Apr 162012
Authors: Bayley Enright and Emily Kribs

Bayley Enright:

There comes a time when you will reflect back on your life thus far and realize how many movies you haven’t seen. It’s truly humbling, isn’t it? Just think of all the movies that have been released, that are being released, and that will yet be released –– it’s almost overwhelming.

Especially when you take into account how many movies you’re willing to watch over and over again, because when you watch “Toy Story” the fifth, 12th or 13th time, your movie bucket list is only growing. But don’t stress out! Because the truth is, there are a lot of movies you can cross off that list right now.

Like I’m pretty sure you’ll be totally fine if you die without ever having seen all the “Twilight” movies (unless you enjoy making fun of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson’s makeup, in which case Twilight may be the perfect movie for you). But there are few movies that it’s imperative you see as soon as possible. As in get home tonight and Netflix them or RedBox them, or maybe if you’re feeling retro, walk yourself down to the video store and rent them.

Just watch them.

1. “Real Genius”: There are plenty of classic ‘80s flicks that receive their well-deserved attention –– like “Ferris Bueller” and “The Goonies” –– but “Real Genius” has, for some reason, received less of a following. This must be amended immediately. Here, I’ll convince you. Val Kilmer is a genius who is unknowingly helping the CIA build a secret weapon. There’s also a 15-year-old science prodigy. And some of the best movie lines ever. Have at it.
2. “George of the Jungle”: A lot of people associate Brendan Fraser as that dude from “The Mummy,” but for those of us who have seen him as the butt-flap wearing jungle man who lives with gorillas and crashes into trees, he will never be anything else. (And when I use the term butt-flap, it’s a movie reference. I promise.)
3. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World”: In which Michael Cera has to defeat the seven evil exes of Ramona Flowers in order to date her. In which vegans have superpowers, which can be revoked if they break vegan diet. In which people don’t die, they just explode into coins. Do I really need to provide any other reason for you to watch this?

Emily Kribs:

But what if you’re tired of movies, and need something else in your life? Maybe you picked up “Hunger Games” in response to the movie’s release, and realized there’s more to books than the boredom you associate with high school English classes. Or hey, maybe you actually like reading.

If you’re looking for some kind of fulfillment, “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn” by Betty Smith is a classic. And when I say “classic,” I mean it was published in 1943, and it takes place even earlier. There’s this girl, Francie Nolan, who grows up in early twentieth century Brooklyn on a low-income budget and is not a tree, but the tree is a metaphor. It’s kind of a feel-good book, and Francie’s family is put up on a pedestal, but it’s still one of my favorites.

For those of you whose initiation into recreational reading was the aforementioned blockbuster, you might give “Divergence” by Veronica Roth a shot. Like “Hunger Games,” it’s the tale of a dystopian society made up of five factions — Amity, Dauntless, Erudite, Candor and Abnegation — each of which believes a different cause brought about the end of the world and dedicates itself to eradicating that problem.

At 16, the protagonist Beatrice Prior takes a test to figure out which faction she’s most suited for, and gets the rare and, for some reason, dangerous designation of divergent –– which just means she falls into more than one category. You know, like most people. So there’s some suspension of disbelief involved, but hey. Plus, it’s going to be a trilogy as well.

Finally, for other readers out there, “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle.” David Wroblewski took “Hamlet,” and then he made it infinitely better. And a bit longer, but you like reading, right? This kid, Edgar, lives out on a farm in northern Wisconsin, where they raise a superlative breed of dogs. One of these dogs, Almondine, is his companion throughout the book. Edgar was born mute, so in addition to just being rad, Almondine is also helpful.

Edgar’s getting ready to take on the family business when [spoilers] happen, and he has to run away from home and survive in the wilderness with only Almondine and some half-trained puppies for company. On a scale from F to A, this book gets to teach the class.

 Posted by at 4:37 pm

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