Liz's Big List o' Awesome TV Show & Moviesby liz-berry | created - 09 Jun 2013 | updated - 01 Jan 2016 | Public
Pretty much all the "favorites" and important movies/shows I could think of.
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1. Silent Night, Deadly Night (1984)
R | 79 min | Horror, Thriller
After his parents are murdered, a tormented teenager goes on a murderous rampage dressed as Santa, due to his stay at an orphanage where he was abused by the Mother Superior.
Votes: 10,838 | Gross: $2.49M
I was an extra in this movie when I was three -- I have the screen cap to prove it.
(in Utah in the eighties, it was seriously easy to just be in random movies -- see "Troll 2.")
This is your classic eighties tits-n-ass slasher movie. How my mother ever got conned in to letting me be in it? No idea, but it's kind of a neat icebreaker when talking to other horror movie buffs since it has the distinction of breaking a taboo and making Father Christmas kill people in (then) new and interesting ways.
2. UFOs at the Zoo: The Flaming Lips Live in Oklahoma City (2007 Video)
119 min | Music
I am no longer a follower of the Flaming Lips, but I was also in this movie for two seconds and (like #1) have the screen cap to prove this it.
3. CHiPs (1977–1983)
TV-PG | 60 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
The adventures of two California Highway Patrol motorcycle officers.
C'mon, people, classic!!! My dad and I used to watch this together. In fact, I faked sick many many times just to be home so we could do so.
4. The Deliberate Stranger (1986 TV Movie)
Not Rated | 185 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller
Based on a true story, this film depicts the life of Theodore Robert Bundy, the serial killer. In 1974, after having murdered several young women, he leaves Seattle for Utah, where he is a ... See full summary »
Creepy as it may be - also another one I faked sick (two days in a row since it was a "movie of the day" two-parter played back in the day when local cable only got that ONE Dfw station) in order to stay home and watch with my dad.
ALSO -- I grew up with a weird fascination toward serial killers and this guy is all kinds of interesting AND since I was born in Utah, he has actually touched the lives of a couple of people I know.
5. Batman (1989)
PG-13 | 126 min | Action, Adventure
The Dark Knight of Gotham City begins his war on crime with his first major enemy being the clownishly homicidal Joker.
Votes: 296,028 | Gross: $251.19M
This movie has many distinctions: first declaration of "favorite movie" that I can recall, first celebrity crush (Michael Keaton), first insane number of multiple viewings while said movie was still in the theatre (I think I saw it maybe a dozen times... many times it seems like I ended up seeing it instead of getting my allowance for that time frame).
Thanks to the mind's strange ability to act computerlike and recall things for you even though you don't even really know you know them anymore (like hearing a song on the radio that you haven't heard in YEARS and still being able to sing along without even realizing you are doing so), you can still pop this movie in and I will recite [probably] the whole thing for you.
6. Dune (1984)
PG-13 | 137 min | Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
A Duke's son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father's evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor's rule.
Votes: 105,609 | Gross: $30.93M
Age:7 or 8
I have no idea how I even discovered this movie, but it ruled my world for years. It was my first declaration of "Favorite Movie" ("Batman" was favorite "new release" this was "favorite that had already come out" - it was a VHS discovery) as well as my first introduction to the amazing man-beauty of Kyle Maclachlan.
And (Sorry, Mom) "Star Wars" be damned, it was my first introduction to the truly mind-blowing power of science fiction.
7. Quantum Leap (1989–1993)
TV-PG | 60 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
Scientist Sam Beckett finds himself trapped in time, "leaping" into the body of a different person, in a different time period each week.
Favorite episode: "Catch a Falling Star"
8. Twin Peaks (1990–1991)
TV-MA | 47 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
An idiosyncratic FBI agent investigates the murder of a young woman in the even more idiosyncratic town of Twin Peaks.
Greatness level: Obsession.
How I even started watching this show when I really should have been watching "Ninja Turtles" or "Power Rangers" or whatever was age appropriate at the time, I have no idea. But at this time: this was the greatest show I had ever seen EVER.
I've watched it many times since then and I honestly think something is lost in the translation now that I'm an adult. It seems like it made a whole lot more sense to me THEN.
It also had two added advantages: Kyle Maclachlan is one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever laid eyes on and it gave my mother and I something to discuss even when things were tense between us.
9. Tommy (1975)
PG | 111 min | Drama, Musical
A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the object of a religious cult.
Votes: 16,767 | Gross: $34.25M
Age: 11. First introduction to the concept of "rock opera." Mind. Blown.
10. Quadrophenia (1979)
R | 120 min | Drama, Music
Jimmy loathes his job and parents. He seeks solace with his mod clique, scooter riding, and drugs only to be disappointed.
Seen around the same time as "Tommy," a little bit after.
Second introduction to "rock opera" and, in my opinion, THE perfect teen angst movie. I dare you not to have felt helpless, hopeless and alone like Jim at some point when you were young.
11. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical
A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.
Votes: 115,310 | Gross: $139.88M
I dare you to be a misfit thirteen year old, hear the statement "don't dream it, be it" crooned at you from your TV screen, and not have it make an impact.
Requiring no further embellishment from me, I will simply say this movie means friendship and acceptance to me and has at several times in my life when I really needed it.
12. The X-Files (1993– )
TV-14 | 45 min | Drama, Mystery, Sci-Fi
Two FBI agents, Fox Mulder the believer and Dana Scully the skeptic, investigate the strange and unexplained, while hidden forces work to impede their efforts.
Greatness level: UBER ULTRA OBSESSION (two seasons of Twin Peaks versus NINE of this)
Filled the void in my life left by the lack of "Twin Peaks" though I didn't really know what it was like to love a show until the invention of the X-files.
It satisfied two things for me: my weirdness quotient and well, it was kind of like girl-porn. It portrayed this magical unicorn of a male/female relationship between Mulder and Scully: one built first and foremost on respect and mutual admiration (a thing not exhibited to me at all as a kid and a thing observable only in a fluctuating manner as an adult in my own relationships). I can always tell how well my personal relationships are doing based on how much X-files I need to watch.
13. Millennium (I) (1996–1999)
45 min | Crime, Drama, Mystery
A former FBI profiler with the ability to look inside the mind of a killer begins working for the mysterious Millennium Group whose interest lies in cases involving doomsday cults and killers obsessed with the end of the millennium.
Like the X-files only "blacker than the blackest black times infinity."
I was only 15 and pretty much already determined the world would end soon so this show gave me NIGHTMARES.
Actually got a chance to ask Lance Henriksen how he got this role out of his system once it was over. He went to Hawaii... and got tattoos. He showed me one - it was a tribal sea turtle on his arm.
14. A Clockwork Orange (1971)
R | 136 min | Crime, Drama, Sci-Fi
In the future, a sadistic gang leader is imprisoned and volunteers for a conduct-aversion experiment, but it doesn't go as planned.
First movie I went to great lengths to see which involved deceiving my parents (since I wasn't allowed to see rated R movies.)
Smuggled it over to my friend Tara's house and we watched it there. I think we were probably hs freshman.
Its brilliance stands alone and requires no further exposition on my part.
15. Strictly Ballroom (1992)
PG | 94 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A maverick dancer risks his career by performing an unusual routine and sets out to succeed with a new partner.
Votes: 22,167 | Gross: $11.74M
Favorite Movie: Age 11 (seen and captured on crappy VHS w/ Starz: Free Preview!)
Why? Because I was a closet romantic far before I ever admitted to boys no longer having "cooties" in my estimation.
This movie was big and bright and beautiful (and foreign!!! ooooohhhh accents...) And it featured something hugely appealing: a clumsy, ugly girl turning in to a beautiful, graceful girl and getting the boy.
What's this? A tiny twinge of hope?
16. Untamed Heart (1993)
PG-13 | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A waitress hardly notices a shy busboy who secretly loves her; until one night she's attacked and he comes to her rescue. From there a relationship sparks but one secret could mean disaster for these fated lovers.
Votes: 11,036 | Gross: $18.90M
Ah... love + death = whole new levels of romantic tragedy. *high school girl swoon*
17. While You Were Sleeping (1995)
PG | 103 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A hopeless romantic Chicago Transit Authority token collector is mistaken for the fiancée of a coma patient.
Votes: 79,244 | Gross: $81.06M
Celebrity Crush: The Freshman Edition -
Yep, I had it hard for Bill Pullman.
Another concession toward my secret romantic nature and the idea that maybe the person you want will end up wanting you back (whether that actually works out or not, in this case.)
18. The Crow: City of Angels (1996)
R | 84 min | Action, Crime, Fantasy
The spirit of the Crow resurrects another man seeking revenge for the murder of his son.
Votes: 17,052 | Gross: $17.88M
First date w/ ex husband - part 1 of 2.
19. The Island of Dr. Moreau (1996)
PG-13 | 96 min | Horror, Sci-Fi, Thriller
After being rescued and brought to an island, a man discovers that its inhabitants are experimental animals being turned into strange-looking humans, all of it the work of a visionary doctor.
Votes: 27,973 | Gross: $27.66M
First date w/ ex husband - part 2 of 2 (we saw them @ the Abilene mall back to back.)
20. Man of La Mancha (1972)
PG | 132 min | Drama, Fantasy, Musical
The funny story of mad but kind and chivalrous elderly nobleman Don Quixote who, aided by his squire Sancho Panza, fights windmills that are seen as dragons to save prostitute Dulcinea who is seen as a noblewoman.
Votes: 3,264 | Gross: $3.80M
My mother raised me on musicals, but I have taken this for my own and it occupies a spot in my holy trinity of musicals. The idea? That you can choose nobility and make yourself something better than you really are.
21. Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)
G | 108 min | Drama, History, Musical
Film version of the musical stage play, presenting the last few weeks of Christ's life told in an anachronistic manner.
Votes: 21,475 | Gross: $24.48M
Second entry on the musical "holy trinity." Age: 15. I was in a production of JCS at the local community theatre and it was the most religious experience I've ever had. The idea that Jesus could have been a real person with real thoughts and feelings was a revelation.
R | 116 min | Drama, Horror, Musical
The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett.
Votes: 307,723 | Gross: $52.90M
Third entry on the musical "holy trinity." See 'Fast Sofa' entry for my preoccupation with the idea of inevitability. The watcher observes: these characters could have stopped at any time and steered away from their terminal course. From the characters' prospective, was that even a choice or were they hurtling toward something completely out of their control?
23. Anthony Adverse (1936)
Not Rated | 141 min | Adventure, Drama, Romance
In 18th-century Italy, an orphan's debt to the man who raised him threatens to separate him forever from the woman he loves.
First date with Doug - how do you delineate? - current spouse, husband #2... the non-ex husband. :-)
24. Fast Sofa (2001)
R | 109 min | Adventure, Drama
This road picture follows a dope fiend named Rick, who believes his goal in life is to track down Ginger, a famous porn star who is currently staying in her Beverly Hills hideaway. Rick is ... See full summary »
The "journey tale" is as old as story telling itself, but this one is special to me. One of my favorite ideas when reading books or watching movies is inevitability. Characters drawn toward an end that they could have changed at any point... or could they?
(contains Crispin Glover... love him long time.)
The character of Jules is so profoundly changed at the end that it's easy to wonder how there was really anything else for him besides what ultimately happens.
25. Sliding Doors (1998)
PG-13 | 99 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A London woman's love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train. We see it both ways, in parallel.
Votes: 56,522 | Gross: $11.88M
How much are we really affected by circumstance and the choices we make? It's not a particularly productive way to live - I know - but "what if?" is a concept never far from my mind.
I am basically married right now because of a flat tire. For someone who deals constantly in "what if," it's incredibly easy to ask: what if my tire didn't go flat that day? what if that nail hadn't ended up in my path? Why that trip, that road, that day? etc.
26. The Final Cut (2004)
PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Set in a world with memory recording implants, Alan Hakman is a cutter, someone with the power of final edit over people's recorded histories. His latest assignment is one that puts him in danger.
Votes: 28,538 | Gross: $0.55M
An extremely deep premise couched in a "thriller."
The older I get the more I wonder if things really were the way I remember them: the idea that maybe the things I recall are skewed because the are viewed through the lens of youth literally changed the way I think in regard to the past.
27. Interstate 60: Episodes of the Road (2002)
R | 116 min | Adventure, Comedy, Drama
Neal Oliver, a very confused young man and an artist (played by James Marsden) takes a journey of a lifetime on a highway I60 that doesn't exist on any of the maps, going to the places he never even heard of, searching for an answer and his dreamgirl.
Another interesting journey movie. One stop the main character makes along the way deals with an idea that I've thought about many times since seeing the movie: would you willingly indenture yourself in exchange for the legality of your drug of choice?
...And it contains Gary Oldman - you cannot go wrong with Gary Oldman.
28. Whip It (2009)
PG-13 | 111 min | Drama, Sport
In Bodeen, Texas, an indie-rock loving misfit finds a way of dealing with her small-town misery after she discovers a roller derby league in nearby Austin.
Votes: 59,063 | Gross: $13.04M
Revelation: sports can be fun and interesting!
Well, sort of. I have read extensively on the subject of derby and still don't really, truly understand it. BUT it's fierce, confident women doing something if dangerous still ultimately graceful and getting to take out their aggression by indirectly beating on each other.
I was instantly in love.
... and experienced my first broken bone (tailbone - yay!!) at the age of 30: try to learn how to skate (a thing I attempted for months.)
Ultimately, my disgust at myself for not being able to do something that children can do (and my crippling fear of pain and repeated failure - let's not forget that) made me give up. It's also hard for me to watch derby now because, well, it makes me jealous.
29. The Final (I) (2010)
R | 93 min | Drama, Horror, Thriller
A group of high school outcasts get revenge on the students that torment them.
Checked it out after I saw that the makers/actors of the movie were going to be at Texas Frightmare (a horrorcon I go to every year for my birthday.)
I really really liked it AND it had the distinction of being a horror movie that didn't descend in to torture-porn the way so many do these days: it has a plot AND a morale.
I also appeals hugely to me because I was one of "those" kids in school.
30. God Bless America (2011)
R | 105 min | Comedy, Crime
On a mission to rid society of its most repellent citizens, terminally ill Frank makes an unlikely accomplice in 16-year-old Roxy.
Votes: 64,058 | Gross: $0.12M
Go on. Tell me you haven't thought about it.
Practically out of the gate there's a scene with a baby (umm that's all I will say) and I knew this movie was going to be different.
It appeals hugely to my pessimistic nature and the fact that the majority of people these days seem to just be pigs consuming the media slop they are fed.
31. He Was a Quiet Man (2007)
Not Rated | 95 min | Drama, Romance, Thriller
An office worker inadvertently becomes a hero after he saves a woman's life.
Again, tell me you haven't thought about it, tell me you've never been that guy who said "if they take my stapler one more time, I'm going to burn this place down."
The movie takes a turn and actually gets very sad though.
Reminds me a great deal of one of my favorite songs "Wallflower" by Caroline's Spine:
"'cause i shot the bad guy dead - But he got me in the head. Oh with the girl of my dreams She's mentioning to me how much I've bled..."
32. Take This Waltz (2011)
R | 116 min | Comedy, Drama
A happily married woman falls for the artist who lives across the street.
Votes: 24,642 | Gross: $1.24M
This is purely an honorable mention.
I HATED THIS MOVIE. I hated the plot, I hated the characters, EVERYTHING.
(I will put this movie next to "The Notebook" and "Like Water for Chocolate" because it makes the female lead choose between what's safe and what's exciting.)
BUT hate - like love - is a strong emotion and has its place.
It triggered a strong pessimistic reaction in me, but it did make me think and it also reiterated the conclusion I had already come to: the butterflies fade, the heart stops racing and - in the end - you have to be satisfied with the choice you made.
The exciting guy/gal may not be the one who brings you Pepto & holds your hair when you puke.
33. Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy
Ron Burgundy is San Diego's top-rated newsman in the male-dominated broadcasting of the 1970s, but that's all about to change for Ron and his cronies when an ambitious woman is hired as a new anchor.
Votes: 292,489 | Gross: $85.29M
Quite possibly the most quotable movie ever made.
34. Tesis (1996)
R | 125 min | Mystery, Thriller
While doing a thesis about violence, Ángela finds a snuff video where a girl is tortured until death. Soon she discovers that the girl was a former student in her faculty...
My first taste of how excellent spanish movies can be.
Also - fell briefly and madly in love with Fele Martinez (who looks sort of like Johnny Depp... and sort of like *sigh* my ex-husband though my ex-husband technically bears no resemblance to Johnny Depp.)
35. Open Your Eyes (1997)
R | 117 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance
A very handsome man finds the love of his life, but he suffers an accident and needs to have his face rebuilt by surgery after it is severely disfigured.
Votes: 57,113 | Gross: $0.37M
I don't care if you don't like reading subtitles, watch this NOT 'Vanilla Sky.'
36. The Devil's Backbone (2001)
R | 106 min | Drama, Horror
After Carlos - a 12-year-old whose father has died in the Spanish Civil War - arrives at an ominous boys' orphanage, he discovers the school is haunted and has many dark secrets that he must uncover.
Votes: 53,832 | Gross: $0.75M
Another fine example of Spanish cinema - brilliant and scary as HELL.
37. Let the Right One In (2008)
R | 115 min | Drama, Horror, Romance
Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.
Votes: 186,986 | Gross: $2.12M
Yet another brilliant foreign movie that we screwed up by trying to Americanize.
Contains quite possibly THE best bully revenge scene ever. I wish I had my own vampire when I was that age.
38. Donnie Darko (2001)
R | 113 min | Drama, Sci-Fi, Thriller
A troubled teenager is plagued by visions of a man in a large rabbit suit who manipulates him to commit a series of crimes, after he narrowly escapes a bizarre accident.
Votes: 655,979 | Gross: $0.19M
I loved this movie before Hot Topic told you it was cool.
It's another one that appeals hugely to both my obsession with inevitability and the "what if?" of changing something that's already happened.
(watch for The Church's excellent "Under the Milky Way" during the scene where Donnie walks down the stairs at the party.)
39. The Outsiders (1983)
PG | 91 min | Crime, Drama
The rivalry between two gangs, the poor Greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.
Votes: 63,387 | Gross: $25.60M
Classic "us" against "them."
(contains Rob Lowe and C. Thomas Howell)
40. The Stand (1994)
Not Rated | 361 min | Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
After a deadly plague kills most of the world's population, the remaining survivors split into two groups - one led by a benevolent elder and the other by a maleficent being - to face each other in a final battle between good and evil.
I really hope they don't try to re-make this. I think it was a brilliant ensemble cast (at least for the early 90s... another one w/ Rob Lowe).
Whenever I get a really bad cold or the flu, I watch this. It makes me happy in a morbid way.
I've always fantasized that everyone in the world would disappear... but then again this movie reminds me that ultimately that would probably suck.
41. Where the Heart Is (2000)
PG-13 | 120 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
A pregnant 17-year-old rebuilds her life after being abandoned by her boyfriend at a Wal-Mart in Sequoyah, Oklahoma.
Votes: 28,995 | Gross: $33.77M
*sigh* Here comes my comes the pessimism monster again, but it's hard to live in a world where romantic love basically doesn't exist anymore and still see movies with lines like:
'Novalee, there isn't anything better than you...'
I die a little inside and yet I keep watching it... over and over and over.
42. The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane (1976)
PG | 91 min | Drama, Mystery, Thriller
13-year-old Rynn Jacobs lives alone in a high-class Quebec small town, but unknown to the neighbors, she is leading a secret and dangerous life.
Watch this movie.
Sweet, deadly Rynn. I wanted to be her so bad.
43. Wristcutters: A Love Story (2006)
R | 88 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy
A film set in a strange afterlife way station that has been reserved for people who have committed suicide.
Votes: 49,461 | Gross: $0.32M
Literally one of the most compelling arguments I've ever found against suicide (and for someone with lifelong depression, that's saying something.)
What's scary? Not the idea of hell yawning out before you with pitchforks and demons ready to roast you over an open flame, the idea that after you kill yourself things are only MARGINALLY worse. Your crappy job gets crappier, your crappy apartment gets crappier.
Sometimes "why bother?" is the only message I need to hear.
44. My Life Without Me (2003)
R | 106 min | Drama, Romance
A young woman conceals the fact of her terminal cancer to live her life with a passion she never had before.
Votes: 22,356 | Gross: $0.40M
In the end, who really has courage enough to live life (or the end thereof) on his/her own terms?
45. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
R | 108 min | Drama, Romance, Sci-Fi
When their relationship turns sour, a young couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.
Votes: 761,844 | Gross: $34.40M
I only saw this movie once, but it was painful enough I don't think I could watch it again... just the idea that you really have to remember all the things you wish you could forget, that if you forget a mistake you made, you might just go ahead and make it again... and again.
Still, I wish I could pay someone to make my bad memories go away.