Monday, May 17, 2010

movies that i loved as a kid

You know how a feeling of nostalgia for something totally outweighs the rational fact that the something was terrible? My adult mind is absolutely certain that these movies that I watched (repeatedly) and loved as a child are cheesy, horrible things. And I absolutely buy these on DVD when I see them.

1. Troop Beverly Hills (1989). Shelly Long left Cheers after five seasons in order to pursue a film career; this was the first movie after that decision. *crickets*

I love this movie because while the troop attempts to conform to the standards of their organization, in the end it's their individual approach to challenges that allows their success.

There were lots of semi-famous child actors in this movie (Kellie Martin, Emily Schulman, Ami Foster, and Tori Spelling). Bonus: the actress who plays Long's daughter in the movie is Jenny Lewis, of Rilo Kiley.

2. Weird Science (1985). When John Hughes died last year and people were reminiscing about their favorite John Hughes movie, I was pretty much in the minority in lobbying for this one (the big contenders were Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, and Ferris Bueller's Day Off).

I guess the thing about the movie I love is that the two protagonists set out in a very juvenile way to exert some control over their lives, but wind up being forced to the very edges of their comfort zone by their "creation" (and of course, learning what they're capable of doing).

(Can't embed the trailer; see it here).

3. The Last Unicorn. This is a strange, dark animated movie, but I really appreciated the bittersweet ending. The core group of animators for this film eventually formed Studio Ghibli, which was founded by Hayao Miyazaki.

4. Annie (1982). I should have known that my love of musicals would have emerged at an early age. I used to watch The Carol Burnett show when I was younger as well, so this was just a continuation of my love for her. In general, I was much more a fan of the adult actors in this movie than the kids, but the singing and dancing were fantastic all around.

And who would have though me and Jay-Z would have similar movie tastes as children?

5. The Neverending Story (1984). Okay. I admit that this one doesn't hold up as well on later viewings. I blame it on the 80's technopop soundtrack. Whit blames it on Falkor's creepy pedophile winking.

6. The Wiz (1978). Oh man. Where to start? The cast (Dianna Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Lena Horne, and Richard Pryor as the Wiz)? Shut your mouth. Music by Charlie Smalls, Luther Vandross, and Quincy Jones? Jesus take the wheel. The overt and subvert commentary on internal and external race relations in New York?* Hot damn.

* I still remember how poignant the scene where Michael Jackson as the Scarecrow is trying to educate himself with scraps of books and newspapers with which he's stuffed, and the crows humiliate him for his attempts to better himself. The song, "You Can't Win, You Can't Break Even" is embedded below.

7. Back to the Future (1985). Of course.

What gets me about the trailer is how under-representative of the movie's awesomeness it is. No Biff? No 1.21 gigawatts? Come ON.

8. The Great Muppet Caper (1981). Miss Piggy was the highlight in this movie for me: bending jail bars, doing a synchronized swimming number, and gaining the attraction of Charles Grodin.

9. Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991). OK, technically I was a tween when this movie came out, but still. I think the best thing about this movie is the message that teens can make good, responsible decisions when given the opportunity (something that really resonated as I was coming into those years). Christina Applegate is solid in this one, and lo and behold, David Duchovny makes an appearance.

10. Elvira, Mistress of the Dark (1988). The fact that I was allowed to watch this movie as a child should illustrate how much freedom my parents gave me to make decisions. The thing I love most about Elvira? Her campiness. They actually have the entire movie on YouTube; here's Part 1.


Brenda said...

Seriously awesome picks and a reminder of why I miss our after hours chats. :)

KGF said...

Is that the "Badges? We don't need no stinkin' badges!" movie?

madichan said...

Ha, kind of! Rosa the maid says, "Patches? We don't need no stinking patches!"