My parents took me to movies at a very young age. My first recollection of a movie was probably seeing The Apple Dumpling Gang at a Drive-In theater. I continued watching films at the theater, but I also saw a lot of films on TV—the ones that stand out are WWII films and Westerns. As a child, I liked a lot of action films. I grew up in the 70s, so there were a lot of car chase type of movies—Crazy Mary and Dirty Larry, The Vanishing Point, Duel, etc. Some of my favorite actors at the time (I remember making a list) were Burt Reynolds (he was actually a good leading man at one time), Jan Michael Vincent, Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson and, to a lesser extent, Roy Scheider.
Some my favorite childhood memories involve movies. Probably the best movie experience I ever had was going to see Raiders of the Lost Ark. I knew nothing about the film going in! My mother dropped off my younger brother and I during summer vacation. We actually came into the picture late (right when Indy jumps into the spider webs coming out of the tomb), but despite missing that exciting opening scene, I still loved the film. When Marion and Indy are on the ship, I got out of my seat to leave because I thought the film was over and I was excited to tell my friends about this film. Luckily, I realized the film hadn’t finished, so I slowly went back to my seat (I thought that what I saw was plenty good—I would’ve love the film without the opening of the Ark and the initial tomb sequence!). I don’t think anything comes close to that experience, except for maybe seeing the Star Wars films and It’s a Wonderful Life (but the latter was only on TV).
The love of movies continued up until this day. Several years ago I tried to see all the films of 8 different top 100 lists (Village Voice, Time, AFI, Roger Ebert, George Peary, and I can’t recall the other three.) I saw all of the films except for the following: Jeanne Dielman…, Berlin Alexanderplatz, St. Matthew’s Passion, Whose Home is it Anyway?, Hold Me While I’m Naked and The Chelsea Girls. I recently started to see all the films from the 1001 Films You Must See Before You Die book. Going to the movie theaters is still something I enjoy, but they’re not cheap!
As much as I love movies, I love talking about them (actually, I love good conversation in general)—particularly conversations that are civil, thoughtful and spirited
I use a 100 point rating system. Generally speaking 70-100 signifies films that I like and/or think are good; 40-60 films that are just OK; 0-30 films are bad.
100 all time great film and/or all time favorite film
90-99 Great movie and/or movie I really loved
80-89 Very good movie or movie I liked a lot
70-79 Good movie or movie I liked
60-69 Not quite a good/liked movie, but getting close
50-59 OK, so-so film; neutral feelings
40-49 Less than OK, but not quite bad
30-39 Bad film and/or film I disliked
20-29 Very bad film and/or film I really disliked
10-19 Terrible film
0-9 All time bad films