I realize the reader may have currently acquired a general idea that some of these movies are in direct correlation with my growing up. Some were made and released in theaters in the prime of my theater ventures. Now, worry not, because every movie of my childhood did not make the list. What credibility will I gain by including “Mannequin” on the list? That movie deserves to be on a list that is comprised of movies that never should have been made in the first place. Furthermore, it would destroy any shred of integrity I had left to even claim I know how to properly do research.
I, in no way, want the reader to believe I feel compelled out of pity to include classics that belonged to my grandparents generation. These classics are still embedded in my brain as treasures, and I am still just as drawn in now as I was when I first watched them. We will get to some of those classics in the future.
So, again, in no particular order, here are #8, #9, & #10:
#8. "The Goonies" Released in theaters June 17, 1985
"Heeeeeey yooooooou guuuuuuys, don't remake this movie!" From the Fratelli's to Data demonstrating the language barrier between the west and the east, to even the beloved bond formed between Chunk and Sloth, this was a story where characters were absolutely lovable and the adventure was one that we all desired to be a part of. I have some great childhood memories involving my friends and I acting like we found a map and were searching for the treasure of One-Eyed-Willie.
Trying to revamp this movie into something more modern would serve no justice to it, as the set designs were amazing, so there is no need for updated visuals, and the actors did a stand alone portrayal of each character. Each character was remembered vividly. Don’t tell me that you don’t remember that d-bag prep. Don’t sit there and tell me that you couldn’t nail his scene at the well.
Adventurous story? Yeah, probably one of the best. These kids were searching for a way to save their beloved neighborhood from a group of elites who were trying to build a golf course. Don’t lose what it was originally meant to be just to make some political statement: it was an adventure that no matter how much time passes, it is still just as exhilarating as the first time you saw it almost 30 years ago.
#9: "Tombstone" Released in theaters December 25, 1993
One of the most well-known names in gunslinger history is the center of this movie. Cowboys are a gang with a less than savory way of life, and if you don't have a gun on your hip, you might as well talk to the local mortician to arrange your funeral. No one, and I mean no one, can bring acting to the table like this star-studded cast did. Kurt Russell IS Wyatt Earp, and what better picks to portray his brothers than Bill Paxton and Sam Elliott? You wrap that up with a performance of a lifetime by Val Kilmer playing "Doc" Holiday and it's a recipe for success in the western genre.
Classic lines like, "You gonna skin that smoke-wagon, or are you just gonna stand there and bleed," will forever ring epic and awesome in my mind. Add in a ever-so-slight buildup of tension between a sickly "Doc" Holiday and Johnny Ringo (portrayed by the great Michael Biehn), as well as the Earp and Clanton crew‘s barely famous shootout (sarcasm inserted here), this is one of the greatest, non-embellished (sarcasm) stories of true life America.
Why would anyone want to touch this one? The only thing I can think of is someone would incorporate aliens into the mix and have the Earp's and Clanton's team up to eradicate the alien presence, therefore demonstrating togetherness in the face of adversity. In the end, "Doc" could go and play some Frédérich "F-ing" Chopin and sip chamomile tea with Ringo.
#10: "The Shawshank Redemption" Released in theaters October 14, 1994
Don't read too deep into the fact that this makes the second movie on this list in which a man is sodomized. I can't help it that these two movies were amazing and involved a little man on man rape. Pure coincidence. I was a fan of the short story “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption,” by Stephen King before seeing this, and honestly, Frank Darabont did a great job delivering a close rendition of the book. Five years later he went on to do another prison movie by Stephen King, "The Green Mile" and nailed that one, too. So, he proved that, as a director, he can helm a movie based off of books by Mr. King with the setting taking place in a prison. I could have summed Frank Darabont up in three words: “The Walking Dead.”
Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman are no strangers to acting, and they performed quite harmoniously with one another. We knew Andy was innocent, we knew Red was guilty, but you still felt neither of these men belonged there without the other. They had great chemistry, and the end scene with the embrace by two friends was my defining moment to include this on the list.