Thursday, March 1, 2012

Guest Post: 12 Tha Hard Way

I am so excited. Today's guest blog post is brought to you from Kate, friend and fellow blogger over at Punch It In. Full disclosure: I've known Kate since high school. This also sort of self-serving because I really love to read these sorts of lists especially by people I actually know, and I thought: "Well, one way to do that is, of course, to get them to write a guest post." I also love it because it brings such a wide array of experiences (and opinions) to the table. And in this case there is a couple movies I don't really like, and I have a different favorite Indiana Jones movie, but like Stuart Smalley used to say, that's okay, in fact it's awesome.

Also, I might have her back to to do a TV post as well.

So without further comment here's Kate's entry:

 12 tha Hard Way

Admittedly, I’m a TV girl – I will pick the small screen over the silver screen at almost every opportunity. I’ve never seen the full Star Wars trilogy. I’ve never watched “The Godfather.” Just a couple months ago I got heckled for never having sat through all of “Mary Poppins,” not even as a little girl. But I can relate just about every moment in life to an episode of “Friends” and talk at length about the childhood crush I had on a random “Punky Brewster” guest star.

When Kevin asked me if I wanted to write a guest post on my 10 favorite movies, I was stoked. I like writing and I like Kevin and I thought the task wouldn’t be too difficult. As it turns out, I was wrong. Coming up with a list of movies that I deem my favorites – especially when 98 percent of the DVDs I watch lately are TV on DVD – was ROUGH. And then I started overthinking and getting all literal about it because I wouldn’t be Kate Wade if I wasn’t the most literal goddamn person on the planet.


What I decided to do was list 12 (because I am a fucking rebel) movies that I can watch – and have watched – over and over and over again. Are they all Academy Award winners? GAWD no. Still, they have made a huge impact on me. I can remember where I was when I first watched some of them, certain situations bring others to mind and some … well, some have impacted me so much that I named my own blog after them. So, without further ado and in no particular order, here are 12 of my favorite movies of all time.


The thing about pop culture in my house growing up is that nothing was really banned. I don’t know if that’s because my parents felt like censorship was whack or because they didn’t have a lot of time to check in on what my brother and I were watching and reading. Regardless, I ended up watching movies like “Porky’s” when I was probably a little younger than I should have been. “Heathers” was another one of those movies I might have been a little young to be watching when it first made it to the pay cable channels, but it has stayed with me my whole life. The dark comedy of it all spoke to me in such a hard core way. I wanted to endlessly make out with Christian Slater. I wasn’t altogether unhappy when Heather Chandler bit it. CORN NUTS FOREVER.

American Beauty

It’s rare I can repeatedly watch a movie without there being one scene that annoys the shit out of me. “American Beauty” is that rare movie. It’s perfect. I wouldn’t change a thing. And the older I get, the more it speaks to me. I have an extended family member who is probably around 40 now, and a couple years after the movie came out he went on this tirade about what a disgusting character Kevin Spacey played. Whenever I think back to that situation, I wonder if my family member remembers it whenever a 17- or 18-year-old girl inevitably catches his eye these days.

The Goonies

If you tell me you don’t like “The Goonies,” I’ll tell you you’re un-American. It’s just one of those movies that every person my age who grew up in white middle-class America can appreciate. For all of us who had a tight-knit group of friends in elementary school or junior high, we recognize the Chunks, the Mouths, the Datas. We saw the adventures they went on and wished we were going, too – especially that waterslide, amirite? And the feeling of vindication at the end of the flick, where The Goonies win and those other assholes have to go home and pound sand, it’s just the best. I still don’t like Baby Ruths, though. Just putting that out there.

Say Anything

There’s not much to say about this movie that hasn’t already been said. Lloyd Dobler is every teenage girl’s dream boyfriend, or at least he was before all these fucking vampires fell into the mix.

Home Alone

Every Christmas I spend some bonding time with little Kevin McCallister. These days I want to tell him to put down the drugs and eat a sandwich, but back in the day we were homies. I first saw this movie in the theater and from the first note of the intro music and the opening credits, I was hooked. It is just a damn good movie – funny and silly while still tugging on your heart strings just enough.

Dances With Wolves

I have to confess that my dad made me watch this in the movie theater not long after it premiered. I was 12 or 13 and it was painful. Sooooooo painful. Too long and boring and oh my god. I wanted to kill my dad, right after I woke up from my theater nap. Then my dad moved to Wyoming and I started visiting him during summers. He took me all over Wyoming and Montana, showing me the countryside and helping me learn about Native American history. After that, “Dances With Wolves” spoke to me a lot more. I had such a better appreciation of the beauty of the landscape and a deep respect for the Native American people. Now that my dad is living in Tennessee, I watch this movie probably two or three times a year to take a trip back to the wonder of the West. 

Brighton Beach Memoirs

When my mom and dad first separated, I lived with my dad and family friends of his for a year. I was about 12. I loved watching the huge old TV set in the living room of that house. One weekend day when everyone else was busy, I had the TV on and one of those weekend movies started. It was “Brighton Beach Memoirs.” For as long as I can remember, I have been in love with WWII-era books and movies, and I’m a huge fan of music from the ’30s and ’40s. I thought Jonathan Silverman was hilarious as Eugene, and all these years later I’m still singing “Good Morning Glory,” a song I’d never heard before and even have a tough time finding now on the Interwebz.

Fried Green Tomatoes

This movie gets pegged as a chick flick, and it sort of is, but my husband loves it, too. It’s a mystery and a love story and it makes you laugh and it makes you cry and it pretty much does everything a good movie is supposed to do. I also have a major crush on Mary-Louise Parker and a mild obsession with the Deep South so I’m probably a little biased.  

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

This one is pretty self-explanatory. It’s the best movie in the series (COME AT ME, BRO), and my favorite part is when Indy has to figure out how to get to the knight so he can find the Holy Grail. All those puzzles, all that pressure – so awesome to watch.

Dolores Claiborne

Kathy Bates does the sickest Maine accent in this flick. It sounds stupid, but that’s half of it for me right there – just listening to her talk. So much of what’s great about “Dolores Claiborne” is the acting itself. Judy Parfitt is killer as Vera Donovan and David Strathairn’s performance is so amazing that I’m not convinced I would let him near me in real life.

Uncle Buck

This is hands down my favorite John Candy movie. Every kid needs an uncle like Buck.

Cape Fear

The newer one with Robert De Niro scares the absolute bejesus out of me. He is a crazy motherfucker in the movie and I love how Juliette Lewis plays her role, too. By the time they make it on that houseboat, my nerves are so bad I’m almost peeing myself. Also, I’ve never thought of piano wire the same way again after seeing this.  



  1. good picks. I have never seen Brighton beach memoirs and will have to check it out. Uncle buck is the cats meow! And the kids and i make uncle buck pancakes at least 2 times a year.... mmm pancakes.. Nice blog ya got her kev i will be sure to follow it...
    Erik Swanson

  2. Love all your choices, Kate. I haven't watched Heathers for years. It reminds me of the crush I had on Christian Slater. Does he still act? Haven't seen him for ages. Uncle Buck is one of my favourite movies of all time. I love it. John Candy was brilliant in it. And you're right - De Niro was fantastic in Cape Fear. Totally insane. "Counselor. Counselor." I still gt chills thinking about that!