Tomorrowland

Best Adventure Movies

I have, what I’m finding to be, a very strict definition of adventure movies. It follows the Wikipedia definition pretty closely, but apparently, that is not the definition other people seem to use; at least people that write lists and post them on the internet.

Wikipedia’s definition of an adventure movie:

Adventure films are a genre of film whose plots feature elements of travel. They typically involve protagonists who must leave their home or place of comfort and go to faraway lands to fulfill a goal. Settings play an important role in Adventure films, sometimes as big as the characters themselves.

Main plot elements include quests for lost continents and exotic setting; struggles and situations that confront the main characters, the creation of empires, characters embarking on treasure and heroic journeys, travels, explorations, quests and searches for the unknown usually also having to overcome an adversary. Adventure films are often set in a period background and may include adapted stories of historical or fictional adventure heroes within the historical context. Kings, battles, rebellion, or piracy are commonly seen. Adventure films may also be combined with other movie genres such as action, animation, comedy, drama, fantasy, science fiction, family, horror, or war.

The ending of the definition is where my opinion diverges, slightly. Adventure movies can, of course, be combined with other genres, but too often on these lists, adventure is the subgenre and has very little to do with the main parts of the movie. When I’m looking for an adventure movie, I want that to be the focus. Things get a bit sticky with films like Star Wars. It’s clearly sci-fi, but it’s also fantasy and adventure. It’s one of those rare movies that straddle genres very well.

Superhero movies will not be on my list. At least none I’ve seen as of September 2020. In my opinion, superhero movies have become their own separate genre. They have elements of action, sci-fi, fantasy, and adventure. The focus, though, is the superhero and all the superhero stuff. This is not what I’m looking for when it comes to an adventure movie.

Most action movies will not be on my list. If the purpose of the movie is to see people get beat up and shit blown up, for me, that’s action, not adventure. John Wick and The Raid are action. Sure, I could see how someone could argue they’re adventure, but, again, that’s not what I’m looking for in an adventure film.

*This definition is completely subjective and as the list grows longer will probably end up making no sense at all.

I think part of the reason I enjoy adventure movies is that unlike action, they often include female characters in more than a token role. Evie in The Mummy is a driving force in the story. Buttercup tries to save her true love and speaks up against the man in control of her in The Princess Bride. It’s Joan’s adventure that we go on in Romancing the Stone and Jewel of the Nile. Princess Leia, Abigail Chase, Elizabeth Swann, Yvaine, and Lamia have large parts in each of their movies. They each may not be the lead of their films, but their actions matter to the story.

Now that’s cleared up, here are the adventure movies I enjoy the most, listed alphabetically. More will be added as I remember them or watch them.

The Goonies is a perfect example of an adventure film. You’ve got a ragtag crew of kids (goonies) that are about to lose their homes until they find a treasure map. Excitement ensues as they fight their way to the treasure at the end.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is about a man who is taken from Earth and forced to make his way through the galaxy with people he thought he knew. His initial goal is just to survive in his new environment, but it turns into a quest to find the answer to the ultimate question. It has a sci-fi setting and is a comedy, but the main purpose of the movie is Arthur’s adventure.

The Indiana Jones movies are my definition of adventure film. Indiana is an adventurer seeking treasures that belong in museums. Raiders of the Last Ark is easily the best. Temple of Doom still freaks me out a bit. Last Crusade has Sean Connery and is a bit of a rehash of Raiders, but I still prefer it to Temple of Doom. I actually don’t hate Kingdom of the Crystal Skull but I didn’t include a picture because the gallery looked weird on WordPress when I uploaded it.

Jumanji and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle both have kids completely out of their comfort zones fighting to survive and beat a game.

The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, Return to King Solomon’s Mines, and Curse of the Judas Chalice are movies that were made for TV but they are very much in the vein of the Indiana Jones films. Noah is a professional student who finds himself chosen to work for the Library. He has to seek out mythical artifacts to protect them and the world. There is also a Librarians TV show that I love even more than the movies.

The Mummy and The Mummy Returns are once again very similar to the Indiana Jones movies. However, this time the female character has agency and an integral part to the story. Evie makes these movies, she has a larger role than O’Connell. She’s amazing. Also, everyone in this movie is gorgeous.

National Treasure and National Treasure: Book of Secrets have a team of people searching all over the country for treasure. They are being chased by bad guys and there’s a little bit of romance. It doesn’t have a historical setting, but it does have historical elements.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl is the best of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies (Full disclosure I haven’t watched the last one or two). It has swashbuckling pirates, sword fights, and treasure.

The Princess Bride has fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, true love, and miracles. You can’t get more adventure than that, now can you?

Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile are two adventure movies that follow Joan Wilder, a super successful romance writer, and Jack Colton a man who just wants to buy a boat. They travel through treacherous terrain while being chased by a corrupt military figure, in order to save her sister. The sequel isn’t as good, but I enjoy it none the less.

Stardust has a lot of fantasy elements and I debated including it on my list. It’s one of my favorite movies, but is it more adventure than fantasy? I decided to go with yes. It has pirates. It has a young man on a heroic journey to find treasure for his love. The fantasy setting plays a roll, but the adventure story is what really drives the movie. It hits all the marks I love most about adventure films, but I could just be clouded by my love.

Star Wars just might be the most epic adventure story of all time. These seven movies are a saga that has yet to be surpassed. I know there are a lot of people that hate the prequels, but they came out when I was just young enough to attach some nostalgia. So apart from Clone Wars I enjoy them all. I also included Rogue One because it is the only new movie in the series that I have loved. It is one of my favorite movies, not only in the series, but period.

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life have action elements, but Lara’s quest for ancient artifacts trumps that, in my opinion. Plus, I love being able to include female led adventure films. That being said, I wouldn’t call these favorites. I enjoy them and watch them when I’m not feeling strongly about anything, but there are many ways in which they could be better. I have not yet watched the newest, if I like it I’ll definitely add it.

Tomorrowland is another one of my favorite movies. This time, though, I’m pretty sure there’s no question of it’s adventure film status. Yes there are sci-fi elements, but the movie takes part mostly in the real world. You have a young woman searching for Tomorrowland, then trying to save the world. She’s taken out of her comfort zone on a quest for an artifact.

My 2015 Favorites

Movies:

2015 was not a good year for movies, for me at least. Of course, I’ve yet to see Star Wars so that could certainly change. I gave only two movies 5 stars, Tomorrowland and Mockingjay. I had several 4 stars that I remember very fondly though. Anyway, the following is a list of the movies I enjoyed the most, star ranking be damned.

    1. Tomorrowland– I was not expecting to love this movie as much as I did and I’m so thankful that I rented it. Literally the day after I watched it I went out, bought it, and watched it again. I have it downloaded on all of my devices and will just randomly watch parts of it. I love it and I could easily see this movie becoming one of my all-time favorites
    2. Jurassic World– This movie is another one that I bought, but I haven’t actually watched it yet. Thinking back to the theater I really loved it and I’m excited for more in the franchise like this. Also, Chris Pratt is awesome.
    3. Kingsman: The Secret Service– I think this movie was so great because I wasn’t expecting it. I went in with very little expectations and was pleasantly surprised.
    4. Parallels– I hesitate listing this because, while I liked it, it doesn’t feel complete. I really hope there’s more to come because the world created was very interesting.This was the year of books. I read over 100 books and so many of them were good. I did of course read a couple I absolutely loathed (I’m looking at you Fable: Edge of the World and Murder is Binding) but the majority of what I read I really enjoyed.

Books:

 

    1. Lois Lane: Fallout by Gwenda Bond– I gave this as a Christmas present, that should really tell you how much I enjoyed it. I can easily see this being the first book in a series I absolutely adore.
    2. Justice Calling by Annie Bellet– This is the first book in the Twenty-Sided Sorceress series and one of my favorite discoveries of the year. Great series and I’m looking forward to reading the most recent installment.
    3. Anything by Jenn McKinlay- I read several McKinlay books this year and I loved almost all of them and the one I didn’t love I still liked. If you’re looking for a cozy mystery I highly recommend anything she’s done. She writes great characters and her stories are light and fairly believable.
    4. Clariel by Garth Nix- Even after all this time Nix stayed true to the world and showed us a great character.
    5. Magic Breaks & Magic Shifts by Ilona Andrews- It’s Ilona Andrews, of course these books were amazing.
    6. Dead Heat by Patricia Briggs- Just like Ilona Andrews, Briggs never fails to give me a book I love.
    7. Cinder by Marissa Meyer- Really liked the unique take on fairy tales this series has brought. I haven’t yet read the final installment, but I’m looking forward to it.

TV:

 

I don’t write as many TV blog posts as I should, probably because I watch too much damn TV, but here’s a list of my favorites for the year.

    1. Sense 8 on Netflix– This show suffered some pacing issues, but it didn’t affect how much I loved it. Season 2 can’t come out fast enough.
    2. Marvel’s Agent Carter on ABC– Loved this show. Really loved this show. I want to be Agent Carter when/if I grow up. She’s such a great character and I’m really looking forward to season 2 which starts in January.
    3. Jane the Virgin on CW– When I’m watching this show I’m in freakin love. When I’m not watching this show I can’t really understand why I liked it so much because it sounds so crazy. Every episode delivers and it has continued into the second season, there has been no dip in quality. Highly recommend, more people should be watching this.
    4. Daredevil on Netflix– Episode two has one of the best fight scenes of the year from movies or TV, it was that good.
    5. Jessica Jones on Netflix– I didn’t think it was possible, but this was darker than Daredevil. Not really a huge fan of dark, but they did this very well. I thought Jessica Jones was a realistic portrayal of an abuse victim that happens to have some superpowers. She was rarely likable, but I never hated her, you could always understand why she acted the way she did. Actors were spot on as well, it was freaky seeing Tennant be so evil.
    6. Dark Matter on SyFy– I found this show on Netflix and was pleasantly surprised. It takes a couple episodes to gather steam but when it does it becomes an interesting Sci-Fi tv show. Nice female lead and an interesting story.

 

This has been my 2015 year in review. What did you enjoy most this year?

Tomorrowland (2015)

tomorrowland

Tomorrowland (2015)

Director:

Brad Bird

Starring:

George Clooney

Britt Robertson

Hugh Laurie

Raffey Cassidy

Plot:

Bound by a shared destiny, a teen bursting with scientific curiosity and a former boy-genius inventor embark on a mission to unearth the secrets of a place somewhere in time and space that exists in their collective memory.

Review:

It makes me sad that this movie bombed and no more will be made. It has such a ridiculously positive message and I loved it so much.

I read that critics felt it had pacing issues, but I honestly don’t know what I’d change. One minute it was balls to the wall action, the next it was lots of talking, but that’s what the story called for and I don’t think it made it bad. I never got bored, I never wondered when it was going to be over, I just wanted more.

My favorite part was near the beginning when Britt Robertson’s character was being told by the cast of Stargate: Atlantis (not really they were her teachers) that the world was basically fucked in every possible way and she asked how do we fix it. I loved that.

It’s silly to say but the movie resonated with me and it could very well be my favorite movie of the year. Definite buy and re-watch and hopefully indoctrinate my daughter.

5/5