A lot of readers have commented since I started my blog that I tend to reference a lot of movies in my talent acquisition posts. This is of course very true – and intentional. I believe most of what is out there today in the recruiting blogosphere is way too dry and not entertaining. Great content for sure in a lot of cases, but if I am bored to tears reading it then, at least for me, it doesn’t really resonate. Why can’t it be both fun and informative? Some of the folks I get messages from asked me to write a post on my top 5 movies of all time. As this has nothing to do with Talent Acquisition and is something I am incredibly passionate about outside of my work I thought it would be fun to write. Please note – this is purely based on MY favorite films – and I am sure a lot of these won’t be appearing in any notable movie critic’s top 5 lists anywhere. Here goes:
1. The Karate Kid – in this writer’s opinion, the finest film ever made. Pat Morita as Miyagi was a performance for the ages, and the relationship with Daniel-san was touching and meaningful. The tournament scene alone is chills city, and of course the movie is made by the classic 80s villainess of Billy Zabka as Johnny Lawrence. This guy was born to play a jerk and a bully. If that isn’t enough – they throw in John Kreese, the evil sensei who has some of the most memorable villain quotes ever. His one on one dialogue with Miyagi in the Cobra Kai dojo is great stuff. The soundtrack really supports the movie too. Everyone of course loves (and me too) “You’re the Best” during the All Valley tournament, but the best song in the movie is the training montage song in my opinion. Just a beautiful tune set to amazing shots of Daniel-san learning “balance” on a boat and on the beach practicing the crane kick. Last note – if the end of this movie does not move you then you have no soul. Best line of the movie: “You’re a pushy little bastard, ain’t ya? But I like that. I like that! All right. No one touches the prima donna until the tournament. Is that understood?” – John Kreese
2. Superman II – Superhero movies are all the rage today. I love the DC and Marvel movies of late – but for me THIS is the best superhero movie of all time. Critics of Superman movies complain that he never has any true rivals or villains to go against. Not the case in this movie, as he faces off against three Kryptonian baddies with the same powers he has. They are led by General Zod, played by Terrance Stamp, in perhaps my favorite villain performance of all time. Zod and his two allies, Non and Ursa – set to earth to rule as they could not on their home planet. Superman is never much of an underdog in his movies, but in this movie he is. Not just because he is outnumbered, but because during the movie he also temporarily gives up his powers to be with Lois Lane, unbeknownst to him that Zod et al are wreaking havoc. The epic fight scene in Metropolis is still one of the best superhero fight scenes ever, and the superman theme playing as he arrives out of the blue to the rescue at the Daily Planet is nerdgasm city. Best line of the movie: “I am General Zod. Your ruler. Yes, today begins a new order. Your lands, your possessions, your very lives, will gladly be given in tribute to me, General Zod! In return for your obedience you will enjoy my generous protection. In other words you will be allowed to live.” – General Zod
3. The Natural – this movie is just beautiful. Every shot looks gorgeous and takes you back to a time where baseball was everything in America. The story of Roy Hobbs is one of promise, heartbreak and redemption. A 40+ year old rookie reclaiming his greatness that was taken from him? Awesome stuff. Robert Redford is great as Roy Hobbs but in my mind the character that steals the movie is Pop Fisher – manager of the New York Knights. He at first is against Hobbs and sees him as a joke, only to come around to Hobbs as a person and as a ball player. The shot of Pop Fisher in the dugout, reflection of the crashing lights in his glasses as Hobbs rounds the bases after the classic final home run, still gets me every time. And of course – that final home run scene with the amazing soundtrack by Randy Newman. Wow. Best line of the movie: “Well you’re better than any player I ever had. And you’re the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up.” – Pop Fisher
4. The Empire Strikes Back – for those who know me – I bet seeing this as #4 and not #1 comes as a bit of a surprise. I LOVE this movie – but the top 3 slightly edge it out in my mind – slightly. This is easily the best of the Star Wars movies – for several reasons. First off – it is the darkest of any Star Wars movies to date. Secondly – this is where we start to see Luke come in to his own. And third – the bombshell of Vader as Luke’s father. Han Solo has never been cooler than with his “I know” after Leia telling him she loves him as he is about to be frozen in carbonite. Boba Fett gets some play, Lando Calrissian and the smoothness of the Colt 45 gets introduced, but the epic Vader vs. Luke light saber fight at the end seals the deal. No happy endings in this movie folks. Best line of the movie: “Impressive. Most impressive. Obi-Wan has taught you well. You have controlled your fear. Now, release your anger. Only your hatred can destroy me.” – Darth Vader
5. Goodfellas – this was tough for me, as I love Godfather I and II. But if I had to, gun to my head (pun intended) choose one mob movie in my top 5 , Goodfellas has to be it. The story of Henry Hill’s rise through the ranks of the mafia is amazing, but this is not glamorous at all. Perhaps for the first time in movie history – these gangsters were portrayed as both scary and real. Henry had his “family” but he never could really trust any of them. Joe Pesci as Tommy steals the show (and won an Oscar for it), but the character that owns this movie from my view is Paulie. Big Paulie, the mob chief, says little, but with every glance and movement he speaks volumes. That character hovers over everything these guys do without saying anything. Gritty, realistic, sometimes humorous and never boring – Goodfellas is my favorite mob movie ever. Best line of the movie: “Paulie may have moved slow, but it was only because Paulie didn’t have to move for anybody.” – Henry Hill
So there you have it. These are my personal favorites – what’s yours? Leave me your top 5 in the comments section below!