Top Five Movie Experiences

11 Feb

To us here at Lara and the Reel Boy a movie isn’t just a movie, it is an experience. We like to pride ourselves on the ability to pinpoint where and when we watched any film, the atmosphere, and who else we shared it with – because that all goes into how we view the movie itself. To honor the importance of the encounter with every film, we have decided to make a top five list in which we share with you our

Top Five Movie Experiences

Lara’s List
5. The Twilight Saga: New Moon

Twilight: New Moon

This is proof that the list is not necessarily about the quality of the movie. When I saw New Moon in New York City, I was pretty sure my friends and I were the only people in the eternal line who had never read any of the books (besides the excerpts we read to each other and mercilessly mocked in Barnes & Noble hours before) and were not actual fans of Twilight. In many other movies this might have been okay, but I was afraid we were going to have our asses kicked New York style by a bunch of Team Edward fans when we inevitably cracked up at some command their beautiful leader gave to Bella. However, it was not so. The rest of the members in our theater laughed at the ridiculous lines, whooped and hollered any time there was a shirtless man on screen, and there was even a 50-something year old woman  across the aisle from us who kept moaning any time Jacob said anything. Oh and at the end, after the final line when someone asks someone something (don’t want to spoil it or anything), my friend Tiffany yelled out “BOOOOOO!” and the rest of the theater joined in. It was beautiful.

4. Grindhouse

Grindhouse Double Feature

I was already in love with this film, having seen it twice in the theater, and then it came to Abilene’s Drive-In theater. And I had to see it again. There’s not really much else to say but that I saw Grindhouse at a Drive-In theater in Texas.

3. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith

My first midnight movie. All of my closest, nerdy friends got together to share in it together. In our group we had a Padme, a Jedi, a Darth Vader, a bear Jedi (yes, they DO exist), two “Star Wars geeks” (my sister and I were lame and couldn’t find better costumes—just wore Star Wars clothes and accessories), and David was an Ewok. Although people questioned the last costume. In fact some guys got into an argument with David about it saying that he looked too tall to be an Ewok, to which David retorted, “I’m a tall Ewok” and then walked away to go to the bathroom. When he left I heard one of them say, “Whatever, that’s an anorexic Wookie.” Oh and then there was the movie. Everyone cheered as the words STAR WARS came on the screen and we all got excited together and we cried together. After the film we knew it was the last time we’d watch a Star Wars movie for the first time, and we held each other.

2. The Day the Earth Stood Still

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Last year I lived in a tiny town in New Mexico called Ruidoso. It was a lovely little mountain town, but there was nothing to do there. Ever. And the one movie theater in town had three screens, which they generally used to project dog movies (i.e. Hotel for Dogs, Marley and Me, Beverly Hills Chihuahua). So you can imagine my surprise and enthusiasm when I heard that the 1951 version of The Day the Earth Stood Still was going to be shown at the park. Even in all my excitement, I still could not have anticipated how awesome the experience would be. Encircled by mountains, the scene for Gort and Klaatu’s important message was already beyond magnificent. And then the storm came. Behind the mountains, clouds built up. Lightning lit the sky and thunder shook us down to our bones while aliens invaded Earth. It was freezing but it was perfect.

1. Koyaanisqatsi


I had never heard of Koyaanisqatsi before the night I saw it. In case you are similarly unaware of its content, you can both go here and let me fill you in: it has no plot or dialogue or characters, simply slow motion and time-laps shots of natural landscapes and cities across America. The tone of the film is based entirely on image and music. The word Koyaanisqatsi is from the Hopi language and means “crazy life, life in turmoil, life out of balance, life disintegrating, a state of life that calls for another way of living,” and that is meant to represent the ghastly nature of technology. Sound bizarre? You’re right, it is. And I got to see it at the Hollywood Bowl on a warm summer’s night, projected onto three screens, with its original composer, Philip Glass and the Los Angeles Philharmonic providing a live score. What a crazy life.

Jedi and Bear Jedi at Episode 3 Premier

Tall Ewok at Episode 3 Premier: We realized we both had this as our number 3.

David’s List

5. Star Trek: First Contact

First Contact

Star Trek: First Contact came out in November of 1996, but I remember going to see it on Christmas day. My family used to go see movies after all the festivities were over every holiday. Sometimes it was just a handful of people; sometimes it was the whole gang. But it had become a family tradition. In 1996, the group consisted of my dad, my Uncle Art, my Uncle Jeff, and myself. All of the men under the age of sixty. So what did we do? We went to see the manliest, nerdiest movie playing on Christmas in 1996. I remember we went to the later showing and the theater was pretty empty. At this point in my life, I was obsessed with Star Trek. So seeing it with older people that I thought were cool, who were also obsessed with Star Trek, was pretty awesome.

4. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

My family was going to continue our tradition of seeing a movie after holiday festivitites at Thanksgiving of 2005 with Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Two of my best best friends, Nick and Lance, had come home with me for Thanksgiving that year, and neither one of them had seen any of the Harry Potter films, or read any of the books. My mom decided that needed to be rectified so that they could go with us to see the fourth installment. So Thanksgiving 2005 was one gigantic Harry Potter party that ended at the theater for Goblet of Fire. So even though this is not the best of the adaptations by stretch of the imagination it was a blast seeing with people who had never experienced Harry Potter before, and were super pumped by the time we got in the theater.

3. Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith

Revenge of the Sith... Again!

Revenge of the Sith was my first experience with dressing up for a movie premiere. Actually, I think its my only experience with that. I wore the body of a bear costume, put black makeup around my eyes, and carried a big stick. My friend Seth wore the head of the bear, carried a lightsaber. I was an Ewok. Seth was a Bear Jedi that didn’t really exist. We stood in line outside the theater for about three hours with tons of other people who were dressed up. Almost every single one of them came up and told us that there was no such thing as a Bear Jedi. Seth just told them that he was in the background of the battle in Attack of the Clones.

2. Gladiator


I was either a freshmen or a sophomore in high school when Gladiator was released. Either way, I couldn’t go see this without a parent. Thus, Gladiator is one of many movies that I have great memories of going to see with my father. We have a long tradition of going to see movies together that my mom doesn’t want to see. Gladiator was special because it was so much about family. Even my underdeveloped, high school mind picked up on how special it was to see this movie with my dad.

1. The Fountain

The Fountain

I saw The Fountain on my first date with the woman I am now married to. If you haven’t seen it then you won’t understand what that was like. This was a pretty heavy, emotional movie to see with someone that you really like, but you’re not quite sure what is going to happen with. It’s all about undying love, commitment to someone you love that lasts even beyond death. When the movie ended we both just sat there through the entire credits in complete silence. She told me later that if I had said anything, like asked her what she thought of it, she would have burst into tears. Then we went to Starbucks and held hands for the first time.


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