Favorite vs. Great

Many people ask the two questions ‘what are your favorite movies?’ and ‘what movies are great?’ interchangeably, but they are two entirely different questions for me.

A work can be great because of their concepts, storytelling, or characters, but I would never want to read or see them again because they are disturbing, too serious, or long. For me, these include Hyperion, Blade Runner, and Brazil.

And then there are some works that I enjoy over and over again because they are just so entertaining. 50 First Dates is a good example.

I can’t say what the exact dividing line is between the two, but the general rule seems to be that great works tend to be dramas and that action and comedies are entertaining. At least that’s the conclusion one could draw from looking at the Oscar winners.

Occasionally brilliant works can straddle both categories for various reasons. For me, the movie Gattaca and the Playstation game “Xenogears” are such works. Gattaca‘s powerful message is so artfully presented that it bears repeat viewing. “Xenogears” is a rather long RPG, but its story is so epic and remarkable that it must be played at least twice to fully appreciate it.

Think about the movies, books, and games you like. Are there any true gems among them – as brilliant as they are entertaining? Please share them below; I’d love to hear about them.

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