I remember being a kid and seeing a lot of different movies on TV, and watching home-taped VHS tapes that my dad made for me. I remember watching Beethoven 15 minutes at a time every morning before school when I was in early elementary. I remember renting Rock A Doodle Doo from Blockbuster, watching it so many times before it was due back that my dad connected two VCR’s together and copied the tape for me (Looking back, I think he’s one of my greatest influences when it comes to my skills of… Acquiring things) behind the original Batman movie he taped off of the Superchannel preview one holiday season, making a double-feature VHS for me. Movies like The Last Starfighter and The Navigator were a staple of the Family Channel holiday preview. I remember staying up late, hiding on the stairs, watching Star Trek. I remember seeing part of Star Wars on TV and asking my mom what movie it was. She told me what it was and was then shocked I didn’t know (She doesn’t remember this, but I sure do), then taking me to rent the original trology on VHS and watching through them all (almost in one sitting!) with me.
Indiana Jones. Jurrasic Park. The Jungle Book. 101 Dalmations. Ninja Turtles. WarGames.
There are a number of VHS tapes at my parents house that are barely watchable because I used them so much. A big collection of home-recorded movies (thanks dad), both from rentals and tv boradcast.
The movies we watch as kids shape the movies we love as adults. To this day, more than anything, I love adventure and science fiction. The thrill of adventure and the wonder of science fiction. My imagination was filled with possibilities.
I don’t remember how old I was at the time, and I really didn’t know what I had seen until I saw it again many years later as an adult, but I remember seeing part of a movie that was like nothing else. Glowing people inside a digital environment. I saw part of TRON, and it light up my mind like nothing else. I didn’t know what to think, I didn’t even know what I had seen. It wasn’t the whole movie, maybe only 30 minutes of it, but it was one of the most amazing things I’d ever seen. It’s a shame to say, but I only saw TRON for the first time in its entirety a few years ago, but it instantly went on my list of favourite movies alongside Star Wars and Shawshank. The sense of wonder in me it created is something that I’m not sure I can explain, but I’m sure many people can relate to. In hindsight, TRON helped spark an interest in computers and technology that permanently shaped who I am today. I think all of my friends would like to thank the producers for that inspiration.
Last night I saw TRON: Legacy, and it’s the closest thing I’ve seen that’s come close to creating that same sense of childlike wonder I experienced so long ago. Legacy is easily the most visually stunning movie I’ve seen in a long time, recaptured my imagination, and made me really hate reality. I absolutely loved seeing it, and would see it again in a heartbeat.
I’ll be the first to say I’ve got a terrible memory. Trying to think back at the movies that helped shape who I’ve grown to be is an impossible task, I’ll never think of them all. But as I watch old movies, I remember the ones I’ve seen and the ones I’ve loved. So many terrible movies from my childhood and I will watch over and over again. Nostalgia creates thick goggles, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
And I’m curious, what movies do you remember from childhood really shaped your tastes and who you are now? I wish I could remember back through the fog of my mind, maybe you can do better.
And for anyone who’s wondering, a light cycle for Christmas would be radical.