Tuesday, November 22, 2005

My Top Ten Inspirational Movies

From Tapscott's Copy Desk, comes what I consider to be the 10 most inspirational movies. I have provided a little commentary on each relating to why I consider such movies inspirational. (These are in no particular order)

1. All Three Lord of the Rings Movies--the sacrifice of each character is central to their quest. But of all the characters, I like Sam (played by Sean Astin). Sam has no great skills or smarts, but what he has is an undying devotion and loyalty to his friend Frodo. Such unquestioned loyalty is so rare and to be admired.

2. Saving Private Ryan--so emblematic of the generation it depicts, dedication to duty, and placing the mission above personal gain--even when the mission seems counter-intuititive.

3. The Patriot--patriotism--what else can be said.

4. Phenomenon--John Travolta plays a man given an extraordinary gift with the greatest of consequences. Yet despite his travails, he seeks love and tries to live his life to the fullest. But the best character is his buddy Nate Pope, played by Forest Whitaker. Nate doesn't understand what is happening to his friend, but stands by him against all comers. Again, loyalty trumps understanding.

5. Apollo 13--the epitome of a teamwork movie. Three astronauts struggle to survive but it is the engineers and geeks back on earth who to a yeoman's work to save their lives. I love the geeky little engineer who has to figure out a way to get a square air filter to fit in a round hole to save the astronauts lives.

6. Chariots of Fire--the struggle that Abramson and Liddell face to compete in the Olympics. Liddell is my favorite character in the movie, when asked if he had any regrets about not running a race on the Sabbath (he is devoutly Christian), he says yes, but no doubts. Principled decision-making, even in the face of his prince.

7. Bull Durham--some may ask about this melancholy ending being inspirational, but the efforts of Crash Davis to come to accept that despite his smarts, sometimes you need a little talent too, make the movie. Plus the fact that he says he sees little dignity in being the minor league home run champ, but doesn't quit till he gets the record shows a great deal of pride. A great baseball movie.

8. Good Will Hunting--a great story, but another movie with a great friendship. This one is a little different as the character played by Ben Affleck must, in the ulimate expression of love and loyalty, force his best friend to leave his comfortable surroundings and use his genius.

9. The Right Stuff--more astronauts, bravery and loss in doses in this story of the early American space program.

10. The Shawshank Redemption--an unlikely friendship, a strange hobby and a fantastic escape by two men--one from prison and the other from the prison of his past make this a fabulous movie. The patience of Andy Dufresne--and his smarts--are terrific.

There you go--a little whimsy to brighten your day.

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