Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So, you're planning to commit suicide... Maybe you need to be convinced that life is worth living...

So, it may just be the circumstances around me, but despite ridding myself of some pretty heavy and distasteful vices as of recent, there's still a large amount of pessimism all around me. People left and right have been hating their life or the lives of others.

Well, cinema is meant to elicit a theme in you, and sometimes that theme ought to be an appreciation of life. Not just because if everyone killed themselves, there'd be no audience, but also because when people really cooperate with one another, that company does grow into a miracle of the world. Every life proves to be just as unique and important.

In juxtaposition, I'd suggest one of more of these films be watched as great tales of overcoming adversity in one way or another, or the real joy or good in the world. I had somebody mention to me that she thinks that I only like dark movies. She's right, I hold a great predilection of dark films. But I also enjoy particular movies that showcase triumphs over struggle, internally or externally...

  • The Wizard of Oz (1939) - Just look at the picture once Dorothy reaches Oz, it's in absolute Technicolor, there's no way you can hate anything when she first opens that door!
  • Casablanca (1942) - Rick's cynical heroism knows no bounds and he absolutely deserves a cheer for the entire third of the picture.
  • It's a Wonderful Life (1946) - While a bit more shifty as a choice due to the obvious attempted suicide plot point, it's the tale of the everyman really making a difference in the lives of those around him. And moreso, how grateful and equally gracious the people that everyman has touched are towards him. It brings out the best in people.
  • Singin' in the Rain (1952) - Quite possibly too fun a movie to not be enjoyed even when you're down or worse. Witty and engaging in every single sense, moreso than any musical before or after.
  • The Magnificent Seven (1960) - While Seven Samurai is clearly the better picture, its Western remake proves to be much more lighter and yet still portrays its message with the same intensity. A man has to do what a man has to do. And sometimes that means fighting for a good cause. Fighting for those who will fight, but need help themselves. It's a mission I've taken up for myself since I saw the movie at a young age.
  • Blazing Saddles (1974) - The poor brother Bart has everybody around him wanting to kill him, just for trying to help them in his newfound role of Sheriff. Nope, Bart won't take that especially, he just shows he's the slickest brother ever to enter their no-good town. It's almost Red Harvest-esque in situation, if the Continental Op were to win the hearts and minds of Personville instead of killing them.
  • The Blues Brothers (1980) - Two criminals on a mission from God. Just get the band back together to play great music and use the money raised from that show to save the orphanage.
  • Back to the Future (1985) - If Quantum Leap were never a TV show, I'd have to resort to just watching Back to the Future again and again for a great story on how much of a difference people make, just by moving about in their shoes for bit. Sure, Marty doesn't do it as literally as Dr. Beckett, but he gets an understanding of his parents and knows how to really make them out into more confidant human beings for the better.
  • The Princess Bride (1987) - Not just a good tale of true love fighting off and defeating all, but also some real quality entertainment, full of humor, adventure, swashbuckling and thrills.
  • Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - The future is never written. You can always make a difference, no matter what.
  • Schindler's List (1993) - When it comes down to it, Oskar Schindler did better than any other Nazi who attempted to protect the Jews during the Holocaust, and he did it with the best intentions, not involving currying favor from war crime trials, but just from (while initially wanting to make a business out of them) not wanting to see any more carnage.
  • The Shawshank Redemption (1994) - If you don't see any other movie on this list, see this one. The theme is simple, strongly argued and ever-lasting: Hope. Of course, I do have to warn again of the suicide subplot and the depressing atmosphere of the prison.

  • Forrest Gump (1994) - The continuation of a man's life who goes on to do greater things than any intellectual of the world. And his only motivating factor is also one of his most innocent characteristics by the end of the movie: Love for the girl he grew up with.

  • Mulan (1998) - Probably the best female character Disney has ever developed. She's strong, she's courageous, she fights back and wins for China.
  • Saving Private Ryan (1998) - Is the D-Day sequence going to sink you lower? Yeah, sorry. How about the many different deaths on the journey (namely the one at the German machine gun)? Yeah, sorry about that too. But right after their fight there, when Miller shows his humanity, is where the film starts to turn around and prove to be inspiring. And the biggest moment comes right at the final minutes between Ryan and his wife.
  • Spider-Man/Spider-Man 2 (2002/2004) - Avoiding the subpar third (even though I don't care for the second as much neither), the two movies follow an ordinary man who, despite his gifts, finds an extraordinary amount weight on his shoulders. Whilst cheesy at key points for both movies, the honesty in Peter Parker's deeds make them a bigger strength for him than any of his spider powers or intelligence. It's a tough trail but by the end of the second film, not only does he have his life in check, he has someone to help him keep rolling.
  • The School of Rock (2003) - A guy finds work (albeit illegally), finds a band and finds a great deal of confidence in children that have been forced to conform to their parents' well-meaning, yet close to tyrannical influence. Also, gets his roommate to dump Sarah Silverman. That's always a plus because it means to me Sarah Silverman's open. Remember that, guys.
  • Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events (2004) - One of the few movie moments to  make me tear up in a happy manner is 'The Letter That Never Came.' You'll understand what that is when you see the movie.
  • Serenity (2005) - The Magnificent Seven, except closer to the heart, because the farmers needing protection are now a young girl who has spent the rest of her years being a part of the crew's family. And the bandits are now an unstoppable government force. Nothing to gain, everything to lose - Just the way, heroes ought to have it when they jump in the fire.
  • Batman Begins (2005) - Bruce Wayne, the richest man in Gotham, finds his life at its lowest point, finds a true purpose in his life (even steadfast in the face Ra's al Ghul and the League of Shadows' training) and returns to Gotham to stand his ground for his home. It may not seem like much but the story arc signifies a better rise than the underwhelming third installment.
  • 16 Blocks (2006) - A story of people showing they can always change despite themselves. Really can't put it better than that.
  • Slumdog Millionaire (2008) - A full on romantic tale. Come on, rags to dreams. 
  • Up (2009) - Much like Saving Private Ryan, The Shawshank Redemption and It's a Wonderful Life, I apologize. The opening minutes of Up are some of the saddest moments in cinema, both in a good and bad way. The rest of the movie, however, will do exactly what the movie's title suggests to your spirits.
  • Scott Pilgrim vs. the World (2010) - My care for this movie is known to be nonexistent among my peers, however, with its vibrant colors, fast pace and character arc of the lead character (despite almost being muddled by Michael Cera's acting), it might work for others.
  • The Artist (2011) - Singin' in the Rain with less of the color, but more of the emotion.
I can always think of more: Shrek/Shrek 2, Kung Fu Panda, WALL-E, Jurassic Park... But I must say these movies themselves should do the trick and more... Be happy, dammit... Be happy...

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