This Week on the 5: Popcorn Movies that Were Also Great Movies
Everyone loves a Popcorn movie; the big blockbuster– usually released in summer– that is fun, exciting, and mass appeal. It’s the kind of movie where you don’t have to think too much, you can just go to the theater, eat your popcorn and get a thrill or a laugh, and see some cool effects or maybe some explosions. Lately it seems like more and more blockbusters are nothing but fluff. All flash zero substance, with giant plot holes, inconsistencies, and a lot of laziness covered up with giant explosion and transforming robots. People make the excuse that hey, it’ s a popcorn movie, it’s not supposed to be perfect, but it wasn’t always that way. Once upon a time a blockbuster could be fun and great and still have people line up around the block on opening weekend. We came up with a long list of great popcorn movies and then narrowed it down to 5. Here are our picks. Let us know yours.
- King Kong. It was bigger than life and we were all willing to throw away logic and believe that a giant ape could be running around loose in Manhattan. There was action, there were special effects, screams and everything you want in a popcorn movie– and it was still a great movie, loved by critics and audiences, even today. In fact in 1991 it was chosen by the Library of Congress to be a part of our National Film Registry because of its cultural and historical significance. AFI ranks it #43 of the 100 greatest films of all time. Directed by Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack
- Jaws. Directed by Stephen Spielberg, it was the first big summer blockbuster film and in many consider Jaws, the blueprint for the modern summer blockbuster. It was the highest grossing film of its time, it won three Academy Awards and a Grammy, and you’ll find Jaws on any list of greatest movies of all time, proving you can be smart and mass appeal at the same time. It is also a part of the National Film Registry and AFI ranks it #56 of the 100 greatest films of all time.
- Terminator 2. Directed by James Cameron, Terminator 2 was a breakthrough film in many ways. It brought us all sci fi you could possibly want, action, amazing special effects, and even plenty of explosion, and it was also seamless. No holes. No eye rolling. Instead it had surprises and kept you on the edge of your seat. The bad guy became the good guy? Nobody saw that coming. AFI ranks it #77 of the 100 greatest films of all time.
- Star Wars. Directed by George Lucas, and undoubtedly one of the most influential films of all time in terms of its cultural reach. It quickly became the highest grossing film of its time, and of course, it took merchandising to a whole new level. Not only could you get the action toys from and the lunch box from this blockbuster film, but you could also get sheets, pillow cases, and anything else you could imagine. Fan participation hit a new level after Star Wars giving birth to entire industries. Star Wars was also a great film, winning 6 Academy Awards. It is a part of our National Film Registry and ranked #15 by AFI on their list of 100 greatest films.
- Beverly Hills Cop. Directed by Martin Brest. Action plus laughs, it was the perfect summer movie, and the long list of Comedy/Action films that followed is endless. And it was a great film. Genuinely funny, not just full of stock cop jokes. It set the stage for some of our other great popcorn comedy/action series that followed like Die Hard and Lethal Weapon. It also inspired many of our not so great popcorn/action film series which shall remain nameless. It was the second highest grossing film worldwide, of all time, for 25 years, and still remains the third highest grossing R rated film of all time.
What are your picks for the best popcorn movies all time?