It's the "watch" what I want that makes me glad to be alive. Leaving aside the vast canon of cookery programmes that sustain me (and believe me, I need to coax myself into eating on occasion, so choice of word is not idle [appetite, not emotion]), there are a number of films that I still ration how often I watch them. Amazingly, there have been some recent ones which I have grown to love as much as old favourites:
Star Trek - J J Abrams' brilliant recreation of the essence of the feeling of the original series - quite, quite stunning. This is a film that has me out of my chair and punching the air and shouting YES! Such an affirmation of human values (even the Vulcan!)
GalaxyQuest - ever been to a science fiction or games con? Then watch it, it is on occasion so acute in observation it is painful, but it is also excruciatingly funny at times. The Klingon cameo in the bog is soooooo true, and I bet there are self-affirming prats like that still wondering about the cons. What is amazing is that you find yourself split on multiple levels. Hmmm - hard to explain; you suspend disbelief: it's a comedy in an area you know; you suspend it yet again as you get sucked into the interior plot and rejoice in the death of Saris. Brilliant!
The Core - the best saved from disaster movie ever made; mainly because the characters (and not coincidentally actors) make you suspend disbelief far more than the plot (unobtainium, anyone?). I've just watched this again and it is a real tour de force - you simply look up at the end and realise that something like two hours have gone by, there are tears in your eyes, a gladness in your heart. Not coincidentally Delroy Lindo is in it and he has been an actor I've looked out for ever since a brilliant performance in DS9. Fantastic cast.
Lord of the Rings - my best friend passed some years back and I'm still getting over it, and I know that there are very many who are still feeling the void, the loss of his wit, charm and arrogance. How I could do with his astringent humour at times. But he got to see this before he passed and we both rejoiced at how good it was. I know it's not the book, but you'd have to be made of stone not to cheer at first the appearance and then weep at the death of Haldir and the Elves at Helm's Deep. A creation of the Jacksons' that reflects the Elves' spirit of unending sacrifice to the land. I could go on for hours just on that passage. Needless to say this holiday I will be seeing the New Year in watching all three back to back.
Amelie - the ravishingly beautiful Audrey Tatou as the lead in this stunning Jean-Pierre Jeunet film. If you haven't seen it, please, please do. It is naive, funny, touching and beautifully filmed. It made me love Paris before ever I saw it. (I am a Francophile - there, I've said it.) It is so touchingly innocent and, if you analyse it (god forbid) it could so easily have lapsed into either sentimentality or mawkishness... also brilliant by most of the same cast (and giving a not inconsiderable insight into the effects of WWI on France, is A Very Long Engagement - Bingo Crepiscule is a name to conjure with!).
Etre et Avoir - This series of views into a small French village schoolhouse are quite, quite beautiful and touching; wouldn't you want to be a teacher in this environment? But it also reflects the way of life in the French countryside, which is still massively unmechanised and still entirely family oriented. Watch it, it will tell you more about the French than you will at first realise. (And yes, I do speak a bit of French... but not much.)
What have all these in common? The re-affirmation of the positive values of what it is to be a human being.
*(John Dos Passos, or if you're a science fiction fan look at the sort of fiction John W Campbell was publishing towards the end of his career - still venerated in America, rightly so as an editor, he rather put his glasses down when reading end of the universe stuff, particularly after Astounding morphed into Analog. His own writing was tedious.)