2. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
No, not the debatably crappy remake where everyone played musical chairs and Robocop was there for some reason. I mean the original, covered in rich Corinthian leather. Keep in mind, Sylar and "no other franchise" new Kirk (Kyle's Edit: Ah, the cool, refreshing taste of New Kirk, from your friends at the Kirka-Cola Co.) were dumped in our laps, but Wrath of Khan was after three years of TV episodes and a feature film. We as the audience were invested in these characters from the get-go. That being said, this was the show that coined the term "red shirts," which meant if three name-brand actors and some guy with a mustache go on an away mission, you know who's getting a tribble up the phase bank.
Again, a very "Manly" movie featuring revenge, mind-controlling ear parasites, and an oddly high amount of dead bodies for a Star Trek flick. Ricardo Bear-Chest (Kyle's Edit: I think Dan may have meant Bare-Chest, but it works both ways) waltzes in and takes over the place, then the Shatner hits the fan and yells at Ricardo really loudly. Like, really loud...He made it weird. Khan wants to steal some sort of "sperm-nuke" that impregnates everything it blows up. Now THAT'S "Manly" if I do say so myself! The Enterprise was damaged by Shatner's acting and they can't get away quick enough to avoid the pregnancy-shockwave. Don't worry, Spock will fix the reactor. Scotty yells something about it being dangerous, but come on...this is Star Trek. No one important dies in Star Trek...I'm sure he'll be fine.
He wasn't fine.
He dies, while giving such a simultaneously emotional speech and impeccable "I'm dying" acting display, it makes Scotty break out his bagpipes. Spock, the one so logical, finds his own death as necessary to save the crew. He does not show fear, or sadness. Instead he reminds Kirk of their lifelong bro-hood, and then he rasps out one last "live long and prosper." But this isn't a Vulcan platitude. He's urging Kirk to embrace the old age that has crept up on him, to accept that the old adventures are over. And then the movie ended. And then we didn't want to stand up because maybe the movie would come back on and he would wake up and wink at the camera.
I'm giving this one a bit of a pass because as good as it was, I don't think anyone would consider it a "classic." Not that you have to be a classic to be on this list, but still. A continuation and conclusion of the wildly popular cult show Firefly, this film was a miracle just for existing. The show had been cancelled for quite a while, and only through DVD box set sales did someone say "Hey, maybe we could make more money if we made more supply that people are demanding?" Visionary, that person was.
So this crew gets together again, and we have an entire TV season off which our expectations are based for this film. Everyone will get beaten up severely, then tell jokes that are just soooooooo funny that everything will work out in the end. Maybe even see Nathan Fillion's butt, but don't get greedy. There are bad guys chasing them, other bad guys chasing them, and they are also bad guys themselves, but they're funny about it. (Kyle's Edit: Spoilers? I guess? I'm not sure Dan remembers the plot of Serenity, guys.)
First Joss "I own Jupiter now" Whedon knocks off the priest, or "Shepherd" as people who cared about his character would protest. This lulled the audience into a false sense of security, because surely Joss would only kill off one of the original crew. And if you were going to have someone die, it would probably be the one with the least screen time or established plot from the series. There could be a Serenity 2: Electric Boogaloo without Shepherd Book. Suddenly, things start getting dicey and they have to make an emergency landing and HOLY CRAP NOOOOOOOOOOO! (Kyle's Edit: over 30 additional O's removed from that. You're welcome.)
Wash, the fan favorite, the funny guy, the heart of the ship, got his heart stabbed by a clipper ship, or something pointy that vaguely resembled one. It was sudden, it was unceremonious, and we hate you Joss. (Kyle's Edit: Dan's opinions are his own, and do not reflect the rest of the human race's feelings for the esteemed Mr. Whedon.) Keep making those Marvel movies, but we hate you. WAAAAAAAAAASH!