After 23 years of having the same address, I finally had to pack up my belongings and say good-bye to my childhood home (though I have not lived at that address in some time). It finally occurred to my parents that it was time for a change of scenery and the house needed to go. So this past weekend, with an old mix tape playing in the background, I rolled up my carpet and stowed all of my childhood memories away for good. After sorting through my music collection of The Offspring, Reel Big Fish, Dave Matthews Band, Spice Girls (don’t judge) and The Bloodhound Gang (again, don’t judge), I started getting teary eyed. After brushing off the dust of Red Hot Chili Peppers’ Californication album and rolling up all of my X-Men posters, I came across my movie collection. Not surprisingly, the majority of it was made up of Marvel cartoons and some of the classics from the ’80s and ’90s. After a tear was shed when I realized I don’t own a VCR, and that the tapes are just about useless now, I came across an old blockbuster receipt and thought about how much I used to love renting movies.
Every week I would go to Blockbuster with my Dad and I would race up and down the aisles admiring the movie posters. My dad would pick out a film to watch with my mom, and it was up to me to decide which film the rest of the family would watch. Thankfully I could choose any film I wanted, and that whole R rated bologna didn’t matter. After reading the backs of about 20 films, I would grab an empty box and run up to the front with the biggest smile on my face. My dad would be waiting with a box of junior mints (my favorite, of course) and we would happily depart to watch our selections. While I can’t say I always chose the best films, in fact I distinctly remember bringing home Six Days Seven Nights once, I will always remember my favorites:
The Terminator (1984) Director: James Cameron
My first R rated film. Sitting alongside my Dad and an elementary school friend, I watched in awe as Arnold Schwarzenegger destroyed Los Angeles with a combination of glee and terror. The scene where Terminator cuts his own eye out haunted me for a month, but it was after that night that I began keeping a list of my favorite films/directors. Every week I would add a new name to the list, and would do my best to watch every film that the director had made. While I do not maintain an updated roster, I thankfully kept a copy of the original tucked away in a copy of The Little Mermaid.
The Karate Kid (1984) Director: John G. Avildsen
Coincidentally, this classic is about moving on and getting accustomed to not having your childhood home near by too. Ralph Macchio (and his famous crane) was the benchmark for how I lived my elementary years. In fact, after winning first place in a karate tournament in third grade, I had my family call me Adam-son for a week because I was so obsessed. Even though the years have not been too kind to the karate kid franchise, with Hilary Swank acting at one point as The Next Karate Kid, the lessons of patience and looking for the meaning behind repetition will remain with me for the rest of my life. (Wax On. Wax Off) If it’s been a while since you saw the original, I encourage you to use date night this week to watch it. I promise no one will judge if you cry when he wins – we’ve all been there.
Hackers (1995) Director: Ian Softley
My first introduction to the wonderful Jonny Lee Miller and Angelina Jolie. Brought to my attention by my cousin, who was in the midst of trying to become a hacker himself (he miserably failed, thank god), this thriller was one of my go-to films as a teen. Not only did it include early music by The Prodigy, one of my first electronic music bands, the film was produced by Ralph Winter, who is known for the X-Men franchise which as you know is a little guilty pleasure of mine. Involved in the film too, were Guys With Kids star Jesse Bradford, and Treme lead, Wendell Price. So if you are looking for a thrilling trip back to dial up technology, or just want to see what Angelina Jolie would look like if her hair resembled a cross between an elf and Ginnifer Goodwin, check out Hackers.
Thanks for taking a trip down my blockbuster memory lane. I encourage you to use the comment section below to talk about some of your favorite childhood films. For today’s poll, tell us which Sunday premiere was your favorite?
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