FILMS THAT DEFINED US

This is a new MEME put together by Marc (my Zombie loving friend) over at Go, See, Talk! Please, after reading this, stop by and check out some of the other people’s posts that will be popping up all over the blogosphere today. Here’s the basic idea…

We’re all picking a handful of films that had a profound impact on us in our impressionable years. We are also setting out to answer the following about each:

1. What dazzled us about the film at a young age?

2. How the film holds up?

3. Why you think it sets the standard for the genre of choice?

I’ll do my best. Here’s my 5:

ROAD HOUSE.

Not a shocker to see this on my list, I know! The reason this film had an impression on me, as many of you know, is that it was my first exposure to nudity on film. I was 10 or so at the time and you all know my love of masturbation so, do the math! 🙂

As far as how the film has held up… well… not very well. I still love the hell out of it but it hasn’t aged well. It’s not the filmmaker’s fault though. Who could’ve foreseen that acid washed jeans, sleeveless plaid button-ups and mullets were going to go out of style. That’s right… out of style… talkin’ to you Southern U.S.

STAR WARS – EPISODE 6: RETURN OF THE JEDI.

I was tempted to pick Star Wars but this is the film that stands out the most in my childhood from the trilogy. After all, I wasn’t born when the first one came out and I was pretty young for Empire. However, I distinctly remember watching this film when I was 6 or 7 and playing with my action figures in Ewok Village.

Not sure the film holds up great. Probably the worst of the 6 in that regard. It’ll also always be the Muppet movie. Still, the impact these films had on the world and their genre is obvious. And it’s a nice end to the series.

GHOSTBUSTERS.

What can I say? When I was a kid, the idea of becoming a Ghostbuster was the coolest idea ever. Since my Mom raised me on SNL, I was drawn to it even more because of Murray and Akroyd. Peter Venkman remains one of the best characters ever in film… I don’t care if you disagree because you are wrong… and this remains one of my favorite comedies ever. If not my favorite all time.

The special effects haven’t held up great but aren’t horrible by any means. The film still manages to do what it set out to accomplish. I don’t think it’s had an effect on the genre I would have liked… we need more Horror/ Fantasy/ Sci-Fi based comedies. However, I think the characters in this film have been copied to the umpteenth degree in the past 25 years.

STAND BY ME.

I was about 8 when this film came out. Not too much younger then Gordie and crew. I hung out with 3 other kids at the time and did many of the same things… lied to parents, snuck out with my friends, went on adventures that were too grown up for my young self and cursed like a sailor… oh, and my Dad was a dick too!

I really identified with this film because, even though it was set in another generation, it seemed the most honest depiction of coming of age I’d seen. It still is and it still holds up. Look, I wish I had a Goonies childhood but I didn’t. This film spoke to me.

Not to mention it was just a better time. Jerry O’Connel was still fat, Corey Feldman wasn’t annoying yet, River Phoenix was still alive and Wil Wheaton, well, he was still around.

FIGHT CLUB.

Okay, so this one is a cheat because I was around 20 when I saw it but in all honesty, because my childhood was what it was, these to me seemed to always be my most impressionable years. This film depicted a lot of what people in my generation were going through and wrapped all up in a cool, sexy, testosterone driven action film. The second honest coming of age tale I’ve seen in my life!

This film, in my opinion, is one of a handful that have shaped everything we’ve seen over the last 10 years. As far as me, I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again. This is my favorite film. This started my love of film. This made me want to write films. And, no doubt, is the reason you’re even reading this post today!

26 Responses to “FILMS THAT DEFINED US”

  1. Haha…love your reason for the first one. Your other choices are all in line with the films that I grew up watching (apart from Fight Club!)

    The nudity thing is interesting – I can’t remember which film was the first I saw that featured nudity. I know when I was 11 my best friend at the time somehow got hold of a VHS copy of an American porn film about a midwestern brothel – it was very high-budget, high-production values type stuff. I know that film had a profound impact on me. In fact, it made my sex education classes a lot easier to understand!

  2. Man, this is a hard list to beat, homey. Also don’t think we’re gonna find anyone who openly admits to loving a movie for all the jerk-off time it provided him.

    “Yes, your honor, it’s true. This man has no dick.”

    Gotta love Ghostbusters.

  3. Great list Kai. Obviously, we all know your love for Road House (I still need to see it, don’t mug me please). Happy to see Stand by Me in there, one of the best coming-of-age movie for guys.

  4. Another Stand By Me and Ghostbusters, good stuff. I included Back to the Future, rather than Ghostbusters. Love time-travel flicks, so had to do it:)

  5. I had never seen “Road House” until a couple years ago when a friend of mine who swears by it made me watch it. I don’t know how I lived for so long without seeing a stuffed polar bear kill a guy. Unforgettable.

  6. I would include Jaws… Great film, great camera work, a bit of nudity, guys getting drunk and showing off scars, and the ability to keep millions out of the water…”We’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

  7. Let’s clarify…”Zombie-liking”, not “loving”. Man you make me sound like a necrophiliac:P
    Ghostbusters making the rounds makes me happy while I’m page hopping and Jedi is the first SW film I saw…don’t know why I didn’t include it for this. But well done friend, here’s another list where I feel some of these would definitely make it to a second list of Films That Defined Me. Thanks for participating Kai:) And thanks for your way to honest honesty:P

  8. You and I would definitely get a long just fine while watching movies. I loved all of the movies you listed. Jedi and Stand By Me are movies that had a profound effect on me during my youth as well. Fight Club was one of my favorite films from college and one of my overall favorite films ever to date.

    • It’s funny cuz my kids are the age I was when I saw Stand By Me and it would fly right over their head if not just shock them. I am kinda grateful for that though I love what the film did for me.

  9. Damn man…it’s freaky how many of the films on your list were ones that o loved a lot growing up – ROAD HOUSE notwithstanding. As I mentioned to Steve over at The Film Cynics, FIGHT CLUB is a biggie for me too…especially in it’s wonderful adaptation from the book that quickly became one of my favorites.

    Too bad its message of anti-consumerism was lost on me and my few hundred dvd’s.

    • haha… me too. I LOVE the book. I read it one day. It’s so good and darker and the film deviates from it a bit but manages to maintain the heart while keeping the same voice.

  10. Ghostbusters! A film that allows Murray-exposure to the younger generation can only be a good thing. I too wanted to be a ghostbuster, or a teenage mutant hero turtle, although I always felt that the former would be a less lonely existence 😀

    Stand By Me is also a great choice for this list. And your Corey Feldman comments – I was actually thinking that exact same thing the other day. I think the lipsyncing and shockin’ awful dancing acted as a catalyst in his increasing annoyingness. I wish he’d return to his good old droll self.

  11. Of course I love all the films you have listed here. I think Stand By Me may be the best representative of a Coming Of Age film (save Almost Famous) out there, but I was a bit older when I first saw it, and a lot of it’s great qualities were lost on me until I saw it again as an adult, and really appreciated the characters and the impeccable writing, not to mention the camaraderie between them all.

    I knew Roadhouse, SW’s, and Ghostbusters would make your list, but Fight Club was a happy little gem in midst.

    🙂

  12. Uh, what? Return of the Jedi holds up the worst out of all 6 movies? Kai, I thought we could have been friends… Instead: Vendetta! I’m glad the rest of your formative years were much like my own, or at least influenced like my own. Ghostbusters was the number one proving ground for smartassiness and I couldn’t think of a better way to introduce the younger set to Bill Murray. Outstanding.

    And respect due for recognising the man-shaping power of Road House – but how the enduring power of Jeff Healey can’t keep it young forever.

    • haha… ROTJedi does hold up the worst but I was most aware of it as a kid becuz I was 7 at that point. I was too young for the others though I had seen them. Episode 4 is my favorite.

  13. Love the list — you are my new hero with “Roadhouse” which is one of my favorites! Just put it on a Top 5 list of mine this very morning on the Magic Lantern! It holds up just fine! Swayze and Elliott are still awesome in it. Cheesy? Hell, yes! But I can’t help but love it!

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