Help me never have to see Angelina Jolie's face again!
May 7, 2006 2:24 PM   Subscribe

Recommend some quality, crowd-pleasing films

I work in a youth hostel, and I'm really, really tired of having to watch 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' 3 times a week. I've been given carte blanche to go DVD shopping, but I'm drawing a blank - especially because I tend to like artier films that most of the college backpackers I'm shopping for are unlikely to play, which, as much as I'd enjoy buying everything on my personal wish-list, doesn't help with my problem.

Please help me pick some movies that a) aren't Hollywood crap; and b) will appeal to a variety of tastes, including my own!
posted by xanthippe to Media & Arts (21 answers total)
I guess this is right out?

When I was traveling the hostel circuit, most backpackers tended to enjoy escapist entertainment, both in books and movies.

So things like The Lord of The Rings trilogy, Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, etc. would probably be popular. But maybe that's too Hollywood for you.

Some other artier suggestions that still might appeal to the backpacker crowd:

Lost In Translation
Lawrence of Arabia
Spirited Away
posted by justkevin at 2:38 PM on May 7, 2006

Easy Rider. It's never shown on TV so people of my hostel going generation have never seen it. It's a total backpacker crowd movie too.
posted by geoff. at 2:41 PM on May 7, 2006

What about comedies that missed a lot of the mainstream Hollywood crowds like The Big Lebowski, Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, or Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels? I think they can all appeal to a variety of tastes, and whenever someone tells me they haven't seen one of them when they're at my place, I throw it in the player. I haven't heard a complaint from anyone yet.
posted by educatedslacker at 2:53 PM on May 7, 2006

Baraka is great.
posted by airguitar at 3:08 PM on May 7, 2006

Some choices that might bridge between independent and Hollywood fans in that age range:

Pulp Fiction
The Usual Suspects
Donnie Darko
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
posted by divka at 3:18 PM on May 7, 2006

According to the Facebook, these are the top ten movies at Washington University right now (i.e. the ones that have been mentioned in the most students' profiles):

1. Shawshank Redemption
2. Fight Club
3. Lord of the Rings
4. Garden State
5. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
6. Office Space
7. Zoolander
8. Love Actually
9. Wedding Crashers
10. Boondock Saints

These are the top ten across the country:

1. The Notebook
2. Wedding Crashers
3. Anchorman
4. Old School
5. Fight Club
6. Boondock Saints
7. Lord of the Rings
8. Napoleon Dynamite
9. Garden State
10. Office Space
posted by limeonaire at 3:22 PM on May 7, 2006

Also, everyone loves Ghostbusters.
posted by limeonaire at 3:24 PM on May 7, 2006

Blazing Saddles, Spaceballs, The Princess Bride, One Crazy Summer. You know, the classics.
posted by amro at 3:29 PM on May 7, 2006

an easy question, with an easy answer = Hostel?
posted by matimer at 3:36 PM on May 7, 2006

Maybe some old westerns, like Rio Bravo or the Fistful of Dollars films
Y Tu Mama Tambien
The Motorcycle Diaries
posted by teleskiving at 3:41 PM on May 7, 2006

posted by PenDevil at 3:43 PM on May 7, 2006

Get some good road movies -

The Sure Thing
Midnight Run
Lost In America
Easy Rider
posted by any major dude at 3:57 PM on May 7, 2006

Touching the Void
Grizzly Man
posted by box at 4:22 PM on May 7, 2006

Shawn of the Dead
posted by magwich at 4:45 PM on May 7, 2006

I see you're in Hungary, so I'd advise against anything too "talky" in deference to what's probably an international clientele. Anything complicated would also be hard to pick up midplot (assuming your moviegoers don't all show up on time). And older might be good, since it's less familiar. How about:
- Buster Keaton anything
- "Pink Panther" series
- Rocky Horror Picture Show
- something in the "Shaolin Soccer" vein
posted by rob511 at 5:00 PM on May 7, 2006

Master and Commander, beautifully directed by Peter Weir, is a surprisingly sharp sea-faring adventure story with a proto-Darwinian natural history subplot that stands up well to repeated viewings; it pretty much defines "smart crowd-pleaser." There's a ton of detail about the nitty-gritty of shipboard life covered in a series of short glances, but the one downside is there's pretty much no female presence in the movie at all. Still, I think it'll have wide appeal for the backpacking crowd.
posted by mediareport at 5:11 PM on May 7, 2006

William Friedkin's Sorceror.
posted by rleamon at 5:15 PM on May 7, 2006

lighter stuff:
- Breaking Away
- Raising Arizona
- Best in Show/Waiting for Guffman
- Spinal Tap
- Napoleon Dynamite
- A Hard Day's Night
- Monty Python's Life of Brian/Holy Grail
- Peewee's Big Adventure
- Raiders of the Lost Ark
- Withnail & I
- Catch Me If You Can
- 24-Hour Party People
- Bend it Like Beckham
- Down By Law
- Run Lola Run
- Searching for Bobby Fischer

darker stuff:
- Pulp Fiction
- LA Confidential
- Goodfellas
- Godfather 1 &2
- Silence of the Lambs
- The Grifters
- The Professional
posted by scody at 6:03 PM on May 7, 2006

Looney Toons
Merry Melodies
Disney shorts
Tom & Jerry shorts
Ray & Charles Eames movies
posted by Sticherbeast at 6:38 PM on May 7, 2006

Say Anything
Top Gun
Good Will Hunting
The Saint
posted by geeky at 8:24 PM on May 7, 2006

Why don't you ask the backpackers themselves? Just post a notice asking them to write down movies they'd like to see.
posted by Sharcho at 9:24 PM on May 7, 2006

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