Originally posted: June 13, 2007 at 9:25am
Sometimes when you go to see a movie, it’s not just the film itself that is interesting (or not, if you’re going to see the latest Kevin Costner epic). For me the experience of seeing a movie in itself can be fun and can produce some pretty good stories. Here are a few of my movie memories:
1. Clerks. In 1995 I went to my friend Jen’s cabin for a few days of serious drinking. This was probably the best party I have ever been to, and the memories of those few days at the end of April (albeit somewhat fuzzy ones) are still with me today. There’s even a Group here on Facebook dedicated to the Cabin. Anyway, when I returned from that life-altering experience I arrived at home exhausted, dehydrated, severely hung over, malnourished and yes, still a little drunk. It was in this condition that I watched the “Clerks” tape that my roommate had rented the night before. I quickly forgot about my urge to throw up as I watched the only film to properly convey how I felt, having worked in the service industry all my life. Absolutely amazing movie, and still in my top ten faves. Afterwards I passed out on the bathroom floor.
2. Reality Bites. Again, 1995. I had just moved into my first apartment. My total worldly possessions consisted of a couch, a dresser, an air mattress and a 13 inch black and white TV. I had no cable, so I borrowed a VCR and “Reality Bites” from my building’s caretaker. He was a huge video pirate, literally hundreds of bootlegged movies, so the recording quality was bad. The picture had lines in it and kept jumping around, but I sat there, glued to the tiny TV. I know I’m at the tail end of Generation X, but that movie captured perfectly what life was like for people my age at the time. Still remains Ben Stiller’s best directing and acting of his career.
3. Evil Dead Trilogy. I think this was 1993 or ’94. I was still in high school anyway. My friend Matt had told me about this movie “Army of Darkness” and he said that there had been two other films before it but he didn’t know what they were called. So I went down to see Fred at Goulet Video (sadly, now closed!) and asked him: are there any movies that came before A of D? “That would be the Evil Dead series, I believe,” said Fred. That was my introduction to greatness. I then rented all three movies and went over to Matt’s where we watched them all in a row. I remember thinking that the first one was pretty cheesy and that the best of the three was “Evil Dead 2.” However, since reading “If Chins could Kill” by Bruce Campbell I have changed my mind. The original “Evil Dead” is the best of the three, not because of the quality of the film (which is still pretty cheesy) but because of all the shit that Sam Raimi and the rest of those guys had to go through to get that movie made. That they were able to do it AND make it as good as it is speaks to the amazing talent of Raimi, Campbell and Rob Tapert (who produced the movie with his two childhood friends.) Evil Dead is my favorite movie of all time.
4. Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace. This was 1999 and I was living in Edmonton. I actually booked time off work so I could go down and wait in line for tickets. I arrived at the mall at 6:00 am (which was the soonest anyone could line up there.) I brought with me my book, my Darth Maul action figure (yes, I am a Geek, and proud of it!) and a cheap $5.00 plastic chair that I had bought at Wal-mart the day before so I wouldn’t have to sit on the floor. I arrived at the theatre to discover that I was about eighth in line. “Not bad,” I thought to myself. I set up my chair and settled in with my book for the seven hour wait for the box office to open. Within five minutes: CRASH! The cheap chair I had bought collapsed under my weight (I was topping 230 back then,) and I fell to the floor, much to the amusement of the ten other people in line with me. I got up, dusted myself off, took a bow and said “thank you, I’ll be here all day!” which got a laugh. It turned out to be a great icebreaker as I quickly started “geeking out” with my fellow Star Wars nerds: asking each other trivia, quoting Star Wars to each other and generally having a dorky time. I bought my tickets and then had to come back two weeks later and wait in line AGAIN to get into the theatre. When I finally saw the movie, I left in denial: “That was awesome!” I said. I didn’t want to admit to myself that the movie licked balls because I had gone through all of that trouble to get the tickets. Upon watching it a second and third time I finally admitted the truth to myself. I never waited in line for movie tickets again.
Those are the ones that stick out most in my mind. Some others are:
-Going to a midnight screening of “LOTR: The Two Towers” after getting off of work and almost falling asleep during the battle of Helm’s Deep. (It was 2:30 in the morning by that point.)
-At the first “Mortal Kombat” film: seeing Trevor stand up and scream “MORTAL KOMBAT!!!” at the top of his lungs just as the lights were going down.
-Galaxy Quest: saw it at the Towne 8 with Chris. The sound went out 10 minutes into the film and NO ONE was around to fix it. We had to wait another 15 minutes at the box office to get our money back.
-Went and saw “Fled” with Rod and wanted to leave five minutes into the movie because it was THE WORST MOVIE EVER MADE!
-Seeing “Jurassic Park” on opening night. Still the best movie going experience of my life.
I am a firm believer in the “movie going” experience and I love going to movies in the theatre, especially on opening night. I just hope that the next few months provide me with some more of these experiences, as I have yet to have had one this year.
What about you? Please share any movie memories that come to mind.