My Top 10s

The idea of writing about my favorite movies and books sounded almost too simple. I thought it would be a blog I could rattle off and have Dragon speech-to-text my thoughts and be done. Easy peasy. You see, but then my mind started winding up. Titles floated in and out. I remembered snippets of tongue-in-cheek dialogue, creative deaths, amazing soundtracks, and unforgettable characters.

No. No. This wasn’t going to be easy to write. Not easy at all. For better or worse, I decidedly settled down, and believe I have constructed some (personal) bests. The thing is, the below lists are my opinion. The only thing that would make this more enjoyable is comments agreeing, disagreeing, or of YOUR personal compiled lists. I’d love that. So this isn’t a post about me. This is a chance to open up dialogue between fans of the three different medias.

Okay. (Deep breath). Here we go. (Exhale):

Top 10 Movies (with author allowed disclaimers):

  1. The seven Star Wars Films. (It is one story, folks. It is therefore, one movie! And yes, I may be the only one, but I did enjoy episodes I, II, and III. I even liked Jar Jar Binks . . . Oh, I can see some of you getting ready to comment now. Go on. Go  ahead. Bring it!)the-champ_web
  2. The six Lord of the Rings Films. (The three Hobbit movies might be a separate trilogy, and not one continuous movie like the Star Wars films, but I am grouping them as one because they have some of the same characters. And yes, while I may be one of the few, I did love all three Hobbit movies).
  3. The four Indiana Jones Films. (See disclaimer mentioned in #1. It’s Harrison Ford, and I am fully aware that he stars in eight of my favorite flicks. Guess I’m a fan).
  4. The eight Harry Potter Films. (This is NOT cheating. I certainly realize we are #4 of my top ten list, and I’ve compiled roughly twenty-five movies. . .)
  5. Jaws. I can watch this any, and every time it is on.
  6. Pulp Fiction. (Quentin Tarantino before he became a nut, John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Uma [do I even need to mention her last name] Thurman, Harvey Keitel. People, come on?!?!?! Classic)
  7. The Champ (1979 remake). (Ricky (before he became Rick) Schroder, Jon Voight, and Faye Dunaway. A tear-jerker. Okay. I sobbed. Sobbed. Saw the film as a kid, and it still impacts me, today).
  8. Toy Story 3. (The reason I picked ONLY Toy Story 3 is because I didn’t want everyone mad at me for saying all three. However, as much as I loved the first two, it is the end of the third movie that brings the series full circle. And . . . Okay. I sobbed. Sobbed!)goodfellass
  9. The Shawshank Redemption. (Maybe you have seen this? It’s on TV every now and then, or if you have cable and the AMC channel, it is on almost every other day. It is an amazing adaptation of a Stephen King novella, Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption).
  10. Goodfellas. (I debated listing The Godfathers. I think the third one was so bad, that it almost ruins Parts I, and II for me. Almost. However, Goodfellas kind of had it all. The Mafia, the action, the intensity . . . eh-oh, oh-eh).

Phew! That wasn’t too bad. The movies listed above are movies I will watch whenever they are on. I did have a few runners up, however, and would be remiss if I did not at least mention them: 1. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, 2. Donnie Brosco, 3. An Officer & a Gentleman (no laughing), 4. Finding Nemo, 5. Alien, 6. Psycho, 7. Avatar, 8. Casino, 9. The Lion King, 10. Papillion, 11. Rain Man . . .

My Top 10 list of books should be far less complex and/or condescending. I hope. The thing I, as many books as I read, I still watch far more movies. However, my mind is sometimes like a sieve, and unless I was truly impacted by book, titles, and plots, and authors meld in this leaky brain of mine.

Top 10 Novels:
outsiders
1. The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton. (This was the first novel I’d ever read. I was just twelve. It is truly the reason I became a writer).

  1. Swan Song, Robert McCammon. (I would have said Stephen King’s The Stand, but McCammon did it better).
  2. Pet Semetary, Stephen King. (The book gave me nightmares. I was thirteen when I read it. It was the second Stephen King book I’d ever read [Firestarter I’d read first]. Gage’s death, and the mental moment when Louis Creed focuses on all of Gage’s accomplishments before realizing they weren’t real, and Gage’s funeral . . . Wow).StephenKingPetSematary
  3. A Time to Kill, John Grisham. (Bought this when it was released with the new title, and was instantly on the Legal Thriller bandwagon. Still am. But this book was raw, and heartbreaking).
  4. 11/22/63, Stephen King. (This wasn’t just my favorite Stephen King book, it might just be my favorite novel. I remember reading the dust jacket flap, and almost not buying the book. The plot sounded ludicrous. I am also enjoying James Franco in the Hulu original adaptation).
  5. A Game of Thrones, George R.R. Martin. (I tried reading this before watching the HBO show, but stopped. After seeing Season 1, I gave the book another chance. Okay, every now and then I Googled a character’s name, saw who the actor was, and then said, “Ahhhh, that’s who this is,” and continued reading).
  6. Wizard’s First Rule, Terry Goodkind. (I stopped after book three, but plan to finish reading the –what, 13, 16 book series?)
  7. The Great and Secret Show, Clive Barker. (This was just visually chilling from start to finish!)swansongx
  8. Braineater Jones, Stephen Kozeniewski. (Gritty noir, some amazing narrative, a private eye, and zombies. This is an amazing tale. Amazing).
  9. The Green Mile, Stephen King. (Not sure how many people will remember this, but the book was published in six parts, over the course of six months. At the beginning of each month, a 100 page portion of the book was released. I’d read it that day. Each ended on a cliffhanger. But there were at least thirty days left until the next installment was in stores. If only for the genius of marketing, this serial novel has to make the list [but the story was nothing short outstanding to boot]).

And, like with my list of movies, there are the books that are so close, I would be remiss not to at least give them, and their authors a mention. In no particular order: 1. ‘Salem’s Lot, Stephen King, 2. Jurassic Park, Michael Crichton, 3. Already Dead , Charlie Huston (the series), 4. Greywalker, Kat Richardson (the series), 5. Storm Front, Jim Butcher (the series), 6. Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling (the series), 7. Summer of Night, Dan Simmons, 8. Jack Reacher Series, Lee Child, 9. Lord of the Rings, J.R.R. Tolkien (the series), 10. Devil in a Blue Dress, Walter Mosley (the series) . . .

Did I leave books or movies out? Yep. Not on purpose, I assure you. That is why I need comments on this post. What do YOU think I forgot? What are your lists? I really want to see them!

Thanks for putting up with my shenanigans! Keep in touch!

Phillip Tomasso
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One thought on “My Top 10s”

  1. Love how you lump the serial movies bc all same story line. Brilliant! With the exception of Star Wars, of course…Jar Jar… Really? No!
    Jaws I can always watch.
    Goonies.
    It’s a Wonderful Life.
    Harry Potter series.
    Zombieland, I love, love, love!
    Dawn of the Dead, Sarah Polley is apocalyptic perfection.
    I wince as I type this for somewhat personal reasons, Forest Gump. Ugh. It’s like a virus. I can’t turn away from it when it’s on. And I bawl when “Jennai!” dies and Forest is seen with their love child…kills me.
    Finding Nemo. Yes, I cry still, after 1001 views.
    Oh boy! The last two….this is so difficult.
    Harold and Maude or Peter Sellers breaking my heart in Being There. Both are unique and touching…..it’s a 9th place tie.
    Arsenic and Old Lace. Still feel pissy remembering the day I realised I’d never grow up to marry Cary Grant. I’d only grow up to perhaps visit his grave.
    Honourable mentions go to :
    Singing in the Rain…Gene Kelly forever will make me dance. And sing…or hum.
    TLOTR series, the last two being my favourites of said series.
    Blade Runner…

    Books are so tough. I find my list begins always with the first books that impacted my thinking as a child.
    Jaws, by Peter Bentley. Began my love for icthyology and White sharks. Wasn’t allowed to have it as I was 9 years old when I discovered it. The cover was scandalous.
    E.T., which I read directly after Jaws and loved.
    A Wrinkle in Time, by Madeleine D’Engle…
    Man in the High Castle, by Philip K. Dick. Read it when in grade 6. Just wow.
    Player Piano, by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. Same year, grade 6. My mum’s copy and I couldn’t put it down. Still stands the test of time.
    Dune, by Frank Herbert, who died two years after I read this. First book to be made into a movie released concurrently with my reading it. I ranted for days, years even after seeing it with my mum and stepfather, asserting again and again how the book is so much better.
    Salem’s Lot, by Stephen King. I wore my rosary everyday from grade 5 to grade 7 just in case.
    Firestarter, by Stephen King.
    Slow Burn series, by Bobby Adair. Fell in love with the Zed’s humor and humanity.
    Zombie Nation series, by David Wellington.
    Vaccination series, including spin-off Damn the Dead (Arcadia Series) by Phillip Tomasso. Hey Mister! When will the next Arcadia be finished?
    Others: Flu, Wayne Simmons.
    Zom bot series, by Al K.Line.
    Anything by Vonnegut.
    Anything by Christopher Moore.
    Anything by Harlan Ellison and Philip K. Dick.
    Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz…
    Okay, okay! I’ll stop.

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