I'm just wondering how other people find there favorite movies because usually my favorites are movies I like but I almost always find them unexpectedly and when people recommend me movies I like them but they never really become personal favorites.
Probably when the story is interesting, like Fight Club, or Rec, or Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind, even though i know it's bad, like.. umm, Jurassic Park 3 ( i know the story isn't interesting, but i loved it).
And when it's executed well, like The Dark Knight, Tropic Thunder, Kick-Ass and the most recent one Hot Tub Time Machine.
fleeting childhood memories of unusual sights eg the apes in 2001, the flying car in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, goldfinger's demise, "frying tonight!" (carry on screaming), Bertolucci's la Luna (which i watched with me mum!!). i personally love Lynch's The Grandmother, though i couldnt really tell you why....
Movies that give me chills down my spines, emotional movies that get to me, movies that i just ENJOY my self whilst watching them, movies that make me think after like a week has gone past (Im still thinking about inception, such a brilliant movie).
relatability with the characters, style, or story. Eternal Sunshine is my #1 favorite because the Jim Carrey character is a damn near mirror image of myself; Batman is my #2 because i love the gothic noir atmosphere of Gotham City and of the characters themselves; Ed Wood is my #3 because its an inspiration to me as an artist to fight for my visions and be happy for my work.
For me a favorite movie is one that makes me forget I'm actually starring at a screen. I just saw "Children of Men" yesterday and throughout the movie I felt for the characters as I would for real people and not just actors who got payed to do their job. Even that might sound ridiculous for a movie like, let's say, "The Dark Knight" it's still true. That's how a movie becomes a favourite for me personally.
This is an easy question to answer because there are three requirements for a movie to become my favorite.
#1: It must take place in a kind of jungle. Preferably somewhere in South America.
#2: It must have larger seemingly unstoppable force standing in the way of the hero.
#3: It must have a muscular actor in it, may be by the name Arnold or close to it.
Those are my requirements for a movie to be a favorite. Needless to say its a short list of movies.
There are many factors that influence how a film becomes one of my personal favourites. Of course theres the obvious ones like rewatchability, quality of performances, direction and content but the most important and major factor that a film must have to be a personal favourite is what kinds of feelings, emotions or ideas it evokes in me as I watch it.
Sometimes the emotions or ideas conjured while watching some of my favourite movies aren't actually from within the film itself but rather the feelings I externally experience when watching the film. For example Richard Linklater's A Waking Life is one of my all time favourites because of not only the amount of philosophical and thought provoking content that it contains, but also because of how much it inspires me and how it changes and affects the way I view dreams or more specifically, life.
Yoshihiro Nakamura's Fish Story is another one of my all time favourites because to me it is a near perfect blend of entertainment value mixed in with the things I feel (sense of destiny, how everything that happens will influence something else in the world) when watching it.
Then there are movies that are my favourites because of the fond memories that ive experienced when watching it.
Finally, a movie can become one of my favourites because of the amount of childhood nostalgia that it conjours up from inside of me such as Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory where everytime I watch it, I instantly remember the moment when I saw it for the first time and how my eyes lit up in sheer amazement at the wonders held within Wonka's factory.
You touched on an interesting point, and it is something I think about.
My favorite movies are movies are less popular than most, to the point where I start to pretend that I'm the only one who knows this movie exist, and it is up to me to make sure this movie gets seen. This is why Apocalypse Now, The Dark Knight, and Pulp Fiction are some of my favorite movies, but not exactly my favorite. Of about the million times I went to see In Bruges in theaters, I took five different people at different times, and once it came to video I unleashed it on whoever I could.
And the same goes for King of Hearts. I had to buy a copy of this movie (my dad told me about and no one else had heard of) online for $50, and since than have made it my duty to make sure this film gets seen.
So yeah. That's how most films come to be my favorite.
That and replay value. Of my top five movies, I can recite them from beginning to end, and can still watch them again, although I have the most fun watching them with people who haven't seen the films before.