I'm making the most definitive list of favorite movies ever.

For every year, I'm listing every movie I've seen and compare them all to each other asking one question; Which movie do I like more. Movies that score in the 80th percentile or higher, advance to the next round: Favorite of the Decade. After each Decade is done, an All Time list will be formed.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

Favoritest Movies of 1975

At a convention better than seventeen years ago, a friend and I sat in on a game of GURPS, a role playing game.  Most RPG's occupy a genre; Dungeons & Dragons : fantasy, Star Wars, Traveller, Star Trek and Alternity : space opera, Shadowrun : cyberpunk, and etc.  GURPS isn't a playable universe so much as it is a system, a ruleset like D20 D6 or CODA.  With GURPS, you can blend genres generically, blend games of incompatible rules systems, or make games out of properties yet to be licensed to a game publisher.  It's something, at it's best is very special, and very relevant, it's a distilled blank slate.
Words and phrases can boomerang around a little.  In psychology a blank slate, is the idea that who you are is not set at birth, that you can become anything; tabula rasa.  We throw it into french, and apply it to politics, we get carte blanche, you have absolute freedom of authority, dictatorial power essentially.  It sounds innocent and pure  when applying it to a baby, but powerful when applied to authority.  What was that word you just read twice? Authority.
The scenario of the GURPS session was 'a trip to the lake'.  After all of these years, I still can't imagine why anyone would want to imagine, for recreation, packing up a truck and going to a house by a lake.  If you're thinking that plenty of people do this, yes they do, in actuality.  Role playing games should serve for the participants to imagine something they can't do.  If you're rolling a D20 to see how well you mowed the lawn, you're more than welcome to mow mine.  In that game, there was no UFO at the bottom of the lake, no serial killer of the GM's design (my friend had a different thought on that, to the protests of; "You're ruining our fun!"), no zombie apocalypse, not even monolith monsters.  The GM had carte blanche, and failed to author anything that couldn't be accomplished by any group of people over 21 with at least one credit card and a drivers license between them.
Every film, novel, and comic book as well as every other artistic achievement, everything that is authored, has potential which is only limited by the author itself.
But the genres that take greater advantage of that, that require more imagination, thought, whimsy, or acceptance on the part of the viewer remain outside the mainstream of critical acceptance or regard for their artistic merits.
Our political discourse, and in many media outlets creativity, fantasy, imagination, and curiosity are continually challenged, ostracized and scorned.  Antithetical to the negative rhetoric of our increasingly ignorantly judgmental society, is the popularity of the big Hollywood blockbuster, which is always said to have begun in 1975*

*Ignoring 1937, 1939, 1956, 1959, 1965, and 1973!

  1. Jaws
  2. The Man Who Would Be King
  3. The Land That Time Forgot
  4. Terror of Mechagodzilla
  5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  6. Monty Python and the Holy Grail
  7. Escape to Witch Mountain
  8. The Apple Dumpling Gang
  9. A Boy and his Dog
  10. Barry Lyndon
  11. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  12. The Eiger Sanction
  13. The Hindenburg
  14. Death Race 2000
  15. Dog Day Afternoon

I need to see more movies from 1975.

Monday, February 20, 2012

All From John Carter

I was first made aware of John Carter of Mars by the Special Edition of the TV series of Carl Sagan's Cosmos. I took from this that John Carter of Mars was to Carl Sagan, what Star Wars and Star Trek were to me. I've always wanted to know the inspirations for the entertainments I enjoy, if selfishly, just to find more to enjoy. This graphic shows only those that seem to be most directly inspired by John Carter.

Click for Larger Size
Captain Kirk and Luke Skywalker don't qualify for this list. Captain Kirk, and Star Trek stem from Forbidden Planet and it's Commander J. J. Adams. Star Wars was a re-invention of Flash Gordon. I'm sure I've missed some candidates, Colonel Taylor from Planet of the Apes comes to mind as a possibility.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Favoritest Movies of 1976

Once upon a time...

There was a box called television.  Locally in St. Louis we had somewhere between 6-8 stations depending on how much your antenna could pick up.  The three network affiliates (ABC, CBS, NBC, there was no such thing as FOX kiddies.) We had PBS, and two locally run stations; KPLR, the network that created Voltron, and KDNL.  There was also KNLC and C-13 (WCEE) out of Mt. Vernon IL.

I paid special attention to that station out of Mt. Vernon, as I couldn't do anything to get my TV to pick it up ever long enough to watch anything and never during daylight.  But, channel 13 would have made my childhood more interesting, an entire new channel!  It had different cartoons on at different times than KPLR and KDNL did.  This was greener grass, that I was reminded of every time I went to look for what to watch.  There were no DVR's or on screen program guides, we had to read a book to see what was on.  My grandmother subscribed to TV-Guide, an expense my father didn't like, nor did my grandfather.  My dad being a complete slut for all things home-entertainment eventually subscribed to TV-Guide.  My grandfather thought the TV guide (non-branded) that came with the newspaper was sufficient.  Accuracy and articles had me favoring TV guide.
Then, came cable television.  Still no on screen guide.  It didn't have TV Guide (for several years), but it's own, the size of a catalog.  And one station, that cost extra to have, had a program guide all to itself.

Early cable had a lot less original programming, and a lot more of what seemed to be, whatever they could get their hands on.  So, back when MTV showed almost nothing but music videos, and it was possible to catch The Empire Strikes Back on HBO, when Nickelodeon was only on during the day, and showed mostly programs from Canada.  The Disney Channel was doing it's damnedest to be the most special place on cable.  It was the farthest thing from the seemingly wall to wall sitcoms about rich spoiled brats, whining about everything except their perfectly white, straight teeth and pristine complexions.

Back then, The Disney Channel was the channel I turned to first thing in the morning, Good Morning Mickey actually made getting out of bed for grade school slightly less dreadful, and made the oatmeal or rice taste better.  And when the Disney Channel Magazine would come in the mail, I'd eagerly look through it to discover what they were offering up throughout the next month.  Condorman was one such discovery.  But, the biggest, the best was:

The world of Asterix is of a texture we don't easily find in American comics until Jeff Smith's Bone. Like Star Wars, Pixar and Looney Toons, It's for everyone, including children.  It's something you can grow old with.  When it's forgotten that that's the best elements of family entertainment, that it entertains the family, regardless of age, we create more barriers between each other, unnecessary borders within households and across generations.

  1. The Twelve Tasks of Asterix
  2. Logan's Run
  3. All the President's Men
  4. Network
  5. At the Earth's Core
  6. King Kong
  7. Murder by Death
  8. Rocky
  9. The Smurfs and the Magic Flute
  10. Futureworld
  11. The Omen
  12. Silent Movie
  13. The Outlaw Josey Wales
  14. Midway
  15. The Enforcer
  16. Carrie
  17. The Bad News Bears
  18. In the Realm of the Senses
  19. The Shootist
  20. Lipstick
  21. The Shaggy D.A.
  22. The Man Who Fell to Earth
  23. Family Plot
  24. Robin and Marian
  25. The Seven-Per-Cent Solution
  26. Silver Streak
  27. Shout at the Devil
  28. Freaky Friday
  29. Marathon Man

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Favoritest Movies of 1977

So, not yet age two, or close enough, and Han Solo activates the hyperdrive and I get turned into a nerd for life.  All the top-ever movies will get their own write up, so this is not Star Wars' moment in the sun.  But, it's the first movie I saw in the theater, and there's nothing else to talk about in 1977.

Oh shit.

Alright, let's talk about you.  Let's say that you're actually a more original, more intelligent and more creative movie than Star Wars.  Let's imagine a world, not far off, (ours) where you may have deserved "Best Picture".  You have two or three moments where you actually are self aware and creative enough to see how movies can go beyond their narrative conventions, and be an intellectually interactive experiential medium.  I get that, probably only, because I was comparing you to Star Wars.  Just as Star Wars ripoffs, for the most part thought they could spray paint junk, and blow it up in slow motion, and say anything without it even being intelligible (if you just thought ""the prequel trilogy", get over it!  See a new movie or three...).   The movies you influenced mister Annie Hall, did not even notice your narrative originality, and instead acted like every guy with blue balls and an Arriflex SHOULD make a movie about just how hard his spoiled brat life is.  Sure, if Lucas made a Kurosawa film into a Douglas Trumball looking Flash Gordon serial in England, then all you did was make a '60's French movie in New York in the '70's.  And, after that the only movie that seemed to learn any actual positive lessons from you was the second Austin Powers movie.

I don't think you won Best Picture.  I think you were in the right place to benefit from jealousy, like Chicago, A Beautiful Mind, and The Hurt Locker.  You've been an ongoing life lesson that I was just reminded of the other night.  Taste is fickle.  There is so little separating the popular from the pariah, that often it's just the movement of the flock.

The other night we were watching a movie that took dramatic license with the life of William Shakespeare, with spectacular performances and production values told an all but completely impossible, but no less intriguing fiction in Elizabethan times.  Which one were we watching?


Romantic or Tragic?

Entertaining, or Challenging?

Satisfying or Piquing?

Lauded or Scorned?

The story goes that Lucas and Spielberg swapped points on Close Encounters and Star Wars, both thinking the other had the bigger hit.  So, if they don't know what's good, why do so many others act like experts?  The question might require more thought than that.  I've no idea what, if anything is actually "good", I just know what I like, in relation to whatever I'm comparing it to...

  1. Star Wars
  2. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  3. Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
  4. The Hobbit
  5. The Spy Who Loved Me
  6. Oh, God!
  7. Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo
  8. The Amazing Spider-Man
  9. A Bridge Too Far
  10. Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger
  11. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  12. The War in Space
  13. Kentucky Fried Movie
  14. Annie Hall
  15. MacArthur
  16. Smokey and the Bandit
  17. High Anxiety
  18. The Gauntlet
  19. Cross of Iron
  20. Saturday Night Fever
  21. Airport '77
  22. Pete's Dragon
  23. The Island of Dr. Moreau
  24. Exorcist II: The Heretic
  25. Orca
  26. Wizards

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Favoritest Movies of 1978

We join the 1978 list results already in progress:  A man who looks like Alec Baldwin enters that room full of movies ,like in the old Netflix commercials.

"Listen up movies of 1978!  The good news is -- you're tired.  The bad news is you've got, all you got, the rest of civilization to languish on cable, home video and on-demand to be watchable movies again, starting tonight. Starting with tonight's viewings. Oh, have I got your attention now? Good. 'Cause we're adding a little something to this years favoritism contest.  As you all know, first prize is being a good and loved movie. Anyone want to see second prize? Second prize's being a television pilot. Third prize is you're tired. You get the picture? You're laughing now? You got scripts. The script monkeys, carefully selected pigtailed macaques, worked tirelessly and cluelessly in a sweatshop near the Jewelry District.  So be interesting, be movies."

Okay, there's more than two good movies from '78, but, a TV pilot being one of the better ones, makes the year look bad.  I'm sure I've committed some sin by not praising Animal House.  It's proof of quality is just how high it made it on this list.  I'm just not a partier.

It's not going far, so this is our last chance to talk about a movie that did make the next round; Message from Space.  But, a movie that is going to probably place in the All-Time Top 10, owes a lot to it.  I mean, almost everything after leaving Jabba's palace, and the closer you get to the ending, the closer you get to Jedi.  This is one of the more engaging and better executed Star Wars try-to-be's.  I've tried to see as many as one can, though the line between ripoff, and greenlit because of the success of is subject to controversy, and hurt feelings.  You hear, read all sorts of stories, and the bigger the movie the more it has.  Message from Space is an anime come to life, and Return of the Jedi, is Message from Space come to life.  Science fiction led me to discover a lot of anime and still does to this day.  I've also always wondered how many other major movies have had secret anime influence, since seeing shades of Gall Force in Terminator 2.  Why, is that some Space Battleship Yamato in Das Boot?   I suspect they'll never admit it.

  1. Superman: The Movie
  2. Battlestar Galactica
  3. Force 10 from Navarone
  4. Grease
  5. Coma
  6. The Cat from Outer Space
  7. Message from Space
  8. National Lampoon's Animal House
  9. Jaws 2
  10. The Lord of the Rings
  11. Death on the Nile
  12. Harper Valley PTA
  13. The Deer Hunter
  14. Drunken Master
  15. The Amazing Captain Nemo
  16. Watership Down
  17. Invasion of the Body Snatchers
  18. The Bad News Bears Go to Japan
  19. The Cheap Detective
  20. Capricorn One
  21. Return from Witch Mountain
  22. Dawn of the Dead
  23. Revenge of the Pink Panther
  24. Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
  25. Eyes of Laura Mars
  26. The Boys from Brazil
  27. The Swarm
  28. Damien: Omen II
  29. Heaven Can Wait
  30. Corvette Summer
  31. Every Which Way But Loose

Favoritest Movies of 1979

 The top 4 all share something in common, we owned them on CED videodisc. Our Realistic CED-1 felt like my own personal home entertainment system in our basement.


My dad dove into this format with all sorts of optimism and excitement, but then stuck it in the basement.  At the time, he was also put drop ceiling in the basement, but I think he lost interest in home theater with getting cable TV not much more than a year after getting this.  I've read that the needle on CED players needed to be changed every 500 hours of use.  Ours beat the snot out of that, heck the Bugs Bunny Road Runner Movie saw at least 200 hours of play.  I'd occasionally watch TV off of the antenna down there, King Kong ('76), The Martian Chronicles, and V, and The Muppet Show just about every weeknight.  I forget if Laverne & Shirley preceded or followed The Muppet Show, but it was something my 7 year old self had no interest in.  I'd like to think my tastes have changed in the last 30 years, but 1979 just hasn't weathered the way most other years have.

  1. Star Trek: The Motion Picture
  2. The Bugs Bunny/Road Runner Movie
  3. The Black Hole
  4. The Muppet Movie
  5. Alien
  6. Moonraker
  7. Buck Rogers in the 25th Century
  8. Lupin the Third: The Castle of Cagliostro
  9. Time After Time
  10. The First Great Train Robbery
  11. Mad Max
  12. Apocalypse Now
  13. The China Syndrome
  14. The Lathe of Heaven
  15. Monty Python's Life of Brian
  16. Escape from Alcatraz
  17. The Apple Dumpling Gang Rides Again
  18. The Concorde ... Airport '79
  19. Dracula
  20. The Shape of Things to Come
  21. Zulu Dawn
  22. Rocky II
  23. Hair
  24. Caligula
  25. The Black Stallion
  26. Love at First Bite
  27. Beyond the Poseidon Adventure
  28. C.H.O.M.P.S.
  29. Meatballs
  30. Butch and Sundance: The Early Days
  31. Kramer vs. Kramer
  32. More American Graffiti
  33. The Jerk

Wait, we had all of the ones she mentioned by name... Maybe they DIDN'T want me watching TV! Thank you Youtube, you've explained my childhood.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Favoritest 50 Movies of the '80's!!!

Completely breaking format, I can't in good conscience put a poster on top of a list where only five non-genre movies even make this list.  Big deal that Empire is my favorite movie of the '80's.  That tells me nothing.  That embodies, nothing.  Recognizing that the '80's was to me, at the time the golden age of sci-fi movies, and one thing educated me, and opened my world to so much more than just watching Entertainment Tonight or waiting to see what would be the 'cool' movie accepted by the masses would be.  Every issue of Starlog was like a Con before I'd ever go to a convention, like a RSS feed before the internet.  Through Starlog, I fell in love with Blade Runner before having ever seen the movie.  To be fair, because of  the below photo in an issue of Starlog, I also fell in love with this series:

  Galactica 1980 !

I looked forward to this series. I couldn't wait to see it. I apparently missed it.  Actually, I had seen an episode, but had no idea that what I saw was Galactic 1980, I still have no idea that invisible Vipers and softball games are Battlestar Galactica! So, seeing this picture and dreaming of the day when I would behold this glorious show!  See, She's in a WHITE Colonial Warrior uniform.  Well, the only time Colonial Vipers were in white uniforms was when they were aboard the ship of lights!  So, naturally, my infantile fanboy self just assumed that the plot would deepen with 1980, that Galactica would become more mystery filled and epic.

So, as for the movies, and the magazine that brought me so much enjoyment related to them;

  1. Empire Strikes Back
  2. Return of the Jedi
  3. Dune
  4. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  5. Akira
  6. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  7. Heavy Metal
  8. The Transformers: The Movie
  9. Project A-ko
  10. Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
  11. Blade Runner
  12. 2010
  13. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
  14. The Dark Crystal
  15. Highlander
  16. Aliens
  17. Superman II
  18. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  19. RoboCop
  20. Tron
  21. Back to the Future
  22. The Final Countdown
  23. Battle Beyond the Stars
  24. Die Hard
  25. Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
  26. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  27. Ghostbusters
  28. Gandahar
  29. The NeverEnding Story
  30. Predator
  31. U2: Rattle and Hum
  32. The Princess Bride
  33. The Abyss
  34. Who Framed Roger Rabbit
  35. Flash Gordon
  36. G.I. Joe: The Movie
  37. Tucker: The Man and His Dream
  38. No Way Out
  39. Top Gun
  40. The Terminator
  41. Starchaser: The Legend of Orin
  42. Willow
  43. NausicaƤ of the Valley of the Wind
  44. Labyrinth
  45. Koyaanisqatsi
  46. Henry V
  47. Gremlins
  48. Venus Wars
  49. Spaceballs
  50. The Living Daylights

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Favoritest Movies of 1980

Wow.  Hooray.  My hero.  What a big tough movie you are, imagine that Empire Strikes back could take on a whole year and come out on top... You'll probably win the decade as well, see you in the All Time round Empire!  Well, let's see who came in second...

What?  I feel the need to question myself here...
Q: Excuse me me, but how the Frakes in Riker's name does Flash Gordon end up with the second spot for 1980?  It's no Raiders fiasco, but you may be out of your own mind, to the extent that you could end up talking to yourself, and typing while doing it!

A: Superman II was a childhood favorite, but if you watch Superman II once a year, just once a year from, say ages 7 to 17; you can feel yourself getting older.  You start questioning just how nicely done some parts of it are, and how... (lengthy bull crap later) and where did the cellophane S come from?

Flash Gordon has gotten a boost, in just the past year or so, probably worth 7-8 places.  Actually, ironically, right this second as I'm typing this, the wife and daughter are watching Flash Gordon in the other room!  It has multigenerational appeal, even today!  Why could that be?  There's a clue on the poster... "filmed in Todd-AO" (My father used to rave about Todd-AO movies, and it was probably the second thing he thought off when thinking about Elizabeth Taylor).  The Flash Gordon movie of my youth was a dull pan and scan on tv movie, but having seen it in HD.  It's, well, beautiful.

More importantly, Flash is a movie that hits it's target.  It is everything it wants to be.  And movies that accomplish that are almost always well regarded, if not loved directly proportionally to the appeal of their goal.  For instance, if you like crime movies, than Godfather, Scarface and Goodfella's are your classics.  Hard Sci-Fi fan? 2001 and Blade Runner... Disney fare.. Lion King and Cinderella for the Classic Disney fare crowd.  Sometimes movies mix appeal base, they're still perfect, but it's where you land on both appeal orientations.  Flash Gordon is a movie that feels like it came out of an old MGM vault, like a victory lap made after Wizard of Oz.  It's everything George Lucas claimed he wanted Star Wars to be, except "believable" looking.  Flash trades realistic for retro deco.

  1. The Empire Strikes Back
  2. Flash Gordon
  3. Superman II
  4. Battle Beyond the Stars
  5. The Final Countdown
  6. Airplane!
  7. Raise the Titanic
  8. Kagemusha
  9. Hangar 18
  10. The Blues Brothers
  11. Midnight Madness
  12. Caddyshack
  13. Oh, God! Book II
  14. Altered States
  15. The Shining
  16. The Day Time Ended
  17. The Return of the King
  18. Private Benjamin
  19. Stir Crazy
  20. Somewhere in Time
  21. Xanadu
  22. Herbie Goes Bananas
  23. Popeye
  24. The Elephant Man
  25. Galaxina
  26. The Gods Must Be Crazy
  27. Coal Miner's Daughter
  28. The Watcher in the Woods
  29. American Gigolo
  30. Any Which Way You Can
  31. Urban Cowboy
  32. Ordinary People

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Favoritest Movies of 1981


1981.  We're talking about 19, EIGHTY, Freaking ONE!  The year that practically birthed the decade no one can stop talking about!  The first Space Shuttle launch, Ronald Regan becomes president. On television, Dynasty, Fall Guy, Hill Street Blues, heck just on Saturday morning cartoons we get Smurfs and Spider-man and his Amazing Friends.

Aside from all of that geekery, one movie dominates the box office, and goes on to get nine Academy Award nominations, winning five, and being robbed of best picture, sorry Best Picture by aspiring Olympic runners (Though Harrison Ford will run with Vangelis music in 1982 so Hah,)  How bad was this robbery?  Raiders of the Lost Ark has a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer of 94% (All Critics) to Chariots of Fire's 87% (All Critics).  AFI All time 100 list, Raiders is #60! Chariots doesn't even place.  Their Heroes and Villians list; Indiana Jones is the #2 hero!  Above James Bond and Rick from Casablanca!  Sure, he's below Atticus Finch, but we all know Atticus wouldn't make it to the Chachapoyan Fertility Idol!

So how in Frakes name could I pick, like, favor a movie with a RTT score of 60%.  I didn't know either.  It was hard.  Almost Empire vs. Jedi hard.  Raiders is a far superior movie to Heavy Metal.  It is one of the greatest achievements ever.  Seriously.  I wouldn't be surprised if that poster wasn't composed like the Mona Lisa just because the movie was honestly a rear kicking cultural masterpiece.  But head to head, I chose Heavy Metal.  We all want to see more movies like Raiders.  That Star Wars scale of fun, adventure, tension, the pleasant sensation of having our brain beaten to putty while our eyes were lovingly effed out of existence and our ears floated in pure euphoria.

We'll never get that.  We shouldn't want that, we wouldn't want to live in a universe that flat.  If everything were perfect, we'd become bored with perfection, start noticing differences, and even artificially create standards of quality and differentiate the essentially homogeneous media.  (Carnac the Magnificent says you're thinking: "That's what we do with movies today!")

I do want more movies like Heavy Metal, I wish we got a Heavy Metal movie every year.  An annual Animated Sci-Fi anthology showcasing a variety of styles, and stories with a a broad yet central feel, showing just how big, and in some ways, hard to define nerdom is.  We'd be better off having more movies like Heavy Metal, but sadly it's almost completely unique.  Raiders gets the #2 spot, since, I'm always seeing movies wishing they were Raiders.  Fine, I like them, some I even love... okay, I don't love any of them.  I love Raiders, Captain America and I need a few more dates before we commit, and National Treasure and I have agreed to see other people, but remain the closest of friends, not ruling out benefits.  The best part of cinematic polyamory; movies don't get jealous.  Heavy Metal, will never take offense at my wish for a harem of Heavy Metal, it just might punish me with less than better episodes of Liquid Television.

  1. Heavy Metal
  2. Raiders of the Lost Ark
  3. The Great Muppet Caper
  4. Clash of the Titans
  5. History of the World: Part I
  6. Escape from New York
  7. Time Bandits
  8. Excalibur
  9. Outland
  10. For Your Eyes Only
  11. Stripes
  12. Condorman
  13. An American Werewolf in London
  14. Das Boot
  15. The Legend of the Lone Ranger
  16. Dragonslayer
  17. Omen III: The Final Conflict
  18. The Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie
  19. Scanners
  20. Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior
  21. Quest for Fire
  22. Chariots of Fire
  23. Gallipoli
  24. Heartbeeps
  25. Reds
  26. Tarzan, the Ape Man
  27. The Evil Dead
  28. The Cannonball Run
  29. Arthur
  30. The Howling
  31. Sharky's Machine
  32. Body Heat
  33. The Professional
  34. On Golden Pond
  35. American Pop
  36. Tuck Everlasting
  37. The Devil and Max Devlin
  38. Bustin' Loose

Favoritest Movies of 1982

The lists are getting shorter, the backlog of this project is nearing completion.  The red letters denoting disliked movies says goodbye, it'll stick to hating newer movies.  I'm actually pretty fond of a little more than the top 20 from this year, and the top 6 are all childhood favorites.  There was a time when I'd say I didn't get to see E.T. as a child.  Theatrically this is true, but I was also still a child when I said it. I only saw Wrath of Khan theatrically, in the same theater my father asked my mother to marry him in several years earlier.  I was a bit emotionally attached to that room myself, as it was where I'd seen Empire for the first time.

I saw Tron, and most other movies on a big screen outdoors at the Union Electric Club, in Valley Park.  It doesn't exist anymore.  It was off of Vance Rd.  After entering  you'd see ball fields, a jet plane, a train caboose! That's the actual caboose pictured to the left.  We'd park on a white gravel lot.  There was a playground, bisected by a slightly elevated sidewalk going back to a large white, homely looking two story building.  The Sidewalks had creatures, mostly bugs painted on them.  When I was very small, I even found them a bit scary.  The playground equipment was far from what we'd consider safe, this entire place was even then a relic of an earlier era, but I didn't know that at the time.  We'd bring our own drinks and snacks.  My parents and grandparents were just that cheap.  We didn't pay to get in, it was for the UE employee's and retiree's and their families.  There was a long area of picnic style tables, end to end.  The floor was halved logs that had been laquered.  It was open air, and lit by yellow light at night.  The big attraction there was the bingo game that would go on, sometimes I believe during the movie.  Movies, baseball, playground, bingo, snow cones, heat, bugs, peeling paint, playground fixtures made of wood and steel.  It was in high ground, nothing but trees in sight.

I haven't thought of it in years.  I didn't plan on going on so long about it.  I had nothing to say when I say when I sat down to slap up this list.  But, I guess digging up old memories was the original point of this exercise.  Hundreds and hundreds of people enjoyed that place, I'd imagine most, if not all the ones who played bingo are long dead.  And nothing remains of it.  It's torn down.  I found one plea online for information, pictures of the place, and that was placed in 1998.  These lists, Facebook.  We're all loading the internet like the Pharaoh's loaded  up their pyramids.  Not morbidly so, nor necessarily with mortality in mind, but as a communal, digital time capsule of not items, but experiences.

  1. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
  2. The Dark Crystal
  3. Blade Runner
  4. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
  5. Tron
  6. The Secret of NIMH
  7. Koyaanisqatsi
  8. An Officer and a Gentleman
  9. Conan the Barbarian
  10. Airplane II: The Sequel
  11. Gandhi
  12. The Thing
  13. Poltergeist
  14. Pink Floyd The Wall
  15. The Beastmaster
  16. Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  17. Tootsie
  18. Android
  19. The Shaolin Temple
  20. Annie
  21. Firefox
  22. The Year of Living Dangerously
  23. Bugs Bunny's 3rd Movie: 1001 Rabbit Tales
  24. Timerider
  25. Swamp Thing
  26. Richard Pryor: Live on the Sunset Strip
  27. Evil Under the Sun
  28. The Last Unicorn
  29. The World According to Garp
  30. Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid
  31. Rocky III
  32. Personal Best
  33. Night Shift
  34. First Blood
  35. Megaforce
  36. Honkytonk Man
  37. 48 Hours
  38. Porky's
  39. Death Wish II
  40. Fanny and Alexander