Tuesday, January 11, 2005

The Movies I’ve Seen Many Many Times

In our family, when we really like a movie, we watch it every time it's on TV. It doesn't matter if it's on premium cable, basic cable or broadcast TV. It doesn't even matter if we have it on DVD or video. If it's on TV, we watch it. Each of us has our own personal list of movies and some of them overlap. Here's my list in no particular order:

Coming to America: One of only a few movies that all of us will watch whenever it's on. Every single one of us knows this film like the back of our hand. There are just so many funny moments in this film, both big and small. We watched it earlier tonight and I enjoyed focusing on stuff in the background (like the look on people's faces or Eriq LaSalle's extremely ugly wardrobe). And no one can forget Samuel L. Jackson's memorable appearance as a robber. It's the quintessential Samuel L. Jackson performance.

Beetlejuice: This is probably my favorite Tim Burton movie. It's dark, morbid, weird, and hilarious without being gross or nasty. The performances are just perfect, especially Michael Keaton as Beetlejuice. This is a movie that "keeps getting funnier every single time" you see it. I read in an article that Michael Keaton would reprise the role if they did a sequel. Come on Tim! The world needs more Beetlejuice!

Miracle on 34th Street: My favorite Christmas film. It's funny, sweet, and devoid of sappiness. It's a story that is both timeless and modern. I didn't like the most recent remake very much, though.

Friday: This is arguably the funniest African-American comedy of the last 10 years. I'm serious. This is Chris Tucker's best comedic performance to date. This movie is perfectly cast. I can't imagine anyone else playing Ice Cube's father except John Witherspoon. What's really brilliant about this movie is the direction. It's a well-written movie, but you can tell that this could've been a horrible movie if anyone other than F. Gary Gray directed it. The sequels are pathetic compared to the original.

The First Two Harry Potter Films: This entry really belongs on my sister's list, but I always watch these movies with her if she turns them on while she and I are watching TV. I'm a fan of the Harry Potter books and these two movies are pretty faithful. They are fun to watch, plain and simple. I love watching Alan Rickman as Snape and the late great Richard Harris as Dumbledore. The third film will probably join this list once it comes on cable, but for now, it's these two.

The Fifth Element: I don't know how this happened. I saw it once and enjoyed it. However, I gradually ended up watching it many of the times it came on and now it deserves a spot on this list. I haven't seen it as much as the other films on the list, but it's a fun little movie. This is a movie with Chris Tucker wearing an odd-shaped blonde wig, Milla Jovovich in bandages, Tiny Lister as the President of The United States, and Bruce Willis as a reluctant hero. Wrap all that in colorful, futuristic packaging, and what's there not to like?

Fear of A Black Hat: Easily the funniest hip-hop parody ever. As a hip-hop fan, I laughed immensely at the way early-mid 90's rappers are skewered. If there is only one part worth seeing, it's how Ice Cold explains a song called "Booty Juice" in political terms.

House Party: Like Friday, this film is 10 times better than the sequels that followed (House Party 4 does not count). What made this film really funny was the late great Robin Harris. Nobody thought about jheri curl hairstyles the same way after his "follow the drip" routine.

I know I've probably forgotten some great movies I enjoy but I can't think of them at the moment. I know one thing that's apparent from this list...I like to laugh.

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