Continuing down the autobiographical highway, here is a top five of my favorite movies when I was about 7-12 years old. An important time for me. We had just moved to Utah, I was starting more frequent trips to the movie theatre (since we lived next to one that only cost $.50. Now a dollar. Two on the weekends. RIP OFF!!) and I was just developing what would become a slightly dysfunctional love of horror.
The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
No, I’m not talking about that sorry excuse for a franchise, Narnia, I’m talking about the 1988, 171 minutes, British miniseries starring a bunch of people that went on to do nothing much in the acting world at all. Have you seen this thing?? It’s awesome! Totally great puppets and effects. Totally scary witch. And so magical. I once tried watching this for a sleep-over birthday party, but all of my friends started talking and trying to play silly girly games like Truth or Dare in the middle of it. Even though I had seen it probably 15 times before, I was so mad at my friends that I ended up faking sleep and then crying the next morning. We have a picture to prove that the tears were real.
My first crush ever. Charlie Korsmo. And look at him now!
Yikes! I dodged that bullet, right? But as a kid he was lacking that toupee and goiter and I loved him. I’m sure that was part of the reason I watched Hook and What About Bob? incessantly, but there’s a reason Hook won out, and that reason was Peter Pan. I loved everything about Peter Pan as a kid, and even as an old fogey he still had the moves.
I love all the racial profiling in the movie (greasy Italian kid in the car salesman sports coat, anyone?) and I loved that little girl’s beautiful song. But this is one of those movies that I watched a few too many times. Now I can’t stand when Julia Roberts “breaks her house” and when that fat kid rolls down the plank. Or when that kid shoots the marbles and makes that gross, almost sexual face. Tiny things that only stand out when you have a film memorized.
I was skeptical. “Bobsledding???” I asked my mother as we made our way into the theatre, “Who the fuck cares???” Boy was I wrong! Feel the rhythm! Feel the rhyme! Get on up! It’s Bobsled time! Coooool Runnnings!! I thought this move was so great! And it’s funny watching it now, because there were a lot of jokes I wouldn’t have gotten as a kid (Yul Brenner, for example) but my mom must have loved. Likewise with John Candy. I had no idea who that fat white guy was, but he was sure a crowd pleaser with the adults in my life. I just liked the saying “royal Rastafarian nee-nees.”
I also tried to watch this one at a birthday part, but ended up leaving my own party early when everyone annoyed me too much. I don’t know why anyone even came to my parties at that point. Maybe because I showed kickass movies!? This one holds up. Check it out again.
The movie to end all movies! The epitome of special effects. One of my favorite books at the time. And I wasn’t allowed to see it in theatres. Instead, my mom had my uncle take us to see Nightmare Before Christmas, which scared me much more than dinosaurs ever would. But the day Jurassic Park was on video we rented it and I haven’t stopped watching it since. There were a couple months where I watched it every single day (while making friendship bracelets I tried to sell door to door, I remember). I would be surprised if three days went by now without me making some kind of reference to this film. It’s that important to me.
Interesting fact: Jurassic Park started a lot of new habits for me: reading totally child inappropriate books behind the couch so my mom couldn’t see me, a love for all things Goldblum, and I think this is where my extreme fear of large statues might come from. This, for example, would scare the shit out of me were I to see it in real life:
Runners Up: Encino Man, Aladdin, and Newsies.