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Films That Defined Us

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I know I may be a little late to the game but I decided to fill my own list out of the Films The Defined Us thanks to inspiration for Heather at Movie Mobsters and Marc at  Go, See, Talk.  Let me start off by saying that I have been a movie fan 27 out of my 33 years.  Every weekend I used to love going out to see a movie with my parents,  I also cherish moments when my mom would take me to see movies after preschool.  Believe it or not I remember seeing Flash Gordon and Tron in theaters as a result of my mom taking me to the theater.  I also remember the feeling of my dad coming home with our first behemoth of a VCR and a copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark and sitting right in front of our console tv and wearing that tape out.  Movies are a way of escapism from me, not that I have a bad life but that I love to escape into many different worlds and characters and I do that through movies.

So without further ado, here are the Films The Defined Us…

Action  

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
This movie captivated me from the opening sequence with the poison arrows whizzing by and the giant boulder chasing Indy down after he stole the statue.  What is funny is that I remember watching this in class at school in second grade.  I am still to this day tring to understand how the hell this related to school, not that I am complaining.  I looked up to Indianna Jones and wanted to be him, I remember reading the comics and playing with my GI Joe’s like they were Indy.  After watching this many times I love everything about the movie especially how Indiana Jones would get knocked down and then get back up.  Every scene in that movie is enjoyable and the action scenes are golden.  I actually love Indiana Jones as a character and love all of the films thus far, but nothing will ever replace Raiders of the Lost Ark.  
Hard Boiled (1992)
I remember learning about the awesome action sequences when I was in high school while talking with friends on the yearbook staff.  One of my friends told me about a scene where Chow Yun Fat jumps over a sliding motorcycle only to shoot the bad guy mid air.  I immediately thought to myself, I have to see this movie.  Luckily I lived in a very eclectic town with numerous video stores and I was able to rent it along with another great film starring Chow Yun Fat and also directed by John Woo called The Killer.  I was immediately hooked on this over these Hong Kong style action films where the guns never run out of bullets and even bad guys have a heart,  One thing that struck me about these movies is the fact that the characters lived by an unspoken code of respect and that is something I looked up to.  
True Romance (1993)
The funny thing about this movie is that I went into it completely blind and without a clue of what it was about.  I actually sometimes love doing that and enjoy finding gems.  Funny thing is that I went to see this with my girlfriend in highschool thinking it was a romantic comedy but as you likely know was soon surprised.  There were definitely small bits of romance between Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette but the majority of the movie had some very explosive action sequences and lines that are memorable to this day.  This was one of my first exposures to Quentin Tarantino, even though I did not know it at the time.  Today though his dialogue is undeniable and is a strong part of what makes the film.
Western
The Magnificent Seven (1960)
My love of westerns started because of my dad.  I remember watching movies like High Noon (my dads favorite) and The Magnificent Seven together.  Remembering my father whistle the catchy theme song and the great characters are what really make this movie for me.  Because of this movie I went on to seek out other Westerns like The Wild Bunch, The Searchers and The Cowboys.  Westerns to me represent a lot of joy, I think it was the mentality to shoot first and ask questions later.
War

The Dirty Dozen (1967)
War movies were another genre of films that I cherish watching with my father.  Movies like A Bridge Too Far, Bridge On The River Kwai and The Dirty Dozen are movies that I remember watching on tv with my dad.  My favorite out of those is The Dirty Dozen.  I loved the characters and the climactic action sequences. This movie gave me a love of war movies and movies in general where there is a theme of redemption.
Science Fiction
TRON (1982)
I remember going to see this during an afternoon with a friend and then immediately going into the lobby of the theater and playing the video game.  This movie was way ahead of its time and unfortunately before its time on the idea of making sequels.  Thankfully we are going to soon be transported into one of the films I loved from my childhood.  The colors, graphics and especially the life cycles are awesome.  I immediately wished I could have been transported into the game just to ride the cycle.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
This is the first movie I watched after reading the book and one of the best book to film adaptations in my opinion.  I love the character of Alex and remember how shocking the scenes were.  I will never get the images of Alex’s eyes being pulled open and him being forced to watch a continuous loop of gore and mayhem.  This film one of the first times I noticed how important a role music can play in a film in setting the tone. 
Horror
Bad Taste (1987)
Before the LOTR Trilogy Peter Jackson directed and starred in a low budget horror movie shot in his native New Zealand.  Although it was not his best work it is one of my favorite films of his because it was my first foray into horror films.  This movie was a staple at my birthday parties and many sleepovers during junior high.  My friends and I would gorge ourselves on pizza and stay up late and watch Bad Taste and other movies we had rented from the video store.  This was the first time I really came to love the shock value of horror films.  To this day I am not a huge fan of horror but definitely have fond memories of this movie.

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The Author

Jim Napier

Jim Napier

Movie watcher. Physical media collector. Pizza lover. Bipolar/Anxiety. Animal advocate. Co-founder of ScreenInvasion.com.