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 eigth of ten…
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
I think I have said it before of choices for this list but I must say it again; I make no apologies for including this movie. It is just a piece of silly fun. The characterizations of the historical figures is brilliantly funny. The concept, at the time, was pretty fresh and new… plus it spawned my second favorite telephone box time machine. I enjoyed the sequel just as much as this one so I recommend checking that out as well. (I can’t wait till they finally make the third one!!) Share this with your nerdlings and enjoy some good natured time traveling hijinks!
This is another classic 80’s comedy. I have seen this countless times and enjoy it every time I watch it. This was Eddie Murphy’s second feature film and personally I think it might be his best. And Aykroyd was (is) genius. Frankly everyone in this was great. It just has to be seen to be appreciated. Keep in mind that this was early 80’s so it has that residual 70’s grit and grime to it. Plus it is rated R for the language and situations so reserve this for your older nerdlings.
Legendary director Joel Schumacher took on a very interesting movie when he decided to direct this 1990 feature. He loaded up the film with a brilliant young cast (Kevin Bacon, Keifer Sutherland, Oliver Platt, Julia Roberts, and William Baldwin) and molded a great script into a great film.
The plot is a very interesting mortality tale. Five medical students begin to explore the realm of near death experiences. Each has their heart stopped and is revived. They begin having flashes of walking nightmares. The experiences continue to intensify and they begin to be physically beaten by their visions as they try to go deeper into the death experience to find more answers.
It is mind-bendy and intense. I remember seeing this in the theater when it came out and being captivated by the story. It was so well done. Granted the “science” was very much science fiction but none the less it was interesting, like good sci-fi should be. Again this is has an R rating so save this for the more mature nerdlings.
The Zucker Brothers. Really that is all that needs to be said about this groundbreaking classic. Wait… Who are the Zucker Brothers? They are the masters at the parody movies. With ‘Airplane!’ they perfected the lampooning of pop culture cinema. The main influence for this movie was the brilliant 1957 thriller ‘Zero Hour!’ but they incorporated serious elements from the great disaster movies of the 1970’s like ‘Airport 1975’, ‘The Poseidon Adventure’, and ‘The Towering Inferno’ then amped up the ridiculous factor.
One of the classic signature moves of the Zuckers is the serious conversation going on in the foreground with some obscure piece of ridiculousness going on in the background. It is a wonderful comedic element that has been ripped off by many films since. Share this with your nerdlings. It will help shape their sense of humor.
Speaking of the Zucker Brothers, this is a movie based on an actual game they invented/created and played with their friends. The scene in the beginning where they are playing Baseketball in the driveway, that is the real board the Zuckers made and used plus most of the players are their friends who helped create the game.
This movie isn’t only on here because of the Zuckers. No it has a lot to do with the brilliant duo of Matt Stone and Trey Parker. They are two of the most talented and creative comedic minds of their generation. What they have done not only with ‘South Park’ but on stage with ‘Book of Mormon’ is sheer genius. And their performances in this is top notch. This is a bit vulgar so reserve this for the older nerdlings.
Keeping the Faith
This was the directorial debut of one of the most talented actors in the last 30 years; Ed Norton. Not too many people know about this little RomCom, but they should. It stars Norton as a Catholic priest who is lifelong best friends with a Rabbi played by Ben Stiller. Growing up there was a third wheel played by the talented Jenna Elfman. The two men of faith lost contact with Elfman for several years but she comes back into their lives and makes Norton question his calling because of her and Stiller to fall in love with her. This is a sweet and touching movie. Share this with with your PG-13 aged nerdlings.
American History X
Previously was an example of Edward Norton’s directing prowess; here is an example of his acting genius. The duality he shows in this powerful film is nothing short of amazing. He plays a former skinhead trying to prevent his little brother from suffering the same fate he has endured. But the brilliance lies in the flashbacks to his full blown neo-nazi days. What a 180 degree swing. Some of the scenes are extremely hard to stomach. But they need to be watched. This movie needs to be watched. This movie has a very hard R rating so it should only be shown to older nerdlings but it is a story that should be shown to them.
Now for something completely different! This little film from 2000 centers around the world of professional karaoke competitions. Yep you read that right; professional karaoke competitions. There is such a thing. I know people who compete in them and have won them. Maybe not professional but amateur ones anyway. Still these types of competitions exist in the real world.
In this movie Huey Lewis plays a hustler of such competitions. Because if there are competitions there has to be hustlers and why not have Huey Lewis play one, right? Anyway he tries to reconnect with his grown daughter played by Gwyneth Paltrow (her real life dad, Bruce Paltrow, directed).
Paul Giamatti also costars as a businessman who is fed up with his wife and life. He walks out of his house under the guise of getting a pack of cigarettes (he doesn’t smoke) and just keeps driving. He meets up with an escaped convict played by Andre Braugher. They become friends and embark on a road trip for the ages. There are other story lines that all get tied together by the magic of karaoke.
This is just a fun little film with some great music. Again this has an R rating so keep this one reserved for the older, music loving nerdlings.
This is a fun piece of futuristic, Sci-fi action. There are explosions. There are on-liners. There are fun references. There are Denis Leary rants. There is a young Sandra Bullock. There is a badass Wesley Snipes. Need I say more? Oh yeah and the man Sly Stallone knits. Again this is rated R because of language and violence so the older nerdlings should be the ones to see this; well the non-edited for TV version anyway. But frankly that is the best version. And what the hell are the three sea shells for???
Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, Steve Lemme, Paul Soter, and Erik Stolhanske; this is a group of guys who are damn funny. Plus they make really fun films, granted they can be a bit vulgar but they make it work. From ‘Super Troopers’ all the way to ‘The Slammin’ Salmon’ with ‘Beerfest’ and ‘Club Dread’ too. Don’t forget their stand up special ‘Broken Lizard Stands Up’. If you’re not a fan already pick a film and dive in. I say start with their first big release ‘Super Troopers’. Or if you’re a big nerd go with their actual first film ‘Puddle Cruiser’. And if you want some great stories from their past check out Lemme and Heffernan’s podcast ‘Chewin’ It’ found on the Nerdist Podcast Network. Again their movies are rated R so use your discretion when introducing Broken Lizard to your nerdlings.