Brandon's Corner: My Top 10 Favorite Directors

This topic has captivated my attention, due in part to my last article on my favorite actors. You can't have one without the other, just like you can't have Justin Bieber without a roast. Directors just have that ability I love: the ability to turn something that would simply be good, into something phenomenal. It these director's attention in music, editing, cinematography, and production value that I love. Though more than this, it is their focus on making beautiful stories that I go bonkers for. With pieces of entertainment as good as theirs, I can't help but watch their works over and over again. Obviously this is all personal preference, so many of your favorites may not make the list. Furthermore this all directors still working. With that out of the way, let's dive deep into this whirlpool of storytelling talent.

2010_iron_man_2_01310. Jon Favreau

The guy barely made the list evidenced by his place. That being said, he is my favorite actor, screenwriter, director of them all. His films (as well as his characters) have that undeniable charm, while exploring darker issues. The guy wants you to think that he is just a goofball, then all of the sudden he'll pierce through incredibly sad issues with the greatest of ease. I wish that type of filmmaking  and character study was made more often.

Top 3 Favorite Films:

1. Iron Man 2; 2. Elf; 3. Chef




john-lasseter-1117339. John Lasseter

Pixar - need I say more? Though more than this, the guy helped spearheaded the most acclaimed trilogy of all time with the Toy Story trilogy. I may hate Cars but he has been such an influential part of the greatest animation studio out there (sorry Ghibli and Dreamworks) that I can't help but put him on the list.

Top 3 Favorite Films:

1. Toy Story; 2. Toy Story 2; 3. A Bug's Life




peter-jackson-lanza-facebook-fotos-rodaje-hobbit8. Peter Jackson

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time.  This, along with King Kong, and - to a lesser extent -  Desolation of Smaug show that he knows how to direct epics just as good if not better than anyone out there. I may not love his overzealous direction sometimes, whether it be major chunks of the Hobbit or all of the Adventures of Tin Tin. Nevertheless, he still is someone I love and will continue to look forward to see more of in the future.

Top 3 Favorite Films

1. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy; 2. King Kong; 3. Dead Alive




wes-anderson-moonrise-kingdom-image-e13502617699987. Wes Anderson

Wes Anderson is so drastically different than anyone else on the list or almost anyone else out there. This originality is refreshing in a business that is so freakin' predictable. It because of this unique style that it shows that he is the king of quirky. Though, the quirkiness and all the self aware style that he implements isn't just there for shits and giggles. Anderson is able to dive deep into meaningful material without it appearing overbearing or too forced. Sure, because of the quirk sometimes the emotion doesn't quite have the full kick, but when it does - à la Moonrise Kingdom - it is even more impactful. He is someone I can't see doing everything (though what about a James Bond film. . .), but for what he does, I couldn't ask him to change.

Top 3 Favorite Films:

1. Fantastic Mr. Fox; 2.Rushmore; 3. Moonrise Kingdom


201207030657341956. Rian Johnson

The guy is a new addition to my favorites, as he only recently came to my attention after watching his past 2005 mystery, Brick starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt. His creativity in writing and particularly with cinematography and editing give him an edge above nearly everyone. His mind is going at a thousand miles an hour, evidenced by not only Brick but Looper as well. It is this attention to detail and promise that get him on the list. What puts him this high is that he helped direct phenomenal episodes on Breaking Bad, including the single highest rated IMDb TV episode of all time Ozymandias ( ). Furthermore, there is also the little bit about him helming Star Wars Episode: VIII. That's cool, I guess. . .

Top 3 Favorite Visual Narratives:

1. Brick; 2. Breaking Bad Episodes; 3. Looper


brad-bird5. Brad Bird

Brad Bird is the type that sorta sneaks his way around the cinematic landscape being part of some of the greatest animated film one will ever see. He just isn't a name I hear thrown around a lot, but everything he has been a part of has pretty much been dynamite. For starters we have The Incredibles which is probably one of the top five animated movies ever made. This is not even talking about The Iron Giant or Ratatouille which he birthed out of his pure will and made into masterpieces. His films have such rare emotional depth, yet have also bring to the table warmth, humor, and wit one could ever hope to ask for. If only he did live action. . . Oh wait! We have *batteries not included, Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol on the table, as well as Tomorrowland to look forward to.

Top 3 Favorite Films

1. The Incredibles; 2. The Iron Giant; 3. Ratatouille


714. Robert Zemeckis

Zemeckis directed my favorite movie of all time, Forrest Gump. He then went on to make one of my all time favorite films Cast Away. Those two movies have influenced and changed the way I look at cinema forever. Why isn't he number one? Well, since then I haven't really seen anything SPECTACULAR from him. Sure, he's made some decent films, but I'm still waiting for the one that will blow me away. Let's hope The Walk, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, coming out this summer, will be that film.

Top 3 Favorite Films:

1. Forrest Gump; 2. Cast Away; 3. Back to the Future




92614f4841df748cbe767319c26ac6043. Steven Spielberg

Spielberg has the greatest track record for films I really like out of anyone on the list. Why is he not number one? Some directors just have films I love more. With that out of the way, the guy deserves the utmost appreciation. Year after year after freakin' year he has spun out great films. He can't help but be so good. Sure, some of his movies might have a little too much cheese, but he just is ridiculously good at pulling off entertainment that one has trouble caring too much. Not just that, the guy has range for miles. He has directed practically every genre. We could talk about horror (Jaws), action (Indiana Jones), comedy (*batteries not included), thriller (Duel), war (Saving Private Ryan), as well as countless others. Spielberg has shown that he is not just a one trick pony, but one of the all time greats.

1. Saving Private Ryan; 2. Hook; 3. Raiders of the Lost Ark


532-600x3382. Christopher Nolan

Depending on my mood, Christopher Nolan is my number one pick. Just one paragraph is unbelievably difficult to describe the mastery of this artist. Nolan is intelligence personified.  All of his films are so ridiculously intricate, as they are filled to the brim with metaphors, undertones, and hidden meanings. These things could be enough to appreciate, but Nolan is also able to pull off such deep, mysterious, and complicated emotion as well. Let's also not forget how entertaining his films can be as well. The Dark Knight Trilogy alone shows he knows how to pull off entertainment, but do with all the style and class one would expect from a master class director.

1. The Prestige; 2. The Dark Knight Rises; 3. Inception


star-trek-cast-and-jj-abrams1. J.J. Abrams

This position is going to make some people angry already. You either hate the guy or love the guy. I can't help place him here though. In a business of "What have you done for me lately?",  J.J. has helped create one of my favorite movies of all time, Star Trek Into Darkness. It's the little things that I love about him, from such detailed attention to production design and CGI, to always getting the best possible performances out of his actors. Yes, he could be a little too Spielberg-ian for some. For me, I love him all the more for it. It is this gleeful playfulness intermixed with real emotional turmoil, that make his films so irresistible for me. So, yeah, am I excited for him directing Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens? Maybe. . . Just maybe. . . !!!

1. Star Trek Into Darkness; 2. Star Trek; 3. Super 8


Honorable Mentions:

Joss Whedon

James Cameron

Gary Ross

Francis Lawrence

Steven Soderbergh

Peter Weir

Nick Park

Quentin Tarantino

Martin Scorsese

Phil Lord & Christopher Miller