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KeeblerKahn’s Movie Seal of Approval

Three movies you should watch

I know that the three movies which I recommended in the “So Bad They are Good” post may not be to everyone’s taste. So today, I’m giving you three good movies that I think are under appreciated.

First up is a movie I love: Pleasantville.  If I had to make a list of my favorite movies, Pleasantville would be in the top ten.

The film is about a brother and sister, played by Tobey Maguire and Reese Witherspoon, who get sucked into a TV and get stuck in a 1950s TV show called Pleasantville. Pleasantville is Leave it to Beaver, Father Knows Best and Donna Reed all rolled into one. Maguire and Witherspoon portray the Parker children, Bud and Mary Sue, until they find a way out and back to real life. While on a date, Mary Sue has sex with the basketball star. Until that point no one in Pleasantville had ever had sex, and as word gets out things quickly start to spiral out of control.

The town of Pleasantville is the Garden of Eden. Everything is perfect and everyone knows their place. They go bowling and the women have their dinner on the table as soon as their husbands walk through the door. Mary Sue breaks the status quo, and suddenly people begin to ask questions. One of the main questions being, what’s outside of Pleasantville?

As people begin to have different experiences and question authority, color begins to sneak into their black and white world. As the colored people find new freedom, the black and white people feel threatened and try to maintain control of their pleasant lifestyle.

At its heart, Pleasantville tackles issues of racism, censorship, and freewill. Plus, the film is visually stunning. The movie stars Tobey Maguire, Reese Witherspoon, William H. Macy, Joan Allen, Jeff Daniels, Paul Walker, Marley Shelton and J. T. Walsh. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it. It’s a lot deeper than the movie trailer implies.

Next up we have Empire Records.

Empire Records is another day in the life of a band of misfits type movie. It has two things going for it that distinguishes it from other movies of this type. First is the cast. Anthony LaPaglia, Debi Mazar and Maxwell Caulfield play the adults but it’s the young stars that in some cases are just starting out in their careers that make it work. I’m talking about Liv Tyler, Renée Zellweger, Robin Tunney, Rory Cochrane, Ethan Embry, and Johnny Whitworth. The other thing it has working in its favor is a great 1990s soundtrack. Including songs from the Gin Blossoms with ‘Til I Hear It from You and Edwyn Collins with A Girl Like You.

Our last movie is Tremors. Now you may think this belongs in the “So Bad They are Good” category, and you might be right, but hear me out.

The thing that makes Tremors good is that it is a simple creature feature type movie from the 1950s just updated and with better effects. When I was a kid back in the 1970s and early 80s, we only had a handful of channels to watch. You kids today with your satellite TV and streaming video online should be thankful you weren’t around for the days of three channels, NBC, ABC and CBS. If you were lucky you could pick a local channel or two to give you some variety.

Having grown up watching the old monster movies, Tremors reminds me a lot of them. And you can’t go wrong with Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward as Val and Earl, the town’s handymen who are called upon to save the day. If that is not enough you have Michael Gross and Reba McEntire as survivalist gun nuts who never met a problem they couldn’t solve by shooting it.

I think they made four Tremors movie. I gave up on them half-way through the third movie. Skip the rest, but the first one is worth a look.

Now I know I said I was only giving you three movies but I would be remiss not to include a movie that is practically required viewing for Hags. The Princess Bride.

There are two things that will send a Hag off quoting. One is Saturday Night Live’s Celebrity Jeopardy. “I’ll take Famous Titties for 400.” The other is The Princess Bride. “Have fun stormin’ da castle.” Bravo has been running the Princess Bride so you might be able to catch it on sometime this week.

If you have some time this weekend and you are looking for a movie to watch, give one of these a try. Of all the movies I’ve recommended this week, Pleasantville gets my biggest three thumbs up endorsement, followed closely by The Princess Bride. If you do watch any of the movies I’ve recommended or have already seen them, let me know what you thought of them.

Let me know what some of your favorite movies that you think deserve a look are in the comment section below.


May 21, 2009 - Posted by | Movie Marquis, Wistful Lists | , , , , ,


  1. Oh, Keebler. I love every single one of these. I even found myself with a fleeting crush on Toby. But it was over pretty quickly. And to this very day I always watch Tremors and Princess Bride.

    Comment by cookiebees | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  2. Agreed. Agreed. Agreed. Love all three of these!

    Comment by Helen Skor | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  3. Moo!

    That’s what your mother said last night Trebek!

    Comment by baby fish mouth | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  4. No more rhyming now I mean it.

    Comment by baby fish mouth | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  5. Anybody want a peanut?

    Tremors gave me horrible nightmares for years. It’s just that good.

    Comment by TheHobo | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  6. Your answer is V, and you wagered… “Suck it, Trebek.”

    Mawwiage is what bwings us togevvah, today.
    Mawwiage, that bwessed awwangement,
    That dweam, wiffin a dweam!
    (My sister and I quoted the entire wedding speech to each other drunk at a bar once. We were the only ones enjoying it, but MAN, did we enjoy it.

    Comment by vodkafanta | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  7. Buck futter

    Comment by Lily the Pink | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  8. As you wish….

    Comment by queencrone | May 21, 2009 | Reply

  9. Rodents of Unusual Size? I don’t think they really exist.

    Comment by DonnaMartin | May 22, 2009 | Reply

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