Movies have been a driving force in Anthrax drummer Charlie Benante's creative development since his childhood, and a core inspiration for his side career as a visual artist.
"My mom would take me to see all the Disney movies in the theater and it always struck me that these are cartoons, but the characters in these movies are moving with such grace and they had a different feel than a normal cartoon did," he recently told us. "Fantasia mesmerized me. My mom took me to see it quite a few times and there was the 'Night on Bald Mountain' section with the demon [set to the music of classical composer Modest Mussorgsky]. It was scary, but I loved it. From that moment on, I kind of knew I want to do something in this field. So I would always draw as a kid. That's all I did besides playing instruments."
Benante still loves a good film, despite it being hard for him to find time to watch them on the big screen these days: "It has to be something that I really want to see."
Below, the musician shares his picks for the standout films of the year.
I love the Queen movie, Bohemian Rhapsody. I've been anticipating this one for a long time — even when Sacha Baron Cohen was going to do it, it was interesting. But now having seen it, I would say that I liked it overall. I understood that the band's entire life story and career had to be condensed into a two-hour period, and there were times when I said to myself, "Nope, that didn't happen there, that's not right." But then I said to myself, "OK, stop with this, just enjoy this movie," and that's what I did. I really enjoyed it. It's a great story and I think that everyone should go see it.
The Han Solo movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story — this thing got kind of screwed over I think because of the last Star Wars movie, which I hated. But Solo was a really good movie. I loved what they did with it, and I would say if you're of the mind that you're "done with these Star Wars movies," then catch this one on cable, because you shouldn't miss it. If you're a Star Wars fan, this should definitely be included in your Star Wars realm of "I need to see this."
It took me forever to see this movie. I was very apprehensive about if it was a "kid movie." Finally went to see it and was pleasantly surprised by The Shining scene. I was freaking out when that happened, it was the greatest! So, yes, Ready Player One. I should have seen it earlier, but I didn't ... but you're never too late.
And then A Quiet Place. This was another one that I waited to see and after seeing it, I really liked it. I loved the whole concept of it. It was creepy, but it was well made and I really enjoyed it.