Friday, January 27, 2012

Stop and Watch

A topic of conversation came up with some friends (again) recently, and it is one that has come up periodically with different people over the years in similar flavors. Basically, the question is this: what movies will you always stop and watch some of if you flip past them while changing channels on the television. Here is what came readily to mind for me (in no particular order). Most are obvious, but some are less so...
  • The Hunt for Red October - Still the best Tom Clancy movie. Played to death on cable but I will watch some every time. "Vassily... One ping. One ping only"
  • Terminator 1 or 2. You can't beat liquid bad guy...
  • Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. The original is of course a classic, but Last Crusade was the best of the lot for me. I choose to pretend the 2nd (Indy and the Incredibly Annoying Kid) never happened.
  • Star Wars, but only the 1st or 2nd (episodes 4 and 5). No fighting teddy bears, and the whole second set just never soaked in nearly the same way as the first trilogy. So much CGI stuff was going on that I think they lost the people, and with it a lot of the reason to care. And they didn't have Harrison Ford.
  • Raising Arizona. Hilarious lesser known movie.
  • The Princess Bride - I had read this book in college shortly before they made the movie of it, and it is both a great movie and a faithful adaptation of an excellent little book. "Inconceivable!" "You keep using that word... I don't think it means what you think it means."
  • The Rock - Sean Connery on Alcatraz. I'm not even sure why, as this isn't a great movie... I think it's just the Alcatraz part.
  • Any of the Lord of the Rings films. Favorite books from childhood, and fantastic movie versions. Different, but great.
  • Roman Holiday or Sabrina - I fall in love with Audrey Hepburn every time.
  • Most but not all of the Star Trek movies. I was not a big fan of the original show, but loved the Next Generation. Most of the movies are very good. Older crew is a campy good time, and the NG crew is terrific.
  • Gladiator. Strength and honor. "On my command, unleash hell".
  • The Usual Suspects - Kevin Spacey alone is worth watching.
  • The Firm - Not a big Tom Cruise fan, but this is the best movie adaptation of the best John Grisham book.
  • Apollo 13 - A Ron Howard masterpiece.
  • Jaws - There are still moments of breathtaking suspense in this for me despite having seen it countless times. "We're gonna need a bigger boat."
  • Pulp Fiction - This is an odd one for me, because when I first saw it I thought it was overrated (vastly overrated actually). I don't think so anymore. I do still think Tarrantino as a whole is overrated, but not this film, which I now find to be hypnotic.
  • Alien and Aliens - The first was classic suspense, implying mainly but not showing, while the second one will always remind me of the summer in college where I worked the grounds crew at Paxon Hollow Golf Club and the guys repeated lines from this endlessly. I think at one point in time I could recite the movie line for line...
  • You rarely see the old 1970's and early 1980's James Bond films shown anymore, but I still love them. You Only Live Twice is still my favorite. But Thunderball, Goldfinger and all the others of that era are all great. "Do you expect me to talk?". "No Mr. Bond, I expect you to die."
  • A couple of guilty pleasure Ridley Scott films: Kingdom of Heaven and Robin Hood. If you ignore the historical... um... liberties... these are a pair of enjoyable period pieces in an era of history that I love. be Continued...

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