So, apparently there’s this little thing starting up for a new blogathon, started by Andy over at FandangoGroovers. The basic premise is simple: a list of favorite movies. However, this one has a unique twist on it. You must come up with a favorite movie from each year, starting with the year you were born and going all the way up to last year (2010). Sounds interesting enough to me. So, I decided to have a little fun and give it a go. For the remainder of this article, y’all just try to pretend like you don’t understand math well enough to know that Current Year – Birth Year = Age.
So, without further adieu, my top movies for the past….X amount of years. (After you read mine, you can check out all the other blogs that got into the spirit of this meme HERE)
*Mind you, these are “favorites”, not “best”. There’s a difference. Sheer entertainment factors into these selections, as well rewatchability.
1981: Raiders of the Lost Ark
You can’t be a boy of the 80′s and not have enjoyed Indiana Jones. It just wasn’t possible. Whether this meant you were bugging mom to buy you a whip, you kept trying to get your dad or granddad to loan you his fedora or if it simply meant you were running around the playground shouting out “Cover your heart Indie, cover your heart” as you ran up pretending to rip your friend’s heart out of his chest. Indiana Jones is an icon. This trilogy set the bar for all adventure movies to follow, with none having surpassed it yet.
1982: The Verdict
I’m sure many would rather put Blade Runner or E.T. in this spot, but I just had to go another route. Part of my reasoning here was simply because I’m not old enough to put 12 Angry Men on this list. That being said, The Verdict is still another great movie from the late Sidney Lumet. The movie tells the story of a down-on-his-luck drunk of a lawyer that picks up a malpractice case in order to better his career. However, the whole case has a huge effect on him as he finds himself on the side of good and fighting for a righteous cause. To me, this is possibly Paul Newman’s best performance. Lumet had a tendency of pulling great performances from actors and this is no different. Furthermore, it’s just an all-around great movie and one of the top courtroom dramas.
1983: National Lampoon’s Vacation
John Hughes was the man in the days. With such classics as Breakfast Club, Sixteen Candles, Ferris, The Vacation Series and Planes, Trains and Automobiles amongst others, he practically ran the 80′s. That being said, no list that includes the 80′s would be complete without one of his movies. Of all the movies he either wrote or directed, I think the adventures of the Griswalds stands as my favorite. To this day, it still stands as one of the funniest franchises for me. Just watching Clark tie a dead Grandma to the roof of the car, or watching his little playboy fantasies or seeing him flip out when he finds the park is closed, all funny as hell. Hilarity constantly follows when Clark Griswald is involved.
1984: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
I told you, Indiana Jones is the man. So, it comes as no surprise that he makes my list yet again. This time he’s joined by funny little sidekick Short Round, who provides a nice fresh element to the series. Watching it (and him) is almost like having a dream come true. All that time you fantasized as a kid about how cool it would be to go on an adventure with Indie, here you get to see that somewhat played out as you live vicariously through Short Round. While Raiders is probably my favorite, Temple of Doom is still a great movie and stands above most adventure movies Hollywood has ever pumped out. Again, there’s not a person around that hasn’t went around screaming “Cover your heart, Indie. Cover your heart.” Admittedly in a really poor Indian accent when I did it.
1985: Rocky IV
Rocky Balboa. Another iconic character for any boy growing up in the 80′s. This was the underdog story that defined underdog stories for me. Rocky inspired many a youths in the 80′s (and, according to Eddie Murphy, many a drunk Italian men as well). With other good movies releasing this year, like Back to the Future, Goonies and The Breakfast Club, it was a hard decision but I just knew I couldn’t leave Rocky off the list. This one sees Rocky fighting that big hunk of machine known as Ivan Drago. If ever Rocky was an underdog, this was the one. After killing Apollo, I just knew Drago was going to beat the living shit out of Rocky when I was a kid. But there Rocky stood toe-to-toe with this killing machine, never backing down and giving it all he had. After watching Rocky finally win and hearing that Russian crowd begin chanting his name as this underdog gains the respect of these people, you can’t help but swell up inside with this almost sense of pride for Rocky as a smile comes across your face. While I don’t care for Rocky III, Parts 1, 2 and 4 are classics not to be missed.
1986: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris still stands as one of the greatest teen movies of all-time, capturing the American spirit like only John Hughes (Breakfast Club) can. Honestly, we’ve already seen Vacation, and Breakfast Club only slightly missed out on my 1985 pick. And trust me, you’ll be seeing more of John Hughes in this article soon enough. Ferris has become something of a staple amongst pop culture. Still to this day I’m sure you can find the wise-cracking kid calling out “Bueller? Bueller?” when attendance is being taken in class. Or maybe from time to time you’ll blurt out a mocking “Anyone?” as friends stare in confusion at some question you may have asked. For kids of the 80′s, Ferris became the guy you kinda wanted to be, that care-free, devil-may-care attitude that encompassed the spirit of freedom. This film has had an impact on many, and for good reason. When you have the First Lady quoting the movie in a public speech, you know there’s got to be something good about it.
1987: Lethal Weapon
If 48 Hrs. popularized the buddy cop movie genre, then Lethal Weapon took it to a whole new level. The on-screen chemistry between Glover and Gibson was great. The maverick style of Riggs made him a character that every kid wanted to be. I almost have no doubt that this is a franchise that inspired a lot of 80′s kids to want to grow up to be cops. Getting to go out there blowing shit up, being a total bad ass and gunning down bad guys. This is classic 80′s action right here. A guy movie that all guys should see (and all have I’m sure). For me, like I said, this raised the bar for buddy cop movies. A bar that hasn’t been touched since, in my opinion. Not even by Chris Rock and Jackie Chan.
1988: Die Hard
John McClane. If ever there was a bad-ass, McClane was that man. Basically, McClane was like the John Wayne of my generation: a man’s man. The ultimate bad-ass. The Die Hard franchise is pretty much at the top when it comes to Hollywood action flicks. It epitomizes action movies of the late 80′s-early 90′s. There’s a reason even Kevin Smith stands in awe before Bruce Willis when he got to be a part of Live Free or Die Hard. If you’re a fan of action movies, this is an absolute must-see/own franchise for you. From walking bare-footed on glass, to tossing bodies out of windows onto cop cars, to taking down entire terrorist groups single-handedly, McClane is the fucking man. Despite some strong competition for the year (Rain Man, Big, Roger Rabbit, Eight Men Out, Scrooged, Cocktail), that’s the reason Die Hard gets my vote here. Yippee kai yay, motherfucker.
1989: National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation
I told you John Hughes would be showing back up again. Despite some other good movies being released in 1989, there was never really any chance for them in comparison to Christmas Vacation for me. The Griswald’s are, plain and simple, fucking hilarious. The Clark Griswald character was so iconic in his own right for portraying the every-man. He was the original Family Guy for me. All of the movies in this series have been hilarious for me. However, this still stands as my favorite of them all. Christmas Vacation is still an annual classic around Christmas time for me and my family (and even beyond the season). I can even remember, when I was younger, having this movie on VHS and having played it so many times and so often that eventually the tape just flat-out gave out on us. Needless to say, it was soon brought back from its grave and still sits on my DVD shelf right now. One of my favorite comedies of all-time.
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