Heroes and Villains: Celebrating Movie Anniversaries

I don’t know if there’s such a thing as the dog days of January, but if there is…we’re in them. The holidays are solidly over, we’ve all returned to our 9 to 5 jobs, people have finally stopped talking about Bird Box and Bandersnatch. What’s an internet columnist to talk about?

Honestly, there hasn’t been much in the way of NEW comics to spark my interest this week or last. So here I am in the unenviable position of having space to fill. Briefly, I though of writing about the contents of my backpack since I love reading those clickbait articles that are along the lines of “Here’s What People More Successful Than You Carry In Their Bags! Number 3 Will Shock You!” But the contents of my back pack, much like myself, are utilitarian and boring.

Mercifully, I stumbled upon a listicle of movies that are celebrating anniversaries this year AND some of them are a) comic book movies and 2) favorites of mine! Join me as I run down a bunch of great movies you should celebrate this year!

10 Year Club

X-Men Origins: Wolverine: The movie the reaffirmed there is a WRONG way to do an X-Men adaptation. It was notable for me because I stayed away from the theater for this one, only catching it on DVD much later…and I was glad I did.

Star Trek: Remember when J.J. Abrams Star Wars’d Star Trek and placed Jim Kirk on a hero’s journey that would make Campbell proud? I sure do! It was a great reboot of the Trek franchise that angered some old fans and brought in a whole bunch of new ones.

Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs: Oh, sure, you loved Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse, but did you know that Phil Lord and Chris Miller have been making kick ass animated filmed for a decade now? Well, now you do! This movie is a must if you’re a fan of Clone High.

Avatar: This movie…I didn’t see it in the theater so that may have slightly skewed my take on it. I recall friends taking in multiple viewings, taking elderly family members to go experience the amazing THIRD dimension of film. I’m not about to pen a hit piece on one of the most successful films of all time a decade after the fact…I’ll just say it took me three nights to watch the entire thing at home and leave it at that.

20 Year Club

Office Space: A movie so true to life I can’t view it any more because of its chilling accuracy.

The Matrix: I probably would remember this movie more fondly had the “Uhhhh, we always intended for it to be a trilogy!” talk hadn’t happened. The movie seemed to have a pretty definitive end and the next two movies seemed wholly unnecessary. But, hey, it gave us this video.

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace: I saw this movie FIVE TIMES in the theater. To my eternal shame, I had bribed someone to stand in line for me at the theater while I went to work. I was firmly of the opinion that SOME Star Wars was better than NO Star Wars. It had been sixteen years with no new movies so I had to make sure to financially support it or they may not make any more! I was in pretty big denial about the whole thing and bought every piece of licensed merchandise I could get my sweaty hands on. I still maintain that lightsaber duels were pretty cool.

The Blair Witch Project: Now THAT was a legitimate phenomenon. It was still the early days of the internet and people weren’t yet carrying around supercomputers in their pockets so a movie like this was able to exist. The audience reaction when the movie ended was like nothing I had experienced before or since.

30 Year Club

The ‘Burbs: Wow, it feels like I just wrote about this movie…Anyways, the fact that this cinematic masterpiece is celebrating 30 years makes all my joints hurt. “There go the goddamn brownies!”

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: You know, until we decide to do another one 20 years later.

Ghostbusters II: While it’s no Ghostbusters, it still gave us the cinematic genius of Peter MacNicol as Dr. Janosz Poha.

UHF: It’s at this point in the list that I feel comfortable ascribing the word “classic” to some of these and that’s what UHF is…a classic. It was a movie so good that Weird Al never had to make another one. It should be added to the National Film Archive. I mean, McDonald’s caters our White House events now so why the hell not?

Batman: Looking back at this list the summer of 1989 was an absolute monster summer for event movies and Batman was the one to beat them all. I can still recall the tense negotiations with my parents on the subject of if I was old enough to go to a PG-13 movie. Reason won out and I was surrendered into the clutches of Batmania. It took most of the rest of the summer for me to get my Batman symbol t-shirt which I literally wore until it began to disintegrate. Anton Furst’s designs for Burton’s Gotham City are still the gold standard upon which I will judge all other Gothams.

There you have it! A by no means complete guide to movies that are celebrating anniversaries this year. You may have notices I skipped over the 15 and 25 year marks, there were some good things to write about but I was worried that once I started on Stargate I wouldn’t have been able to stop. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to begin planning my February 17th black tie ‘Burbs party.

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