December 10, 2008

Celluloid Heroes

I was channel surfing on Saturday night and there was nothing on. Like, really nothing. It was like all the good shows had curled up and died. I'd already exhausted my There's Nothing On Television Favorites like Univision's Sabado Gigante, a show that truly leads me to believe that my television has the ability spy on the inhabitants of another dimension. Home shopping was boring and the local cable access channels were showing 30 year old operas and a talk show about psychics (which, as Beth pointed out, why do they need a whole channel? Shouldn't they be able to beam their show into our minds?). Luckily, while flailing wildly with the remote, I stumbled on the 1987 classic Can't Buy Me Love. I'm moderately embarrassed to admit this but I've seen Can't By Me Love about eight and a half million times. As a matter of fact, it ranks seventh on the Top Ten List Of Movies I've Seen More Than Eight And A Half Million Times.

10. Lethal Weapon
9. Fletch
8. Die Hard
7. Can't Buy Me Love
6. Say Anything
5. Spinal Tap
4. The Breakfast Club
3. The Three Amigos
2. The Forbidden Planet
1. Logan's Run

And there, listed alongside that Patrick Dempsey classic are some of my other favorite, most-watched movies. If you asked me what my absolute favorite movie is, I'd have to tell you that it's Avalon, Barry Levinson's masterpiece about generations of an immigrant family in Baltimore. It is a beautiful, insanely moving film that devastates me whenever I watch it. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Citizen Kane. Hitchcock's oft-overlooked Rope is nothing short of brilliant. Coppola's Godfather, Scorsese's Gangs of New York and nearly everything by Stanley Kubrick top my more critical list of great films. But none of them are movies you can pop into a DVD player and just chill with or laugh at. They're Serious Films. And you don't always want to watch a Serious Film. Give me the seventies cheese of Logan's Run any day of the week or the fifties sci-fi goodness of The Forbidden Planet and I'll be happy. John McLane, Martin Riggs, and Roger Murtaugh can save the world and Spinal Tap can rock it. I'll be there watching. They may not be brilliant movies, but they're damn good to me.

What's on your list of favorite movies? What are your favorite critically brilliant films? And your favorite guilty pleasures?

Posted by Chris at December 10, 2008 6:29 AM

Pulp Fiction, Full Metal Jacket and the Star Wars Trilogy (IV-VI) are my goto movies. My best friends wedding is my secret shame.

Posted by: harrylips at December 10, 2008 7:50 AM

It is a sad, sad day when I've run out of shows to watch on tivo.

I thought I was the ONLY person who ever even saw "Avalon", let alone loved it. I LOVE that movie. Other chart-toppers are: "The Bird Cage", "Boogie Nights", "Stepmom" (guilty pleasure, that one) and ANY Molly Ringwald movie. Classic.

Posted by: Robyn at December 10, 2008 8:06 AM

I watched that on Saturday night, too :-)

Guilty pleasure? Overboard. Seriously. I LOVE that dorky movie!

Favorites? Gone With the Wind. The Princess Bride. The Breakfast Club. Alot Like Love (another guilty pleasure!). Big. Raiders of the Lost Ark. Top Gun. Flight of the Navigator. ET. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers. The Long Hot Summer. ANY Doris Day movie.

Posted by: Alissa at December 10, 2008 8:11 AM

Still haven't ever seen The Godfather. Any of them.
Can't Buy Me Love and Avalon- thank you for a reminder on two liked movies to dig from the archives some lazy, crappy-TV day.

In my repetoire of my favorite, and ownedmovies other people don't like, are:
K-PAX, Life as a House, and Last of the Dogmen.
The Green Mile is in there too, but that is not an embarrassing one to admit ;-)

Scrolling on down now to get ideas from other commentors! Thanks!

Posted by: Karen at December 10, 2008 8:17 AM

Guilty pleasures? I can quote The Breakfast Club and Steel Magnolias back and forth. I also truly love Good Will Hunting (and think it's pretty brilliant, personally). Every now and again, I'll catch "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" on tv and I'll watch it - Sarah Jessica Parker before she was Carrie Bradshaw and Helen Hunt before any of the other crappy movies she made that I didn't like.

Posted by: Sarah at December 10, 2008 8:20 AM

The Three Amigos? Really?

Husband and I watched "Cant' Buy Me Love" on Sunday as well.

Critically Brilliant films? Don't know if anything I like would be considered critically brilliant.

Gulity Pleasures- Jaws. Weekend at Bernies. Steel Magnolias. Fight Club. Overboard. Any National Lampoons Vacation movie. Tremors. Father of the Bride. Baby Boom. Any John Hughes movie.

Posted by: Lisa at December 10, 2008 8:21 AM

Love Actually, Just Friends, Knocked Up, 40 Year Old Virgin (I'm seeing a theme), SuperBad, (I think I may have been a ball scratching guy in a previous life), Shawshank Redemption, The Usual Suspects, Raiders of the Lost Ark

Posted by: Deirdre at December 10, 2008 8:42 AM

The Princess Bride, Sean of the Dead, Bridget Jones's Diary, Die Hard, The Big Easy and Bull Durham.

Guilty pleasure: Under Seige. J.C. VanDamme in all his muscly glory *and* Gary Busey chewing up the scenery.

Posted by: alison at December 10, 2008 8:48 AM

Guilty pleasures - Tango and Cash. I actually wore out a VHS copy of it already in my lifetime. I have no idea why. Pump up the Volume

Over and over again movies - Some Kind of Wonderful, Heathers, The Princess Bride, Spaceballs...

Posted by: ktjrdn at December 10, 2008 8:49 AM

Guilty? Rocky Horror Picture Show although it's not the same watching it at home. It cried out for audience participation. Three of us yelling back at the t.v. didn't quite do it for me. My sons and I used to go almost every Saturday night in San Francisco.

Favorites? Fargo, Oh Brother Where Art Thou, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Third Man, Shawshank Redemption and maybe Gone With the Wind. There are probably others but at 5:30 a.m. I don't think too well.

I bought The Dark Knight yesterday. Grim. Usually we rent from Netflix but I decided that one might be a keeper. It is but I'm not sure I'll ever watch it a second time.

Posted by: Ann Adams at December 10, 2008 8:56 AM

Chris, what about Strange Brew , eh? I think I watched that with you about Eight And A Half Million Times...

Posted by: Scott at December 10, 2008 8:58 AM

I thought I was the only one who had seen Avalon about a thousand times! I love that movie, even if it does render me into a helpless pile of emotional goo everytime I watch it.

Plus...the Thanksgiving scene where they "Cut the Turkey without me?!?!?!"...I think the people who mde that movie know my Croatian grandparents!

Posted by: Claudia at December 10, 2008 9:02 AM

I LOVE THAT MOVIE! I saw that it was on as well but just ended up puttering about on the internet instead!

I have a lot of favs - Grease, Breakfast Club, Doris Day movies, Hitchcock movies, Princess Bride, Goonies, Raiders of the Lost Ark (and the others), Star Wars (and all the others most especially Return of the Jedi), Shawshank Redemption, Oh Brother Where Art Thou and most of the 80s movies like Cant Buy Me Love, Pretty In Pink, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun. I did black and white classics! I also love those Don Knotts movies (Mr Limpet, etc...) Spinal Tap and a Mighty Wind and Strange Brew and oh my I have a lot of movies that I like a lot or think are pretty nifty. National Lampoons movies! I totally dumped on it one point but I actually totally dug Juno as a new one. I get all teary over My Dog Skip and every year I sob over this movie. Okay I am going to stop now because first of all TMI and 2nd of all I like A LOT of movies!

Posted by: Christina at December 10, 2008 9:22 AM

Guilty pleasures? There are sooo many! All the Lethal Weapons except Lethal Weapon 2, Clue, all the Die Hards except Die Hard 2, 10 Things I Hate About You, Scream, Father of the Bride, Something About Mary, Baby Boom, Breakfast Club, the list could go on forever!

Favorites: Gone With the Wind and Clue (guilty pleasure or not I can watch that stupid movie over and over again)

Posted by: Jennifer at December 10, 2008 9:29 AM

on my current favorites list: the royal tenenbaums, a movie that i hated when i saw it for the first time, but loved when i watched it almost seven years later.

favorite critically brilliant movie: shawshank redemption

and the (embarassing) movie i have to watch whenever it's on tv: Can't Hardly Wait

Posted by: Denise at December 10, 2008 9:32 AM

The best guilty pleasure movie ever has to be A Knight's Tale. The best part is the scene where they break out dancing to David Bowie.

Posted by: S at December 10, 2008 9:45 AM

Pulp Fiction, all the Kubrik films, all the Monty Python movies, most of the ones you mentioned really. Oh and I am a freak for b horror movies, I love 'em, the cheesier the better, of those Killer Klowns From Outer Space is my number 1.

Posted by: Jeff A at December 10, 2008 9:52 AM

Ooh, difficult one. I will always watch Remains of the Day. Four Weddings and a Funeral still makes me giggle as does Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein. I love all Dracula movies, especially the Bela Lugosi one. Logan's Run though is up there too and we have not one but two DVD copies of Forbidden Planet in our house. Are you going to watch the remake of The Day the Earth Stood Still? We all love the original but not sure about a remake with (gulp) Keanu Reeves.

Posted by: Loth at December 10, 2008 9:52 AM

ohhh so you have a problem with Sabado Gigante, eh? In Chile we used to stay home on saturdays watching that. The host, Don Francisco, is Chilean. That show is like, totally awesome. And yes, I'm only saying that because it's chilean and no, I haven't actually tuned in since I was a kid.

Posted by: La Petite Belle at December 10, 2008 9:52 AM

I can watch Wedding Crashers, Garden State, Beautiful Girls, and Beauty and the Beast on constant loop. Also, any time any Julia Roberts movie comes on I am glued to the TV until the credits roll. I don't know what it is about that goofy woman but she just does it for me!

Posted by: mymilabean at December 10, 2008 9:52 AM

i love Cant Buy Me Love. i saw it in the theater years ago and i still watch it all the time. 'Shutup Chuck'. hahaha. But way up there on my list of favs, quite possibly my all-time fav movie is Clueless. Dont judge me! Also up there is National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, Bridget Jones Diary and pretty much any 80's movie. Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueler, Pretty in Pink etc....

Posted by: madmom at December 10, 2008 10:12 AM

eeeee, my biggest guilty pleasure movie is shallow hal. i think i have watched in thirty times. i know, it's so bad! and everybody else in the world hates it!

(i might go and put it on right now, actually. oh god, i am sick.)

Posted by: tamara at December 10, 2008 11:02 AM

When the 5 year old is in the room, my go-to movies are "The Princess Bride," "Shrek," or "Curse of the Wererabbit," all of which we both love.

When it's just me, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" is always guaranteed to make me smile. I have a very soft spot for "The Breakfast Club" and "Sixteen Candles," too, but they have a tendency to make me feel really, really old now.

For Serious Movies, "A Clockwork Orange" and "Pan's Labyrinth" are some favorites, but man, soooo heavy. I have to be in a certain mood to handle watching them.

My current Favorite Movie Ever (subject to change, of course) is "Once." I saw it last fall in the theater, and it just did something to me. It was the only time in my life I've ever felt like a film moved me on a personal level- it just reached out and grabbed me and shook me and then gave me a big old hug and then ripped my heart out. But that's just me. :)

Sorry to ramble! This was a great topic, and it's been great reading everyone's comments.

Posted by: gabrielle at December 10, 2008 11:04 AM

Hi I am back reading blogs since I am back at work. Unfortunately I still don't have enough mental power to make a list of movies. Sad isnt it.

Posted by: jessica at December 10, 2008 11:06 AM

You had me at "Logan's Run". I haven't seen it in ages, but whenever I stumble across it on cable, I stop and watch.

Posted by: Amy at December 10, 2008 11:09 AM

I have so many movies I've seen tons of times. Top of my list--as in Brandon would say, "You're watching that AGAIN?"--is definitely Love Actually.

Posted by: oakley at December 10, 2008 11:24 AM

i did a list of my favorites last week (i did make a few changes to it, though)

but ones i can watch over and over and over again? an entirely different list:
1. Dirty Dancing
2. Sixteen Candles
3. Breakfast Club
4. Center Stage
5. Say Anything
6. Karate Kid
7. Back to the Future
8. Some Kind of Wonderful
9. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
10. Pretty in Pink

plus about 1000 more!

Posted by: ali at December 10, 2008 11:27 AM

The (original) Bad News Bears
Planes, trains and automobiles (ok anything with John Candy)

and the Ultimate Cheese.....


Posted by: Seattle Vesap at December 10, 2008 11:31 AM

I remember being amazed at how spectacular The Hunt For Red October ended up being. The book was so good that I figured any movie-making attempt would fail gloriously, but no.

The Right Stuff
Far and Away
Arsenic and Old Lace
The Right Stuff
The Natural
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
The Searchers
High Noon

The guilty pleasures include The Naked Gun flicks, the Airplane franchise, and the 80s fare (The Breakfast Club, etc.). So many movies, though. This is really an impossible question.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at December 10, 2008 12:51 PM

Here is my pathetic list. Actually, its not all that pathetic, they just aren't "masterpieces of the silver screen"..LOL, aparrently I love romanance with either a little comedy or drama thrown in.
1.Pretty Woman
2. Dirty Dancing
3. AM American President
4. Days of Thunder
5. Cocktail
6. 10 things I Hate About You
7. The Breakfast Club
8.Ever After
9.Uncle Buck
10.Pretty In Pink
11. Sixteen Candles

Wow. Makes me sounds old...and mushy.

Posted by: Kristin at December 10, 2008 12:55 PM

Movies I've seen 8 and a half million times (in no particular order):
1. Steel Magnolias
2. Breakfast Club
3. Big Chill
4. Urban Cowboy
5. Sound of Music
6. Night Shift
7. Selena
8. Grease

Posted by: Kalisa at December 10, 2008 1:06 PM

my go to movies are:

Gone In 60 Seconds
Sweet Home Alabama
Phantom of the Opera

and a variety of stand up comic videos.

Guilty pleasure would have to be Romeo & Juliet (w/ Leo Dicaprio).

Posted by: Kris at December 10, 2008 1:17 PM

OMG I can't believe I forgot "Labyrinth"! I hadn't seen it until a few months ago and I looove it. Bowie in spandex and hairdo that looks like he stuck his finger in a light socket - you can't go wrong! lol

Posted by: Kris at December 10, 2008 1:22 PM

I walked out of the theater when I saw Avalon. It bored me. Then I rented it and I fell in love with it. It is a great movie.

"You didn't wait for me to cut the Turkey?"

And Rope...brilliant. All single camera "one"take. awesome.

Posted by: William at December 10, 2008 1:30 PM

Prepare to lose all respect for me (assuming there was any to begin with)

Joe Vs The Volcano
Death To Smoochy
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
Auntie Maime
The Nightmare Before Christmas
Jesus Christ Superstar

I'll totally understand when I never hear from you again.

Posted by: Mr Lady at December 10, 2008 1:50 PM

Stealing Beauty is my all time favorite. And I don't think that will change.

Guilty pleasure? Porn. Of course.

Posted by: k8 at December 10, 2008 2:01 PM

It's hard for me to admit some, it's even harder for me to admit that my husband will watch most of them with me.

10. Wizard of Oz
9. Steel Magnolias
8. Mary Poppins
7. Matrix
6. Big Daddy
5. Dazed and Confused
4. Big
3. Shawshank Redemption
2. Speed
1. The Abyss

These are in no particular order and I also watched that movie on Saturday. Good one.

Posted by: Samantha at December 10, 2008 3:10 PM

Dude. Legally Blonde. Don't ask me why, I have absolutely NO answer for you. But for some reason, every single time it comes on, I sit down to watch it and laugh my ass off the whole time. I'll even watch it AGAIN if it's one of those things TBS does where they play the same movie back to back. (Which I normally hate with a fiery passion... unless it's Legally Blonde.)

Posted by: caleal at December 10, 2008 3:26 PM

Breakfast Club rocks. And Love Actually is a chick flick I can watch over and over.

Posted by: Heather at December 10, 2008 4:19 PM

In my opinion none of them are terrible. They are all awesome!
In no particular order:
Anchorman (I moved to a new house, had no cable for a month and literally watched this movie 100 times)
Top Gun
Rambo: First Blood
Risky Business
The Day After
Legally Blonde
Wedding Crashers
40 Year Old Virgin

This post and the comments are cracking me up. I love Can't Buy Me Love! I totally remember thinking how awesome that leather suit was. Now it just looks cheesy to me, but the guy is still totally hot, especially in the cowboy hat on the riding lawn mower. Yee ha!

Posted by: Jenn Benn at December 10, 2008 5:38 PM

In no particular order...

* Ferris Buellers Day Off
* Dirty Dancing (guilty pleasure I am ashamed to admit)
* Labyrinth
* Three Amigos (I love love love love this film)
* Napoleon Dynamite
* Wizard of Oz
* Breakfast Club
* Outrageous Fortune
* National Lapoons Vacation (I seriously know all the words to this film)
* The Bikini Shop (ultimate bad 80's tits and ass film)

Mostly bad 80's films that make me feel happy when I watch them...good memories and all that. I just realised there is nothing serious on there. Oh well.

Posted by: at December 10, 2008 5:55 PM

Favorites: The Original Starwars Trilogy, Almost Famous, Troy, The Breakfast Club

Guilty Pleasures: Pretty Woman, Dirty Dancing and The Outsiders

Movies that if I see one more time I might SCREAM: Black Hawk Down, The Negotiator and SHOOTER.

Posted by: Amy at December 10, 2008 6:15 PM

Oh man, I got a good chuckle out of you watching Can't Buy Me Love 8 million times. Classic and oddly not a movie I see you liking.

so the movies I go to... Breakfast Club, The Fifth Element, Shakespeare in Love, Spaceballs, The Mummy, Shawshank Redemption, Flight of the Navigator, The Last Starfighter, The Princess Bride, and the newest Pride and Prejudice. The guiltiest of those...all the really old 80's sci-fi and The Mummy, LOL. My husband loves Fletch.

Posted by: Jen at December 10, 2008 6:15 PM

Pulp Fiction
Breakfast Club

Posted by: Nat at December 10, 2008 6:29 PM

In no particular order:

Ice Storm
The Last Supper
Bad Boy Bubby
Everything Is Illuminated
Science of Sleep
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, Her Lover
I Love Your Work

Just an snowed today in your old hometown. Can you believe it snowed in Houston, particularly before the end of December?

Posted by: Jen at December 10, 2008 7:13 PM

Thank Goodness I'm not the only one with a fascination for The Three Amigos (I had a whole argument with a friend the week before Thanksgiving about the merits of Dusty, Lucky and Ned - I mean, seriously...). I will also agree with you on Say Anything and Breakfast Club (I hated that recent commercial that "remade" scenes from the movie - just wrong that those kids could not understand the significance of that movie).

As for my other movie favorites - I'm a sucker for The Sound of Music (own 4 versions on DVD - all different types of extras/commentaries, etc and will still watch it virtually every time it is on TV). 2nd favorite all time would be A League of Their Own (There's no crying in baseball!), Field of Dreams, The Natural, Bull Durham (catch a theme here?), Space Camp (obscure, but excellent), Elf, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I think that sums up my dvds on highest rotation.

Posted by: Melissa at December 10, 2008 7:39 PM

Sometimes, I get teased for being a dude. My movie taste might be why...

Critically acclaimed?:
Blade Runner
To Kill a Mockingbird
I Love You to Death
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Pan's Labyrinth
From Hell
Robin Hood (Disney)
Peter Pan (Disney)
Silence of the Lambs
Full Metal Jacket

Not-So-Secret Shames:
Love Actually
Chronicles of Riddick
Rose Red
Van Helsing
Bourne Trilogy

Posted by: alektra at December 10, 2008 9:33 PM

Four Weddings and a Funeral
Young Frankenstein
An American President
Transporter 1
Transporter 2
Several of the Bond movies
Any of the Madea movies

Posted by: coolchick at December 11, 2008 3:42 PM

Carousel! Life clocks are a lie!

Posted by: mingaling at December 11, 2008 10:14 PM

10 Movies I Have Seen an Embarrassing Number of Times:

10) Secret Admirer
9) Ocean's Eleven
8) Like Father Like Son
7) Die Hard
6) Amadeus
5) Goodfellas
4) The Usual Suspects
3) Better Off Dead
2) Grosse Point Blane
1) Sixteen Candles

Posted by: Sarah, Goon Squad Sarah at December 14, 2008 10:48 PM

Movies to watch over and over: Bull Durham, JAWS, Top Gun, Overboard, Oceans 11, Die Hard - good grief there are too many more in that list... One on that list and guilty pleasures: Twister and Dodgeball. More "cinematic" faves: American Beauty, The Shining (really anything by Kubrick), The Ususal Suspects - I know there's more but am having a brain fart.

Posted by: Sue R at December 16, 2008 1:10 PM