There was a Facebook meme that went around a few weeks back asking you to list 15 movies that spring quickly to mind which had an impact on you or resonated with you at the time. You know, something generic like that. I didn’t do it because it seemed too vague a list for my tastes. I mean, what’s the point of doing something like that if you don’t put any actual thought into it? It doesn’t really reveal anything interesting about the person making their list given that a lot of stuff that first crops up in your brain is stuff you recently watched.
So instead I present a series of mini lists that have real meaning (to me at least) and may actually tell you something about me that you didn’t already know (and probably didn’t want to) and because, well, it’s Friday morning and I’m not really in the mood to be seriously productive yet. Do with it what you will.
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT I WATCHED AT LEAST 25 TIMES EACH AS A KID WHEN WE FIRST GOT CABLE AND HBO ONLY HAD ABOUT 10 FILMS IN ROTATION.
1. Raiders Of The Lost Ark
2. Bill Cosby: Himself
3. Romancing The Stone
5. Red Dawn
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT I SAW IN THE THEATER AND WHICH LEFT ME SITTING STUNNED IN MY SEAT, UNABLE TO MOVE RIGHT AWAY, BECAUSE THEY IMPACTED ME THAT STRONGLY.
1. Saving Private Ryan
2. Sling Blade
3. Higher Learning
4. American Beauty
5. Life Is Beautiful
(Honorable mention to “There Will Be Blood”, because I was in awe of Daniel Day Lewis’ performance in spite of the fact that I usually can’t stand him.)
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT WERE AWESOME WHEN I SAW THEM IN THE THEATER BECAUSE I WAS WITH A LARGE GROUP OF ROWDY FRIENDS AND WE WERE SHOUTING AT THE SCREEN LIKE SOME SORT OF WEIRD RELIGIOUS TENT REVIVAL, BUT IF I SAW THEM TODAY ON TV TODAY I’D PROBABLY ADMIT THEY ARE HORRIBLE FILMS.
1. Starship Troopers
3. The Expendables
4. The Rock
5. T2: Judgment Day*
(Dishonorable mention to “Con-Air”, because while I *thought* it would be one on those movies, I actually thought it was extremely lame even while watching it in the theater.)
(*I don’t actually think T2 sucks, but it has never been nearly as much fun to watch as it was that first night in the theater.)
TOP 5 PIXAR MOVIES, WHICH EVEN THOUGH I DON’T HAVE KIDS, I STILL FIND MYSELF WATCHING ALL THE TIME BECAUSE THEY’RE THAT FREAKING GOOD AND I GENERALLY REFUSE TO ACT MY AGE.
1. Toy Story
4. Toy Story 2
5. The Incredibles
(Note: I’ve yet to see “Toy Story 3” or “Up”.)
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT ME AND FISH WOULD WATCH ALL THE WAY THROUGH, REWIND, THEN WATCH AGAIN IMMEDIATELY AFTERWARDS BACK IN THE DAYS WHEN WE WERE OUT OF SCHOOL AND GENERALLY JUST KILLING TIME, AND THAT AS A RESULT OF WHICH WE CAN QUOTE INCESSANTLY TO ONE ANOTHER WHETHER ANYONE AROUND US REALLY HAS A CLUE WHAT WE’RE TALKING ABOUT OR NOT.
1. Clue: The Movie
2. Police Academy
3. Coming To America
4. Cannonball Run
AND 10 MORE, BECAUSE WE REALLY WERE THAT LAME.
6. Major League
7. Stroker Ace
8. Revenge Of The Nerds
9. Necessary Roughness
10. Brain Donors
11. Shakes The Clown
12. Sixteen Candles
13. Police Academy 2
14. Police Academy 3
15. Police Academy 4
TOP 3 MOVIES THAT MAKE ME A LITTLE MISTY AT THE SAME POINT IN THE FILM EVERY TIME I SEE IT. YEAH, I’M A MAN AND I’M NOT AFRAID TO ADMIT I CRY SOMETIMES. WANNA FIGHT ABOUT IT? LET’S GO!! (FYI, IT’S NOT THAT I’M ASHAMED TO ADMIT TO 2 MORE, I JUST CAN’T THINK OF ANY.)
1. The Shawshank Redemption (the final shot when Red is crossing the beach and his voiceover says, “I hope to see my friend and shake his hand”)
2. Saving Private Ryan (again, the final shot when the present day Private Ryan turns to his wife and says, “tell me I have led a good life; tell me I’m a good man”)
3. While You Were Sleeping (in the scene where Sandra Bullock admits she’s been lying to the family and says, “And then l didn’t wanna tell you the truth because, um, the truth was that l fell in love with you. All of you. I went from being all alone to being a fiancée, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister… and a friend.”)
TOP 5 TOM HANKS MOVIES THAT PEOPLE NEVER TALK ABOUT ANY MORE BECAUSE HE MADE THEM BACK BEFORE HE WAS A “STAR” AND THEY WERE NEVER REALLY BIG HITS, EVEN THOUGH THEY’RE ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL TO HIS CAREER AND TOTALLY REWATCHABLE EVEN TODAY.
1. The ‘Burbs
2. The Money Pit
3. The Man With One Red Shoe
4. Joe Versus The Volcano
TOP 5 MOVIES I THINK ARE ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT BUT WHICH I SAW ONCE AND DON’T THINK I COULD EVER SIT THROUGH AGAIN FOR ANY NUMBER OF REASONS.
1. Schindler’s List
2. Born On The 4th of July
4. Dances With Wolves
5. Brokeback Mountain
TOP 5 MOVIES ABOUT SUBMARINES, WHICH FOR SOME REASON IS THE WAR MOVIE SUB-GENRE I LOVE THE MOST EVEN THOUGH THERE’S NO WAY IN HELL I COULD EVER LIVE IN SUB.
1. The Hunt For Red October
3. Down Periscope
5. Crimson Tide
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT I FOUND TO BE ULTIMATELY DISAPPOINTING GIVEN ALL THE YEARS OF HYPE BY MY FRIENDS (OR GENERAL CRITICAL ACCLAIM) WHICH MADE ME THINK I WAS CLEARLY MISSING SOMETHING, BUT NOW I THINK WERE JUST OVERRATED.
1. The Producers
2. Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb
3. Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid
4. It’s A Wonderful Life
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT MANAGED TO EXCEED MY EXPECTATIONS GIVEN ALL THE YEARS OF HYPE BY MY FRIENDS (OR GENERAL CRITICAL ACCLAIM) WHICH MADE ME THINK I WAS CLEARLY MISSING SOMETHING AND NOW I’M ANGRY AT MYSELF FOR NOT SEEING SOONER.
1. The Deer Hunter
3. Annie Hall
4. The Sting
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT I’M KIND OF ASHAMED TO ADMIT I’VE NEVER SEEN, YET I NEVER MAKE ANY EFFORT TO RECTIFY THE SITUATION SO I’M PROBABLY WORTHY OF WHATEVER DERISION YOU WANT YOU HURL UPON ME.
2. The Conversation
3. Ben Hur
5. Do The Right Thing
TOP 10 JACK LEMMON MOVIES BECAUSE HE IS MY FAVORITE ACTOR OF ALL TIME AND SOMEONE WHO YOU SHOULD ALL WORSHIP BECAUSE HE MADE A BUNCH OF AWESOME FILMS BEYOND JUST “THE ODD COUPLE” AND WAS ACTUALLY A DAMN FINE DRAMATIC ACTOR EVEN THOUGH PEOPLE DON’T SEEM TO REMEMBER THAT.
1. Grumpy Old Men
2. The Apartment
3. Days Of Wine And Roses
4. Glengarry Glen Ross
5. Some Like It Hot
6. The Odd Couple
7. The Front Page
8. 12 Angry Men (1997 made-for-cable version)
9. Grumpier Old Men
10. Save The Tiger
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT I ABSOLUTELY LOVED AND WHICH NEARLY MADE ME LAUGH MYSELF HOARSE IN THE THEATER BUT FOR SOME STRANGE REASON I HAVEN’T SEEN SINCE.
2. Little Miss Sunshine
4. Being John Malkovich*
(*I actually bought a DVD of this film but have only watched it once in 10+ years.)
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT SHOULD HAVE WON THE ACADEMY AWARD FOR BEST PICTURE BUT WHICH GOT HOSED BECAUSE PEOPLE ARE STUPID AND MY OPINIONS ARE MORE VALID THAN YOURS.
1. Saving Private Ryan (1998, actual winner: Shakespeare In Love)
2. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (2000, actual winner: Gladiator)
3. Fargo (1996, actual winner: The English Patient)
4. Goodfellas (1990, actual winner: Dances With Wolves)
5. Good Will Hunting (1997, actual winner: Titanic)
TOP 5 MOVIES THAT I WILL FOREVER WATCH AND NEVER GROW SICK OFF AND IF YOU TELL ME YOU’VE NEVER SEEN THEM I WILL MOST LIKELY RECOIL IN HORROR AND ASK YOU – QUITE LOUDLY – WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, ULTIMATELY QUESTIONING WHY WE ARE EVEN FRIENDS TO BEGIN WITH.
1. The Shawshank Redemption
2. Clue: The Movie
3. The Big Lebowski
4. The Hunt For Red October
5. The Princess Bride
EDIT: For those inclined to do your own variations, knock yourselves out. Just do me a favor and come up with one or two ridiculous categories of your own. That’s half the fun. Thanks.