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Column: I'm completely fine with the same 3 movies

There are days when I literally roll out of bed and walk the short five feet to my desk to start writing stories. This usually happens when I’m on a deadline and have a lot to write for the next edition.

Other times, I sit at my desk and stare off into space. Sometimes, it is because I’m waiting to hear back from someone, and other times, I cannot focus on putting together more than a paragraph. When I’m in the zone, it’s not uncommon to knock out three or four stories in a morning, but there are days when the blank Microsoft Word template is my nemesis, and I don’t get a lot done.

Since I do most of my work from home, if I’m not in an overly creative mood, I will wander outside for a few minutes if the weather allows, or I will sit down and watch television for a while. There is an unwritten rule in our house that Melissa and I cannot watch our favorite programs without each other, so I will often scroll through the channel guide until I find something to help pass the time.

Often, this will be a true crime show, but I don’t generally want to take creative inspiration from that. As much as I enjoy true crime, it can be a bit depressing and will send me back to staring at a blank screen, trying to figure out a lead to a story.

I’m always over the moon when I’m scrolling through the guide and see what I describe as the three movies I can watch repeatedly and never get sick of.

Whenever I see that “Stand by Me,” “Good Fellas,” or “The Shawshank Redemption” is playing, I will always tune in. There might be a couple of movies that I have higher on my all-time favorite list, but sometimes those put me in a strange emotional mood, much like watching a murder mystery.

These three movies never disappoint. It’s also probably good that I usually watch them by myself because I spend the entire time reciting the dialogue like it was the lyrics from the number one song from when I was ten years old.

It also does not matter how long the movie has been on. If it starts at 3 p.m. and I turn it on at 4:30, I will happily watch the last 30 minutes.

I can still remember going to the theater in Salt Lake City to watch “Stand by Me,” and I could not take my eyes off the screen. I was around the same age as the characters who went searching for the body of a boy hit by a train, and I related so much to each and every one of them. Each time I watch the movie, I’m instantly transported back to sitting at the theater.

Much like “Stand by Me,” “Shawshank” was also based on a short story written by Stephen King, although they are nothing alike. While it probably sounds weird to call a prison movie beautiful, that is precisely what this film is. Director Frank Darabont crafted a masterpiece so good that I could watch it once a week and never get sick of it. It is perfectly cast and paced. Somebody better have a pretty damn compelling argument to convince me that “Forrest Gump” should have beaten it for the Academy Award. Gump is a great flick, but I just don’t’ think it holds up to fellow nominees that year in “Shawshank” or “Pulp Fiction”.

As for “Good Fellas,” I’d always loved mob movies growing up, but this was unlike any I had ever watched. Its start is pretty common, with a “mobster” making his way through an organization, but it reverses course near the end into a drug-paranoid fever dream. Martin Scorsese is a phenomenal director, but this is by far his magnum opus and another movie I wouldn’t mind watching weekly.

Once the NCAA Basketball Tournament ends, I might watch all three movies in a day. It sounds like a fantastic way to spend a weekend or perhaps a weekday if I’m drawing a blank.

 
 
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