Archive for Pee Wees Big Adventure

League Assignment – Top 10 Movies

Posted in Memories, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 9, 2012 by Jason

Brian from Cool & Collected came up with yet another great topic for this week’s League assignment.  Top 10 movies.

He asked, What are your Top Ten Movies?”.  But it doesn’t have to be a typical top 10 movies of all-time list, which is nice.

For more clarity…

“Note, this list can be your top ten all time favorites, or your top ten in a given genre–go ahead and make up your own qualifiers! Google loves top ten lists, so make sure to use those words in your title and watch your traffic soar.”

I went with what my 10 favorite movies are these days.  But I did exclude holiday titles like, “A Christmas Story” and “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, “Planes, Trains & Automoibiles”, “Halloween” etc., because, while these movies are great, and a good watch every time, they just hold more meaning to me during their respective holidays.

It was very hard to narrow the list down.  I came up with a list off the top of my head that was 14 titles long.  This was already more than enough, so I stopped there and had to cut 4 titles from the list.  Those being, “Gremlins”, “Back to the Future”, “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and “Grandma’s Boy”.

This list could be different next week, but most of these have long been favorites of mine.  So let’s get to it!

10.) The Karate Kid

I used to watch the hell out of this movie when I was kid(among others, some of which are on this list)!  This is the classic underdog tale.  There is so much to like about this movie.  And even though it’s a bit embarrising to say, I really like the soundtrack.  I’ve never seen the remake(and don’t plan to), as I don’t want to tarnish what a great movie the orignal is.

9.) Pulp Fiction

I was introduced to this movie by my older brother back in 1997.  I was blown away!  The intertwining stories were great.  The acting was phenomenal, as was the casting choices.  Pulp Fiction is extremely quotable(as is the rest of the list), and after watching it, Quentin Tarantino became one of my favorite directors.

8.) The Crow

For many years, this was my absolute favorite movie.  In my opinion, this is the finest movie ever made that was adapted from a comic book.  Brandon Lee was great in this, and actually died during the filming(it’s a sad story, and a real shame because his star was on the rise).  It has a feel similar to Batman, in that it’s dark and gritty.  There were a few other movies made based on The Crow, but none of them come close to the original.  If you haven’t seen it, I can’t urge you enough to give it a watch.

7.) GoodFellas

The greatest gangster movie of all-time!  I’d also say that this is Joe Pesci’s career performance.  While most of Martin Scorsese’s films are really good, this was is his best.  The acting of everyone involved is top-notch, complimenting Scorsese’s direction.  The fact that it was based on true story, makes it just that much more compelling.

6.) Dumb and Dumber

This is one of the funniest movies I have ever seen.  I know a lot of the humor in this movie is kind of childish, but I think that’s what makes it so funny(to me anyway).  The title is most fitting, as it will have you thinking frequently, “are they really that dumb?”.   Jim Carrey had a lot of great movies in the nineties, and this is no exception.  This is another highly quotable movie, and I have many favorites.  I couldn’t choose just one, so here’s the full list from IMDB.

5.) Spaceballs

Before we had all of the parody movies like Scary Movies, and the “Not Another(insert movie genre here)”, we had Mel Brooks.  I’m no expert on Mel Brooks’  movies, but Spaceballs is an exception.  I loved this movie since I first saw it back in 1987-88.  My step brother was into sci-fi and horror movies big-time, which in turn got me into those genres as well.  This movies spoofs every sci-fi movie from Aliens – Star Wars, and does it well!  The subject matter and John Candy make for a winning combination. If you’ve never seen it(which I would find hard to believe), get on it!

4.) Clerks

Kevin Smith’s first and finest work.  This movie details a day in the life of 2 store clerks, Dante and Randal.  If you have ever worked in the retail sector, most of this movie will hit close to home.  I for one, have worked in a convenience store as well as a video store, so I can relate to some of it.  There’s a slim possibility for some of the stuff that happens in the movie would ever happen in real life, but it also seems like some of it legitimately could happen.  The film is in black and white, and I feel that that’s a good thing.  There is nothing to distract you from what is going on.  Kevin Smith worked at the store he filmed at, and most of it was filmed at night when he wasn’t working.  In the movie, Dante arrives at work to find that someone jammed gum in the shutters’ locks(“Bunch of savages in this town.”).  I can go on and on, so I’ll just leave it at see this now!  If you haven’t already.

3.) Beetlejuice

This was released in 1988, and I remember when my dad rented it as a new release(’88-’89?).  Directed by Tim Burton and scored by Danny Elfman(who have done numerous projects together), and featuring an all-star cast(not all of them were legit stars at this time), this movie just screams win!  It has the feel of classic Tim Burton, which it is(I’m not saying that the movies he’s made in the past 15 years is bad, but, in my opinion, his stuff in the 80’s through the early nineties is flawless).  I can’t say that I’ve seen anything like it, and that’s the main reason why it’s #3 on my list.  The movie spawned an animated series, as well as a line of action figures(I’m a huge fan of both btw).  I think I’m going to watch this again at some point this weekend.  🙂

2.) The Goonies

If you have a pulse, I’m sure all of you have seen this movie, and love it as well.  If yuo first saw this movie as a child, you’d be lying if you said you never wanted to be a Goonie(Goony?).  Some of the cast has gone on to bigger and better things, while some of them just kind of fell off the map(no pun intended).  It’s got humor, action and suspense, so there’s something for everyone.  This was one of the first movies I could recite word for word, and it didn’t take long because this was one of the movies me and my brother would regularly choose to watch whenever we were home and wanted to watch a movie.

1.) Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure

This is the movie I think that I’ve seen more than any other movie.  Just like The Goonies, this is another of the first movies I learned to recite word for word.  This is Tim Buton’s feature-length directorial debut, as well as the beginning of collaborations of Burton and Danny Elfman.  If you’ve been reading my blog long enough, you know that I am a huge Pee-Wee Herman fan.  Co-written by the late, great Phil Hartman(along with Paul Reubens and Michael Varhol), this is a tale about a man(boy) and his quest to get back his most prized posession…his bike(and what an awesome bike it is!).  This was the beginning of my fandom for Tim Burton and Pee-Wee Herman.  There isn’t a single thing I would change about the movie(although I would have liked to have seen more of the inside of his house in the movie), and I don’t think it ever has, or ever will be out of my top 3.  But I’d say it’s been my #1 for 10 years or more.

For now, these are my top 10 movies.  And while the order may change slightly from time to time, I don’t think any of these would ever fall out of my top 20.  But that’s a subject for a later time(this was tough enough as it was).

 

Check out Shawn’s Top 10 Favorite 80’s Villains over at Branded in the 80’s

Brian “goes ape” at Cool and Collected

Colbey mixes it up with an eclectic list over at Random Toy Reviews

 

 

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Looking back, Chapter 1

Posted in Memories, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with tags , , , , , , , on June 16, 2010 by Jason

While thinking of a topic to write about, I had all sorts of things going through my head.  Most of the things that I swirling in my head today are things that I am quite fond of and I have been into or liked for a big part of my life.

Alot of the stuff I was thinking about was in someway attached to my childhood and early teen years.  Things that helped shape me and define the person I am today.  Growing up in the 80’s, as alot of you know was an interesting time.  There is all types of stuff from that decade that I think about on an almost daily basis.  And I know that this is said alot but, things really did seem simpler back then.  And I’m not talking about not having the responsibilities we have as adults.  The economy was on the up and up, the sky was the limit for everything, and in my honest opinion that decade had the best toys and tv programming as well as movies I have seen to date.  I have alot of fond memories of all of this.  Today I guess, I’m still a kid.  I still buy toys and watch old tv shows and wake up early Saturday morning to catch TMNT.  Speaking of which, have Saturday morning cartoons go the way of the dodo, or what?  I remeber the Big 3 networks(NBC, CBS, & ABC), as well as some big but not as huge networks(WPIX & Fox), vying for our viewership.  I’ve looked at the shit they pass off nowadays.  95% of it is garbage!  Let’s look back at some stuff that will give us happy thoughts.

First, I would like to talk about someone I loved as a kid, and still do today.  I watched him find his lost bike hundreds of times, and I knew when he came on tv Saturday mornings, that Saturday morning was over and either golf or tennis would be coming on next.  You know who it is. Don’t act like you don’t!

Even though he’s insane, I think he helps me keep my sanity.  Just watching the intro makes me want to live there.  Here was a grown-up, who was a kid and lived in a house that no parent would ever live in!  He lived by himself and lived by his own rules.  I always wondered what happened to his house in Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure.  And because of X-E, I can’t look at that door and not have Skeletor with Moss Man’s arms pop into my head!  Anyway, religiously watched his show every Saturday and Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure was one of the most watched tapes in the house.  One thing me and my younger brother always thought was how much our stepmom looked like Large Marge, I’m serious(I’ll do a comparison in a later post).  I have heard alot of people say that the Large Marge scene scared the shit out of them in their younger days, but my brother and I thought it was one of the funniest things we ever saw!  When we would watch it alone, my brother had a habit of rewinding any parts of the movie we thought was funny, repeatedly!  It was funny about the first 2 times.  Still to this day, I go frame by frame at least once when I watch it.

Next up, we have something that ruled everyones lives.  The Nintendo Entertainment System owned me from 1985 until 1991 when it was Super Nintendo’s turn.  I would play any game on this, any time I could.  Getting a new game was a family event.  My dad would play the games with us and really get into it(I learned a few new words ‘cuz of that).  I’m not gonna get to in depth, because this subject has been covered by so many.  But, being that before we spoke of the NES, we spoke about Pee-Wee…..How about this?

These days it seems that there is little thought put into the child demographic.  But, we have learned to be more politically corect these days and most of that shit wouldn’t fly today.

Another huge part of my childhood was the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  They were on everything and they were everywhere!  We had the cartoon, the toys, the movies, the food, shampoo, bed sheets and the all so sacred pudding pies.  To this day, I would say that the Turtles are my favorite cartoon/toy line.  I didn’t have the Turtle Van or Blimp or the technodrome.  My brother and I only got one or two playsets growing up, but we had ass loads of figures.  The figures spanned every major and minor toy line that was available.  The ones we had the most of were G.I Joe, Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

 

 Michaelangelo started out as my favorite, but that only lasted for about a month.  Donatello has since been my favorite pizza eating reptile.  By the early 90s, you could watch the Turtles on Saturday morning, and watch them on WPIX(NY), after school on weekdays.  And that’s exactly what I did.  I think the Turtles were the last big cartoon/toyline for me.  As you go through school, certain things made you a “baby”.  Playing with toys was one of them, although I still got toys once in a while, and I haven’t stopped watching cartoons, but the kids in school didn’t need to know that.

The turtles cartoon debuted in 1988.  By the time 1991 rolled around, I was starting to spend my allowance collecting comics.  It was thanks to this hobby, that I found the gritty Turtles form the original Mirage comic book series.  I will say that I am a huge fan of the original turtles and have many of the original comica and the Donatello Neca figure still inside of his plastic prison.  I went to a comic convention at The Theatre at Madison Square Garden in 2002(when I lived in the city), and to my surprise Kevin Eastman, co-creator of the Turtles was in attendance.  There was nobody in line for him, so I swooped right in.  He was an awesome individual.  We had a brief conversation and I asked if he would sketch something for me.  He asked if I had anything to sketch on, so I grabbed a backing board from one of my purchases and gave that to him to sketch.  Here is what I recieved a few minutes later.

I got an awesome sketch of “Mike”.  Watching him do this was amazing.  No pencils.  Just a thin tipped Sharpie and a regular Sharpie.  I consider myself a decent artist, but ther would be no way for me to sketch something with a Sharpie that’s suitable for framing.

On a final note.  I would like to say, if you’re a fan of the Turtles and haven’t seen the three episode “Turtles Forever”, jump on it.  The present day Turtles meet their 1988 counterparts as well as their 1984 counterparts.  This was an awesome surprise for older Turtle fans.  They even left the 1984 turtles black and white.  I felt like a kid again, only this time coffee and cigarettes replaced my bowl of cereal.