EDITORIAL: The required movies on a man's Pinterest page
Recently, we've all been noticing the surging popularity of Pinterest, the social media bulletin board site designed for users to post, "pin," and share their many favorites and interests. From recipes and DIY projects to E-cards and wacky photos, Pinterest offers fun personalization for its members and followers. Championed predominantly by women, it has quickly become another 21st century social media phenomenon for trendiness and connectivity, right there with Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, Tumblr, and Instagram.
Pinterest's one hitch has been its nearly one-sided, female-skewing appeal. It's labeled as a "chick thing." Some would argue that's the site's niche rather than hitch. Personally, I'm all for ladies sharing their interests, but, like Brad Paisley sings, "I'm still a guy." Despite encouragement from friends as their local movie guru and the possibility of a wider audience for both my blog and my writing on Examiner.com through Pinterest, you're not going to see me on there any time soon. The guys of the computer world have answered with male-skewing Pinterest look-a-likes Gentlemint and Manintersting. Those might tempt me some, but it's going to take some arm-twisting.
The gender stigma and battle-of-the-sexes divide creates fun conversation, jokes, and sarcasm, which is where I'm going with this editorial. Instead of cupcake recipes and scrap-booking tips, what would a man's Pinterest page look like? What movies would make their boards? Well, as one of the proud Tim Taylor-esque cavemen out there, I offer, should a man ever venture onto Pinterest, Gentlemint, or Manintersing, the movies that are required on every man's Pinterest board. Since cookies come in dozens, I limited my list to a baker's dozen of 13 (though genre picks and ties stretch the list). These are not suggestions. These are man-card requirements. By all means, gentleman and ladies, share, comment, and add to this list because we all know there's more than a dozen. (Warning: many of the clips and links have violence and strong language)
13. Under Siege-- I'm convinced that between Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal that you either like one or the other. Well, give me Seagal purely based on Under Siege. Violence, nudity, military "ooo-rah" machismo, and a great Tommy Lee Jones villain make it better than anything JCVD has on his resume. You can keep Bloodsport and Hard Target. Give me Chef Ryback. (trailer)
12. Smokey and the Bandit-- Even if you are too young (as I am for the most part) to remember Burt Reynolds in his prime, he was the essence of cool. The pinnacle of his southern-fried appeal was Smokey and the Bandit. We wouldn't have the country coolness of Matthew McConaughey or the hilarious badass-ness of Danny McBride without Reynolds paving the way 35 years ago with his Trans Am, mustache, and open-collared red shirt and hat. (trailer)
11. The Rocky series--Sylvester Stallone counts as manly and cool (he'll come back later in the Top 5) and the best underdog story every put to cinema deserves a spot on this list. His Rocky movies are guilty pleasures of all guys. We dig the bad 80's music, know all of the lines, run up random long stairways, and jab anything we think can take a punch like a side of beef when no one's looking. All of us real men hear Mickey and Apollo Creed's voices in our head. (the classic training montage).
10. Arnold Schwarzenegger movies-- The "Austrian Oak" and all of his shouted lines trump Seagal and Van Damme. His movies, whatever your taste fromCommando and The Running Man to Predator and the Terminator series, are manly musts. However, this Pinterest group of Schwarzenegger movies slips to this #10 spot because of some equally terrible efforts (Junior, Twins, Jingle All the Way, Batman and Robin, etc.) that bruise his legacy. (montage of 160 Arnold quotes)
9. Black Hawk Down and Saving Private Ryan-- Of all of the military movies, I couldn't break a tie between Ridley Scott'sBlack Hawk Down or Steven Spielberg's Saving Private Ryan. The true story and absolute courage and valor behind Black Hawk Down is remarkable in an astoundingly powerful movie with wall-to-wall action. Also, the military brotherhood, leadership, and pride is unmatched by other movies compared to Saving Private Ryan. I could have cheated and put "military movies" as an entire genre pin (see later in the Top 5), but these two are so much better than a lot of average movies behind them. (trailer and trailer)
8. The James Bond series-- Fast cars, fast women, fast lines, martinis, guns, gadgets and stylish threads solidify the James Bond series as requirements for a man's Pinterest page. Of the 22 films over 40+ years, take your pick of star or stunts. Every man has dreamed of the secret agent lifestyle thanks to Mr. Bond. Sorry, Ethan Hunt and the Mission: Impossible series. You will always be second to the man with a license to kill. (140 great Bond lines)
7. (tie) Old School and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy-- I will start the argument now that both of these comedies are superior in the manly department to classics like Caddyshack, Animal House, and Blazing Saddles. If I could, I would lather a Pinterest board with most of Todd Phillips' filmography (The Hangover series, Road Trip), but Old School is his comedic masterpiece of manliness and boys-being-boys. Between the fraternity wannabes there and San Diego's Channel 5 News team from Anchorman, these two movies constitute a huge amount of the jokes and quotes that we guys use and you girls just don't get. I, for one, can't wait for the recently-announced Anchorman sequel. Will Ferrell will soon have his own category on a list like this. (trailer and trailer) (Will Ferrell's best lines)
6. The Indiana Jones series-- Is Dr. Henry Jones, Jr. more nerdy than manly? With Harrison Ford playing him, not a chance. He's a book nerd and professor who carries a whip and a gun for goodness sake! He fights armies, packs a punch, finds treasures, and gets the girl. He makes fedoras and satchels cool. While Harrison Ford delivers many manly performances as space scoundrels (Han Solo) and even the leader of the free world (Air Force One), Indiana Jones is his best. (best moments montage)
5. (TIE)-- Braveheart and Gladiator--These two bloody classics and multiple Oscar winners are too close to call or separate. Call it a tie. Braveheart is Mel Gibson's best and stirs the patriotism inside of us men. Gladiator is also Russell Crowe's best and the elegant story of revenge is outstanding. Top notch for both drama and action, both movies make all of us men swing imaginary swords with umbrellas, baseball bats, sticks, and empty cardboard wrapping paper tubes that you ladies try to throw away before we can properly use to hurt someone with. (trailer and trailer)
4. The Rambo series-- Few things are more destructively manly and entertaining than Sylvester Stallone, a modern Bowie knife, and unlimited fully-automatic movie ammunition. He's an ass-kicker of the highest authority. I personally love how the body count from the four movies in the series grows from 1, 69, 132, to a whopping 236 in 2008's Rambo. That's 2.59 deaths per minute! (see 210 of them)
3. Westerns-- Not liking westerns doesn't just make you less of a man, it might just be un-American. From catalogs of classics by John Wayne and Clint Eastwood to singular greats like Shane and 3:10 to Yuma, the grit and toughness of the epitome of manliness. I know picking an entire genre isn't being specific (#2 is no better), but it's impossible to narrow the western genre to just one movie or star for this list. Go ahead and pin the whole Western shelf and most of Clint's best lines , both western and non-western.
2. Gangster films-- Like westerns, gangster and crime movies are absolute musts in the interests of all men. With old roots to Humphrey Bogart movies like The Maltese Falcon, this genre gets its strength from the trinity of The Godfather, Goodfellas , and Scarface and spreads to contemporaries like The Departed, Heat (shootout and restaurant scenes could make this list without the rest of the movie), and The Boondock Saints. Ask yourself this: Have you ever seen a man turn the channel from a gangster movie? If you have, send me his address so that I can drive there and punch him in the face.
1. The Die Hard series-- While it's hard to make an argument of anything being more manly than John Rambo, westerns, and gangster films, I think Bruce Willis' John McClane tops them all. He's as manly as they get. He walks the walk and talks the talk. Not only does he represent the lone-man-against-many-and-all-odds character like Rambo or a western, McClane is a righteous cop that's ten times better than Mel Gibson in any Lethal Weapon movie and (sadly) better than Clint Eastwood's Dirty Harry. The icing on the cake that puts him on top is the dialogue. Not only does he act like a man, he talks like a man, sarcasm, profanity, and all. Stoicism is out the window with Bruce Willis here. (best lines montage)
There you have it. That's my list and it was very difficult to narrow it to a baker's dozen, even with ties and cheats. No Shawshank Redemption. I'm sure Mr. Skin has a whole encyclopedia of his titillating choices. Sentimental, yet manly, sports movies (Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, The Natural, The Sandlot, Rudy, and more), outside of Rocky, missed the cut. I couldn't find a spot for Fight Club or other twisty thrillers like Seven or the works of Christopher Nolan (Memento, The Prestige, his Batman series). There are no Tom Cruise or non-western Clint Eastwood movies either. Science fiction and genre greats (Star Wars trilogies, The Lord of the Rings trilogy, superhero movies) couldn't crack the list, and I'm sure there's a horror movie or cop movie or two that I'm missing. This is a topic wide open for discussion. Please share your picks!