Friday, March 13

Random Movie Post

Unlike most people I know, I am not a huge fan of watching new movies. For example, when the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie came out, it was the first movie I had seen in a theater in two years. The next movie I saw after that: Star Wars III. Which by the way is the last one so far. Some people might find that odd. It's not like a hate the medium; I do occasionally watch movies on DVD.
Recently, I came across a guy's website that is all about movies and it got me thinking-do I even have any favorite movies? The answer is yes and to my surprise, quite a few of them. I can even put them into weird categories which I will attempt to do presently.

Movies I Loved as a Kid and Still Love Today

1. The Princess Bride - Modern classic if there ever was one. This movie has so many memorable lines that parts of the script will be randomly inserted into everyday conversation. As a matter of fact, I can't think of one person who has seen this movie who did not like it. That would be inconceivable!
2. The Neverending Story - Another movie with a plot line surrounding one of my favorite pastimes: reading. Great fantasy story, terrific characters, and I will still feel weepy at the end when the princess screams "Call my name!" Pathetic, yes, but I don't care.
3. The Secret of NIMH - My favorite cartoon film. Based on the book Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH. A clutzy crow, a cat named Dragon, Nicodemus, and a momma just trying to keep her sick kid safe. This reminds me - I think my VHS copy is still at my grandparents house. I will have to look for it the next time I visit. Along with my copy of...
4. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory - As an adult, the songs can be a bit pushy at times but all in all, still an entertaining film. The remake, on the other hand, was downright disturbing.
5. Star Wars IV-VI - I saw Star Wars: The New Hope 30 times before I was 10 years old. I still remember watching Return of the Jedi in the theater with ten of my closest daycare fans. But I absolutely loved The Empire Strikes Back. I still do.

Old Classics That Rule

1. The Godfather I and II - Never ceases to amaze me how fascinating these films are. If they come on television, it never occurs to me to try to find something better because most likely, there isn't anything better on at any given time. I think I like Part I the best although you learn so much from Part II that it is too hard to choose. Having said that, Part III was horrid and I will never watch it again.
2. The Manchurian Candidate - This movie got me interested in learning about spies. It is because of this movie that I found The Sandbaggers series and for that, I am eternally thankful.
3. 12 Angry Men - Genius. Great actors, brilliant script, simple set with a complicated undertone of hostility and confusion. Just genius.
4. Annie - Yes, that Annie. I know it's weird but I do consider it an old classic and it's a great flick. Maybe it's because I'm a huge Carol Burnett fan. Or I can relate to having a big curly afro. Or maybe I'm just a dork. Yep, that's it. I'm a dork.
5. Dog Day Afternoon - Al Pacino as a bank robber who really sucks at it. There's a transvestite, a media circus, and the fact that it was based on a true story. Funny without being a comedy.

Movies That Are Just Plain Good

1. Kingdom of Heaven - Beautiful in both cinematography and story. I could watch it over and over. And I have.
2. Almost Famous - A movie about a kid who genuinely loves genuine music. He travels with a band to write an article for Rolling Stone, falls in love with a groupie and falls out of love with the whole "musicians as heroes" crap. Great soundtrack also. The Who, Elton John, and more.
3. Primary Colors - Based on a book anonymously written about the presidential campaign of Bill Clinton. John Travolta was surprisingly excellent as Jack Stanton. Emma Thompson played his wife. Kathy Bates plays his strategist. Stanton cheats every chance he gets, eats everything he can, and generally relies on others to make him look good. Great movie.
4. Thirteen Days - JFK during the Cuban Missile Crisis. I loved this movie because it helped me better understand the constant strategy necessary to do the right thing in government. And do it while fighting your own military brass who have other ideas of what is right. Complicated situation conveniently narrowed down to three hours. I did a lot of extra research after seeing this movie, but I loved it.
5. Natural Born Killers - I saw this in the theater, then bought the director's cut on VHS. Great film. What happens to abused children when they grow up. What happens when the media becomes the story? What happens when the two meet? Oliver Stone's twisted take on the answers caused a lot of ruckus if I remember correctly. It was great.

The 80s

1. Stand By Me - I am a huge River Phoenix fan and have been since I saw the movie Explorers (Which I have on DVD by the way). Not much needs to be said about this one.
2. The Breakfast Club - If you could relate to one of the characters, you liked it. If you couldn't, you didn't. If you related to a little bit of each, you loved it. Simply brilliant.
3. Some Kind of Wonderful - Rich kids versus poor kids. Privilege versus angst. Fancy cars and special treatment versus tomboys in boxers and working in a car shop. Love, drums, and T-bills at 7%.
4. Weird Science - Two geeks use a computer to create a perfect woman. Like Frankenstein. Because in the 80s, that's what we thought computers could do if you hook into the right modem and use the right floppy disk, right? Yeah, silly in it's context but an entertaining flick I must have seen a dozen times. Plus, how could you go wrong with Kelly LeBrock in lace and a denim jacket. With a popped collar no less.
5. The Secret of My Success - Michael J. Fox moves from Kansas to NYC to make it in the business world. His aunt falls for him, he falls for his uncle's mistress, and pretends to be an executive while simultaneously working in the mailroom. Fox's charisma carries the film but it's enough to make it a hit in my book. Plus, the elevator scenes are great.

I'm sure I missed a few but this is my list of favorite movies. What's yours?

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