This Is a Blog: My Beloved Movies: Reginald’s Quiver

Sunday, March 22, 2020

My Beloved Movies: Reginald’s Quiver

10 Things I Hate About You

My dirty secret is that I love sappy movies. I love high school movies. I love cheesy romance and children playing out adult love stories like they actually know what they’re doing. This movie came out during a flurry of teen movies, and most of them are utterly forgettable. This one is so clever, so original (despite being an adaptation), and it makes me cry every time. It shines a light on all different types of teens and speaks frankly about issues of love and sex that the others would barely mention. Who would have ever imagined what Heath Ledger would become? And, of course, Allison Janney is a national treasure.

12 Angry Men

This weirdly covers the Sidney Lumet original and the Showtime made for TV version. Take twelve of the best actors you can find and stick them in a hot room. It’s a formula that works as well with Henry Fonda, Lee J. Cobb, and Jack Klugman as it does with Jack Lemmon, George C. Scott, and yes, Tony Danza. I actually saw the new one first, and I was amazed how well it worked with 12 white guys and in completely different ways with a mixed race cast. Seriously, look up the 1997 cast, and you’ll find a lot of names you didn’t even know were working in 1997.

A Few Good Men

Nothing compares to the moment a boy falls in love with his first writer. I could watch this movie over and over again. I must have seen it a dozen times before I even knew what it was about. The writing is just so engaging, I could appreciate the music of Sorkin’s writing. As I grew up, my understanding grew with it. The climax of the movie is unlike any other movie climax, and slowing figuring it out is a big part of my life.

A League of Their Own

One of the best baseball movies ever made because it’s not just about baseball. It’s about how baseball can be a lens for so many things in American life. These women are so well drawn and the actors play off each other so well. It’s just so much fun. Madonna’s single from the movie, “This Used to Be My Playground,” makes me cry. Lori Petty is a gift, and I could watch Tom Hanks hell at children every day of my life.

About a Boy

This one is all about the ending. Apparently, I have no sense of embarrassment, and I think the best use of this gift is what Hugh Grant does at the end of the movie. When I see someone nervously making a fool of themselves, I try to put the focus on me, so they can survive the ordeal.


What a brilliant piece of filmmaking. There should be a new rule that Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze should make every movie from now on. This movie should be self-indulgent, but it isn’t. I saw it recently and it absolutely holds up. I wish Nicholas Cage was making serious movies still. He was just so good. I mean, I wouldn’t give up insane Cage for anything, but can’t we have both?


Do I even need to explain? Absolute insane brilliance. One of the funniest movies ever made and a formula many have tried to replicate, and most have failed. Some of these movies made the list because of a vivid memory. An elementary school sleepover, rewinding the topless shot over and over again. I know I’m not the only one.


The genie musical number was one of my favorites as a kid. But this one makes the list because we watched it on my first date with my wife. She went through my DVD collection, and it was the only one she could tolerate.


Jean-Pierre Jeunet has such a singular view of the world. This adult fairytale hits me in all the right places, every time. It doesn’t hurt that Audrey Tautou was my first celebrity crush. To call it a love story is to miss the point. It’s about beauty, wherever you can find it.

American History X

One night in high school, we were at my friend’s house, hanging out in his basement as we always were. Some of us were playing pool. Some of us were playing computer games. One friend and his girlfriend were flipping through channels on the TV. They kept stopping on this movie and we kept telling them to stop because nobody wants to watch a movie about Neo-Nazis when you’re trying to have a fun Saturday night. Finally, they decided there was nothing else on, so we stopped fighting them on it. One by one, we stopped what we were doing and got sucked into the movie. When it was over, we didn’t say another word. Everyone just kind of looked at each other, and we all went home. I’ve never had a movie viewing experience like it for the rest of my life.

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