As promised, here’s the rest of the list of movies I still can’t help but love. Like last week, I tried to steer clear of the obvious choices like Hook, E.T., Dumb and Dumber, etc. Hopefully you’ve never seen a few of these and decide to give them a chance. You can check out Part I of this list here.
Lethal Weapon series (1987-1998) – Sgt. Murtaugh and Sgt. Riggs, played by Danny Glover and Mel Gibson are both vet-turned cops who keep getting themselves into high-stakes trouble. It’s one of the series where I really can’t choose one as my favorite, though they do get funnier as they progress. Typical for early-90’s buddy/cop films there’s lots of cursing and shooting throughout. Not at all recommended for kids (though the third and fourth ones could be PG-13 if not for the constant use of the F-word). Why watch it? Mel Gibson plays a suicidal maniac cop. What’s not to like about that?? Next to Ransom, it’s his best acting.
Mr. Holland’s Opus (1995) – Sarabeth hates this movie because Richard Dreyfuss’s character is flirting with one of his students throughout the third act. But in the end, he makes the right decision, so I think it’s redemptive. Why watch it? For the groovy soundtrack, man!
My Life (1993) – Last week I mentioned the movie The Cure, and how it’s one of the most emotional movies ever. Here’s the runner-up. Michael Keaton plays a young husband and soon-to-be father who is battling cancer and decides to make a home movie to leave behind for his unborn kid. Why watch it? If you feel you need to let the floodgates open. This’ll certainly do it.
Radio Flyer (1992) – The story about two brothers whose mom marries an abusive alcoholic who targets the youngest of the brothers (the kid from Jurassic Park). The older brother (a very young Elijah Wood), vows to get him out of that situation any way he can. His means of doing so? The little red wagon – the Radio Flyer! Why watch it? 1) Tom Hanks makes a cameo, and 2) there’s a giant buffalo that sticks his head in the kid’s room and talks to him. And (spoiler alert) the wagon flies!
The River Wild (1994) – They seriously don’t make movies like this anymore. Kevin Bacon plays a complete creep who’s obsessed with tackling the most dangerous part of the river just for bragging rights. There’s guns, there’s white water rafting, there’s dogs, there’s white-knuckle suspense. There’s just a lot of fun waiting for you in this movie. Think Speed, but in the mountains. On a river. In a raft. Why watch it? To see John C. Reilly play a bad guy. And because it really is a thousand times better than Speed 2.
The Rocketeer (1991) – Want to know the weird thing about this movie? Cliff only puts the rocket on twice in the entire film. And I never noticed (or cared) as a kid that this movie is based on kicking the Nazi’s butts. That makes me appreciate it even more as an adult. Why watch it? It’s 90’s Disney at its finest.
RocketMan (1997) – Like Good Burger, which I mentioned last week, this movie is just as stupid and corny, but there’s no way in the world anyone can not laugh at it. It’s a genuinely funny movie, but keep in mind, I warned you that it’s really corny. Why watch it? You can learn the song “He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands” in many different languages.
Swing Kids (1993) – Set in Nazi Germany, these kids are like the Dead Poet’s Society, except instead of read poetry, they listen to Jazz music – and they love it. But obviously their Nazi-influenced parents and neighbors have a problem with it. So each kid has to decide if he’s going to continue rebelling against the growing Nazi movement or give in. There’s a young Christian Bale in it, and I won’t tell you what he decides. Why watch it? Two words: Swing Heil!
That Thing You Do (1996) – Tom Hanks stars and directs this groovy, feel-good movie, that you just can’t help but sing along to. It’s funny, it’s catchy, and it’s based on a real band (the Oneders), who just didn’t quite make it to the status of The Beatles (personally, I think they could have). Lots of laughs and great songs. Be careful though, there’s an unrated or PG-13 rated version floating around out there – get the PG one and you can watch it with all the kids. Why watch it? Tom Hanks as star. Tom Hanks as director. (But he doesn’t sing.)
White Fang (1991) – I’m sure you’ve seen this as a kid, or read the book. But you’d be surprised how well it holds up even now. It’s just as intense, just as emotional, and just as Disney-esk as you’d hope it would be. Probably the best sled-dog movie I’ve ever seen. And definitely in my top 20 favorite movies. Why watch it? Just the music and the scenery alone is stunning. (Have I mentioned Balto in this list? Hmmm…. I should.)
White Squall (1996) – Ridley Scott directs this film where Jeff Bridges is at his best. It’s the true story of a group of boys who are chosen to continue their schooling abroad aboard (see what I did there?) the Albatross under the command of Captain Christopher “Skipper” Sheldon (Bridges). Think Dead Poet’s Society on a boat. And if you happen to really love dolphins, I would strongly suggest you keep far away from this movie. Why watch it? If you can’t stand everything leading up to the sinking in Titanic, this can be your replacement.