I have a few weird habits concerning my movie collection. First, I alphabetize my DVDs. I’m sure that’s one of those things that’s weird, but common. Second, I categorize them into Drama, Action/adventure, Comedy, and animated in four different cabinets throughout our loft (and of course a special shelf that exclusively displays my Pixar movies). Now, that’s getting a little weirder. But wait – there’s more! The weirdest thing I do is watch my movies seasonally. Most people have regular movies, and Christmas movies. I divide mine up into Christmas, winter, spring, and fall movies. Quirky, I know. I just can’t watch White Fang when it’s 98 degrees out, you know?
So with that said, I’ve just pulled out all of my Summer movies that we’ll be watching in the next few months and I realized that most of them have a recurring theme (no, this was not intentional). Most people have common themes that run through their DVD and book collections. For some, their themes might be romance, and finding your true love (Never Been Kissed, 10 Things I Hate About You, Bridgett Jones’s Diary). For others it might be the idea that death and blood and gore are glorified elements (Halloween, Freddy, Walking Dead). For many, the theme is mindless (and sometimes funny) 90-minute breaks from reality (Dumb and Dumber, Anchorman, Monty Python).
The theme for our Summer movie lineup, I discovered, is redemption. Bellow are films I highly recommend if you’re browsing through Netflix and just need to be inspired to get off your chair and do something meaningful for others and your family. Feel free to recommend some of your own. Enjoy!
The Last Samurai
I remember years ago when I saw the poster for this movie hanging up in the hallway of the movie theater, I thought instantly, “That has got to be a joke.” Tom Cruise as a Samurai warrior… really? But this film wows me the more times I see it. Though my wife and I quibble over the validity of this film’s origins, it is a wonderful reminder that no no matter how far we’ve sunk, how far we’ve fallen, or whatever we’ve done, there is always a reason to redeem yourself and a chance to start your life anew.
Say what you will about Jim Carrey, but he really does pull himself together for this one. It’s a perfect film to celebrate 4th of July or Memorial Day. This film is a testament to why we should stand up for what we believe in and not be so pacifistic as many of us have become. It reminds us that our freedom came at a very high cost and that there is shame in shrugging it off as no big deal. Our country was worth the fight, and if we agree, we will show a little more respect toward it.
Sweet Home Alabama
I’m not much into romantic comedies at all, and this movie is hardly a funny, though it is lighthearted. I appreciate this movie so much because it defends the honor and integrity of marriage. The main characters have been trying for a divorce for many years, but something in them just won’t let them go through with it, even if it means ditching the new boyfriend. Marriages are worth fighting for, and this movie shows that it’s not easy, but the rewards can be great.
Whenever you put Russell Crow and Ron Howard together, you’re in for a great time. Not great time as in, escapism. But more like, getting to see a movie for what, I believe, movies are meant to be made for – documenting the lives of otherwise overlooked, great personalities in our world’s history. Cinderella Man is a fine film that does just that. Our country is headed toward hard times, and this is a great film for fathers and husbands to see to give them a picture of how a real man handles difficult times.
This is an oldie, but very much a goodie. And yes, the 4th of July scene with the fireworks makes me cry every time. With all this talk about putting a stop to bullying these days, this is a great film for kids to watch as it shows that we can’t expect to change society to accommodate our insecurities, but we must be willing to adapt to some surroundings if we want to be accepted into a group. Show ’em what you’re made of and you’ll earn their respect.
Other redemptive movies: Finding Neverland, A League of Their Own, A Beautiful Mind, Finding Nemo, Cars
Image credits: Last Samurai, The Majestic, Sweet Home Alabama, Cinderella Man, The Sandlot
10 thoughts on “Summer Movies”
i haven’t seen the last samurai, but i guess i’ll have to do so. i have the sandlot in my dvr and was waiting for baseball season to start. this movie captures a good part of my childhood because baseball was a daily summer event.
there’s nothing weird about arranging dvd’s alphabetically. i have a database and an index card system that includes title, rating, time, subject, director, year released. you got that?
lol, I step down from my podium of DVD-weirdness and award you the coveted title. I think that’s awesome! You should definitely check out The Last Samurai – it is not at all as cheesy or boring as it sounds. It’s one of my favorite movies.
but does it follow the tom cruise formula? man with talent falls, gets hurt, doesn’t do well, retreats and runs away from his failure. then someone comes along to teach him to better himself, and in doing so he also teaches that person something. then he returns to the arena of his failure and has success. that formula fits a good number of cruise movies.
That formula can be found in a lot of movies. This has that, yes. But Cruise is not a macho tough-guy in this one.
I definitely alphabetize my DVDs and put them by genre. I’m glad I’m not alone!
I love your anal retentive organization! I used to do the same, then got married to a man who destroyed my system. In the name of peace, I am now a slob with neatness envy.
Redemption is a good starting point for a comedic formula. I always think of the Blues Brothers as one of the best examples of people succeeding after being brought as low as they can go. These always make me feel good by sharing the character’s successes.
Absolutely LOVE the Sandlot. It’s probably my all-time favorite childhood movie!
Some to add to the list under subject of redemption: Shawshank Redemption; Legend of Bagger Vance; Simple Life of Noah Dearborn. You could even include Star Wars series, Ring Trilogy, etc. Even kids’ movies like Charlotte’s Web! And to top it off: do a Google search of “movies about redemption” or “movies about redemption theme”–turns up classics like “A Christmas Carol” and one actually titled “Redemption,” among others. And just the other night, we watched one called “Restitution” which ratings (www.rottentomatoes.com) said was slow starting [we had already tried twice!] we actually thought had quite a surprisingly good twist at the end! And it might even be that some “Christian” or religious classics might qualify (e.g., Ben Hur, Barabbas, Exodus, Prince of Egypt, etc.) would qualify….
Are you on overload yet? LOL…