Blockbuster Family Faves

SPECIAL NOTE: Ashley will be taking a break from RTT for a little bit, so be sure to check back here at The Waiting for RTT updates for the next month or so. ;D

In a comment she left on Monday, my mom reminded me of our Friday afternoon visits to Blockbuster Video when I was growing up. She would take my brother and me there and we could each rent a movie to watch 200 times over the weekend. Then on Tuesday, Heather reminded me of the movie Parenthood in her comment. Parenthood was one of the movies my family got fixated on and rented from Blockbuster on multiple occasions.

And just like that, a post was born: a short list of movies my family rented multiple times when we went to Blockbuster. It remains to be seen if this is going to be a good post that has any resonance whatsoever outside of my small family and former Blockbuster Video employees, but I got to watch a couple of them while I was researching* this post so at least one case of warm-fuzzies will result from it.

*SHUT UP. It is research.

1. Annie (1982)

Awwww. Gotta love some Aileen.

Awwww. Gotta love some Aileen. Courtesy Columbia Pictures

My parents or grandparents had taped Annie off of TV for us when we were little, and as a result, I am a little confused every time I watch the movie now and it’s not punctuated every twenty minutes with Chef Boyardee commercials from 1986. Eventually that copy didn’t work anymore and we rented it at Blockbuster a lot. I loved this movie because Aileen Quinn made being an orphan look like a lot of fun. When I was in eighth grade, I got a pair of Doc Martens for Christmas and then danced around to my CD of “It’s a Hard-Knock Life” in my room. There is nothing more Depression Era gamin than expensive British shoes.

2. Parenthood (1989)

Directed by Ron Howard and starring pretty much every semi-prominent movie actor from the 1980’s, Parenthood chronicles an extended family and the trials they experience when raising their children. Its main star is Steve Martin who plays a father concerned about his three young kids and the one he finds out is on the way the day he quits his job, but I was more interested in Tom Hulce of Amadeus fame who plays Martin’s wild younger brother. He runs away from his family for years and then returns with his own child named Cool who no one in the family knew existed. I guess the idea of having a surprise relative named “Cool” appealed to me as a kid. This is still a great movie and I give it two thumbs up for not making Keanu Reeves play anything except a dumb teenager.

The movie ends with everyone of consenting age in the movie having a baby, and it gets 1000 decency points for never capitalizing on a sub-par sequel.

The movie ends with everyone of consenting age in the movie having a baby, and it gets 1000 decency points for never capitalizing on a sub-par sequel. Courtesy Imagine Entertainment

3. Uncle Buck (1989)

My dad took me to see Uncle Buck in the theater after church when I was seven and from then on, it became a classic for my family. What’s not to love about the idea of being looked after by an overweight middle-aged man who makes his living off fixed races? John Candy was and remains one of the funniest people who ever lived, and Jean Louisa Kelly who plays his teenage niece Tia in the movie set the bar for the teenaged death stare. Fun fact: a scene in Uncle Buck where Macauley Culkin imagines crooks outside his home inspired John Hughes to make Home Alone.

uncle buck

Courtesy Universal

4. Clifford (1994)

Even though I titled this post “Family Faves”, I have to admit that Clifford wasn’t exactly my favorite movie. My parents and my brother seemed to like it a lot so we were constantly renting it. Martin Short plays a mischievous little boy named Clifford who goes to stay with his uncle, played by Charles Grodin. I think what turned me off of it was that Fred Savage was in the first scene where the framing device of the movie was established, and then he never really comes back until the end. I was in love with Fred Savage and I felt like his talent/dreaminess wasn’t put to good use in the movie, and it frustrated me that they got a grown adult to play a little boy when they had a perfectly good kid laying around. For a better description of this movie and its merits, check out Lily’s post on Kidz Showz.

D038318006.jpg

You may be looking for a picture of Martin Short in the role of Clifford, but instead, here is a promotional pic of Fred Savage as a kid instead. Just try to resist the cuteness.

5. Pure Luck (1991)

Pure_LuckMy family evidently could not get enough of Martin Short in the ’90’s because we were constantly renting Pure Luck too. Martin Short plays a guy who, because he has really terrible luck, gets chosen to save the daughter of the CEO of the corporation where he works. She also has really bad luck and has been kidnapped. It’s basically the chronicle of bad luck matchmaking. This, my friends, is the plot of a movie I have seen on numerous occasions. A lot of the pieces are coming together now, aren’t they?

What are some movies that you remember watching with your family when you were growing up?

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30 comments

  1. We rented the same two movies over and over again. Romancing the Stone and Purple Rain. I can’t believe my parents approved this.

    1. I still haven’t seen Purple Rain, but I should because it would counteract the heavily toxic dosage of Purple Dinosaur I’m getting these days.

  2. AH. Me and my boyfriend were just watching Annie last night. I’d never seen the original (and I guess I still haven’t since I fell asleep before the end).

    Me and my best friend used to go to Hollywood Video all the time looking for movies about affairs. We rented that one with Diane Lane and Richard Gere twice (accidentally) (that’s a good one by the way).

    1. Ah! You have to see the end of Annie! Spoiler alert: everyone sings at the end. I know, I ruined it for you.

  3. Twindaddy · · Reply

    Star Wars. Surprised?

    1. I would have pegged you a Steel Magnolias fan.

      1. Twindaddy · · Reply

        Man, you’re WAY off…

  4. I loved Uncle Buck! I remember going to see Oh God You Devil, Superman and I think one of the Star Wars movies at the drive in as a three bang special and sitting on my dad’s pickup truck trying so hard not to fall asleep. I did finally fall asleep during Oh God…sorry George Burns. There used to be drive ins all over the place and now we’re down to one in the area and that’s 50 miles from my house. Good times they were.

    1. The drive-in was awesome! We went a few times too when I was a kid. I think we saw “Honey, I Blew Up the Kids”. True classic. We may have to make the drive-in an RTT theme one week. I’ll give you credit, of course ;D

  5. Annie! And Uncle Buck! And EVERYthing with Martin Short. I was definitely a fan of the re-rent. And the re-re-rent.

    1. We rerented things so often, I’m actually surprised that our parents didn’t just buy us the flick.

      1. Teresa Pate · · Reply

        We didn’t buy the movies for one simple reason……we were making memories. That was a Friday after-school tradition. Guess it worked. :)
        Mom

  6. We used to go down the street to a local video place every couple weeks to get a movie. My brother and I could each pick one out. For pretty much all my fourth grade year—with the exception of about a month—I picked out the same movie: Kindergarten Cop.

    For the record, that other month I picked out Bebe’s Kids.

    This should go a long way in explaining my taste in movies, I would think.

    1. I have a soft spot in my heart for Kindergarten Cop. The scene where he and his partner have dinner with the little boy and his hottie mom always cracked me up because I love Ah-nold’s partner’s fake German accent and that she orders dessert at the same time she orders the rest of her dinner. I remember way too much.

      1. I can recite practically the whole damn movie—still, 22 years later.

  7. Yay! PURE LUCK! I haven’t run across anyone in a very long time who remembers that movie. It’s one of my all-time faves because I so identify with Martin Short’s Eugene character. Last year, I even blogged about how my inclination to sit on already-broken chairs is eerily similar to Eugene’s. I firmly believe that “Pure Luck” is an important movie. It brought awareness of, and empathy for, luck-and-motion-impaired klutzes in the same way that “Rainman” did for autistic people. I was so excited to see this in your post today, I almost knocked my coffee over!

    1. Yay! I’m glad I’m not the only person who remembers it! My mom still loves it to this day, and every time we watch it together, she pulls about a hundred ok-now-watch-this-part’s. Tons o’ fun ;D

  8. My sisters and I were crazy for “Nine to Five” and “Big Business.” My parents were baffled. I do miss wandering around Blockbuster. Flipping through Netflix just isn’t the same!

    1. You will never believe this, but I never actually saw Nine to Five in its entirety until about six years ago. This is bizarre to me because I ADORED Dolly when I was really little. I think this was because she looked kind of like a Barbie, but she is pretty amazing.

  9. This post makes me so happy! Forever yes to Uncle Buck and parenthood! We taped The Wizard of Oz off tv, and now I think I actually miss those coffee creamer commercials more than the actual movie. They were straight up classy.

    1. Omgosh YES! Have we ever watched Uncle Buck together? I don’t care if it takes us twenty years, but that needs to happen. It is the best movie EVER.

  10. Emily, as a product of the 60s and 70s renting movies was not an option back then, but I do recall sitting in a theater in 1972 when I was 13 and watching Liza Minnelli in “Cabaret” over and over again. I did not fit in with my peers. The closest I came to liking a kid film in my adolescence was “What’s Up Doc?” I watched it again not that long ago. It still holds up.

    1. I have heard of that! I should see it. I always forget about how much I love Ryan O’Neal in pretty much everything I’ve ever seen him in. Paper Moon is one of the best movies I have ever seen.

      1. It also features Barbra Streisand at her comic best. She and Ryan O’Neal had a romance going on while filming. They had total onscreen chemistry. It’s a lot of zany fun. I highly recommend it.

  11. Great piece!

    What was that other Steve Martin franchise? Never mind I remember. Father of the Bride.

    Batman Returns was the movie I used to watch every day. I used to think I ruined Michael Keaton’s career by making him reenact the same scenes over and over again on my TV. I’m kidding. I know he ruined it himself.

    1. But Beetlejuice! He is pretty great in that one. (And I mean the cartoon, of course.)

  12. We didn’t have a video store anywhere nearby, but my uncle (who was the COOLEST!) had HBO, so he would tape movies for us. We wore out “Back to the Future” and “The Goonies.” I think I could still probably act out both of those movies from memory for you on a moment’s notice. I watched them, no joke, probably 100 times each. (And I still kind of love them both, too.)

  13. My parents were a little…twisted. I grew up on Watership Down, Fantastic Planet, anything and all Mel Brooks, The Selfish Giant, and a plethora of other films from the 70’s that tended to have socio-political issues and “agendas”. (This might explain my being a Libertarian…) During the first part of my childhood we lived overseas and didn’t get much access to American cinema and television. All that changed in the mid 90’s when we moved to the States and discovered the Library had VHS tapes like CRAZY and they were all of $2 to rent.

    I have just realized that not a bit of this makes me sound normal.

    Oh, hey! My town still has a Blockbuster! Which we totally frequent with our kid. So, yeah. I’m cool. I’m hip. I’m *with* it.

  14. Two words: Princess Bride!
    I think 200 times sounds about right.

  15. Mr. Mom and Beetlejuice.
    Oh, and the Purple People Eater. That one was trippy.

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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