This Is a Blog: My Beloved Movies: Stickley's Our Favorite!

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

My Beloved Movies: Stickley's Our Favorite!

The American President

“America isn't easy. America is advanced citizenship. You've gotta want it bad, 'cause it's gonna put up a fight. It's gonna say, "You want free speech? Let's see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who's standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours." You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country cannot just be a flag. The symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Now show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms.”


I remember seeing the trailer for this movie and thinking it looked really dumb. It wasn’t until I came across the Green Day song “J.A.R.” from the Angus soundtrack that I even gave this movie a second thought. When it came on TV, I figured what the hell. It’s exactly what I thought it was. Fat kid finds the strength to stand up to the bullies and get the girl. It’s been done a thousand times. But this movie shows that you don’t have to be groundbreaking to make a good movie. You just have to be personal. Go deep. Tell your story, and it will touch someone. I cried at least once that I can remember, and I’m sure many more.

Another Stakeout

To this day, I have never seen the original Stakeout. I’m sure it’s fine. Richard Dreyfuss and Emilion Estevez’s chemistry is so good, I have no trouble understanding why they got a sequel. If you’re going to add Rosie O’Donnell to a movie, at least have the common sense to make her character a collection of the most annoying traits a person can have. I’m sure from an objective standpoint, this movie is utterly forgettable, but I love it, so fuck you.

The Artist

I fell in love with silent movies the moment I saw Buster Keaton’s Sherlock Jr. I usually hate movies about Hollywood, but this one works so well. It’s so clever and original. Late in the movie, our hero tries to shoot himself and the dog falls over, like he did in the movies. It’s the most cathartic laugh of my entire life. I saw this twice in theaters, the second time at the old Vista Theatre, a movie house that could have shown the movies within this movie. Old Egyptian decor on the walls and a big red curtain. It was as perfect a moviegoing experience as someone could have.

Back to the Future

Wanna hear my dirty secret? Because I always caught it on TV, I never saw the beginning of this movie until I had seen the entire rest of the trilogy. I asked my parents to rent all three, so I could watch them back to back to back. I can’t say anything that hasn’t already been said. Some call it a perfect movie, and I don’t have a good counter-argument.

Back to the Future, Part 2

Wanna hear an even dirtier secret? I think I like Part 2 more than the original? I love a good time travel story, and as much as the original is, Part 2 really leans into the time travel part, not just the anachronistic part. Past, present, and future, it really gets into the mechanics and the repercussions. The replay of the scenes from the original, from different angles, has inspired me to no end. My first screenplay was a similar time travel conceit. I still love messing around with split screens. And they finally had the sense to give Marty a flaw, any flaw, even if it’s the whole chicken thing.

Bad Santa

Billy Bob Thornton was born to play this role. He’s funny. He’s tragic. He’s acerbic. He’s somehow also heartwarming. But the secret sauce of this film is the late John Ritter. Watching him try to process such a horrible person thrust into his orbit is a cringey delight. In his office, the also late Bernie Mac straight up tells Ritter Santa was having butt sex with a customer in a dressing room, and Ritter makes this face that should be taught in acting classes. Perfection.

Being John Malkovich 

Charlie Kaufman and Spike Jonze need to go back to making movies together. Can we start a petition or something? Honestly, I don’t have much to say about this other than I love it. It’s so weird, and so, so, so damn good.


Growing up, we had a VHS tape with Cinderella, the Mary Martin Peter Pan musical, and this. I watched it over and over and over. I wanted a giant trampoline. I wanted a friend who lived close enough that we could talk over walkie-talkies. I wanted to watch the Giants-Broncos Super Bowl with the commercials edited out, damn it.

Big Fish

I turned 21 in a movie theatre, falling asleep to this movie. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. It had just been a long day. I’m not really a Tim Burton fan, but I would be if he made more movies like this. It’s weird and sweet instead of being weird and creepy. I don’t like weird and creepy. Father-son stories hit me every time

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