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I guess I just like liking things

1989 was a great year for movies. I was surprised by how many I’d seen (reference list) and how many I liked, but if you start looking at how many bad movies were made that year it all balances out to be not so good – an issue that affects most years, I think. I was 17 years old at the start of summer in ’89, working at a hardware store and looking forward to starting my Senior year of high school in couple of months. I didn’t see all these movies in 1989, and I wish there was a way for me to go back and see them then and watch them again now, jsut to see how the list would change.  As it is, this list is a mix of memories and movies I still watch now and again.

20. Penn & Teller Get Killed – This one makes the list for the ending alone. I don’t want to ruin it for you (even though 24 years is plenty long enough to make it spoilerbait), but suffice to say I didn’t really know Penn & Teller much back then, but have come to a better appreciation for what they were attempting with it.

19. Driving Miss Daisy – This is a movie that everyone loved back then.  I kind of feel like maybe it wouldn’t hold up so well today?  I don’t know. I do remember being particularly surprised by Dan Ackroyd’s performance in this, as I’d only known him to do comedies up to this point.

18. Lock Up – Man, I ain’t gotta explain my love of Stallone movies any more than I already have, do I? Certainly not one of his strongest, but that hasn’t stopped me from buying the Blu_Ray.

17. Glory – I haven’t seent his one in years, but it’s still filed under “Inspiring” in my braindrawers.

16. Field of Dreams – I like this one, but I’m supposed to like it a lot more than I do, I know. I’m not much of a baseball fan, but still appreciate a good baseball movie. Most of this one’s charm depends on the viewer loving the game, but it’s good even if you don’t have that.

15. Tango & Cash – Stallone and Russell, who should totally make a new movie together.  If we can finally get Stallone and Schwarzenegger to pair up, why not these two again?

14. Back to the Future Part II – The biggest gripe I always heard about this one is that it’s “confusing.”  I don’t get that at all. I think it does a pretty good job of laying out what it’s doing. It’s no Primer, that’s for doggone sure.

13. Parenthood – I haven’t seen the TV show (apparently) based on this, but I can’t imagine it’s better than this movie. thinking about it sure makes me miss Rick Moranis even more.

12. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation – If you get back to me in a few years on this, I think this one will be further down.  I used to love it, now I only like it.  I think I want it to hang together a bit more, story-wise, and it just doesn’t.  It’s more of a series of skits, really. Again, I still like it, but it’s fading for me.

11. Say Anything – Another one I think I’m supposed to like more than I do. There are a few John Cusack movies I like more than this one, for sure.  But that boombox scene and Lloyd’s speech about his future (which is kinda full of itself, but that’s the point, right?) are iconic.

10. When Harry Met Sally… – I always forget Carrie Fisher is in this one, for some reason.  This is the movie that all other romcoms want to be and few are.

9. The Abyss – This movie is more horror than scifi for me, but it’s good stuff.  That drowning scene terrifies me enough that I haven’t watched it in a long time, and the thought of breathing pink goo isn’t much better.

8. Heathers – Most of the real-life Heathers I’ve met have been very nice people.  This is one of those “when you’re in high school you love it” movies that tends to resonate less with you as you get older, I think.

7. Dead Poets Society – Same deal with this one – when you’re in high school and you have these dreams of standing out from your peers and doing great things, this is exactly the sort of movie that makes you want to pump your fist (or stand on your desk, in this case). When you’re older and realize there are more ways to contribute and be distinct it doesn’t move you as much, but it still sparks a little something.

6. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – How much fun is this ridiculous movie?  Tons, I say. I’m one of those people that you hear about that are excited at the prospect of them making a third entry, which is ridiculous as well.

5. Lethal Weapon 2 – The first two Lethal Weapon movies are the best. This one took the first one and amped it up (a dude gets a surfboard to the FACE, yo!) and it even opened my eyes up a bit more to the problem of apartheid, so that’s kind of a lot for a movie to do all at once.

4. Ghostbusters II – Is it as good as the first one? Nope. Is it as bad as people say? Not by a long shot. To this day when someone’s putting a baby down for a nap, I want to (and sometimes do) respond with “You’re short, your bellybutton sticks out too far, and you’re a terrible burden on your poor mother.”

3. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – Harrison Ford and Sean Connery: Han Solo and James Bond hanging out, doing stuff. Made for a great movie and would make for a super cool action-comedy TV show.

2. UHF – This is one of the best movies ever made and if you don’t like it you hate life.  If any movie deserves a sequel (whether direct or “in the spirit of”), it’s this one, and the fact that it hasn’t happened yet is the biggest sign that Hollywood is full of jerks who don’t know what they’re doing.

1. Batman – The movie that inspired this list and inspired me to soak up all things Batman. Nobody had seen a comicbook movie like this before, because it had never been done before.  Sure, it has its problems (Batman telling The Joker “I’m going to kill you” being the biggest!), but it’s awesome in look and tone and utterly rewatchable.  To this day it’s one of only a few movies I’ve seen in the theater four times, and if it were re-released in theaters today, I’d go see it a fifth.

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