Movies I Categorically Love [Part 2 of 2]

Okay! SO. I have a tendency to start things and then never finish them. When I was in middle school, I wrote a “book” with a friend for a class project. The title? “Barbie Power”. And on the back page, we invited our readers to pick up book two in the series, “The Class War II”. Not only was there no “Class War II” ever written, but there was no “Class War I”. Maybe if you’re lucky, I’ll use one of these NaBloPoMo posts to excerpt from these magnificent literary works.


Last week, I told you I’d post part 2 of this movie list. Now, I know you have all been sitting at your computers constantly hitting refresh, just waiting with bated breath to see what I would write. Oh, you forgot there were supposed to be two parts? Ahem. In any case, to fulfill my word here is the second half of movies I categorically love.

Best Sports Movie

You’ll note that there are no baseball movies listed here, especially not ones that tell you to build it so they will come. I’m just sayin’.

– The Blind Side (starring Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw, and Quinton Aaron)

Oh my gosh. S.J. Tuohy seriously made me chuckle, the life story of Michael Oher brought me tears, and watching Sandra Bullock embody Leigh Anne Tuohy was a thing to behold. Plus, if you watch this movie you’ll get to see Tim McGraw without a cowboy hat. I know, right? Crazy.

Remember the Titans (starring Denzel Washington and Will Patton)

Suuuuunshiiiine…oh, Sunnnnshinneee! I mean, this movie is everything anyone could want in a sports movie. In it, you see a country’s racial prejudice battled on the football field. And the friendships formed on that team are as inspiring as their football wins. I still find myself cheering when I watch the games even though I know it was filmed a gazillion years ago and I have no say in their outcome.

Best Holiday Flick

Elf  (starring Will Ferrel and James Cahn)

This movie could have easily fit into the “comedy” section of my list because it makes me laugh my face off, but since it has definite holiday themes, I figured I’d put it in here. This is a “watch annually to plug into the Christmas spirit” for me. Because the best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for ALL TO HEAR!

The Holiday (starring Kate Winslet, Cameron Diaz, Jude Law, and Jack Black)

I honestly don’t know what it is, but I could watch this movie over and over and over and over again and never get tired of it. It’s just magical. And who could not love Mr. Napkinhead? Swoon.

Best Cheesy Should-Be-A-Made-For-TV Movie

Raise Your Voice (starring Hilary Duff)

Hands down, I think this is the best cheesy Hilary Duff movie out there. Now, I have to say that I’m a sucker for music/choir movies and dancing flicks, so maybe my opinion is not to be trusted any further than you could throw it. But healing through song? That’s a theme I can get behind.

17 Again (starring Zac Efron and Chandler Bing Matthew Perry)

Kind of like the movie “Big”, but in reverse. I love this movie. It hits all the notes of family and ends predictably. But that’s probably what I like about it.

Best Drama

The Help (starring Emma Stone, Viola Davis, & Octavia Spencer)

I’ve already raved about this book on my blog. Seriously, one of the best books I’ve read in the last five years. The author portrays such a poignant look at the culture of that time and manages to juggle three points of view without detracting from any of them. And I think the movie, while not better than the book (are they ever?), is pretty fantastic in its own right. I may or may not have bawled my face off whilst watching it in the theater. And folks, I was not alone.

The American President (starring Michael Douglas, Annette Bening, and Martin Sheen)

Oh, Aaron Sorkin. Love his stuff from Sports Night to The West Wing. Maybe not so much with the Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, but still. I like his style and wit and the way he portrays the presidency with such respect and esteem. Now, if only I could make a phone call to the past and get them to change Annette Bening’s hair…

Best Book-to-Movie Movie

Harry Potter (starring Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson)

These books are hands down brilliant. And surpass the movie’s confines. But the movies do a fantastic job of bringing JK Rowling’s world to life without seeing holes in the special effects. Therefore, I can suspend reality and get sucked into the world of Harry Potter and He Who Shall Not Be Named. So, the movies are pretty ah-mah-zing, too.

Lord of the Rings (starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan, and Orlando Bloom)

Alright, I should probably confess to you that I’ve never read these books. I really tried, guys. But the names of the characters all sound the same. And that could be overcome except that sometimes said characters lapse into other languages. AND then I got lost in the pages and pages of scenery descriptions. I’m not the woman I thought I was. I couldn’t do it.

So this movie trilogy gets the runner-up slot for being BETTER than the books. Only in my humble and Philistine opinion, of course.

Swung and missed:

While the above are success stories in my estimation, there are definite NOT success stories. Like:

Twilight (starring Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner)

Oh. Em. Gosh. The cake-y white make-up? The angsty performances from Pattinson and Stewart? (Lighten up, kids.) The extremely cheese ball special effects? I know there’s controversy and whatnot, but I was a fan of the books. And the movies just make me want to curl into a ball and disavow that entire reading experience. And also, speak to the youth of America about looking for better quality movies to scream about. Shudder.

But will I see the fourth movie in spite of it all? Sure, why not? 🙂

Little Women (starring Winona Rider, Claire Danes, and Christian Bale)

This is my favorite classic book. I remember watching this movie and being like “wait, why is it skipping around so much”? I think the abridged script left a lot to be desired and while the acting was perfectly fine and everything, I just wanted more.

Best Movie to Cry Through

Stepmom (starring Julia Roberts and Susan Sarandon)

I can’t even type these names without tearing up a little bit. But the scene near the end when Julia Roberts’ character and Susan Sarandon’s character get together for dinner and speak frankly about one having the children’s past and the other having their future? Gets me every time. There’s no way for me to watch this movie without shedding tears.

We Were Soldiers (starring Mel Gibson)

It’s been a long time since I watched this movie, but I still remember the emotional wallop that it gave me. I think it’s because the movie depicts the wives and women that soldiers leave behind when they go to fight and it brought home for me, in a small way, the sacrifice that families make when they sign up for the armed forces.

Best Nostalgic Movie

Newsies (starring Christian Bale and Bill Pullman)

I’m very sorry about this, but if you ever watch this movie with me you will inevitably have to endure me singing along with the songs, quoting lines, and maybe even rewinding my favorite parts. There was a time that my sisters and I would watch this movie–or parts of it–every single day. Maybe it was the learning experience of that time in history. Or maybe it was gripping music. But most likely, it was the large cast of really cute boys…

The Mighty Ducks (starring Emilio Estevez and Joshua Jackson)

When we moved past our Newsies phase, we slid right into our Mighty Ducks phase. Probably for the same reason, but this trilogy of movies also offered the electric element of group sports. The wins, the losses, the “Flying V”. Good stuff, guys. Good stuff.

Best Dance Movie

Step Up 2: The Streets (starring Robert Hoffman and Brianna Evigan)

You know what? Mock me if you must but this last dance scene speaks for itself. I’d like to see you do this.

Footloose: The Remake (starring Kenny Wormald, Julianne Hough, and Dennis Quaid)

I totally missed the Footloose craze the first time around, but this updated version was super fun dance-wise. And without Kevin Bacon’s crazy hair.

What categories would you add? What ones did I miss?


2 thoughts on “Movies I Categorically Love [Part 2 of 2]

  1. grandigirl says:

    I totally remember going to see Remember the Titans with you @TMC and you loved it so much then; you’re excitement was contagious: great film. I liked Newsies, too, esp after college….I remember everyone telling me about the best Year End Show where they did a Newsies spin-off :0)
    I can’t believe you’ve never read LOTR! I understand you’re confusion with the names and extensive descriptions, though. As a Tolkien fan, I must say that the films were amazing; Jackson did a fantastic job of bringing those loooong descriptions to life for those who didnt read the books.
    What about best animation? I like many of the Pixar films….I think I’d have to pick either Toy Story or Toy Story 3.
    –Caroline (DLE)

  2. Katie Ganshert says:

    DUDE! I have so much to say right now. So. Much. To. Say.

    This might be a blog post within a comment, but here I go….

    How is Rudy not in your sports movies? This is a crime, Amy. And also, you did give a shout out to a baseball movie in your last post. Remember, “There’s no crying in baseball!” Go Tom Hanks.

    Elf! Elf! Elf! It is HILARIOUS!

    I laughed out loud at your crossed out Chandler Bing.

    I totally agree about LOTR. Watch them about twice a year. Have never been able to get into the books.

    But…GASP….I’m not entirely in agreement with you about HP. I was obsessed with a capital O with those books and while I enjoy the movies, some of them really bothered me. Like HP 4 and 6! I left the theater angry. For reals.

    Stepmom makes me BAWL!

    Newsies!! Amy, how have we never talked about Newsies? This is reason enough for me to fly to Colorado. We can watch it and sing all the songs together. I had such a crush on Christian Bale in junior high because of this movie. He was right up there with Zack Morris.

    I give you permission to laugh at me….but I actually liked this last Twilight movie! I KNOW! What in the world? I liked Eclipse and I liked BD part 2, sans the beginning where she is hunting and scaling walls. I wanted to crawl out of my skin there. But I liked the end, Barbie doll heads popping off and all. But then, I really like Robert Pattinson, and I know he makes you want to cringe.

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