Welcome to part 2 of the Chi-Guy family TV movie-a-thon.  For those who missed part 1 I’d encourage you to start here.   The premise of this exercise is to bring to light the movies that, as you’re scrolling through the TV menu, bring you to a stop at any time of day, during any point of the film.  Certain movies just have that magnetism to them that will draw you in like a tractor beam from which your powers of resistance are futile.  I think you can tell a lot about a person based on the list they would submit under this scenario.  Please judge me based on the following…  

1.  Ghostbusters

As much as any, this movie perhaps best summarizes my childhood.  My mom tells a great story about how she took my sister and I to see Ghostbusters when it was in theaters (I was three, my sister six) and we absolutely loved it.  She gave it a hearty recommendation to a family friend who took their children of the same age to see it and they came back emotionally scarred for life.  I think that story speaks volumes about all the people involved.

2.  Moneyball

 I fit the profile here far too well.  I’m a huge fan of the following:

  • Michael Lewis books
  • Steven Soderberg films
  • Thinking outside the box
  • Baseball
  • Brad Pitt
  • Adorable little girls singing songs to their dad
  • Sabermetrics
  • Aaron Sorkin screenplays – count me among those who serious doubted that this story would translate to Hollywood
  • Billy Beane

Moneyball scratches all of those itches and then some.  You’re a good egg Pete.

3.  The Shawshank Redemption

Probably the quintessential cable movie of our generation.  Critics today still pan the Academy for selecting Forrest Gump over it in the Best Picture category in 1995.  How many movies do you know that have come to be used as a verb to describe the concept of this very list? 

And the quotes that come from this movie?  Second to none…

I have no idea to this day what those two Italian ladies were singing about. Truth is, I don’t want to know. Some things are best left unsaid. I’d like to think they were singing about something so beautiful, it can’t be expressed in words, and makes your heart ache because of it. I tell you, those voices soared higher and farther than anybody in a gray place dares to dream. It was like some beautiful bird flapped into our drab little cage and made those walls dissolve away, and for the briefest of moments, every last man in Shawshank felt free.

4.  The House Bunny

I’m not apologizing for this.  Anna Farris is very quietly an underrated actress as she is amongst a very limited pool of women in Hollywood that can deliver lines along the lines of, “What are you going to do, rape and kill me?” with perfect comedic timing.  I think she & Chris Pratt and The Wife & I should be going out for tapas on a fairly regular basis.  This movie also has a woefully underrated soundtrack and a young Emma Stone coming into her own right before our very eyes.

5.  The Matrix

Any male who was between 14 and 30 years old in 1999 who doesn’t have this on their list is lying to you.  An interesting conversation to hold over your next bonfire or cheese platter is how, if polled when leaving the movie theater, every single person would definitely take the red pill to escape the trap that is the Matrix.  However, in reality, my contention is that 80-90% of our population would take the blue pill and continue to knowingly live the lie.  My premise: people are a lot of talk but when push comes to shove the vast majority of us are lemmings.   

Bonus points because I think this was the first true movie of the Internet Age meaning it is the genesis of where message boards, blogs, and fan forums all originated.

6.  The Jerk

 If I hear:

“You mean I’m going to stay this color forever!?”

“I found my special purpose!!!!”

-or-

“These cans, he hates these cans!”

The next two hours of my life are done for.

7.  Rounders

Hall of Fame performances from Damon, Turturro, and Malkovich (I’m not as sold on Norton’s “Worm” however).  Additionally Grechen Mol plays the uncontested defining role of the Wet Blanket Girlfriend.  She’s so horrible in that movie (the girlfriend character) that it will forever be the pedestal that I will hold other crappy movie girlfriend/wives up to.  It also permanently ruined my impression of Gretchen Mol because she was so good at it that she should have either gotten the Academy Award -or- that’s what she’s really like and she wasn’t acting at all.  There’s no middle ground here.  And since she didn’t receive a statue for the performance… 

Great guys movie and the beginning of America’s realization that, one of those Good Will Hunting kids seems to be making better choices than the other one…  

Also for the record, there is a 0.0000000% chance that Matt Damon’s Mike McDermott turns down Famke Janssen’s advances when she comes over for a booty call when he’s down on his luck watching old poker videos.  Zero chance.  That scene almost ruins the credibility of the rest of the story.

8.  O Brother Where Art Thou?  

I love everything about the word sepia.  It’s amongst my favorites in the English language.  This movie serves as my definition and primary example of it.  Coupled with a fantastic soundtrack and the ties to The Odyssey, I’m sold hook, line, & sinker every time.   

9.  I Heart Huckabees

An incredibly underrated movie in my opinion.  It makes you think (and you know how I like that), involves philosophy, has a fantastic cast, great writing, & a young Isla Fisher – basically everything I’m looking for in cinema.  The fact that my friend had a panic attack and had to run out of the building never to be seen again when we saw it at an art house theater downtown only adds to my personal experience with it.  

10.  Forgetting Sarah Marshall

The only repeat between The Wife and my lists and rightly so.  It’s a movie that’s got something for everyone.  There are so many fantastic lines packed in here that literally upon turning it on at point in the film I know I will be laughing within 3 minutes guaranteed.  This was Jason Segel’s coming out party for me.  In knowing that he wrote and starred in this (including the musical aspects) he immediately made my I’ll Trust His Career Choices Going Forward list.  A great great movie by all accounts, there is no wrong time to sit down and get sucked into this story (unless you’re the middle aged uber-religious accountant at my office who hated it).   

So there we have it.  I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into the mind and DVR of the primary residents of the Chi-Guy household.  Please feel free to chime in with your own lists/additions in the Comments section below and prepare yourself for a lot of, “Good point, I want to revise my list” commentary from this end based upon your submissions. 

Thank you once again for reading, and a special shout out to The Wife for her generous contribution and to Cupcakes & Cashmere for the inspiration. 

Happy Friday everyone!