Monday, March 18, 2013

Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest

Today is Alex J. Cavanaugh's Top Ten Movie Countdown Blogfest, where we tell you our favorite movies in top ten format.

I'm struggling a bit, as I'm a movie-lover, so let's see what pops up. I imagine it would be entirely different tomorrow. I'm going to define my favorites as being those I can watch over and over, in order to simplify this for me, so these aren't necessarily the movies that made me think the most, for instance, or that had the best writing or literary qualities to them. No, these are the movies I go to when I need something to play to make me happy. And I'm not positive they're in the right order, but I had to suck it up and pick an order, so here you have it.

#10 - Tootsie

Tootsie was a 1982 film starring Dustin Hoffman as a struggling actor who finally takes on the ultimate part, dressing as a woman in order to land a role on a soap opera and get a paying gig. He finds himself falling for a fellow actress, all while forming a deep friendship with her as Tootsie. He acts himself into a corner and must figure out what to do to make everything right.

#9 - Footloose

I figure most people must know about this film, while Tootsie has probably been overlooked by many (though it may be the only movie on this list that is on AFI's Top 100, not sure). And, of course, I'm talking about the 1984 version starring Kevin Bacon, who I've loved ever since. A hurting town makes an unrealistic set of laws in the face of a desperate situation, and it takes an outsider to show them they can celebrate life, rather than grieving the loss of it. A message that holds through the ages. And the soundtrack bloody well rocked! I still keep the CD in my car for when I'm on a longer trek, stuck in traffic, or frustrated (I admit it, I'm a road rager). The title song gets my whole body moving, and instantly lifts my spirits. Bring it, crappy drivers!

#8 - Pretty Woman

I don't think I've ever adored either Richard Gere (oh crap, I just thought of another movie I should have on here...honorable mentions...) or Julia Roberts as much as I do in this movie. He may be a cold-hearted business man, but he's endearing in his own way. And she has a smile and upbeat attitude that can cheer up even the worst of days. Plus, I love her hair. Curly, red and unruly. What could be better? I wish her hair always looked like that. Also, I'd kill to wear that red dress to just one event. This movie shows that even when you're at your most down and out, good things can happen. Plus, it's quite a statement on humanity, and the good therein, despite the fact that we're seeing a teeny bit of the underbelly (though maybe an underplayed, glamorous version thereof). The hotel manager melts my heart, as does every person who chooses to be nice to Vivian instead of just judging her. And, of course, it's that princess being rescued by the prince romance that we've grown up on, and though I fight against that stereotype, I feel like Vivian would have made something of herself no matter what, and that she's saved him much more than he's saved her.

#7 - Dirty Dancing

Another movie where the soundtrack's as good as the film, itself. I seem to recall buying part I and II of the soundtrack as my Columbia House purchase back in the day...the know what I'm talking about? My other purchases included Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, oh yeah. Moving on. Dirty Dancing is the flipside of Pretty Woman. Here, we have the privileged young woman and the poor young man who's basically prostituting himself out on the side just to make ends meet and to make the patrons happy. We see that there are levels of "good" in people. A father can teach his daughter to think of others and to love everyone, but when put to the test, he struggles with his daughter consorting with someone he's not okay with. Johnny's below Baby, and he's trouble, or that's what it looks like when one doesn't look too deep. But she can learn valuable lessons from a guy like him, as her sister learns tough lessons from the pure boy next door that their father respects, despite the fact that he's a piddly little scumbag. Team Johnny all the way, baby.

#6 - Ladyhawk

I admit it, many of these movies are 80's movies, and Ladyhawk is no different. I discovered Matthew Broderick in this film, not in Ferris Beuller's Day Off. He'll forever be a combination of Ferris and Mouse, the tiny thief who breaks out of the filthy prison, speaking to God the entire time, begging forgiveness and asking for help, even as he does wrong. Along comes Captain Navarre, sweeping the little Mouse into a dark situation, tainted by magic and religion. A curse, shape shifting, treachery, magic, and tortured romance make this a movie for many. My brothers love this movie as much as my sister and I do. There are battle scenes and close calls, and absolutely the most beautiful hawk and wolf. Evil can never win against true love.

#5 - Aliens/Tremors

Aliens is a fantastic movie. One of those that is better than the original. Alien, itself, was not a bad movie, but the horror ante was upped considerably, and we were rooting for Ripley even more in this follow-up. Newt is a kick of a kid, stronger than many of the adults ("Game over, man!"), and I so badly wanted Ripley and Hicks to get to hook-up in the third (no comment on the third). Heart-pounding action, freaky-gross aliens, tension, and they're in space! Isolation is always a kick-up for a horror film, and back in the day, it was even more so. Aliens broke into new frontiers and scared the living crap out of people.

But if you want a horror movie that's just a kick, Tremors is a great choice. Val and Earl are so fun, and the people of this tiny isolated town are a bunch of characters. Despite the fact that I don't think Reba McEntire can act, she's just as likable as Val and Earl. You've got the greedy shop keeper, the whiny prankster kid, the haggard mom, the geeky seismologist, the town handymen, the gun-wielding survivalist couple, and a few scattered others. Throw in a few giant subterranean worms, and you've got a fun night of movie watching! It's like Jaws in dirt.

# 4 - The Goonies/The Last Unicorn

I figured I'd clump two of the kids movies together. I think this is the last double shot I'll do. I can't promise anything, though. Who doesn't love The Goonies? It's the movie that taught us school wasn't the only place with cliques and separations, and that you could overcome the odds with a healthy sense of adventure and the determination to get it done. Plus, pirates! Who of us hasn't wished we'd find a treasure map that would take us to a wealth of gold and jewels (and, more importantly, adventure)? Some laughs, some scares, some thrills, some romance. And some young stars that went on to bigger and better things (Sean Astin, Corey Feldman, Josh Brolin, etc.).

The Last Unicorn was the second movie I owned for myself (Ladyhawk was the first). I adored Mia Farrow's soft voice and Schmendrick. It's such a tale of olden times, inherent magics and mythologies, and acceptance of what is, not just what we believe to be. It's the non-Santa version of Santa Claus, like Tinkerbell. Believe, and you make it so. I always long for a different ending, but it ends the way it should. ~watery sigh~

#3 - The Crow

Brandon Lee broke my heart when he died just shy of April Fool's. To the point that I was convinced it was some nasty April Fool's joke by the media. This film was darkly lush, sarcastic, and oddly optimistic, despite being about the dregs of humanity, and a town riddled with its own filth and violence. To have the opportunity to come back from the dead to see that your death is avenged, and that the evil are cast out. A savior in burial garb. A mystical crow, the harbinger of life and death. Something in this film has always appealed to me, some dark place inside of me, perhaps. Or it could be some light and hopeful place? Who can say?

#2 - Labyrinth

Labyrinth. What can I say about it? Another movie that proves magic exists, but we refuse to see it. A movie that shows us fairies are nasty little pests, that tests our wits, and shows us a different way to think about everything. The Goblin King was a cool fellow (maybe a little too cool, there, David), young Sarah so intent, and Hoggle so torn. She couldn't have asked for a better, more loyal group of friends, and that's something every girl certainly needs. I may have killed this movie for my kids, though, as when I put it on, my son says, "Oh, we're going to watch Labyrinth again." Some day they'll love it like I do. SOME DAY!

#1 - Breakfast Club

You'd think I would have outgrown this film, and all of those other teeny-bopper movies from the 80's (Sixteen Candles, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, so on and so forth), but I haven't. Sure, it probably doesn't have the same impact on me that it used to, but it is still the movie I put on when I need something to watch. I was watching this movie while in labor with my daughter (the labor went so quickly right after we started it that I had my hubby stop it and start it over when my daughter was here and everything had calmed). Yet another great soundtrack, though Simple Minds has the song I can listen to over and over, and that always uplifts me in a certain way. The truth in high school as seen through a microscope. It examined why kids act the way they do, and it made sure each of these kids told their story, their background, in order to show us that every one of them was 1. just another person with their own struggles, and 2. just a kid doing the best they could with what their parents, other kids, and life were handing them. I can't wait to share this film (and all the others) with my kids, though they're young yet. I can only hope they'll see in it what the rest of us did, and that it will still carry the same sort of message for them that it did for so many in decades past. It reminds me to this day to try to remember that everyone around me is facing their own struggles, and their outward behavior may be a reflection of that. Does the movie simplify and stereotype? Yeah. But as teenagers, doesn't the world come across that way, anyway?

I forgot Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Beetlejuice, An Officer and a Gentleman, The Princess Bride, A Knight's Tale, Never Ending Story, The Replacements, Speed, Pirates of the Caribbean, Iron Man, The Avengers, Three Musketeers, Young Guns, and so many more! ACK! I could go on forever and ever and ever, but I won't. Can't wait to see everyone else's favorites!

What are your favorite movies? What's your number 1?

May you find your Muse.


Bob/Sally said...

Ladyhawk, Tremors, and Labyrinth - all great picks.

Tasha Duncan-Drake said...

Brilliant list. I have seen every film on your list apart from The Last Unicorn and loved each one. The Breakfast Club is my fav 80s flick of that genre, closely followed by Weird Science :). You have Tremors in there too, such a brilliant comedy horror. Val and Earl rock! Ladyhawke is such an fab film, I could watch it endlessly.

M.J. Fifield said...

I have a soft spot for Pretty Woman (I love the shopping scene) and Dirty Dancing. Last week on my blog, I raved about Labyrinth and The Last Unicorn.

mshatch said...

Loved almost every single movie on your list and thank you for reminding me about Ladyhawke. Michelle Pfeiffer and Rutger Hauer (sp?) were perfect as the lovers *sigh* and I totally forgot Matthew Broderick was in that!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Aliens and Tremors! Good picks. And Ladyhawke has shown up several times this morning.
Thanks for participating in my blogfest!

Elise Fallson said...

Great list. The Crow was a really good movie. Breakfast club, Aliens and Goonies too. I haven't seen The Last Unicorn though, but I've heard about it a few times and I think I'm going to have to hunt it down and watch it one of these days. (:

A Beer for the Shower said...

I loved all of these movies. A great list of classics that younger generations have probably missed out on. Beetlejuice would definitely be on my list. Michael Keaton was so great in that.

Pat Hatt said...

Tremors is a great one. Like all on your list, except haven't seen ladyhawke. Have to get on that and go Tootsie go.

D.G. Hudson said...

Tremors was a fun one to watch, and I agree about Reba.

Favorite = Casablanca, I can watch it over and over. Too many great actors in that one.

David P. King said...

Mad props that Last Unicorn is on your list. Love that one. :)

Jeff Hargett said...

Some decent choices in that list. I seriously considered Aliens myself. Goonies is classic and Labyrinth was rich.

Dani said...

I know... it was hard to pick only 10 movies. And I could kick myself for leaving out Labyrinth. Correction... my 13yr old daughter WILL kick me for leaving it out. She loves that movie. I love David Bowie in that movie.

Shah Wharton said...

I could enjoy watching all of these. I'm coming round for movie-night - I'll bring the popcorn! Can we satr with the Breakfast Club? :)

Laura Josephsen said...

Oh, The Last Unicorn brings back wonderful memories. My sister and I used to watch it every year when it came on TV. The Red Bull freaked me out. ;) And I love Ladyhawk!

Mark Means said...

Some awesome 80s / 90s films there....great list1 :)

DL Hammons said...

I love ALL your picks, but especially Tremors. It was on my list up until the last minute! :)

Al Diaz said...

Footloose and the Last Unicorn! I didn't think I was going to see these movies mentioned and it is such a nice surprise you did. Very special movies for me.

farawayeyes said...

Some great choices. How did I forget 'Tootsie'?

Tammy Theriault said...

The breakfast club! Cult classic!!! Love pretty woman and dirty dancing, too!

Mary Hill said...


I loved Breakfast Club too. I loved most of those movies you listed. Like you my list could have gone on forever. check it out



Nancy Thompson said...

I love Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing, both of which I've seen at least 50 times. But The Crow, oh, how that still, to this day, makes me cry. You know, I named my son after Brandon Lee. Gone way too soon. :(

Julie Flanders said...

Great choices!! I totally loved Pretty Woman and have seen it so many times I can probably say all the dialogue. Same with Breakfast Club. I'm a total 80s girl and love those 80s movies. :)

Nicole said...

The Footloose song started playing in my head as soon as I came across it on your list, lol, but get this...I haven't seen the movie! It's funny how I'm more familiar with the soundtrack..and Kevin Bacon...than the actual film that the songs are base on. Bummer, I know.

Although I'm familiar with nearly all of your picks, I've only watched three movies from your countdown -- they include Pretty Woman, The Crow and Aliens....I plan to change that once Netflix or Blockbuster sends me The Goonies!


Andrew Leon said...

Tremors was the very first movie to ever make me "jump," and I wasn't even watching it at that theater.

And Pretty Woman has been cited more than once as a major factor in the cultural glamorization of the sex industry, which I find kind of odd. I was first given that movie by a woman to watch, "Here, this is my favorite movie ever; go home and watch it." (But she'd watched it so many times the VHS tape wouldn't play after about 1/2 through it. heh)

Tina said...

Man, blogger is on a comment eating frenzy this morning...I was going to say I loved Breakfast Club and HAVE watched it with my teenage boys and we really enjoyed it. Good discussion too. Yes, he used stereotypes, but I think that was his whole point like you said.
Anyway, great list. We should have a movie night sometime!
Tina @ Life is Good
Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
@TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

Shannon Lawrence said...

Bob, aren't they great?

Natasha, Val and Earl should be on any "best duos" list out there. Snarking at each other the whole time, yet obviously the best of friends.

M.J., it always makes me happy when someone has seen The Last Unicorn!

Marcy, fantastic! They were perfect, weren't they? I don't think I would have thought of him as a romantic lead, really, but they were perfectly at odds with each other.

Alex, I love that Ladyhawk is all over the place out there!

Elise, it can be hard to find, but it's such a good animated film.

Bryan (& Brandon), I know, I tried to figure out if I should fit Beetlejuice in there somewhere once I thought of it, but at that point I had crammed it fuller than I was supposed to, so I figured I'd throw it in the honorable mention at the end.

Pat, Ladyhawk is a good one! I hope you get to watch it! Such a fun movie!

D.G., oh yes, Casablanca is a great movie!

David, yay! Mad props in return that you've seen it and appreciate it!

Jeff, I figured since I do watch Aliens over and over it deserved a place. Not sure how many horror movies I will find on the various lists. I also considered putting in The Shining. Shoot, should have put that in honorable mentions...

Dani, it was seriously hard. Every time I thought I was done I thought of one I missed. I need a Top 100!

Shah, you bet! Bring it on over! I will never turn down Breakfast Club.

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love that you included the Last Unicorn and Tremors on your list! I'm not sure if I could pick an alltime number one myself, but Indiana Jones ToD would be in the top three for sure

Shannon Lawrence said...

Laura, the Red Bull freaked me out, too. You think the drink is based off him?

Mark, they did all pretty much turn out to be in those decades, didn't they?

DL, oh no! I'll have to go see what kicked it off.

Al, even though they were not so good to dragons in The Last Unicorn, it was a lovely movie!

Farawayeyes, I don't know! I almost forgot it, too. Oh! I forgot Splash!

Tammy, pretty sure they'll be playing The Breakfast Club on TV into the 3000's.

Mary, I'll definitely be checking out your list. You know the movie people by how hard a time they have narrowing down a list, right?

Nancy, I didn't, but that's so wonderful. I always thought it was cool that his sister's name was Shannon, as I have a brother named Brandon. I think he could have had an awesome career as an action star.

Julie, me, too! Oh, and speaking of movies I can quote the whole dialogue to, I forgot Grease!

Nicole, oh, The Goonies is such a mainstay for pre-teens! My son is 8 and loves it already (my daughter is scared of Sloth).

Andrew, I agree, it made prostitution look okay, and that's a negative impact of the film (IMO). I enjoyed the story behind it, though. And yay for Tremors making you jump!

Tina, a movie night would be awesome, us both being such movie freaks! Have they ever considered doing a movie thing at Red Rocks Amphitheater? Don't you think that would be cool? Like a walk-in movie. :D

Unknown said...

You made a good point, and I did the same thing, listing the movies I watch again and again as sort of comfort food, even if they're not the best ever made. Though some of them are. :)

DiscConnected said...

Thought about Breakfast Club, but gave the spot to another Hughes' film.

Love The Crow (also on my list), and as much as I love the Alien films I did not think of them either time I did this list.



Rhonda Albom said...

Your first 4 (or last 4) reads like my movie closet list. Love these comedies. I did silly travel movies, so different picks. I am a new follower.

Shannon Lawrence said...

Jan, comfort food, yes, exactly!

Oh, Larry, you can't forget Aliens!!

Rhonda, that sounds fun! Must go see if National Lampoons made it. :D

Unknown said...

great list. It w3as very difficult for me to stop at 10, there are so many amazing movies out there!

Carrie-Anne said...

My all-time favoritest movie is The Inner Circle, a historical drama based on the memoirs of Stalin's film projectionist. I'm an incurable intellectual and history-lover!

Chuck said...

Wow...Breakfast Club, I've watched that movie so many times but somehow it didn't make my list. You have quite a variety of genres there. Tremors was funny and Alien then Aliens were both great. I loved Ripley attitude in both.

Mina Lobo said...

Aw, Footloose is just adorable, ain't it? And SUCH a fabulous soundtrack. :-) I'm with you on honorable mentions The Replacements and Speed, too. :-)

Shannon Lawrence said...

Adriana, there really are so many great movies out there!

Carrie-Anne, it does not at all surprise me that your favorite movie would be along those lines, and I think that's great! I haven't seen that film, though.

Chuck, gasp! Yes, Ripley is The Woman.

Mina, I quote Replacements all the time, too. "But he's wiry."

Petronela said...

Oh you are a romantic, just like meeeeeeeeee...sigh...who could not love Pretty Woman ?

Anonymous said...

Great top ten movie list. I've seen most of the movies you mentioned.

nutschell said...

These are all classics I'd love to watch. Well, except for Pretty WOman, since I've watched it twice already:)

Carol Kilgore said...

Tootsie was so funny! I like Pretty Woman and Dirty Dancing, too.

Editor and Publisher Shelly Burke said...

Saw "Tootsie" on one of my first a drive-in no less! Great music in "Footloose"...obviously I was an 80's teen. (Now a 2013 40-something...)

THANKS for sharing and thanks for hosting the A to Z Challenge--I'm taking part at and and looking forward to it!

klahanie said...

Hello human, Sharon,

Yes, it's me, Penny the Jack Russell dog and modest internet superstar!

What an interesting list of movies and such a detailed description. It's been ages since my human watched "The Breakfast Club". I shall give him a nudge. I know he likes that movie.

I quite like "Beethoven" and yes, I mean the dog :)

Pawsitive wishes,

Penny :)

LD Masterson said...

I love wandering around this blogfest, finding great movies no one else thought of. I thonk you're the only one that pick Tootsie. Dustin Hoffman was so good in that folm.

James Garcia Jr said...

You can't go wrong with a list that ends with The Breakfast Club. Did we all have that film memorized back in the day? I know I did. I haven't seen it in a very long time, but still recall many of the lines.


Shannon Lawrence said...

Petronela, shhh, that's a secret.

Susanne, which haven't you seen?

Schell, I can watch some movies over and over and over.

Carol, I always love when someone else has seen Tootsie, considering I get so many blank looks.

Shelly, how cool to have seen Tootsie at the drive-in! I saw Pretty Woman at the drive-in the first time.

Dearest Penny, Beethoven is one cool guy. We like him at this house, too.

LD, I have yet to see another Tootsie on the list! I agree, it was a lot of fun seeing what everyone chose. And so many were also my favorites.

Jimmy, I'm betting we did! I'm pretty sure I know most of the lines still, too, but not sure I can claim all anymore.

Anonymous said...

Dropping in late from the blog hop! Love your picks of "The Last Unicorn" and "The Crow"! :3

Shannon Lawrence said...

Capillary, because they rock!