Greetings! (Do I sound too excited to be back? Let me try that again.) Hey there friends. It’s good to be back after a wonderful break. (Now I just sound like I’m high on Go-Gurt. Screw it.) Christmas is over! A new year is upon us! Let’s start this one off with a Top 5 list shall we?
Alright men, we’re not all stone chiseled abs and robot emotions are we? No, no were not. So the truth stands that there are always a few movies out there than can get our tear ducts out of hibernation. DISCLAIMERS: I do not care for sports. I do not care to watch 99% of sports movies. None will be on this list. And don’t expect Old Yeller or Marley & Me to be found here, I have ruled out dog crying movies. Those are for another time.
5. King Kong
Whether you prefer 1933 or 2005, both are outstanding movies. (I refuse to acknowledge the 1976 version….except in this very moment.) King Kong ranks up there with Darth Vader as one of film’s most well known characters. Except this gorgeous gorilla doesn’t play the villain, he plays the hero. Through a magnificent story you grow attached to this big hearted hairy guy. (Especially after Peter Jackson gives you 3 hours of heroism and innocence.) And in the epic finale when he tries to protect his white-haired woman on the top of the newly constructed Empire State Building against ruthless biplanes armed with machine guns, it starts to get to you.
Every guy will empathize with the simple desire to find their one woman. And if you’re lucky enough to find her, you’ll do anything to keep her. Including fighting off the entire world to keep her safe. But in King Kong’s story he climbs to the top of the world only to fall in defeat. “It was beauty killed the beast.”
You remember when the Grinch’s heart grew three sizes? That’s what yours should do when I mention Up. I don’t care if your chest explodes and you die a horrific death, it’ll be okay because your last thoughts will be of Up. You doubt me? How about you pan your imagination left and view the Oscars Up won for Original Score and Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. Oh, and a few nominations for Sound Editing, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Motion Picture of the Year. But that will only make you proud, what we want is tears.
The main character is a bitter old man voiced by Ed Asner, except the first segment of the film shows a different side to him. A young, ambitious, and in love side. Also, major props to Pixar for killing off a character in the first 15 minutes and still getting the audience to care. Because let me tell you, I cared. And the hidden watery eyes from the men in the audience prove how great Up really was. Admit it men, you heart opened up and an old man crawled inside. (Wait…what?)
3. Saving Private Ryan/Band of Brothers
Although two separate projects and each can get tears from the audience, I have to list both together (they’re connected in my head!). Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg made an amazing film in Saving Private Ryan. Knowing that actual men, who you know and love, went through these conditions and fought that fight in WWII can already get you misty eyed. And when you sit down to watch the limits a man’s will can bring him, you heart hurts. I’ll never get over Spielberg’s Normandy invasion sequence. And right out of Saving Private Ryan, Hanks and Spielberg turned around and created Band of Brothers.
Band of Brothers is 10 hours of WWII ups and downs. When the story takes a turn for the worse, it becomes a specific level of hell. But when the sun comes out, these battered soldiers smile and you start to wonder “How? They should be crying breaking under the pressure!” You’re right, but they don’t and their courageous struggles mean that much more. (Actually, since I’m speaking on your behalf…that would make me right. In your face!) Number 4 & 5 on this list might make you a little embarrassed to admit you leaked from your eyes, however number 3 starts a level of undeniable movies. (Go ahead! Try and deny it! No one will believe you!)
2. It’s a Wonderful Life
I love this movie. And when I say love, I don’t mean I adore it. I mean I’m waiting for the day when the government legalizes marriage to pieces of history. You can wed the cotton gin, your friend can get hitched to NASCAR, and I’ll marry It’s a Wonderful Life. (Why did my other examples immediately go south and partially racist?) Seriously though, it’s a brilliant movie. Every Christmas I sit down to watch it in its original black and white (color existed then folks, it was shot black and white for a reason) and I can’t explain the feeling that rushes over me when I hear “A toast to my big brother George: The richest man in town!”
We walk around everyday wondering if we’re valued. Does my existence matter? If you could take a step back and see the blessing that George Bailey got to see but about your life, you start to take stock in all the little things you’ve done and how you’ve changed the world around you. We’re all here for a reason and at the pit of a man’s heart we know we’re here to work in this world to bring smiles to those who we love. You may think I’m getting sappy on you but sooner or later you’ll face the truth, it’s a big deal to feel needed and important.
1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
While number 2 can make you introspective, number 1 will make you flex your muscles and want to kick some ass…before you cry. LOTR: The Return of the King is one record shattering film. As high esteem as you hold movies like Star Wars and Jaws in your head, you’ll have to make room for the one ring. The Return of the King carries 11 Oscars on its shoulders. 11! You may debate whether the Oscars are political or not, but there comes a point where politics fail and quality shines over every dispute.
LOTR is a trilogy with a large and talented ensemble cast who are all set out to save Middle Earth against impossible odds. That’s right, Peter Jackson brings the books to life in quite possibly the most intense underdog story you’ve ever heard of. Upon many sad deaths of beloved characters and 9 hours of the most epic film sequences, you witness the crowning of the rightful King of Gondor. A great victory and time of peace has laid it’s head on Middle Earth. Men, Elves, and Dwarfs have fought and died but so much of the fight for their existence rested with 4 Hobbits. If you’ve seen the movie you’ll know what moment I’m hinting at, but if you haven’t seen it…you have the best 9 hours of your life to look forward to. You will sweat, you will grind your teeth, and then you’ll cry. My friends, behold the number one guy-cry movie: the biggest nerd fest you’ll ever see.