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Movies and What They Mean to Me

by on February 18, 2013

By Steven Halsey

Eighty-five percent of the time that I’m flipping through the channels on my TV, if a good movie comes pops up I will drop everything I’m doing and watch it until the end.

What makes me do this?

Now,I mean a good movie. It doesn’t have to be “Titanic” (1997), but at the same time it can’t be a half-ass Tim Burton anime flick that sells its tickets to stoners. A movie doesn’t have to have an Academy Award-winning director or Roger Ebert’s approval on the cover to be enjoyable.

An enjoyable movie to me is one that encompasses me in the story-line.  Before anything else, I have to believe 100 percent that I am in another realm. That is why “Star Wars” is legendary and why no one will talk about “Tron” (2010) in the next ten years. If you don’t establish the world you want me to live in for the next two and a half hours, then you have failed on every account as a director. I don’t care how many Oscars you have.

Here are three of my favorite movies that are able to transform my living room time and time again:

“Good Will Hunting” (1997) is one of my favorites. Matt Damon’s awkward social life and sloppy bowl-cut make him an unforgettable prodigy. Robin William’s tactful vocabulary and cheap wind-breakers make him a noble psychologist.

The “Idiosyncrasies” scene in which Williams discusses human intimacy with Damon is unparalleled in the world of drama.

“We get to choose who we let into our weird little worlds. You’re not perfect, sport, and let me save you the suspense: this girl you’ve met, she isn’t perfect either. But the question is whether or not you’re perfect for each other…That’s what intimacy is all about” remains one of the most powerful and insightful lines in the film.

The unique plot of “Good Will Hunting” has the rare power to inspire mature audiences time and time again, as it so often does with me.

Very few movies are like “Varsity Blues” (1999). The plot of “Varsity Blues” feels so real that if you aren’t cynical enough, you’ll probably hate it. Like “Good Will Hunting,” the movie carries with it a sense of extreme reality, no matter how harsh.

It is not a movie for pessimists, but it is a movie for those willing to accept what is believable and what is not. I don’t think Jon Voight has ever played a more dramatic role, nor do I think he ever will.

It’s not hard to make an enjoyable, fun action movie like “GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra” (2009). It’s extremely hard to make an action movie that people will remember seeing in theaters ten years later.

“Blood Diamond”  (2006) achieves this effect. It does what all great action movies do: it contains a gradually developing, circular plot with all loose ends promptly tied as they should be, leaving the viewer with a sense of contentment regarding a very sensitive topic. The right characters survive, and the right ones don’t.

Leonardo DiCaprio does a great job portraying South African materialist.

When all else fails, “Blood Diamond” is a timelessly entertaining alternative.

These are a few of my favorites that transport me to another world.

Feel free to contact me to tell me about your favorites! Click the “About” section at the bottom of the page to find my e-mail address and Twitter handle.

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