Archive for the ‘Movies’ Category

7 Actors With Awful Movie Hair

February 3, 2010

From Paris With Love comes out in theaters this Friday, and with reviews looking pretty wretched at this point, the most notable thing I can say about this movie is that John Travolta’s hairstyle (or lack thereof) isn’t looking too great.  I know the aging actor is trying to stay fresh and unpredictable, and I hate to be shallow, but this style just doesn’t make the cut.  (By the way, I was bald once when I used to be swimmer, and it was not fun.) Inspired by Travolta’s heinousness, I thought a look at some of the worst hair ever rocked by actors might be a fun theme for this List Wednesday.  Thus, allow me to present you these 7 actors, with horrible movie hair:

7. Seth Green (Austin Powers In Goldmember)

At least this was intentionally bad.

6. Ewan McGregor (Star Wars: Episode I-III)

Not even a light saber could tear through this mullet.

5. Javier Bardem (No Country For Old Men)

Kudos to the Coen Brothers for accentuating this sociopath’s creepiness with a buffoonish haircut.

4. Tom Hanks (The Da Vanci Code)

Possibly the most talked about male hairstyle in film history.  It is pretty bad.

3. Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man 3)

Ugh. Emo-Spider-Man. He’s so dark and edgy! Not only does he wear guyliner, but he presses his bangs onto the front of his face! Real subtle, guys.

2. John Travolta (Battlefield Earth)

Which is worse, Travolta with no hair, or with way, way, way too much?

1. Nicholas Cage (Adaptation)

Well, this is just embarrassing. Cage may never find a hairstyle that suits him.

Finally, a note: I haven’t posted DVD Sales for the past two weeks, because I’m waiting for the database to get caught up.  When it gets back to speed, so will I!

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Top 5 X-Men Characters That Should Get Their Own "Origins" Film

April 29, 2009

In two short days, Fox’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine claws its way into theaters to (hopefully) start off the Summer movie season with bang. It’s no secret that Fox and Marvel are hoping to capitalize on the pantheon of characters within the X-Men universe, and if Wolverine proves to be successful, there’s no doubt that a 2011 release for X-Men Origins: Gambit is in the cards. Now, I can’t claim to have the read the X-Men comic books, but I definitely grew up with the cartoon, and since its List Wednesday, I thought I’d count down my top five X-Men characters that deserve their own “Origins” film. Read my list, and then weigh in with your thoughts in the comments!

5. Gambit
This wise-cracking, fiery-card-slinging Cajun was easily the coolest character in the world of X-Men. With sarcastic dialogue and explosive action, a Gambit film has the potential to be all kinds of entertaining. The only reason he’s this far down on the list, is because with his introduction in Wolverine, it’s basically a foregone conclusion that the next Origins movie is his.

4. Colossus
Coolest. Power. Ever. Giant. Russian. Covers. Body. In. Steel. Crushes. Anything. On the inside, though, I’m sure he’s really quite gentle, shy, and kind.

3. Rogue
A Rogue movie could be an incredible thing. The only problem is, the X-Men franchise already showed us a lame version of how Rogue developed as a mutant. Anna Paquin’s Rogue has been weak, whiny, unconfident, and just plain boring! I remember the Rogue of the television program was brassy, buxom, self-assured, and she could even fly! I suggest a complete reboot. Forget about teenage Rogue, and bring on the cool, grown up, powerful, raspy-voiced Rogue I know and love!

2. Nightcrawler
The presence of Nightcrawler in X2: X-Men United was a major bright spot of the film. Furthermore, the blue teleporter’s interactions with his shape-shifting, villainous mother, Mystique, contained the most fascinating, potent dialogue in the entire movie. A look into Nightcrawler’s childhood could be a great thing to see. How did he discover his teleporting ability? How did he deal with growing up blue? What caused him and his mother to split? I’d be at the theater in a second.

1. Jubilee
Jubilee was never one of the major characters, but she was integral to the 1992 TV series, and I found her in the deleted scenes of X2, so I know producers have at least considered her. Jubilee was a rebellious, immature, rollerblading runaway teenager, who was hiding out in the mall when she was brought to Professor X’s academy for mutants. She could generate and manipulate multi-colored energy bursts and guide them to do pretty much whatever her mind desired. I’m thinking a Jubilee film could be an amazingly snarky, action-packed affair, like an injection of Mean Girls into the X-Men universe. A high school perspective on the mutant world, complete with all the bitchiness, romance, and drama that high school brings, could make for a super cool, super exciting entry into the X-Men franchise. Think Sky High with edge.

Which X-Men character do you all think deserves their own movie? What order do you predict Fox will roll out these films? And are my hopes for a Jubilee film out of wack? Let me know in the comments! (And really do speak your mind- commenting has been almost non-existent lately! I miss hearing what you all think!)

What’s Everyone Else Predicting? Box Office Analysts Unite!

April 10, 2009

It’s high time that someone took the initiative and united all the different box office analysts out there! So many great sites are dedicated to studying the trends of the film industry, and I thought it might be nice to put together a chart of all our various box office predictions each week and see how we compare to one another. I’ve placed some links at the top of the chart, so you can read everyone else’s weekend forecasts. What do you think of this idea?

Box Office Analyst Predictions
Film
Title
The Box
Office Junkie
Box Office
Magazine
The-
Numbers
Box Office
Prophets
Box Office
Guru
Slash
Film
Fast And Furious $30.0 M $31.0 $29.5 $27.5 $32.0 $30.0
Hannah Montana The Movie $27.0 M $29.0 $25.0 $22.0 $26.0 $24.6
Monsters Vs. Aliens $20.0 M $21.0 $18.0 $19.6 $21.0 $21.0
Observe And Report $18.0 M $16.0 $15.0 $18.0 $14.0 $19.5
Dragonball: Evolution $11.0 M $7.5 $6.0 $5.0 $8.0 $10.7
I Love You, Man $5.0 M $5.6 $4.4 $4.9
The Haunting In Connecticut $4.8 M $5.3 $4.6 $5.1
Knowing $4.7 M $5.8 $4.7 $4.8
Adventureland $3.5 M $3.9 $2.9 $3.4
Duplicity $2.3 M $2.4 $2.4
Sunshine Cleaning $1.9 M $2.3
Race To Witch Mountain $1.6 M

New Feature: The Current Cultural Popularity Index

April 7, 2009

For a while now, I’ve been wanting to compare how much money movies are earning versus the amount of buzz that surrounds them with some sort of measurable statistic. You see, for every Taken, which arose out of relative obscurity to earn $24.7 million over its opening weekend, there’s a Snakes On A Plane, which everyone was talking about, yet it could only muster $13.8 million in its opening frame. Often the media is ablaze with thousands of articles about a film, only for it to fall flat upon its release. Often the media doesn’t bother to report much upon a film, yet it does very well financially. Often (and probably most often), the media reports endlessly on a film, and it consequently goes on to make hundreds of millions of dollars. I simply wanted a way to document this relationship of buzz and box office. Therefore, I’ve created the Current Cultural Popularity Index.

Here’s how the Current Cultural Popularity Index will work. On Friday, I will look up the title of each film in Google News. I will enter the title in quotations to assure the most accurate results. For example, I would write “Fast And Furious” or “The Haunting In Connecticut.” If the title is a single generic word, I will also include the last name of the lead actor or actress, so that I don’t get every single article that includes that word in the results. For example, for the movie Knowing, I would look up: knowing cage. The number of results that Google News accrues will serve as the Buzz Rating for the Index. I hope all that makes sense. The rest is pretty simple.

Once I have gotten the Buzz Rating for each film, I then look at the weekend gross for each film. Obviously, this will makes up the box office part of the Index. The final step is to divide the weekend box office by the Buzz Rating for each film. This resulting number is something I will call the Current Cultural Popularity Number. The higher the CCPN, the more that a certain film actually matters to audiences at any given time. The CCPN illustrates the extent to which audiences are consuming what the media is presenting them. I will rank the films by their Current Cultural Popularity. Here’s my very first version of the chart:

The Current Cultural Popularity Index
CCPN
Rank
Movie
Title
Weekend
Box Office
Buzz Rating
(# Of Articles)
Current Cultural
Popularity #
Actual
Rank
1 Fast And Furious $70,950,500 2,801 25,330 1
2 Monsters Vs. Aliens $32,609,165 8,733 3,760 2
3 The Haunting In Connecticut $9,481,647 2,612 3,411 3
4 Knowing $8,146,156 2,779 2,931 4
5 Sunchine Cleaning $1,807,164 759 2,371 10
6 Adventureland $5,722,039 2,634 2,172 6
7 I Love You, Man $7,722,468 4,025 1,918 5
8 12 Rounds $2,260,906 1,543 1,465 9
9 Race To Witch Mountain $3,212,602 2,504 1,282 8
10 The Last House On The Left $1,259,325 1,272 990 12
11 Duplicity $4,174,240 4,466 934 7
12 Taken $1,544,471 2,022 763 11

Here are my immediate thoughts:
1. Fast And Furious is definitely the most popular movie out right now. By a lot.
2. Sunshine Cleaning has breakout potential. It’s really exceeding its buzz.
3. The media cares about Julia Roberts and Duplicity. The public does not.
4. The Buzz Rating for Taken was tough to calculate. I tried to filter out all the articles that were actually about Liam Neeson’s late wife, Natasha Richardson, but I don’t know how well I did.

Now, I want your feedback. Scratch that- I need your feedback! Do you think the Current Cultural Popularity Index is interesting/useful? Is this something I should keep doing? Any suggestions for different ways I could calculate the statistics that might make this chart more helpful and informative? Trust me, this is going to be a learning process for me too, but as for this trial edition, I personally found it fascinating. I’m fully planning on continuing. But hey, you might not agree. Please give me a piece of your mind in the comments!

Fast And Furious Proves It Yet Again: The Era Of Easy Entertainment!

April 6, 2009

Okay, so by now, we’ve all let it process that Fast And Furious earned $70.9 million over its opening weekend! In April! The biggest April weekend of all time by $30 million dollars! Not since April 2003, when Anger Management had a $40 million weekend, has a film opened this big during the rainiest month of the year. It’s seriously amazing that Universal managed to get the third sequel of a “dying” franchise on the top of the charts. Take a look at what people were predicting:

Box Office Guru: $43 million
Slashfilm: $48 million
Box Office Prophets: $41 million
Box Office Report: $52 million
Entertainment Weekly: $41 million
The Box Office Junkie: $38 million

The closest prediction was a full $20 million off! Now, am I simply justifying my own ineptitude, as my prediction was the worst of any of those? Well, sort of. But more importantly, I’m using Fast And Furious‘ crazy $72.5 million weekend to justify my theory of 2009: The Era Of Easy Entertainment. I made this theory back in January, but with the success of Paul Blart: Mall Cop, Taken, Knowing, and now Fast And Furious, the EEE has held true throughout the first part of the year. In the sour times of this recession, Americans clearly want to go the movies for the escapism they offer, and furthermore, when they attend the theater, the last thing people want to do is think too hard. Therefore, the titles that features gag humor, obvious plots, and lots and lots of explosions are going to succeed right now. Cinematic comfort food!

5 Great (And 1 Terrible) Rags to Riches Stories

April 2, 2009

Amazon.com WidgetsI hinted that I might post what I think the worst movies to ever blaspheme the good name of hollywood, and that’s still coming. But I decided I would go a different route for my first official post, and write something in honor of the DVD release of Slumdog Millionaire, which came out yesterday. For those of you that haven’t seen it, what the hell is wrong with you? It won seven academy awards and has been almost unanimously praised (see 94% fresh, the other six percent clearly hate their mother).

But Slumdog is only the most recent film in the ‘Rags to Riches’ genre. Call it that, or the American Dream, or the Horatio Alger formula, either way it’s a story everybody loves to see: the downtrodden, S.O.L. hero breaks free from his barriers and finds happiness… Usually. The thing is, the Rags to Riches plot-line pervades many different other genres. Some of them are feel good comedies, others intense dramas, others lucrative crime heists. The bottom line is audiences love watching wealthy people pretend to be poor people who become wealthy people. Now that the economy has crapped out, I’d imagine these stories to become even more popular. I’ve compiled a list of some famous “Rags to Riches” movies, some that that you might not put in the category before.

Citizen Kane
It tops almost every ‘greatest movie list’ I’ve ever read, and yet I have a confession: I’ve never sat down and watched it all the way through. But it’s one of the most respected films of all time, and anybody completely unfamiliar with the story should change that.

Though, this certainly isn’t what you typically find in a Rags to Riches story. The film depicts the life of a Charles Foster Kane (played by the legendary Orson Welles), and a reporter trying to uncover the secrets of his past. Kane was born dirt poor, but came into mass wealth through a stroke of good luck, and grew to become a wildly successful businessman. Sounds great, yes?

Wrong. The film shows Kane’s lust for power and money eat at him as he pushes away those he loves and ends up dying alone, holding some snow-globe and talking about some flower. I won’t tell you what the flower means (though, how could you possibly not know?), but let’s just say the movie indicates Kane was only happy when he lived in poverty‚Ķ

The history behind Citizen Kane is fascinating as well. Many people claim it was a harsh parody of the life of William Randolph Hearst, a very wealthy media tycoon. Hearst himself offered 800,000 dollars to destroy all copies and the negative of the film, and when it was refused, ordered his newspapers to never mention it. Check out The Battle Over Citizen Kane, a great documentary about the issue. Or, use Wikipedia. I’m sure it’s there.

Aladdin
Of course, I’ll find a way to slip in any Disney references that I can. Hopefully you’ve seen this movie. It’s a state law in forty six of the fifty that you must see it to be considered an adult. The poor street rat who finds a genie and marries a princess? Definitely a Rags to Riches tale. Aladdin is a noble hero, however, and never succumbs to greed. He doesn’t touch a single treasure in the cave of wonders (but his dumb ass monkey does) and he doesn’t wish to be a prince at the end; he frees the genie. It’s a moving example of sacrifice, except, why not wish to be a Prince and have Jasmine wish for Genie’s freedom? Loopholes, Al, gotta find them.

To be fair, Disney’s Cinderella is also a fine demonstration of the motif. But despite a love for Walt Disney, I’m still a dude, and Aladdin is certainly more fitting my gender.

The Pursuit of Happyness
This movie is not so much a ‘Rags to Riches’ tale as it is a ‘watch Will Smith get kicked in the crotch over and over again, but it’s okay in the end, cause he’s got money’ tale. This movie features some of Smith’s best acting since Fresh Prince, and he didn’t even rap the theme song. He plays Chris Gardner, a man whose wife leaves him with what little money he has, and he decides to change his life and sign up for an six-month internship at a stock brokerage with the possibility of getting a job once it’s over. But wait, the internship is unpaid, leaving him with no salary, and eventually, no home.

There’s a particular poignant scene, where Gardner convinces his son to play caveman and they have to find a cave to sleep in. The cave they find is a bathroom at a subway station, and Gardner weeps while he holds his sleeping son. Things don’t look great until the end. When he becomes a billionaire. Bet that stupid wife regrets her decision now.

The Count of Monte Cristo
Pick any of the six thousand versions of this film you’d like. I choose the most recent, starring Jim Cavizel and Guy Pearce, primarily because it’s the only one I’ve seen, but it’s a good one. An up and coming sailor named Edmond Dantes is betrayed by his immensely rich aristocratic friend, Fernand Mondego. Why? “Because you’re the son of a clerk! And I’m not supposed to want to be you!”

Locked up in what looks like the shittiest dungeon to be imprisoned in, ever, Dantes has the fortune of meeting an old man who, in a failed escape attempt, digs a tunnel into his cell (gotta love 19th century literary coincidences). They plan a new escape, all while the old man, Priest (played by the late, magnificent Richard Harris), teaches Dantes in manners of education, Philosophy, and how to be a bad ass with a sword. He also reveals to him that he knows the hiding place of a vast amount of treasure.

The movie is only loosely based on the novel (for starters, Mondego and Dantes don’t know each other in the latter), but it does a fine job of modernizing the story. We see Dantes use his wealth to gain respect in a society that only respects wealth, and take vengeance on those who wronged him. It’s at the end when he realizes his thirst for revenge has harmed him, and he vows that his riches will only be used for good.

Fool’s Gold
Hey, here’s a good example of this type of story gone wrong. A treasure explorer goes on a hunt for treasure with his hot ex-girlfriend, and the audience wants to scratch their own eyes out. I actually looked forward to this, since How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days is arguably the best chick flick around. It turns out, Matthew Mcconaughey and Kate Hudson cashed in all the chemistry they had for the first go-around. Spoiler, they find the treasure, but who gives a damn?

Yeah, Kate Hudson’s hot, and yes, Mcconaughey could grate cheese on his abs, but when that’s the entire movies selling point, it’s bound to be terrible.

Slumdog Millionaire
The movie of the hour…er, the year, I suppose. I could sing its praises all day, but why not just go to any place that reviews movies and read up on it? It has humor, heart, drama, romance, and an Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire (or as it’s pronounced in the movie… Mill-un-air). (Spoiler, but again, why the hell haven’t you already seen it?) The last scene, where two brothers are surrounded by cash, but only one has achieved what he ever wanted (hint: it’s not money), is a perfect example of why I love movies. The way it’s shot, the emotion conveyed, the message it sends; it’s all great.

Clearly there’s a huge appeal for these movies, or they wouldn’t keep getting made. Something in our human minds just loves watching people earn what they deserve. As Latika explains in Slumdog, Rags to Riches stories offer an escape from the hardships of everyday life. But I think there’s a common thing besides money in these stories. Charles Kane had immense wealth and dreamed of a time when he was poor. Jamal went from piss broke to filthy rich in twenty seconds, and really didn’t care about it. All he wanted was to find the woman he loved.

I almost listed It’s A Wonderful Life here, but because it’s not technically a story about gathering wealth, I decided to mention it here as an example of what makes life wonderful, and what makes men rich. The final inscription, “He is no failure that has friends,” demonstrates the moral that all these types of stories try to tell us.

When times get tough, it’s nice to remember what matters most. These movies where people change their status remind us that real wealth doesn’t come from being wealthy. It’s the princess Jasmine, the Latika, the Mercedes (Edmond Dantes wife, not the car…), the Priests, the Genies, your son that you’d sacrifice everything for and the childhood memories you have of sledding on a winters day; there are your riches.

For Your Reading Pleasure…. Me.

April 1, 2009

As I sit here, putting off pages of reading I have due tomorrow morning, I decided now would be a great time to hone my new-found blogging skills and procrastinate from any real productivity. Or rather, what professors see as real productivity. Who’s to say writing a blog isn’t productive? Yea, my professors will probably lower my grade because I know none of the material. Oh well.

Anyways, my name is Reed, I am a twenty year-old sophomore in college. I also happen to love movies. When I was younger and played ‘pretend’ (something I wish were still socially acceptable… simpler times), I would imagine I was making a movie or a television show. I had a superhero, named “Super Strong,” and while he sometimes went on his own daring adventures, he was often starring in a biopic about them. Were I a braver soul, I would work to get involved in the film business, whether that were writing screenplays, directing, producing, or any of those dream jobs that would result in me living in a gutter. At least I’d have water!

Anyway, I’m just a guy that loves going to movies. I’ve literally spent years on message boards and other blogs leaving comments (if you’ve ever encountered someone with the ‘Reebee,’ on a message board, blog, or Xbox live, it’s me. Reed:Reebee :: Thomas Anderson:Neo). I’ve wanted to do something like this for a while, and Grady, being a good friend, has acquiesced me the right to post on his blog.

Watching a movie is a unique escape, a brief amount of time where you can be absorbed in another world. Reading has similar affects, and I love it as well, but there’s something about the ensemble that is required in movies that appeals to me. I respect movies for what they’re trying to do. I give a movie like Dumb and Dumber a 9/10, because it’s one of my favorite comedies. I’ve seen it ten thousand times and always laugh, and it has a great diarrhea gag. Then I’ll see a movie like The Reader and give it an 8.4/10. Does it mean I really think Dumb and Dumber a better movie? Of course not. They are different movies made to achieve different means.

Favorite movie lists are too difficult for me, primarily for the reasons above. I could say the Godfather and sound like everyone else (though… It might be true) or I could say The Dark Knight and sound up with the times (again… that might be true). And most anything made by Disney, particularly Disney/Pixar, tends to make me smile like a giddy four year old.

LEAST favorite movies, however, are much easier. That will come soon. Nicolas Cage stars in one of them, and one of them is French. Start taking guesses. (It’s okay, Nic. You were in The Rock and Con Air, two films of pure, manly bad-ass-ness. Also you named your son Kal, after Kal-El, Superman’s real name).

Which brings me to an important point: I’m a Superman fanatic, and a Batman fan. It’s not a lifelong obsession, actually something that’s developed in the last two or three years, but it’s an oddly large part of my life, at least my online life. This is just warning, that when news of the next Superman movie comes out, and when that news isn’t terrible or isn’t proven false four hours later, I’ll be incredibly excited.

So that’s me in a very small and shallow nutshell! I look forward to this.

The Top 5 Most Awesomely Bad Films Starring The Cast Of "Fast And Furious"

March 31, 2009

List Wednesday (on Tuesday) is here! I’ve never backed off from saying that I’m pretty excited for this weekend’s “Fast And Furious,” the eight-years-later sequel to 2001’s The Fast And The Furious that finally reunites the original cast. The main three players in the film, Vin Diesel, Paul Walker, and Michelle Rodriguez, were probably thrilled when their agents called them and offered these roles, because their careers haven’t exactly been on fire lately. In fact, they’ve made some downright bad movies in the last few years. Read my list of the casts’ Top 5 Most Awesomely Bad Films, and then let me know what additions or subtractions you might make in the comments:

5. Running Scared
I actually kind of like this Paul Walker movie, even if it is so frenetic it made my head hurt. The energy is turned up to an all time max, and it’s confusing to know what’s going on, and the film certainly isn’t good, but whatever, the implausible plot and action are rather entertaining.

4. The Pacifier
The gimmick of this comedy was supposed to be that Vin Diesel was this huge action star that had been made into a nanny. Think Kindergarten Cop. It would have worked better had Diesel had more action films than just XXX and The Fast And The Furious on his resume. It also would have worked better had it been funny. I still remember the Peter Panda Dance, though…

3. Chronicles of Riddick
I think I saw part of this on USA one night, probably in between airings of Legally Blonde and The Replacements. Riddick was so dark, bizarre, and confusing, that it really wasn’t any fun to watch, and the dialogue was laughably cheesy. This sci-fi does get style points, though.

2. Into The Blue
Paul Walker and Jessica Alba as treasure hunters wearing kiddie snorkel gear. This wouldn’t have made it to $20 million at the box office without Jessica Alba in a bikini. Thank goodness for the horndogs of the world!

1. BloodRayne
Michelle Rodriguez, what went wrong in 2005? You get a DUI, you get killed off of Lost the same season you’re introduced because everyone hates your character, and then you star in this dreck by Uwe Boll! Why do people let this man make movies?

The Recession-Proof Industry! MovieTickets Lands A Sweet Deal With Florida Theaters

March 30, 2009

This story is pretty impressive. MovieTickets just inked a deal with Muvico theaters to provide online ticketing systems, and it looks like online ticketing is really starting to replace traditional ticket buying. (Jeez, between this and the failing newpaper industry, it seems like people have some sort of vendetta against printed paper…) Maybe it’s because I almost always go to a Regal Entertainment Group theater and see Fandango ads there, but I had no idea that MovieTickets was a formidable competitor. Here’s the story from THR (emphasis added):

MovieTickets on Monday unveiled a deal to provide online movie-ticketing services for Muvico theaters in Florida.

The deal — announced on the first day of the ShoWest confab here — brings MovieTickets’ pacts with theatrical exhibitors to a total of 150 circuits. The online ticker said its Internet activity also is approaching another milestone, as it nears 100 million ticket sold.

“This is a landmark accomplishment,” MovieTickets exec vp Joel Coen said. “To reach 150 exhibitors and for us to be on pace for a record-breaking 2009 really speaks to the recession-proof nature of moviegoing and the strength of the services we provide.”

MovieTickets has added 15 exhibitors and some 1,000 screens to its service network in the past six months, Coen added. Its chief competitor Fandango has fewer circuit relationships but vastly more screens in its online-ticketing network.

What about you? Do you get your tickets online? If you do, what do you use: Fandango or MovieTickets? Let me know in the comments

10 Films That Defined My Childhood

January 22, 2009

So the longer I work on The Box Office Junkie, the more I learn about this crazy world known as the blogosphere. What’s my latest realization? That people are unnaturally obsessed with lists. Top 10s, 25s, 50s 100s, it doesn’t matter- people will eat them up. I started to think about myself, and I realized that I love and read them too! Well, I’ve never been one to doubt the collective crowd’s choice of entertainment, so I figured I’d jump on the bandwagon! Each week, on Wednesday (I know its Thursday- I forgot to post this!), I will deliver a Top Ten list for the week. My first list is pretty simple: 10 Films That Defined My Childhood. I’m a proud member of Generation Y (yes, that’s an old picture of me), and I think the list reflects that. Take a look and see if you agree:

10. Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers: The Movie

I was in love with Kimberly, scared of Ivan Ooze, and wanted to be Tommy. For my 8th birthday, I had all my friends come over to my house in solid colored sweatsuits. My mom cut white diamonds out of contact paper and stuck them on us, and my teenage neighbor came over and taught us karate. For those few hours we were Power Rangers. Fast forward to the Halloween of 2008, when I may or may not have dressed up as the Green Ranger for a night…

9. Toy Story

Oh, I thought this was just the coolest thing I’d ever seen! I remember laughing so hysterically hard at the alien toys in the claw machine and being completely creeped out by the erector-set spider toy with a baby doll’s head on top!

8. Austin Powers: International Man Of Mystery

It may seem strange to include this movie on this list. After all, it’s hardly a kid’s movie, and I wasn’t even allowed to see it until I was well into middle school, but my friends all saw it when they much younger! They saw it about three years before I did, and never stopped talking about it. It was certainly the bawdiest humor they had seen, and they (and I) thought they were so cool by mentioning it all the time. It’s so funny the insecurities you have when you’re little, but I was constantly afraid that this conversation would come up, and I’d have to reconfess that I’d never seen Austin Powers. Devastating, right?

7. Snow Day

What a fun movie. Every kid can relate to the utter joy of a snow day. Didn’t you ever wear your pajamas inside-out in hopes of a snowy day off from school? Also, when I think of this movie, I instantly think of that random girl, Hoku, singing “Another Dumb Blonde.”

6. James And The Giant Peach

I loved the book by Roald Dahl, and I thought this Tim Burton film was so cool and weird, and true to the story. And claymation is just plain cool looking!

5. Zenon: Girl Of The 21st Century

Please tell me I’m not the only one who remembers this Disney Channel Original Movie about a mischievious girl who lives on a space station, but gets sent to Earth. Zenon coined such great phrases as “Cetis-Lapetis,” “Spay-Stay,” and (not kidding, here) “interplanetary-megastellar-hyrdostatic.” The fake band from the movie, Microbe, sang “Supernova Girl,” a song that remains a personal classic for me. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom! Make my heart go Boom, Boom!

4. Hercules

When I saw this in theaters, it rained so much, that the theater started to flood right at the end of the film. The movie theater felt so bad, that they let the whole audience watch it again on another screen for free! In my opinion, this is one of the most sorely underrated Disney films. It’s got its own totally distinct style, characters, and humor, and the gospel infused soundtrack was an utterly inspired move!

3. Harriet The Spy

Besides loveing the movie, there two reasons that this film, which starred Michelle Trachtenberg defined my childhood. First off, it made me start my own journal. I just thought it was so cool how she’d write down everything she was thinking, and look at me now! I’m still writing down what I think, just for everyone to read. Second, it made me start and stop betting. I bet my older brother, Marston, 50 cents that this movie came out on a Tuesday. I was wrong- it came out on a Wednesday. I cried for about an hour when he demanded the payment, and I was so distraught about it, that I did not bet anyone else until I got to college.

2. The Lion King

Here I am again with a crying story… But it was Mufasa! Who didn’t cry?! This remains one of my all time favorite movies, and certainly my favorite soundtrack of any Disney film. The Lion King became even cooler to me in high school, as I had a truly revelatory moment when reading Hamlet. “Oh my gosh,” I thought, “this is The Lion King!”

1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

I have probably seen this move about 50 times. It is completely magical to me. The flying and floating car, the crazy inventions, the pirates, the toot sweets, Truly Scrumptious, the purple-haired kingdom, the grandfather, the candyman child-catcher, Hushabye Mountain, the doll on the music box, and the music itself! If you’ve ever seen the film, you know exactly what I’m talking about, and if you haven’t, you’re missing out. It’s a wonderfully fun, fantastical story that I will never forget. I still watch it once or twice a year, just to feel the sense of adventure, romance, humor, and fun. Take a look at this video if you aren’t convinced of how cool Chitty Chitty Bang Bang actually is, and then go buy it. One of my favorite movies ever.

So there’s my list! I hope you liked it! What’s your Top Ten list? What films would you add/take away from mine? And do you like the weekly list idea? Let me know in the comments!