I looked out the window of my beautiful mansion in Los Angeles (I don’t know if you know this, but everyone in L.A. has a mansion) and the sun was absent, which obviously puts a damper to my day. Sunshine emits rays of happiness…it’s a fact. The weather lady on television said the forecast for the next couple of days will be rain…that means I am staying home because drivers see rain in Los Angeles as a sign of the apocalypse. And if I am secluding myself from the world, then I am watching movies. The gloomy, gray skies are kind of depressing and evoke many thoughts…meaning I will watch some dark, dramatic films. So without further ado, I present…the Top 10 films to watch on a rainy day.
10. The Frighteners (1996)
I am sure you are wondering why the hell The Frighteners cracked the top 10…and what the hell is The Frighteners?! It happens to be an awesome Peter Jackson film starring Michael J. Fox about a man, Frank Banister, who has psychic abilities and is able to communicate with the dead. He uses that power to cheat money out of customers for his ghost hunting business, but he comes across a case involving the grim reaper that he cannot ignore or escape. Though the film bombed at the box office, it has developed somewhat of a cult following, which is unfortunate because it is a well written, entertaining horror comedy. It’s a creepy film with some laughs…and not a bad movie to watch on a rainy day.
9. The Shawshank Redemption (1994)
This is one of the greatest dramas in the past 20 years. The drama and story is unforgettable, as well as the acting of Morgan Freeman (who has the most amazing voice in the history of film). One can’t help but feel a bit melancholy and dramatic when water falls from the heavens, and this prison drama just hits the spot and pulls those heart strings.
8. Zodiac (2007)
It is no longer a secret. David Fincher is one of the elite filmmakers in Hollywood. Seriously…this guy is just amazing. As much as I love Fight Club and The Game, Zodiac is a perfect film to watch on a gloomy day. It’s a dark, mysterious thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat with anxiety. It’s one of Fincher’s best films, but it also happens to one of his least viewed movies. Robert Downey Jr. is excellent, as well as Jake Gyllenhaal and Mark Ruffalo. And no…Gyllenhaal does not have sex with any guys, so don’t worry.
7. Double Indemnity (1944)
This movie is a true classic that set the standard for what a film noir is supposed to be: scandalous, sex-driven and stylish. The film is a flashback of insurance salesman Walter Neff, who agrees to kill the husband of femme fatale Phyllis Dietrichson. It’s a gripping crime story you will not forget.
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Rainy days sometimes brings back memories…maybe even thoughts of that one ex. What is she/he up to? Those thoughts truly blow, but how about you torture yourself some more and watch this movie? It is a great romantic film with a hint of science fiction. The film follows an emotionally withdrawn Joel Barish (Jim Carrey) who decides to hire the services of a firm to delete the memories of his most recent ex-girlfriend (played by a fully clothed Kate Winslet). Don’t you wish such a thing were possible? Actually…scientists are currently studying that possibility, and studies show that it may be possible. Just saying…
5. The Dark Knight (2008)
No list is complete without Christopher Nolan…or Batman. Maybe he is Batman? Whatever…the point is that it is always a good time to watch The Dark Knight, rain or shine. But this layered crime drama explores many themes and pits its caped crusader of justice against a man with morals, an engine of chaos known as the Joker. You already watched The Dark Knight? Well watch it again.
4. Chinatown (1974)
“Forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown” is one of the memorable lines in the history of cinema coming from one of the greatest films ever made, so good it cemented Jack Nicholson as one of the greatest American actors of all time. Chinatown is a drama-filled mystery with director Roman Polanski on his A-game, as well as writer Robert Towne. Polanski’s vision and Towne’s words give life to its setting, which is Los Angeles in 1937. They give L.A. a sense of spirit and make it almost as important as the protagonist, private investigator J.J. Gittes. There’s a reason The Guardian recently named Chinatown the greatest film of all time.
3. The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Look…I am no fanboy, okay? It’s just…okay, I do love Star Wars. But hey, at least it’s not my #1! The Empire Strikes Back is one of the greatest films ever made…so good that it was selected to be preserved in 2010 by the Library of Congress as part of its National Film Registry. The reason this is high up on the list is because it is the darkest of the three films. Our hero, Luke Skywalker, struggles in his Jedi training, all while his friends are captured and in trouble. What’s a young Jedi to do? The Empire Strikes Back provokes more thought than any of the other films. We learn more about the force, but we also begin to question the light and dark sides of the force. “But how will I know the good side from the bad? Is the dark side stronger?” These are some of the questions Luke asks Yoda, ones that we aspiring Jedi ponder.
2. The Godfather (1972)
Do I really need to say anything about this film? It’s only the second greatest film ever made according to the American Film Institute, and it is just perfect. With an all star cast and a great script, Francis Ford Coppola created the most epic mob movie. Don Vito Corleone is one of the most memorable characters in film, and Michael’s Corleone’s transformation from the good son to the Godfather is unforgettable.
1. Blade Runner (1982)
A film set in a dystopian Los Angeles in 2019? I’m definitely in…and you should be too. The story of Rick Deckard (played by Harrison Ford) hunting down organic robots resembling humans is a masterpiece. The film is very much layered with themes, philosophy and religious allegories. Countless students and professors have studied and written about this film, especially the ending. This is one film that will haunt you for days, making you question issues such as genetic engineering and cloning. And how the hell has Harrison Ford not won an Academy Award playing characters such as Han Solo, Indiana Jones and Rick Deckard? It’s wrong, damnit! Okay…I had to get that out of my system.