ByRon Lester, writer at

Straight from the brain of a forty something(yeah, I'm not telling you that), who's been fortunate(or unfortunate, depending on who you talk to) enough to have seen the growth of that good ole tent pole.

If you're not familiar with the term tent pole, I'm talking about those summer sizzlers. You know, the films that are designed to drub the audiences with over the top special effects, explosions, and all that stuff that's supposed to leave your jaws hanging on the floor. In short, the summer blockbusters!

I've grown up seeing these things evolve over time...and yes, I am a die hard Star Wars nerd. Having said that, you already know I'm super stoked about this Christmas. Yes, I was among those millions of fans devastated by the release of those god awful prequels and doctored(butchered would be a better term, but I decided to be kind) re-releases. Anyhow, I was sitting here thinking about what it means to be a movie geek. When I was growing up, being a geek wasn't necessarily the best thing. As with anything, evolution is a true joy!

As a movie geek, I realize I don't favor any particular genre. The truth is story is king!!! I think that's where many of the studios have faltered in recent years. They get a hit on their hands and treat it like surfers' wet dreams. I'm sure the heads of studios have tubes of Astroglide just sitting around their office somewhere just waiting to see how their latest release performs. They spend millions slathering the airwaves with little hints and previews, often releasing the best scenes in the trailers. While I can appreciate those explosions and special effects as much as anyone else...those aren't where the memories are.

A good story will stand the test of time. As a matter of fact, many of my favorite movies were made long before I ever took my first breaths. For example, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir was made in 1947. It just so happens, that was my mothers favorite movie. Thanks to the age of VCR's, I got a chance to share in her childhood memories. I don't think anyone can appreciate their parents enough, when it comes to movies. After all, they were the ones handing us the cash to go to the movies. More than that though, they were the ones that gave us a glimpse into their childhoods.

Of course, in my opinion, Spielberg will always hold a special place in my heart. Heck, even today, he's still among the best at discovering stories. While his tastes have changed a bit, the stories are almost always still the strength.

As a movie geek, I want a movie that's going to move me. I want my imagination soaring, I want something that's going to make me talk about it for years, and most of all I want to walk out without regrets. You want to piss me off? Make me spend egregious gobs of money for entrance to a film that I end up loathing. I refuse to see sequels, though I will make an exception every now and then. Thankfully, as a long time movie reviewer, I haven't had to spend my own money to see these films.

This is the first article, I've written here at Moviepilot. So, I thought the best way to open up is to give you a little insight about me. I'll close this out with a list of 20 of my favorite films, then I'd love to hear your thoughts and, more importantly, your favorites.

In no particular order, since I hate having to think too hard about which ones deserve to be where.

Jaws-Seriously, that movie scared the living crap out of me. It took years before I could step foot into the ocean after seeing this.

Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back-Far and away my favorite Star Wars film ever. The Vader "I am your father" and Solo "I know" lines were golden.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir-The ghost of an old sea captain falls in love with the woman he's trying to scare off. Priceless!

Rocky-Sylvester Stallone at his best.

Legends of the Fall-Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins were phenomenal in this epic tragedy.

Silence of the Lambs-Could Anthony Hopkins have ever been creepier?

Batman The Dark Knight Rises-RIP Heath Ledger, you gave us a golden farewell performance!

Psycho-Hitchcock's finest, with Anthony Perkins rising to the occasion.

Good Will Hunting-Easily, one of Robin Williams greatest films. Oh yeah, you have to give props to Matt Damon and Ben Affleck as well.

The Crow-Brandon Lee hit this one out of the park, sadly we never got a chance to see where it would have taken him.

Superman II-By far, my favorite with Christopher Reeve donning the suit. There's never been a better Zod than Terrence Stamp.

A League of Their Own-I had to include, at least one, Tom Hanks film. This one towers over the rest. I mean, seriously, "there's no crying in baseball." Unforgettable!

Field of Dreams-"If you build it, they will come." My favorite Kevin Costner film, by far.

The Five Heartbeats-You could tell this really meant something to Robert Townsend. Kudos and thank you, Robert!

Platoon-An amazing score, with unbelievable cinematography. Maybe one of the best movie posters ever designed as well.

Saving Private Ryan-When you have stories that are personal to both the director and leading actor, you're bound to get something phenomenal in return. I got a return in spades with this one.

The Shootist-John Wayne's farewell performance is one for the ages.

A Fistful of Dollars-Clint Eastwood at his finest. Cocky, cool, and bad ass! I'd take the man with no name over Dirty Harry any day, if I needed a back up in a fight.

Goodbye Mr. Chips-I loved this Peter O'toole classic the very first time I ever saw it.

The Breakfast Club-I spent a lot of time in detentions, so this John Hughes classic always gets the nod from me.

I should note, these are just a few of my favorites. I could have easily given you a list of 100. I just thought, 20 would be a good to start with to open discussions.


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