So, I thought about committing this week’s blog post to a notion I’ve been nursing about how we can all try to be better people to one another in these grim days of psychopathology by way of political partisanship. Sadly, it was coming off as sort of sanctimonious. I blame it on eating some bad egg rolls and falling asleep while the John Adams miniseries played in the background the night before I started writing it. Second, the Republicans pulled Trumpcare, which made being sanctimonious also a bit of poor sportsmanship. I’ll probably still post that entry at some later date, mainly because I just can’t help myself.
In the mean time, people from all corners of the internet have been posting their favorite movies from each year since they were born. The first instance I saw of it was in this article on the AVClub here, but I can’t say with any certainty that the trend started there. So naturally, I have managed to come up with my own list. Some of them were entirely too easy to choose. I’m looking in your direction, 1985. Some years were shockingly bereft of choices, and I’m as surprised as you are that Bubba Ho-Tep (2002) made the list. Some years, I couldn’t pick just one. I tried to whittle them down, but if you think 1998 can’t fit both You’ve Got Mail and Shakespeare in Love, you have another thing coming. That other thing, of course, is Primary Colors.
All in all, I’m relatively proud of the eclectic nature of my list. Or, at least, I’m surprised that it ended up being as eclectic as it was. There were only three movies each featuring either Batmen or Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. I kept myself to only two films featuring various crews of the starships Enterprise. That’s got to count for something approximating personal growth. And despite nearly a decade of wall-to-wall movies from Marvel studios, only one of them made my list. Only one film based on a toy, and it was the legitimately good one. So that’s something. Okay, so there are 15 sequels on a list of 40 movies, but I think that says more about Hollywood’s unwillingness to make new things than it does about my inability to try new things. Let’s go with that.
'85 Back To The Future
'88 Die Hard/Rain Man
'90 Gremlins 2: The New Batch
'91 Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country/Silence of the Lambs/Rocketeer
'93 Groundhog Day
'94 Ed Wood
'95 The American President
'97 As Good As It Gets
'98 Primary Colors/Shakespeare in Love/You've Got Mail
'99 Man on the Moon
'00 Wonder Boys
'01 The Royal Tenenbaums
'02 Bubba Ho-Tep**
'03 X-Men 2
'05 Batman Begins
'06 Casino Royale
'07 Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
'08 The Dark Knight
'09 Star Trek
'10 Toy Story 3
'11 Midnight in Paris***
'13 Iron Man 3
'14 The LEGO Movie/X-Men: Days of Future Past
'16 Arrival/OJ: Made in America****
'17 Logan (so far)
What’s on your list? Let me know in the comments.
* Yes, I get that this film resoundingly doesn’t stand the test of time, but I can’t help my long-standing, irrational love for it. If you quote the movie, I am compelled to parrot the next several lines. If you happen to say any normal phrase like “Let’s go shopping,” I’m going to do the same thing. Batman is on the list. Deal with it. I’m mainly trying to convince myself by this point, aren’t I?
** Now that I think about, I can remember one other movie that was released in 2002 that may be worthy of a second look.
*** I know, I know…
**** Say what you will, but I’ve watched that whole documentary twice. It’d be pretty dishonest of me not to include it on the list.