Thursday, January 27, 2011

Classic Movie Flashback

As it happens on any slow-moving Sunday, television is filled with old and slightly new films to pass the day with. Today's selection is a 1993 classic, and one of my most watched films of all time: Jurassic Park.

Growing up in a tiny town with the movie rental selection of a college library, we had very few options when it came to cinematic entertainment. Aside from every Disney movie ever made (up until 1998, when we moved to an actual city), there weren't a whole lot of movies we got to watch back then due to unavailability. Some personal favourites that I rented far too often were (and in some cases still are) JAWS, Now and Then, Hocus Pocus, Sphere, and The Beast. As far as Jurassic Park went, we bought it because it was that awesome (and I wasn't the only one in the house who would watch it -- no one else seemed quite as interested in how JAWS* was going to tear off people's faces).

Owning Jurassic Park lead to a surprising amount of terrifying (hey, I was only 6 when it came out) midnight viewings, and as such, I've fairly accurately memorized the entire film. Over the years, my childish terror has been converted into amused enjoyment. (But FUCK E.T.! I will never stop being terrified by that wrinkly abomination.)

I suppose you can probably tell that this post is less of a review and more just a sentimental reflection. Being the naive 23-year-old that I am, I still find it difficult to believe that not everyone has those movies from childhood that are so ingrained in your subconscious that they become a part of you, and as a result, you are physically and psychologically unable to believe that not every human with access to the internet, DVDs, or cable shares your creepy love for them. I still can't believe it when people tell me they haven't seen JAWS. I know it came out in 1975, but so did Star Wars (don't worry; I know it was 1977) and everyone's seen that (right?).

It's strange that people seem to think that everyone has basically the same childhood experiences (until proven otherwise), but no matter how aware you are of said fact, it's still a shock to find out that not everyone's parents dressed them up as Dr. Frankenfurter and brought them to 3am showings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. (That wasn't me or my parents -- I'm the only one in my house who's interested in cinematic pop culture.)

Is it strange to be so in love with cinema that it helped to define my childhood? I remember the first time I watched Daddy's Girl (horror/thriller from 1996). We rented it for my birthday and I loved it. However, the first time I watched it was also the last, and despite that it was more than ten years ago, I still remember quite a bit of it. (I actually just bought it on eBay because I'm a giant loser. Thank god I still have a VCR.)

That's actually how I got hold of The Beast for the first time (since I saw it for the first time in 1996, anyway). A good friend of mine, Joanie, knew all about my massive passion for the movie and had listened to me state over and over how I was going to track it down some day. I'd been obsessed with getting my own copy of it for almost 10 years. Then one day, Joan brought me a present: The Beast on VHS! I was ecstatic. (She was also the one who found Sphere on DVD for me.) A few years after that, I acquired The Beast on DVD, and then, during 2010, Jordan "surprised" me with it on Blu-Ray. I suppose now I'm just waiting for Daddy's Girl to be put on DVD (and then Blu-Ray).

That's what really makes me sad, though. All of those awful movies that made my childhood so enjoyable may never make it to DVD. I may never see them again.

Clearly I'm somewhat distracted. I started this post almost two weeks ago and lost my train of thought. I suppose the point I'm trying to make is that movies may seem like unimportant modes of entertainment, but they do make an impact. I'm also saying that Sundays are BORING.

*If JAWS really is the name of the shark (though the animatronic one was named Bruce), then I can't call him just "Jaws". His entire name needs to be capitalized.

No comments:

Post a Comment