Saturday, May 17, 2008

Flick picks

At the suggestion of regular contributor Priguy, we're going to have a little lighthearted weekend exercise in the world of film. All of us have movies that we like, but that most other people find horrible, or films that we have in our personal collections that we would be ashamed to tell anyone about. So let's hear what your guilty pleasures are when it comes to film. I'll start off with mine, and I'd also like you to tell me your favorite all-time film. Also, if you, like Priguy, ever have an idea for a discussion topic on the blog, feel free to e-mail me at I can't promise anything, but I'll certainly consider your proposals. Now, to my list of shame:
1) "Ode to Billy Joe" (Yes, it's a sappy movie, but back in the day when we were still changing TV channels by hand, Glynnis O'Connor was "the bomb," at least in my book.
2) "Rich in Love" (Another sappy, sentimental movie, but it's got great South Carolina Lowcountry locales, and in my mind I'm always goin' to (South) Carolina. My wife hates this movie so much that she threatened to divorce me if I ever watch it in her presence again.)
3) "Milo and Otis" (A cute kids movie about the adventures of a dog and cat. Thanks to my now-grown daughter, I've seen it, oh, 376 times. But I like it. Go figure.)
4) "The Sandlot" (See above, just substitute my now-grown son for my now-grown daughter)
5) "Red Dawn" (An almost unintentionally funny film about a bunch of kids counterattacking against Soviet invaders in the rural U.S. But Patrick Swayze (say a prayer for the guy) kicked some Soviet ass. Can you say "Wolverines!"?)
6) "Bachelor Party" (A rude, crude, senseless film featuring one of the earliest movie appearances by Tom Hanks. And what's your answer to this question? - "Debbie or the car?")
7) "License to Drive" (You get both Coreys - Feldman and Haim - and teenage hijinks. Yeah, it's stupid, but the scene with the drunken driver singing Sinatra, by itself, makes the movie worth watching.)
And on the opposite side of the ledger, a movie I'm not ashamed to say is my all-time favorite: "Sideways" - You get sex, wine and golf. 'Nuff said.



Blogger PRIguy said...

Several movies come to mind, but even as I write this, I know that there are going to be more. If that happens, I'll post again.
I have to agree with Brant on "License to Drive." Along with the Coreys, I believe it featured the underrated Elizabeth Shue, and contains one of my favorite lines ever in a movie, when the boy is at the Department of Motor Vehicles. He's caught in a lie or something and the clerk, with the camera inches from her ugly face, says in no uncertain terms, "Don't f**k with the Department of Motor Vehicles."

My choices:

"E.T. The Extraterrestrial." Like Brant, I have my son to thank for that. We watched it twice a day for about eight months.

"The Girl Next Door," an inane piece of drivel featuring the inimitable Elisha Cuthbert. I find her irresistible, particularly in this role that really embodies the fantasies of many, many men. She plays a porn star trying to go legit, and the boy next door falls in love with her.

"The Jungle Book." The original, from the sixties. My son got me the 30th anniversary edition for a gift in 1998, and I was hooked. My dad took my brothers and me to see it in the theaters in 1968, but I didn't fully appreciate the wonder of this movie until years later. I still love the songs; Phil Harris and Louis Prima are genius.

There is a series of other movies, ones that I watch regularly in reruns solely for the titillation factor: Private School, Private Lessons, Private Benjamin (just kidding...I was on a roll!), Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Blue Lagoon and many others. Hey, I'm a man. I love gratuitous nudity as much as any man.

"Something's Gotta Give" with Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton. I don't know why...I love this movie.

Good movies:

Casablanca. Monty Python & the Holy Grail. As Good As It Gets.

May 17, 2008 at 7:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Army of Darkness," a Sam Raimi film starring Bruce Campbell from the "Xena" TV series. The third in the "Evil Dead" series and very funny.

"Black Sunday" Not the Superbowl terror flick, but a B&W early '60s Brit horror film starring vampy Barbara Steele as a 17th century witch who comes back from the dead for revenge against her tormentor's family.

"From Hell It Came" Another '60s horror flick. The villain is a killer zombie tree stump. Really!

"Grindhouse: Death Proof" Quentin Tarentino did this film last year as a tribute to the horribly plotted, badly acted, trashy B movie that used to show at drive-ins. It's true to the genre in every respect, including loss of color, bad scene cuts and gratuitous gore. Kurt Russell is a great demented villain.

I'd love to say that I can watch any of the "Bad News Bears" movies, but I hate them all.

May 17, 2008 at 8:24 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Yeah, Priguy, when it comes to Elisha Cuthbert, I could pretty much watch her read the phone book for 90 minutes. I might have to leave the room when she does those multi-syllable names. Same thing with Erika Eleniak. Yikes! Now here's a piece of trivia for you. The first time I saw "E.T." was at the old Midtown Theater ... with my first wife and Priguy. And, dammit, I cried like a baby when Elliot found out that the little gray bugger was still alive. Sonova. And, anonymous, you have a fellow "Black Sunday" fan. I remember watching that as a kid on Bill Cardille's "Chiller Theater" and sleeping with the lights on for a week. There was another movie that came out in the 1970s called "Mark of the Devil." I was barely a teenager and went with a couple of friends to see it at the Midtown (or Basle), and we "hooked up," such as it was, with some Wash High girls. Woooooooo! They let us touch them in inappropriate places. Of course, they were Wash High girls. Just kidding, Candy, Bess and Mrs. Newman.

May 17, 2008 at 9:47 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I also was a big fan of Dee Wallace Stone, who played the mom. She possessed a subtle girl-next-door quality I loved. Erika Eleniak...she was the girl who flirted with Elliott at the bus stop. Then it was on to Baywatch for her. Here's some trivia: ever wonder why she left the show? She was fired for having her breast implants removed. Now there's a statement on our culture.

The scene Brant mentions in E.T. where Elliott discovers that the creature is still living brings back some sweet memories. The reason my son and I watched it twice a day was that I worked graveyard shift, his mother was a deadbeat who never stayed home, and I would drift in and out of sleep on the couch as he watched the flick. Every time that scene was about to come on, he woke me up in time to see it. He knew that I loved it, and he made sure I saw it every time.

In Girl Next Door, the luminescent Ms. Cuthbert has a recurring line, "It's a little bit funny..." and there's something about the way she says it that just melts me.

I thought of a couple of other movies that are guilty-if-secret pleasures: Bridget Jones' Diary. It's the only Renee Zellweger movie in which I find her to be sexy - so much so that I can manage to tolerate that stuttering ass Hugh Grant. And another: Working Girl, with Melanie Griffith. It's a cute little story, and then there's the scene where she's trying on her boss' clothes (42 minutes in...hee hee). Delicious!

I recently upgraded my whole cable television & internet service, and I now get the Sci-Fi Channel. I grudgingly admit that I watch some of the flicks on there, but they're so stupid, I don't remember the names. Believe me, though, me confessing to watching anything on that channel is tantamount to what we're doing here.

And cheers to Bill Cardille and his Chiller Theater!

May 18, 2008 at 5:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have always hated trying to do this because I could make a list of 50 movies that sound good to me right now and then realize I have left 50 more off the list... These are movies that I will stop channel surfing to watch regardless of how many times I have seen them:

1. The Wizard of Oz- Like priguy's E.T., I watched this a couple of times a day for a while during my early childhood.

2. The Goonies- HEY YOU GUYS!

3. Braveheart, Gladiator, The Patriot- Love 'em... Horse + impossible odds = afternoon wasted watching TNT

4. O' Brother, Where Art Thou- We thought you was a toad!

5. The Green Mile- this was on last night... They can shoot ole yeller a thousand times before my eyes well up... but just thinking about Edward Delacroix's anguish when Percy kills Mr. Jingles makes me... well... shut up guys, it's sad... sad I tell you!

6. Killer Klowns from Outer Space- Words cannot describe the awesome

7. Silence of the Lambs- So Rufus

8. The Return to Oz- Best sequal ever in life. And its nice to see Fariuza Balk (did I come close to spelling this right?) in a role that isn't psuedo-goth slut

9. Napolean Dynomite- chick from Corrina Corrina with the sideways ponytail... it's hot, in a utah kinda way.

10. Critters/Gremlins- nothing to say about them other than... classic :-)


May 18, 2008 at 7:33 AM  
Blogger Amanda Gillooly said...

1. "Joe Dirt" -- My friend, Ean, and I waited eagerly for it to hit movie theaters. Although it wasn't a blockbuster, I'm totally into it. I really don't dig David Spade, but he plays a convincing redneck trying to find his parents while inspiring people along the way.

2. "Monster Squad" -- About a group of kids that fight off monters including the Wolfman. My favorite line? "Wolfman's got nards." Come on, gimme a break. I was, like, 11, when it came out.

3. "Homeward Bound" -- I've watched this tale of two dogs and a cat trying to find their way home after their family relocates a billion times. My nephew loves it, and now, so do I. Our favorite line? "Cats rule and dogs drool!"

4. "Shanghi Noon" -- I'm sorry. I can't help myself. I love Owen Wilson, and him paired with Jackie Chan was, to me, surprisingly funny.

5. "16 Candles" -- I can't NOT watch this movie when it is on. There are so many sight gags and great characters, including, of course, Long Duck Dong. His line, "No more yanky my wanky the Donger needs food!" will forever be in my heart.

Good movies: "Gone with the Wind" (my favorite all-time) and "Shawshank Redemption" and more recently "Dan in Real Life."

May 18, 2008 at 9:31 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Hey, Howard, there's your Chinaman.

May 18, 2008 at 9:43 PM  
Blogger Amanda Gillooly said...

Lake. Big lake.

May 18, 2008 at 11:02 PM  
Anonymous Candace said...

First of all, even this short-timer Wash High girl is offended by what you insinuate. …
But more importantly, that no one has mentioned the '80s classic "Better Off Dead" with John Cusack (hottie) is despicable!!! Lane Myer's parents are enough to land this flick on the unforgettable list.
Two dollars!!

May 18, 2008 at 11:05 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

There has always been a deep-seated rivalry, even intense dislike, between Wash High and McGuffey people, and I was just trying to praise those girls for reaching out - or, in this case, letting us reach out - in an attempt to bridge that great divide. They were true humanitarians, veritable Dr. Schweitzers in black and blue.

May 19, 2008 at 9:04 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brabt: Let's call your movie experience with the Wash High beauties "Bra Trek: The Undiscovered Country."

May 19, 2008 at 9:33 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I like it.

May 19, 2008 at 10:07 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Amanda, thanks for reminding me about Homeward Bound. Hardly a cinematic classic, but when that old dog limps into that boy's arms, I still choke up like a baby.

Speaking of choking up, and this is kind of appropriate to this discussion since we're owning up to things, you will find that every man, no matter how macho or tough, will admit to shedding a tear in the hospital scene at the end of the original "Brian's Song. If a man says he didn't, he's lying and that's all there is to it.

Side note: Brant's not kidding when he called his dalliance with Wash High gals "humanitarian." After all, we McGuffey guys were considered illiterate farmers, so for a "city gal" to deign to not only talk to us but give us access to their naughty bits was truly a monumental, and yes, humanitarian, thing to do. God bless them.

May 19, 2008 at 10:23 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Yes, God bless them, every one.

May 19, 2008 at 10:31 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

Seriously, you're right about "Brian's Song." There are some movies that I thought were great but I could never watch again because they were just too emotionally wrenching. Three that come to mind are "Schindler's List," "The Notebook" and "Terms of Endearment." And I wouldn't even think about watching "Old Yeller."

May 19, 2008 at 10:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Everyone always beats up on it, but "Ishtar" isn't bad at all. I haven't seen it since it first came out in '87, but I got a kick out of it then.

Another movie people kick around undeservedly is "The Godfather, Part III." No, it's not on the same par as the first two "Godfathers," but it's by no means terrible.

--Brad Hundt

May 19, 2008 at 10:40 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I've never seen "Ishtar." I probably let the bad reviews scare me off. And I'll defer to someone else to comment on "Godfather Part III." I'll be in the bathroom, retching.

May 19, 2008 at 10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe that The Princess Bride hasn't been mentioned. You have action, romance, and comedy all packed into one. That is one movie I'll never get tired of watching.

May 19, 2008 at 12:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Swiss Family Robinson


May 19, 2008 at 12:59 PM  
Blogger Monique Ringling said...

The Godfather III, Goodfellas, Top Gun, Pretty In Pink, The Breakfast Club, Pretty Woman, Tommy Boy, Billy Madison. I can go on and on.

May 19, 2008 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Scott Beveridge said...

The "American Pie" trilogy

May 19, 2008 at 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate to admit these, but here is some crap that I adore:

"Some kind of Wonderful" - I love Mary Stuart Masterson's beat car in this flick, and the fact that she gets the diamond earrings at the end of the flim, while a great cover of "Can't Help Falling in Love" (by little-known, but super fun 80s band Lick the Tins) plays in the background.

"Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" - Yeah this movie is horrible. And amazing. I can't remember how many times my friend Meredith and I watched this film as little girls. It didn't hurt that I also was a fan of Solid Gold at that age.

"Muppets Take Manhattan" - wait. I'm not ashamed of this. It's amazing.

"Breakin" and "The Last Dragon"- I grew up in the early 80s when suburban children (particularly boys) were attempting break dancing and ninja moves. What these had in common, I still have no idea, but I do know I had an older brother who liked both. And I followed suit, at least when it came to movies...Special K is my hero.

May 19, 2008 at 5:10 PM  
Blogger Park Burroughs said...

Worst movies? "Independence Day" and "Bastard Out of Carolina" are right up there. I had to stop watching the latter during the sex scene between the adult and child.
Favorite movies? "Pee Wee's Big Adventure," "Bladerunner" and "A Man for All Seasons," which I saw 5 nights in a row at the old Penn Theater.

May 20, 2008 at 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So many to mention, so little time. One guilty pleasure that comes to mind immediately is "Big Trouble in Little China," a mid-80s comedy/action flick with Kurt Russell doing his best John Wayne impression. Used to have it on tape and watched it till it wore out.

Brant, I remember watching "Brian's Song" at your house in Claysville as a kid trying not to shed a tear in front of "the guys." You, in what I now know was false bravado, said the best part of the movie was watching Sayers' actual running highlights. Man, that guy had some moves! Good movie, too, for a made-for-TV effort.

Favorite film - The Godfather.

-Andy MacBeth

May 20, 2008 at 5:25 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

It's nearly 30 years later, and my memories are a bit hazy, but I think I and a couple of friends saw the last movie ever shown at the Penn Theater. If my memory is correct, it was Ralph Bakshi's "American Pop." Also, anytime I run across "Pee Wee's Big Adventure" on TV, I watch at least some of it. And I sure miss the Saturday morning TV show.

May 20, 2008 at 5:52 PM  
Blogger Amanda Gillooly said...

Is that the Pee Wee movie with the big shoe dance? That's priceless.

May 21, 2008 at 7:16 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Were there 2 Pee Wee movies? I was extremely young when that was popular... I remember a Pee Wee movie that revolved around finding a lost bike, the shoe dance... riding in a truck in a storm, gum that makes your teeth black... and a circus. Was that all the same movie? Anybody remember the TV movie "Fuzzbuckets"... or the alice in wonderland movie (not the animated disney one)? Then there was My Pet Monster (Fred Savage?).

May 21, 2008 at 7:23 PM  
Blogger Amanda Gillooly said...

I believe the movie you are referring to is "Little Monsters" with Fred Savage and Howie Mandel. (I was pretty young when I saw it to).

My Pet Monster was a stuffed "monster" sorta like My Buddy.

And yes, I think there are two Pee Wee movies. I think one is "Big Top Pee Wee" and the other is "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." I think...and that's always dangerous.

May 21, 2008 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Ok, with the help of the google, I can say that the movie I was talking about was My Pet Monster... I never saw little monsters, but I think I transposed the movie poster for the latter over my memory of the former...


May 21, 2008 at 7:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pee Wee's shoe dance & bike were in "Pee Wee's Big Adventure." The circus was in "Big Top Pee Wee."

May 23, 2008 at 8:15 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Top 5 Best movies:

The Godfather
One Flew Over the Coocoos Nest
Angels With Dirty Faces
The Wizard of Oz

May 29, 2008 at 3:46 PM  

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