Stephen King has long been a fan of the cinematic experience, even writing a book about movies (Danse Macabre). Give it a read someday.
Anyway, recently he’s mentioned in various interviews different movies he’s enjoyed and recommended. The bolded titles are ones that I’ve seen. He’s got some unexpected titles in there that are worth checking out.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe – André Øvredal, 2016 The Blair Witch Project – Daniel Myrick and Eduardo Sánchez, 1999 The Changeling – Peter Medak, 1980 Crimson Peak – Guillermo del Toro, 2015 Dawn of the Dead – Zack Snyder, 2004 Deep Blue Sea – Renny Harlin, 1999 The Descent – Neil Marshall, 2005 Duel – Steven Spielberg, 1971 Les Diaboliques – Henri-Georges Clouzot, 1955 Final Destination – James Wong, 2000 Event Horizon – Paul W.S. Anderson, 1997 The Hitcher – Robert Harmon, 1986 and Dave Meyers, 2007 The Last House on the Left – Dennis Iliadis, 2009 The Mist – Frank Darabont, 2007 Night of the Demon – Jacques Tourneur, 1957 The Ruins – Carter Smith, 2008 Sorcerer – William Friedkin, 1977 Stepfather – Joseph Ruben, 1986 Stir of Echoes – David Koepp 1999 The Strangers – Bryan Bertino, 2008 Village of the Damned – Wolf Rilla, 1960 The Witch – Robert Eggers, 2015
First and most importantly, Happy Father’s Day to fathers everywhere. Spending time with your children with a movie is a great idea and, frankly, watching just about any age-appropriate film is worthwhile.
With that said, movie lists are always subjective. Results can differ wildly among people’s movie tastes. I’m a father and grandfather, so my comments on the listed movies below as being “Father’s Day movies” might differ greatly from yours. This makes for good conversation, so evaluate the lists yourself and use the comments to make your case if/when you agree or disagree. That’s part of the fun of what we do here.
So, I’m cracking up this morning over some of the movies being recommended for me to watch with my children. Are people that make these lists actually fathers themselves? Do they even know any fathers besides their own? Are they choosing movies fathers might actually want to see with their children or just movies that men in general might/could/would enjoy?
This Father’s Day give your dad what he really wants: a movie night with his favorite child (hey, it’s better than another tie). Even if you’re miles apart this year, the magic of the internet has made co-viewing parties — whether through the use of fancy apps or good, old-fashioned text messaging — possible no matter where you are. Now all you need to do is pick a film to watch.
The sentiment sounds good, now let’s see what these recommended movies are, because some services are getting it closer to right than others.
The 14 “great” movies on Hulu to watch with dads
A Quiet Place ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Fantastic movie, but no. My sons aren’t into horror movies like I am, so terrible choice. And your kids better be adults to even entertain this one, because it will scare the bejesus out of little ones.
Field of Dreams – Excellent movie, good choice. Wholesome enough for all ages and baseball, America’s past time (and something we’ve been tragically without during the pandemic).
He Got Game – haven’t seen this one, yet, so maybe a decent choice for those with adult children. Spike Lee can be a bit adult-oriented with his subject matter, so my guess not kid-oriented.
Definitely, Maybe – rom-coms aren’t a terrible choice, especially those that deal with children. I’m thinking Sleepless in Seattle would be a better choice, but maybe that isn’t available on Hulu. Have seen this one and liked it. Not sure any of my children would care for it. None of them are into rom-coms.
Big Fish – another that I haven’t seen, but the story sounds fatherly-oriented. Maybe a good selection. Added to my watchlist.
Prospect – sci-fi starring Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian!), yeah this might work for adult children and dad as something both might be interested in watching.
Instant Family – haven’t seen. Mark Walberg and Rose Byrne are both good actors and the topic seems a bit too message-oriented to watch with older kids and younger kids would likely be bored. Not sure I care for this choice … sons probably wouldn’t care, daughters? Maybe.
Beginners – Ewan Mcgregor in a true father-son movie. This one I haven’t seen either, but like this recommendation. Looks like it might be a bit slow, but sometimes dads like me like dramas. Added to watch list.
Boyz in the Hood – The great Laurence Fishburne in this 90s film has a father-son substory. Not a bad recommendation, but a MAYBE for me.
A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – a recommended movie that’s not enough about Mister Rogers. Pretty much any movie starring Tom Hanks is a lock for Father’s Day. I’m thinking better choices though like: Big and Sleepless in Seattle (again!), but maybe those aren’t available on Hulu. Consider those two among my recommendations if you can watch them with your children.
Bumblebee ⭐️⭐️½ – an OK, at best, movie. Even for a Transformer’s movie. Not even sure children of any age would care for this and Dad’s? Um, no. The first Transformers movie was the best. Good action, Megan Fox looking super fine and not too Michael Bay annoying. Substandard choice.
Hunt for The Wilderpeople – a lot of people enjoy Taika Waititi’s work it seems, but I’ve not been quite as enamored by his talent to date. Maybe this would be a good choice, as the synopsis sounds promising. Marking as a maybe.
Father of the Bride – Steve Martin, great choice. Fits the holiday like a glove, even though I’m not a huge Steve Martin fan.
Interstellar – Christopher Nolan film that is a little too dense and broody sci-fi for an enjoyable Father’s Day watch. Pass.
Hulu Father’s Day recommendation recap: Yes – 5, Maybe – 6, No – 3. Overall, this list is an average to below average recommendation list. They should have stuck with the 5 and it would have been a great list. A little lean on movies for younger children with only Bumblebee maybe being young enough, so a big fail there.
HBO Max Father’s Day Recommendations
Wonder Woman ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Gal Gadot, Chris Pine. Yeah, this is an excellent movie and good to watch with daughters or son, plus Dad would enjoy. YES.
Space Cowboys – while offering a good cast, story and acting, this doesn’t have much of a fatherly vibe to it. Just because it deals with space and NASA doesn’t make it a good Father’s Day film. No.
Fast Five – I haven’t seen most of the Fast & Furious franchise. Know they are big hits so for action film dad’s this is probably a solid choice. Just guessing here. YES.
Fast & Furious Presents Hobbs & Shaw ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Saw this in the theater in 2019. Not an amazing action movie, but fun. Seems like HBO Max recommendations are leaning heavily on action films, which I guess stereotypically men enjoy, but is there any evidence this is true for all dads? Going to mark this one, because I’ve seen it and was entertained, as MAYBE.
Enter The Dragon ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – one of the greatest martial arts films of all time. But is watching Bruce Lee kick ass a good fit for Father’s Day? Most dad’s will enjoy this movie (me, a lot!) but then it begins the conversation of how Bruce Lee died too soon in life and then his son, Brandon died tragically too. No father wants their children to die in the prime of their career. Definitely not for young children. For these reasons, a MAYBE.
Casino Royale – James Bond action films are a mixed bag. Most of them don’t handle relationships with women very well. This one is a bit more progressive with M played by the excellent Judi Dench, but it’s a dark Bond portrayal. Not as doomy as Timothy Dalton’s Bond portrayal. I don’t like this choice. No.
Quantum of Solace – Another James Bond from Daniel Craig era. I think the Roger Moore era was campy enough for Father’s Day fit. Sean Connery is the best Bond but those were very sexist films and not something I’d want to watch with a daughter or son on Father’s Day. No.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen – Here we are with Transformers films again. I’m not a fan of these films but they were very popular overall. I would have zero interest in watching with our children, but I could see some fathers being possibly interested. Would open up a good critical discussion on what makes Michael Bay’s filmmaking style controversial. MAYBE.
Die Hard ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – Bruce Willis in his best action film role. Also, considered by some to be a great Christmas film. Is it a good Father’s Day film, though? I’m going to lean towards the positive on this one simply because it’s a great film. However, this isn’t for young children at all. YES.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder ⭐️⭐️⭐️½ – this movie is a noticeable step down from the first one, not sure how it fits with Father’s Day. No.
Die Hard With a Vengeance ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ – better film than the second one, not as good as the first. Samuel Jackson as a foul-mouthed partner is a riot, but again not good for younger children. Adult children? Yeah, they probably would like this one. This is very much a “guy” film, so maybe not of as much interest to daughters. MAYBE
Alita: Battle Angel – this didn’t do as well as expected sales-wise, but I think it’s a pretty good sci-fi recommendation. YES.
Braveheart – Mel Gibson, what do you do with this movie? MAYBE.
Shooter – don’t like this Mark Wahlberg choice as being very fatherly-oriented. NO.
Daylight – sort of a semi-forgotten Sylvester Stallone movie about his going into rescue mode inside a tunnel about to collapse. Not a good Father’s Day movie, sorry. NO.
U.S Marshals – Tommy Lee Jones vs. Wesley Snipes. Good movie, plenty of action, some light-hearted humor. This has nothing to do with fathers and children, but I like this choice on the strength of the movie. YES.
War of the Worlds – if this was the original film, I’d say yes, but a big negative on the Tom Cruise remake. NO.
Armageddon – End of the world movies don’t make for good Father’s Day “let’s view this together” moments. It’s not that good a movie, either, sorry Bruce Willis. NO.
HBO Max recap totals: 5 – yes, 5 – maybe, 8 – no. This list is leaning heavily on action films, no rom-coms and no animated or classic films. HBO Max has Looney Tunes, Scooby Doo, The Jetsons and so on … I mean, a ton to recommend for Father’s Day but none are mentioned. Overall, a mediocre at best Father’s Day movie list.
What would you recommend as good Father’s Day movies?
Enough of what the streaming services and a bunch of other websites would recommend.
What movies would you recommend that would make good Father’s Day movies? Or if you’d rather, go ahead and comment on the two lists above.
A quick Google search will find several sites making Father’s Day lists today. Maybe we should build the ultimate Father’s Day list? Perhaps over the next 10 years or so, we can do that together here. Or maybe you’ve already made the perfect list or seen somebody else compile one? Let me know. What are your favorite Father’s Day movies?
I thought, hmm, this documentary looks interesting and I don’t know anything about the subject matter — even better!
(I know what some reading are thinking: argh, just a documentary? Not your thing, you’d rather see a “real” movie, right? Wrong! This is every bit a real movie wrapped up in a very special package)
Sure, I was tempted to Google or visit Wikipedia to learn about “The True Story of Tony Kiritsis” and am glad to have resisted that impulse.
That is another disadvantage to watching movies at home vs. at the theater. If you wander into a theater and say (I’ve done this): “Please give me a ticket to the next movie that is playing” and head into the theater only knowing the title of the movie. Completely unaware of what the movie will be about.
Now that I’m doing more pre-research on movies with this blog, I can’t do that at the theater any more. I know at least what the basic story info about each movie is about before we go into the theater. A lot of that serendipitous viewing at the theater is now lost (this is also why I try to avoid spoilers and reading reading full reviews before seeing any new movies). Sometimes, I’ll FIRST LOOK or PREVIEW movies and, thus, know even more about those going in.
Stay with me, I’m not going to ruin this one here. There are zero spoilers ahead.
Dead Man’s Line
The title, the description of what that is, really a perfect title.
An hour later after watching this film, I’m completely mesmerized. This story is riveting and frightening real. Here’s the background:
Over 40 years ago on Tuesday, February 8, 1977 Tony Kiritsis went into a mortgage office and took mortgage broker Richard Hall hostage with a sawed-off shotgun. Kiritsis wired a “dead man’s line” around Hall’s neck and to his trigger finger, meaning that with any sudden movement or if he was killed the trigger would be pulled and Hall would have his head blown off.
What makes this documentary so fascinating is the amount of authentic news reel footage, including actual live audio, used in the film. Most documentaries include some real footage and voices of those involved years later, if still alive, but this one uses a significant amount of news footage at the time it happened. So much that it transports the viewers back in time to when it all happened and we feel the intense drama over what’s going to happen in this standoff.
Keep on. It’s safe to read my review and this blog post because there’s no way I’m going to spoil what happens. If you know what happens, then the film won’t have the same dramatic impact, but wow, if you don’t, you’re in for a major suspenseful treat.
Here I’m writing this 12 hours after watching and still feeling a rush from the experience. Oh, and I sent a tweet about it, too!
(Let this post simmer for an additional day before posting, just to see if I had the same emotion or was just being overly-excited … yes, I still feel the same!)
These are the film experiences I search for. It’s more challenging with the volume of films I’ve seen to find these type of films, but I’m like a miner looking for that special gold nugget and when I find it …. eureka! Then, of course, I want to share with my family, friends and others. So, that’s where those of you who, like me, knew nothing about the story of Tony Kiritsis, come in on this fine Saturday morning. I’m envious for the experience you’re about to have if you watch this film as I did.