Toronto Mike

Movies With An Impact


Quentin Tarantino once said the sign of a good movie was that it made you want to go home, eat some pie and talk about it.  Without a doubt, my favourite movies have been those rare flicks that have never left me.  These gems become a part of me, altering my view of the world and opening my eyes to new concepts and ideologies.

During my thirty years of life, there are a few movies that made an impact so forceful it permanently modified my movie-going expectations and outlook.  These are the movies that have truly mattered in my life.  Today, I salute them.

Star Wars (1977) - This is the first movie I recall seeing in a movie theatre.  With VCRs popping up here and there at the turn of the decade, every birthday party I attended seemed to revolve around the showing of this film.  I remember staring at a "Star Wars" poster in my bedroom as a kid and playing with the Millennium Falcon.  For a guy born in '74, "Star Wars" started it all.  There was no turning back, I was hooked.

The Natural (1984) - With "The Natural", I discovered the rewind button on our VCR.  I was Roy Hobbs, teaching the Knights to believe again and leading them into a pennant race.  The climatic scene, with that music and drama, with the bat boy's bat and Roy's blood soaked jersey, was the most romantic thing this ten year old had ever experienced.  It was so thrilling, so inspiring, so glorious.  I simultaneously fell in love with triumph and baseball and this many years later I remain a believer in both.

The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) - You often hear the expression something is so funny you'll be rolling in the aisles.  The hyperbolic nature of such a statement is obvious, but a fourteen year old version of myself watching "The Naked Gun" in a theatre for the first time laughed ferociously and often enough to cause such rolling.  "The Naked Gun" introduced me to funny.  Not "Three's Company" or "Family Ties" funny, but pure hilarity.  Every scene, every image, every phrase spoken in this film tickled my funny bone and I've never forgotten how good it felt to be rolling in the aisles.

Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) - In 1991, my perception of what an effective action movie looked like changed forever.  At the time, my favourite such movie was "Total Recall" but "Terminator 2" blew it off the map.  There was a cool story, lots of action and special effects the likes of which I had never seen before.  To this day, "Terminator 2" remains one of only two films I've seen more than once in theatres.

Pulp Fiction (1994) - Without a doubt, this is my favourite movie of all time.  I previously mentioned that "Terminator 2" was one of only two films I've seen more than once in theatres.  "Pulp Fiction" is the other.  I believe I was nineteen when I first saw it and it permanently altered my taste for movies on impact.  The dialogue was delicious and the editing exceptional.  I remember the owner of our local ma and pa video store praising "Reservoir Dogs" in previous years, but I never bothered to view it until after I saw "Pulp Fiction".  Quentin Tarantino's touch and cinematic instincts with regards to dialogue, editing and music is ideal for my sensibilities.  "Pulp Fiction" raised the bar and "Reservoir Dogs", "Jackie Brown" and the Kill Bills are further examples of his excellence.  You only have one favourite movie, and this is mine.

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