Saturday, July 19, 2008

Cinema Memoir #20

Superman IV: The Quest for Peace
(July 24th, 1987)

There's not much to say about this one. I just remember thinking this movie sucked, and I liked Superman III. Even at 7 years old I thought Nuclear Man was retarded. This was the first time I left the theater disappointed - what a letdown.

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Cinema Memoir #19

Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
(July 10th, 1987)

Revenge of the Nerds was one of those movies I watched constantly when I was younger. It's the epidemy of underdog stories and, because I always felt like an outcast, it was strangely motivational. What can I say - I'm an optimist.

Nerds II didn't have quite the same effect on me. It's not nearly as terrible as the two sequels that followed (I couldn't even make it through those), but it's not even close to the original.

It was a lot of fun seeing this movie during another boy's night out with my brother and father. That was the last one of those we had as far as I can remember.

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Cinema Memoir #18

Harry and the Hendersons (June 5th, 1987)

I was the perfect age when this movie came out. I think it holds up pretty well today - the animatronics are amazing - props to Rick Baker who took the Best Makeup Oscar that year.

This is another really great family movie that I still love. It has a good story - it's really funny - and the characters have great arcs - even if the movie is a little cheesy at times.

I don't remember much about seeing this movie in the theater, but I do remember watching it a thousand times on video. I watched it recently with my 12 year old and she loved it.

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Cinema Memoir #17

Creepshow 2 (May 1st, 1987)

Now we're talking! This was my first big screen R rated movie. The original Creepshow was my favorite scary movie at the time - even though I hadn't yet been able to make it through "The Crate" segment without covering my eyes. The sequel isn't nearly as good as the original but it does have its merits. The killer oil slick always freaked me out!

Oddly enough, watching this movie was another family event. My parents were pretty confident that I could handle movies like this - and they were right. Ever since I can remember I've loved horror movies. The only movie that ever really gave me nightmares was Gremlins and that was just from the trailer.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Cinema Memoir #16

Mannequin (February 13th, 1987)

Oh yeah, this movie. I would have omitted this one except there's a story behind it. If memory serves, my brother went to see Platoon that night and I was forced to watch something else - something that was more suitable for a 7 year old.

To be honest, I think Mannequin messed me up more than Platoon would have - so much in fact that I think I actually saw Mannequin Two: On The Move in the same theater four years later (coincidentally, the same year JFK came out.) But because all this is sort of speculative - and slightly embarrassing - I've chosen to omit the sequel from the list. However, Mannequin will remain my 16th big screen experience.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Cinema Memoir #15

Over The Top (February 13th, 1987)

Another underdog story, and a fairly original concept - well the arm wrestling I mean - the story was pretty cookie cutter I guess. I do remember wanting to see this movie because of the trailer. A great movie for age 7, but I'm sure my mom (who took me to see most movies pre 13) could have done without Over The Top.

I remember really digging the scene where Sly's son arm wrestled some bully kid for money and won. The only thing better than an underdog is a kid underdog.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Cinema Memoir #14

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
(November 26th, 1986)

This was the first Star Trek movie I ever saw - not a great introduction to the Star Trek franchise. I had Star Trek II on tape (right before Star Wars) but I could never get past the scene with Kahn's pets - too scary - plus STAR WARS!

My brother and I watched this movie in the theater with our grandparents. They really loved when Kirk used his colorful metaphors - double dumb ass on you.

The poster rocks too!

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Cinema Memoir #13

Crocodile Dundee (September 23rd, 1986)

This was one of those "family night" movies. We all went, which was a rarity. I still like movies like this - I'm a sucker for family films. Perhaps this is because they tend to bring families together, who knows.

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Cinema Memoir #12

Flight of the Navigator (July 30th, 1986)

I don't think I actually saw this movie in 1986, but rather at one of those summer kid's movie shows a few years later.

All I remember is being really depressed because everyone thinks the main character is dead. I haven't seen this movie in probably 15 years. I don't plan on watching it anytime soon.

Oh and Paul Reubens did the voice of the ship's robot pilot.

UPDATE: May 24th, 2010

Evidently there's a Flight of the Navigator Remake in the works. I was able to watch this movie again recently and it was just about as depressing as I remember it.

Also, I was at Disney's Hollywood Studio (always MGM to me) last week and saw the space ship from this movie on the back lot tour. It's always really cool to see movie props even if the movie sucked.

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Friday, July 11, 2008

Cinema Memoir #11

The Karate Kid, Part II
(June 20th, 1986)

I just remember really looking forward to this movie. I was 6, practically a ninja in my own mind, and I was a huge fan of the first Karate Kid.

I love the first two Karate Kid movies - nothing beats a good, old fashioned underdog story, but I swear Ralph Macchio was on coke in Karate Kid III.

This movie still kicks ass, and of course I'm still in love with Kumiko. Every time I drink hot tea I think of her.

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Modern Day Shaman

It's hard being an artist in the world today, especially when my vocation seems so insignificant - almost wasteful - while so many terrible things are happening all around us. I'm certain many artists out there have had similar feelings on this matter, which is why I've decided to post this inspiring quote --
Being a storyteller and/or animator is not only fun, it is an honorable thing to do with your life. The world needs shamans now more than ever...

- Ed Hooks
Perhaps today's artists, writers, and filmmakers are modern day shamans. After all this time questioning the importance of my vocation I really would like to believe what I'm doing is honorable.

Here is a link to the entire article, "Animators vs. Storytellers" which I highly recommend to anyone who is questioning their artistic vocation:

(The quote goes on, "...and it is way past time that we started making animated movies for adults." But that's an entirely different post best saved for later.)

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Cinema Memoir #10

Poltergeist II: The Other Side
(May 23rd, 1986)

Watching this movie was a really great experience. It was the first time I was so scared I covered my eyes. That, of course, was during the scene where Craig T. Nelson puked up a slimy quadriplegic zombie.

This sequel isn't nearly as good as its predecessor, but it's freaking Citizen Kane compared to Poltergeist III.

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Cinema Memoir #9

Eliminators (January 31st, 1986)

Yes, that's a picture of a half man/half tank, it's okay though because it's a Charles Band production. And you can't beat a movie with a tag line like...

"Mandroid. Mercenary. Scientist. Ninja. Each one a specialist. Together they are...ELIMINATORS!"

I saw this movie on my very first date with my kindergarten girlfriend, Tara Payne and her parents. Nothing spells romance like mandroids.

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Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cinema Memoir #8

The Jewel of the Nile
(December 11th, 1985)

Perhaps one of the worst sequels of all time (Not a Robert Zemeckis movie) . I was and still am a huge fan of Romancing the Stone, but this movie was a total letdown. There wasn't even a jewel, at least in the first movie there was a jewel. That was how I saw it at the age of five.

The most memorable part was Danny DeVito's line, "Your ass is grass and I'm a lawnmower." I've been waiting 23 years for the perfect opportunity to say that to someone, and one day it'll come.

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Cinema Memoir #7

Rocky IV (November 27th, 1985)

I watched this movie with my dad and brother; a boy's night out because my mom was hosting a baby shower.

This movie doesn't stand up so well today. It's an hour and a half of musical montage and Rocky's speech at the end kinda misses it's mark. But none of that really matters to a 5 year old. All I knew was that Rocky kicked that juiced up Russian's ass.

One of the redeeming aspects of this movie is the scene where Apollo Creed gets killed. This was one of those terrible yet wonderful movie experiences. I knew it wasn't real but the shock of seeing Apollo's body twitching on the mat was pretty poignant.

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Cinema Memoir #6

Back to the Future (July 3rd, 1985)

Memories are strange things. The only thing I remember about watching this movie in the theater is Marty McFly riding behind cars on his skateboard, fun but certainly not the most memorable part of Back to the Future. I think this movie made a greater impact on me in VHS form because when the sequels came out I was ready for them.

Robert Zemeckis is one of my all time favorite directors. His movies are always on the cutting edge of technology and he seems to be constantly reinventing his approach to storytelling. Back to the Future was one of those innovative movies.

On a side note, every time I see a Delorean in real life (which is quite rare) I get butterflies in my stomach and kinda giggly. I saw one in Sarasota about a year ago and I followed it into a parking lot and ogled at it for a few minuets. The license plate -- Back In Time

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Monday, July 7, 2008

Cinema Memoir #5

The Goonies (June 7th, 1985)

Perhaps one of the best kid's movies of all time. Of course I've seen this movie a thousand times on video so my big screen memories are kinda hazy. I remember Data being my favorite character at the time because of all his cool gadgets.

I have to give props to Steven Spielberg and Chris Columbus for coming up with this idea. I guess Richard Donner did okay too. This movie was really fresh for it's time and it's become a cult classic.

I had the pleasure of catching a special screening of The Goonies a few years ago in Orlando. The theater was packed and we knew all the lines.

There has never been another kids movie quite like The Goonies, and there probably never will be, but my fingers are still crossed.

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More Conte' Drawings

Here are a few more conte' drawings that I've done over the last 3 years.

A still life drawn from life and photograph.
It was an assignment my first year at Ringling.

This is a portrait I did of Alabama football coach
Bear Bryant. It was a Christmas gift for my dad a few
years back. I used photo reference for this piece.

This is actor James Caviezel in his portrayal of
Jesus Christ from the film Passion of the Christ.
I used photo reference from the film.

Copyright © 2009 Matthew J Killian All Rights Reserved
All images and content in this post are protected

Cinema Memoir #4

Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend
(March 22nd, 1985)

Ok, so I was on a roll there for a little while, but trust me, Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend is certainly not the worst movie on my list.

I haven't seen this movie in probably about 15 years. I do remember thinking the dinosaurs were real, but that's not much of a stretch for a 5 year old.

For some reason the image of the baby brontosaurus with a pair of underwear stuck on it's face pops into my head.

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Cinema Memoir #3

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
(May 23rd, 1984)

The thing I remember most was walking out of the theater wishing I was Short Round. I suppose most kids wanted to be Indy, but this was the first time I'd seen a kid with the power to thwart evil. This was the genesis of my love for "kid's movies".

Much like Return of the Jedi, Temple of Doom generally ranks as the least favorite of the original three Indy movies. I would recommend watching this movie again with someone who's never seen it (ideally a child).

Indiana Jones was my childhood hero. My desire to be a filmmaker can be directly attributed to the Indiana Jones movies and the impact they had on me as a child.

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Saturday, July 5, 2008

Cinema Memoir #2

Return of the Jedi (May 25th, 1983)

When Return of the Jedi came out I was already a huge Star Wars fan. I was 3 years old so, like E.T., I don't remember much about my experience, but I do remember having a Biker Scout action figure with me.

On a side note, A New Hope was the very first VHS movie I remember watching. Darth Vader really scared the crap out of me.

Return of the Jedi has a reputation for being the worst of the original trilogy. Perhaps, but competing against A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, third place ain't too shabby.

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Thursday, July 3, 2008

Cinema Memoir #1

E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial
(April 11th, 1982)

This was my very first big screen experience. I was only 2 years old at the time so I don't remember much, but I do remember watching it at a drive-in, and my older brother crying when E.T. died. (Sorry for the 26 year old spoiler)

E.T. didn't get a video release until 1988. Six years is a long time for a kid to wait. Fortunately my uncle had a bootleg copy that I'd watch every time we visited.

Today E.T. remains one of my all time favorite movies. I can't imagine a better first big screen experience.

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Cinema Memoir

While suffering from a recent bout of boredom, I decided to make a list of all the movies I've ever seen on the big screen. 332 was the total as of July 11th of last year; a rough number because surly there's some movies I've forgotten about (or omitted out of sheer embarrassment, i.e. The Care Bears Movie.)

I've decided to post each movie on this list - in chronological order - and write a little bit about my experience watching them. This is my Cinema Memoir.


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