The gaps in my movie-watching resumé are embarrassing. Horrifying even, at least judging by the reactions I get from friends when I tell them I haven’t seen “The Godfather” or “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.”
My buddy and former co-worker Derek Russell was often aghast when learning of films I haven’t seen. He would look at me like Nancy looked at Freddy Krueger (haven’t seen those either).
I didn’t see “Citizen Kane” until a couple of years ago, which is an awful thing for a journalist to admit.
But most of the iconic movies that people would expect me to have seen are from the 1970s and ‘80s. Thing is, I rarely went to the theater as a child. My dad went to seminary when I was 7 years old, which meant we were always broke.
And being a preacher’s kid, there were a lot of movies I wasn’t allowed to go see or to rent on video. The only reason I got to see one of the “Friday the 13th” movies was because I spent the night at my friend Ryan’s house, and we waited until his parents went to bed.
One of the first movies I remember seeing in the theater was “Top Gun,” which I saw with Ryan and his dad – who was unaware of how much language the movie contained. But that was a great movie to experience on the big screen, with Maverick buzzing the air control tower and shooting down MiGs.
A movie I went to but don’t recall seeing was one of the first “Star Wars” films. I was 2 or 3, and my dad said I got so bored that we left the theater early. My feelings about the franchise haven’t changed much since then.
I didn’t see “Jaws” until a couple of months ago. The strange thing about seeing a movie like that later in life is that you feel like you already sort of know it, because you hear other people talking about it and quoting it all the time.
I’ve heard the line, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” more times than I can count. And even before I saw the movie, I got the reference. That’s one of the best things about a shared cinematic experience, is quoting movie lines with your friends and family.
And I have actually seen a lot of quotable movies, from “Tombstone” to “The Breakfast Club” to my favorite comedy of all time, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
I was sitting in the press box at a baseball game last week when it started to rain. I said, “I don’t think the heavy stuff is going to come down for quite a while.” The younger reporters near me didn’t so much as chuckle. Somewhere, Carl Spackler wept.
Anyway, I’m doing my best to fill in the gaps in my movie-watching experience, which is made infinitely easier by the existence of Netflix and Hulu. They’ve allowed me to finally watch “The Boondock Saints,” “Superbad” and “Hail, Caesar!”
Lest you think I’m a totally uncultured schmuck, there are plenty of classic films I have seen, like “The Shawshank Redemption.” Whenever I come across it while flipping channels, I have to stop and watch.
I’m also a big fan of “The Princess Bride” and “Pulp Fiction” and “Psycho.”
I’m a work in progress, so please don’t look down on me for the movies I haven’t seen. Or as Wayne Campbell once said, “Asphinctersayswhat.”