Movies On My Must List

February 7, 2017

Two weekends ago, I finally found myself with a day with nothing to do. NOTHING. It was glorious. As I pondered how to fill it, I thought of all the TV series I’ve heard people raving about. It seemed like the perfect day to binge-watch something on Netflix, HBO Go or Hulu and completely veg out. Instead, I ended up rifling through my DVR, which was mostly filled with various levels of crap and garbage… until I came upon something that’s been bothering me for years: “The Shawshank Redemption.”

Here’s the thing: I’ve always considered myself a big movie guy. Especially around awards season, I love to get out and see as much as I can, including the obscure stuff that at any other time of year would be totally overlooked (hello, “Manchester By The Sea”). But the fact I had never seen “Shawshank” — even though it’s on TBS every other hour — shows I’m not as up on my movies as I should be.

Truth be told, over the course of a string of recent random conversations, I’ve figured out there are actually a ton of must-see movies I’ve never checked out. So I’m saying to hell with binge-watching TV and finally getting around to some of what are apparently (unbeknownst to me) among the best movies ever made. Here’s a sampling of my somewhat-embarrassing list of the flicks I’m determined to get around to watching:

The Pop-Culture Musts

  • Pulp Fiction
  • Avatar
  • Braveheart
  • Groundhog Day
  • Pretty Woman
  • Rocky
  • Dazed And Confused
  • The Big Lebowski
  • Purple Rain

I know. This list is an abomination. Just think of all the pop culture references I’ve missed!

Sure, I know there’s a groovy dance-floor scene between Travolta and Thurman in “Pulp Fiction.” And I’ve heard about the shouts of “Adrienne” from a punch-drunk Rocky. And then there’s “Lebowski” and “Groundhog Day”… well, I guess I really don’t know what I’m missing, but damn people seem to think they’re the greatest movies. Ugh. Just looking at this list makes me feel sorry for myself. But I might spare myself “Braveheart.” I simply can’t do Mel Gibson.

The Gangster Flicks

  • Goodfellas
  • Scarface
  • Casino

You know, “Scarface” probably should be at the very top of my next-to-see list. I’ve heard many a person with respectable taste rank it as their favorite film ever. Who am I to quibble? I feel like I could very easily be bugged by a coked-out, thickly accented Al Pacino, but I probably need to just power through it. These will be checked off my list, for sure!

The Classics

  • Citizen Kane
  • Casablanca
  • Gone With The Wind
  • The Sound of Music

These seem like they might take a lot of effort and patience to watch, am I right? I mean, doesn’t GWTWind have a four-hour runtime? Woof! And I think there’s a song in “Sound of Music” about goats…I just don’t think I have it in me. But I will do this. Damnit, I will!

The Holiday Classics

  • It’s A Wonderful Life
  • Miracle on 34th Street

I feel a bit like a Grinch here, but holy cow. I almost couldn’t care less about these movies. People act so shocked when I admit to never having seen them, but all the touchy-feely-ness in black-and-white ain’t doin’ it for me. Tell me…do I have to watch these? Fine. I will.

The ’80s

  • Pretty in Pink
  • Fast Times at Ridgemont High
  • Sixteen Candles
  • Weird Science

Recently there was a brouhaha in the office about the large number of staffers who have never seen “Footloose.” Are you kidding me? There is no excuse.

And speaking of no excuses, as a child of the 80s, I have no good reason to have missed some of the classics of my day… although in my defense, they largely seem to appeal to a teenage girl. But tell a woman of a certain age you’ve never seen one of Molly Ringwald’s movies and you’re sure to get an incredulous response.

I’m going to end my list here because, frankly, it’s getting kind of sad. But as I write this post, I feel inspired. Because two weeks ago, I finally watched The Shawshank Redemption, and I totally get what all the hype was about. What a great movie!

Therefore, the excuses stop here. In 2017, I resolve this: I will finally see most, or maybe all, of the movies on this list. As God is my witness, I will never miss a cultural movie reference again!