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Movies of your childhood

Jeremy Blackman · 7 · 1540

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Jeremy Blackman

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on: April 25, 2016, 03:21:27 PM
I was thinking lately, more out of confusion than nostalgia, why did my stepdad think it was important for me to watch Nothing But Trouble, not once, not twice, but several times?

This thread is a prequel to The Movie(s) That Made You a Cinephile. It's about movies you were frequently or memorably subjected to, perhaps not by choice, perhaps as a function of your environment or your friends and family. (Or maybe you were a precocious child with a laserdisc collection, I don't know.)

Maybe good, maybe bad, or maybe you were exposed to these movies so young that you can't possibly judge them accurately. With that in mind, I'll begin:

Hook – I stayed at my cousin's house a lot, and this was one of five VHS tapes they had. Can't say I particularly liked it, but I probably saw it 20+ times. Rufio's attitude was very off-putting.

Home Alone – This was arguably the film that defined a generation. Everyone my age wanted to watch it all the time. I got sick of it and resented the Christmas sentimentalism.

Adventures In Babysitting – One of my mom's favorite movies.
Uncle Buck – Ditto.

Back to the Future – This always had a weird kind of magic. Wasn't enamored with the sequels.

Terminator 2 – My first R-rated movie. A bit of a revelation.
True Lies – Second-tier Cameron. Never really liked this but felt I was supposed to.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade – My uncle's favorite movie. I actually really connected with it.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – Inexplicably watched this alone many times. The heart extraction always horrified me. This was actually rated PG

(I never saw Raiders, btw, simply because someone borrowed that tape from the box set and never returned it.)

Star Wars triology – Inescapable.

Dances With Wolves – I watched this a lot. Loved the score. DWW was my first exposure to that certain history-infused feeling of epic foreboding, which I later found in Legends of the Fall.

Waterworld – One or two friends insisted on watching this all the time. Ugh.

The Lion King – The only Disney film that I actually watched many times. "Hakuna Matata" was so culturally pervasive and so dumb that it pretty much ruined the movie.

The Land Before Time – This might be ingrained into my soul. I even remember the Pizza Hut cross-promotion. Which was also cross-promoted with a school reading program.
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Reply #1 on: April 25, 2016, 04:35:09 PM
Bloodsport - watched this with my cousin a lot; i remember that there was some part where it flashes back to the main character when he was a child, and that kid said something that made us laugh a lot, so we would rewind and play him saying some stupid line over and over again.

Aladdin - made me want to be an animator. i became obsessed with the world of animation for several years, before that energy turned pretty seamlessly into an interest in filmmaking in general.

Jurassic Park - it did and still does expertly guide my emotions. i briefly wanted to be a paleontologist after seeing this.

Big Trouble in Little China - just real good. i grew up in an asian family so seeing some asian shit was cool.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? - the most entertaining movie. could watch this endlessly.

Batman Returns - so weird and beautiful to me, even as a kid.

I still love all of these movies (haven't seen Bloodsport in a long time, though). I feel like my taste has never really changed, though it has developed, of course. The only movie that I liked as a kid that I don't like now is Mortal Kombat. Otherwise, I'm pretty sure that I still like everything that I used to like. And why not? These are great movies!


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Reply #2 on: April 25, 2016, 07:00:18 PM
Beauty And The Beast!!!!

I remember opening a package with this VHS tape inside when I was 4 years old and thinking, " I get to have this movie? " I went on to watch it literally everyday, it became like an album you put on after work to relax, only I was still in pre school. I feel so fortunate that the kind of animation I was exposed to was Oscar nominated stuff like this and not Thomas the Toaster, or whatever. I can't even really appreciate anymore, because it meant so much to me at that age and transported me to other worlds with emotions I'd never known or felt. And back then, the stuff they were doing with the animation was on the top of it's game and felt so magical. I can't look back on it with my adult eyes, thinking about all the korean men hard at work on those stills, and have the same experience I did then.

Child's Play
When I was 6, something really special happened within my household. WE GOT CABLE!! Not just in the downstairs living room, in my BEDROOM! 6 years old with cable in my bedroom, I guess my parents got tired of reading to me.. Anyway, one night me and my brother are watching TNT on our bunk beds, and it's a horror marathon. Next up at 10pm…. Child's Play! I'd known about it from perusing the video stores, and desperately wanted to see it. The titles come on the screen, and like clockwork my Dad opens the door and goes "Time for bed." There's no way we're turning this off, though. We watch the opening sequence of Andy making breakfast for his Mom, and he's SIX YEARS OLD! Like me. I'd never seen a horror movie with a lead who was MY AGE, so I'm hooked instantly. My dad comes in again and says "Time for bed!" and we go to bed. I just laid there stewing, thinking about everything I was about to miss.
It was sort of the perfect introduction to that film. I went on to rent and watch it something like 10 times during the one week rental I'd had it. To this day, I get pangs for that film. I love the cold concrete slab that it portrays Chicago as. I love Chucky's greasy porcelain face, and steel blue eyes. Brad Dourif's voice work takes the cake, though. And the kid who played Andy Barclay was a terrible actor, but I used to really identify with him. 
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Reply #3 on: April 28, 2016, 02:31:23 AM
The two movies I saw more than any others in my childhood were The Princess Bride and Monty Python and the Holy Grail.  Both movies which hold up incredibly well with age.


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Reply #4 on: April 29, 2016, 04:55:38 PM
There are a lot of old classic mexican movies I used to watch periodically as a kid that no one would know about here. Each saturday several tv channels would show "golden age" mexican cinema and at my grandma's house we would eat chips and popcorn watching comedies, mostly. Ironically, the only really famous comedian internationally wasn't my cup of tea: Cantinflas (although when I grew older I started to like him). Tin Tan, who did the voice of Baloo in the spanish version of The Jungle Book was my favourite.

That said:

The Jungle Book: I knew, and probably still know every single line of dialogue from this film. I guess this film started not only my love of movies but a lot of my hedonistic impulses which to this day accompanie me. The groovy vibe really got to me, the idea of life as a series of pleasures, of always choosing having a good time over having a bad time. It's baffling to what extent it influences me to this day.

The Three Caballeros: Kinda see a pattern emerging here. Loose narratives, care free philosophies, "fun" as an end in itself. I used to love the music here and it made me laugh like crazy. It never really stopped doing it. I have the dvd now and it actually became one of my son's first obsessions. The film is fucking psychedellic.

Gremlins 2: Holy shit. Again, right? I was so in love with this film and those anarchic devils. I remember watching it in the cinema and laughing non stop at every misbehavior. Loved when they started singing "New York, New York", but really got hooked from the beginning when Daffy Duck gets into a fight with Bugs Bunny over appearing on the WB logo. This is another film which is basically plotless, an excuse for a series of demented sequences with characters who just want to party, although surely Joe Dante has more bite and counter culture impulses in him. This is another film my kid loves now, and watching it again (though I did see it many more times while growing up and in my eary adulthood) is clear to me that it's a fantastic satire of the 80's. Dante mocks everything deliciously.

There are many more. Weird, Matt's list is composed of films I would mention too. Roger Rabbit and Batman Returns were milestones for me.


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Reply #5 on: April 29, 2016, 08:01:31 PM
Barry Levinson's Toys.. to this day i cry whenever i catch it on tv.

The Blues Brothers was my favorite thing in the world when i was a kid. still holds up. i've loved it all my life, even the sequel. soundtrack is a class act.

Hook. this film was my childhood's idea of elegance.

The Beatles' Help. me and my sister watched it over and over.

Ken Russell's Tommy. my dad bought it for my sister and me, and it's haunted me ever since. the cousin kevin sequence, specially.

then i started watching action movies. Broken Arrow was the first action film i saw and it was a revelation. so much fun, and i became a John Woo fan early on.


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Reply #6 on: April 29, 2016, 08:31:38 PM
Back to the Future - The movie I watched the most as a kid. Seems like this was never not on TV. And when it wasn't, my friend had a version of it taped off TV. Still my favorite movie of all time.

The Incredible Journey (1963) - None of this Homeward Bound shit. The OG. No voices for the animals, just two dogs, a cat, and a narrator. I rented it from the library constantly.

Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves - This just happened to be a VHS my family owned, and consequently I watched it a lot. Didn't seem weird at the time, but now it does.  Annnnnnd now I have the Bryan Adams song from the credits stuck in my head.

Indiana Joneses, Star Warses, Rockys - All also seemed to always be on TV, and I'd watch til the end whenever I flipped to them. I miss watching movies that way. If all three were on, I was probably choosing Indy, or flipping between Indy and Star Wars.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles  - The movie that taught me the word "Damn." Loved Ninja Turtles. Had the toys, had the pajamas, saw Secret of the Ooze in theaters multiple times.

Lion King, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid - Or whatever other Disney animated movie you wanted.

Jaws - My parents really liked this movie, so I saw it at a young age and was hooked. Except I wasn't allowed to watch Quint get eaten.

The Last Starfighter - If my brother was picking the movie we were watching, it was usually this.

Also a bunch of Christmas movies, and anything with Muppets in it.