#201: Just the Essentials

Photo by: tim

In the interest of injecting a little bit of excitement into your 200-ish episode listening, BryGuy and I have something a little bit special for the next two weeks.  If you remember when we made our list of 25 Albums We Can’t Live Without back at the end of 2013, you know it was a great time.  We’re back and doing the same thing with movies.

I’m up this week, and BryGuy’s list is coming next.  Enjoy!

Bocko’s 25 Essentials, the Movie Edition

  1. Star Wars – ignited my interest in science fiction/fantasy at a very young age.
  2. Back to the Future – made sci-fi funny, while still interesting.
  3. The Empire Strikes Back – Star Wars on steroids, best film of the series. Gritty (for a Star Wars movie) and dark.
  4. Memento – Christopher Nolan’s first big movie, and one giant mind-fuck.
  5. The Bourne Identity – a brainy action hero for the 21st Century.
  6. Gattaca – If someone you know says they don’t like sci-fi, have them watch this movie.
  7. High Fidelity – the highest of all rom-coms. A romantic comedy for men.
  8. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – the third movie, but far and away the best cast.
  9. Jaws – the inception of the summer blockbuster can still freak people out.
  10. Major League – for a baseball guy from Milwaukee, it’s the best way to kick off every. Single. Season.
  11. Dead Poets Society – haven’t actually watched this one in years, so I am adding it purely on how I feel when I look at the cover, and think of the innumerable screenings it had in high school. Also more poignant now that Robin Williams is dead.
  12. The Muppet Movie – the original and the best.
  13. Once Upon a Time In the West – maybe not the best known of Sergio Leone’s spaghetti westerns, but for my money, the best story of them all. Charles Bronson and Henry Fonda are brilliant.
  14. Alien – classic crossover of the sci-fi and horror genres. Many prefer the shoot-em-up alien hunt of James Cameron’s installment in the series, but I love how Ridley Scott terrifies you by barely showing the creature.
  15. Apollo 13 – I still get weepy when the rocket lifts off.
  16. The Princess Bride – what a marvelous combination of adventure, love, and comedy.
  17. The Shawshank Redemption – a known classic for all the reasons everyone tells you. Pinnacle of the careers of both Morgan Freeman and Tim Robbins. That, along with a marvelous supporting cast. If someone hasn’t seen it, DON’T SPOIL IT FOR THEM. Also, show it to them immediately.
  18. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan – the only of the 12 Trek movies that will make my list. The other good ones are good because they followed the Khan formula: put your captain up against a believably evil and resourceful enemy. Let them match wits. Roll credits.
  19. The Seven-Year Itch – great Billy Wilder comedy featuring Marilyn Monroe. A reminder that you don’t need dick-and-fart jokes to laugh out loud.
  20. Three Kings – first David O. Russell movie that anyone actually saw. Visually mesmerizing, and the beginning of Clooney’s career as a respectable (rather than just rich) movie star. Ice Cube is good in this, for chrissakes.
  21. Goodfellas – Scorsese’s best picture and an epic distillation of the mob life.
  22. Get Shorty – it’s hard for me to go a whole month without quoting Gene Hackman or Dennis Farina from this flick. Funniest gangster movie ever.
  23. Citizen Kane – is it a cliche add? Probably. But you can’t deny the importance of what a 24-year-old (TWENTY-FOUR!!!!) Orson Welles accomplished with this picture. And Hearst was still alive. Welles had balls.
  24. Spaceballs – of course my Mel Brooks movie is the one that lampoon’s the sci-fi genre.
  25. The Goonies – is it a great movie? No. Do I love it? FUCK YES. Could I watch it every day? Probably. Do I watch it more than once a year? Shut up, bitch, mind your own business.
NOTABLE OMISSIONS:
  1. Anything from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  I know, I’m as shocked as you are.  The way I see it, even if I leave it off my movie list, I have the books.
  2. Clerks.  It’s true, sometimes the most important things in your youth, you’re ready to give up with age.
  3. Fight Club.  See #2.
  4. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.  Probably the toughest one to leave off the list.  This one, and a couple other John Hughes flicks probably could have swapped spots with Goonies.
  5. Field of Dreams.  Like Major League, except also slightly depressing.
  6. The Godfather series.  Sue me.
  7. UHF – unfortunately, the only movie that Weird Al ever made.
  8. MASH – war movie that I wish I had a spot for.
  9. Saving Private Ryan.  See #8.
  10. The Thin Red Line.  See #8.
  11. Much Ado About Nothing (1993).  Man, Kenneth Branagh knew how to make a Shakespeare flick in his heyday.
  12. North by Northwest, or Psycho.  My list is missing Hitchcock.
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