As a getting-to-know-you exercise, I thought it was high time to share my Desert Island movies: the five titles that, if stranded alone with no other forms of cinematic entertainment, I could happily watch over and over until I eventually perished – or at least until the WiFi disappeared.

If you find yourself missing sitting in stadiums and arenas, or even in front of the TV, with your best friends and some nachos and a cold beer or six (or is that just me … ?), consider turning or returning to one of these five – make that six – outstanding, inspiring sports films from 1981 to 1996. Advance apologies to those looking for golf movies. Might I suggest that you instead get outdoors and golf?

The following are 10 answers to the (currently) frequently asked question “What're you watching these days?” – some brand-new, some new-ish, all of them hugely enjoyed during our stay-at-home period, and a few of them almost more fun than preparing for a new play for live audiences. Almost. Sigh.

As a change of pace from recent articles showcasing five similarly-themed offerings that debuted when I was between three and 26, allow me to present a compromise of 77 winners from the period of 1995-99: my official-in-print 10-favorites lists from the ends of those years, and what those lists would now look like after 20-plus years of consideration and reconsideration.

Here are five unforgettable summer blockbusters from 1975 to 1994 that you're probably familiar with – all of them ideal for different moods, all of them Oscar winners (from 19 nominations overall), and all of them worth revisiting even if it's snowing. Which, in our area, could be anytime but summer.

The following home-viewing options are five works that, for whatever reason, scared the bejeezus out of me as a child and now make me almost nothing but happy. The Towering Inferno ain't among them. Some phobias are eternal.

The following are five of my favorite 1975-1993 ensemble movies with significant roles for more than a dozen name performers, with mentions of the most valuable players in ascending order of ardor. The six actors nominated for Academy Awards for these films were ineligible for MVP inclusion, as they probably found it heartening enough just to hear their names read aloud before learning that their Oscars were being awarded to others. Hmm. Was that actually heartening … ?

In honor of my Augustana College friends who are graduating this weekend yet were denied the opportunity to enjoy a proper on-campus send-off before entering the cold, cruel workplace world, here are five titles under the collective blanket of “What I Want to Be When I Grow Up” – home-viewing options from 1976 to 1990 featuring excellent examples of pros at their inspiring peaks of performance. Consider it my cinematic commencement address. I don't know why I've never been asked to give a real one. Probably because they'd anticipate my being crude. Those jackasses.

What follows are five of my favorites from the 1970s and '80s that give me the pleasure of being riveted by others' anger when I'm feeling some myself and want to dispel it without throwing a public fit or composing an online treatise on the subject. The latter of which I suppose I'm doing right now. Damn it.

There were loads of huge hits in the summer of '92: Batman Returns and Lethal Weapon 3 and Sister Act and A League of Their Own … . But as usual, the releases that affected me most and lingered most were the ones that went dark, even for comedies – works that continue to resonate more than a quarter-century after my initial viewings. Here are my five favorites – all but one seen gratis, and all of them enjoyed before I had to start paying for movies all the time like some kind of chump … .

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