Thank You Television, For Airing These Movies Ad Infinitum

10. The Ten Commandments

Why you keep watching: It's a big vanity project about Moses, starring the whitest actor ever as Moses, shown annually in prime time on network television for eternity.


The Taglines: "The Greatest Event in Motion Picture History" OR "It would take more than a man to lead the slaves from bondage. It would take a God."

Adjusted for inflation, one of the highest-grossing movies ever.

Fidel Castro may (or may not) have been in it.

9. Cocktail

It's an undeniably awful movie with a beyond-absurd premise that is just fun to watch. There was a time when we didn't think of Tom Cruise as a crazy guy. (Although this does feature his standing-on-the-bar poetry...)

8. The Jerk

Steve Martin's latter-day missteps (virtually everything he's done in the last ten years - especially Bringing Down the House and the Cheaper by the Dozen movies), can't mar this gem. His duet with Bernadette Peters (with an amazing trumpet solo) on You Belong to Me is the kind of thing that makes me love movies.

7. The Naked Gun (and 2 1/2 and 33 1/3)

Like a hamburger or hot chocolate are comfort food, this is a comfort movie. Undeniably goofy. Unapologetically offensive. And utterly brilliant. (And... O.J. Simpson!)

6. Major League (and Rudy)

Both of these movies earn bonus points for their casting. Major League has an amazing collection of guys in their 80s prime (Sheen,, Berenger), guys who became big later (Haysbert, Snipes), and hey it's that guys (Chelcie Ross, James Gammon)... and Bob Uecker. Rudy's got major stars before they became big (Jon Favreau, and the "performance" of Vince Vaughn), character actors (Lili Taylor, Ned Beatty)... and everyone's favorite underdog (and current head of CTU), Sean Astin.

But what really makes them worth watching over and over: you can't help but get a little teary-eyed when they finally reach the top of their mountain.

5. Dazed and Confused

During a summer in college, my best friend and I barely had jobs, and spent our lives playing video games, doing drugs, and watching this movie over and over. The music can get kind of lame, but Wiley Wiggins's pushing his hair back doesn't.

4. Ghostbusters (and Ghostbusters II)

Ghostbusters is one of those cases in the 80s where they made an action-comedy and everything just fell into place. Sure the special effects suck, but goddamn if I can't think of a single person who doesn't love this movie.

However... Ghostbusters II is the true gem, since it's awful. Truly awful. In some sense it could fall into the "Fuck You" category. But if you don't get goosebumps when Higher and Higher (by Howard Huntsberry???) and the Pointer Sisters blare from the top of a walking statue of liberty, curing all the ills in Manhattan, you're inhuman.

3. Big

There was a time a few years ago, when I couldn't stand Tom hanks. Everything about him bugged me. His all-Americanness, his Oscars, his romantic comedies. And then I saw this on TV again, and I just felt good about life, and thought, "Bravo Tom Hanks, bravo."

2. Saturday Night Fever

Because it reminds you that John Travolta has charisma. A lot of it. Because the dance scenes are... spectacular. Because the Beegees are great. And, because it's actually a good movie - not a guilty pleasure.

1. The Karate Kid

Everything about this movie works for repeated viewings:
-Unintentional comedy: the soccer scene, the creepily-homosexual relationship between Daniel and Miyagi, Cobra Kai.
-Seminal movie lines: "Sweep the leg, johnny," "Wax on, wax off."
-An amazing soundtrack, including: "(Bop Bop) On the Beach" by The Flirts and Jan and Dean, "Desire" by Gang of Four, Commuter's "Young Hearts," and the seminal "You're the Best" by Joe Esposito
-80's specific movie stars: Ralph Macchio, Elisabeth Shue, Chiaki "Pat" Morita, William Zabka.

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