watched The Matrix on Blu-ray and it still delivered that ‘whoa’ moment. The thought-provoking ‘what is reality?’ premise as well as the kick-ass action sequences set the bar for sci-fi action movies since. As for Jurassic Park, it’s definitely in my top 3 favorite Spielberg movies. I can never forget the moment the chopper descended on the island with John Williams’ iconic theme song in the background. I still get goosebumps when John Hammond says with utmost glee, “Welcome to Jurassic Park.”

THURSDAY – Crime Thriller


It might be a bit heavy to watch two of the most intense crime thrillers on the same night. But if you can handle Heat and L.A. Confidential combo, I think it would be one helluva time at the movies! The ensemble cast & performances are top notch here, and so are the plot twists and turns that will get you talking about ’em all over again. I think these two films are the best work from director Michael Mann and Curtis Hanson, respectively.

FRIDAY – Romance


Ahhh… Friday is here. Why not take your dates to see a little… ok, a lot of romance 😀 Both Moulin Rouge! and Somewhere in Time are both period dramas that takes place just a couple of decades apart, both are hopelessly romantic, even if they’re a bit on the dismal side. But hey, you’ve got some wonderful music and gorgeous people falling head over heels in love to keep you spellbound for a few hours, what’s not to love?

SATURDAY – Period Dramas


It wouldn’t be a complete week in my theater without some mesmerizing period dramas. It’s no surprise I adore Sense & Sensibility. It’s one of the movies I love with a passion and one that has a bunch of memorable rain scenes. Throw in the best crop of British cast, including one of my all time favorite Alan Rickman, naturally it’s one that I would always recommend.

The second feature, The Age of Innocence takes all that pent-up passion up a few notches, courtesy of Daniel Day-Lewis and Michelle Pfeiffer’s explosive chemistry. The unrequited love story is heartbreaking, and never has the display of unbridled desire coupled with intense anguish be more bewitching to watch. As if that wasn’t enough, you can also marvel at the gorgeous cinematography, oh and the stunning opening sequence.

TRIPLE FEATURE SUNDAY – Superhero movies

Well, after all that romantic stuff, do you think I gonna let my geeky side go by the wayside? Not a chance! 😀 So for the Triple Feature Sunday, I’ll be featuring three of my favorite superhero movies! Trust me, it’s really hard to narrow it down to just 3. I was going to include the first Superman movie which I think is still the best of the franchise, but I decided to go with Bryan Singer’s X-Men and Chris Nolan’s Batman Begins instead. For the third feature, I figure it might be interesting to combine both the Marvel and DC superhero movies with a film that deconstructs the whole superhero mythology altogether: Unbreakable. I admire M. Night Shyamalan’s original concept, an impressively poignant and nuanced film that delves deep into the basic notion of good vs. evil.


Well, I hope you enjoy what I’ve got playing on my theater for the week. Which day(s) would you be stopping by?

2nd Blog-a-versary Special: 15 Questions Movie Meme

Anna from Defiant Success blog first came up with this movie meme back in May, I’ve been wanting to participate but haven’t got around to it. Other bloggers have since participated in this, here are a couple that I like: I Luv Cinema and My Film Views. Well, I figure it’s fitting to reveal more about my movie tastes as part of my blog-a-versary ‘celebration.’ Here goes:

1. Movie you love with a passion:


Sense & Sensibility. Yes this is an utterly predictable answer as I talk about this Ang Lee film so much on this blog. I love everything about it… the story, the direction, the acting, the score from Patrick Doyle that I often listen to in my car, and last but not least, the wonderful Jane Austen characters coming to life in the most beautiful way. As you know, I have a special fondness for Alan Rickman’s Col. Brandon, one of my all time fave period drama heroes!

2. Movie you vow to never watch:

The Last Temptation of Christ. I know a lot of movie bloggers adore Scorsese, but I’m not one of them. I appreciate The Age of Innocence but that’s the only one of his film I like. I’ve seen the trailer and read about it, but I know I won’t be entertained nor enlightened by this. Whether the director meant to do so or not, I find the whole idea utterly blasphemous.


3. Movie that literally left you speechless:



The Passion of the Christ. This isn’t the kind of film you can easily watch with a bucket-load of popcorn. I’ve mentioned it in my Easter movies post how much this movie spoke to me in a profound way. I have to admit the brutality gets to be too much, but that is the point the filmmaker was trying to make… to show the length of Christ’s sacrifice for humanity. I remember how quiet the cinema was and people didn’t move as the end credits rolled…


4. Movie you always recommend:
Return to Me. I just love this movie so much… I dare say it’s one of the most enjoyable and well-written rom-com out there but most people have never seen it! I even dedicated a post for it a couple of years ago. It really is a poignant chick flick that anyone of any gender and any age will enjoy, I love Bonnie Hunt’s writing and David Duchovny & Minnie Driver’s sweet chemistry. Give it a chance, you won’t be disappointed!

5. Actor/actress you always watch, no matter how crappy the movie: 

You probably expect to see Gerry Butler’s name on here, right? 😉 Well I love the guy, but there are some movies of his I still refuse to see (i.e. Gamer, and I was quite reluctant to see The Ugly Truth). But Russell Crowe is ALWAYS excellent even in terrible movies (Rough Magic, Heaven’s Burning) and always make any movie watchable for me. I’m curious to see how he fares in directing, which he reportedly is in negotiation.

6. Actor/actress you don’t get the appeal for:

Ok, perhaps it’s not fair for me to mention him as I’ve never seen Channing Tatum‘s work (other than Public Enemies but I don’t remember seeing him in it). I just zero interest in seeing his movies and every time I hear his name mentioned I just think ‘pretty boy with that stoic expression.’ Even when I saw The Eagle trailer, I kept thinking ‘why didn’t they give the lead role to Jamie Bell who’s a much better actor?!’ Who knows maybe one day he’ll change my mind, but for now I just don’t see his appeal at all.

7. Actor/actress, living or dead, you’d love to meet: 
My late mother was a fan of Audrey Hepburn, that’s why she introduced me to My Fair Lady at a young age. I’ve seen a number of Hepburn’s movies since and absolutely admire not only her beauty, but also her graceful and kind spirit. She’s involved in a lot of charitable causes in her later years, which exemplifies that true beauty is inside and out. She’s a true Hollywood icon.

8. Sexiest actor/actress you’ve seen. (Picture required!):



Another predictable answer, right? 😀 But seriously, I’ve been a fan of Gerry Butler for over 5 years now ever since I saw him in the form of my favorite anti-hero The Phantom of the Opera. People think I like him for his 12-pack or whatever in 300 but truthfully, I don’t care for guys THAT buff, I find it rather off-putting actually every time I see guys this ripped at the gym. Sure it fits the role in that movie but I much prefer his much leaner and rugged look with clothes ON! The 41-year-old Scot has a swagger that I find irresistible, as well as intelligence and sense of humor to complement his good looks. He seems to get better with age, too. I recently saw a photo of him at the Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards a couple of days ago, and boy doesn’t he look like a superhero in this suit!

9. Dream cast:



That would be the cast of my romantic thriller Hearts Want with Helen Mirren and Timothy Dalton as the leads, and full of British cast I adore 😀

10. Favorite actor pairing:


I have two kind of answers to this question. If it’s romantic pairing, I’ve got a top ten list of favorite movie couples. But for non-romantic pairing, the first thing that came to mind is Sean Connery & Harrison Ford as father/son duo in Indiana Jones: The Last Crusade. Can’t imagine a funnier and more riotous pairing than these two! I love the scene above when they’re both tied up together by the evil nazis. This movie is so darn entertaining because of this genius casting match! On a related note, here’s my dream on-screen duos I posted last year. Feel free to add to the list!


11. Favorite movie setting: 

Italy is one of my favorite countries to visit, it’s just so beautiful and full of history. I always enjoy seeing Italian setting in movies, too, whether in the countryside or in the cities. I specifically adore Venice, the enchanting city on water… even in bad movies like The Tourist, it never fails to charm and delights. In fact, it almost always become a ‘character’ in the movie itself. I also adore Rome whether in contemporary setting (Roman Holiday) or ancient (Gladiator).

12. Favorite decade for movies:
Hmmm, this is a tough one. I assume this question is about movies released in that era (not ones that are set in that given period, which is a different thing entirely). I guess my answer would be a tie between 1990s and 2000s as I’ve enjoyed a bunch of movies from the past two decades, as you can see in this list.


13. Chick flick or action movie?
My initial reaction is ACTION all the way. Especially in the cinema, I always prefer to see an action/thriller/sci-fi over a chick flick. Though of course there are always exception to be made, i.e. I saw Jane Eyre in the theater, but generally, I’m more of an action gal 😀

14. Hero, villain or anti-hero?

I appreciate a good ‘ol valiant hero as much as the next gal, but generally, anti-heroes are just sooo much more interesting to watch. Scarlett O’Hara is a great example of an iconic anti-heroine (who says it has to always be a guy?) who uses her beauty for her own gain. Yet she is not malicious, just a deeply flawed character we love to hate.

15. Black and white or color?
I’d have to say color because I’ve become so accustomed to it. But since I prefer contemporary cinema But every now and again, I’ll see a movie in black and white and it just looks so artistic! I think today’s filmmakers should experiment with it and do it well, like what Spielberg did with Schindler’s List.


Well that’s my answers. Thoughts/comments are always welcome! 😀

31-Days Movie Meme: Final Three

Day 27 – Best villain

Now, this is a tricky one, what constitutes ‘best’ villain? Are we grading ’em based on entertainment factor, as they’re naughty but oh so much fun to watch? Now those I’ve covered in this post of charming bad boys. Or the most evil? In which case they get under our skin so much we wish we could forget them (i.e. Schindler’s List’s Amon Goeth, The Silence of the Lambs’ Hannibal Lecter, Cape Fear‘s Mac Cady, and the baddest of all, the face I wish I could un-see, Regan from The Exorcist).

Well, for this meme, I decided to go with the most amusing: Castor Troy – Face/Off.

This John Woo’s movie is one of my all time guilty pleasures, and Castor Troy is such a juicy role that BOTH of the main leads, John Travolta and Nicolas Cage get to play him. ‘In order to catch him, he must become him‘ – the tag line refers to FBI agent Sean Archer undergoing a risible medical procedure to literally don his nemesis’ face. It’s hard to pick whose of the two portrayal I like best, as both actors did an awesome job and brought some memorable scenes as the deranged, peach-lovin’ villain.
Here he is, played initially by Cage, introduced to the screen with Woo’s signature slo-mo. Flowing long black coat, fancy specs, and those twin golden guns, he’s a bad-ass psychopath who enjoys his jet-setting life, as much as he does destroying those who get in the way.


[SPOILER ALERT!] And one of my favorite scenes is when Travolta’s Troy (wearing Sean Archer’s face) visits the real FBI agent in prison.
Castor Troy: Wooowhee. You good lookin’
[approaches Archer]
Castor Troy: It’s like looking in a mirror, only, not.
As Troy tells him what happened to his colleagues, the only two who knew about the procedure, and the fact that he’s now living at his home with his wife and daughter, the look on Archer’s face is gut-wrenching.He gives a whole new meaning to evil has many faces!
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Day 29 – Movie you have watched more than 10 times

This is an easy one. Obviously this is one I wish I’d have with me if I were stranded on a desert island, as I’ve seen this countless time and am still enamored by it. I also listen to its soundtrack in my car, really, there’s few movies I love as much as this one. No doubt you know what movie it is from this collage.

Day 30 – Saddest death scene [spoiler alert, obviously]

As I was thinking about which movie death scene that never failed to move me, these three comes to mind.
  1. Moulin Rouge – Satine dies in Christian’s arms
    This is such a devastating and tear-jerker scene as the scene that preceded it was so jubilant and full of hope as Christian finally gets the girl of his dreams and the bad guy/rival has lost. Alas, his biggest enemy is one he cannot defeat…


  2. The Man in the Iron Mask – D’Artagnan’s death
    D’Artagnan is my favorite character in this movie, as I revealed in details here. He dies in the midst of saving the life of his own son… at the hand of his other son. Ok, so the script isn’t the greatest, but Gabriel Byrne‘s performance was so full of heart that I cried every time I saw that scene. Sadly the very scene has been removed, but this supbar trailer is still online, so I’m afraid that’s all I can show you.


  3. The Lion King – Mufasa’s death
    Again, a father dies in the midst of saving his own son from danger, also at the hand of his own family member. Perhaps one of the most dramatic death scene ever in movies is the form of an animated film. I wince at the scene when Mufasa’s own brother Scar grabs his paws with his sharp claws and Mufasa yelps in pain. And in almost Shakespearean-tragedy fashion, Scar stares down at him and says, ‘Long, live the king.’ before tossing him down to his death.



    I just realized Jeremy Irons is present in the last two death scenes. In The Man in the Iron Mask, he watches his friend D’Artagnan dies and this time he’s the voice behind Mufasa’s malicious brother Scar.

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And this concludes the (partial) 31-Days movie meme posts for the month!

On that note, care to share your version on any of today’s meme?

Wet Blogathon: Jane Austen’s Beautiful Rain Scenes

Andrew at EncoreEntertainment is conducting yet another movie meme blog-a-thon and the topic is an irresistible one: Great rain scenes!

I love rain scenes… not only are they usually beguiling and beautiful, rain undeniably adds drama/romance/terror/suspense to any given scene, depending on how the director frames the scene. One thing for sure, as Andrew said, movie rain is just plain lovely.

Well, since the first thing that came to mind was from 2005 Pride & Prejudice, I decided to list three of my favorite rain scenes from three other Jane Austen movies:

Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice — The proposal in the rain

Beautifully-filmed, the mood right from the minute Elizabeth Bennett crosses the bridge is just perfect. I wasn’t quite sold on Matthew MacFayden initially, but by this point I thought he captured Darcy’s brooding nature believably. All the angst, repressed feelings and sexual tension reached a pivotal point in this ravishing scene, both MacFayden and Keira Knightley couldn’t have looked more alluring framed by the damp surrounding. Never has the sight of cold rain been so smokin’ hot!

Ang Lee’s Sense & Sensibility — Brandon rescues Marianne in the rain

Oh how I love Alan Rickman as Col. Brandon! Forget the young ‘uns Willoughby (Greg Wise) and Edward Ferrars (Hugh Grant), Brandon is without a doubt my hero in this movie. The scene in the clip of the heartbroken Marianne (the astounding Kate Winslet) watching Willoughby’s estate from a distance is downright heart-wrenching, but the scene that follows is one of my favorites from the movie. Brandon’s profound love for Marianne is all the more evident in his face as he carries her lifeless body back into the house. It’s such a dramatic contrast from the first ‘rescue’ scene of her by Willoughby in the beginning of the movie. Instead of two people being smitten with each other, they are now both tormented souls stricken by a lost love.

BBC Version of Sense & Sensibility — Edward’s chopping wood scene


Unfortunately the previous clip has been removed but you can see a glimpse of that very scene in this fan-made video:

The latest BBC adaptation certainly is no match to Ang Lee’s award-winning masterpiece. However, I was quite moved by the performance of Hattie Morahan and Dan Stevens as Elinor and Edward. Stevens might share the same haircut as Hugh Grant, but his less stuttering portrayal of the principled Edward trying to repress his feelings towards Elinor is much more poignant. In this scene, Edward is relieving his frustration by getting a bit of a sweat in the rain, it’s a bit reminiscent of Colin Firth’s Mr. Darcy’s famous lake scene. From the way Elinor looks at him, I think she’s quite um, taken by the sight of Mr. Ferrars with his drenched white shirt and flyaway hair. Well, she’s not the only one 😉


So what’s YOUR favorite rain/wet scenes, Austen-related or otherwise?

The meme goes around: 10 Movie Facts About Me

Internet meme (pronounced meem): an idea/concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet

Fresh out of the fun blog event Desert Island DVDs, I’ve been tagged by Castor, Marc, and Meredith (who interestingly enough are the same kindhearted friends who nominated me for Kreatif award earlier this year, thanks again all!) I’ve also found out this morning Andy tagged me as well, so THANK YOU! I always love a chance to ‘get to know’ fellow bloggers a bit better, so in the spirit of community, I give you my ten movie tidbits:

  1. The three movies that made a huge impression on me as a young girl were The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, and Gone with the Wind. My mom brought those VHS home from a European trip when I could barely understand English, and she had to translate most of them to me. I’ve since re-watched them several times since, and they remained one of my favorites!
  2. Click to see both autographed photos

    I’ve only written a fan letter to one actor in my entire life, which was to Christopher Reeve. I was in my Junior High and it took nearly a year to receive a reply, but I ended up getting not one, but two autographed photos from him (arrived separately).

    He’s also my first ever movie crush as I said in yesterday’s post.
    ..

  3. My most-watched flick has got to be Sense & Sensibility. It’s amazing that it never failed to move me every time I watch it. That’s why I had to bring it to the island if I’m ever stranded.
  4. Borrowing from Castor’s list, I too have not seen classics such as Clockwork Orange, Citizen Kane, nor Casablanca. In fact, out of AFI‘s Top Ten list, I’ve only seen two of them: Gone with the Wind and Schindler’s List.
  5. Despite my affinity for swords & sandals movie (one of my all time faves are Ben Hur and Gladiator), I don’t care for Spartacus at all. I found it boring and preposterous, plus Kirk Douglas just wasn’t convincing nor sympathetic enough as the hero. Thanks to William Wyler for not casting him as Ben Hur as I don’t think I’d have liked the movie as much without Charlton Heston!
  6. As my hubby and I are going to London in mid May (God willing the volcanich ash situation won’t delay our trip!), I’ve started to jot down the movie locations I want to visit, such as this Pemberley mansion from Joe Wright’s Pride & Prejudice. Would you all do me a favor and help me out on this one by suggesting a movie location worth a visit? Mostly in the London & vicinity area as we’re only going to be there for 7 nights.
  7. I’ve got a few soundtracks that I play in my car from time to time: P.S. I Love You, Sense & Sensibility, Phantom of the Opera, Gladiator and Moulin Rouge. Oh, and the James Bond theme songs!
  8. I’ve just watched Kill Bill vol. 1 for the first time this past weekend, partly inspired by MadHatter’s comment on this post as well as the fact that Uma Thurman’s The Bride character is picked by Empire magazine as one of the Icons of the Decade.
  9. The scariest movie I’ve ever seen to this day has got to be The Exorcist. Regan’s face still makes me shudder in terror every time I come across it or when it happens to cross my mind. My hubby’s aunt who was a flight attendant have actually met Linda Blair on an airplane and said ‘oh you look familiar, where have I seen you?’ Blair obligingly gave her the Regan spine-chilling smile and his aunt immediately recognized who she was.
  10. My hubby and I obviously have an affinity for film trilogies. We don’t have a huge dvd selection, but we’ve got boxed sets of The Lord of the Rings, X-Men, Indiana Jones, and Star Wars. We’ll inevitably get the Bourne trilogy set once we get our Blu-ray player 🙂

Ok, now it’s my turn to tag people to keep this going. Castor, Marc, Meredith & Andy, as you’ve done your meme duty, I’m going to pick those I haven’t done their meme post yet as I’m writing this post:

Don’t drop the ball, ok guys! 🙂

Desert Island DVDs: 8 flix I’d take with me if I were stranded on a desert island

Oh the dilemma! Thanks to Andy from Fandango Groovers, in the past month, a whole bunch of us movie bloggers have been inflicted with an amusing predicament. Apparently, Andy was inspired by a UK radio program called Desert Island Discs where guests are invited to imagine themselves cast away on a desert island with only eight pieces of music. The twist for us cinephiles is we’re instead asked to simply pick eight DVDs instead. My initial reaction is thinking about those that might actually help me survive and find ways to get off the island, of which movies like Cast Away would be I’d wish I had in my stash. But really, if you were really stranded and fighting for survival, movie-going experience probably isn’t going to be your top priority. So in this case, the word ‘deserted’ is really up for interpretation. I figure the island could be one that’s been ‘deserted’ by the owner – in Indonesia, if you’re wealthy enough, you can actually buy a piece of an island and make it your own resort. So the island I’m stranded in happens to be previously owned by some Richard Branson-type tycoon who’s forced to abandon it due to some tax evasion scandal – hence the top of the line outdoor theater system 🙂

So without further ado, here are my eight picks (in alphabetical order) that I wouldn’t mind seeing over and over again. Well, that is until the yearn for civilization ultimately beckons.

1. Batman Begins
Why not The Dark Knight, you asked? Well, I do like both movies — and one might argue that TDK is the better one of the two — but I’ve always loved origins story and truthfully, I find this one to be more enjoyable for repeat viewings. Besides, this is truly a movie where Bale’s caped crusader is front and center, instead of being sidelined by a terrific villain in the form of Heath Ledger’s Joker. I wish Maggie Gyllenhaal had been cast as Rachel here though, but at least the rest of the stellar cast well more than made up for Katie Holmes. There are plenty of memorable scenes in Chis Nolan’s first foray to superhero flick, but this spectacular batcave scene where Bruce Wayne conquers his biggest fear is iconic and poignant, plus the music is downright perfect. Gives me goosebumps every time!


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2. Bride & Prejudice (narrowly edges out Moulin Rouge*)
I never thought I’d put this one on my list but when I came across a picture of it, I remember how much I enjoyed seeing this entertaining Bollywood [loose] interpretation of the Jane Austen classic Pride & Prejudice. Director Gurinder Chadha infused this movie with humor and amusing culture-clash scenarios, you can’t help but laugh and have fun from start to finish. Bewitching Aishwarya Rai as the ‘Elizabeth Bennet’ character Lalita anchors the movie with her beauty and charm, of course just like Keira Knightley in the latest adaptation, she’s far too gorgeous to play the supposedly plain heroine. Martin Henderson as Darcy isn’t quite as ‘irresistibly tormented’ as Colin Firth, but he shares a pretty believable chemistry with Rai that the relationship still works. The Indian supporting cast is fantastic, most notably Naveen Andrews as Balraj (Mr. Bingley) and the hilarious Nitin Ganatra as Kohli (Mr. Collins).

*Moulin Rouge comes thisclose to being on this list, but I feel that though some of the scenes of Ewan & Nicole together are totally repeat-worthy, I find that I keep ffwd-ing a lot of the beginning parts of the dvd. So overall, B&P is much more enjoyable for me as a whole.
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3. Casino Royale
I don’t mean to be disloyal to my hero Timothy Dalton here, but I didn’t really agonized too much on choosing this over his first Bond flick The Living Daylight. Mostly because I’m just not impressed at all by Maryam D’Abo as the Bond girl. Now, Daniel Craig is a formidable Bond that surprised everyone – including me – and he benefits from such a well-written script and amazing direction from Martin Campbell. Not to mention the smartest and classiest Bond girl ever, played by the ravishing Eva Green. Vesper Lynd is hands down my favorite, and the scintillating banter scene of the two of them on a train is proof that a Bond girl can be ever so fetching without having to take her clothes off. This is just one of many scenes in the movie I’ll never grow tired of, hence its inclusion in this particular top 20 list.
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4. Dear Frankie (narrowly beats Phantom of the Opera*)
It’s hardly surprising to a lot of you that I’m going to have a Gerry Butler movie, the question is which one? Though I fell for the Scot in Phantom, and yes I do still watch that from time to time, I feel more inclined to include the little-known tiny gem about a little deaf kid whose mother had to lie in order for him to have a father-figure for a day. Butler is only in the movie for 25 minutes or so, but oh quality definitely makes up for quantity. From the second he sits down in front of Emily Mortimer’s Lizzie and orders his coffee ‘Americano, strong’ in his husky, Scottish brogue, we’re done for. The postcard-worthy charm of Scotland scenery, the soulful soundtrack and fabulous acting all around makes this one a flick that rewards you with each repeat viewing.

*Butler owns the screen and cast a spell on women the world over as the half-masked tormented hero, but Joel Schumacher’s direction of Phantom is far from perfect that keeps me this from being a classic movie. Though I’ve seen this flick more than a couple dozen times by now, I don’t know if I necessarily want to see it over and over in a short time span.
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5. Gladiator (narrowly edges out Ben Hur)
I told Andy earlier I’d include Ben Hur on my list, but despite being one of my all-time fave, I feel that if I only had that one and Gladiator, I’m more likely to reach for this Ridley Scott movie. In a way, the two compelling heroes share a similar fate of being condemned to die despite their innocence and face such insurmountable plight. They’re both redeemed at the end as well. Though it seems as if the main theme is vengeance (especially in this ‘My name is Maximus’ scene), by the end of the story, he’s fighting for Lucilla’s future… and ultimately for the people of Rome. Crowe’s performance alone is enough reason to keep re-watching this, but there are plenty of great acting all around, most notably Joaquin Phoenix as the ‘terribly vexed’ arch enemy Commodus. Add the gorgeous cinematography, lush costumes and the much-copied, stirring soundtrack, I’d say yeah, I’m definitely entertained! Oh, as I own the extended-edition dvd version, the special features section will definitely keep me busy for at least a whole week!

6. Indiana Jones & The Last Crusade
Indy is the one franchise my whole family love. I remember watching Raiders of the Lost Ark with my brothers and we’d always find something to cheer about. The John Williams’ score alone is such a rousing piece that’s practically synonymous with great entertainment. I’m not crazy about the second and the latest installment, but this third one is a real gem. Harrison Ford as the sole hero is enticing enough, now add yet another highly charismatic actor in the mix and you’ve got one heck of a jovial ride you can’t wait to get on again as soon as it’s over. Ford and Sean Connery make for the most perfect father-son duo, and the witty and whimsical script and full-on action scenes keeps you on your toes and far from ever being bored. There are themes of friendship, family, faith, and loyalty that makes this such a satisfying movie-watching experience.
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7. BBC North & South
Ok, I must admit this choice is an indulgent one. But hey, you’re stranded on a remote island with nothing but eight movies to keep you entertained, do you blame me? Besides, I’m normally not a ‘beach-person’ anyway, so by the second day I’d be sick of the warm sunny skies and I’ll be dreaming of the cold, moody climate of Northern England (yes, call me crazy but I’m originally from a tropical country who moved to Minnesota, remember?). Oh, and of course having dreamy Richard Armitage as the Darcy-esque Mr. Thornton can’t hurt either. There are 4 parts of this 235-minute miniseries that center on the captivating slow-burn love story between Mr. Thornton and Margaret Hale, but there’s more to it than just romance. In fact, I’m also drawn in by the history of the cotton mill business and their quandary, as well as the complex relationship between the mill owners and the workers. All that provides a compelling backdrop to what the hero and heroine must go through until the moment they finally ‘find’ each other. Oh, and what a moment it is! Just take a look at this train station scene (#16 on the list) and you’ll know why I had to include this movie!


8. Sense & Sensibility
Ahh, last but definitely NOT least. Anyone who knows me realize this one is a shoo-in. On any given Sunday afternoon when I’m not blogging, I almost always reach for this Ang Lee-directed Jane Austen period drama. Thanks to my cousin Rani who first introduced me to this more than a decade ago. I wasn’t instantly blown away by it, but it just kept growing on me each time I watch it — and the fact that I watch this A LOT makes me like it even more! I’m glad Emma Thompson won Best Screenplay for this, though I think her performance is equally noteworthy alongside Kate Winslet. This is one movie where I pretty much have to have the remote on hand in order to rewind some of my favorite scenes, and there are so many of them, especially those involving Col. Brandon, played with amazing subtlety and grace by the always-terrific Alan Rickman! The part when he first beheld Marianne and fell for her is heart-wrenching, and I shan’t ever forget the scene when Marianne murmurs the word ‘thank you’ after he escorts her mother for her. The expression on his face is priceless! I can go on and on about this movie, so maybe a full review is in order. But suffice to say, this is one dvd I simply can’t live without.


Ok, that’s it. I’m kinda glad it’s only eight as this post might’ve gone to a second page by now! To see what my fellow movie bloggers pick, check out Fandango’s blog. You might wonder that I picked my selections out of my Fave Scenes list. Believe me, it’s not intentional, but obviously the two are related. So if anything, I guess I’m pretty consistent in my choices 🙂

So what do you say, readers? Would you care to share what 8 dvds you would pick if you were stranded? Let’s hear it!