Monday, July 4, 2011

We Were Young Once: Five Nostalgic Films From My Childhood

My fellow Americans. I would just like to take this moment and say happy (not really) signing of the Declaration of Independence Day (though that would technically be a month from now - more or less). Oh, what a day. Nothing makes me reminisce quite as heavily as this day of all days. It thrusts me back to my childhood (post-cartoons, if there is such a thing, but pre-Michael Bay phase), sitting on the top of the hill at the end of the street watching my dad sprint away from a lit fuse, desperately hoping to avoid the oncoming onslaught of explosions. Though of course we all enjoyed meeting the kaleidoscope of colors with a plethora of "oohs and ahhs" to leave everyone in joy. So I thought today would be nice to travel back a little bit.

To walk down memory lane with five films from my childhood whose nostalgia factor may eternally outweigh any cinematic merit they possess (though not really)


This may sound a bit insensitive, but deep down I feel a bit sorry for anyone who didn't grow up watching The Sandlot. It's not only packed with a strong collection of '90s kid actors, it also boasts the thundering cast of Karen Allen, Denis Leary, James Earl Jones, and a teenage Marley Shelton (i.e. the first girl every guy of the sandlot generation looked at and went "holy s*%t, to hell with cuddies").


Alright so even I admit as far as quality films go, this one is pushing it a bit. However, that's not going to stop me from oozing over the power of Patrick Swayze and Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio. In all honesty, this movie sneaks into the list as much on the back of its relative application to July 4th as its nostalgia factor. Oh, and by the way - Jay O. Sanders = win.


I doubt you'll find it hard to believe, but there was once a time in my life where I could quote this entire Rankin-Bass animated production from beginning to end. In fact, so high on my nostalgia list is this film that (were you to know me in real life) may at times stumble across me humming the instrumental component of Glen Yarborough's The Greatest Adventure (wish I secretly wish makes it into Jackson's epic). Is that a bit wacky? Yes. Does that stop me from doing it? Not a chance in hell.


Have I mentioned on here before that sometimes I have a completely ass backwards way of watching series? I saw the Scream trilogy in 3-2-1 order. Saw Rambo in 2-1-3 order. Rocky in 3-1-2-5-4 order. And in proper form I saw the Mighty Ducks films in 2-1-3 order. Of course D2 holds the coveted nostalgia spot for me not only because I think this series is epic child fun, but also because it features a young Kenan Thompson, whom has been given a lifetime 'get out of crap' free card by me for the double childhood threat that was D2 and Kenan & Kel (don't worry, I'll leave Good Burger out of this.... for now).


I'm being honest when I say, as a kid the first sequence of the board game scared the living hell out of me. That said, I still enjoy this movie. Caught it on TV a few years ago, and while it's dreadfully dated and woefully campy, I quite like it. Of course it doesn't hurt that I have a large soft spot for the likes of Bonnie Hunt, David Alan Grier, and Patricia Clarkson. Not to mention Jonathan Hyde... seriously though, what the hell ever happened to Jonathan Hyde? Come one, he was without a doubt the best part about Anaconda, The Mummy (had to be said), Jumanji, and Richie Rich (close on Titanic even), the guy is just pure awesome. Quick, someone get his career back - stat!

So, there you have it. Movies from the eve of my coming of age that left a sizable impression on me as a child.And still maintain a sentiment of that lore today. So, what kind of films do you find yourself getting all nostalgic for?

11 better thoughts:

Alex said...

Man yes to THE MIGHTY DUCKS! My brother watched those films religiously- especially the 1st and 2nd so I ended up seeing them a crazy amount of times and to this day if I catch them on tv I find myself mouthing the lines unconsciously. D2 is my favorite as well. It's how I learned the difference between Iceland and Greenland!

And yeah the beginning of Jumanji was terrifying.

Some of my main nostalgic films include ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS (my favorite movie throughout middle school), POLLYANNA (and anything with Hayley Mills, really), and THE PRINCESS BRIDE.

Kaiderman said...

I may be the only boy who grew up in the 80s that never saw the Mighty Ducks movies. I don't even think I knew there was a third one.

Wes22 said...

I loved D2. And I'm secure enough to say that I'll still watch The Sandlot every time it comes on."You play ball like a girl!" Haha, never gets old.

Candice Frederick said...

wow, i have seen NONE of these movies. i should check out the sandlot.

Mike Lippert said...

A lot of people I know feel the same way about the Sandlot but it never really moved my in any way when I was a kid. Maybe time for a revisit?

Castor said...

It's something really, wanting to grow up as a kid and now, knowing that there is nothing quite like the innocence of childhood. ET, Jurassic Park, Stand by Me come to mind.

@ Mike: The Sandlot is definitely one of those movies that works only when you are a kid. Viewed "critically", it's nothing that great but growing up as a kid chilling in the sun, playing ball with your friends, it's a great trip down nostalgia lane.

Univarn said...

@Alex D2 is awesome. D1 is a bit too slow and moody and D3 is way too stupid (even by Mighty Ducks standards). I've often thought about doing a list of random quotes from movies I remember when I have a brain fart on something simple.

@Kai You missed out big time. Granted I do think they were a bit more of mid to late eighties and early nineties kids films.

@Wes22 I've seen it several times on TV since my days at the Boy and Girls Club (where it was one of three films they had for us to watch) and I still enjoy it.

@Candice You should, but be forewarned - it's very much a film geared towards 6 - 11 year old males.

@Mike I didn't like it at first but over time (and repeated viewings due to lack of options) and it really grew on me.

@Castor I tried to avoid listing those films because they'd obviously make any list, but ah are they ever so good. Stand By Me is damned near perfect.

Simon said...

Jumanji is a cinematic masterpiece, and if anyone tells you otherwise, punch them in the face and tell them I'm looking for them.

Aditya said...

Saw Jumanji and D2 as a teen probably a bit late as compared to others but I loved them and still find Jumaji fun. Big Williams fan.
Got to see the others, always excited to watch a movie targeted for kids, may be gets a lot of the shoulders.
The Goonies, if I may say so was also an amazing and fun experience at that time.

Andrew: Encore Entertainment said...

JUMANJI is beautiful. That is all.

Univarn said...

@Simon Will do

@Aditya I've always felt deprived as a child since I never really watched The Goonies until it was well past me in terms of viewing choices. I'd love to go back and see it as a young kid.

@Andrew So, how long before we'll be seeing Jumanji 3D!?

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