The Great Movie Ride
We’ve talked at great length about movies in our prior articles but there’s a reason: we’re movie junkies. For all of us, there are films that stand taller than others in our eyes; that made a profound impact on our lives. Whether they made you laugh, made you cry, made you think, or have a way of making you feel the same way you did when you first saw it, no matter what number viewing it is, then that movie holds a place on this list.
We’ll start with child of the 80’s and Editor-In-Chief of GGR, Mike Lunsford and his picks
"This was incredibly difficult to narrow down. As I read some of the other entries, I wanted to add more to my list. Here it is, in all it's glory."
15. Being John Malkovich (1999)- I love quirky, off the wall movies and this one floored me when I watched it. It's hilarious, strange, smart and if you're looking for a movie that is truly unique, this is your movie. This was the first time I saw a movie, found out who wrote it, and searched for other projects they worked on. Charlie Kaufman, you're the man.
14. Robocop (1987)- My mom was out of town and it was just me and my dad for the weekend, which meant I got to watch Robocop with him. Violent, vulgar, and visceral; as a 6 year old, I loved it. It was the 80's so that meant even the most horribly violent movies became a series of kids toys and a Saturday morning cartoon. I never thought of this movie as anything other than a violent action flick...until I got older and saw all the symbolism and satire that Paul Verhoeven masterfully wove into the film.
13. Field of Dreams (1989)- In the future, when the machines take over, this movie will be the way we distinguish who is human and who is a cyborg. If you don't tear up at the end when Kevin Cosner asks his dad to play catch, you're a damned Terminator!
12. The Naked Gun (1988)- I can still remember being 6 years old and watching Frank Drebin forget to turn his wireless microphone in the bathroom and laughing so hard I cried. This movie still makes me laugh every time I see it. The finale at the Angels game is hysterical.
11. Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure (1985)- This movie, from start to finish, keeps looking out at the audience and expects them to walk away because it’s so ridiculous…but that’s why you stay. If you don’t like this movie then you live a very sad life. Pure fun.
10. Predator (1987)- This movie is so 80's it has a Walkman, tried New Coke, and ate a McDLT while driving to the mall to buy leg warmers. If you ever want a guy to stop what he's doing and just sit down for 2 hours and shut up, put this movie on. Action flick at it's greatest.
9. The Big Lebowski (1998)- This movie is so good that it’s created a pseudo-religion! I can’t even say anything else…it really ties the room together.
8. Tombstone (1993)- My dad is a huge fan of Westerns and I couldn't get into them when I was younger. I watched this with him when I was 13 or so and finally got it. The reluctant hero, the badass posse, a story about true friendship…and gun fights, lots of gun fights.
7. Young Frankenstein (1974)- I watched this movie with my Grandmother when I was about 12 (she had the best sense of humor and would watch some of the raunchiest comedies ever, God rest her soul). It was the funniest movie I had ever seen. To this day, there is no other version of “Putting on the Ritz” if it’s not Peter Boyle screaming it in a monotone voice.
6. Back to the Future (1985)- This movie is awesome on so many levels. We’ve all at one point wanted to go back in time and change something, Marty McFly gets to fix his parents life and teach his dad some much needed confidence...but not before he has some really awkward Oedipal moments with his moms *shudder* (or to quote Dumblegus "mom boner." That term had me laughing for a solid minute). Marty is also able to save the life of his friend Doc Brown, inventor of the De Lorean time machine. The soundtrack, both orchestral and Huey Lewis’ contributions, are a perfect fit to one of the most fun and exciting movies ever made.
5. Ghostbusters (1984)- I remember going to see this movie in the theatres with my parents when I was little. It was scary, exciting, and funny all at the same time. It’s hard to find movies like this in today’s offerings. It, like Back to the Future, made intelligent, resilient, positive thinking scientists heroes for kids during the 80’s. Is there any other villain like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man that is both horrifying and adorable all at the same time? Granted, he was just the avatar for an ancient Sumerian demi-god of destruction…but still: dawwwwww.
4. Pulp Fiction (1994)- I was in middle school and I talked my parents into letting me rent this movie from Blockbuster. It was violent, bloody, and vulgar and it was fantastic. Even as a teenager, I knew this movie was something special because it told a story unlike anything I had seen previously. This was my first Tarantino and to this day, I still think it’s a damn shame this movie didn’t win Best Picture. Seriously, Forest Gump?
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)- Indy was cool, he was tough, he was funny and he was…an archeologist? WOAH! I want to be one of those! And then, we find out the Ark of the Covenant can melt Nazi faces? I need to head to church.
2. Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan (1982)- This movie is the best episode of Star Trek ever (all series, all movies). We saw James T Kirk vulnerable for the first time ever and we lost one of the most iconic characters in science fiction history. If you didn’t tear up a little when they shot Spock out of the ship while Scotty played “Amazing Grace” then you probably are dead inside.
and the number one movie....
1. Empire Strikes Back (1980)- One of your main characters gets turned into a coffee table, another one gets his hand sliced off and then….THEN you find out that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father? HOLY CRAP!!!! The good guys lose at the end! And it’s still the best Star Wars movie! If you didn’t pretend like you were on Hoth when you had a snow day as a kid, you were doing childhood wrong.
Karate Kid (1984)- "PUT 'EM IN A BODY BAG!" This movie is neck and neck with Bruce Lee for the biggest reason kids take Martial Arts in the U.S.
Chasing Amy (1997)- This was my first Kevin Smith movie and I was amazed. I went to Blockbuster and picked up Mallrats and Clerks. When Dogma came out, I had to see it in theaters. The dialogue was realistic and hilarious, unlike any movie I had seen prior. And the love story between Ben Affleck and Joey Lauren Adams to this day stands apart from any other film out there.
The Departed (2006)- Sweet Joshua Christmas, this movie was intense! Alec Baldwin being Alec Baldwin, Marky Mark yelling at everyone, head shot after head shot after head shot, and soooo many Boston accents.
Big Fish (2003)- proof that Tim Burton knows there are actors NOT named Johnny Depp. My personal favorite Burton flick.
Unforgiven (1992)- The build from family-man farmer to cold blooded murderer is a work of art. You know that when he picks up the bottle of booze, it's all downhill from there.
The Shining (1980)- It's a slow burn...but boy is it worth it when this movie pays off in the end. The part where Danny sees the ghosts wearing those freaky animal masks... WTF were those guys doing in that room? And room 237????? No wonder Joey from Friends hid this book in his freezer.
Big (1988)- Dramatic Tom Hanks is good; he wins Oscars, he makes people cry. I personally love goofy, funny Tom Hanks. This one was his best comedic role.
The Punisher (2004)- My favorite Marvel movie and one of the best revenge movies ever made but if you ask Frank Castle "this isn't vengeance; it's punishment."
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)- Heartbreaking, heartwarming, trippy, insane and all in all, a great modern love story.
Co-founder of GGR, Steve Monnich gives us his list as well.
"There is no way I can rank these from 10 to 1, so I am just going to go with oldest to newest and then name my favorite."
- Goldfinger (1964) – The James Bond films made a huge impression on me from a young age, and not just because I was a kid when the N64 made the game Goldeneye a sleepover staple. Goldfinger established a number of Bond tropes that have been aped for years and as a fan you just can’t get better than this one.
- Night Of The Living Dead (1968) – And now we know that humans are the real monsters. The drama of how humans interact in a catastrophic wasteland was magnified in this movie, not just the zombie craze. So many movies and plotlines I love wouldn’t be possible without this flick. Plus I’m from the Pittsburgh area so I guess I’m biased.
- Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975) – The original quotable movie. The Knights who say Ni, the Castle Anthrax, the Holy hand grenade. If you aren’t chuckling to yourself right now then I really have nothing left to say to you. Except maybe watch this movie because it’s stupidly funny.
- Airplane! (1980) – My father and I don’t have a ton of things in common as far as movie tastes go, but I think about 99% of all guys find this movie hilarious. I will never forget the eye rolls from my mom when us dumb men were losing our minds over lines such as, “The hospital? What is it? It’s a big building with patients, but that’s not important right now.”
- Caddyshack (1980) – Just a mere 23 days after Airplane! came out, another comedic masterpiece was born into theaters. Maybe it’s kinda sorta similar but classic Chevy Chase, Bill Murray, Rodney Dangerfield and Ted Knight just made such an impact that I just couldn’t leave it off the list.
- Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade (1989) – Maybe it’s the third installment of the franchise I’m a sucker for, but just like Jedi, I remember acting out these scenes with my little brother. Pretending the dog on the couch was Colonel Vogel on the tank or jumping spot to spot on the floor spelling out the Lord’s name was how we spent many a Sunday.
- Requiem For A Dream (2000) – This movie hit right when I was the age where I could appreciate a film for the way it was shot and paced as equally as I cared about the content. Darren Aronofsky’s use of quick cuts, close-ups and dream like visuals made me re-evaluate how I watched movies and paved the way for love of a movie like Inception.
- The Dark Knight (2009) – Now I’m a Marvel guy, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have a place in my heart for DC. And the sheer gravitas of this movie showed me the depth of quality film making that can be applied to comic book movie. I love the Avengers to death, but the Dark Knight just has more weight. I’m making up for liking Jedi over Empire here!
- The Dark Knight Returns (2012/2013) – GASP! An animated movie!? DC Animated did such an amazing job faithfully recreating this brutal masterpiece that it needed to be given its due. Plus Robocop was the voice of old-man Batman, so double win!
And the number 1 seed...
- Return Of The Jedi (1983) – I know I know. Empire is the “correct answer” for the Star Wars movies. But as a kid I acted out the fight over the Sarlaac pit, leaping from couch to couch like they were the floating skiffs. I ran about the woods as if I were on the forest moon of Endor. Sometimes nostalgia trumps artistic credibility.
1. Ghostbusters (1984) – Because bustin’ makes me feel good! Duh.
2. Back To The Future (1985) – Covered by other authors on the site, I didn’t feel like we need to “go back” and revisit this one! See what I did there.
3. Die Hard (1988) - We’ll get together. Have a few laughs. Best Christmas movie outside of Christmas Vacation.
4. Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) – Time travel? Liquid metal Terminator?! GUNS N’ ROSES USE YOUR ILLUSION!?!? OK I’m in. Also it turns out it’s one of the best sequels ever made. So there’s that.
5. Army Of Darkness (1992) – And remember, “Shop smart. Shop S Mart”. Groovy.
Our next picks come courtesy of one of our contributors, Dumblegus. He would like you to know that these are in no particular order and that he really really loves movies.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)-To this day I still love a good cowabunga. My entire life has been flooded with Turtles comics, cartoons, games, and movies. I even just met Kevin Eastman at Comic-Con Richmond! It was rad dude.
Batman (1989)-My little sister and I had an obsession with Tim Burton's Batman on VHS. It was so dark but colorful while being scary and funny, it was sensory overload for a couple of toddlers. Why the hell were we allowed to watch it over and over?
Return of the Jedi (1983)- Oh for the love of Star Wars! The early movies will always remind me of my grandma’s house. Bringing your lightsaber to school is cool!
Surf Ninjas (1993)- OK this one is easy, all 4-11 year old boys are ninjas and if you doubt that, you will be punched in the junk. My brother and I watched this movie with our feet flying through the air as we attacked the furniture.
The Sandlot (1993)- Everything about the camaraderie and shenanigans played out in The Sandlot brings me back to summers spent with my cousins at the beach.
Liar Liar (1997)- I was going to list great Jim Carey movies but realized that was a stupid idea, my list would be never-ending. Liar Liar is my favorite of them all.
Billy Madison (1995)- I watched this movie every day, all summer, every summer in the late 90's. Adam Sandler may not be the comedic god that he once was, but those old comedies still hold up.
Mallrats (1995)- Kevin Smith was the first director who meant something to me, made me think about the filmmaking process, and left me yearning for his next movie.
Fight Club (1999)- If you open up your mind and look inside what will you find? Severe beatings, chemical burns, plots to destroy capitalist America! Nah, probably just IKEA furniture and soap recipes.
Cowboy Bebop (2001)- Good anime has always been on my radar and Bebop is the best. The music from this movie is in my head all the time. Cool, moody, intriguing bounty hunters in a futuristic crime drama.
Lost in Translation (2003)- A surreal look at relationships and how people grow and subvert the expectations of what love means. Definitely a movie that made me think about how I want exist.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)- Harry Potter is my life blood (being called Dumblegus and all, it's hard to tell). That being said, I was a hater until I saw Prisoner. I have read each book so many times now the pages are tattered. It is the staple of my holiday season and the one thing I most want to pass on to my children.
Wet Hot American Summer (2001)- The Stella guys: David, Michael, and Michael, changed the way I see comedy and how I discern humor, they are truly dumb-dumb genius-heads.
Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (2001)- A fetishistic teen in the grips of a fantasy universe hungry for adventure!
Dan in Real Life (2007)-The idea that something so small can turn your entire life upside down exactly when you need it most.
Drive (2011)-It’s Hotline Miami the movie! I need not say more.
The Way Way Back (2013)- I am a sucker for coming of age stories and Sam Rockwell; this has both and it soooo good.
Short Term 12 (2013)- I have worked in some form of support for people with disabilities and/or emotional trauma for years. Short Term 12 felt like a mix of my youth and present life mixed in a big emotional bowl. Don’t watch this movie if you don’t want to be a better person. "Wait, what?" Exactly.
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)- Sci-Fi fans all over the world rejoice; this is the rebirth of awesome science fiction grounded in personal relationships and hi-jinx. Plus, a foul mouthed raccoon with guns and bombs! If this world is even a tiny bit fair then I will be adding the new Star Wars Movie to this list next year.
and my favorite movie....
Garden State (2004)-Coming of age and seeing life as an adventure allows you to laugh in the face of tragedy. This is by far my favorite movie of all time and will forever feel so great to relive.
The Goonies (1985) Baby Ruth!
Aladdin (1992) The game was better
Wayne’s World (1992) Party on Garth.
The Mighty Ducks (1992) Why hockey was and is cool
Empire Records (1995) It’s Rex Manning Day #mcm Mark
Good Will Hunting (1997) I won’t say the thing about apples.
Half-Baked (1998) Butternuts!
Point Break (1991) on tv like everyday, not sure if great or smashed into my brain
Spirited Away (2001) ahhhh Miyazaki
Punch Drunk Love (2002) The joy of pudding. Sandler at his rarest and finest
The Rules of Attraction (2002) best most disturbing great times
28 Days Later (2002) an actual good zombie movie
Tenacious D and the Pick of Destiny (2004) Zanzabar!
I Heart Huckabees (2004) #!*;#%!= What am I doing?
Life Aquatic (2004) Stevezi.
Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005) You poop into my butt and then I will poop that poop into your butt, back and forth, forever.
A Scanner Darkly (2006) It’s gonna take a hundred thousand hours.
Oldboy (2006) Daughters lol
SuperBad (2007) Panama!
District 9 (2007) Wikus Van De Merwe, best name ever.
Our next list comes courtesy of a part time contributor to our site, Vik Azeem.
- Pulp Fiction (1994)- It is not a movie full of likeable character or intricate plot points, but what it has better than any movie ever, dare I say, is crisp, invigorating dialogue that is unbeatable. Quentin uses words like a painter deals with oils.
- American History X (1998)- For my money, the best movie made about racism.
- Terminator (1984)- Everybody loves the action and the science fiction elements, but what makes it stand out is the love story between Sarah Conner and Kyle Reese. Better than the sequel I say.
- The Godfather (1972)- Probably the best all around move on my list.
- The Princess Bride (1987)- "As You Wish", this is my favorite romantic comedy of all time.
- Die Hard (1988)- I have to call it the best pure action movie of all time, and for me the most quotable outside of Predator.
- They Live (1988)- I saw this as a kid and it has always stuck with me. Roddy Piper and Keith David engage in the best fight scene of all time.
- Rocky (1976)- I'm a sucker for the underdog story. Rocky stands the test of time, and Apollo Creed is all class. I only didn't like part 4 because Drago kills Apollo. "If he dies, he dies."
- Menace 2 Society (1993)- I love all the old hood movies. Boyz n the Hood, New Jack City, Juice, I grew up on them (although I didn't grow up in the hood). Menace I feel is the best of the genre with a very powerful ending.
And the number one movie in my world...
- Halloween (1978)- The greatest horror film of all time which is my favorite genre. Low budget made up for with great camera techniques, good lighting, scary atmosphere, and solid acting.
Ben Shaw, artist of Ethan Stone P.I., gave us a list of his favorite movies, too!
- Judge Dredd (2012)- Karl Urban kills it as the Judge. This was so much better than the Stallone version.
- Akira (1988)- First off, it took Katshuiro Otomo a decade to create this. It was 2000 + pages for the manga alone! A studio of artists were hired to create the manga, with some artists hired just to do perspective and things like speed lines. When it was turned into a movie, they didn't lose anything in translation. It is the gold standard for all anime before and after.
- Nausicaa (1984)- when it comes to modern anime, Nausicaa is the grand-daddy of them all. It was the first anime I had ever seen. I spent the next 20 years trying to find this movie available in America. Disney ended up getting the international rights and finally re-released it in 2005 with the proper English translation.
- The Matrix (1999)- Keanu Reeves, try as he might, could not ruin this movie. Reality is all a simulation because robots are using humans as batteries? Dude, what an awesome idea! This movie was unique and started the 360 slow-mo turn that just about every movie has copied since.
- Nacho Libre (2006)- I love this movie so much, it's almost absurd. It might be one of the most quotable movies of all time. I saw it in the theaters and snuck in burritos. That's commitment.
- Blade (1998)- Great adaptation, took the character seriously for what he should be and made him even more awesome than people expected. This movie started the comic book to movie craze. Every single one of you needs to thank Wesley Snipes...but be careful. I hear he can be sensitive.
- Dude, Where's My Car? (2000)- It's so stupid you have to like it. Pure unadulterated fun.
- 7 Samurai (1954)- Do you like movies? Were they made after 1954? Then it was influenced by Kurosawa's masterpiece. If you haven't seen it, but you've seen the Disney movie A Bug's Life...it's essentially the same plot.
- Halo: Forward Unto Dawn (2012)- What a cool movie. It's a series on Netflix, based on the Halo video game franchise, and it's from the perspective of new officer cadets. Like the video game Halo: ODST, these recruits are not part of the Spartan program that created Master Chief; they're humans trying to make it through the academy when they are overwhelmed by an alliance of alien zealots.
- Kung Fu Hustle & Shaolin Soccer (2001 & 2004)- Both of these movies are directed by and star Stephen Chow and they are amazingly creative films. I love a good martial arts movie and these are both great.
My favorite movie of all time is......
- Bruce Lee (1940-1973)- Yes, I know Bruce Lee is an actor and not a movie but shut up. I'm an artist, I can do whatever I want...MAN! Enter the Dragon is amazing but more so...the 36 minutes that Bruce shot of Game of Death had more story than any movie I've ever seen
We asked our readers if they wanted to give us some of their favorite movies. Lindsay Kaye gave us a pretty strong list.
"OK these are in no particular order. The only one that is in its actual place is my number 1. Also I'd like to add that it is very difficult to put top 15 movies in general, because I can't fit them all, if it were based on a particular genre then easy. But, here's some that came to mind that are all in my 'favorites'."
15. Forrest Gump (1994)- Who doesn't like that one?
14. Mr. Hollands Opus (1995)- Beautiful beautiful movie
13. There Will Be Blood (2007)- Daniel day Lewis is a flippin genius.
12. Sin City (2005)- It's ahhhmazing. Still need to see the second one.
11. Gangs of New York (2002)- It's raw and brutal and awesome.
10. Shawshank Redemption (1994) It's wonderful.
9. A Bronx Tale (1993)- Do I need to say why?
8. Vanilla Sky (2001)- I like weird movies that make you think.
7. The Breakfast Club (1985)- Grew up with it. Loved it..wanted to marry bender back in the day..
6. Batman & The Dark Knight (1989 & 2009)- Michael Keaton and Jack Nicholson; that's a classic. But while I'm at it Dark Knight topped them all so far and not a movie but the new show Gotham.. Uh, wow!?! I'm a Batman lover.
5: Fried Green Tomatoes (1991)- After all, I do have a vagina.
4.The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)- Determination of that magnitude is inspirational as hell.
3. Instinct (1999)- Anthony Hopkins is my all time favorite actor, and it's hard to pin point my favorite movie of his, but after careful thought.. I'm sticking to that one. As a whole the movie definitely sits in my top 5 somewhere.
2. Pulp Fiction (1994)- Obviously
1. Number one all time favorite movie I love most is...
True Romance (1991)- Anyone that doesn't like that movie, cannot be my friend.
Alejandra Knez, a hard working nurse and mom of 2, shares her list with us.
"I COULD have packed this full of these deep thought provoking films and documentaries, but decided to be honest instead. Here's my list."
True Romance (1991)
Leon the Professional (1994)
Half The Sky (2012)
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
Garden State (2004)
Kelly's Heroes (1970)
Pride and Prejudice (2005)
and my favorite movie of all time is....
The Fifth Element (1997)
John Crowther, lawyer by day, comic book fan by night, and general bad ass all day long, gave us his list, too!
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
They Live (1988)
Apocalypse Now (1979)
Twilight Zone (1983)
Blade Runner (1982)
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Star Wars (1977)
Death Race 2000 (1975)
My favorite movie definitely has to be...
The Dark Crystal (1982)-I loved (and still love) the dark undertones and how Jim Henson was able to bring the puppets to life. Really a masterful work
Michael Swanson, sound engineer extraordinaire, gave us another strong list.
"I like stories of believable characters, broken realities and science fiction analogies for modern day issues."
Starship Troopers (1997)
A Scanner Darkly (2006)
Strange Days (1995)
Reality Bites (1994)
The Matrix (1999)
Total Recall (1989)
Back to the Future (1985)
Gattaca (1997)- Gattaca is appealing and interesting on a variety of levels for me. There is the over-arching theme of overcoming innate disadvantages in an ever-changing, ever-evolving world. Overcoming false limits placed on you by socio-economic status and simply trying to keep up with technology. But more subtle; I love the setting. A near-future when genetic selection is common and space travel is not available to the public, but is still a common occurrence. It's a setting of hope, despite the difficulties it creates for those left out.
We got a late submission to our list of fools, Beau Fearing. True to my word, if you send us a list, I will add it to the site! A little background; years ago when Frank worked at Blockbuster, Beau was his manager. Shenanigans while at work were plentiful.
- The Crow (1994)- Brandon Lee will always and forever be the one and only Eric Draven
- Boondock Saints (1999)-What every law abiding citizen has thought of
- Shawshank Redemption (1994)- Morgan Freeman. Enough said
- Army of Darkness (1992)- "This is my boomstick" got me in trouble when I yelled it in the junior high gymnasium lol
- Blazing Saddles (1974)- Favorite thing to watch with you and Ed at Blockbuster
- The Princess Bride (1987)- The true romance movie. Plus my wife bought the DVD version our first Christmas together
- Second Hand Lions (2003)- great movie with a great lesson.
- Backdraft (1991)- As a volunteer firefighter smoke eaters are legends. "You go. We go"
- Fireproof (2008)- I could watch this with my wife a hundred times over
- Vanishing Point (1997)- The will of a man to be there for his family is the strongest resolve
- Transformers (1986)- I am a grown man and can admit that when I heard the voice of Optimus Prime in the theater I did shed a tear.
- Tombstone (1993)- Can't count how many times I Watched this with my dad when it came out
- Phantom of the Opera (2004)- Gerard Butler is one of my favorite actors from this performance
- Memphis Belle (1990)- Just a wonderful story.
- Sherlock Holmes (2009)- Robert Downey Jr hit the mark on this one. I know many weren't fond of this version of the classic, but the chemistry between Jude Law and RDJ was spectacular throughout.
But my true number 1 film of all time would have to be
- I Now pronounce you Chuck and Larry (2007)- Beneath the comedic nature of this film lies deeper meaning. As a proud father of three, and a grandfather, I encourage them all to be proud of who they are and the choices they make. Even if they want to be butterfly boy. Plus Adam Sandler and Kevin James are my top two comedians
UPDATE February 26th, 2015
GGR welcomed a new writer to our staff earlier this year, Andy Bartsch. We invited him to give us his top movies as well.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)- This was the first movie I ever saw in theaters. I didn’t understand how a movie theater worked and I remembering asking to rewind parts I liked and not being sure why they wouldn’t (I asked them to rewind A LOT of moments). Like most youth in the late 80s, early 90s, I became a fan of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael, and I still am to this day. Every time I watch this movie, there’s something new that blows my mind. The New York atmosphere. The incredible animatronics. The fight choreography (in those crazy suits, no less)! The Turtles personalities were spot on (although I personally prefer the more smart-ass version of Raph from the 1987 cartoon as apposed to the angry-for-no-reason version of the original comics). To this day, I say it’s one of the best, and most overlooked, comic book movies ever made. It’s a shame the sequels got progressively worse over time.
Jaws (1975)- The original Summer blockbuster. The real trendsetter. What can I say about Spielberg’s classic that no one else has? It’s a classic for a reason.
Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)- This is movie is so brilliantly funny, I give it the cure to a bad day. Anything Monty Python related is brilliant and hilarious, but this is probably the Pythons at their peak. It's so popular that there's a Monty Python and the Holy Grail Ale...not gonna lie...I want to try this. Feel free to send me some.
Mark of Zorro (1940)- One of the first superhero movies ever. A remake of the 1920 silent original, this film ups the ante with more story and harder hitting action. Tyrone Power is charming as hell as Diego Vega and his better known half, Zorro. The fight scenes are fast paced and entertaining and the entire film is filled with lovable characters.
John Carpenter’s The Thing (1982)- It took me several tries but this movie really grew on me. It is one of the most uniquely disturbing flicks I’ve ever seen. It also happens to a really good mystery flick. No matter how many times I watch it I still can’t wrap my head over some of the unresolved plot details. Granted, they aren’t supposed to be resolved and left open to interpretation, but that’s one of the many things I love about this movie. There are amazing actors in this movie including Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley (diabeetus), and one of my favorite badasses of all time, Keith David. The real stars of the flick are the special makeup effects by Rob Botin. They are proof positive that CGI can’t replace old fashioned hard work and creativity.
Superman The Movie (1978)- As of right now, the best representation of Superman is on film. This has hit every element needed right on the head. Everything is simply iconic. When I think Superman, I think of John Williams’ amazing score. I think of the late, great Christopher Reeve, who not only pulls of Superman perfectly, he remained a hero and strong symbol of hope for many years even after his tragic accident. And to me, that’s what Superman stands for in a single word: “Hope”.
Halloween (1978)- Halloween is my favorite holiday of the year and I try to make it a tradition to watch an entry of the series every year. This film just oozes Halloween atmosphere and there’s a reason why this film spawned so many imitators.
Forest Gump (1994)- I have no idea why but when this movie came out on video, I BEGGED my parents to buy it for me. Despite the fact I was way too young to understand it, my parents bought it for me, and I’m very thankful they did. I learned an awful lot from Forest Gump. I learned about American history, I learned a lot about classic rock, I learned a lot about love, I learned a lot about humanity. Regardless of all that, Forest Gump has the perfect blend of drama and comedy. I can watch this movie at any time and still love everything about it (although honestly, over the years, I have grown to hate Jenny).
The Mist (2007)- I got a free ticket for this movie and knew nothing about it other than it’s based on a Stephen King short. I looked up the trailer and what I saw was what the Silent Hill movie SHOULD HAVE been! Frank Darabont (the guy who’s responsible for bringing The Walking Dead to television) brings a ton of atmospheric terror to the screen. I won’t spoil the ending but it seems to make or break the movie for audiences. But me, I give the movie credit. This is one of the most ballsiest endings ever put on film.
Guyver 2: Dark Hero (1994) ’m not ashamed to admit it, I F*CKING LOVE GUYVER! It’s my favorite anime/manga. Sadly this films predecessor was insanely campy and forgettable. This sequel makes up for it many times over, with better writing, acting, amazing creature effects and impressive might choreography. It’s worth noting the star, David Hayter, has gone on to voice Solid Snake in the Metal Gear Solid video game series, and is now a very successful screenwriter.
And...my #1 Movie of all time....
12 Angry Men (1957)- You would think a movie about jury duty would be about as entertaining as actually doing jury duty. However, through the use of great writing, incredible acting, brilliant directing and camera work, this classic is the fist film to come to mind when someone asks me what my favorite film is. It’s also worth pointing out that there is a 1997 remake directed by “Exorcist” director William Friedkin. Even though it’s almost a word-for-word remake, I sometimes find watching the same film material by another group of talented actors very interesting.
In compiling this list (a list of lists if you will), there weren't nearly as many crossovers as I thought there would be (Back to the Future was on 3 of our lists, so was Pulp Fiction and then a ton of movies were on 2 of our lists) but overall, we have a lot of variety. Did we leave any of your favorites out? Please let us know! We will gladly add your list to the article!