5 Movies I'd Take to a Desert Island

 Son of the Mask, conspicuously missing from my list.

Son of the Mask, conspicuously missing from my list.

Every movie fan has a revolving door of top 5, 10, maybe 20 movies, and I am no different...it's one of those litmus tests that one must take to love and talk about movies.  Yes, these may change over time, but the #1 movie on my list will probably always be the top on this list because of it's influence over the movies I tend to watch and enjoy now.  So, here are my top 5 movies I'd take to a desert island, assuming that that island had electricity, a TV, a place to plug in that TV, and a Blu-Ray player (or DVD player if you want me to slum it). 

5.  Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (2005)

 Shane, please make Lethal Weapon 5 happen...and while you're at it, make us forget 3 and 4. 

Shane, please make Lethal Weapon 5 happen...and while you're at it, make us forget 3 and 4. 

This criminally underappreciated gem was the directorial debut of Shane Black, who I knew as the writer and creator of Lethal Weapon, but most people would probably know as the man who helmed Iron Man 3.  Some of his famous wit can be found within that iron vehicle, but it's on display in full force here.  Kiss follows Robert Downey Jr. as he accidentally stumbles his way into a ride-along with a real detective and is thrown into a murder case.  It's also provided me with countless quotes that I can spout off at parties and have people look at me like I've got a thumb sticking out of my head...because they've never heard of or seen this one.  "I invented dice when I was a kid."

4.  Inglourious Basterds (2009)

 It's a bingo!

It's a bingo!

It was Aldo Raines that said, "I think this just might be my masterpiece", but we all know it was Tarantino talking to us.  His retelling of the fate of one Adolph Hitler is meticulous in it's detail and it's fleshed out characters, none more memorable than Christoph Waltz as Col. Hans Landa.  It was a tough call between this or Django Unchained being on this list, but Django is a close 6th.  The blood and bullets run furiously here, it's definitely not for the squeamish.

3.  Leon The Professional (1994) 

  "No women, no kids.  Okay, maybe one kid.  And a plant.  Definitely a plant."

 "No women, no kids.  Okay, maybe one kid.  And a plant.  Definitely a plant."

Another movie that people these days don't know about, but should.  Three greats share the screen here - Jean Reno as Leon, a hitman, Natalie Portman, as his young protege, and Gary Oldman as a scenery-chewing madman.  The story has heart, the action is well done and intense as hell, and the acting is tremendous.

2.  Boogie Nights (1997) 

 "I'm a big, bright shining star.  Someday I'll star in a really bad M. Night film about killer plants." 

"I'm a big, bright shining star.  Someday I'll star in a really bad M. Night film about killer plants." 

You may never find an intro shot as beautiful as the one in Boogie Nights.  One camera floats down from the sky and introduces nearly every character in the movie, starting from outside of a club, and in through the front door.  I had to rewind (yes, these were the days of the VCR) the first time that I saw it, thinking, "were there no cuts in that entire scene?"  Those who dismiss this movie as just a 'film about porn" are missing out - it's really about one man's 'rise'...and fall from stardom.  Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore and the dozens of other recognizable actors really put on a show here. 

1.  Pulp Fiction (1994) 

 The movie that taught men everywhere that a foot massage is much more than a foot massage.

The movie that taught men everywhere that a foot massage is much more than a foot massage.

To me, there's no better movie - and there probably will never be - than Pulp Fiction.  Everything here is genius - the characters, the format, the dialogue.  It's been copied and paid homage to time and time again, but nothing tops the original.  Enough has been said about Pulp Fiction - if you haven't seen it, go and pick it up.  You won't regret it. 

Of course, there are some honorable mentions that could have made this list on a different day - Django Unchained, the Godfather, the first half of Apocalypse Now (cut out Marlon Brando and this could have been one of my all time favorites), Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight, Goodfellas, The Usual Suspects, and there are many more.  However, that's my list and I'm sticking to it. 

So...what are yours? 

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