G-S-T Multi Blog-A-Thon: “Films That Defined Us”

I’m sure that if you gathered all of us cinephiles/cinebloggers you’ll find that our lives as film fans are pretty comparable; we started watching movies at a young age and basically never stopped. Certain films (good or bad as they may be) have indelibly cemented our tastes and forever determined what we liked and didn’t like from that point on. Some are classics, others are are only classics in our minds. Some are dumb fun, some are iconic and others evoke weird stares from our friends. Either way, certain films in our lives take prominence above all others because of the impact they had on us at the time and probably for the rest of our lives.

So here is a bit of trip down memory lane to figure out why I like the movies I do. Along for this fun filled nostalgic romp are a slew of equally impressive and movie obsessed friends of mine. Before I start, we at Go,See,Talk would just like to welcome and thank everyone who has participated in this blog event. Below my entries, I’ve listed the names and sites of everyone involved so take a look to see the films they chose as well.

So without further ado, here are the Films That Defined Us

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ACTION:

Predator – As a child, in my eyes Arnold simply defined action. He was and still is (despite the lack luster films prior to his term as The Governator) the Last and Only Action Hero. He’s larger than life and to an 8 year old, he’s even more so. Although it does take a lot to dwarf Ah-nuld, it was mind blowing how the Predator did just that. A running and gunning jungle flick, this was a perfect combo of a sci-fi and action. To me this is the epitome of action…80′s action that is. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever quoted a line more times in my life than “Get to the Chopper!!

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Aliens – If Predator was the perfect Earth based sci-fi/actioner, this is its awesome non-Earth based counterpart. Yet it had one and only thing I longed for in Predator…you got it, more of those kick-ass monsters. Also (new to me at the time) it was a rare films where we see a female protagonist who is pretty much a bad ass. She had enough gusto that she not only went toe-to-toe (load lifter toe that is) with a 2 story “xenomorph” but to also nuke an entire industrial colony from orbit. Hey,”it’s the only way to be sure“.

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Top Gun – “Highway to the Danger Zone” yup, that phrase (and song) I think sums up this awesome 80′s romp. This movie has F-14′s, an inverted dive with a MIG 28, and all the air-to-air combat you can handle. Then if that’s not enough you have such memorable characters like ChesterViperMaverick & Goose and of course Val Kilmer as the one and only Ice Man (chomp). Since I’m a guy, to me, this is what I imagine Dirty Dancing was to girls…only way more macho. This had it all: drama, romance, action and some brilliant and timeless comical one-liners. “I guess that about handles the fly-bys“.

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COMEDY:

Volunteers – As a kid I wasn’t quite old enough to understand the grown up humor, but this was still funny to me. Watching it with my Dad and looking at what made him laugh was kind of like learning a new language. Ever since then I trace nearly every smidgen of my sense of humor back to this film. It’s witty, sarcastic and has Hanks delivering some zingers with that dry and fake New England socialite accent that just kills me, “You mean you’ve just been you’ve just been trying to go to bed with me?”…”Well I think I put in the hours don’t you?”

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Back to the Future – The classic time traveling comedy works on so many levels. To a kid, it’s a fun movie with an envious car as pretty much a lead character and some zany antics. Getting a little older the time traveling complexities start to become more apparent and make the film so much deeper and richer than originally thought. Plus I consider Alan Silvestri’s score to be simply fantastic and one of the most memorable and thrilling themes I’ve ever heard…maybe even more so than Star Wars.

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Back to School – Rodney Dangerfield is one of my all-time favorite comedians. He was a different kind of entertainer and one of the last to come from the Bob Hope/vaudeville days of stand-up comedy. Even though jokes like “well call me sometime when you have no class” eluded me, it still had me laughing in so many other sequences. Smart and innuendo drenched crass jokes make the adults laugh and wacky faces get the kids smiling with this movie. You mention Back to School to an adult, they’ll rave about it as this collegiate gem is it’s one of  Rodney’s best. You ask a kid not if they’ve seen it but who Rodney Dangerfield is and they’ll say two words: “Triple Lindy”. Nuff said.

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Animal House – The be-all, end-all, college film was my favorite comedy as a kid. I guess, like pretty much everything on this list I have to thank my parents very much for allowing me to see these at such a young age. I considered it an ensemble film before I even knew the term. It certainly made me eager to find films equally as funny, witty and outrageous as this. My search yielded few that could come close to Animal House and that’s the main reason this is a classic. So many scenes are just incomparable comic gold, e.g. that ladder scene is pretty memorable to a kid…then you get a little older and you learn what makes the ladder fall backwards. See? It’s funny on multiple levels.

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HORROR:

The Thing – The one reason I will never become a research scientist or travel to a remote/isolated location. John Carpenter’s story was pretty much lost on me as a kid but what dug in like hooks was that sick defibrillator scene. Add to that the fact they set it on fire, then the head crawls away. I’m surprised my parents were ok with me seeing it and quite shocked I didn’t end up in therapy. Practical effects heightened the eerie story and looking back I get older Rob Bottin’s practical effects (that still hold up toady) set the standard for gore as they perfectly heightened the paranoia running rampant through this fantastic film.

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So these are the films that little Marc was raised on and that’s what I believe sums me up in a nutshell. No Citizen Kane here, I’m an all out product of the 80s (Animal House being the exception from 1978) and damn proud of it. It was a decade where truly anything does and in fact did go. But enough about me, like I mentioned above, here are the awesome bloggers who participated in this blog-a-thon. Click on these links to see what makes them tick and I’m sure you’ll find a few surprises.

Ruth – FlixChatter

Steve – The Film Cynics

Ripley – Four of Them

Nicholas – Cinema Romantico

Aiden – Cut the Crap Movie Reviews

Roisin – Sundry and Co

Olive – Movie News First

Kai – The List

Alex – Film Forager

Heather – Movie Mobsters

Lauren – Some People Like Movies

Peter – Magic Lantern Films

Meredith – M.Carter @ the Movies

Paul – Paragraph Film Reviews

Travis – The Movie Encyclopedia

Hatter – The Dark of the Matinee

Andy – Fandango Groovers

Jim – Napier’s News

 

  • http://ctcmr.com Aiden R.

    Man, The Thing, I saw that way too young too. Good times, one of the best horror movies ever made. Woot!

  • http://cinemaromantico.blogspot.com/ Nicholas

    “Back to School!” I’ve been reading a book where the author keeps making references to that movie. Now here it is again. I’m totally netflixing it now.

    • http://www.petereramofilm.com Peter E.

      yes, it is a comedy classic – you must see it!

  • http://www.anomalousmaterial.com/movies Castor

    Great blog event you organized there Marc! I wish I could have participated but with all the stuff going on on AM (Fantasy Draft, 31DBBB, regular content and fighting off space invaders), we just didn’t have the time to do it :(

  • http://flixchatter.wordpress.com rtm

    Oh TOP GUN was da bomb! What girl didn’t fall in love with Cruise, well Maverick :) remember watching Predator too with my bros, but I think out of the earlier Arnie movies I love was Conan The Destroyer, cheesy but heck it was loads of fun!

  • http://www.movienewsfirst.com Olive

    Included Back to the Future too:) You can’t go wrong with it really, can you? Glad to see you’ve included other eighties greats. I was going to include Top Gun and excluded it last minute.

  • http://encorentertainmnt.blogspot.com/ Encore Entertainment

    You get my FULL SUPPORT for Back to School. Every night before school opened for a long time every year we’d watch back to school. That movie is too funny for words…and in its odd way it got me interested in poetry (Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night…aaaw classic).

  • http://mcneilmatinee.blogspot.com Mad Hatter

    Many of the films you list were indeed touchstones for me growing up as well (which interestingly, leads me to believe we’re about the same age).

    Looks like this event is a rousing success good sir – kudos!

  • MarcC

    @Aiden…Agreed. Tough to top that for sure!

    @Nicholas…Well I’m sure you’ll like it and can’t wait to hear what you think:)

    @Castor…No love lost:)

    @Ruth…I’m sure we all have memories like that! And Destroyer was cheesy;)

    @Olive…well of all these, BTTF really defines me (hence the banner for this post). Can’t wait to get it on BluRay!

    @Encore…Glad to find another fan of the Triple Lindy:) Thanks for sharing; interesting what movies can inspire isn’t it?

    @Hatter…Sure seems that way, and it’s not even noon:) Can’t wait to see what happens later on today as well as weekend traffic. (Oh and I turned the big 3-0 this year)

  • http://www.filmforager.com Alex

    Awesome list! I didn’t get to see a lot of these until I was older so I’m a little jealous you were watching them at a young age! Back to the Future definitely captured my imagination as a kid though. I liked your comments about Volunteers- I’ve never seen it but I relate to watching more “adult” comedies with my dad that sort of taught me to develop a certain sense of humor, even if it went over my head at the time.

  • http://www.napiersnews.com Napiers News

    The Thing is an awesome movie. Whats funny is that I just finally saw it a few months back even though I love Kurt Russell. I also loved Big Trouble In Little China so that would have been a great addition to the list. I have seen a movie just about every weekend in the theaters since I was young so I could list so many films that really defined me. I may have to post my own list of films.

  • http://www.moviemobsters.com Heather

    The THING is a good one. You’re right, our lists are very similar in taste. Top Gun was one that almost made it to my list as well.

    Awesome list, and thanks for letting me be a part of it Marc!

  • http://fourofthem.blogspot.com Simon/Ripley
  • http://thefilmcynics.com/blog Steve

    Totally awesome! And totally makes me regret omiting Arnold’s influence on my childhood – even if he’s been pretty much wiped from my movie diet today. Love the bit about picking up comedy cues from your parents – I’ve totally been there! Based on Back to School and Aminal House, I totally should have known you in College: Look out!

    Great list! And great blogathon!

  • http://www.sundryandco.wordpress.com Róisín

    Ah, Top Gun! Great to see it on the list. Part of me still wants to be Maverick when I “grow up”. They sell the jackets at topgunstore.com!
    Back to the Future is a great choice too – Time travel at its cinematic best!

  • http://bokunosekai.wordpress.com Novroz

    Great list Marc…I love Alien, it is also movie that defines me.

    Too bad I couldn’t write this before the deadline

  • MarcC

    @Alex…Well chalk that up to very awesome parents. I should’t have seen these so young but glad I did. Also, I learned a lot from my dad just by watching the movies we did and having him explain stuff.

    @Napier…I pretty much write a line about how much I love Bog Trouble in Little China every other post. Only problem is that I really didn’t get into it until I got just a little older and watched it tons of times with my cousins. But certainly one that defined me as well.

    @Heather…How’s this for awesome. Not only did we both pick these, but on Saturday FX and Spike were playing these at the same time and they’re one channel apart. So I had so much fun flipping back and forth and hearing “Let’s Rock!!” and “Get to the chopper!!” within seconds of each other:)

    @Ripley and Novroz…Aliens is showing up on quite a number of people’s posts.

    @Steve…Arnold had his time and it’s forever solidified in movie history, even if as you say he’s fallen off recently. Yeah, knowing each other in college would have been a blast!

    @Roisin…Although many people say that Top Gun really doesn’t hold up these days, I’ll admit it but that won’t keep me from just loving that movie! But BTTF, now that gets better with age:)

    @Novroz…no problem buddy, there’s always next time:)

    • http://www.moviemobsters.com Heather

      I saw that Predator was playing that night! I missed Aliens. Brilliant. If I did a movieathon it would easily be all the movies I listed.

  • http://www.petereramofilm.com Peter E.

    Wow, “Volunteers”!!! That’s an interesting choice. Ha! Love seeing Back to School here and I can totally see the Top Gun thing. This was a great idea for a Blog Event, Marc — gonna start reading everyones now that I have some time. Good work — and again, thanks for inviting me to join!!!

  • MarcC

    @Heather…well after I posted this I tried to do just that on Saturday and Sunday. Yard work got in the way:( But next weekend is when I’ll finish the 6 out of th 8 I have left.

    @Peter…Not many people have seen or even know Volunteers but its a hidden gem. Glad to have you part of this. Now on to plan the next wildly successful movie blog-a-thon:) More on that as it develops!

  • http://www.themoviebros.com Matt

    Loved this concept. Do you mind if I steal your image for a post on my page?

    I’m going to put you on our blog roll. I really dig the site.

    I’m going to expand on the idea and do one movie for each genre.

  • MarcC

    Thanks for the compliment Matt. As far as snagging our logo, it’s the internet, no one’s stopping you…just give credit where credit is due:)

    This was a fun one to do and I’d be interested to see what your list looks like. Oh and welcome to G-S-T!

    • http://www.themoviebros.com Matt

      Oh yea, I always give proper credit. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll be posting it later this week. Just waiting for my brother to write his and I’ll publish.

      Thanks again! Stop by and check us out at http://www.themoviebros.com

      We update daily.

  • http://www.themoviebros.com Matt Volke

    I finally posted the movies that defined us. We’re doing it a little different, but I gave credit for your photo. Thanks for the inspiration!