Ah yes, Thanksgiving. Normally, during this holiday I’m at my parents’ house and I get to eat all sorts of delicious things my mom makes (although I hated all of it when I was little and kept insisting when I was grown up I’d just order pizza). Now, I don’t even like pizza and instead of eating turkey on Thursday, I’ll be working.
Luckily, thanks to my dual monitor set up, I can watch movies while I’m working. I’ve always loved going to the theater with my friends and my family. Movies are a huge part of my life, and some of them really have shaped who I am. So for Flixgiving, I thought I’d share five movies that helped make me who I am, and inspire me creatively.
It’s insanely hard to narrow it down to just five movies, but here goes…
[Happy Flixgiving, everyone! We’ll be posting these leading up to the actual Thanksgiving. Click here to see all of the films our writers are thankful for.]
The Dark Crystal
When I was a kid, we would go to Network Video or Blockbuster to rent movies. Every time we went, I wanted to rent The Dark Crystal, but for some reason I always thought my parents would say no, so I never asked. There was something about the cover that made me really want to see it, though. It was probably the puppets, since I loved Muppets. Finally, at a sleepover one night, my friend suggested we watch it.
I was already in love with fantasy and science fiction, so pretty much right from the first minute of this movie, I was enraptured. To this day, I still love it. It’s not a pretty movie, and its subject matter is kind of dark, but I think that’s what makes it so interesting. It’s always in the kids’ section on Netflix, but it’s not really a happy film.
I’ve always been a strong believer in the idea that kids can handle heavier stuff, so ever since I saw this movie, I’ve wanted to create stories like it.
This movie was another one I originally saw at a friend’s house. I had never heard of Tekkonkinkreet, but I was already a fan of anime so I figured I’d give it a shot. It didn’t take long to become one of my favorite films, and it’s easily my favorite animated movie now.
Tekkonkinkreet is based off of a manga by Taiyo Matsumoto. It tells the story of two street kids who are trying to find their place in the world, all while fighting off a foreign gangster who wants to turn their town into an amusement park. It has totally gorgeous animation, with environments that are totally mind blowing and character designs that are both simple and full of emotion.
It’s a really beautiful film, so if you like animation and you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and check it out.
I’ve always liked movies about aliens and things that are scary, so naturally, Alien is one of my favorite films. It’s truly one of those pioneering movies that paved the way for pretty much every science fiction film that followed it. It’s rare to find something nowadays that even comes close, though. I remember being so excited for Prometheus, only to be let down because it wasn’t suspenseful like Alien was. It was just gross and most of the characters were total idiots.
But that’s a story for another time.
Alien is a masterpiece. I don’t even think I can say anything about how great it is that hasn’t already been said… except that Ripley totally reminds me of my mom, who is also a super badass lady.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Anybody who knows me, knows that I’m a huge nerd for comics, specifically of the superhero variety. Ever since I was little, I’ve always liked the sidekick characters. As much as people make fun of Robin for being lame, I always thought he was cooler than Batman. The same goes for Bucky Barnes, so when he showed back up in the Captain America comics as a cyborg assassin called the Winter Soldier, I was ecstatic.
When the title for the sequel to Captain America was announced at San Diego Comic Con in 2012, I couldn’t believe it. The Winter Soldier arc of Cap’s story was being made into a movie! The following year at Comic Con, my best bud and I camped out over night with thousands of other people to get into Hall H to see the Marvel panel, hoping for some footage from Winter Soldier. It’s easily one of my favorite memories now.
In April of this year, the movie came out, and it was everything I could have hoped for. It’s still surreal to me that it actually exists.
It’s impossible for me to pick between the three original Star Wars films, so I’ll just lump them all together. Maybe that’s cheating, but all three of those movies are incredibly important to me. One of my earliest memories is watching them, even though my dad showed them to my sister and I backward; we saw Return of the Jedi first. It didn’t matter, though. From the moment I first saw it, I was obsessed.
There’s so much about Star Wars that’s responsible for the way I am today. It’s the reason why I decided I wanted to work in comics, after reading Dark Empire. It’s given me countless friends who love the series as much as I do. I can’t imagine my life without these movies.
So, there’s my list. I’ll probably be watching one or all of them this week while I celebrate Thanksgiving with my turkey sandwich. What movies are you thankful for?