My tastes tend to favor the epic and sprawling. I like stories of
strong people rising to play a part in major events, where real
people (read: well-developed characters) turn the wheels of
On the movie front, I also like ridiculously, unintentionally bad
films. The sorts of fare Mystery Science Theater 3000
worked with. A spectacular failure is far more entertaining than an
Some honorable mentions that I don't feel like gushing about or
that don't need explaining: Brazil, Clue, The
Dark Knight, Adam West's Batman, Disney's
Hunchback, Blazing Saddles, Willow,
Airplane!, Stranger than Fiction,
Les Miserables--both the book and the musical. Massive yet
intimate, and even translated, the quality of the writing itself is
Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series--very well plotted,
very self aware, many shocking but thoroughly set-up twists, the
rare well-done female lead-- just superb.
Battle Cry of Freedom--takes one of the most fascinating
periods in US history and makes it an epic. The Civil War has been
called "America's Illiad" for good reason; this actualizes that
Wall*E--Just makes any day better. I recently put it in,
watched it through, then just let it play again.
Amelie--Also makes the day better. Dig the soundtrack,
Troll 2--It is very difficult to describe how uproariously
inept this movie is. It's honestly captivating.
To Kill a Mockingbird--Do I really need to explain why the
book and the movie both are just excellent? A time period perfectly
captured, a coming of age story and a civil rights/courtroom drama.
I dread the inevitable day they remake this.
Casablanca--I'm seriously not going to bother explaining
Bablyon 5--Not to fly my nerd flag too high, but this is
the first example of my favorite television genre: the telenovel.
The entire story was written beforehand, and the series ended when
the story was fully, satisfyingly, concluded. Sure, it's scifi. It
also has Strong themes and strong, gradually developed characters,
civil wars, fights against extinction, prophecy, betrayal... this
show doesn't get the credit that it should.
Pushing Daisies--This was the cutest, most colorful,
downright sweetest show I have ever seen--but without being cloying
or saccharine. It's something of a romantic mystery show with a
faerie tale twinge. I still haven't forgiven television (as an
industry) for cancelling this one; Pushing Daisies is my
Avatar: the Last Airbender--Don't let the terrible movie
poison you; this show is shockingly, shockingly well done. It
(deservedly) won a Peabody for it's accurate portrayal of the
consequences of warfare. Heady stuff, for a family show! Another
telenovel, like Babylon 5 above, and arguably better
Doctor Who--might be getting a little too nerdy here, but
this show is just too epic and silly and awesome.
Music--Classic rock for me, mostly. Queen, Kansas, Styx and the
like. Jazz or swing are fun for background listening, and I have
quite a few epic-sounding soundtracks I'll have in the background
as I write. I've been kicking to the Homestuck soundtrack a lot
recently. And if you even know what that is, I've been totally
geeking out about it of late, but nobody knows what I'm talking