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 seventh of ten…
This may be my favorite Chevy Chase movie. This is a comedy that really holds up through time. Of course there are a couple dated jokes and dated language but the vast majority of the funny business stands the test of time. This one should be saved for at least the PG-13 nerdlings.
This movie came along at a time when science fiction was trying to center itself and find its place in the box office once again. Roland Emmerich did a great job writing a story to do just that and the execution was spot on as well. Emmerich followed this movie up by writing ‘Independence Day’. SciFi hasn’t looked back. It had now found itself in the Hollywood landscape once again; front and center.
‘Stargate’ was also a pioneer on a second more important frontier; cyberspace. This was the first movie to have an official website built for promotion of a movie. It had trailers, pictures, behind the scenes footage, it was way ahead of its time. Speaking of the future, this film spawned several well done TV series which that original website still serves: http://stargate.mgm.com/.
I love this bathrobe wearin’, hockey jersey totin’, doobie smokin’, filmakin’ Jersey boy. A while back I had a ‘Random Movie Day’ where I watched several of his movies plus his ‘Evening with… 2…’ and one where he just acted ‘Catch and Release. He has a great style. His writing is top notch and he really has developed as a filmmaker through the years. It’s hard to tell y’all which movie to start with here. But I might have to say start with the one he started with: ‘Clerks’.
From that simple black and white microbudget movie started a career in film, podcasting, TV, public speaking and acting. Plus it inspired me to try and become a writer/director. Start with ‘Clerks’ but don’t leave out the ‘Evening with’ movies. You get to learn so much about him but beyond that he is just an endlessly entertaining guy. Use your discretion when introducing your nerdlings to movies in the Kevin Smith library. The films aren’t for every age group.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has made many, many, many entertaining movies. ‘True Lies’, ‘Total Recall’, ‘The Running Man’, ‘Kindergarten Cop’, ‘Commando’, ‘Twins’, ‘Last Action Hero’… the list goes on, but this might be my favorite. ‘Predator’ spawned sequels, remakes and a crossover collaboration. Like ‘The Terminator’ this movie became a franchise. Plus it has not one but two future governors in it. Enjoy this with your older nerdlings because of the language and violence. Then share more of Arny’s repertoire with them.
So I Married and Axe Murder
This is a great little slice of the early 1990’s. The clothes, the hair, the music all are saved for future generations to see what it was like in San Francisco circa 1993. This is also far and away my favorite Mike Myers film. On the coattails of the wildly successful movie ‘Wayne’s World’ Mr. Myers chose to take on this role after it was turned down by both Chevy Chase and Martin Short. And thank goodness those two passed. I couldn’t see anyone else playing the role of Charlie Mackenzie or his father Stuart.
I am a fan of this movie and have been from the first time I saw it in the theater the beginning of August 1993. I love when you find a movie that strikes you on just the right frequency that it resonates with you throughout your life. I go back and rewatch this movie every so often and each time it hits the same spot. Also, at the time, I really wanted to have hair like Mike Myers in this movie. Alas mine wouldn’t grow that long. Show this to your mid-aged nerdlings to see if it hits that same spot for them.
Honey, I Shrunk the Kids
Rick Moranis. I really like him. From his start on SCTV and his Bob and Doug McKenzie days to his many great films I have enjoyed it all. With ‘Honey, I Shrunk the Kids’ he plays a bumbling inventor who never seems to make anything that works. Until his kids mess around and activate his shrink ray. The good clean family comedy that follows is timeless. I have always and will always enjoy this one. Sit the family down and enjoy this nerdy little nugget.
There is one hero who stands a little taller, shines a little brighter and has a better chin than anyone else in the business. I speak of the one and only Bruce Campbell. If you are a fan of B-movies you will know the iconic cult status of this great man. If you were a fan of the USA series ‘Burn Notice’ you will know him as Sam Axe that wisecracking’ former Navy Seal. No matter where or how you should know who this man is.
A while back I did a ‘5 or More…’ about Mr. Campbell. In that list is a pretty good sampling of my favorite roles he has had throughout the years. There are a few of his TV shows on that list so to make this more about the movie side of his career I will have to suggest the Ash Trilogy: ‘Evil Dead’, ‘Evil Dead 2’and ‘Army of Darkness’. Also look into ‘Bubba Ho-Tep’, ‘My Name is Bruce’, or ‘Man with the Screaming Brain’. Use discretion when introducing BC to your nerdlings. There is some graphic and frightening images to be had especially in the original ‘Evil Dead’. But if your nerdlings have a love for B-movie flare please let them fall in love with this great man!
Bonus Movie: Before my train of thought gets derailed, if you like Bruce and enjoy his movies, check out the movie ‘Idle Hands’ starring Seth Green from 1999. It has a great young cast, a clever script and a solid execution. Also, and this is the reason for the thought train, there is a wonderful scene in ‘Idle Hands’ that is a beautiful homage to the Master Bruce Campbell. If you are a fan of his you will know exactly what I’m talking about.
This is one of my all-time favorite movies and it has been for most of my life. I have watched this countless times and it delivers upon each viewing. Yes it is dated. Yes the “effects” are cheesy. Yes plot isn’t the greatest. But to all that I say: ‘Who cares!?!?’. This movie is just fun. It is a wonderful physical comedy also a beautiful family movie. I love all the characters and the situations and most of all I love Dean Jones. Dean Jones was a Disney live action staple back in the day. You may know him as the man who owned and ‘drove’ the original Herbie. He is one of my favorites and he makes this movie for me.
I have shared this movie with all my nieces and nephews and they simply adore it. They all asked for it for Christmas one year. Buy this movie and share that same joy with your nerdings. You won’t be disappointed.
The Three Musketteers
There have been countless (ok, I’m sure this is easily researched but I don’t feel like it.) retellings of this story on stage and screen but this is my favorite. Charlie Sheen, Keifer Sutherland, Oliver Platt and Chris O’Donnell as Aramis, Athos, Porthos and D’Artagnan, respectively, work so well together. Every scene with them flows so well and has the exact amount of humor needed. And don’t forget about the brilliant Tim Curry as the evil Cardinal Richelieu. The perfect mastermind foil for the three that are as one. Plus it has the hit tune “All For Love” by the powerhouse trio of Bryan Adams, Rod Stewart, and Sting . Enjoy this with all your nerdlings.
Coming to America
This movie is in the top 5 of my favorite Eddie Murphy movies. It has a great cast and is funny from start to finish. This is defiantly an 80’s movie, make no doubt about that. From the fashion to the hair to the all-around feel of the film it is vintage 1980’s. But not the day glow 80’s you might think. I enjoy this movie and I think you and your older nerdlings will enjoy it too.