Sooo a good friend of mine (and former costar, yeah House of Purgatory!), challenged me awhile back to list 15 movies that have stuck with me. Not necessarily a favorites list, but films that hold special meaning to me. I loved the idea so here they are, folks, in no particular order:
I'd have a hard time choosing between Braveheart and the next film for my all-time favorite. Showing my age here, but I still remember going to the Thorntown Library to rent it on VHS, (two tapes!). It has everything - gritty battle scenes, love, and even comedy. If I could make one film, this is what I would aspire to.
I struggle to recall a scene in any other movie that lives up to this. Still gives me shivers and that amped up feeling of 'Oh, this dude is gonna die.' Russell Crowe is all that is man.
3. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES (1990)
This movie immediately leapt to mind. It's the first movie I remember seeing in theaters and the trip was made doubly awesome because my older cousin took me. Mom will always remember this movie as the one I watched, then hit rewind (yes, showing my age again), to rewatch. It's often pointed out to me I frequently say "awesome." I blame you, Turtles. Still think of this scene every time I order pizza.
For those who didn't know me as a kid and teenager, I was the shortest student among my classmates. In fact, I will always associate a part of my childhood with this film because some of my classmates used to call me 'Peck' on the playground. Yep. I took it as a badge of honor because Willow Ufgood was so freakin' cool and brave. Also, who doesn't love them some Mad Martigan and Sorsha?
5. THE NEVERENDING STORY
Oooh, where to begin with this one? The Gamork gave me night terrors, I begged Mom to legally switch my name to Atreyu, and I still hold out hope Falcor will one day swoop down and give me a chance to fly. Also, this is the first time I remember a movie ripping my heart out. ;)
6. THE DARK CRYSTAL & LABYRINTH
Okay, so I cheated by including two movies here. But hey, they're both Jim Henson. Lay off. My Dad often hid around corners and pretended he was a Skeksis to scare the crap out of me. Oh, and tell me you fantasy lovers out there didn't have this song memorized?
7. THE HOBBIT (Rankin/Bass animated version - 1977)
Showing my age again, but I even had the vinyl of this. Crazy as it may seem, as a kid, I listened to the riddles between Gollum and Bilbo at night to fall asleep to. I don't care what anyone says, this 1977 version blows Peter Jackson's current Hobbit trilogy out of the water.
Are you seeing a trend of fantasy movies here? This movie scared me time and again, yet I always came back for more, (still do). I dunno know about you, but I'm ready for films like this to make a comeback. Also, Tim Curry delivers in this film. Wow.
9. MRS. DOUBTFIRE
Typing the name of this movie alone made me crack a grin. Love this movie on so many levels and is where I learned to do so many voices. In fact, my family used to give me the phone when telemarketers would call our land-line home phone and let me riff stunts like these.
10. INDIANA JONES (TRILOGY)
Yes, I put trilogy. Spielberg and Lucas helped craft my childhood with wonderful memories, but they screwed up big time with Indiana Jones & The Kingdom of Crystal Crap. Anyway, what boy didn't love Indiana Jones movies? Womanizer, scoundrel, and hero, I swear I would name my future son Indy if the wife would allow it. James Bond can have his crazy long action sequences. I'll take mine like this.
11. DUMB & DUMBER
Still one of the best comedies out there. Incredibly difficult to narrow it down to a fave scene, but here's mine.
12. STAR WARS (Episodes IV-VI)
I mean...you had to know these would be on here. Wish Lucas would allow the original versions to be released without all the extra junk shoved in, but hey, I have some fantastic memories of watching these three films. Tell me this scene isn't one of the best. I dare you.
I feel like with every father/son relationship, there comes a time when the young bull receives some acknowledgement he's worthy (or perhaps old enough) to join the clan of all things manly. This was the film for me. Mom was out of town for the night. Dad and I were trying to find a movie to watch when he busted this one out. "Don't tell your Mom," he said. And in that moment, I knew I had become a man...(who wasn't allowed to go crying to Mom if the movie scared me.) On a related note, does James Cameron make a bad film? The answer is no. There's some strong language in these clips, but I still quote "Game Over, Man" regularly. Well, mostly. (Tee-hee). And even though this one comes from Alien 3, it's stuck with me since the first time I heard it. Love Charles S. Dutton.
Again, I was pretty short growing up, but loved sports. Movies like this made me feel like I could compete. If I learned anything from Rudy, it's that passion and hard work can take you further than talent. The end of the movie is the favorite scene everyone talks about most, but I love this one.
15. FIELD OF DREAMS
"How can you not be romantic about baseball?" Maybe the inclusion here is the Hoosier in me missing the cornfields, or you could argue it's the father/son storyline. Whatever the reason, this movie rocks. I dare any guy who loves sports to say he didn't tear up watching this film. On an unrelated note, I'm asked a lot about what it's like to be an author/where ideas come from. Here's what it feels like sometimes.
16. FLAGS OF OUR FATHERS
Okay, so I needed another one. Sweet sixteen sounded pretty good to me. Whew. I suppose I should've put this closer to the top: the first big film set I was ever on. It's crazy watching the trailer and remembering I was not only there some of those days, but had the privilege to hang out with the actors afterward and meet Mr. Eastwood. If you've never been an extra on a film set, give it a whirl. You never know where it might lead and it's a blast!
Hit me up in the comments section, people. Did any of these films also resonate with you? Thanks for the challenge, Danny! I had a blast with this post! :)
Author. Actor. Rascal.