Today is the FREE! release of "Part Seventeen: The Tree of Light"
It's also the day of Alex Cavanaugh's Top Ten Movie thing (click the link for the list).
As per usual, I'm breaking the rules a bit. Many of the movies I list will be franchises rather than movies. Mostly, because devoting six of 10 spots to Star Wars seems a little redundant, and, well, even the least of the Star Wars movies is greater than most other movies. This will allow for more variety on my list. Oh, and I should also say that I kind of hate making lists like this, because, if I were to make the same list next week, it might be slightly different. That's why I have a "significance" page not a "favorites" page. The things that have been significant don't change. But enough of that; let's get to it...
Daredevil (2003) -- This was one of my top super hero movies until Marvel got into the game for real and started making their own movies. I still think it's one of the most watchable and is a great adaptation at the same time. It's completely underrated.
Ladyhawke (1985) -- During high school, my best friend and I spent the better part of a year watching this movie virtually every weekend. It almost made the actual top 10, but it's probably been too long since I've seen it to really know where it stands.
Fellowship of the Ring (2001) -- Fellowship was a great movie, perfectly captured the spirit of the books, and it deserves to be in the top 10. However, it fell off the list, because I don't feel compelled to put the other movies up there along with it, and it wasn't strong enough to stand next to the other top 10s all by itself.
Goonies (1985) -- This was the movie that my brother and his best friend watched almost every weekend for the better part of a year, and I often sat and watched it with them. [I know, you'd think I did nothing but watch movies when I was in high school, but most of this movie watching happened after midnight when it was too late to do anything else.] Then there was a period where my kids wore out this video, too.
10. Robin Hood (1973) -- The Disney version of Robin Hood was the first movie I ever fell in love with. And I did. I wanted to be Robin Hood, and he was the hero of my boyhood, along with Spider-Man, prior to Luke Skywalker.
9. Better Off Dead (1985) -- The other movie my best friend and I spent the better part of a year watching virtually every weekend. Even more than Ladyhawke. It was the most quoted movie of my high school career, especially, "Man, now that's a real shame when folks be throwin' away a perfectly good white boy like that."
And "I want my two dollars!"
And "Gee, I'm real sorry your <whatever bad thing just happened> blew up."
And... I need to stop, or I'll just quote the whole movie.
However, I do still use on my kids whenever we're having something they don't like for dinner, "It's got raisins in it... you like raisins."
8. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) -- Not quite as quotable as Better Off Dead but so much more tapped into the souls of us all who grew up in the 80s. No one really wanted to be Lane Meyer, but we all wanted to be Ferris.
7. Toy Story (1995/1999/2010) -- One of the greatest movies about friendship ever made. And they just kept getting better. The third one made me cry. I don't know that there's more to be said than that.
The Incredibles (2004) -- My feelings about this movie can be summed up in the line, "When everyone's special, no one is." If you don't understand, you probably won't understand.
Ratatouille (2007) -- Similar in theme to Incredibles but with the addition of not dismissing someone because you think they know who they are.
6. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) -- The second movie to ever make me cry (the first was The Fox and the Hound, which almost made the list) and possibly the event that nudged D&D into cultural awareness in any real sense. I'm still hoping, though, that Spielberg doesn't cave and make a sequel.
5. Iron Man (2008) -- The second virtually perfect super hero movie. I saw it three times its opening weekend (not, actually, on purpose) and could have gone back for more. Downey (whom I had been following since the 80s (Less Than Zero, anyone?)) was amazing. "I am Iron Man."
Captain America: The First Avenger (2011) -- The third virtually perfect super hero movie. Chris Evans was absolutely perfect for the role, and I was so relieved when they went with him (they almost didn't because of his portrayal of Johnny Storm). As with Iron Man, Marvel really captured the character and threw him up on the screen.
The Avengers (2012) -- I don't even know what to say about this one. Whedon tied all the other movies together perfectly. It stands as the masterpiece of superhero movies.
4. Spider-Man (2002/2004/2007) -- The movie I waited my whole life to see. Spider-Man has always been my favorite superhero. Always. I remember playing Spider-Man when I was four, maybe even three. He was always so cool with all the jokes and stuff, and, really, is there a better set of super powers? Not when you throw in how smart he is, there's not. Sam Raimi was the very first (director) to capture the essence of a comic book hero and throw it up on the screen for us to see. [Admittedly, Hugh Jackman's Wolverine was the very first perfect performance of a character in 2000's X-Men. Unfortunately, the X-Movies have been pushed too far down to make the list.] And it had the line "With great power comes great responsibility," unlike some lesser Spider-Man movies.
3. Indiana Jones (1981/1984/1989/2008) -- The greatest adventure movies ever made. Period. Adventure does have a name...
2. Dead Poets Society (1989) -- I left high school completely tired of math and science and being told I had to do something in math or science, or math and science. I was tired of having my math test scores waved in my face all the time. Drawing had already been squashed out of me, but writing had not. I was good at it. On the sly, my English teachers would let me know how good at it I was without talking about math or science. So I went on to college and immediately declared English as my major... only to have all of my advisors start yelling at me. But I held to it. I never doubted my decision, but that doesn't mean that you know that you know that you're right. I walked out of DPS after my first year as an English major, and I knew that I knew that I'd made the right decision.
1. Star Wars (1977/1980/1983/1999/2002/2005) -- What can I say? Star Wars changed my life. Not that it didn't change the lives of lots of kids. Watching it that first time was like being in a darkened room, only you don't know that it's dark, and having someone flip on the light. It opened my mind and my imagination. And I watched it do that same thing to both of my boys. The flip of a switch. It was more gradual with my daughter, but it's there for her, too. It's the most quoted movie in our house. It's the most quoted movie of my life.
How could expect there to be anything different in this spot?
Today is a big day for Shadow Spinner! It's the halfway point of the story, and there are some significant revelations. But no spoilers. Go read it if you want to know; after all, it's FREE! Well, today it is. And tomorrow. Here's the list of today's FREE! parts!
FREE! on Monday, March 18 and Tuesday, March 19:
"Part Seventeen: The Tree of Light"
FREE! only on Monday, March 18:
"Part Sixteen: The Dark Tree"
"Part Fifteen: Food of the Garden"
"Part Fourteen: Anger and Laughter"
"Part Eleven: The Kiss"
"Part Ten: The Broken Window"
"Part Nine: The Shadow of the Tree"
"Part Eight: The Cold and the Dark"
"Part Seven: The Moth and the Shadow"
"Part Five: The Police Car"
"Part Four: The Cop"
"Part Three: The Bedroom"
"Part Two: The Kitchen Table"
"Part One: The Tunnel"
Look at that! That's 14 out of 17 parts for FREE! But that's not all, because you can also get little tale that started all of this off:
"The Evil That Men Do"
As an added bonus, you can also find "Christmas on the Corner" available for FREE! To quote one reviewer's response to the novella, "What I liked best, and what surprised me most about this story was the amazing depth of emotion." Make sure you pick it up while you have the chance to get it FREE!
And that will just about do me for today. Enjoy the movie list and pick up the FREE! stuff. Who can say no to FREE!, right?