The Fifty Day Movie Challenge – Days 1 – 5

_A dark sun has risen on my life…I made a Facebook profile. It was windy and overcast, a young girl accidentally dropped her dolly out of the window of the car while they were driving down the freeway on their way to the grandparent’s house for the weekend…the boring grandparents. …nah, it’s not that bad. Dare I say…I’ve kind of enjoyed being silly with my local friends in a social networking atmosphere? Whatever though. A couple months ago, my brother James told me about this thing he was doing with my friend Roger on Facebook called the 50 Day Movie Challenge. Sounds familiar. Anyways, he kept telling me to get on Facebook and get on that shit and I was like “Wuh, maybe one day when I have a Facebook.” Well, things happened, I begrudgingly have a FB profile now, and the 50 Day Movie Challenge is on. But not like Donkey Kong, though…unless it’s Donkey Kong Country. Then it’s totally on in that way.

_Just to make it not a double dose of daily insanity, I’m going to be posting these here every 5 days, covering the 5 days challenges past. Biting the idea from my brother and friend, I’m placing a self imposed limitation of listing a different movie for every entry. So everything listed at every category might not be my real favorite whatever, but it allows for more variety. Maybe I should go back and do that for the 30 Days of Gaming Challenge! Nah, fuck it, Xenogears deserves all those spots.

_Day 1 [Your favorite movie] – Back to the Future

Really, right off the bat, favorite movie? This seems a better category to save for last…though that might be cliché. I suppose since you don’t have to list 50 different movies, it would probably become apparent after a while what someone’s favorite movie was if you didn’t do it this way.

There are a multitude of reasons why Back to the Future is my favorite movie of all time. It’s a movie I grew up watching and rewatching with my brother religiously as children. I often times wonder if we both just had great taste even as children or if we just got extremely lucky falling in love with such a well made movie even as kids. I mean, we also watched Karate Kid 2 a ton too, and that was…not as good. What’s not to like about B2tF though? It has one of the best scripts ever written. It might be the most underrated quotable movie of all time. Seriously, I’ve never seen this movie on any list of “Most quotable movies” ever. That’s a god damned travesty. The casting is flawless. The soundtrack is epic, and not in the overused internet terminology way. There’s simply no other way to describe the main theme. [Grand? Riveting? Sweeping? Yeah, there are other terms, but epic really is appropriate here. Also, I love “sweeping” as an adjective]. Huey Lewis really outdid himself on that one…but seriously, the orchestrated theme is one of the best movie themes ever written. And Power of Love really isn’t too shabby.

I could go on forever about Back to the Future. I could probably fill up this list with Back to the Future related things. I’m going to try not to. Hell, while looking over the list of categories for each day, I actually contemplated not listing B2tF as my favorite movie, despite it easily being my favorite by a large margin, simply because I could list it in so many other places. But that would just be a lie, so here it is.

_Day 2 [The first movie you remember seeing in theatres] – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

I know for a fact that I saw some other movies in theaters before this, but TMNT was the first movie I can remember going to the movies and watching. Probably due to trauma.

Jimmy and I were about as stoked as younguns could be to see anything, and we went to see Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at the old Cinedome 8 theater in a thunderstorm. Sometime during the part where the turtles train and do self-reflection at April O’Neil’s farm, the power in the theater went out. As an adult, I’d likely have been a bit upset, but I would understand that sometimes shit happens in a thunderstorm. Our dad got a rain check along with passes for another free movie of our choosing at a future date, which is very acceptable.

I, however, was not an adult at the time, I was a child and I was rather…shell-shocked, to say the least. I don’t remember what happened afterwards, only the daze I was in after seeing the first half of the movie I was so excited to see, then having to go home and wait at least until the next weekend to see the rest of the movie. Dark times, my friend, dark times…

But we did go to see the movie, got through all of it, and it was wonderful. God was in his Heaven, all was right with the world.

_Day 3 [The movie you’ve seen the most (repeatedly) in your life] – Muppets Take Manhattan

Back to the Future is easily the movie I’ve watched the most in my life, but I’ve already covered B2tF. So the next movie I can think of that I’ve seen the most of is Muppets Take Manhattan. Strangely enough, despite repeatedly watching this movie throughout my childhood, I went over a decade without watching this movie before borrowing the DVD from Jimmy last year. But the repeated viewings from my childhood came rushing back right from the opening number. Despite the movie being absent from my consciousness for over 10 years, I knew every beat the movie was going to hit next. It was more like it had been a month between viewings. Manhattan Melodies, the gang splitting up, the Muppet babies segment, Kermit going in disguise and schmoozing around town, Ocean Breeze soap – It’s just like taking an ocean cruise only there’s no boat and you don’t actually go anywhere, MORE bears and chickens and whatevers! It was…extremely nostalgic, to say the least.

_Day 4 [Your favorite animated film] – The Fox and the Hound

The best children’s/family movies are the ones that are enjoyable to both kids and adults. Most of Pixar’s work falls under this category, as do many of Disney’s animated features as well assorted works of the Muppets. The Fox and the Hound is one of the more underrated of their animated films, in my opinion. As a kid, I enjoyed the movie because…talking animals are just kinda cool. I watched it again when I was in my teens, and my stance on the friendship of Tod and Copper changed. I kind of viewed like it was some kind of hidden race thing, like “Foxes and hounds can’t coexist! Symbolism!” and it turned me off a little bit.

But watching this movie now as an adult, I don’t see it like that at all. It feels more complex. As children, their lives were simple: Copper and Tod just wanted to have fun. And have fun and get into mischief they did. Then as they grew up, they changed. Life wasn’t just about having fun. Copper became a huntin’ dog, and with that, he felt that he couldn’t be friends with Tod anymore. Tod, however, was still living a carefree life and didn’t see the problem with their being friends. Eventually, he was dropped back into the forest and forced to grow up. He learned to live off of the land and became romantically involved with a girl fox. When they next met, Tod and Copper assumed that since they lived different lives that they could no longer be friends. But by the end, they both realized that they shared a bond despite all of their changes. Their lives led them in different paths, and while they might not see each other much after their fight with the bear, if at all, they would still always think of each other as best friends despite it.

_Day 5 [Your favorite documentary] – The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

My documentary viewings are, admittedly, limited. It’s not that documentaries don’t interest me…I just don’t watch many.

Anyways…video games are one of my passions in life, so when I saw King of Kong on Netflix instant streaming service last year, I made it a point to watch it. It’s a cliché to say “So bizarre, it has to be true,” but that sums up a lot of this movie. The movie mainly follows two people, Steve Wiebe and Billy Mitchell. Wiebe is trying to achieve the world record score in the original Donkey Kong, and Mitchell is the current record holder. Wiebe is as likable a guy as you’ll see in a documentary, and Mitchell is so smug and self-absorbed, it’s simultaneously perplexing and obvious why he’d let a camera crew film him for this movie. It’s a fascinating look at an ordinary guy’s desire to want to be the best at something and another man’s obsession with being the best at something.


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