Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Because I Really Needed to Make a Dickensian Justification for My Taste in Film

The Rules: Don't take too long to think about it. 15 films that you've seen that will always stick with you. Take no more than 15 minutes to decide.

Standard disclaimer: this is not necessarily a list of “favorites” or “bests.” I suspect that this meme stands a very real chance of becoming “let me recount to you my childhood favorites, with some geekery thrown in for good measure.” Oh well, can’t be helped I suppose. Also, I refuse to stick to the concise, just-the-facts-ma’am-list format. That’s not how I work, baby. So, justifications ahoy. You’ve been warned.

1. Let’s just get this out of the way right now: “The Princess Bride” Loved it passionately as a child, still quote it frequently as an adult. I’ve read the book, I fangirl Inigo. I have “Storybook Love,” the film’s hard to find love theme, on my iPod. Don’t mess with my PB, kk? That would be a classic blunder, in line with getting involved in a land war in Asia or going against a Sicilian when death is on the line. ;P

2. “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” Wait, what? Yes. Yes, I have a guilty, guilty affection for this movie. Sure, Kevin Costner is a terrible Robin Hood (even worse than Russell Crowe). Its okay, I have Cary Elwes and Errol Flynn for that. This thing contains the pure, unadulterated awesome of Alan Rickman hamming it up like whoa and like DAMN as the Sheriff. And Christian Slater being the sexiest scamp of a Will Scarlett ever. Yum. Also? Morgan Freeman. And pretty pretty costumes and ponies. And did I mention how awesome Alan Rickman is? Because he’s pretty awesome. I wore a literal hole into the VHS of this movie in middle school. And I will admit that the Brian Adams song totally hit my mushy girl buttons when I was a preteen.

3. “Army of Darkness” This is a terrible movie. It is 100% synthetic rot your soul and mind film spray cheese. AND I WILL EAT THE WHOLE DAMN CAN EVERYTIME. Why? Do you really need to ask? Bruce Campbell is hilarious, sexy, and damn good at cocking a shotgun. This movie is stupid quotable, and just so ridiculous and bad that it actually comes close to awesome approaching from the wrong way.

4. “Hot Fuzz/Run Fatboy Run” Okay, I’m cheating. That’s two movies. But they’re both Simon Pegg, and I love them equally, and this is my list, so jog on. There are so many awesome little things about “Hot Fuzz”, and it’s still laugh out loud funny to me, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. I like it better than “Shaun of the Dead”. That may be blasphemy; I don’t care. “Run Fatboy Run” is achingly sweet and geeky, and has quickly become one of my favorite rom-coms of all time. But really, they had me at the shoplifting tranny.

5. “How to Steal a Million” This thing is a romp, and the clothes are gorgeous. You can’t really go wrong with Audrey. The film’s central crime is ludicrously implausible, but it’s so fun to watch, I can’t be arsed to care.

6. “Star Wars” The original trilogy, before Lucas decided he was clever and started pasting bullshit CG ‘improvements’ in and murdered the teddy bear picnic HEA of “Return.” I refuse to explain this one. If you don’t get it already, nothing I can say will help.

7. “Kiss Me, Kate” My absolute favorite musical. It has so many wonderful features: theater, play-within-a-play narrative, Cole Porter, Bob Fosse, “Brush Up Your Shakespeare”, and of course, Howard Keel. That man’s voice was spectacular. Also, the costumes are pretty sweet.

8. “Strictly Ballroom” Ballroom dancing, tango, and Aussies. What’s not to like? This is by no means a cinematic masterpiece, but it is kooky and fun, and I loved it in High School. It pleases my inner dance nerd.

9. “Pride & Prejudice” It should go without saying that I mean the old BBC version with Colin Firth, not that abomination starring Keira Knightley. Pitch perfect Austen-to-screen. Love the book, but this movie is a good P&P fix without the major commitment of reading time. Also, Colin Firth? YES.

10. “Krull” This is one of my geek cred movies. It isn’t good. I haven’t watched it in at least a decade. But the recollection of the movie sticks with me. Fire Mares, the Glaive, and young Liam Neeson? Good call. Promotional "Krull" themed weddings? Not so much. This is kind of a rite of passage film for me; you don’t have to like it, but until you’ve seen it, you can’t call yourself a fantasy/sci-fi movie nerd. Period.

11. “The Goonies” If you don’t like “The Goonies," I don’t want to talk to you. This is another one of those stupid fun movies I’ve loved since childhood. Super quotable, and just a good time all around.

12. “Young Frankenstein” So funny. Dammit Mel Brooks, why don’t you make ‘em like this anymore? I dare you to watch this movie and not laugh. I DARE YOU. But bear in mind; even if you succeed in doing so, I will refuse to believe you’ve managed it.

13. “Surf’s Up” Okay, seriously? I’m comfortable betting that more than half of this movie’s box office came directly from my pocket. Ev made me see this cartoon A MILLION TIMES. It was cute the first few times. Now, the thing is burned into my retinas. I guess it’s cute. I really like that they did a lot of the voice work in groups, with improv and actual actor-to-actor interaction. I just wish Shia LaBoeuf weren’t in it.Additionally, this is one of the funniest scenes ever. Seriously, I love this sea urchin:

14. “Willow” I told you beforehand this would turn into a list of my childhood favorites. Look, I don’t care if “Willow” is the poor man’s Lord of the Rings knock off. This is the first movie I can remember seeing in theaters, and I have a visceral recall of how shit scared I was of the Death Dogs. I love Val Kilmer in this, bad wig and all, and Warwick Davis is adorable. The shot of him on his white pony at the end still warms the cockles of my heart. So suck it, Tolkien. “Willow” is awesome, dated special effects and hackneyed plot be damned.

15. “Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang” Yeah, I drank the Kool-aid. I love me some Robert Downey Jr. And c’mon, this is a good movie. Funny, a little bit clever. I think of this movie like my morning latte of films. Familiar, invigorating, a good pick-me-up, and always satisfying.


  1. "Damn all Moors and Saracens. Not for their ungodly ways Master Robin would never have left. (Beat) What manner of name is Azeem? Irish? Cornish...?"


    Ah, Robin Hood, you never get old.

    "Fuck me, he cleared it!"

  2. Yeah, I could've written a whole post on why I love that movie.