10 Flicks: Box Office Favorites

January 21, 2012 at 8:39 am

10 Flicks Movie Lists

I’m a proud movie nerd.

We’ve covered that so it shouldn’t surprise anyone who reads this blog that I follow box office numbers closely.  The only place I go for box office information online is Box Office Mojo.

Recently, I was checking the all time domestic numbers and decided to see if I could narrow the top 100 down to 10.  Can you?

Click here to see the Top 100

So here are my 10 favorite box office moneymakers.

Honourable Mention: Avatar, 300, The Sixth Sense, Saving Private Ryan

Star Wars

Star Wars Episode 4

#4 – $460,998,007

I adore the original trilogy and enjoyed the prequels but A New Hope will always be my favorite. (Followed closely by Empire Strikes Back.)

XTRA | If I Could Only Recommend ONE Science Fiction Film



#9 – $403,706,375

It may not be my favorite superhero movie of all time but it certainly paved the way for some of the most entertaining movies in history.

“Go web go!”

Lord Of The Rings: Return Of The King

Lord Of The Rings

#12 – $377,027,325

It’s tough to pick one movie when all three are in the top 100.  I look at the series and see one giant incredible movie but I had to pick one so ROTK was the winner.

XTRA | Movies That Changed Everything: The Lord of the Rings


Transformers Optimus Prime

#22 – $319,246,193

Even though I absolutely hated the sequel, the original is one of the most entertaining popcorn movies I’ve ever seen on the big screen.  It had giant fighting robots and some of the best and most complex visual effects ever created.

XTRA | Transformers 3?  Apology accepted Michael Bay

Independence Day

Independence Day Area 51 Attack

#30 – $306,169,268

Will Smith is my favorite actor.  I’m one of the reasons his movies always make 100 million+ in theaters.  Independence Day will always be one of the greats.  ID4 is a perfect example of a huge box office blockbuster.  Big stars, big FX and big thrills.

XTRA | Wouldn’t it be awesome if Independence Day 2 was about…



#70 – $227,966,634

I talk about Signs a lot on this site. I even thought about leaving it off this list to avoid ‘Signs fatigue’.  However, I simply couldn’t bring myself to leave my all time favorite movie off the list.

The Matrix Reloaded

The Matrix Reloaded Trinity

#41 – $281,576,461

It’s ambitious, it’s explosive, it’s cool and it’s confusing.  It was once the record holder for most anticipated movie until it was toppled by The Dark Knight years later.

XTRA | What THE MATRIX screenplay taught me


Twister Helen Hunt Tornado

#61 – $241,721,524

Twister may surprise some people but I’ve always loved this movie.  When I was a kid, I used to be terrified of tornado warnings.  This eventually ignited an interest in weather and this movie came along right in the middle of that childhood obsession.  Twister is a fun movie. Plain and Simple.

Jurassic Park


#15 – $357,067,947

To this day, I’m still fascinated by how well the effects stand up compared to today’s standards.  Such a fun movie.

The Dark Knight


#3 – $533,345,358

My second favorite movie ever.  I’ve never been so excited to see a movie in my entire life and to have the film deliver on all the hype was amazing.

Try narrowing down your own list of 10 box office favorites.  It’s not that easy.

All Time Best: Movie Argument

January 14, 2012 at 11:25 pm

All Time Best: Movie Argument | You Can't Handle The Truth


Best movie arguments…  I thought about it for a while and came up with my favorite and it’s no surprise it also happens to be one of my favorite movies as well.  A Few Good Men.

All Time Best: Movie Argument | You Can't Handle The Truth A Few Good Men

Cruise vs Nicholson

Watching Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee ‘thunder away’ at Colonel Nathan Jessup was by far the best on screen arguments I’ve ever seen.  It’s certainly among the top from a screenwriting perspective and how can you not find the phenomenal performances compelling.  Every second of A Few Good Men leads to this epic confrontation and it delivers.

Kaffee vs Jessup.  The all time best movie argument…

“Are we clear!”

XTRA | All Time Best: Angry Movie Rant

How To Survive The Boo Box

January 14, 2012 at 11:24 pm

How To Escape From The Boo Box | Hook 1991


I often think about The Boo Box from Steven Spielberg’s Hook.  It’s been haunting me for decades now.  So let’s talk about it…

XTRA | Rainy Sunday: Hook

First of all, what kind of an idiot admits to doubting his Captain that quickly! Especially when your Captain is Hook!  You have to lie if you doubt your captain.  Honesty means nothing to the steel handed stingray.  Also, why bother showing your face on that ship in the first place? You know he’s going to find out by asking you a simple question.  People who get the Boo Box sentence make me sad…

So here are some tips on how to survive The Boo Box.

  1. Don’t doubt your Captain!
  2. Once in the boo box, calm down and locate the scorpions. Try not to make too many sudden movements. However, it’s important to keep yelling slightly so they don’t think you’ve read this post and have a foolproof survival method.
  3. Once you’ve located the scorpions KILL THEM! They are just scorpions! Work quickly because you only have a limited amount of time before people get suspicious.
  4. Once they are dead, kick the screaming into high gear. You should be in pain. Really sell it.
  5. Make sure to pinch yourself really hard so there are bite marks.
  6. Once they open the box you’re on your own.  These tips only help you escape death by scorpions. Which is why #7 is the most important tip…
  7. Don’t doubt your Captain!

This poor pirate didn’t have a chance but he didn’t even put up a fight.  He just broke down and cried.  It’s unfortunate…  I’m still terrified of the boo box.

…  Do you think The Boo Box is meant to kill someone or simply punish them?

Why Ninja Turtles Made Me Cry

September 16, 2011 at 7:11 am

You're two minutes late dude

XTRA | Top 10 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie Quotes

When I first started this blog in 2009, it was called ‘After Then and Before Now’ and called 17west.ca home. 

The blog has a new home and a new name (The Athletic Nerd) but the content is very similar.  (There’s just more of it now.)  When I moved the blog, the plan was to transfer all the existing posts over to the new format.  One of them was called…



That fearsome fighting team dominated my life for years.  I had all the action figures, vehicles, books, stickers, bed sheets and more.  I still have a giant Rafael action figure in a box somewhere in my apartment.  I should seriously look into finding the pictures of me dressed up as Raf for Halloween.  I loved the Ninja Turtles.  You can imagine how I felt when I was heading to the theater. This is what I love about films.  You can truly become immersed in a world that could never exist. (Or can it? I’m sure they are experimenting with ooze in a sewer somewhere.)  Whenever you get that involved in a story it’s only natural for you to become attached to the characters.

Let’s get back to the heroes in a half shell.  I’m in the theater and I’m totally wrapped up in the film.  (I’m talking about the first outstanding motion picture experience.)  There is a scene where the turtles gather around a fire and Splinter appears before them.  He offers some heartfelt words of wisdom to his sons.  Just seeing them cry got to me.

“I love you all, my sons…” Says a ghostly Splinter.

Are you kidding me?  What normal kid from my generation didn’t get a little choked up during that scene? I lost it.  I don’t even feel bad about it.  Maybe I’m alone but to date that is the only scene in the history of cinema that made me cry.  (Note: This statistic is based on theater viewings only.  There have been other instances that I am not as comfortable admitting to.)

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie 1990 Splinter

It’s every filmmaker’s goal to reach audiences in some way.  Whether it is to make them laugh, cry or scare them until they cry, there is always a plan.  When it comes to screenwriting, I try to be mindful of that fact and work as hard as I can to create the same attachment in my stories.  There’s no guarantee it works every time but the effort remains.  It’s little details that count.  Kind of makes me wonder if the filmmakers sat around laughing about the kids destined to cry during that scene…  Guilty.

PS: I was SEVEN cut me some slack.

Why Ninja Turtles Made Me Cry | Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Movie 1990


10 Flicks: Christmas Classics

December 2, 2010 at 8:20 am

10 Flicks Movie Lists

Each and every year, I look forward to watching those precious Christmas classics that have become traditions in my family.

Everyone has a favorite.  A holiday movie we ONLY watch one a year.  A film you simply can’t miss as Christmas approaches.

It differs from person to person but we all hold certain films close to our hearts.  Movies shared with family and friends.  Movies that embody the Christmas spirit.

Christmas classics are a perfect example of how films can become a treasured part of a family.

Here are 10 of my personal favorites:

Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer

I remember looking in the TV guide for the Christmas Specials every year.  Shows like Charlie Brown, Garfield and Frosty the Snowman.  Yet Rudolph stands out as the one I loved the most growing up.  Creepy animation or not, it’s a cherished tradition in my house.


A Christmas Story

I have a confession.  I have never seen this movie before.  When I was talking with some co-workers about this issue, I was on the receiving end of some pretty bad insults about my taste in movies.  Why did the film make this list?  Enough people I spoke with considered it amongst the all time classics.  It’s now on my must see list.  Mostly so I can avoid a similar roasting next year but also because if it’s a classic, I need to see it.


The Santa Claus

This is plain and simply an entertaining movie.


Home Alone

If I had to describe this movie using only 1 word it would by fun. This movie is on the list for anyone who has every placed both hands on their cheeks and screamed.  We’ve all done it.  Admit it…  Lets  move on.



Was there really any doubt that a Christmas movie starring Will Farrell as an elf wouldn’t be on this list?  I rest my case.


The Muppet Christmas Carol

This film gets the 10 Flicks award for catchy tunes.

“It’s in the singing of a street corner choir, it’s going home and getting warm by the fire.  It’s true wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas…”

Don’t act like you haven’t seen this movie and never caught yourself humming that tune.


The Grinch Who Stole Christmas

How can you make a list of classics and leave The Grinch out?  There was some debate on whether or not to include the cartoon or the Jim Carrey version.  I think everyone eventually agreed that the cartoon has been with us far longer and deserves to be on the list.


A Muppet Family Christmas

I have another 10 Flicks award to give out.  This yearly tradition gets the award for program everyone loves but can never find on TV or DVD.  I’ve gotta find a copy of this.

Mickey’s Christmas Carol

One of the greats.  It really is one of the best Christmas cartoons of all time and certainly one of the best Dickens adaptations we’ve ever seen.


Christmas Vacation

No matter who I asked, every single person mentioned Christmas Vacation.  It may not have been everyone’s favorite but it’s on everybody’s list.  Check out my Rainy Sunday post for more on this timeless Christmas Tradition.


PS: There’s my list.  What does yours look like?