#10.) The Road Warrior (Mad Max 2)
I think I was about 10 when I saw this, and it was my first post-apocalyptic movie experience. I didn't even know it was a sequel until many years later.
#9.) Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan
After I watched Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I left the theater scratching my head and wondering what the Hell just happened?!? I think that pretty much led me to realize that I'm truly more of a Star Wars guy! When WOK came out, I had little hope for the quality of the film, but I figured; "Hey - it can't get any worse, right?" And it didn't; it got much, much better! At the time, I didn't even realize that Khan was a character from the very first episode of the TV show! I gained a much deeper appreciation for the sequel after I saw "Space Seed" for the first time!
#8.) X2: X-Men United
Watching Nightcrawler kick ass through the White House in the very beginning of the film made me instantly realize that this was going to be a superior film!
#7.) Spider-Man 2
While I really enjoyed the original film, I had a really hard time getting past the organic web-shooters and the Green Goblin costume that was snatched from the "Mighty Morphin Power Rangers" set next door. While part 2 still had the biological webs, Sam Raimi and Alfred Molina did an excellent job in bringing Dr. Otto Octavius to life! I also felt that Raimi put more of himself and his unique style of direction into this film.
#6.) Evil Dead 2
I remember seeing a poster for the original Evil Dead at my local theater with the cross and the hand coming through the ground grabbing the screaming girl, and my 8 year old mind thought it must be the scariest movie ever! Plus, They would only show it during the midnight movie express with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, which, I assumed at the time was a very odd horror movie. But that's how scary it must be - too scary for normal folks in the daylight! When I was finally old enough to survive a viewing, it scared the shit out of me! The possessed girl sitting on the floor cackling and singing "we're gonna get you, we're gonna get you" simply put me right over the edge! When the sequel came out, I was probably 14 or 15 years old, but I still had to wait for it to come out on home video because it was rated NC-17, which was pretty much "X". When I finally saw it, I didn't think it was so much scary as it was clever - the story was better, the FX superior, the dialogue was cool as Hell; "Let's go down there and carve ourselves a witch", and the infusion of humor was a stroke of genius!
#5.) Superman 2
The tagline for Superman was "You will believe a man can fly", and believe we did! While I loved most everything about the first film, I didn't care too much for Gene Hackman's Luthor; he was much too silly, and I felt that Ned Beatty as his idiot assistant was unnecessary and ridiculous. Also, I've always had a problem with Luthor b/c he was never really a match for Superman; the only thing keeping Superman from giving him a heat-vision lobotomy in the first 10 seconds of their first meeting was Superman's code of ethics. That being said, I really wanted to see an adversary that Superman could really let loose on, and Superman 2 granted me my wish... times three! I can forgive Superman's amnesia-inducing kisses and expanding cling-wrap-chest-insignia-trap-thingee as long as I got to see General Zod & Co. bitch-slapping the man of steel with city buses all throughout New York, er, I mean, Metropolis.
#4.) Terminator 2: Judgement Day
How can you top a film about an unstoppable robotic killing machine from the future that looks like a man? You bring a better unstoppable robotic killing machine from the future that's made of liquid metal and can look like anyone or anything, and have him kick the shit out of the first Terminator! Oh, and get Guns & Roses to do the soundtrack!
How do you top a film about a terrifying unstoppable killing machine from another planet picking off the crew of a spaceship one-by-one? You add a thousand more terrifying unstoppable killing machines from another planet and send the Space-Marines in after them!
#2.) The Dark Knight
While Batman Begins was a really good movie, TDK was a truly excellent film! TDK single-handidly raised the bar for an entire genre. This was a film that I feel really gave credibility and depth to superhero movies. Not only is this my favorite superhero film of all time, it's one of my favorite movies... period. Not enough praise could be heaped on Heath Ledger for turning what is often seen as a silly, absurd or comical villain, into something truly terrifying and evil.
#1.) The Empire Strikes Back
I know, I know - I'm too predictable. I can't help it, though; ESB is just such a bad-ass movie!!! I can remember thinking that there was no way that they could possibly top Star Wars (which of course, was my favorite film at the time), but when I left the theater, my little 7 year-old mind was truly blown, and I was on a galactic high that I still don't think I've quite come down from to this day! I mean, the main bad guy being the hero's FATHER?!? What the Hell is that all about?!? And Boba Fett, and a Yeti, and Snowtroopers, and Yoda!!!
I gotta sit down a minute... I feel a bit light-headed.