I come in from a long day and find that I’ve been tagged by the intrepid Patrick in an online movie meme tag game. Well, thanks Patrick, pard’ner! I owe you one now, lol. But, in the spirit of the game, here are some of my favorite movies:
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King 
The whole Lord of the Rings trilogy has its moments, good and bad, in my mind. But the Return of the King wraps up the series with a proper bang: great effects and decent portrayal of Tolkien’s sense and story. Which is to say: worth watching!
Where the Red Fern Grows 
If you are a dog lover, as I am, this one will get to your heart strings every time. The original movie tells an Oklahoma story about a boy's love of two dogs, and the power of the love these dogs returned to him. This is one of my all-time favorite movies…I think because I understand the emotions and storyline, having lived in a rural setting with a true dog -- and all the life-extras that brings. However, I am far more careful about showing to friends, now. I invited a bunch of grad students over for a party, showed this movie, and ended up being laughed at for being too sentimental! But if you love dogs, you’ll know what I mean. This one will touch you.
The Princess Bride 
Aesop’s Fables in new wrapping: An age old morality play done in several levels of irony, with humor that is campy, but irresistible, lol! I mean, it has the foppish, evil prince, the beautiful [soon to be] princess, the forgotten lover, the skilled swordsman, the genius mutant, and a lovable giant! And...drum roll, a lisping Anglican priest, lol! What more could a person ask? It’s also Andre the Giant’s swan song on life, his last work of art before passing on. This one’s worth watching once a year or so, just for the laughter and elemental morality. And also as a eulogy for a human [Andre] that never really seemed to fit in on this earth…
John Travolta plays a real, ‘everyman’ who sees a light in the sky, and it changes his life. His brain goes to a higher level, and people start treating him differently. It is a fascinating study on human nature: how humans treat someone who doesn’t fit their preconceived notions. Also on how one person makes a difference in the world, by the people he touches. And, finally, how loyal love can win a cold, wounded heart! Travolta pulls off a tough role with believability. Great stuff.
Fire Down Below 
Sometimes the context makes the movie, and in this case, it made Fire Down Below part of my collection. In 2003 my Dad was nearing death’s door [fighting post-polio syndrome], and I took a two-week vacation to be with him. We spent a wonderful couple weeks together, they released him from the hospital, and he came home, where he felt alive and ‘normal.’ So I rented a movie to watch…which happened to be Fire Down Below. It is set in the hills of Kentucky, with all scenes filmed there, I believe. It’s classic good guy vs. bad guys with a rural Kentucky twist [Segal vs. the world, with a love interest, of course]. And, Dad loved it [except for some language -- he always objected to bad language]. But it was a neat time together. He teased Mom [since she’s from Kentucky] and we all laughed at some of the ironic humor, and each other...soaking up the Kentucky setting and music…just one of those moments that I’ll never forget. Seeing the movie brings back some of those feelings for me.
Those are the ones I can think of right now. At this point in my life I don't get a lot of movie time, but these are the ones I liked well enough to purchase the DVD, and show to others.
Now, whom shall I tag? lol, don't hate me, people! Allen, Joe, George [get that blog going, George!], Ladell, and Christopher [Christopher, I know you're busy celebrating the royal accession of your man, but if you read this, you're tagged! :-)].