Commentary, this and that

My life in movies

You can learn a lot about a person from the movies on their shelf. For now let’s take a little trip into the movie shelf in my head.

Films That Remind Me of Childhood:
Back to the Future is still the first movie I can remember seeing in theaters. My “first movie” was Follow That Bird, but I don’t really recall seeing it. Back to the Future was vivid; we went to the Fox Theater (which is a memory in and of itself) and I especially remember the opening bit with the giant amp and speaker, and then I remember having a crush on Michael J. Fox for a long time, as much as a three year old can crush.

Roger Rabbit was one that I distinctly remember. I’m pretty sure we saw it in theaters and I vaguely recall my parents thinking they shouldn’t have taken me, but having seen it as an adult I can honestly say that the adult parts were completely over my head. Jessica Rabbit got chalked up to Red from the old Tex Avery cartoons.

The Rescuers Down Under came out when I was about seven, so going into second grade (I think). My favorite part was the goanna lizard named Joanna, and how she kept stealing eggs. “These are NOT Joanna eggs!” was one of my kid-catch-phrases (a la “There IS such a thing as privacy!”) that stuck for a while. Also this Rescuers movie was a lot more fun than the original, and really shows the huge change that happened in Disney’s studio between the 1970s (and all of their dark, serious movies) and the 1990s when the Disney revival happened. I would even argue that this movie set the tone for The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and The Lion King.

Home Alone was one I saw a couple of times in theaters, and I remember going with my cousin. We all quoted it in school because in middle-elementary it was the “cool” movie.

Childhood Films Where Removal was Necessary:
Ghost Dad really upset me in the theater and I asked to leave. Other than that, I can’t really recall being removed from any movies. I’m sure the channel got changed a few times.

Films that Defined My Teens:
Men in Black is one I still enjoy watching. It was the first blockbuster movie when I got to high school and pop culture references become a big thing at that age so it stuck with me.

The Matrix came out between my sophomore and junior years of high school and that became the next huge pop culture defining movie. The first one was very good but I didn’t like the other two.

Labyrinth is a movie that should’ve been a childhood movie, but I don’t think I saw it until I was a teenager. This is one that my friends and I would quote incessantly at one another and we enjoyed that most people our age had no idea what we were referencing. It was this great inside joke. “Don’t go that way, nobody ever goes that way!” and “One door leads to the castle at the center of the labyrinth and the other door leads to BA BA BA BOOM! CERTAIN DEATH! Ooooooh!” are two I especially recall.

The Fugitive was the first in a long line of action flicks I rented from the local video store. There was a whole wall of them and I went through and rented a huge number, trying to see as many movies as I could. Action is still one of my favorite genres, though I tend to like suspense in the mix (much like The Fugitive) more than straight action movies.

Lord of the Rings. That is all. Actually, I spent a good bit of high school and then early college obsessed with these movies because I was obsessed with the books long before any of my friends had heard of them. For years LotR was “that weird book (my name) reads all the time” to my friends. When it became a blockbuster, then I wasn’t so weird. Then I could answer questions. Incidentally, the site I linked for the movie title used to be the homepage on my browser, back when it was a white background with some photos on it and filming information was scarce. Heh.

Films Seen Multiple Times at Theaters:
I saw Fellowship of the Ring no less than eight times in theaters. Please see the above paragraph.

First Date Film:
While I had a couple of “only dates” (so not really “first dates”) to movies in college, Alien vs. Predator was my first date with J. Yes, he picked it. It’s okay, though, since I’ve picked a massive number of the movies we’ve seen since then and he has discovered several things about movies, namely that musicals are AWESOME, that cartoons are still so much fun, and that when I say things like “The King’s Speech looks really good, we should go!” it’s better to just agree with me.

Nightmares from Films:
E.T. No lie. I will not watch that movie to this day. I don’t know what scared me more: the monster coming into the room, the monster hiding in the stuffed animals (I had a TON of stuffed animals as a child), or the part where the monster almost dies and the whole house gets quarantined. I fail to see anything cute or charming about this movie and find it disturbing in the extreme. In fact, I’m getting worked up just writing about it. *shudder*

Also The Lorax— I had LOTS of nightmares about green arms coming out of dark holes to grab me. For years I had this recurring dream where a hole opened in the middle of our (built on concrete slab) downstairs and that I couldn’t walk within a certain distance or green arms would come out and grab me. Sometimes the hole with the arms would shift to be under my bed. For years I had to sleep with my cat quilt (it’s covered in cats dancing ballet) and with a huge stuffed animal blocking me from the edge of the bed because I was convinced that those would protect me from the green arms. I also think I never told my parents about this fear and they probably wondered what compulsion made me sleep buried under stuffed animals… Well, now you know.**

Films that are Guilty Pleasures:
Josie and the Pussycats came out my freshman year of college and it was just the kind of silly girl movie that I related to at the time. It also helped that I really didn’t like boy bands and that this movie pretty much lampooned the music industry and the boy band craze.

I saw Mystery Men in theaters and loved it for its quirkiness, but no one else seems to have liked it.

Last Film I Saw at the Theater:
Gnomeo and Juliet was very cute, but I liked the opening monologue (along with the other snarky Shakespeare references) best. You should know that I detest Romeo and Juliet (though I generally love Shakespeare) and that this movie was fun anyway, so take that as you will for a recommendation.

Favorite Film Nobody Else Seems to Know About:
Prancer is my favorite Christmas movie but I almost never meet people who have seen it. Shame, as it’s charming.

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*This is a borrowed meme, and it took a little digging, but I eventually found its source: a list of blogging memes from squidoo. I’m thinking of doing another BEDA (Blog Every Day in April this time) and using the memes from the site.

**How weird is it that I grew up to work in the conservation field when the poster-child conservation book and movie gave me such nightmares? You’d think I would be traumatized or something.

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2 thoughts on “My life in movies”

  1. Oh good, you found the original link. I want to go look at that meme list again to see if there are any others I might want to do…

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  2. Thanks for taking me on your personal cinematic tour. The trek brought back sweet memories and proved to be much fun. When I was about six my sister Rosemary treated me to an awful, campy horror flick starring a young UCLA student, Michael Landon. He tried forever after to get past his first movie role as the lead “character” in the horrid “Monster on the Campus”.

    During my preschool years my sister enjoyed teasing me with tales of werewolves that might creep out in the darkness from the deep forest that framed our northside Atlanta home. My early childhood nightmares involved wild, snarling beasts eager to eat little boys. I heaped a few stuffed toys onto my bed, too, hoping to buffer any potential attacks.

    Perhaps it’s not so surprising then that I liked another Michael J. Fox film made when you were young, “Teen Wolf”. I’ve gotten a happy kick out of wolves ever since.

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