As it is Fathers Day today I thought I would do a fitting blog post to my dad (don’t worry, this isn’t all he’s getting for Fathers Day, later on I will be going round my parents house to eat their food too).
My dad has given me a lot over the years; endless support both emotional and financial, words of wisdom, a love of dogs, he helped me buy my first car, he is always there when I need him. And he has introduced me to a lot of amazing films. This blog being what it is, I thought I would focus on the film aspect.
Firstly, I feel I should say that while my dad does love films, he is fairly quiet about it, unlike me. So while some of these explanations may not seem much to you, they mean an awful lot to me.
Here are the top five (ish) films that my dad introduced me to;
I had only seen parts of Die Hard 3 when Die Hard 4 came out at the cinema, which I believe we saw for my dad’s birthday. I knew my dad loved Die Hard but he didn’t watch it often until Sky TV came into our lives and Die Hard was on regularly. However, he was quite secretive about it, watching it after my mum had gone to bed and when I was a teenager and hiding in my room. So Die Hard 4 was my first introduction and it was love at first sight. He then shared the wonders of Die Hard and Die Hard 2 with me and we now share the DVD collection.
Now, Always isn’t one of my favourite films but it is one of my dads. However, what watching this film when I was younger did give me was an appreciation of Richard Dreyfuss. Imagine my delight when I first discovered my favourite film, Stand By Me, and that Richard Dreyfuss was in that!
3. Star Trek: Nemesis
Yes, my dad’s a bit of a Trekkie and therefore so am I. I wasn’t brought up on Star Wars, this was never shown in our family home. No, I was brought up on Star Trek. The Next Generation is where my heart lies and Nemesis is the main film that sticks with me.
We went to see it at the cinema and my mum found it very funny that sat behind us were three grown men all in tears over Data’s demise – never mind that we were all wiping the tears away.
4. Executive Decision
One night when the family were sat in front of the television, Executive Decision came on and my dad wanted to watch it. Neither me or my mum were interested and we started off by taking the mickey – my poor dad. My mum soon got bored and went to bed but by that point I was hooked. Harrison Ford fighting with commandoes on a plane that's being taken over by terrorists? Go on then!
5. The 6th Day
Similarly, I walked into the lounge one evening to find my dad watching The 6th Day. ‘What’s this?’ I asked. ‘Some Arnie film,’ my dad replied. Well, that was enough for me. I sat down and watched the whole thing with him. This film is now one of my guilty pleasures and has pride of place in my DVD collection.
6. Air Force One
Yup, my dad likes planes. And action. And possibly Harrison Ford...
What did I love about this film? The genius of Gary Oldman, a true character actor. My dad already had this film in his collection and I actually can’t remember how I came to watch it. I just know that now it’s in my collection. In fact, I think I may have nicked it off him...I wonder if he’s noticed...
7, 8 and 9. Batman/Batman Returns, The Terminator/Terminator 2 and Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
These are the three biggies. These are the three films that truly resonate in my memory from my childhood. Sunday films for watching over Sunday lunch. I never stopped watching them and I still love them with the same passion that I did back then. Not only that, but each of these films have given me so much.
My parents shielded me well from The Terminator. Until we went to Florida when I was about nine years old, to Universal Studios and my dad wanted to go on the Terminator ride. My mum wasn’t sure at first, I seem to remember, but eventually gave in. Again, I was immediately hooked and begged my parents to let me watch the films when we got home. My first introduction to Arnie and the classic that is The Terminator (and Terminator 2).
I saw Batman at a very early age too. By Batman, I mean Tim Burton’s classic Batman with Jack Nicholson and Michael Keaton and Batman Returns. I don’t remember much about my first viewings, just that I enjoyed it. My mum would fast forward through the beginning when Jack Nicholson’s face get melted and it wasn’t until my teens that I watched the full film. It also wasn’t until my teens that I truly appreciated Batman and the magic happened. I vividly remember watching these films in my room, as the bats flee from the huge Christmas tree I was overcome with a new sensation. One that I can’t really describe but it is now my marker for a good film. It was a buzz that started inside my stomach, a warmth, an excitement, a burst of inspiration. It marked the beginning of my passion for fantasy/science fiction/geek and, as such, Tim Burton can now do no wrong in my eyes. And I have my dad’s (and mum’s) love of these amazing films to thank for that.
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves was very similar in that I never knew it started with hands being cut off until I was a teenager. I don’t know why this film sits so heavily with me. Maybe it was the family in-joke of saying ‘Robin of Loxley’ with such a broad American accent (bless Kevin Costner), maybe it was the one liners or the Medieval action or the brilliance of Alan Rickman. Who can say...
My dad’s taste in films has had a profound effect on my own taste, whether he meant that to happen or not. I would also like to point out that watching such violent and potentially scary films at a young age did me no harm – I don’t remember actually understanding them fully at that age.
So I would like to thank my wonderful dad, for being the best dad ever and giving me one of the most important things in my life – my love of explosions, cops with bare feet, caped crusaders, robots, men with bows and arrows and Arnie films.
All together now!
There was a rich man from Nottingham, who tried to cross the river. What a dope, he tripped on a rope, now look at him shiver!