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THE NERD WORD: My top film picks of all time -- and the contenders

July 18, 2013

YellowBrix

July 18--It's time for me to finally unveil my list of favorite movies. While thinking of what would make the list, I realized I had to split it into two categories: best of all time and contenders for the top, which are movies that are too new to decide if they'll make it for the long haul. So, on to the goodies.

1. "The Goonies" (1985): This is one of the first movies I remember seeing. I saw it originally on TV with the infamous deleted scenes that haven't ever made it to DVD. With or without those scenes, the film shaped my childhood. Every time I see it, I'm blown away. This is one of the best movies of the '80s. Period.

2. "Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back" (1980): This list could have included the whole original trilogy, but for your sake, I picked one. This being the second one I saw speaks volumes to its greatness. It introduced the best character of the franchise (Yoda), one of its most popular (Boba Fett) and had one of the biggest twists in film history.

3. "The Monster Squad" (1987): If "The Goonies" met the Universal Monsters, you would have "The Monster Squad." I don't know how you can go wrong with that. The horror lover in me can't resist this film. It features one of the best quotes of all time ("Wolfman's got nards!") and fills you with 80s goodness. If you haven't seen this gem, make it your next view.

4. "Footloose" (1984): This is one of those guilty pleasures for me. It features one of the catchiest scores probably ever created and quite possibly the quintessential 1980s album. "Footloose" also has "The Bacon" in it. This is just a feel-good movie all around. You can't resist movin' a little bit when you watch it. I wouldn't say I'm the best dancer ever, but close. I would compare myself to a poor man's Turbo.

5. "Die Hard" (1988): This is one of the best Christmas movies of all time, and it's the quintessential action movie. It mixed a little bit of comedy with tension-fueled content. It also gave us the everyman hero in John McClain. This guy walked barefoot across a room of glass. It don't get any more B.A. than that.

Honorable mentions: "Scream," "Field of Dreams," "Caddyshack," "Star Wars Episodes IV and VI."

Contenders

1. "The Shawshank Redemption" (1994): This will most likely make the all-time list. The amount of times I've watched this might cause some to say I need help. Morgan Freeman's appearance alone is worth the price of admission. This is drama at its best. I wish all movies could bring me this much joy. This one would top both my best and favorite movies of all-time lists.

2. "Gladiator" (2000): This ranks a close second to "Shawshank." It features one of my favorite actors ("The Crowe") as a guy with the coolest name in movies (Maximus Decimus Meridius) and the best death involving two swords. Joaquin Phoenix plays the perfect bad guy who you rooted against, making the revenge of Maximus that much better.

3. "The Dark Knight" (2008): I love me some Batman, but a petition should be launched to change the title of this movie to "The Joker." That's how good Heath Ledger's performance was. He made the nerd in me a happy camper. Everything about this film was better than the first, which is so rare in the sequel realm. This film made me proud to be a nerd.

4. "The Avengers" (2012): For all the seriousness "The Dark Knight" brought to the superhero genre, "The Avengers" threw all that out the window and provided nearly three hours of pure adrenaline-driven fun. I came out of this one feeling this will be close to the top of my all-time favorites.

5. "Inception" (2010): The concept of this film was right up my alley. I love movies that try new things and show me things I haven't seen before. So, this blew my mind. The zero-gravity fight scene was unforgettable. This one also features my newly discovered man crush, Joseph Gordon-Levitt. The honorable mentions list should solidify that last statement.

Honorable mentions: "Brick," "Looper," "The Dark Knight Rises," "Star Trek" and "The Departed."

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Albrecht can be reached at talbrecht@gfherald.com or (701) 780-1269. Follow him on Twitter @Tim03.

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(c)2013 the Grand Forks Herald (Grand Forks, N.D.)

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