I’ll admit that a lot of the movies I’ve watched lately have either involved shoot-outs or fart humour, but what can I say? Not every movie you watch is going to be life altering. Not every movie deserves a re-watch or a second thought, but every once in awhile you stumble across something that really gets to you and makes you think. It’s always a little (or more than a little) impressive when a form of entertainment becomes a thought-provoking, dialogue-invoking practice. We’re talking the Inceptions of the movie world, and although that movie didn’t make the cut because I’d prefer to sleep soundly, here is a list of five movies that will change your life and/or the way you think.
I know I know, most people are over the whole Matrix craze, as well as Keanu, but I’m not sure this life changing list would be complete without the mention of The Matrix. It was a big deal when these movies came out. Think about it – average joe, Neo, very much like us, finds out his whole world and life, very much like our world and lives, is a lie. This is something we have all probably thought about at one time or another, but the Wachowski’s came along and added fuel to the fire. What if our lives were being controlled or manipulated by external forces? Oh wait, they sort of are… Just try to forget about Neo getting unplugged from the matrix. Just try.
4. The Truman Show
Anyone looking for their daily doses of paranoia, because here it is. The Truman Show is so amazing because while the idea of being filmed 24 hours a day seems absurd, you can’t help but think ‘CAN YOU IMAGINE?!’ This film strikes close to home because in a way it is completely plausible that someone could be filming you without your knowledge. In essence, this film functions as a hyperbolic representation of the power of the media. It’s a little weird, and it’s a little long, but nonetheless, The Truman Show is a movie that sticks with you.
3. FernGully: The Last Rainforest
I haven’t found any statistics or factual evidence, but I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the green movement truly began with FernGully: The Last Rainforest. The villain Hexxus, an evil spirit of destruction who I always have and always will refer to as a pollution monster, is the one who taught me about the importance of nature, not my parents. I’m serious. I don’t want to take this away from them, but this is a movie that actually gets kids thinking about pollution, the environment, and the idea of a natural habitat. I don’t want to get sappy (see what I did there?), but there it is. Some may say FernGully is similar to Avatar, and to that I say, vice versa my friends. Luckily FernGully not only came first, but it has a few added perks in addition to it’s life altering, environmental messages from *ahem* Tim Curry (voice of Hexxus), but I’ve already given you the Toxic Love video, so I think I’ll just leave it at that.
2. Into the Wild
If this isn’t a life changing movie, I don’t know what is. How many of us have us have ever thought of giving up all of our possession and really try to make it in the real world? It’s probably fair to say that, while many people may think about it, not too many people actually follow through, with the exception of Alexander Supertramp (did I mention that this film is based on a true story?). The film isn’t all puppies and rainbows, and it shouldn’t be. It’s about living and following through with whatever feels right rather than staying bogged down with whatever is considered to be normal. It’s the journey rather than the destination that’s important, and Into the Wild, paired with a soundtrack that will leave you weak in the knees, will leave you inspired regardless of how Supertramp’s story ends.
1. Requiem for a Dream
Take every anti drug ad you’ve ever seen, mix it with that Rachel Lee Cook “This is your brain on drugs” commercial from the late 90s, and a couple episodes of Intervention and you still won’t be at the level of mind-bending chaos that is Requiem For a Dream. This film really shouldn’t be simplified into an anti-drug movie, although if you had any desire to try heroin before watching it you may be having second thoughts. Despite its crazy, unimaginable characters and images, at its core you are given characters who want to be their best and have their dreams come true – suddenly we don’t seem that different. This movie is life changing as it asks how far you would go to get what you want, and whether you would even be able to recognize that you had crossed the line once you were already over it.