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Eric from Progressive

CoolEric's Cool 25: My Most Meaningful Films

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Taking inspiration from @Baumer, I felt that it was a good idea for me to express some of my most important films. What's great about film is how it can impact a person, in how he or she acts and thinks, and it's interesting to see how people respond to certain films. All of these movies have helped define me as a person, and I doubt I would be the same without them.


To make things perfectly clear, unlike Baumer's list, this isn't the most important based off of cultural and/or historical significance. A good chunk of these movies will have or have had zero impact on filmmaking or culture. I'm basing this off of my personal attachments, which involves nostalgia, timing, performances, messages, etc.


Also, since I've only been on this earth for 18.5 years, the list is biased towards movies from the 2000s and films that had come out very, very recently. Y'all can make fun of me for that, but if you're really upset over my decisions, then make your own damn list!


I'll have one movie per day, with a hint for the next one. Hope you guys enjoy it, and I hope to see other users follow in my footsteps.

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The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie

Directed by Stephen Hillenburg

"We did alright for a couple of goofballs"


Box Office: $85.4M Domestic, $140.2M WW

IMDB Summary: SpongeBob SquarePants takes leave from the town of Bikini Bottom in order to track down King Neptune's stolen crown.

Why It's So Meaningful to Me: Once in a while, everybody has a film where the second they hear about it, they are beyond excited, and counting down the days until they get to see it in the theater. For me, the first one that made me have that feeling was...The SpongeBob Movie?


Yeah, I know that sounds strange, but let me transport you back to the glorious days of 2004. You're six years old, and the only things that exist in your world is your family, your friends, your school, your house, and three TV channels. And the one show that you watched religiously was SpongeBob. To say that I was a fan of the show was a severe understatement. I've watched nearly every episode of the first few seasons at least 4 times, I've purchased several of the video games, I had plushies and clothes with Spongebob's face plastered on it all over my room, and I could pretty much quote a good chunk of episodes verbatim without any hesitance. So when I went on to Nickelodeon's website and learned that my favorite TV show was going to be on the big screen, and a few days before my birthday no less, my hype levels were set to the max (of course I didn't really get hyped for movies before since I was six, but still).


Anyways, even as a wee lad, before I saw the movie, I was already looking for anything and everything available. I went on the Spongebob website for months, searching for any new trailer or new flash game related to the movie, I watched as much of Nickelodeon as possible to see any sneak peeks or TV spots, and I even got one of the Burger King toys. I needed this movie so bad, that I pretty much scoured all over the Internet (well, okay, only Nick.com), to get me more and more excited about what was sure to be an absolute masterpiece (again, I was six).


But this is at the bottom of the list, mainly because while I did love the movie back then, I can't really say that it was a huge impact on my life. But what it did impact was how I act during prerelease. Spongebob and Patrick pretty much made me become the kind of guy that will search endlessly for any inklings on films that I anticipate, and arguably an important cog on me being excited for upcoming movies.

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Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Directed by J.J. Abrams

"Chewie...we're home"


Box Office: $936.7M Domestic, $2.07B WW

IMDB Summary: Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a ragtag group of heroes, along with help from the Resistance.

Why It's So Meaningful to Me: Ladies and gentleman, this is one of my many firsts. For this movie, it was the first time I've ever seen a movie at a Thursday 7PM screening. The prerelease had hyped me up beyond belief. I hadn't seen any Star Wars film before the first trailer dropped (I know, terrible thing to say), but everything about this movie looked perfect. Each and every trailer was purposefully vague, making me guess and have wild predictions about what will happen. The questions that lingered on through my mind kept bugging me, and at school, my friends and I would discuss about our own theories: what the story was, what the new character dynamics will be, etc. Not to mention, spinoff movies tackling different genres, all from unique, new voices? How awesome is that? Even my parents, who usually don't get excited for many movies pre-release, couldn't resist how amazing it looked. The excitement was at an all-time high, so I bought my ticket a day in advance, and sat my ass down to what was sure to be the one movie everyone was going to be talking about, and for good.


Right when the Lucasfilm logo showed up, I, and the rest of my audience, was immediately hooked. The overall sense of exhilaration, joy, and adventure was too irresistible, and it pretty much became the only movie on my mind for months. Characters like Rey and Finn were people I looked up to for their bravery and independence, something I wish I could obtain so easily. The sense of fun was incredible, and made me want to go out on my own adventure, exploring new and unique worlds. It made me even think about my relationship with my parents, as I sympathized with the plight of Kylo Ren, before the terrible act of killing his father, making it a cautionary tale before I go off to college and become a working adult. And the cliffhanger ending gave me so much exhilaration and excitement for the next movie, that I am still miffed that I have to wait 1.5 more years for Episode 8.


So in short, the general enthusiasm throughout the Internet and my community that hadn't been seen since The Avengers, the movie's impact on me as a young man about to leave high school, and it introducing me to an absolutely amazing franchise helped cement The Force Awakens as a modern classic in my eyes, and something that is incredibly meaningful to my life, even if it isn't a year old yet.

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Really good list so far. anything with star wars in it gets pass in my book. nice write ups too.

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Yea, your writing for a (I think you said you are 16) 16 year old is really quite good.  


Now hurry up and get some more out. :)

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4 hours ago, Baumer said:

Yea, your writing for a (I think you said you are 16) 16 year old is really quite good.  


Now hurry up and get some more out. :)


18 Baumer. he said 18.5 years. 

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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Directed by Steven Spielberg

"I'll be...right here"


Box Office: 435.1M Domestic Lifetime, 792.9M Worldwide

IMDB Summary: A troubled child summons the courage to help a friendly alien escape Earth and return to his home-world.

Why It's Meaningful to Me: Now unlike most people, I did not grow up with this movie as a child. I had certainly heard about it, but I never had much interest in actually seeing it. It wasn't until my teenage years that I watched the film for the first time, and much like the youth that watched it back in 1982, as well as the youth of today, I instantly fell in love with one of the most endearing and beautiful stories ever put on screen.


The film's success mainly comes to its universal themes, which can connect to people in many different ways. I didn't grow up with my parents divorced, but Elliott's loneliness and his sibling rivalry with Michael? It's like looking at myself in a mirror. The intense friendship Elliott and ET share? Many of my relationships in a nutshell. The importance of growing up and leaving things behind? Something that I had struggled with, but now bravely conquered.


What I've always admired about Steven Spielberg, even in his more adult works, is his incredible sense of wonder. Very few directors can capture his portrayal of joy, adventure, and whimsy, and even those who come close can never quite reach it. He has a clear understanding on emotion, and giving the audience personal investment. His understanding of childhood and how kids act and respond to the world, and E.T. is the perfect example of that, showing natural portrayals of youth as they experience beauty, danger, and growth.


In fact, speaking of kids, what makes E.T. even more special to me is how such a film is able to appeal to all ages and demographics with equal amounts of enjoyment. I'm a firm believer that the most important genre of all films is the family film. Children are our future, and as such, important values and good taste are necessary to create smart, well-rounded individuals. And since art and entertainment plays a heavy part on how society and individuals are shaped, having strong films that are able to appeal to children are necessary to shape them up to adulthood. A good chunk of the movies I watched as a kid and still love to this day certainly helped define my interests and my personality. Thankfully, Spielberg knew what he was doing and managed to tell about the importance of family, friendship, and courage to impressionable minds in a way that's exciting, funny, and heartwarming all at the same time.

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South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut

Directed by Trey Parker

"We must blame them and cause a fuss before someone thinks of blaming us."


Box Office: $52M Domestic, $83.1M Worldwide

IMDB Summary: When the four boys see an R-rated movie featuring Canadians Terrance & Phillip, they are pronounced "corrupted", and their parents pressure the United States to wage war against Canada.

Why It's Meaningful to Me: Outside of being absolutely hilarious, what I love about this movie is because of the main driving force: Trey Parker and Matt Stone. Say what you will about some of their works, but no other duo in Hollywood is as clever, as smart, as daring, and most importantly, as funny. This movie, based off of a series that's entire premise involved lampooning and satirizing topics and current events in society, tackled censorship, soccer moms, scapegoating, homosexuality, and more in an 81-minute bonanza, filled with hilarious joke after hilarious joke, and brilliant social commentary as portrayed through their horrific, yet oddly endearing characters, and brilliant songs.


But again, the true stars here are Trey & Matt. As stated before, I love this duo, but what really makes them such incredible figures in the entertainment industry is their own self-expression, that being "I don't care what you think". These guys don't have interest in sponsorships, or appealing to a certain crowd, or trying not to offend anyone. They just make whatever they feel is funny, and whatever they feel is right to say. They are no holds barred, and will tackle any and all groups, topics, and issues without a care in the world. Such bravery and independence, straying far away from being bought out or thinking about other people's feelings, is something that many artists could never do, and even some satirists likely couldn't do, at least not of the same wit and talent as these gentlemen.


Of course, Trey & Matt are better known for their work in television and theater, and both are exceptional in many ways, but I feel Bigger, Longer, & Uncut could be their magnum opus. All of their talents, from songwriting, to comedy, to political satire, is all here and all done flawlessly. Songs like "Blame Canada" and "Kyle's Mom's a Bitch" are insanely catchy, almost every character from the show is given their time to shine, and the celebrity cameos are just perfect.


Parker and Stone are two of my personal heroes, and where they shine best is a movie that has Satan and Saddam Hussein as a couple.

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 Bigger, Longer and Uncut was the moment that South Park went from immature silliness to hilarious satire in my eyes. 


It was also the first thing I ever watched on DVD, (Followed by Mystery Men and 7 Years in Tibet) 

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