I am, of course, outraged over the American Film Institute's 100 Greatest American Movies of All Time.
No "Harley Davidson and the Marlboro Man"?
No "Lethal Weapon"?
No "Wayne's World"?
No "Escape From New York"?
No "Hollywood Hot Tubs"?
No--and this is just absolutely beyond belief--"Fast Times at Ridgemont High"?
To quote dude extraordinaire Jeff Spicoli: "That's bogus."
Not only does the film institute's obviously flawed list fail to represent the viewing interests of a substantial segment of the population--guys--but it totally ignores one of the most important movie genres:
Just what is a Guy Movie?
In simple terms, any motion picture that depends exclusively on any combination of the following:
Gunplay, explosions, car chases, frontal nudity, alcohol abuse, the F-word, mindless violence, bathroom humor.
An actual plot is more of a bonus than an integral element and welcome so long as it does not detract from the Guy Movie's core mission: titillation, tastelessness and testosterone elevation.
Although the Guy Movie is often perceived as lowbrow, in truth, it is not at all dissimilar to classical music in the sense that it has intellectual staying power.
No matter how many times a guy views a Guy Movie, he comes away from the cinematic experience with new insights into the work, himself and the human condition.
Even if he doesn't know it.
In protest of, and in response to, the American Film Institute's unforgivable neglect of Guy Movies, the following is offered:
10 Greatest Guy Movies of All Time
Why? It takes place at a golf course.
Why? Seven-minute car chase, and Steve McQueen does his own driving.
8. "Basic Instinct"
Why? Sharon Stone's elevating interpretation of the term "hot seat."
7. "Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death"
Why? This could be the greatest movie title of all time.
(Note: This sure-to-be classic makes the list even though it went straight to video.)
6. "Barb Wire"
Why? The props.
5. "Slap Shot"
Why? Moving, sensitive performance by the Hanson brothers.
4. "National Lampoon's Animal House"
Why? Lunch with Belushi.
3. "Die Hard With a Vengeance"
Why? Has better explosions than "Die Hard."
2. "Terminator 2: Judgment Day"
Why? Because two terminators are always better than one.
1. "Magnum Force"
Why? Three reasons:
The Clint squint.
The line: "A man's got to know his limitations."
The gun (sometimes size does matter).
Jim Shea is a columnist at the Hartford Courant. To reach him write to Jim Shea, Hartford Courant, 285 Broad St., Hartford, CT 06115.