I’m sure that if you gathered all of us cinephiles/cinebloggers you’ll find that our lives as film fans are pretty comparable; we started watching movies at a young age and basically never stopped. Certain films (good or bad as they may be) have indelibly cemented our tastes and forever determined what we liked and didn’t like from that point on. Some are classics, others are are only classics in our minds. Some are dumb fun, some are iconic and others evoke weird stares from our friends. Either way, certain films in our lives take prominence above all others because of the impact they had on us at the time and probably for the rest of our lives.
So here is a bit of trip down memory lane to figure out why I like the movies I do. Along for this fun filled nostalgic romp are a slew of equally impressive and movie obsessed friends of mine. Before I start, we at Go,See,Talk would just like to welcome and thank everyone who has participated in this blog event. Below my entries, I’ve listed the names and sites of everyone involved so take a look to see the films they chose as well.
So without further ado, here are the Films That Defined Us…
Back to the Future – The classic time traveling comedy works on so many levels. To a kid, it’s a fun movie with an envious car as pretty much a lead character and some zany antics. Getting a little older the time traveling complexities start to become more apparent and make the film so much deeper and richer than originally thought. Plus I consider Alan Silvestri’s score to be simply fantastic and one of the most memorable and thrilling themes I’ve ever heard…maybe even more so than Star Wars.
Volunteers – As a kid I wasn’t quite old enough to understand the grown up humor, but this was still funny to me. Watching it with my Dad and looking at what made him laugh was kind of like learning a new language. Ever since then I trace nearly every smidgen of my sense of humor back to this film. It’s witty, sarcastic and has Hanks delivering some zingers with that dry and fake New England socialite accent that just kills me, “You mean you’ve just been you’ve just been trying to go to bed with me?”…”Well I think I put in the hours don’t you?”
Back to School – Rodney Dangerfield is one of my all-time favorite comedians. He was a different kind of entertainer and one of the last to come from the Bob Hope/vaudeville days of stand-up comedy. Even though jokes like “well call me sometime when you have no class” eluded me, it still had me laughing in so many other sequences. Smart and innuendo drenched crass jokes make the adults laugh and wacky faces get the kids smiling with this movie. You mention Back to School to an adult, they’ll rave about it as this collegiate gem is it’s one of Rodney’s best. You ask a kid not if they’ve seen it but who Rodney Dangerfield is and they’ll say two words: “Triple Lindy”. Nuff said.
Animal House – The be-all, end-all, college film was my favorite comedy as a kid. I guess, like pretty much everything on this list I have to thank my parents very much for allowing me to see these at such a young age. I considered it an ensemble film before I even knew the term. It certainly made me eager to find films equally as funny, witty and outrageous as this. My search yielded few that could come close to Animal House and that’s the main reason this is a classic. So many scenes are just incomparable comic gold, e.g. that ladder scene is pretty memorable to a kid…then you get a little older and you learn what makes the ladder fall backwards. See? It’s funny on multiple levels.
Predator – As a child, in my eyes Arnold simply defined action. He was and still is (despite the lack luster films prior to his term as The Governator) the Last and Only Action Hero. He’s larger than life and to an 8 year old, he’s even more so. Although it does take a lot to dwarf Ah-nuld, it was mind blowing how the Predator did just that. A running and gunning jungle flick, this was a perfect combo of a sci-fi and action. To me this is the epitome of action…80’s action that is. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever quoted a line more times in my life than “Get to the Chopper!!”
Aliens – If Predator was the perfect Earth based sci-fi/actioner, this is its awesome non-Earth based counterpart. Yet it had one and only thing I longed for in Predator…you got it, more of those kick-ass monsters. Also (new to me at the time) it was a rare films where we see a female protagonist who is pretty much a bad ass. She had enough gusto that she not only went toe-to-toe (load lifter toe that is) with a 2 story “xenomorph” but to also nuke an entire industrial colony from orbit. Hey,”it’s the only way to be sure“.
Top Gun – “Highway to the Danger Zone” yup, that phrase (and song) I think sums up this awesome 80’s romp. This movie has F-14’s, an inverted dive with a MIG 28, and all the air-to-air combat you can handle. Then if that’s not enough you have such memorable characters like Chester, Viper, Maverick & Goose and of course Val Kilmer as the one and only Ice Man (chomp). Since I’m a guy, to me, this is what I imagine Dirty Dancing was to girls…only way more macho. This had it all: drama, romance, action and some brilliant and timeless comical one-liners. “I guess that about handles the fly-bys“.
The Thing – The one reason I will never become a research scientist or travel to a remote/isolated location. John Carpenter’s story was pretty much lost on me as a kid but what dug in like hooks was that sick defibrillator scene. Add to that the fact they set it on fire, then the head crawls away. I’m surprised my parents were ok with me seeing it and quite shocked I didn’t end up in therapy. Practical effects heightened the eerie story and looking back I get older Rob Bottin’s practical effects (that still hold up toady) set the standard for gore as they perfectly heightened the paranoia running rampant through this fantastic film.
So these are the films that little Marc was raised on and that’s what I believe sums me up in a nutshell. No Citizen Kane here, I’m an all out product of the 80s (Animal House being the exception from 1978) and damn proud of it. It was a decade where truly anything does and in fact did go. But enough about me, like I mentioned above, here are the awesome bloggers who participated in this blog-a-thon. Click on these links to see what makes them tick and I’m sure you’ll find a few surprises.
Steve – The Film Cynics
Heather – Movie Mobsters
Travis – The Movie Encyclopedia
Jim – Napier’s News