Concerning my “movie buff” credentials

Posted on June 27, 2007 @ 1:03 pm

Die HardWith Live Free or Die Hard out in theaters today, now seems like as good a time as any to come clean with regards to my “movie buff” credentials. In the interest of full disclosure, I’ve never actually seen any of the Die Hard movies. I haven’t consciously avoided them through the years; I just never got around to watching them.

I haven’t seen The Sixth Sense either. Maybe it’s a Bruce Willis thing. Then again, there are plenty of ridiculously popular movies out there that I’ve never seen.

  • Top Gun. In fact, you can throw in most of the Tom Cruise filmography — Risky Business, Cocktail, Rain Man, A Few Good Men, and Jerry Maguire. I guess I didn’t like Tom Cruise before not liking Tom Cruise was cool.
  • The Jurassic Park series. I tried to watch the first installment on at least three occasions, but I managed to fall asleep each time before the dinosaurs actually showed up. There were dinosaurs, right?
  • The Lethal Weapon series. I really don’t know anything about these films other than the fact that Danny Glover was apparently getting too old for some shit.
  • The Terminator and T2: Judgment Day. I saw the third one, just never the first two.
  • The Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, and Halloween series. My mom forbade me to watch these slasher flicks when I was a kid, and I’m pretty sure the statute of limitations hasn’t run out on that yet.
  • The Goonies. Everyone assures me that this movie will change my life when I finally see it. Tragically, to this day, I still have no idea what the Truffle Shuffle looks like.
  • Silence of the Lambs. Do I really need to see it if I’m already familiar with the whole fava beans and chianti bit?
  • Pretty much anything based on the work of Stephen King. This list includes, but is not limited to, Carrie, Children of the Corn, Christine, Cujo, The Green Mile, It, Misery, Pet Sematary, Salem’s Lot, The Shawshank Redemption, The Shining, The Stand, and Stand By Me. In fact, if I hadn’t seen 1408 just yesterday, I could honestly say I hadn’t seen anything based on the work of Stephen King. How weird is that?
  • So, with that off my chest, what notable gaps exist in your movie buff credentials?

    Posted by Jess | Filed Under Pop Culture |

    21 comments so far...

    1. topncal June 27, 2007 1:49 pm

      I think you could call still call yourself a movie buff having not seen these movies. With a few exceptions I see your selections to be either genre specific or just not watching crappy action movies. So if you were trying to sell yourself as a slasher flick fan then I would say maybe not. Otherwise you are fine.

      My boyfriend actually who is quite the movie buff had not ever seen stand by me until I forced him to watch it. In looking over your list I was trying to figure out if there were any movies that I thought were must see movies.

      The older Tom Cruise Movies are simply dated now. While I still enjoy cocktail when he shows up on TBS it is not the awesome movie it was back in the 80s. Does any one really think the yuppie poet is still going around bars in New York?

      The Jurassic Park Series was good special effects with a crappy story. And the special effects have gotten much better since then. It really would be a waste of time for you IMO.

      Having seen the three terminator movies. The only one that was really kewl was T2. Of course I was 14 when I saw it. I went back and watched the original about a year later and it was not as good of a movie.

      The Slasher Flicks… I think you just have to like these types of movies. If you do decide to ever try them out I would have to suggest Halloween. The stories are a little bit better than Friday 13 and Nightmare on Elm Street.

      There are two movies on your list that I think you might have missed something with. The Goonies and Stand By Me. Unfortunately it might be a case of them not being that great now that you are not a kid anymore. Though maybe.

    2. Veronica June 27, 2007 1:50 pm

      I insist that you see Terminator 2 as the soonest possible opportunity, all while realizing that it was probably done on some Mac hunk of crap from 1990. And The Goonies is way, way overrated.

    3. Datadog June 27, 2007 2:21 pm

      Much like the Alien series, when it comes to the Terminator movies, you need to see 1 & 2 and forget anything past that ever happened. You can’t let “Rise of the Machines” be your one and only memory of time-traveling robots.

      And how do you keep managing to fall asleep within the first 20 minutes of “Jurassic Park?” That’s some classic Michael Crichton educational action-horror right there. I happened to watch the entire trilogy in the last couple of days (I’m going through my DVDs alphabetically) and you have to see the first one at least. It’s one of those essential milestone movies. The other two are just rehashes with the same “we’ve gotta get off this island” plot, followed by everyone getting attacked by the usual T-Rexes, raptors, and whatever guest-carnivores show up.

      I don’t think you really need to see any of other ones - although “Goonies” and “Silence of the Lambs” are both movies you see references to on a daily basis and probably don’t even realize it, so those are useful to watch. The rest I haven’t found a use for yet. I’d sooner watch “Hot Shots” again than “Top Gun” anyway.

      If it makes you feel better, I’ve never seen any pre-2000 movie starring Robert DeNiro or directed by Martin Scorcese, meaning all their current self-satire makes absolutely no sense to me.

    4. Ryan S. June 27, 2007 2:28 pm

      I’ve only seen T2 and T3. None of the slasher films either.

      I’ve also never seen:
      Big Trouble in Little China
      The Goonies
      First Blood/Rambo series
      The Rocky series (and I was Philadelphia born & raised)
      The Alien series (other than Aliens)
      Most of The Breakfast Club

      And I wish I had only seen the first Matrix film.

    5. Nick June 27, 2007 2:53 pm

      Yeah, I pretty much haven’t seen any movie that’s considered good/classic/awesome/popular/etc. I do remember that someone once brought in a copy of The Goonies for us to watch in Spanish class one time (it was in English) and it looked like an incredibly stupid movie.

    6. mikelietz June 27, 2007 3:10 pm

      I too never watched *any* of the franchise slasher flicks, and really, very little horror at all. Just last week I watched Child’s play (my wife’s idea, not mine) and frankly, I don’t think I missed anything.

      That said, I have a soft spot for Stephen King’s Maximum overdrive.

      Until very recently I’d never seen the Brat Pack / early John Cusack films, and really, again, wasn’t missing anything. There are a great number of movies that are highly regarded by people who were the right age when they came out, but are not so accessible to others who weren’t/aren’t in the right place at the right time.

      My major gaps then?
      I’ve seen more Michael Mann than Martin Scorsese - though I much prefer the latter.

      I’ve seen only one Fellini. I’ve seen no Antonini.

      I’ve seen more Tom Twyker than Wim Wenders (though both are well worth watching, just different leagues entirely).

      I can’t watch The Dark Crystal - I’m not enough of a kid anymore, and the effects, though they may be impressive, are distracting. Labyrinth’s probably going to be tough, too.

      The biggest gap I can think of? Best Picture winners: I still haven’t seen The Departed, Crash (either one, actually), Million Dollar Baby, Chicago, A Beautiful Mind, Shakespeare in Love, and The English Patient, and that’s just the last decade or so. Ooops.

    7. MC June 27, 2007 3:12 pm

      I haven’t seen the Harry Potter or Lord of the Rings movies after their first parts… and that goes for X-men and spiderman as well.

    8. Chris June 27, 2007 3:16 pm

      I have yet to make it through a complete showing of the Blues Brothers.

    9. Rebecca June 27, 2007 4:27 pm

      I’ve never seen Titantic… >_>

    10. pea June 27, 2007 4:47 pm

      It’s the old stuff that makes people gasp. Haven’t see Casablance, Citizen Kane, uhm, pretty much a whole lot of other stuff that most hardcore movie buffs would consider required watching. I say I’ll get to them, but eh, who knows? We’ll see. I only have one hard and fast rule about movie watching and that is NO TOM CRUISE. Which pisses me off because, quite frankly, I would be all over the MI movies if it weren’t for his smug “I don’t believe in meds or psychology because I was dropped on my head by aliens when I was three” face. ugh. Anyway. Just got back from seeing Live Free and I thouroughly enjoyed it. But then I would. I’m easy like that.

    11. Thom June 27, 2007 5:44 pm


      A small part of me just died…

      I do know what you’re going through. There are a lot of “classic” movies (specifically the R-rated variety from the 80s and early 90s) that I was not allowed to see as a kid, never got around to seeing in college, and have since lost any desire to see. And I only got around to seeing movies like Beverly Hills Cop and Lethal Weapon long after the fact.

      Regardless, you really should watch at least the first movie in most of those series (I consider Halloween to be one of the top 3 horror movies of all time). And only watching T3 is just silly. Watch the first two - the original is classic sci-fi and the second is some of the best special effects you’ll ever see. And as for the Goonies… you just gave my inner child an indian rub by admitting that.

      And Chris, I’m not sure if we can still be friends…

    12. Meatrace June 27, 2007 10:48 pm

      you’re REALLY not missing anything on the stephen king front.
      none of his books are even tolerable, and the movies are worse.
      the shining isn’t bad, at least cinematographically, since Kubrick is a genius.

    13. Chris June 28, 2007 8:51 am

      The only Stephen King adaptations that bring anything fresh to the table are Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me - probably because they were both novellas and so the movies actually manage to flesh the story out rather than dumb it down. I also must admit to having a spot in my heart for the It miniseries, mostly because of Tim Curry. If you weren’t freaked out by clowns before, watch It and you will be.

      Thom - I know BB is a classic and all, but it just never clicked with me.

    14. Fuzzball June 28, 2007 1:08 pm

      While I’m completely speechless about Top Gun and Silence of the Lambs…REALLY? NO GOONIES??? What is WRONG with you, man? Shocking. Truly shocking. Harrumph. >:|

      Having said that, I will confess to having missed the following: It’s a Wonderful Life, the Alien movies, Citizen Kane, Chinatown, or Rocky.

      What can I say? Meh.

    15. John June 28, 2007 9:50 pm

      All right, stop what you’re doing cause I’m about to ruin the image and the style that you’re used to.

      Good God man. Get thee to… well, get thee to somewhere that will let you see Shawshank and Silence of the Lambs — at the very least see those two. Then if you have time Stand By Me.

      Although I can’t blame you. I get the same look I’m giving you when I tell people that I haven’t seen The Shining (something I regret but haven’t seen fit to correct) or Dances with Wolves — which makes me wonder why Kevin Costner gets to keep making movies. I know a lot of people probably point to this movie because of the Oscars it won but here’s what I think: Every time he goes into a pitch meeting, he brings an already cued up tape from “Field of Dreams” (you know, “Hey Dad, wanna have a catch?”) he plays it, everybody starts crying and his next three hour movie is born.

      Also, give Bruce Willis the benefit of the doubt. The Die Hard series is fun and the man was David Addison for pete’s sake! If you haven’t seen “Moonlighting” give it a shot. I think you would like it.

    16. Trint June 29, 2007 9:45 am

      Dude, I’m totally on board with you. I review movies on my blog all the time and nearly all are watched and reviewed on DVD more than a year after release. Remember when that big 100 greatest movies list came out back in 2000? I’d seen less than 25% of them.

      For me, no slasher/horror movies other than the shining and the first Jaws (I consider most Jaws movies to be on the same shelf as slashers.) Also very very few classics.

      Now that I have netflix, I’m trying to catch up. I currently have over 300 movies in my queue.

      BTW I saw the first installment of Friday the 13th about a year ago and laughed through most of it. Not quite bad enough to be “so bad it’s good”. Don’t bother. I saw Scarface around the same time. That one just made me nauseous, seriously. Talk about a “feel bad” movie. Blech.

    17. mac June 29, 2007 11:05 am

      I have never seen any of the Star Wars flicks, anything from the Indiana Jones ouevre, or any of The Godfather movies. We all have our crosses to bear, so to speak. Heh!

    18. Celise July 2, 2007 2:05 pm

      Wow. I…wow. I refuse to see slasher flicks, so you’re not missing much there, but everything else? Wow. I’m, y’know…stunned. Wow.

    19. NERDS! : July 8, 2007 10:33 pm

      [...] Jess confessed his shortcomings as a movie buff, I should probably come clean, too. I missed out on a lot of R-rated movies from the 80s and early [...]

    20. Meatrace July 9, 2007 4:21 am

      after literally YEARS of hype I finally saw shawshank redemption the other week.
      it sucked.
      and now i hate morgan freeman EVEN MORE. which I hardly thought possible.

    21. [...] by Jess’s brave admission that he hasn’t seen some of the most popular movies ever, I feel the need to come clean [...]

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