My Life in Film, Pt. 1

Since our "Movies We Grew Up On" series has been on hiatus due to a creative drought these last few months, I thought I would try out something a little different. This new concept, inspired by a series of articles I recently read on DVDActive.com, works by selecting a defining film from each year of your life. These films may not be the best or most popular of their respective years, but each one has left a lasting impression, and remains a favorite to this day.

In the case that I have already blogged about a film on the list (which is quite a few of them), I have linked it to the corresponding post. For all the others I have written up some brief thoughts. For years where the decision was particularly difficult I have included runners up.

Now—Ben, Scott, Marc, Melissa, Steve—while I am not officially tagging you, I just wanted to let you know I have noticed your lack of blogging lately, and think this post idea could be up your alley. And any one else out there who wants to do this, be my guest. Should you accept the challenge, I found BoxOfficeMojo.com to be a great resource since it lists the top 50 grossing movies of each year all the way back to 1980 (the year I was born, conveniently enough).

1980 // The Empire Strikes Back

1981 // Raiders of the Lost Ark

1982 // E.T.: The Extraterrestrial
Okay, I actually do have a good idea for how to cover this movie in a future "Movies We Grew Up On," so if you don't mind I'm going to save my thoughts until then.

1983 // Return of the Jedi
Luke Skywalker was one of my childhood heroes, but I didn't constantly parade around in his mask from the back of a C3PO's box because of his Tosche Station whining in A New Hope. I did it because of his Rancor-killing, speeder bike-slicing, father-saving, and overall butt-kicking actions of Return of the Jedi. You know what? Scratch all those other costume ideas—Eddie's gonna wear this mask for Halloween.

1984 // Ghostbusters
Since I was such a scaredy cat as a kid, certain parts of this movie used to terrify me. Specifically, the opening sequence in the library, the eggs popping out of their carton and frying on the counter, and any scene featuring those red-eyed demon dogs. The Real Ghostbusters cartoon was much more my speed.

1985 // Back to the Future

1986 // Ferris Bueller's Day Off
One of the seminal movies of the 80's (RIP John Hughes), for a long time we only had the TV version, recorded during the height of the poorly overdubbed profanity era ("...if you stuck a lump of coal *in his fist*, in two weeks you'd have a diamond"). Who out there hasn't wished they were Ferris Bueller at one time or another? He pulls off that leather jacket/vest/slacks ensemble with panache. He gets to tour the greater Chicago area in a 1961 Ferrari 250 GT California. And to top it all off he can talk to the camera. I mean, how cool is that?

// The Princess Bride
It seems everyone loves to quote this movie. The unusual thing is that pretty much all of the famous lines come within the first 45 minutes. You know, the sequence where Wesley climbs the Cliffs of Insanity, duels and banters with Inigo Montoya, and battles wits to the death with Vizzini, all to rescue Princess Buttercup? But with a first half like that, who cares what happens in the second half?
Runner Up // Raising Arizona

1988 // Beetlejuice
There wasn't much to choose from this year (Crocodile Dundee II, anyone?), so this selection comes with some begrudging. While I do enjoy Beetlejuice, it definitely isn't one of my favorite Tim Burton movies. What the film does offer is an interesting glimpse at a developing artist. In this his second film, Burton's quirky style has started to emerge, but his technical skills are still wildly undisciplined.

1989 // Batman

1990 // Edward Scissorhands

1991 // The Rocketeer
This underappreciated movie is a lighthearted, retro adventure in the vein of Indiana Jones. My sisters took me to see it for my 11th birthday, and the art deco stylings caught my eye before I even knew what art deco was. Plus, a young, ridiculously hot Jennifer Connelly helped kickstart puberty for me. I'm still bummed that potential Rocketeer sequels were scrapped due to its less than stellar box office performance.
Runner Up // What About Bob?

// Batman Returns

1993 // The Nightmare Before Christmas
Runner Up // The Fugitive

1994 // The Hudsucker Proxy

Next: 1995-2001

1 comment:

Krissy said...

First of all, I hate E.T. But I suppose there will be more about that later, too. Second of all, that Luke Skywalker mask is creepy. I wouldn't allow it in my house.