Setting Things Straight

So, the fellas over at Outside the Box Score have an 80s Movie Tournament Bracket going. Naturally, they messed up several of the seedings. This caused me great anguish in picking certain movies over others. They also snubbed Raising Arizona completely. So, myopia strikes again.

I’m trying to darndest to make sure The Goonies keeps winning. That’s right, I’m voting as many times as I can. Which is possible if you clear your cache, so the poll doesn’t remember you. Goonies never say die.

I liked their tournament idea, but decided I’d just declare some of my favorite movies because that’s the kind of narcissistic exercise that blogs accommodate so well!

I consider myself a movie guy. “Movie buff” seems too intense and lofty for my level of fandom. But, because I’m a movie guy, I can’t just answer what my favorite movie is without some explanation. And I certainly cannot list my top five or ten favorites in order. SO, I usually resort to this:

Favorite War Movie: Saving Private Ryan (1998)

Favorite Action Movie: Die Hard (1988)

Favorite Adventure Movie (Yes, it’s different than action.): Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

Favorite Christmas Movie: Home Alone (1990)*

*Technically, Die Hard is my favorite Christmas movie but I figured I shouldn’t duplicate any entries.

Favorite Monster Movie: The Monster Squad (1987)

Favorite Silent Movie: The General (1926)*

*This is actually the only silent movie I’ve ever seen.

Favorite Comedy Movies: Raising Arizona (1987) and Bottle Rocket (1996)

Favorite Mob Movies: The Untouchables (1987), The Godfather (1972), and The Departed (2006)

Favorite Sports Movies: Hoosiers (1986) and A League of Their Own (1992)

Favorite Sci-Fi Movies: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Back to the Future (1985)

Favorite Fantasy Movies: The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) and Willow (1988)

That’s all the categories that came to mind off the top of my head. When it comes to movies, “favorite” and “best” are two different things, I believe. A movie can be a favorite because of nostalgia, impact, resonance, etc. without being good. Conversely, a movie can be really well made but not interesting or enjoyable to me (see The Aviator (2004)). So that brings me to my favorite movie of all time.

All-Time Favorite Movie: The Goonies (1985)

Nothing Like the Movies

This week has been full of firsts for me. It was my first time to report to jury duty, first shot at using public transportation, first time attempting to navigate downtown by myself and first real-life courtroom experience. Now don’t get me wrong, I have watched countless trials in my life. I’ve seen drug dealers put away, predators taken off the streets and dangerous criminals locked up indefinitely. The only difference is, all the ones I watched previously were on TV or in movies (mostly Law & Order S.V.U., if we’re being honest).

Deep in my heart of hearts I have always had a taste for justice. I long to see bad guys punished for their wrongs and justice executed to the fullest extent of the law (the Lord has used this desire to completely wreck me and my understanding of grace, btw). So, as you can imagine, this week I was a teensy bit excited to get to be a part of the justice system. I hated the idea of commuting downtown, but I was eager to experience the process and bring scumbags to justice! I tried to play it cool during the questioning… mainly I tried to leave out my thirst for justice and overwhelming experience as an investigator (read: law & order addict). While some aspects of this experience were exactly what I imagined, other parts were new and (somewhat) disappointing. As the lawyers began questioning us during voir dire, it became clear that being charming and relatable was just as important as the questions themselves. The first lawyer up was all smiles. He thanked the jury profusely and made sure to make everyone feel important when they were giving their answers. The second lawyer started out just as charming as the first, but was quickly put in his place by the judge when he started to get a little too chatty about the case… there were warnings and objections and everything! Unfortunately, at the end of voir dire I was not selected to be on the jury. In fact, they didn’t select anyone from my side of the room because the first side had more than enough candidates. C’est la vie. Maybe next time I’ll get the chance to experience all the ins-and-outs of the actual trial. In the meantime, I’m going to stick to S.V.U. reruns, where the bad guys always lose and the good guys always look fabulous in the pursuit of justice! :wink:

Sidenote: The coolest part of this whole process was finding out that there is a “white noise button” that the judge presses every time the attorneys approach the bench. I always wondered how the rest of the courtroom didn’t hear those discussions!

“I got nowhere else to go!”

Whenever this scene between Louis Gossett, Jr. and Richard Gere from An Officer and a Gentleman is referenced, it reminds me of Peter and Jesus’ conversation in John 6. Mayo (Gere) is desperate for meaning in life and has found it in one thing, the Navy. His superior officer challenges him to quit, to give up, to admit he can’t take any more and to walk away, but he can’t bear the thought of being disconnected from what he’s discovered. He’s clinging to the one place he can thrive and grow.

In John 6 Jesus has many followers quit after hearing a difficult truth and He asks the twelve disciples if they want to quit, also. Peter realizes the only place they can find true life is in Christ. I believe that Peter has come to realize his spiritual poverty and responds to Jesus with an attitude of, “I got nowhere else to go!”

John6:67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”

This is the gospel realization that every believer must walk in. When all this world has to offer is considered, an illuminated heart should realize that life is found in Jesus alone. We have nowhere else to go. We are dependent on “the Holy One of God” to sustain us, not just to bless us. Cling to that truth, and cling to Jesus!

Thank You, 1985

i wanna give a shout out to the year 1985. it was, pop culturally, a really transformative year for me. not the actual year, per se, but what came forth from it. such as…

ronald reagan is sworn in for his second term

we are the world

i love the description on this particular youtube upload: “its by michael jackson and a couple of people. and its super touching :]”

compact discs

the dairy queen blizzard

the tv show growing pains

a ton of great movies, including a few of my absolute all-time faves:

spies like us


back to the future

the goonies

some killer cartoons:




and one of the biggest, eternally insignificant, influences of my entire life: the nintendo entertainment system


1985… my hat’s off to you. (readers, if you’re not standing and applauding by now, i worry about you and am sad for you.)

honorable mentions: microsoft windows 1.0 is released (figured that might draw some jeers), teen wolf, disney’s gummi bears, jem

some random movie thoughts, vol. 1

-watched sneakers this past weekend and realized it’s pretty similar to oceans’ 11. not sure why i never made the association before.

-i read this post on the thinklings and just wanted say that, like andrew (though for different reasons), i’ve had to fight the urge to hate it. it’s the “monty python and the holy grail syndrome”, i think. it’s a great movie. it’s WAY over quoted. and it can sour people’s opinions when the tidal wave of quoting comes after the initial release and surge of the movie, when the “true fans” saw it. i remember watching the trailers/clips online before the movie opened. genius stuff, i thought. i have to remind myself that just because it became the proverbial beaten dead horse to like/quote it, doesn’t mean the movie itself is not still great.

-i find the polar express/3D christmas carol animation really creepy. i don’t want to watch any movies that utilize it. really hope it’s not the future of animation.

-it’s not as fun to remember a funny movie quote in everyday context when the people around you don’t know what you’re talking about, as it is when there is someone who knows what you’re talking about. (i know this goes without saying, but a lot of things that “go without saying” get said anyway)

yesterday it was:

“coming through! got a package people!”

and today it was:


“yes, satan? oh, i’m sorry, sir. you sounded like someone else.”

strangely both from ace ventura, which is not something i quote every day, honest, BUT still something you’d think people would recognize.

-i’m not excited about avatar. i haven’t really watched any previews, just a few seconds here and there. i keep picturing jar jar binks when i think about it…