Movies have always been a big deal to me; which I am sure you have realized since you have discovered this blog. There is just something about sitting in that theater and watching the screen flicker to life inspires me like nothing else. Years ago, I decided that it was time to go back and list how many movies I have seen in theaters. This is the first section of that list.
As a part of my “Old School Review” series, I am creating reviews for all of these older films, normally on a weekly basis. I first compiled this page many years ago, when image quality was tiny. As I go through and review everything, I am updating the poster images to 2020’s quality.
The 1st film I have seen in theaters…
Really?! We are going back THIS FAR?! Yes, we are! I was 8 years old in August of 1987 and this was the first movie I saw in a theater. Now, many others saw films long before they were 8. I don’t think I will be able to keep my future children out of the movie theater until age 8, but I applaud my parents for being respectful of other moviegoers.
1: Masters of the Universe – My brother and I were MASSIVE He-Man fans back in the 80’s. This movie is odd in how well, and how badly, it has aged. Despite it’s bizarre take on He-Man, and USA setting, it was my first, and you never forget your first. It is the only movie I saw in the theater for 1987, and is therefore the Best and Worst of the year. (Review)
Yes, After being exposed to cinema, it was nearly 2 years until we went again. Now, we had a large VHS library and cable TV, so I did not suffer. In fact, I would say that my film exposure was FAR beyond what other kids got to see. This was the time I saw Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, Godfather, Caddyshack, and other R rated films. I am not sure why my parents took off the filter, but It definitely broadened my film horizons. This did not translate into theater viewing as my theater experience would remain kid friendly for a while.
2: Honey I Shrunk the Kids – I remember enjoying it. It was a cute movie. (Review)
3: Peter Pan – My mother dragged us to this one, a re-release of the Disney cartoon. A good movie, a classic even, but even today I would watch any of the other Disney flicks before reaching for this. (Review)
Glaring omission: My parents did not take me to see THE MOVIE OF THE DECADE- Batman. I have no idea why. I saw it on VHS christmas day 1989. It was the best movie of the year.
4: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles – A defining movie for kids my age. In 1990, if you were 10, there was nothing on Earth cooler than the Ninja Turtles. (Review)
5: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II – Secret of the Ooze: NINJA, NINJA, RAP! This has not aged as well as the first film, mostly because it sucks balls. Tokka and Rahzar were hilariously stupid substitutes for Bebop and Rocksteady. Every kid sang that Vanilla Ice song, though. A time capsule. (Review)
6: Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country – This one was powerful! The last film of the original Star Trek Crew! The trailer shocked me, in that the story could ever end. here it is, still gives me the weeps. (Review)
7: Hook – Bangarang! Rufio! Bizzare movie, but I have a soft spot for Mr Smee. Williams was a good choice for Pan. (Review)
8: Batman Returns – The first film was a true event picture, but this one was my favorite of the original series. Keaton was great, and had the best batsuit of the series. Michelle Pfeiffer was sexy as hell for a 13 year old boy, too sexy even! Danny DeVito was born to play Penguin. Christopher Walken is always welcome. A Classic. (Review)
9: Home Alone 2 – It has charm, and I certainly laughed, but even I knew this was more of the same by this point. Yes, I was starting to develop TASTE. (Review)
This was the year I turned 14, started High School, watched X-Files, found my first girlfriend, and began to grow up. My comic collecting began in earnest this year, once Superman kicked the bucket and Bane broke the Bat. This was a big year for me.
10: Jurassic Park – Blew my goddamned mind! This was probably my “Star Wars” moment in cinema, meaning that this was something I had never seen before; A similar experiences to audiences seeing Star Wars in 1977. Those Dinosaurs were astounding. Still one of Spielberg’s top 5. (Review)
11: Son of the Pink Panther – This starred one of my new discoveries- Roberto Benigni who was amazing in “Johnny Stecchino”, as the son of Inspector Clouseau. It is notable as the last entry in the original series. I am happy to have seen this, the last, theaters. Love these movies, particularly Herbert Lom. (Review)
12: Naked Gun 33 1/3 – The Final Insult: Funny funny movie. I love the end of this film. Leslie Neilsen’s Frank Drebin running amok at the Academy Awards. (Review)
13: Major League II – We enjoyed it, a lot, but it had none of the teeth of the original. The inclusion of JOBU made the movie though. (Review)
14: The Flinstones – Yuck. Dead on Arrival. John Goodman was made for this role though. (Review)
15: Star Trek Generations – The first film of the Next Generation, but also the Death of Captain Kirk! My first memory on this earth is pressing my nose against the TV as Captain Kirk fought the Gorn. Watching him die was traumatic. First time I cried in a movie theater. (Review)
16: Batman Forever – This was a huge movie at the time which has taken a bit of a hit following the B&R fiasco. Jim Carrey was at the top of his game, and the insane style was somewhat fresh. (Review)
17: Ace Ventura 2 – That Rhino “birthing” scene still destroys me. Possibly the 2nd funniest thing I’ve ever seen in a theater. (Review)
18: Goldeneye – Bond returns! Brosnan debuts! Best of the year. (Review)
This is an interesting year. I turned 17, lost my father, got my first job, and procured my driver’s license. I wonder what will happen when Superponte has wheels and money?
19: Black Sheep – Chris Farley and David Spade for the last time. It is a shame that these two couldn’t be making movies today. (Review)
20: Broken Arrow – I remember my pal Chad and I having a hell of a time getting into this one. It was rated R. I was 16 and he was 17. They would not let me in! We traveled to another theater and walked in- no problem. Cannot remember one detail of the movie though, lol. Honestly! I think there was a missile in it?
21: Executive Decision – Every trailer showed this as a Steven Segal movie. He dies 15 or so minutes in, and Kurt Russell takes over. Definitely an improvement.
22: Mission impossible – Still the best of the series. Turning Phelps evil was genius.
23: The Phantom – SLAM EVIL!!! I don’t care what people say, I still love this film.
24: The Rock – Sean Connery and Nicholas Cage battling Ed Harris on Alcatraz! Connery’s last great film.
25: Independence Day – I have not seen this in years, my wife despises it, but I enjoyed it on release. It was my birthday present. It is the quintessential 90’s movie. Huge, nonsensical, full of explosions.
26: The Frighteners – I don’t recall what brought me in to see this, but it was pretty good. Directed by LOTR Peter Jackson!
27: A Time to Kill – I remember the movie running long and we had to leave early. I did not see the ending until years later. Fantastic performances by all, especially Spacey. This is where I first became aware of him.
28: Kingpin – Still my favorite Farrelly Brothers film. It marked the unofficial start of Bill Murray’s ascension to godhood.
29: Joe’s Apartment – Not a good movie, but I remember it being the first MTV movie, which was a big deal in the day for a teenager. MTV still meant something back then.
30: Island of Dr Moreau – Yikes! So bad. I can still remember sitting in the theater, freaked out by that mutant thing so expertly lampooned by South Park a year later. Terrible.
31: Star Trek: First Contact – An amazing movie, to this day. The best of the TNG cast.
32: Mars Attacks – I still love this one. It was just so insane. It’s hard to believe it got made.
33: Scream – This is the one that defined our generation’s teen years. SCREAM! It restarted the horror genre, and inspired many filmmakers to do the self-aware horror movie.
Well. Holy Crap 1996. Who knew that Money+Car = MOVIES!
Lets recap total movies seen in this decade.
- 1987-1995: 18 movies
- 1996-1996: 15 movies.
That’s right. 45% of my total Cinema attendance, to this point, was in ’96. Insane. Now that we have a larger body to work with, we can really delve into Best/Worst of each year.
Broken Arrow: I can’t even remember the damn thing, not one detail. Worst by default. At least Island of Dr Moreau stayed with you.
Scream: That was the defining film for me. It was one of those movies that hit at just the right time (senior in high school). Looking back, it also captures a time, and place, in my life. The clothes and hairstyles were of my generation’s high school days. A touchstone.
Part One is done! The adventure continues as we finish off the decade in our next segment: 1997-1999.