We are men, we love movies. And believe it or not, there are those movies we watch that actually inspire us. We see certain scenes that make us want to jump for joy, cheer out loud, or go take on the world. Here are some of the movies that change us, and why (warning: there are few romantic scenes in here).
1. Tombstone. Watching Kurt Russell as Wyatt Earp slapping Billy Bob Thornton’s face and daring him to slap leather will get a man’s blood racing every time. Why? We realize the moxy it would take to stand there unarmed and dare someone to be man enough to draw a gun that man knows we’re going to shove up his rear and pull the trigger of. Add to that the way Wyatt sticks up for his family. Someone hurts his brothers, he forms a posse and hunts them all down until they’re dead. Game over.
Val Kilmer’s Doc Holliday is a real treat as well. Even though he’s hacking up a lung for most of the film, he still exudes confidence and wit as he faces down Johnny Ringo and the other cowboys. And that final showdown? Amazing.
Guys love this film simply because it has it all. A strong sense of family, plenty of action, men who aren’t afraid to stand up for themselves despite overwhelming odds, and the good guy gets the pretty girl in the end. Real life in a perfect world.
The only potential downside to this flick is that you’ll have to listen to your man saying “I’m your huckleberry” for the next three days.
Bruce Willis became the ultimate action star to men in the 80’s with this film. He wasn’t in the best shape, he was losing his hair, he was having marriage problems…basically, he was most of the men in the audience. But when the time came he threw down and wasn’t afraid to take the fight to them.
This is the one movie you’ll find in almost every man’s top ten, and the reason why is no mystery. We love this movie simply because John McClane is the man we all hope we could be if we found ourselves in a building taken over by terrorists. The pressure mounts around him throughout the film, but he always takes it in stride and no matter when comes he keeps fighting back–and winning. Most guys would wet themselves if they had to look over the edge of a 50 story building and get ready to jump off with nothing but a water hose attached to them, but we all like to imagine that would be us if the need arose.
Another catchphrase in this film as well…though it’s doubtful he’ll be saying this one around the kids or pastor.
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark. What does a bullwhip-snapping archaeologist have that makes him something men pay attention to? A life of action and adventure. Indiana Jones is just an ordinary guy out to do something simply extraordinary with his life. If he succeeds, the good guys win. If he fails, the world suffers.
Any guy who saw this movie as a kid in the 80’s left that theater wondering where he could get a bullwhip and a fedora. 20 years later, anytime the credits roll on the film, we still wish we had them. You think I’m joking? Stand in a crowd and you’re almost guaranteed to find at least one guy with the “Raiders” theme song as his phone’s ringtone.
Why does this story stand out? While we basically live a drone life of work and home with a week’s vacation where the most exotic thing we see is Disneyworld, Indiana Jones is waking up in a new country every week, running for his life from Nazis before lunch, and saving the world before dinner. He’s the adventurer we all wish we could be. He’s the life of excitement we all wish we had. If adventure had a name…it would be us.
4. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation (or any of the “Vacation” films). Clark W. Griswold just can’t get it right. No matter how hard he tries, his “nice family trips” always end in disaster. Something bad always happens to him, and he never gets it right. So why would this type of movie define a man? Because we always see ourselves in Clark.
Yes, we may imagine life as Wyatt Earp or Indiana Jones, but truth be told we’re mostly just Clark Griswold, trying to survive the holidays or vacations with our dignity intact. We go on trips we can hardly afford to places we don’t want to be and spend time with relatives we don’t really know. We try to look cool, but oftentimes we end up looking anything but. Truth is, we’re just trying to be a dad who is fondly remembered by his kids when they start their own holiday memories years from now.
Of course, if Christie Brinkley (or whatever her modern-day equivilent would be) ever wanted to go skinny dipping in a hotel pool with us in the middle of the night, I’d like to think we could keep our mouths shut no matter how cold the water was.