I asked my dad, Charlie, today, “What’s
your favorite movie?”
Dad: “Don’t have any.”
Me: “Don’t have any?”
Dad: “Hell no!”
Doesn’t everybody have a favorite movie?
“Did you like James Dean growing up?” I asked, assuming the answer had to be “yes” based on his pompadour hairstyle in high school and his trademark white tee (worn with or without a dress shirt depending on the occasion).
Dad: “Yeah, I suppose. That’s old stuff (though).”
Okay, this was going to be a challenge! What movies would Charlie consider worthy of his rigid approval? I know he’s got a preset list that, if you ask, he’ll always watch no matter the time of day, what he’s doing, or how recently he saw it last. My goal, however, was to create a Charlie’s Top 5 Favorite Movies and I only had 4 sure things.
Me: “Humphrey Bogart?”
Dad: “Nah.” (said with a grimace)
Me: “The Rock?”
Dad: “The what?”
Me: “Chuck Norris movies?
Suddenly Charlie’s eyes lit up.
Dad: “Oh, they’re fine, I like them. In fact I’ve got one of the trilogies!”
Armed with Chuck-fueled gusto, Dad immediately dashed over to his limited DVD collection and made a brief, futile effort to hunt down the Missing In Action omnibus (they were probably in the cabinet whose door is conveniently obstructed by an enormous speaker). Had he been successful I have no doubt we would’ve been treated with a marathon after dinner.
So now, armed with the assistance of Chuck Norris, without further ado, I humbly present to you the reader:
Charlie’s Top 5 Favorite Movies!
First, an honorable mention must go out to: Charlton Heston’s The Ten Commandments and Greatest Story Ever Told. Every Easter, without fail, Dad has to watch one or both of these films. Though I definitely wouldn’t say Charlie is a particularly religious man (another tale for another time), in his mind it might be considered a once-a-year holy obligation. As for the rest of the year, he loves to declare, “Did you ever hear the one about John the Baptist?… The loaves and the fishes?…It was the greatest story ever told!”
#5 – Dave
As a somewhat obscure film from 1993, the imdb synopsis for Dave reads: “To avoid a potentially explosive scandal when the U.S. President goes into a coma, an affable temp agency owner with an uncanny resemblance, is put in his place.” I found it enjoyable (hard to go wrong with Kevin Kline and Sigourney Weaver), but was still surprised to learn Dave was nominated for an Oscar and 2 Golden Globes – not that frivolous awards mean anything to my dad. Charlie, on the other hand, has seen it at least 3 times this year and his only criticism is (spoiler alert!) he can’t figure out how they switched the bodies at the end. I keep trying to tell him it was magic, but I don’t think he’s buying.
While Arnold Schwarzenegger, or as my Dad likes to call him, Schwart-zen-cougher, is one of his favorite action stars, his non-homosexual love for the man seems to be limited to these two films. My best guess is Dad’s an even bigger fan of the female leads – Sharon Stone and Jamie Lee Curtis. He’s still a sucker for Arnie-related mayhem and catchphrases though. By the way, whatever you do, never mention the film Twins or else Dad will go on a day-long tirade about, “that crazy, little creep, Danny DeVito. Stupid!”
Put an even slightly over-sized knife in front of him on the table and Charlie will whip out his favorite movie quote: “That’s not a knife… That’s a knife!” Trips to the Outback Steakhouse alone…! While the first film is unquestionably Dad’s personal favorite, he’ll always be, deep down, a sucker for Paul Hogan movies. Crocodile Dundee 2, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, and the stand alone Almost An Angel all earned the honor of making Charlie’s aging DVD or VHS collections.
#2 – Short Circuit
Who knew a movie fronted by Steve Guttenberg would make anyone’s top five? Okay, that’s not fair. Even I can admit Cocoon was a classic back in the day. Plus the dude rocked Courtney Cox before she was a headliner so I suppose he deserves some credit. And did you know they’re going for Three Men and a Bride for 2012 as part of the ‘Three Men and a (fill in the blank here)’ franchise? The little baby/lady would be in her early 20s by now so it’s almost like they planned it that way… but I digress on this Steve Guttenberg-related tangent. As for Johnny 5, the original ranks pretty high in Dad’s eyes, while I’d be partial to the sequel myself. And on the topic of Charlie’s obsession with electronics, “Do not dissemble!” should be his official moniker.
#1 – Anything with Chuck Norris
From the aforementioned Missing In Action trilogy to Walker Texas Ranger, if it’s got the Chuckster handing out his roundhouse-kick brand of justice, Charlie is on the trolley. I can almost guarantee that he even marked out for Chuck’s cameo appearance in 1994 as The Undertaker’s official enforcer at the WWE PPV Buried Alive. “Double J” Jeff Jarrett sure gave one of the best stuntman sells ever for a boot to the jaw!
Bottom line: Like Dad, Norris has an old school style and often plays the strong and silent type. Maybe that’s what makes him Charlie’s personal hero. Or maybe it’s just cause the man gets his shit done without whining about it. You know what they say; Chuck Norris’ tears cure cancer. Too bad he never cries. I also have several unconfirmed reports that Chuck Norris was replaced as the original Jack Bauer in 24 when he managed to kill every terrorist and save the day in 12 minutes and 37 seconds without breaking a sweat… but then again, who’s ever heard of Jack Bauer?
So what’s you’re own top five? Would Charlie’s picks make your list? If you’re not a fan of any of the above (especially Anything with Chuck Norris), Charlie’d say you’re a nut who’s probably got a screw loose. But that’s okay. He’s got a mini wretch in his back pocket that’ll straighten ya right out!