My Influences – Movie Thoughts

No one realizes by themselves what they want to do in life. You aren’t the person you are because you made your own decisions and knew exactly what you wanted. Two years ago I wasn’t thinking of blogging about movies. But since that time, in those two years, I’ve had some incredibly influential experiences that have molded my love for film. They’ve informed me, inspired me, and given me the motivation to express this passion. This entry is being written so that I can reflect on the latest years of my life and the crucial impacts they have had on me. I am going to talk about not only the movies and filmmakers that have done this to me, but also the people who have inspired my writing and the ability to express myself.

Before the summer of 2008 my life was missing that one film that not only did I love more than any other, but realized was truly a great movie. I say great with full implications, not just picking a random adjective. When I am asked or think about my favorite movie of all time, my mind goes straight to The Dark Knight. I saw this movie in the theater and not only did I realize then that it was a great movie, but it was the first time a truly saw something great. I’d seen films that are considered great before then, but seeing The Dark Knight, I finally comprehended the meaning of great. Some may disagree with my labeling of great and that’s okay. Film is subjective and this movie opened my eyes to that realization. I’ve owned multiple copies since it was released on DVD; a single disc, two disc collection, a trilogy pack, and blu rays. Not only is this an iconic movie in recent cinema history, it is also an iconic film in my own experience as a film lover.

I don’t judge all movies based off of The Dark Knight because there are so many different kinds of movies. I do however judge them on that factor of being blown away by them. I don’t need there to be intense action sequences to do this either. I always say that one of the most involving movies for me is My Dinner With Andre. Literally just a dinner conversation for two hours kept me captivated. That is art. That is why I love movies. Any one of them can move you in ways seemingly impossible.

It’s one thing to love a movie. It’s something else entirely to express that. I am the kind of person that would love a movie and not tell anyone. If they asked me what I thought of a movie I loved, I would say it was good. If I saw an average film, I’d say it was good. In fact I said that for The Dark Knight. That nowhere near described the feelings I had for that movie. Not even realizing I thought this way, I believed I was living in a world where you watched a movie and were done with it immediately after. I was so wrong. I wasn’t the one who showed me that either. There were people, some of whom I know and some I don’t, that gave me the inspiration, and even the courage to talk about movies and never forget them.

It was again summer, four years since I saw The Dark Knight. Not so surprisingly I was eagerly anticipating the The Dark Knight Rises. I could not wait to see this movie. I had to see it right away and did. I wanted so badly for it to be good that I looked at every review I could find. So I looked somewhere I hadn’t before; YouTube. There I found an early review by Jeremy Jahns, a successful movie reviewer. After watching his review of TDKR I constantly watched his channel for reviews of new and old movies. Since then I’ve done the same for YouTube movie reviewers like Schmoes Know, Chris Stuckmann, and The Flick Pick. Each of these people have a great perspective on movies and a personality that shows in their videos. They showed me anyone can talk about movies as long as they have a true passion for them. I’m not doing YouTube videos, but there is no way I’d be writing this had it not been for their videos and inspiring love of film, similar to what I have. This is when I realized that I wholeheartedly loved talking about movies and that was something incredibly special.

From YouTube I also found AMC Movie Talk, who also collaborates with those other channels I mentioned. This daily show features a variety of film fans of different backgrounds with a shared passion. Knowing their story and especially that of the editor in chief John Campea, is what pushed me towards being able to put myself out there on the Internet. I don’t know where it will take me or how I’ll feel about it in a year, but as long as I hold on to this deep adoration for film I’m confident I’ll never get bored or stop enjoying what I’m doing. I’m nowhere close to where they are, but we both talk about film with the same kind of joy and dedication.

Going towards a partially different medium, the last person I want to mention as a great influence on me is Roger Ebert. I’ve always known about Eoger Ebert, I knew about his show and his famous reviews but I had never seen or read anything by him until recently. Since I first began reading his reviews about a year ago, the two things I quickly noticed about him were his unique writing style and his unquestioned love for film. Roger Ebert is really the only “professional” critic I read reviews for. With every other critic I get the sense that they’re reviewing movies because it’s their job. With Ebert, he writes as a fan, and does so beautifully. He goes in depth into the story and characters, and has such a distinctive voice that shows his passion. I like to say my goal is to one day enjoy movies like he does. Reading his top 10 movies list and his thoughts on movies, he never seems fake, he justs loves seeing and talking about movies. I also try to write my entries or “reviews” like he did. There are hundreds of movie critics out there and yet he stands out far past any other one. There’s even more movie bloggers like me out there. Before writing a review, I’ll read random reviews of his just to get an idea of his tone and craft, trying to pinpoint what makes him stick out so well. He is literally the model for how I talk about movies in a structured manner. I just hope I can learn half of his skill some day.

I’ve written a lot about my history with movies and my influences. I’m certain none of them will see this, but I think it is important nonetheless to recognize those who have inspired me. I am utterly grateful for what they have unknowingly given to me and I feel the responsibility to express that gratitude here. Thank you.

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