Now and Then (1995) by Amanda Salazar
Not only did I watch this movie when I was younger, reminiscing about my childhood with my girlfriends but this movie is all about past to present and "the good ol' days." The film that will always remind me of my past is Now and Then. Perhaps it is the sleepovers that we had watching this film or even us deciding which character we were most like in the movie but I can't help thinking this film not only reminds me of my past but also of my best girlfriends. Yes, it falls under the category of chick flick but it is such a fun, nostalgic and well-made film that it is worth a view no matter what gender.
Now and Then is about four girlfriends that meet up to celebrate one of them being pregnant and they start talking about their past. It flashes back in time to show them as young teenagers and a summer that they spent together in 1970. The adult versions of the women are played by Demi Moore, Rosie O'Donnell, Melanie Griffith, and Rita Wilson, and some of their younger selves are played by Christina Ricci and Thora Birtch. The film does such a wonderful job capturing life as a young teenager with bike rides, sing-a-longs, lemonade, first kisses, and stuffing your bra. From the music to the costuming Now and Then does such a wonderful job at depicting a simpler life when they are younger; going back and forth between the older and younger selves only proves that life gets in the way of their uncomplicated past. This feel-good adventure film reminds us of the child in all of us but also examines that loving, familiar and powerful bond between girlfriends.
Do The Right Thing (1989) by Steve Geise
Public Enemy makes it easy to remember the time of Spike Lee's most classic film with the opening salvo of their anthemic song "Fight The Power": "1989/the number/another summer (get down!)/sound of the funky drummer." By the end of the title sequence featuring PE's explosive track and Rosie Perez's equally mesmerizing pre-Fly Girl dancing, the movie was already the coolest thing to come out that hot summer. The film always reminds me of my first time seeing it with fellow Sentry Shawn Bourdo and others during its theatrical debut weekend, just as it reminds me of the rise of the Hip Hop Nation as a significant cultural movement. With unforgettable characters like Radio Raheem, Mookie, and Sal, along with an incendiary tale that caused theater owners to fear riots(further limiting its total screens), the film channels a very specific time and place but still remains relevant and fascinating today.
The Sandlot (1993) by Dusty Somers
As a kid, I was a big sports fan. I had a huge trading card collection, I could rattle off statistics at length for all the major sports -- except hockey; I wasn't a weirdo -- and I enjoyed pretty much every sport I played. Nothing touched baseball though, and The Sandlot taps into the sport's magic and the thrill of a team's camaraderie in a way that instantly reminds me of how I felt as a kid. The film has plenty of memorable moments -- the fake drowning, the Babe Ruth baseball switch-out, "FOR-EV-ER" -- but the scenes of the kids just wiling away the hours playing baseball remind me of a time in my life that's faded away, just like almost all my interest in sports.
Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948) by Shawn Bourdo
I certainly wasn't around to have a "past" in the '40s and '50s. But this movie reminds me of my young days in the '70s and early '80s. I was a fiend for old movies in the early days of cable TV. And I was even a bigger fan of series of films. My two favorites - Saturday afternoon Abbott and Costello pictures on WGN and Saturday night "Creature Features" on our local ABC channel out of Battle Creek. But once or twice a year there would be a primetime airing - usually on WGN of this great comedy horror. Like the yearly offering of Wizard Of Oz - I can just think of this film and imagine sitting in front of the TV - enthralled to see my comedy heroes and my horror heroes on screen together. Even today - it has aged well. The situations have a great balance of suspense and humor. And right now I still feel eight thinking about it.
Full Metal Jacket (1987) by El Bicho
Stanley Kubrick's classic war film takes me back to the '90s when from the age of 23 to 33, I would hold Christmas Eve parties in my home for all my buddies and other interested persons. We would go late into the night and some times straight on till dawn, carousing and what not, over games and catching up. On the VCR, I would play movies, like The Christmas Story before many others discovered it during TNT's marathon, and holiday specials starring Rudolph and Charlie Brown.
One of the very first years, I popped in Full Metal Jacket, which I had just bought from Columbia House, and the insulting tirades of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman (R. Lee Ermey) during basic training gave us inappropriate fits of laughter that had us in gleeful convultions. It was also a reaction to the anxienty and fear the scenes generated as most us felt we would have washed out under Hartman. No one else had a copy so it would get requested. In fact, some would get antsy in anticipation if there was no mention of a screening by 2am. It became a tradition, popped in for the guys too wasted to drive home. It's just not Christmas without it.