My 30 lists of ten things continues with 10 movies everyone should see. Once again, in no particular order:
- Boondock Saints 1 & 2 – On the surface, these films are about comic book style, vigilante justice. Two brothers seeking vengeance against the criminals plaguing their quiet Southie community. But there actually is a message buried in all those spent shell casings. The opening scene is of the McManus twins leaving their church as the priest is talking about a murder in the neighborhood: And I am reminded, on this holy day, of the sad story of Kitty Genovese. As you all may remember, a long time ago, almost thirty years ago, this poor soul cried out for help time and time again, but no person answered her calls. Though many saw, no one so much as called the police. They all just watched as Kitty was being stabbed to death in broad daylight. They watched as her assailant walked away. Now, we must all fear evil men. But there is another kind of evil which we must fear most, and that is the indifference of good men.
- Harry Potter series – Okay so I’m a total Harry Potter nerd but there is so much more to this series beyond just the wizarding world. The books made reading cool again. But to actually watch these characters grow and mature on screen really hammers the story home. To watch all that Harry (and his friends) go through over the years and to see how much of their lives were spent doing it, is pretty chilling, really.
- What Dreams May Come – This movie is horribly depressing, deep, in-the-bone sadness through 90% of the whole thing, and it’s a fantasy but for me, it is the most realistic “chick flick” I have ever seen. It even follows the formula – Boy meets girl, boy and girl fall in love, boy does something dumb, girl hates him for it, boy redeems himself, boy and girl live happily ever after. Except the something dumb he does is die and she hates him so much for it that she kills herself. But he went to Heaven when he died but suicides go to Hell. So, the logical answer is for him to go into Hell to get her to forgive herself. The greatest romantic story, possibly ever.
- Nightmare Before Christmas – It’s innovative. It is my understanding that this is the first full-length stop motion animation movie ever. There were short films before this but never before had someone put in the work required to bring to life a full-length in this method. And it’s an incredible story about acceptance but also about always seeking new knowledge.
- Push – I don’t know why you should watch this, you just should. It’s fanfreakingtastic. It was all I could think about for a week after watching it. It’s all about people who screw with nature to create new things but then fear those things and try to destroy them. Kind of a loose modernization of Frankenstein. Kind of.
- Wristcutters: A Love Story – Another “addictive” movie. Like “Push,” it really got into my head and it was all I could think about. Mostly, it was just very beautifully done, I think. Essentially, suicides go to this place that is very much like the living world – they work, they have “friends,” they go to bars, they listen to music – they just can’t smile. I don’t think it is a question of not being allowed to smile, I think they physically cannot smile. Zia discovers that the girl he killed himself over was so upset about his death she killed herself too so he goes looking for her. And I won’t say anymore to avoid spoilers but it really was a great story.
- Rocky Horror Picture Show – Because it’s amazing. Should be ’nuff said but wouldn’t you like to understand all the references made by your friends who have seen it? If your bestie’s favorite expression is “Damnit, Janet!” you will understand why after watching RHPS.
- Dead Poets Society – There were actually a half metric ton of these movies that came out around the same time. DPS, School Ties, With Honors…There was another I used to watch on cable in college but never caught the name of it and there weren’t any recognizable actors… I digress. The point is, with all these other films sharing similar concepts, DPS really has come out head and shoulders above the rest.
- The Goonies – In the same vein of thought as RHPS… wouldn’t you like to know what the Truffle Shuffle is, the importance of Rocky Road ice cream and why Goonies never die? I cannot think of another movie that captivated so many people so easily. When I was in college, living in the dorms, if The Goonies was on cable you could hear it coming from nearly every room on the floor. Everyone loved the Goonies.
- The John Hughes library – Basically I decided to make this one last and make it one “movie” because top ten John Hughes movies could be it’s own entry. I think everyone over the age of 20 has a favorite, many of us more than one. For me it’s Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (which has been one of my favorite movies for as long as I can remember… I was probably 7 or 8 when I saw it for the first time) and Pretty in Pink. I will forever wonder how life…like real life, off screen… would have been different if Andie had chosen Ducky in the end. I really think it would have made a difference in the real world. Maybe not one that we’d notice; it might not have brought about world peace but I’m certain things would have been different. That’s just how important the John Hughes movies were to people.
And that is my list of the ten movies everyone should watch. I know there are more but I still stand behind these choices.