Chris Pratt didn’t become one of Hollywood’s most debated movie stars by doing things in the conventional Hollywood way, so it’s no surprise that the “Jurassic World: Dominion” star won’t include certain popular films in a private coming-of-age film festival he has planned for his 9-year-old son this summer.
That’s right, Pratt won’t be showing his son, Jack, “Stand By Me,” “The Breakfast Club” or even the raunchy “Superbad” during an upcoming father-son camping trip on his farm in Washington State. Instead, the actor revealed during a recent episode of the “SmartLess” podcast, hosted by fellow actors Jason Bateman, Will Arnett, and Sean Hayes, he’s lined up “Rambo: First Blood,” “Red Dawn,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Pee-wee’s Big Adventure.”
“I’m going up there this summer with my 9-year-old son, Jack, and we’re going to camp for 10 days,” Pratt explained about his son, whom he shares with his first wife, Anna Faris. Pratt said they’ll fish on a lake that he keeps fully stocked, and he will show his son 10 movies.
“Ten days, 10 movies,” Pratt said. “It’s going to be like a coming-of-age summer blast. I’ve got the list, they’re pretty funny movies, I’ll tell you right now.”
“Rambo: First Blood” isn’t known to be funny, and it’s doubtful it would make any of the usual lists of best coming-of-age movies. The 1982 film, which launched an ’80s action-movie franchise, stars a mullet-headed Sylvester Stallone as a former Vietnam War Green Beret with PTSD who gets harassed and abused by sadistic police in a small town, then wages a one-man war against the entire police force and the National Guard.
Maybe Pratt saw “Rambo: First Blood” at a formative time in his life, growing up in rural Washington state in the 1980s and 1990s. For him, perhaps it’s a coming-of-age flick. In the podcast chat, Pratt also revealed he wasn’t taught a lot of “critical thinking skills” growing up. This statement could reopen discussion about whether that experience impacted Pratt’s taste in movies or explains the reasons that social media users have dubbed him Hollywood’s “worst Chris.”
Perhaps Pratt’s list should speak for itself. Here are the 10 that Pratt believes will provide memorable bonding moments for him and his son:
- Rambo: First Blood (R)
- Dumb and Dumber (PG-13)
- White Fang (PG)
- Pee Wee’s Big Adventure (PG)
- Rudy (PG)
- Toy Soldiers (R)
- Red Dawn (PG-13)
- Bloodsport (R)
- Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (PG-13)
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail (PG)
Some are R-rated, which could prompt some of Pratt’s online critics to question whether they are appropriate viewing for a 9-year-old.
In a story about Pratt’s movie list for the culture and politics site Pajiba.com, writer Dustin Rowles said he wasn’t familiar with “Toy Soldiers,” but he noted that it stars Sean Astin and Wil Weaton, who famously starred in “Stand By Me.”
“Toy Soldiers” might qualify for the coming-of-age label because the 1991 film is about a group of resourceful teens at an all-male boarding school who fight back after their school is overtaken by terrorists. The Cold War-era “Red Dawn” has a somewhat similar premise: A group of high-schoolers resist occupation after the United States is invaded by the Soviet Union and its communist allies from Cuba and Nicaragua.
During the chat with Bateman, Arnett and Hayes, Pratt also seemed amenable to the addition of “Taps” from 1981, which starred a young Tom Cruise and Sean Penn as teen military school students who decide to take over their school to save it from closing.
In regard to Pratt’s overall list, Rowles wrote: “I suppose they all fall under the category of ‘coming of age’ film, depending upon what you want your child to become.”
People commenting on the Panjiba.com story expressed surprise at the inclusion of Ang Lee’s high-brow, non-English language martial arts film, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon,” saying the 2000 Academy Award winner seems to come out of “left field.”
Others pointed out that most of Pratt’s films all would qualify as “boy movies” — from the 1998 Jean-Claude Van Damme martial arts vehicle “Bloodsport” to the uplifting 1993 football drama “Rudy” and the 1991 Jack London-inspired boy-and-his-wolfdog adventure tale, “White Fang.” Indeed, it seems unlikely that Pratt would have considered including any classic, coming-of-age movies that male critics have tended to dismiss as “girl movies,” such as “Little Women,” “Ladybird,” “Mean Girls” or “Booksmart,” but the latter three would meet Pratt’s definition as “pretty funny movies.”