Sunday, June 20, 2010
This is a day late, but we had a fairly busy Father's Day weekend and I am terrible at planning ahead. But I still want to give a nod to all the great dads out there and offer a hat-tip to some great big-screen fathers (mostly sci-fi related, but with a few exceptions) that remind me just how important dads are and how much they add to my favorite movies. In no particular order. Henry Jones Sr. -- Indiana Jones He may not be the warmest father, what with his quest for the Holy Grail taking up so much of his time. But he certainly inspired Indiana Jones to be one inquisitive guy. Sean Connery proved that age is no object when it comes to the ladies, but we like him best because he's Indy's dad and he wields a mean umbrella. Clark Griswold-- Vacation Clark isn't the star of some science fiction masterpiece, but he has geek written all over him with his Members Only jackets and metallic pea-green family-truckster station wagon. I don't know any kid who couldn't find a comparison to their dad and Clark Griswold. He just wanted to have a family vacation to Wally World-- is that too much to ask? I could quote this movie all day. Rusty Griswold: Is that a real gun, Mom? Ellen Griswold: I don't know, Rusty, but when this is all over, your father may be going away for a little while. Bob Parr-- The Incredibles Imagine if your dad was an honest-to-goodness superhero? Well, Bob Parr is. But he's still a typical dad and husband, with the normal middle-aged malaise and need to be needed. But Bob wouldn't be the guy he is without his family and that sweet realization is something the whole family can enjoy. Damon MacReady (Big Daddy)-- Kick Ass They don't make dads more warped than Big Daddy and there is very little to recommend when it comes to his style of fatherhood. But he's also incredibly compelling and willing to do anything for his little girl. Okay, teaching her to take a bullet is just wrong, but would you believe me if I said he meant well? Bryan Mills-- Taken Bryan is the dad every guy wishes he could be-- don't you think? Men always say they'll meet any prospective boyfriends as the door with a shotgun, but manners, and the desire to prevent a lawsuit, generally stop them from going there. And heaven forbid anything really bad happens. How many of us would be be able to kick some bad-guy butt the way Liam Neeson does as Bryan Mills? Vicarious thrills never hit so close to home. John McClain-- Die Hard John McClain is another dad you don't want on your bad side. He's had some hard times and an estrangement from his family, but he has somehow managed to pass on those tough-guy genes to his daughter Lucy. In fact, John McClain is the guy you could see meeting the boyfriend at the door with a shotgun-- and getting away with it. Darth Vader--Star Wars Vader doesn't deserve an award for being a dad, but he gets on the list for one reason-- having one of the most iconic, misquoted movie lines ever. Luke, I am your father. Apparently the proper quote goes like this: Darth Vader: Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father. Luke: He told me enough. He told me you killed him! Darth Vader: No. I am your father. At any rate, this was the big twist in the original "Star Wars" trilogy that spawned a million parodies (my favorite being from "Toy Story") so he deserves and honorable mention at least. Marlin--Finding Nemo Here's one for the neurotic, overprotective parent in all of us. Marlin has every reason to cling to Nemo after the tragic loss of his wife, but Nemo doesn't understand that-- he just wants to be a kid. "Finding Nemo" is a wonderful ode to the everyday heroes in all of our dads and a movie that begs to be watched over and over. It goes without saying that there is no way I could have mentioned everyone who should be on this list (least of all the real dads out there). But these are the guys who pop into my head when I think of great, fictional dads. Who would make your list?