1. "Raiders of The Lost Ark" - The one that started it all. My folks tell me that as I kid I loved this movie so much I learned to operate a VCR at 1 year old. No kidding. I would watch and rewind it over and over again. I can't count how many times I've seen it but I can tell you this much: it has more action and adventure in it than any other film I've seen, it's got a great character in Indiana Jones, he hates snakes just like I do, and it has this adventure story that has tons of close calls. "I hate snakes, Jock! I hate 'em!"
2. "The Goonies" - I have my Mom to thank for this one. She took me to see it at the now-defunct AMC Town & Country 6 on opening weekend. It was exactly the type of film a 4 year-old like myself at the time would truly enjoy over and over again. Mouth and Data were my favorites because Mouth was always a smartass and Data was a 007-wannabe. Little did I know those characters would mold into my personality. Absolute classic. I love watching this with my nephews and nieces and see their faces light up like mine did oh so many years ago. I still have this on dvd and have yet to spring for the blu-ray set. This is the film I throw on when I'm feeling blue, because it puts me in that frame of mind that whatever kind of bad may happen, good always prevails. "Goonies never say die!"
3. "Back To The Future" - My older brother Dewayne introduced me to this one. We were kids on vacation and he took it upon himself to rent this bad boy during it's new release heyday. He slapped this into the betamax and I was changed, enthralled, and amazed at the story of Marty McFly and Doc Brown and the time-traveling Delorean that had been invented. I caught this on the big screen last year finally and it still holds up after all this time and that's what makes this movie so damn timeless. "When this baby hits 88 mph, you're gonna see some serious shit."
4. "The Outlaw Josey Whales" - I have my Dad to thank for this one and for taking me to see "Pale Rider" when it came out in theaters. But this film kind of represents a bond between my father and I. He made me watch this when I was 8 or 9 and it showed me how crazy the Old West was as well as a compelling story of one man who just wants to find some peace but can't find any. Because he's always on the run. It showed also showed me the acting talents of many Native American actors and how they didn't play the sterotypical Indian roles. Hell, Geraldine Keams (Little Moonlight) who plays the Indian girl Josey saves in the movie is from the same part of the Navajo reservation as my dad (Indian Wells represent!). Chief Dan George as Lone Watie and Will Sampson as Ten Bears were too awesome for words in this Western masterpiece. "You gonna pull them pistols or whistle Dixie?"
5. "Clerks" - Back in 1995, the R-rating policies at theaters got super tough. Gone were the days of getting into R-rated films, ushers wanted ID's shown with a ticket. So when I'd heard the buzz on this film, I had to see it. Didn't get a chance to see it until May of 1995. I rented it at Blockbuster and kept it 3 days overdue. Believe me, it was worth it. I had never laughed so fuckin' hard in my entire life at the situations being presented to Dante Hicks on his day off of all days at the Quik Stop Convenience Store. The dialogue in that film had me in stitches and I could understand it all at 14, even the advance vocabulary they included in the film. It was small budget, black and white and it just spoke volumes to me. It made me appreciate the small things and made me realize that a great movie doesn't have to have a million dollar budget. This film is a comedic classic for me and was my gateway into the View Askewniverse. "This job would be great if it wasn't for the fucking custormers."
6. "Taxi Driver" - As a kid I was always kind of pissed that I didn't have a cool first name. I mean how many cool people in history were named Travis? Now it's different, you have Travis Pastrana, Travis Barker, Travis Porter, myself, and etc. But when I was a kid at the age of 6 I was introduced to the greatest anti-hero in motion picture history ever...Travis Bickle. The fact that Robert DeNiro stars in a Paul Schrader-scripted film directed by Martin Scorcese set the cool points for the name into the gazillions. The story of a deranged war veteran who moonlights as a cab driver with violent tendencies brought me to my knees when I viewed it as a teenager with a better understanding of films. It still holds up to this day and is a milestone for everyone involved in the making of this dark, gritty film. Go Travis! "Are you talkin' to me?"
7. "Scarface" (1983) - The story of Tony Montana and the drug underworld of Miami circa 1980's is now the stuff of movie legends. Brian DePalma created the "end all, be all" remake of all time with this one. I have my older brothers to thank for introducing me to this crazy, violent, f-bomb laden crime epic. It had stunning visuals, a thumpin' disco soundtrack courtesy of Giorgio Morder, a fucking awesome script by Oliver Stone, and absolute pimp direction by Brian DePalma. Don't forget Al Pacino, the man who brought this Cuban psychopath to life. Perfect viewing for a pissed off teenager who wants nothing more than to throw his middle finger at the entire world after he claims it for his own. The one film I can quote in my sleep after a hard night of drinking. "So SAY GOODNIGHT TO THE BAD GUY!!"
8. "Heat" - The multiple viewings of Taxi Driver and Scarface all lead up to this. A fantastic crime drama directed by Michael Mann starring Al Pacino as the good guy and Robert DeNiro as the bad guy. This is that one long movie I can sit and watch all the way through and not get bored with any of it. It never skips a beat and the story is so fluid and continous. Lots of great acting from a ton of awesome actors. One of those being Wes Studi who shares plenty of screen time with Pacino as Detective Casals. A victory for Native Americans everywhere. This is that one Michael Mann film that really turned me into a fan of his. After this, I went and searched high and low for other works by him and was a better film fan for it. Thanks Mr. Mann, for making this movie. "I do what I do best, I take scores. You do what you do best, try to stop guys like me."
9. "Blade Runner" - The year was 1992 and the venue was the now-defunct Cine Capri theater in the Biltmore District of Phoenix. "Blade Runner" was the movie I'd never heard of until I found out it was the film Harrison Ford did after "Raiders". It introduced me into a lot of great concepts, fantastic science-fiction, all directed by Ridley Scott. I consider myself extremely lucky seeing it at the Cine Capri in a full blown 70 mm print because the screen in that place was so fucking gigantic! Perfect venue to watch "Blade Runner: Director's Cut". It was a lot to comprehend for my then 11 year-old mind but when I saw it again years later as a young adult, the tumblers clicked and it made me appreciate the kind of futuristic sci-fi story that this is. There is lot to ponder about this film, especially since 2017 is only six years away and current robot technology is getting terrifyingly real these days. What a movie. "I want more life, fucker!"
10. "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" - Once again, I have my Dad to thank for this one. He used to tell me stories of his boarding school days in Holbrook, AZ and how the only real kicks he got was going to the Roxy theater in town and seeing what was playing for free since his sister, my aunt worked there. He told me of the day he saw Sergio Leone's epic Western and it still remains his number one favorite to this day. One day he rented it and I decided to join him in watching it, I was 12 at the time and it completely blew me away. Clint Eastwood's acting, Lee Van Cleef's epic stares, and Eli Wallach's lines in the film are just legendary. The music by Ennio Morricone to this day still gives me chills and makes me appreciate his body of work. To thank my father for this wonderful gift, I returned the favor. I bought him the entire "Dollars Trilogy" on dvd for Father's Day. Thanks for the stories, Dad and for showing me a real Spaghetti Western masterpiece as a kid. "You see, in this world there's two kinds of people, my friend: Those with loaded guns and those who dig. You dig."