All of us have particular movies we’ve seen, whether as an adult or child, that stay with us in a way others hadn’t before. They’re special experiences we hold onto, whether it was because you saw them with a close friend or the film connected with your life in a personal way. These are movies that define us, and we’re breaking down each by genre. Each week, one of our contributors will list the movies that defined them.
Comedy: As I am back to school now, I can’t help but think about Real Genius. This is one of the movies I grew up watching and always laughed at Val Kilmer’s performance as the brilliant goofball Chris Knight. As I got older, though, I began to take away some of the philosophy presented by Chris. His character taught me that if you take some things in life like education or your career too seriously, it could consume you.
Action/Adventure: “If it bleeds, we can kill it.” Ahhhh man, such dialogue! Predator is the one movie I’m glad my dad made me watch over and over with him when I was little. I’m not a huge action movie lover but there is something about this film that tickles my fancy. I think it might be the idea of how a group of professionally trained and experienced soldiers react to being hunted, much less the fact that an alien is hunting them. I don’t think there’s anything more manly in a film than seeing a montage of a soldier using basic survival and defense skills to defeat an adversary.
Science Fiction: The Matrix came out when I was in the sixth grade; I thought it was my favorite science fiction film ever… until I saw Equilibrium. Personally, I thought the plot was more appealing, particularly how the society’s hand-to-hand and defense and shooting offense is all based on physics and statistics. Also, this film was the first taste of (grown-up) Christian Bale’s acting capabilities.
Drama: Without a doubt, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is, and always will be, my favorite film from the drama genre. What digs down deep inside me is how realistic Jim Carrey’s and Kate Winslet’s relationship is portrayed; how we all start out giddy and very interested in your partner and how it can decay into just two people who live and bicker with one other constantly. The visuals were also very unique; using simple, yet effective techniques and some forced perspective shots. The climax is definitely a tearjerker for me.
Horror: Since my dad introduced me to the action film that defines me, my mother definitely introduced me to this horror film that defines me. Halloween was the first horror film that I watched that scared me psychologically, but without using gore. Halloween has a blend of mystery, suspense, musical score and photography that fit so beautifully together to make a great horror film.
Family/Children: Honey, I Shrunk the Kids was and is my absolute favorite children’s film when I was a child. I loved watching this movie and never got sick of it. I loved it so much that I would constantly make the infamous shrinking machine using my tinker toys and Legos. Aside from the idea a machine that could make things bigger or smaller, the idea of going on a dangerous adventure in my own backyard excited me. Sliding down a leaf of grass, eating a gigantic oatmeal cookie or riding on an ant didn’t seem impossible to do… when you’re five at least.