While my sister was trying to decide if she wanted to do the PopSugar 2017 reading challenge or the Book Riot one, and I was trying to decide if I even wanted to bother, we stumbled upon the idea of making our own similarly styled 2017 movie challenge. In this challenge, there are 26 categories that are as simple as “A black and white movie” to as complicated as “the first movie by the director of a movie you’re really into right now.” We’re not going to drown you in rules, so any movie that fits a challenge is good, but if you want to up the ante, make all of them a movie you’ve never seen.
We collaborated to offer some suggestions, and while we have similar tastes and generally agree on things, I’m sure this list also contains movies I would never watch and movies my sister would definitely never watch, so…good luck.
1. THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY: A movie you’ve never seen with one of your favorite actors.
Sometimes life gets in the way, and before you know it, you’ve clean forgotten all about some movie’s existence.
Our suggestions: We don’t know who you like or what you’ve seen, but I’ve never seen The Judge, starring Robert Downey Jr. and Robert Duvall.
2. I THINK WE’RE IN KANSAS AGAIN, TOTO: A black and white movie.
I don’t think my sister had this problem, but growing up, I had issues with black and white movies. I just didn’t want to watch them. As an adult, I’ve gained an appreciation for and enjoyment of many black and white films, but my favorite are still the ones that managed to reach past my bias and grab me as a kid.
Our suggestions: Metropolis (1927), Bringing Up Baby (1938), Topper Returns (1941), Miracle on 34th Street (1947), The Shaggy Dog (1959), The Hustler (1961)
3. BEFORE YOUR TIME: A movie made before you were born.
Because good movies didn’t start the year you were born. I was born in 1982, my sister was born in 1978 and some of our suggestions go back even farther.
Our suggestions: West Side Story (1961), Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner (1967), What’s Up, Doc (1972), Star Wars (1977), The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
4. THE ONE THAT STARTED IT: Pick a remake made by 1980 or later and watch the original.
Wikipedia has a pair of helpful lists here. Bet you didn’t know some of these were remakes. And if you go by our list, you might save this category for Halloween.
Our suggestions: The Fly (1958), Psycho (1960), Dawn of the Dead (1978), Fright Night (1985)
5. FROM THE SILVER SCREEN: A movie based on a TV show.
The last 25 years alone have seen a lot of TV shows turned into movies, some considerably better than others.
Our suggestions: The Fugitive (1993), Mission Impossible (1996), Serenity (2005), The A-Team (2010), 21 Jump Street (2012)
6. THE ADVENTURE CONTINUES: A movie that has spawned a TV show.
Personally, of all the bad 2016 had to offer, I’m just glad it let’s me put one of my favorite movies in this list.
Our suggestions: Lethal Weapon (1987), La Femme Nikita (1990), Stargate (1994), Limitless (2011), Frequency (2000), The Avengers (2012)
7. GENDER-BENDER: A movie with cross-dressing or transgender characters.
The list of options derived from Shakespeare’s “The 12th Night” alone is represented a couple times here, but there are so many other options to choose from, spanning decades and ranging from the absolutely absurd to the completely serious.
Our suggestions:Some Like It Hot (1959), Just One of the Guys (1985), Sorority Boys (2002), She’s the Man (2006), The Danish Girl (2015), Boys Don’t Cry (1999), Tootsie (1982).
8. RIPPED FROM THE PAGES: A movie based on a book
Did you know Die Hard was based on Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, Mrs. Doubtfire was based on Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine and Cruel Intentions on Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos?
Our suggestions: See above.
9. TIMEY-WIMEY: A time travel movie.
Oh, to change the past, alter the future or realize it’s all (maybe) inevitable. Everybody knows The Terminator and Back to the Future franchises (both of which I always recommend), but here are a few others that might have passed you by.
Our suggestions: Time after Time (1979), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986), Flight of the Navigator (1986), Primer (2004), Looper (2012), Time Runner (Good luck finding this 1994 Mark Hamill alien invasion movie, btw).
10. THE SECOND CHANCE: A movie starring someone you don’t normally watch.
We all have movies we avoid because we don’t like who’s in them, but challenge yourself to look beyond that and give someone another chance to impress you while also trying a new movie.
11. SAY WHAT?: A foreign language film.
Break our the reading glasses: It’s subtitle time.
Our suggestions: Run Lola Run (German), Tell No One (French), Let the Right One In (Swedish), The City of Lost Children (French), Amelie (French), City of God (Portuguese – Brazil), Silvered Water/Eau Argentee (Arabic – Syria), Giraffada (Arabic – Palestinian), Babbette’s Feast (Danish)
12. SECOND CHILDHOOD: An animated film you didn’t watch as a child.
Obviously, again, we don’t know what you’ve seen, but here are some of our favorites, ranging from very old to fairly new.
Our suggestions: Bambi (1942), The Secret of NIMH (1982), Bolt (2008), Zootopia (2016)
13. SOMETHING NEW: A movie in theaters this year.
I know what we’ll be at.
Our suggestions: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Logan, Star Wars Episode VIII
14. GIVE IT A SHOT: A movie in a genre you would not normally watch.
My interests cover a lot of genres, but there’s a certain type of period piece I don’t normally watch. You can keep your Downton Abbeys and your Pride and Prejudices (zombified or otherwise), because they’re just not typically my jam. For my sister, it’s war movies. So, if you’re like either of us, the following might help, otherwise you’re on your own here.
Our suggestions: Sense & Sensibility (1995), Black Hawk Down (2001), The Hurt Locker (2008)
15. FIRST JOBS: Think of your favorite movie of the moment and watch the first movie (that’s readily available to you) by its director.
For instance, if you’re super into “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” right now, you might go looking for Gareth Edwards’ 2010 film “Monsters” (unless you can find his 2005 TV movie “End Days.”)
16. BEYOND THE GRAVE: A movie with ghosts.
Hollywood loves its ghost stories, and so do we!
Our suggestions: Ghost (1990), The Frighteners (1996), 13 Ghosts (2001)
17. DOUBLE TROUBLE: A movie where an actor plays 2 roles.
Our suggestions: The Parent Trap (1961 or 1998), The Man in the Iron Mask (1998), The Prestige (2006)
18. HOLIDAZED: A holiday themed movie.
Director Garry Marshall could have you covered with his trio of films based on holidays (Mother’s Day, New Years Eve and Valentine’s Day) and there’s always Christmas movies to choose from. Whether you call Die Hard a Christmas movie is up to you. (We do, because Die Hard.)
Our suggestions: Gremlins (1984), April Fool’s Day (1986),
19. JUDGMENT-FREE ZONE: Somebody else’s favorite movie.
20. SPIN THE WHEEL: Something randomly chosen
21. ASK AN ‘EXPERT’: A movie recommended by a theater person (popcorn maker, ticket taker, floor sweeper).
Just don’t bug them at peak times.
22. IN MEMORIAM: A movie featuring someone who died in 2016.
Sadly, the list to choose from is quite large.
Our suggestions: Labyrinth (David Bowie – 1986), The Burbs (Carrie Fisher – 1989) Galaxy Quest (Alan Rickman – 1999)
23. FINDING GOD: A movie about religion.
Movies featuring religion run the gamut from incredibly irreverent to deeply spiritual, and we’re not picky on either front.
Our suggestions: The Prince of Egypt (1998), Dogma (1999), Stigmata (1999), Soul Surfer (2011)
24. RIPPED FROM THE HEADLINES: A movie based on a true story.
For a large selection to choose from (and quiz of what you’ve already seen), try this listchallenges quiz (Can you beat my pathetic score of 33?).
Our suggestions: All The President’s Men (1976), Remember the Titans (2000), Milk (2008)
25. LEAVE IT ALL ON THE FIELD: A sports movie.
You can also find a lot of these under the “based on a true story category.”
Our suggestions: A League of Their Own (1992), The Mighty Ducks (1992), Cool Runnings (1993), The Rookie (2002),
26. THEY’RE PEOPLE TOO, RIGHT?: A movie prominently featuring an animal.
Wikipedia has a giant list ranging from the 1930s to 2016.
Our suggestions: The Adventures of Milo & Otis (1986), Turner & Hooch (1989), Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey (1993).
So, there you have it. Happy movie watching.
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