Continuing from last time, movies 7-1
7. Fargo: The most recent addition to the National Film Registry, Fargo takes place in North Dakota and Minnesota. The film in itself is entertaining, funny, and pretty smart. Plus its nice to see some “forgotten” states make it to the big screen. Outside of a stellar cast one main character is the setting. Vast fields of frozen tundra and local accents help to the films strengths as a dark comedy. Without giving too much away just imagine a 7-month pregnant woman tracking a killer by is bright red blood in snow while saying “Dontchya.”
6. Jesus Camp: Jesus Camp follows Becky Fischer and her ministry, Kids in Ministry International and there “army of God,” and how democracy is bad because “we have to give everyone equal freedom.” When I first sat down to watch this movie I had an idea what to expect. However, when homeschooled children start preaching, girls have to check themselves to make sure their dancing, to heavy metal Christian music, is not “for the flesh,” I feel a little weird. The majority of the documentary follow kids from Missouri who are already devote Christians, while they are at “Kids on Fire School of Ministry.” As a pretty level headed person, who for the most part respects people’s values I found this documentary a little scary. I highly recommend it however! This film does an excellent job displaying how some people in this country feel about religion.
5. Wayne’s World: Like other movies on this list Wayne’s World is set in the Midwest, (Aurora, IL and Milwaukee, WI) is timeless, and honestly just try not to sing along to Queen in the opening. Detroit rocker Alice Cooper making a cameo only adds to Wayne’s World’s resume as an outstanding Midwest movie. If you take away all these Midwest ties does the movie lose some appeal? Probably not. Does it add? Yes. 17 years after its initial release this movie still proves to be Mike Myers finest, and its nice other cities in Illinois get some publicity once and a while.
4. Might Ducks: Minneapolis lawyer gets a DUI, coaches PeeWee hockey team. Emilio at his finest. What makes this a great movie. Well it combines a few common factors. Sports, trouble family situation, and of course cold environments. As someone who used to play ice hockey on frozen lakes(granted back then I fell down more than anything) it was nice to see it in a movie. Mighty Ducks also provided inspiration. You may not be the biggest, the fastest, or the richest, but as long as you have heart you could do anything. Can not get any more Midwest than that right?
3. Blues Brothers: Like Wayne’s World former SNL alum John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd bring their sketch to the big screen. Laughs and musical cameos/performances are plenty(See Dixy Square Mall scene and Sweet Home Chicago) Illinois Catholics, Nazis, police, and other city members all contribute to the plot. Wrigley Field provides for a few laughs too. If you have not seen this classic…what are you waiting for go now.
2. Hoosiers: Earlier this year I released a Sports Movies List, and was criticized for not having Hoosiers as number 1. In this list I can redeem myself. When I watch Hoosiers I see more than the basic plot behind Indiana basketball. I see a tale of redemption and acceptance. Hoosiers is more than just a great sports movie, its a great movie. The movie takes some liberties in order to boost the plot, but overall the story is based on the 1954 Milan High School State Champions. This movie continues to exemplify Indiana’s love for basketball. I honestly cannot think of a time I have passed by a block of houses and have not seen a basketball hoop of any kind.
1: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off: Lets face it. We all wanted to just take the day off. Call of work, skip school and just go on a day long adventure. For those of us born after 1985 no cinema character embodies this spirit the way Ferris Bueller does. Early on in the film the audience is warned “life moves by pretty fast, if you don’t stop to enjoy it once and a while you might miss it.” What a quote, what a true Midwest Man quote. Ferris embodies the free spirit in all of us. Cameron, his reluctant side-kick, sadly resembles that voice that tells us to be adults. Sure this makes the movie connect to anyone anywhere. It is not only the attitude that Ferris has but where his constitution takes him. The city of Chicago. Personal confession, I have skipped school to go to Chicago. Sorry teachers and parents.
The film is said to be a love letter to the city from writer director John Hughes. Ferris spends his day off of school doing what many people I know have done. Thats what makes this movie such a great Midwest movie. Its ability to connect with its audience. No matter what, everyone still remembers how much they hated high school, even if it was for just one day. That one day where nothing goes right, we still had a choice, stop for a second and check out life. Ferris gave that to us. Even to this day I still recite Bueller lines at Cubs games, stare endlessly at “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte”, and admire the view from Sears Tower, yes I know its no longer Sears…too bad.
Well, the list is done. What, your still here? Its over, go home.