The below video was kind of a huge juke, since I never actually answered the titular question.
As such, below the below video, I’ve listed and explained the actual 8 most important movies of my life, at least as of today.
Watch this first, since it still contains valuable information.
One thing to note – these aren’t my 8 favorite movies, just the 8 I feel are the most important. Influential is probably a more precise term – these are part of why I write the way I write, and part of why I like the things I like.
In no particular order:
Back to the Future
Simply my all-time favorite movie. It has everything I love, from time travel to comedy to an amazing, distinctive score that wouldn’t work for anything else. (The 80s had to be the best time for movie themes, right?)
Back to the Future: Part 2
The intricacies involved in weaving this story through and revisiting the first one kinda blew my mind, and was the most literal translation to screen of the types of stories I liked in comic books at the time.
This introduced me to the idea of the iconic movie star, a concept I love.
Return of the Jedi
Luke in his black Jedi outfit was one of the stand-out images of my childhood. I also think this is where I first started to understand the concept that characters could grow and change.
If you know anything about me, you’re thinking this should be Die Hard, but Hudson Hawk is what I consider Classic Bruce Willis.
I’ll always hold that this is totally underrated. It’s punished because people expected Die Hard 2, but this succeeds as the screwball adventure comedy it sets out to be.
I don’t know that I’d cite it as a direct influence on anything I’ve done, but it’s not afraid to be outlandish and weird, while also having huge stakes that it takes seriously within its own world.
There’s a balance I admire between “this is the dumbest thing I’ve ever seen” and “omg I hope everything’s going to be okay”.
This you can cite as a direct influence. I have no idea when I first saw it, but…yeah.
This was (in my young mind) the first time something I loved was taken seriously by the general public. I took personal responsibility for this movie, i.e. if someone didn’t like it, I felt it was my fault.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Obviously great in 400+ ways, but the thing that hit me was that you could just throw a musical number into the middle of a “normal” movie. I’ve repeatedly tried to replicate this in so many things I’ve written, and it’s tied right to Ferris Bueller.
Honorable mentions: Die Hard, Cobra, Superman: The Movie