There comes a time when you will reflect back on your life thus far and realize how many movies you havenâ€™t seen. Itâ€™s truly humbling, isnâ€™t it? Just think of all the movies that have been released, that are being released, and that will yet be released â€“â€“ itâ€™s almost overwhelming.
Especially when you take into account how many movies youâ€™re willing to watch over and over again, because when you watch â€œToy Storyâ€ the fifth, 12th or 13th time, your movie bucket list is only growing. But donâ€™t stress out! Because the truth is, there are a lot of movies you can cross off that list right now.
Like Iâ€™m pretty sure youâ€™ll be totally fine if you die without ever having seen all the â€œTwilightâ€ movies (unless you enjoy making fun of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinsonâ€™s makeup, in which case Twilight may be the perfect movie for you). But there are few movies that itâ€™s imperative you see as soon as possible. As in get home tonight and Netflix them or RedBox them, or maybe if youâ€™re feeling retro, walk yourself down to the video store and rent them.
Just watch them.
1. â€œReal Geniusâ€: There are plenty of classic â€˜80s flicks that receive their well-deserved attention â€“â€“ like â€œFerris Buellerâ€ and â€œThe Gooniesâ€ â€“â€“ but â€œReal Geniusâ€ has, for some reason, received less of a following. This must be amended immediately. Here, Iâ€™ll convince you. Val Kilmer is a genius who is unknowingly helping the CIA build a secret weapon. Thereâ€™s also a 15-year-old science prodigy. And some of the best movie lines ever. Have at it.
2. â€œGeorge of the Jungleâ€: A lot of people associate Brendan Fraser as that dude from â€œThe Mummy,â€ 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, itâ€™s a movie reference. I promise.)
3. â€œScott Pilgrim vs. the Worldâ€: 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 donâ€™t die, they just explode into coins. Do I really need to provide any other reason for you to watch this?
But what if youâ€™re tired of movies, and need something else in your life? Maybe you picked up â€œHunger Gamesâ€ in response to the movieâ€™s release, and realized thereâ€™s more to books than the boredom you associate with high school English classes. Or hey, maybe you actually like reading.
If youâ€™re looking for some kind of fulfillment, â€œA Tree Grows in Brooklynâ€ by Betty Smith is a classic. And when I say â€œclassic,â€ I mean it was published in 1943, and it takes place even earlier. Thereâ€™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. Itâ€™s kind of a feel-good book, and Francieâ€™s family is put up on a pedestal, but itâ€™s still one of my favorites.
For those of you whose initiation into recreational reading was the aforementioned blockbuster, you might give â€œDivergenceâ€ by Veronica Roth a shot. Like â€œHunger Games,â€ itâ€™s the tale of a dystopian society made up of five factions â€” Amity, Dauntless, Erudite, Candor and Abnegation â€” 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 sheâ€™s most suited for, and gets the rare and, for some reason, dangerous designation of divergent â€“â€“ which just means she falls into more than one category. You know, like most people. So thereâ€™s some suspension of disbelief involved, but hey. Plus, itâ€™s going to be a trilogy as well.
Finally, for other readers out there, â€œThe Story of Edgar Sawtelle.â€ David Wroblewski took â€œHamlet,â€ 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.
Edgarâ€™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.