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What are your favorite adventure films? 
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Post What are your favorite adventure films?
It's not really a genre that gets talked about much, particularly since it's fairly middlebrow and bleeds into other ones (Western, Action, etc.) but I really like a good adventure movie. Develop some likable characters (who don't even really need to be particularly well-sketched) and send them somewhere interesting to do something interesting. Do it well, and I'll be there with a big smile on my face. So I started wondering what everyone's favorite adventures on film are, and maybe I'll pick up some new titles to watch. Not that I'm strictly looking for recommendations here, I'm just curious what comes to mind when people hear "adventure film" and whether you all like them as much as I do. We are, after all, all youngish men.

Now, as for me, my favorites would be...

Raiders of the Lost Ark

I went through a pre-teen hipster phase when I decided this was overrated and Temple of Doom was the best Indy movie, a phase I largely regret now. Raiders is everything you could possibly want in an adventure film, from exotic locations to car chases, and as a cinephile you can appreciate the staggering amounts of craftsmanship on display. I don't know why I don't own this movie. I'm going to change that shortly.

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Another one that can please cinephiles and adventure-hungry lads equally. Since it's a western it doesn't really get talked about as an adventure film per se, but it's among the best ever filmed. Not as much excitement as Raiders perhaps, but imagine explaining the entire plot of this movie to someone! So many twists and turns and journeys and alliances all in the pursuit of buried gold. It would be a Boy's Own adventure if it wasn't so skillfully handled.

Jaws

The first half is a horror film but the second is pure adventure. Three men, well-developed as contrasting personalities, one rickety boat (they need a bigger one) and one Great White Shark. I'm excited every time.

What do you fellas have?

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Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:52 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
15 years ago I might have said The Goonies - but it's aged baaad!

What about The World's Fastest Indian? That's an adventure

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Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:11 pm
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Damn, well you took The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly so I'll just list a few that maybe aren't necessarily pure adventure, but have a good amount of adventure in them.

The Golden Age of Pixar: Toy Story, Finding Nemo,The Incredibles, Up

Adventure is at the heart of all of these films. Environment/setting is so important here, with each film viewers get a brand new world to explore. Pixar does such a great job with the element of exploration and its hard to think of many other films that sink viewers completely into their worlds in such a seamless manner.

Seven Samurai

I'm a big Kurosawa fan, so I can't not mention this one. The adventure here sometimes gets lost in a slow pace, but I still think it warrants a place in my favorite adventure films. I'll also give a quick shout out to 13 Assassins, a ode of sorts to Seven Samurai, with less adventure but quite a bit more action.

Barry Lyndon

Hands down my favorite Kubrick film, and one that is ripe with pure adventure on a epic scale.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Ahh I kinda love this film. Everything about it is just pretty awesome, and so well put together. I would have never thought that a modern day retelling of the Odyssey could be so much fun. And the soundtrack..well it just pulls you right along for the ride.

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Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:17 pm
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
I would normally stop after Raiders of the Lost Ark. But I would throw in obvious choices like The Lord Of The Rings trilogy and the original Pirates of the Carribean from the last 15 years. Enjoyed The Adventures of Baron Munchausen minus the Robin Williams bits (it's got "adventure" right in the title) and The Road Warrior quite a bit too. So many to mention but may be blending the line between "action" and "adventure".


Wed Jul 03, 2013 3:21 pm
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Ahhh... adventure. When it's done well, it's great. When I think adventure film I think Raiders. A quick list that springs to mind, using free association (since it's from my subconscious, it must be right)..

The Princess Bride - Are you kidding? Fencing, fighting, torture, revenge, giants, monsters, chases, escapes, true love, miracles...
Adventures of Robin Hood - the Errol Flynn one, of course. I mean, it even has "Adventures" in the title!
The Man who Would be King - Caine and Connery adventuring with the best of them.
Seven Samauri (and it's western counterpart, The Magnificent Seven) - classics, both.
Lord of the Rings trilogy - Fantasy AND adventure, on an epic scale, yay!
Master and Commander - Love this one. Russel Crowe doing what he does best.
Wizard of OZ - What an adventure for Dorothy!
Finding Nemo - Hmmm... this sprang to mind. It IS an adventure!
Up - This too! Pixar, get out of there
Yojimbo - Don't know why this didn't seep out when I thought of Seven Samurai...
Touching the Void - Maybe because I just (re)watched this. It doesn't get more thrilling than this, boys. Adventure pure, moreso because it's all true. Is it a documentary? is it an adventure film? I say both.

Ok, there are many more that could go on my list, but it's late and I decided to stop thinking. If I don't start the shutdown sequence for my brain at least an hour before I go to bed, it takes me an hour to go to sleep. As it is, since this is the last thread I read tonight, I will be thinking about adventure films for at least 30 minutes while lying in bed.

Should make for some great dreams, though...


Wed Jul 03, 2013 7:52 pm
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Well Raiders was the first to come to mind when I saw the thread title. Side note: My ranking of Indy movies would go Raiders first, then Last Crusade, then Temple Of Doom.

Some others:

Last Of The Mohicans: There've been several versions. But I mean specifically the Michael Mann directed one with Daniel Day-Lewis. Beautifully photographed and teh story is classic adventure.

Braveheart: Largely regarded as a historical epic or war movie and those descriptions are accurate. But to me it offers plenty of adventure amidst the action.

Aliens: Sci-fi action that includes plenty of adventure.

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Thu Jul 04, 2013 12:19 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Stand By Me

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Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:15 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Superman remains my number one pick--not only my favorite adventure movie, but the longest-running title on any list of favorite movies I've ever had. I don't think I need to elaborate further, as I have done so to an almost megalomaniacal degree in other posts on this forum.

And maybe my eyesight is failing me, but I scanned the thread and was surprised not to see any of the Star Wars movies. While the Star Wars saga is commonly thought of as sci-fi or space opera, it fits squarely into the adventure genre as well. Make a list of adventure tropes and they're almost guaranteed to be found somewhere here. These stories are so wonderful and ubiquitous that I always find myself shocked if I meet someone who hasn't seen them or doesn't like them.

On the subject of adventure stories in the realm of space opera, Star Treks Wrath of Khan and The Voyage Home are great. Star Trek is the quintessential spaceborne adventure, and these two are its finest installments on the big screen. For a cast of characters most notorious for sitting in chairs reacting to a screen on the wall, they exhibit plenty of derring-do here.

And I concur wholeheartedly with Aliens. Space is just plain cool. What better setting for adventures in a far-off place?

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Thu Jul 04, 2013 9:07 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
The first Star Wars in particular is a classic adventure film. Not weighted as much by the series' mythology, it's just pure excitement across space. Agreed that it's weird it hasn't been mentioned.

Oh, and North by Northwest is another favorite of mine. Different sort of adventure to be sure, but terrific fun.

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Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:17 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
JamesKunz wrote:
It's not really a genre that gets talked about much, particularly since it's fairly middlebrow and bleeds into other ones


Yeah, my first thought on seeing the thread title was, "well, what counts as an adventure film?". The first film to spring to mind was The African Queen, though I probably wouldn't really call it my favorite.


Sat Jul 06, 2013 12:36 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Raiders would be the choice of an Imdb mod. I've never understood why people fall automatically in love with it. Maybe some people thing it captures a kid's sense of adventure, but I can say for sure that I was a kid (age 9) when I first saw it and was not hugely impressed. I would put the first two Jurassic Park films high above it, as well as The Adventures of Tintin. Jaws is still Spielberg's greatest adventure though, probably. Most of his movies have that aspect though.

On the darker side, I would add Deliverance, Southern Comfort, and Casualties of War. And Munich. Some of the great detective films, like Murder My Sweet, Kiss Me Deadly, and The Third Man feel like adventures to me though I don't know that they'd qualify strictly speaking. Speaking of which, The Lady from Shanghai for sure!

For my money, the greatest anthology of adventure films was done by Anthony Mann from 1950 to 1965. During that time, he switched genres a couple times and featured different kinds of stories, but always captured the same escapism/adventure/existentialism of the outdoors.

Most polarizing for me is Lawrence of Arabia. Has the stuff of a terrific adventure, but stretches itself too thin for my taste.

My #1 standalone pick for this thread would have to Bridge on the River Kwai. Not entirely an adventure in terms of plot, but has a summer camp vibe that stretches across its genre. I think the campfire mentality is sort of essential to adventurism, which may be partly why I liked Final Frontier more than most people.

For me, Raiders never captures that. In fact, I'd say it's more of just an action movie than an adventure.

Would Excalibur count as an adventure? The film doesn't focus too squarely on characters going out on adventures, but it's certainly an adventure for the viewer. An adventure into the world of King Arthur. This type of film is a little ambiguous.

Also, there are some arthouse classics which could easily be construed as adventures. For instance the one that's literally called L'Avventura. Or Weekend, or even Holy Motors.


Mon Jul 08, 2013 5:05 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
wisey wrote:
I think it's time you got a drug habit or begged your wife to try anal sex James. Not sure you can come up with anymore interesting topics on the Reelviews forum.

You must have totally missed JK's "I just shot up and banged my wife in the ass--Ask Me Anything" thread.

Or maybe I dreamed that one. Either way, good thread.

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Mon Jul 08, 2013 10:52 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
I did enjoy Raiders as a kid, but nowadays it just dosen't have the same appeal to me anymore.


Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:25 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
There are a few WWII adventure films for which I'll always have a fondness. I doubt I'll ever get tired of Kelly's Heroes, The Great Escape, and The Dirty Dozen.

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Mon Jul 08, 2013 11:58 am
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Blonde Almond wrote:
There are a few WWII adventure films for which I'll always have a fondness. I doubt I'll ever get tired of Kelly's Heroes, The Great Escape, and The Dirty Dozen.


I'm glad someone brought up Kelly's Heroes. I've seen a ton of WWII adventure movies (just finally watched Frankenheimer's The Train last month) but never saw this one. Worth a watch, Reelviewers?

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Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:35 pm
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
JamesKunz wrote:
Blonde Almond wrote:
There are a few WWII adventure films for which I'll always have a fondness. I doubt I'll ever get tired of Kelly's Heroes, The Great Escape, and The Dirty Dozen.


I'm glad someone brought up Kelly's Heroes. I've seen a ton of WWII adventure movies (just finally watched Frankenheimer's The Train last month) but never saw this one. Worth a watch, Reelviewers?


Definitely. It's a little on the long side, but it's got a great cast all doing solid work and it's a lot of fun overall.

I haven't seen it in awhile, but Von Ryan's Express is a solid one too.

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Mon Jul 08, 2013 1:45 pm
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Blonde Almond wrote:
JamesKunz wrote:
Blonde Almond wrote:
There are a few WWII adventure films for which I'll always have a fondness. I doubt I'll ever get tired of Kelly's Heroes, The Great Escape, and The Dirty Dozen.


I'm glad someone brought up Kelly's Heroes. I've seen a ton of WWII adventure movies (just finally watched Frankenheimer's The Train last month) but never saw this one. Worth a watch, Reelviewers?


Definitely. It's a little on the long side, but it's got a great cast all doing solid work and it's a lot of fun overall.



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Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:09 pm
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Kelly's Heroes is a lot of fun, which is not what you generally hear when discussing WWII movies. Like Inglorious Basterds, check your history degree at the door (though not to the same degree). It's more serious than M*A*S*H, but Sutherland's character comes straight out of 1968, not 1944. Don't get me wrong...it's a good movie, but it's quite a bit lighter than most WWII fare.


Mon Jul 08, 2013 9:14 pm
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Depending on how you define "adventure":

Aguirre: The Wrath of God

because adventures don't always go well...

-I found this film aged remarkebly well. Also, I need to get a shout in for The Last Starfighter. What video gaming kid wouldn't dream of an adventure like that?!

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 12:58 pm
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Post Re: What are your favorite adventure films?
Either version of The Thief of Bagdad would be fine. Fairbanks did a lot of great silent swashbucklers, and later Tyrone Power got into it (with sound, of course) with The Black Swan and The Mark of Zorro. (I don't recommend The Black Rose.) I've heard good things about The Sea Hawk and Captain from Castile. TCM has a couple of Sinbad movies this Thursday night after Jason and the Argonauts. I love The Adventures of Baron Munchausen but it drives a lot of people nuts.

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Tue Jul 09, 2013 5:56 pm
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