Lists, lists, lists! The internet these days is full of lists. “Top 7 Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Born in Alabama.” “The 5 Funniest Lines From Comedies That Grossed Less Than $5 Million in Domestic Box Office on Opening Weekend.”
Et cetera. Et cetera.
Outdoor magazine recently posted a list of the best survival movies that caught my eye for two reasons. First, I go to the movies to escape and adventure movies are my favorite kind of film. Second, this list of “best” survival movies had 28 entries. Really?
The 28 “best” of anything seems oxymoronic to me. So, I narrowed it to 9.
The Edge – I love the reading-rules message of this one. Anthony Hopkins is an aging billionaire stranded by a plane crash in the Alaskan wilderness with hip young photographer Alec Baldwin. They survive the peril, including repeated bear attacks, because of what Hopkins learned in a book!
Cast Away – Tom Hanks is amazing as the Fed Ex employee stranded on a desert island for four years with only volleyball for company. My favorite line comes after Hanks’ character is rescued. “So, we have an NFL team now in Tennessee and it’s in Nashville, not Memphis?”
Cliffhanger – Sly Stallone in a mountain climbing/heist movie – with explosions. Lots of explosions. Hey, it’s a Stallone movie!
Jurassic Park – Often imitated (by its own sequels, even) but never matched! Four words sum it all up: Velociraptors in the kitchen.
The Perfect Storm – This true story of New England fisherman caught in a one-in-a-century storm is thrilling, for sure. But is it a survival film if, ummm, they all die?
Jaws – The movie the launched the super villain career of the Great White Shark. I still keep my eyes peeled when I first get in the ocean – even if I’m thousands of miles from this classic movie’s Martha’s Vineyard-type setting.
Swiss Family Robinson – This Disney take on the story of a castaway family is great family fun. The very clever Robinsons build an awesome tree house, ride ostriches, and fight off pirates. More exciting than your last vacation, right?
I Am Legend – This last-man-on-Earth thriller starting Will Smith is actually a remake of the 1970’s Charlton Heston flick, The Omega Man. Will does it better than Chuck.
Alive – My favorite adventure film of all time. A rugby team’s plane crashes in the Andes Mountains, and the surviving players are forced to make the grueling walk out of the mountains with little to eat but their former team mates.