author: Michael“I never saw that.” Or, the riskier, “Oh yeah, I remember that!” while internally panicking because I just flat out lied to someone. These are the two responses people receive from me when trying to have a normal discussion about movies. And I’m sick of it.
It has become a tired admission, but I can’t run from the fact that I haven’t seen a lot of very popular and culturally significant movies. No wonder, as I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years either skipping films altogether or watching the same ones over and over again. This offered me nothing more than the ability to recite Aladdin or Home Alone from beginning to end without skipping a beat. This is a valuable skill, no doubt, but it didn’t provide me much in the way of variety or the opportunity to discover new genres that I might have actually enjoyed. Most of my classic film knowledge exists only through reference or parody, and I owe shows like The Simpsons a great deal for keeping me in the loop. I never watched The Shining, but I knew almost word for word and shot for shot the popular lines and scenes from the Stanley Kubrick classic.
Though, it’s important I don’t neglect the current releases either. Since graduating college, I almost never find myself at the movies anymore. There are so many films between the years of 2008 and 2013 that I completely missed, which only added to my already daunting backlog. Going forward, I hope to see as many new releases in theaters as possible and even step out of my comfort zone a bit. I’ve learned that there’s something to be gained from every experience – be it a real life event, a book, or movie – especially those you don’t typically find yourself exposed to.
It goes without saying that I have a lot of work ahead of me if I ever hope to catch up to the rest of the world and become a valuable member of the moviegoing public. I can proudly admit that I’ve already knocked a few titles off my list in the short time we’ve had so far in 2014 and I plan on maintaining this momentum. A large reason why the concept of Not Just a Movie appealed to me was because it would give me the opportunity to sit down and finally view films that are widely considered vital experiences, and discuss them with people who are more clued in than I. And, with services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, access to these films is arguably easier than ever. With the new format NJAM has adopted with this new season, I won’t have as much an opportunity to talk about recent films I’ve watched, so I’ll be using this blog format to keep our listeners and readers posted. Be on the lookout for my ongoing impressions throughout 2014.