You’ve seen all these must see movie lists that clutter up your newsfeed on the Facebooks and other pages on the interwebs. I know I’ve seen a ton of them. Usually the parenthetical to the title of the piece is ‘[Insert number of movies here] you need to see before you die’. The problem I have with the vast majority of these lists is that they are compiled by film school snobs who think French new wave or some other pretentious crap is the bee’s knees.
Where are the lists for the hard working masses? Where are the lists for nerds who are trying to teach their nerdlings about the wonderful world of movies? Where are the lists for the hard working non-nerdy masses who happen to be raising a young, enthusiastic nerdling?
The answer to those questions ladies and gentlemen is right here. I am going to gather together a list of 100 movies that you don’t necessarily HAVE to see before you shuffle off this mortal coil, but rather a list of 100 movies that should be seen to further broaden one’s soul. Some maybe obvious and I’m sure some you won’t have heard of, but all will be worth it. I’m just here to help.
These will be in no particular order and they won’t be numbered (Why number them if they are being counted down and you already know there’s going to a total of 100) and broken down into ten easy to digest segments. So let’s keep going with the forth of ten…
Action! Adventure! Myths! Magic! The greatest swordsman of all time! This movie has all these things and so much more. The effects have held up pretty good through the years but that isn’t why you must see this movie. This was one of the first attempts at high fantasy. Not only that but it was done by one of the best young directors of the day. You know him now as Academy Award winner Ron Howard. This movie gave us hope that there would be more like it to come. Share this with all the nerdlings.
I have seen this movie dozens of times. At one point I nearly went word for word the whole movie. Harold Ramis and Bill Murray work so well together they were able to bring out one of Murray’s best comedic performances. Bill plays the redeemable jerk so well. All comedy nerdlings will have to watch this one. May I recommend watching it on the namesake day…? Why yes. Yes I will make that recommendation. Watch this on February 2nd.
Revenge of the Nerds
Back in the 1980’s nerds were not celebrated and praised like they are now. No, we were persecuted, bullied and outcast. Then in 1984 this beacon of hope came out. Yes the nerds were portrayed with every negative stereotype the writers could think of but the one thing they did was to allow those underdogs to become heroes. They got the girl, and they won the day. Granted they lied and cheated to do it, but nerds had been lied to and cheated on for decades before that… so I think it all worked out just fine. Save this one for when your nerdlings are of an age. There is lots of strong language and some bare flesh. Plus Booger is always picking his nose. Go figure…
I am not going to apologize for my love of John Candy. He was brilliant. This is one of my favorite movies of his that a lot of people either don’t know about or have forgotten. Candy plays an overstressed air traffic controller in Chicago who is forced to take an extended vacation. He takes his whole family down to Florida for several weeks where all the wackiness ensues. It is funny. It is touching. It is just a good movie. And to make it even better, Rip Torn plays a pirate. Enjoy this one with nerdlings of all ages.
This movie is proof that fans have power. After the detestable cancellation of ‘Firefly’ (after airing only 12 of 13 episodes and moving it around the Fox schedule a few times) the shows cult following started to complain and beg for more. Two years later this movie was the result. It was a swan song for a show that should have had many more years of television episodes instead. You can watch the movie without watching the TV show first, but why would you do that? It’s a single day marathon binge watch.
This is a masterpiece of sci-fi goodness. It is endlessly quotable. It has some of the best characters to grace the big and small screens. It is one of my favorites of all time. Hitch a ride with Captain Malcolm Reynolds and you will soon be a Browncoat too. Share this with your nerdlings but cover the younger ones eyes for the more violent parts.
The Ice Pirates
This is one of the dumbest movies I have ever seen. Why you may ask is it on this list then… well, it may be dumb but it makes me laugh every time. The effects are crappy, the comedy is cheesy and the plot is slapdash at best, but it is still damn funny. I used to rent this at least twice a month when I was growing up. With the money I spent on renting it I could have bought it. Give this a shot. You may roll your eyes but you will start to chuckle then eventually you will be laughing. This is reserved for the older nerdlings; granted it is PG but I would say it is a PG-13.
“Come out to the coast, we’ll get together, have a few laughs…. Now I know what a TV dinner feels like.”
Plus all the other John McClane quotes that just aren’t appropriate to put into this post. This movie ranks on a lot of lists as a favorite. But one of the biggest favorite’s list that it nearly always finds its way on is the Christmas movies list. Including mine. Like I said before, ‘it isn’t Christmas until John McClane blows something up.’ Reserve this and the subsequent sequels for your older nerdlings because of the violence and motherf***ing language.
This is one of the most brilliant plays ever written. Michael Frayn wrote the entire play around the second act where only a couple of lines of dialog are said on stage. Everything else is either delivered off stage or is just a piece of physical business performed on stage. It might be my favorite stage play of all time, with the caveat: if it is done well. This play can go south real fast if the timing isn’t there or the actors aren’t experienced enough.
With that all said, the movie adaptation is flipping brilliant. It was perfectly cast. Just look at who was in this movie: Carol Burnett, Michael Caine, Denholm Elliott (look him up kids), Mark Linn-Baker (who is an underrated physical comedian), Marilu Henner, Nicollette Sheridan, Julie Hagerty, and the late greats Christopher Reeve and John Ritter. My theater/movie friends and I have sat around for hours trying to recast this movie for a fictional remake and we come to the same conclusion each and every time; this one is perfect. Every moment of this movie is planned and executed perfectly. It is a verbal and physical dance that dazzles and entertains. I love this movie. Share this with all the nerdlings. You will laugh till you cry.
Any horror nerd must pay homage to the classics and this is at the top of those lists. Boris Karloff dons the bolts and terrorizes the villagers in one of the best adaptations of Mary Shelley’s iconic novel. Yes it is another black and white movie. But one must pay their respects to the pioneers. Without this we wouldn’t have the colorized movies you all love now. Watch and enjoy with your nerdlings next Halloween.
The Karate Kid
“You’re the best around. Nothing’s ever gonna keep you down.” If that song isn’t stuck in your head right now then you haven’t seen this movie or you haven’t seen this movie nearly enough. You need to get your ‘Wax on… Wax off…’ on. This is one of my favorite underdog stories. It teaches us that through hard work and dedication you can beat the crap out of the ones who have been beating the crap out of you. Plus it has the beautiful Elisabeth Shue. She was one of my childhood crushes. Share this with your nerdlings. Just be prepared for crane kicks to the genitals from the younger ones for weeks afterward.