Monthly Archives: January 2015

“If there’s something weird, and it don’t look good….”

There are so many movies after Return of the Jedi that I want to write about.

The Dilemmas:

1. Do I stick with chronological order?
2. Do I do a rental or a cinema experience?

I went with the movie I wanted to preach about since I started this blog.

First off, I have NEVER seen this film on the big screen–I was too young and my parents wanted to supervise me when I watched it for the first time–so I went with the rental. This is not the next film chronologically in my film viewing life either. I have seen this film more than any other film (36 times…I ruined the VHS recording that we copied). I think that I could quote the film from beginning dialogue to the end of the movie. To this day when I flip through channels and see that it’s on, I stop there and watch until the next commercial break. There is yet to be a film that was so funny and so creative using multiple-genres. I feel that it is definitely a comedy, but it could have a science fiction, slight-horror tag as well.

It was directed by the great Ivan Reitman, a comedy film genius and written by none other than Ray Stantz and Egon Spengler (AKA Dan Aykroyd and the late GREAT Harold Ramis).

If you haven’t guessed the film yet by the clues in the last paragraph…slightly disappointed but I get it, it was 30 years old last year. I’ll throw out a few more hints before I drop the title. It is the film that introduced me to one of my favorite actors of all time….Bill Murray as well as my favorite actress of all time Sigourney Weaver. It had Rick Moranis who was possessed by a prehistoric dog and I was introduced to these phrases:

“Don’t cross the streams.”

“Are you the Keymaster?”

“I’m the Gatekeeper.”

“Ray…when someone asks you if you’re a god, you say YES!”

“FOUR FEET ABOVE THE COVERS! She barks! She drools! She claws!”

“Nimble little minx isn’t she?”

“I couldn’t help it….it just popped in there.”

“He slimed me.”

If that last one hasn’t given it away, I can’t help you…you’re lost.

“Who you gonna call?”


Easily my favorite comedy for all time, if you haven’t guessed that yet. I have never laughed so hard at a movie and I remember being excited for each scene to unfold. After I started viewing it over and over, I would get excited about scenes that I knew would be coming up and found myself waiting to laugh for what I had already seen before. I continue to laugh.


Most people remember the famous “slimed me” scene, but I walked away from the film laughing at the subtle things:

“What, somebody blows their nose and you want to keep it?”

and, one of my ALL TIME favorite lines captured on film,

“Listen….do you smell something?”

I could go on and on and continue to quote this entire film (there is plenty more) but that could ruin someone’s first viewing and I would not want to take that from you.  The premise and the writing and acting I feel are what make this film a comedic masterpiece. Writing about ghosts is one thing, but to be so bold as to make it a comedy with a science fiction backdrop while breaking barriers with visual effects in 1983 no less (released in 1984). I would’ve loved to have been in the room when Dan and Harold pitched this script for production.

To me it is a shame that we don’t glorify comedies the same way we glorify drama. I will most likely touch on this frequently as I continue with this blog.  “Ghostbusters” is 1984’s Best Picture and it wasn’t even on the ballot. You’ll find that I’m a sucker for creativity, and at that time I remember people saying that they had never seen anything like it. I don’t feel that we have since. Definitely one of a kind.

I might just have to watch it again….


I had added some more on a post that I did in January of 2015.  I rarely re-post that one, but I re-post this one frequently.  I thought I’d add that info here.  Sorry if it jumbles up the post, but it is how I feel:

Ghostbusters” was it for me.  I know that I have already talked about this movie at length, but I want you to know that I have probably spared you a dissertation on the brilliance of every scene of this movie.  The subtleties of the comedy they show helps the big laughs be even bigger.  I am going to give just one example of this:

Dana, Sigourney Weaver’s character, can just walk past her nerdy neighbor Louis Tully’s (played by the brilliant comedy actor Rick Moranis) apartment and he will come out and engage with her.  Dana’s subtle facial expressions show that he annoys her.  His expressions show through that he has a crush on her.  Later when Louis is having a party and the music is blaring from inside his apartment, Dana tries to quietly sneak past on her tip-toes, thinking that she has a chance not to have to encounter Louis–wrongo.  He opens the door as she reaches the exact same point of the last encounter and she shrugs her head down in defeat.  This makes their “make out scene” when they encounter each other as the possessed Keymaster and Gatekeeper twice as funny.

Brilliant writing and acting.

God I love that movie.  Probably way too much but I don’t care.  Its creativity deserves my unhealthy obsession with it.

You’ll find that this movie is a bridge to some other movies that I wouldn’t understand if I did not watch this one and ask my parents what some of the jokes meant.

Looking back like this is so enjoyable watching my taste change over time.

I recommend it.

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“The Reve-…” “The Return of the Jedi”

I have an uncle that would rather be caught dead, than noticed paying for a movie…

That’s who took me to see my first “Star Wars Saga” film on the big screen.

Even my uncle likes the “Star Wars” movies.

When I was little, my best friends were my cousins who lived about 20 minutes away from us in Firth, ID. I used to go over to their house out in the country to spend the night and play G.I. Joes. I know that it was at the end of May after school was out as my uncle had come home from work and we were there all day playing together. That alone was fun for me, then my uncle gave us the biggest surprise ever…but he was a practical joker so he didn’t just come out and tell us what the plan was.

“Get your shoes on. We’re leaving.”

“Where are we going,” my cousin asked.

“You’ll see. Make sure you have your shoes on, we’re heading out.”

Now you never knew with my uncle. Sometimes this meant ice cream at the park. Sometimes it meant we needed to go move pipe, dig holes, pull weeds, etc. He liked to keep us lively and ready for anything. It was annoying at the time, now I appreciate it.

So, we got into the car. One of the quietest car rides the four of us have ever been on. Once we pulled into town, he couldn’t hold it in anymore and he said, “We’re going to the new Star Wars movie.”

We all yelled, “Yes!”

I couldn’t believe it. I got to play with my cousins all day (which I loved) and then I got to go see Luke Skywalker deflect bullets with a light saber after he was jettison from his speeder. It was better than unwrapping a present.

I was too young to see the original on the big screen, but I was able to see it in bits-and-pieces through it’s release on television. We went to the drive-in to see “Empire” (which later became my favorite of the three–there are not enough Han Solo and Princess Organa scenes in that movie; #thebest). I remember being spoiled by “our-cousin-we-didn’t-like” about Darth Vader being Luke’s pops, so that kind of ruined the experience (that and the drive-in speakers weren’t very good back then and the Scout that we were all laying in became uncomfortable in 15 minutes).

I remember being captivated and getting all of my questions answered throughout the viewing: “What happened to Han Solo?” “Where’s Chewy?” “Did Luke go back and see Yoda?” “How are they going to kill Darth Vader?” “THEY’RE MAKING THE DEATHSTAR AGAIN?!” “WTF?”

There is really only one thing to say–Speeders are AWESOME and I want one.

I feel that “Return” delivered to its audience on a lot of levels. Light saber fights early and often, monsters crushed by doors, the resolution of the father-son dilemma, Han and Leia gonna get married, The Deathstar got destroyed a-bigger-and-better second time and yes, Lando lived!

It was a year after “E. T.” and I already had my second largest big screen impact.

More to come…imagine that.

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“E. T.” AKA E. “f” T. Alias…the Extra “friggen” Terrestrial!

“My ‘Wizard of Oz’.”

That is what I tell Baby Boomers when I talk about “E. T.

I don’t think it is possible to duplicate that experience. There was nothing like it (I know–movies peaked at 5 years old for me–what?!).

I remember I went with my mom and my best friend at the time, and we all were sobbing like two-year-olds after a tantrum when we were walking out of the theater. I can still feel my warm, caked skin where my tears were drying on my face. I know I’m not painting a very appealing picture here, but the film utterly touched me.

So that was the crying. The range of emotions that I went through when I watched the film is what I remember most about it. “E.T.” starts out with many suspenseful moments like they are preparing us for a horror film. The mother ship landing, the chase in the woods, the baseball in the shed, and the first time we see E.T. face-to-face.


Then the film becomes a buddy movie/coming of age story that is one of the best ever captured on film.

Fear, joy, sorrow, despair, loss…just to name a few emotions that drip from the screen.

I didn’t get to see “E.T.” again for a very long time. There was the occasional television premiere, but my bedtime never allowed for a finish living in the Mountain Time Zone. The film premiered in 1982, we didn’t get a VCR until 1986 and Amblin Entertainment didn’t release “E.T.” on VHS until 1988. That doesn’t seem like a long time now, but when I was a child in the 80s, six years was a long time to wait to see your favorite movie again in it’s entirety.

I had moved on at that point to other films that did not wait so long to be released on VHS.

I’m excited to talk about those movies…but in a different way. I feel that “E.T.” has set up my interest for every next film for the rest of my life, and for that, I am grateful.

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Disney’s “The Jungle Book”

The Jungle Book” was the first movie I went to…and I do not remember seeing it.  That experience is only remembered by my mother as I was 4 years old at the time.

“Why are you writing about this?”

Technically, this is my first experience at the theater with film.  My mother’s verbal history on it is all I have to go on; and I did eventually see “The Jungle Book” later at a point in which I could recollect the story and images which will be used to make this a little better (don’t hold your breath).

According to my mother:

My mom and I went with a friend from our local church who brought their two children that were my age.  My mother’s big recollection is that her little angel (me) watched the entire film from beginning to end credits, while the other “children” (sometimes she refers to them as “monsters”) would not sit and watch it and ran up and down the aisles, asking for pop corn, soda, the bathroom, etc.

Now, whether I was a perfect child or not, I feel that the engagement of the film itself had to do with my ability to sit and watch it.

After hearing this story a number of times throughout my life, I always wanted to see “The Jungle Book” again because I was curious about those images I could not remember that would keep me so focused.  Years later when I was in elementary school and the VCR was invented, I was able to view it.

It delivered.

I have talked to a number of people that have viewed the movie and watched it when they were younger and we all agree on the best scenes: “Bear Necessities” and “I Want to be Like You”

I prefer the latter.  King Louie made me laugh, hard.  Not only was he funny, I think he had the best song/montage in the film.  So, he’s funny and I enjoyed the song.

Hearing what my mother said about how I reacted, I want to believe that I couldn’t look away from “I Want to be Like You” even if I wanted to.  This is the power that film can have on someone and I enjoy the escape that it provides.  I started at a young age, and to this day, have not gotten enough.

Next up will be a film that I do remember seeing in the theater at a very young age, and one that will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart…

Now that’s a damn tease! 😉

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Growing up movies….

When I think about movies in general, I think about the VHS, the VCR (no beta thankfully), and the rows and rows of copied tapes that my parents and I created when I was in elementary school.  We purchased a VCR in 1986.  Every Labor Day weekend we would go purchase a rather large amount of blank VHS tapes, rent another VCR and about 20-30 movies for under a dollar each.  Marathon is not a fitting term for what we did.  I loved it.

The kids  were in charge of the G/PG films during the day.  My mom and dad would take care of R at night after my siblings and I went to bed.  We would fit three, two-hour movies on each tape (not understanding that this would make those VHS wear out way faster–and the picture was not as crisp).

My dad would always take care of the “setup” (hooking up a VCR to another VCR that is attached to a television is tedious).  We made ourselves scarce for that part of the process.  For the watching, we were present.  I was also allowed to load the movies and cue them up.  It was always fun hitting play/record.  We had a VCR with buttons that would light up red for whichever action was in use.  The only time there were two red lights were when you were recording (Play/Rec). I always enjoyed looking at that.  It seemed like we were accomplishing something.

I love movies.

So much so that I feel the stories I write about are envisioned as films in my head first; naturally.

As I continue blogging my intent is to write and share my experience with specific movies starting as early as I can remember.  I am not planning on reviewing films so this won’t be a critical blog.  My intent  is to convey how those movies made me feel growing up and sharing the chronology of my movie viewing experience.

I hope it will be enjoyable and I am excited to get started.

First up: Disney’s “The Jungle Book

Stay tuned.

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