The 5: Popcorn Movies


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?

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75 comments
MatthewAyers
MatthewAyers

The fact that Star Wars (the original film and not Episodes 1-3) is not in the top 10 of the AFI greatest films of all time is one of the greatest travesties in history.  Below are the criteria for judging the films.  Unless I am incorrect Star Wars blows all other films away in 6 out of 7 categories, yet the film is only 15 out of 100.  If you take these criteria at face value Star Wars should be higher than fifteenth.   

  1. Feature length: Narrative format, at least 40 minutes long.
  2. American film: English language, with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States. (Certain films, notably The Bridge on the River Kwai, 2001: A Space Odyssey and Lawrence of Arabia, were British-made but funded and distributed by American studios.)
  3. Critical recognition: Formal commendation in print.
  4. Major award winner: Recognition from competitive events including awards from organizations in the film community and major film festivals.
  5. Popularity over time: Including figures for box office adjusted for inflation, television broadcasts and syndication, and home video sales and rentals.
  6. Historical significance: A film's mark on the history of the moving image through technical innovation, visionary narrative devices or other groundbreaking achievements.
  7. Cultural impact: A film's mark on American society in matters of style and substance.

SkiBum
SkiBum

Blue Crush is my favorite "Popcorn Movie". I watched the first time because I thought it was doing to be a boob fest. Much to my surprise, there is a lot of substance..............

BigRigRichard
BigRigRichard

disney pixar is probably one of the leading money makers of all time, and not one of their movies make the list? how is this possible

YotaruVegeta
YotaruVegeta

AVENGERS. Mutha-FUCK Happy Typing Girl! Roll your eyes at that, HTG!!!

tommy-o
tommy-o

Seriously, how could you not include Krzysztof Kieslowski's "The Decalogue"???   

TyWanon
TyWanon

Love Jaws ..but won't watch it again.....Going to the Shore this summer and want to be able to swim in the ocean without freaking out everytime something touches my leg

bmqq316
bmqq316

Big Trouble in Little China...Jack Burton was the loudmouth sidekick who really didn't do anything. 

CJF303
CJF303

Airplane!  Surely you're not serious.

 

Cletus from Brooklyn
Cletus from Brooklyn

How is Hercules in NY not on this list. It's has the greatest body builder becomes movie star becomes elected official of all times .See how ridiculous it is when you make up your own categories people...

tfor3
tfor3

To echo the one call earlier I think Burton's Batman should be here.  I was 12 at the time and everyone in my class had at least 3-4 Batman shirts months before the movie even came out.

harlequincy
harlequincy

"Honey, I shrunk the Kids" couldn't ask for more corn.

harlequincy
harlequincy

Transformers (2007) even though the franchise is now a joke.

Narc Zito
Narc Zito

How about the whole Police Academy series?

DeathProof
DeathProof

Ghostbusters and Back to the Future! For sure!

44daddy
44daddy

You say Beverley hills cop but what about butch Cassidy and the sundance kid?

YotaruVegeta
YotaruVegeta

@MatthewAyers Why should the film be top 5? To battle against ALL of the greatest films ever, I would be happy that it's in the top 20. If the history of film started in the mid-70s, then maybe it would be top 10, or 5. I think it shows your disrespect for all other film, not their disrespect for Star Wars. 

 Let's not act like we need to cheer-lead a film that turned into a multi-billion dollar franchise, as if it's a little film no one's heard of. It's gotten its respect. Everyone knows Star Wars, and a ton of people love it. To care about some arbitrary placement on a list is so fanboyish.

YotaruVegeta
YotaruVegeta

 @BigRigRichard You have to consider who's submitting this, if the people on the show who were the ones that created this list. With most of the people on the radio show, they're not into cartoons, no matter how good.

Vickroy
Vickroy

@harlequincy Was just going to post that. The first one is tons of fun and can be watched over and over