This Article appeared previously on The Vern’s Videovanguard
Movies have always been a huge part of my life ever since I was a small child. Both of my parents were involved in the entertainment industry in one way or the other. My mother taught English and directed plays, while my father owned a record store(Yes with actual LP’s) and was a vice president of a company that distributed DVDs and VHS to stores. It was inevitable that I would catch this sort of love early on. In this article, I want to just mention some of the titles that have had a lasting impression on me when I saw them at the cinemas. These are among the greatest cinematic experiences of The Vern.
The earliest memory of going to the movies that I can recall is seeing “Fantasia” with my family when I was seven. The town I grew up in was stuck between being called a suburb or a small town. We had an indoor mall but didn’t get a Target until way after I left. We were lucky to have both a cineplex which held eight theaters in one building(back in the early 80’s, this was quite the treat) and another which only had one screen. This animated classic was held in one of those classic movie houses that really looked like it was from the late 50’s. The kind that was designed for the wide screen. I can vividly recall the the theater having a balcony and seeing Burgundy curtains that would open up before the movie began. It was like I was at a concert hall seeing this performance live. The moment when Mickey Mouse shook hands with the conductor, it looked like he was actually there.
My parents took me and my sister to see a movie many times when we were younger and the next one I remember was “Ghostbusters“. The seats were all on this high raiser and I looked down at a screen that was just enormous to my little eyes. When the movie began and that library ghost jumped out. I was literary scared, and tried to run. My mom was quick and grabbed me before I could get away. She assured me that this was a comedy, but I thought he was full of shit and was just saying that to put me at ease until another scare happened again. Nevertheless I stuck with it, and it became the first time I saw one that could both, scare me, make me laugh, and it was the first time I did not think of girls as being all yucky and gross. Of course I was interested in Sigourney Weaver’s character when she was possessed by the demon dog and seduced Bill Murray’s character. I think that also says a lot for the type of women I go after too, but that’s a whole other post.
War of The Roses. 1989
I remember seeing a lot of movies with the whole family in my life , and this one just stood out the most. Mainly because this is not a family feature. It is the furthest thing imaginable from any thing being remotely regarded in that genre. “War of the Roses” was a dark comedy that I can recall laughing at many inappropriate times while watching. Getting nervous that my parents would catch me laughing at them. I remember turning around to see my father laughing at the exact same inappropriate things that I was. I am part of a twisted family, but I love it. There was also a Simpsons Animated short being played before they got their own TV Show.
Die Hard 2: Die Harder 1990
When the first “Die Hard” came to theatres back in 1988, I was not allowed to see it. But when it came out on VHS my parents were ok with my sister and I watching it. It has since become a tradition in our household every holiday along with watching “The Star Wars Trilogy“(The OG version) and the Indiana Jones Trilogy too. My dad was such a fan of “Die Hard” that when the sequel came out he had no problems of me seeing it in theatres. I remember going with one of my dad’s work buddies to see this and was very excited to see my first R.rated movie somewhat by myself. I was barely 13 at the time, and I thought I was very cool to watch this in the theater without my parents not around.
Jurassic Park. 1993
This belongs on here for being one of the best movie going experiences of my life. “Jurassic Park” is way too much fun on the big screen. It is like being on a non stop amusement park ride. I can clearly remember the moment when the Brontosaurus landed with a huge thump that made my seat rumble from the bass. I also saw this in 3D, and it was just as fun the first time I saw it.
Pulp Fiction. 1994.
If there was any movie that started my love obsession with the cinema, it was Pulp Fiction. This was clearly my monolith, the one that really got me interested in the genres and find out who was making these forms of entertainment. Before that I was just enjoying movies as a strictly entertainment value, and now I enjoy them on a more critical level. My friends and I would watch this one so many times that we could recite full lines from it while it was playing. Of course we only did this during shows when no one was around, but damn was that ever so much fun.
I’m adding this one to the list because this was the most fun I had at the cinemas since “Jurassic Park“. I loved everything about this movie. The fake trailers, the scratchy film lens, the missing scenes, all of it. Both “Planet Terror” and “Death Proof” were so much fun. I can’t think of watching one without the other.
These are just a few titles that were just awesome to see in the cinema. If you want to hear a few more suggestions. Check out this episode of The Film Pasture where myself and list a few guests list some other great titles.
Now I’m going to put the ball in your court. Name me a movie you prefer to watch in theaters rather then at home?