One Year Anniversary Post: Sharing Our Love Of The Movies!

Monster Popcorn is one year old today!  I’m incredibly excited about MP’s first anniversary and thankful for each and every one of you who read the site!  Seriously, I give my most heartfelt thanks to all of you!  Without your support, I wouldn’t have been able to grow the site into what it is now and what I hope it can become.  So in scouring my brain for ideas on what to do for the occasion, I thought I should do something that reflected why the site even exists, my passion for movies and wanting to share that with others.

I didn’t want to just write a post about me talking about the movies I love, I wanted to have others talk about their favorite films and to have you, the readers, get involved in the process too!  After all, seeing a movie in the theater is such a great communal experience that I would be neglecting the very nature of movies if I didn’t share everyone else’s love for them.  So I contacted a few people that I have some great respect and admiration for and asked them to write a little bit on their favorite movie to help celebrate MP’s anniversary and I have presented them below to share with all of you.  I also asked people on Twitter and Facebook to tell me their favorite movie(s) and have listed their responses as well.  I will put my two cents in at the very end, but this post is about all of us movie fans, so read on and enjoy!

Harry Knowles of Ain’t It Cool News and producer of Morgan Spurlock’s Comic Con Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope:

The 1933 KING KONG, it’s the earliest documented memory that my parents can confirm.   It kickstarted my mind, it carved an impression into my skull that I’ve never been able to shake.  I love how hard Jack Driscoll fights to get Anne Darrow back.   I love how the movie was as amazing as it was in a time where nobody was working THAT hard.   I love Robert Armstrong’s performance as Carl Denham.   He isn’t an evil man, he’s a showman.   He wants to tame the wild and show the butts in the big city a world unlike anything they could imagine.  And 70 years later at the age of 3…   it took my mind  and gave me KONG.  My love of this film and the people that share it make me feel a part of a club that just fucking gets it.   That understands how I can get so passionate about this film that I cry just typing about it.   All with a smile.   It’s the 8th Wonder of the World – and time after time people try to best it – and even with the best intentions and the greatest modern effects artists…   That nearly 80 year old film is STILL and always shall be THE EIGHTH WONDER OF MY WORLD!

Follow Harry on Twitter @headgeek666 and tune into the Nerdist Channel to see his show Ain’t It Cool with Harry Knowles.  Comic Con Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope is now available for rent on iTunes.

Barbara Crampton, talented and charismatic actress from such films as Re-Animator, Chopping Mall and From Beyond, as well as the upcoming Lords of Salem:

I am a horror fan. My favorite genre movie is Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Now that that’s out of the way!… My two favorite movies of ALL time are The Wizard Of Oz and It’s A Wonderful Life.  The main theme of both movies is to quote the famous line from Wizard, “There’s no place like home.” The nature of life for everyone is to go out and make your own way, explore, have experiences, learn, conquer: fears, quests, desires… When you are sated, older, wiser, you will hopefully understand yourself and life in all it’s glory and heartache. These two movies for me embody the nature of the quest for one’s true nature and ultimate desire.  Rich with character and man’s struggle with himself, they are movies I can watch over and over again and never tire of. I love movies about man’s journey. His quest to understand his world. A favorite line from a T. S. Eliot poem says it best: “We shall not cease from exploration and at the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Follow Barbara on Twitter @barbaracrampton as well as on Facebook.  To see her complete filmography, check out her IMDB page.

Doug TenNapel, graphic novelist (Bad Island, Ghostopolis, Creature Tech and the upcoming Cardboard) and creator of Earthworm Jim:

I love It’s a Wonderful Life! The Beloved Mrs. TenNapel and I watch it at least twice a year, and she cries every time. My favorite aspect of the movie is the weird story structure. The story doesn’t even officially begin until the first third of the movie has caught us up in a giant backstory. There are great characters, but they are woven together into George Bailey’s life that says a lot about how each of us are significantly dependent on each other. The story has incredible humor, drama, and even abuse. As we watch Mr. Potter screw the Savings and Loan into the ground, it’s like a punch in our stomach.

The take home isn’t that everyone can be a hero, though that’s a fine lesson. The hero of the story is the same as the villain, it’s George Bailey. Mr. Potter is immovable, so he just keeps going in his path of being rich, right down to the end when he wishes Bailey, “…and a Happy New Year to you… IN JAIL!” The bank examiners that are seen as bad throughout the story, end up paying into George’s charity basket to help save the Savings and Loan at the end, because the web of friendship around this community cannot be resisted by most people. Bailey is the bad guy because his father explains why he is to be trusted with the Savings and Loan… he was born older. What does that mean? He was born with greater responsibility, wisdom and calling. It is when a good man refuses his highest calling that his own family is demolished, but the entire community is ruined by his lack of vision.

There is another unique attribute I love about It’s A Wonderful Life, and that’s that it takes a shot at Modernism. George Bailey is a man who hates his small town. He can’t wait to shake the dust off of his shoes and travel the world. He’s been putting in his duty to his father’s business, and keeps trying to pawn off his responsibility onto his brother. The idea of seeing the exotic world is the dream of Modernist adventurers like Kipling and Hemmingway. George wants nothing of family life, even when the wonderful Mary is making eyes at him. He resists her in one of the most uncomfortable moments in film, shaking her, screaming in her face trying to convince himself he doesn’t want her, until they kiss. George is tempted by Materialism represented by the promise of stimulation around the world, a monetary deal by Potter, and even the belief that his own life is just a random event of no significance. In the end, family and friends win and George is saved by the most incompetent angel ever. I love it!

Follow Doug on Twitter @TenNapel and Facebook.  Be sure to check out his site to find out more about his work at

Nolan McBride, creator of the video game blog, Shoot Melee Reload, and guest blogger on Pixels or Death:

I’m just gonna go right into this…

The Fountain makes me cry nearly every time I watch it. The film is ripe with emotion and never once feels cheap. The difficult subject of death is handled in an honest, thoughtful way. This would be less possible without career-high performances from Hugh Jackman and Rachel Weisz. Both are so invested in their characters and both show different interpretations of dealing with our existence’s end. I constantly find myself in Jackman’s shoes, railing against death, hoping for a cure. By the end of the film, both Jackman and myself find cathartic peace in the face of existential annihilation.

The film doesn’t stop with a couple’s struggle with death. The film is strung together by two additional stories, which play with science fiction as well as historical fiction. The three narratives are tied together in a cohesive but unforceful fashion, bringing harmony to the proceedings. The film may feel difficult at first, but it becomes clearer with repeat viewings, and when it does, it becomes a thing of wonder. The film’s insistence on thematic unity over narrative clarity is one of my favorite parts.

Beyond that, the film is beautiful. The scenes in space, created through microscopic imagery, are breathtaking and the score by Clint Mansell might be the most beautiful thing my ears have ever heard.

Darren Aronofsky is known for sharing the stories of troubled characters whose demise always derives from their own issues with self. In his other films, those characters never find peace. Here, Jackman doesn’t fall in line. Instead, like the viewer, through his struggles, he finds peace. I can say that though I find myself drawn to Aronofsky’s darker characters, Jackman’s is the one I hope to grow into. Death is inevitable but that doesn’t mean we have to fight it like petulant children. Instead, we can watch The Fountain, cry our eyes out, and get back to living.

Follow Nolan on Twitter @nolan_mcbride and be sure to check out his work on Shoot Melee Reload and Pixels or Death.

Mel Dale, comics illustrator and creator of the upcoming Your Cold Felt Heart comic:

Based off the comic book of the same name, The Rocketeer represents the perfect cocktail of story elements sure to make my heart go a flutter. It’s got science fiction, romance, 1940s nostalgia, Nazi’s getting their faces punched in, mobsters, and (my favorite) Nazi’s getting their faces punched in BY mobsters. All of that comes wrapped up with one of the finest James Horner scores he’s ever written with some great art deco design work tossed in for good measure. I can’t get enough of this movie! It’s my go-to “sick day” movie, the film I’ve watched more times than can be conceived, the inspiration for my obsessively acquired collection of related memorabilia, and the only movie I’m always in the mood to watch. “ROCKETEER, TO THE RESCUE!”

Follow Mel on Twitter @mel_dale and on Facebook.  Also be sure to check out his site, where you can see his blog, news about his current work and even pick up some handmade mini-comics.

Leland Pierce of Movie Issues Podcast:

My favorite movie is Clue and has been since I first saw it.  It encompasses my favorite elements of comedy: witty satire and slapstick fun.  I love comedies with great ensemble casts and Clue is a perfect example.  Putting all these comedic actors together in one room and letting them do what they do best amounts to comedic genius.  I know there are movies out there that would be deemed better than Clue but, for me, this is the one I can put on when I’m happy or sad and feel elevated by it.  Clue is the movie I watch when I want to feel at peace.  It has the indescribable ability to always make me feel like I’m home.

Follow Leland on the Movie Issues Facebook page.  You can also check out the Movies Issues website here.

Anthony “Spooky” Silva of Movie Issues Podcast:

I love movies!  I wouldn’t have made it through some of the terrible films I’ve watched over the years without that love.  It’s films like Mel Brooks’ Young Frankenstein that makes it so easy to fall in love with cinema.  I’ve long lost count of how many times I’ve watched Gene Wilder’s journey from rational teacher to mad scientist but every time I see it, I still laugh out loud at all the same jokes.  It’s enduring appeal helps to establish it as my favorite film.  The cast of Wilder, Kahn, Feldman, Leachman and Boyle are all amazing and with Mel Brooks’ direction, it is the film that other comedy movies should aspire to.  Young Frankenstein has the perfect blend of clever dialogue, slapstick and highbrow humor.  I feel every decision made during the making of the film is exactly the right choice.  It is considered a classic for a reason.  Young Frankenstein has shaped the way that I see humor now and continually influences the humor I project in my everyday life.  Whenever I find someone who hasn’t seen the movie, I feel bad that they have yet to experience the joy you get from watching it.  With all the movies that exist, there aren’t enough perfect films out there but that fact helps accentuate the ones that stand out so much.  I believe Young Frankenstein is perfect.  I’d put that on my tombstone.

Follow Spooky on the Movie Issues Facebook page.  You can also check out the Movies Issues website here.

Now for everyone on Twitter and Facebook that wanted to chime in on their favorite movie:

@Boomin_bass It has to be “A Christmas Story” it has been ever since I was little. Happy 1 year anniversary monsterpopcorn.

@MichaeldeKlerk #Cloverfield.  I know many people will think WHAT!?! But it is really a great film #suspensewasverystrong

@amcbride7 my favorite movie of all time – The Life Aquatic. A close second – 3 Ninjas Kick Back.  Nick cage movies make-up the rest.

@Horrorellablog I have to go with Jaws. It’s classic and I bet I’ve watched it ten thousand times. Congrats on your 1 year!

@bnchile4444 Its a Mad Mad Mad Mad World! —favorite movie

@BADatVIDEOgames V For Vendetta!

@Billarrett Field of Dreams

@mkpheartsnyc The Maltese Falcon 🙂

@Isis_Nocturne My top movies: The Princess Bride, Labyrinth, The Fountain, Finding Forrester, Spirited Away. 🙂

@nannimcb Yearly must-watch: Sound of Music, You’ve Got Mail & Wizard of Oz.  Other favs-The Visitor, Pan’s Labyrinth, Eastern Promises.

@iann_michael Frankenstein!

@superspecialboy Neon Maniacs.  Saw it as a kid back when Syfy was Sci-Fi and played good cult movies and it changed my life (among others, obviously).

Rhane Pryde Ladyhawke has always been my favorite movie!

Mark Freeman Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back.

Elvira Palafox Pure Country…soo good!

Teresa Lawrence Dale Empire Records, fo shizzle.

Matthew Scott Baker My favorite movie, hands down, is John Carpenter’s THE THING. I can watch that over and over and over…

Crystal Sturkie Alifanow My favorite of all time? Gotta be Grease. Pure fun and great music.

Ted Daroski The Big Lebowski. abide.

Dante Hicks Fight Club.

Bill Davis Empire Strikes Back (Non-special edition!) Clerks is a close 2nd…

Craig Sargent Raising Arizona

Kevin Douce Boondock Saints. Just the original though, the sequel was marginal at best.

Lindsay Cassell Pan’s Labyrinth

Mark Hanlen 2001: A Space Odyssey.  It’s the most perfect marriage of music and visual metaphors ever commited to film.

Steve Warren Garden State.  I thoroughly enjoyed Zach Braff’s writing and directing as well as his acting alongside Natalie Portman in a movie that displays the comically cute romance that unfolds through the story.

Jeff York The Royal Tenenbaums!

Rian Sallee Forrest Gump.  Other favs include Fight Club, Once Upon a Time In Mexico, TMNT, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

Nathan Kollar The Graduate

Angela Kirwan Rosemary’s Baby

Theresa Neary The Wedding Planner

Daniel Warren Pulp Fiction.  The use of time with the scenes playing in non-chronological order and starting and ending in the diner gives it a unique structure.  Plus it has great characters and amazingly memorable lines.

Ahmad Saqr Zoolander

Andrew Tinn Casablanca

Melissa Parsons Knost Empire Records 🙂

Brian John Mitchell My favorite is probably La Jetee.

Jeff Childs Monty Python & the Holy Grail

Peter Cameron It’s a Wonderful Life. Not a cool title like the ones above, but still a classic.

Jim Pappenbrock Breakfast Club, Sandlot and Shawshank Redemption.

Darlene Pappenbrock The Sound of Music, Wizard of Oz and Top Gun.

Kenny Tour Trading Places

Joe Gutierrez The Professional.  The acting was superb and this is where I discovered Gary Oldman, Natalie Portman and Jean Reno.

Okay, we’ve reached the end of the post and it’s my turn to speak about my favorite movie just a little bit.  Choosing my favorite film is incredibly difficult as I love so many and my pick can change from time to time.  There are always constants on the list like Speilberg’s Jaws, Carpenter’s Halloween, the two punch combo of Rocky and Rocky Balboa (which does wonders for inspiring me to be better) and oh so many more.  I think I’m going to go with one of my childhood favorites that to this day still works for me unlike any other family friendly movie ever has, Joe Dante’s Explorers.  The movie taps into my inner kid (and geek) and serves as a perfect fantasy for what I dreamed my childhood could have been like.  The 80’s were an incredible time for films aimed at younger audiences, often times they felt kind of dark and scary all the while being full of genuine child-like wonder.  It’s something that is seriously lacking from the kid friendly films of today.  Explorers was one of the first Joe Dante films I remember seeing and it just sparked my imagination.  I couldn’t tell you how many times I’ve dreamed about creating my own spaceship out of a hodgepodge of various materials in my backyard and go flying around town.  The film is not without its flaws but its nostalgic nature and its dare to dream attitude really hits me every single time I see it.  Plus, the score by Jerry Goldsmith is so incredibly beautiful and gives the film such great personality and atmosphere.  Explorers is a movie that will be with me until the day I die.  I’ll be the old wrinkly man popping in the film to watch with grandchildren and have a smile and a tear from sharing the movie that lit my imagination with a new generation.

Thank you once again to everyone who took the time to contribute to this post.  It means so much to me that you did.  If you see any movies listed here that you haven’t seen, go ahead and give them a shot. Maybe it will mean as much to you as it does to them.

by Ben McBride

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6 Comments on “One Year Anniversary Post: Sharing Our Love Of The Movies!”

  1. Ben McBride April 9, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Thank you! I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  2. Horrorella (@Horrorellablog) April 9, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

    Great article! I am totally geeking out right now. Happy Anniversary!

  3. U-Butch April 7, 2012 at 6:57 pm #

    Fav of all time – tough, can I blend? I like to start with a base of goodness from Sound of Music add in some protien redemption from Hoosiers and Shawshank, an energy additive to wake me out of the cubicle engineering madness with Point Break & Matrix (1&2 -pls no 3), add in a Last of the Mohicans for the libeto and top it off with whip cream of Die Hard (1, 2 -37?) & a cherry Avatar to sweeten the imagination, then drive home with the Bourne Series and sleep it off with Inception

  4. Nancy m April 7, 2012 at 4:20 pm #

    Absolutely inspiring! Love how you picked to celebrate your 1st year by including famous and friends. I truly learn a lot about the making of movies, movie themes, and human nature as I read your posts. I know what effort it takes to put thoughts to the page, any page, journal, magazine, novel, or blog. Your views are fresh, interesting, and thoughtful. Wishing you tons of success in the coming year.

  5. Ben McBride April 7, 2012 at 3:46 pm #

    Couldn’t agree with you more!

  6. bill norris April 7, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    love the movie poster at the end…..and the movie rocks as well.

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