Friday, May 11, 2012

Movie Firsts

As you can tell by my less-than-inspiring title, I'm continuing my series on firsts, and more specifically, about movies that left impressions on me for whatever reason.

I got to thinking about the first movie that blew me away. That's a hard one to pin down. I remember seeing the original Tron at the theater with my brother, and the special effects were like nothing I'd ever seen before. People were actually in a video game! How cool was that?! I would have been about 8 years old at the time. Of course, I look at that movie now and the effects are cheesier than my sixth grade class photo. Heck, special effects have already moved beyond what the Matrix did. Movies are visually amazing now. But still, nothing can take away the awe I felt as a kid watching Tron.

What about the first time a movie truly scared me? That would be Aliens, hands down. I was at a really small birthday party/get-together for a friend who was turning 12, and her parents had rented Aliens for us. It was like a terrifying train wreck. I couldn't turn away as those creepy aliens came out of everywhere, and I couldn't wrap my head around Newt/Rebecca (oh my God, and she had my name, that made it scarier somehow) surviving alone all that time in the colony. Did she know that she'd be rescued? My heart rate sped along like a bullet train through the entire movie. Then afterwards, my friend's parents dropped me off at home. At night. In the dark. Did I mention how my driveway was about a hundred yards long and lined with tall, bushy trees that could have hidden about fifty of those acid-bleeding aliens? I called my mom to let her know I was on my way and told her, VERY SPECIFICALLY, to wait at the street for me with a flashlight. But did she? Nooooo! I whimpered when I got out of the car and my friend's parents drove off into the night, leaving me alone with the wind whispering through the palm trees and my mother waaaay down at the other end of the driveway. I hauled ass to the house, all the while expecting sharp claws to rip into my back and drag me away so an alien could lay an egg in me that would then burst out of my chest. And people say I was a melodramatic kid.

Interestingly enough, Aliens was one of the first movies to feature a strong female lead. Ripley was smart and tough and maternal, and her maternal instinct, as she cared for Newt, made her both vulnerable and stronger. She became that mama bear that would have ripped off an alien's head with her bare hands if need be in order to protect Newt.

Okay, one more mind-blowing movie. The Princess Bride. I can't remember how old I was the first time I saw it, only that I watched it on TV, and that scene in the beginning where Wesley and Buttercup say their good-byes? Yeah, that made me cry. That was, what, ten minutes into the movie? And I was already crying! That movie made me feel just about every emotion possible, and it remains my favorite to this day.

I could go on and on about movies, but I see your eyes glazing over. You want me to wrap this up.

As you wish.

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