Must See Films

atlanta skyline silhouette banner

Kelvin Head ShotWhen it comes to pop culture, I would like to think I have serious swag, more cultural flow than Biggie dropping lyrics. But I have an admission to make – a lot of it’s fake bluster, at least when it comes to a true cinematic foundation.

I love movies but as far as true knowledge about the Godfather, Indiana Jones, E.T. and other cinematic classics of my ‘70s and ‘80s childhood, I’m as fake as the guy who dared fill Michael Jordan’s Airs talking about how great it was to witness the championships and champagne of the 90s heydays of the Bulls. Like his Airness replacement being nowhere near Dennis Rodman’s dresses and the NBA trophies, I literally was nowhere near the movie theatre classics of my childhood.


E.T.? Nope, never seen a minute of the heartwarming lug from space. The Godfather trilogy? Yep, I’ve gone 0-for-3 in my viewing of mafia whackings and wisdom. The Shining or Poltergeist? I’ve read the reviews and I do a great pump fake around these classics during trivia night but no, I didn’t have the honor of probably fainting in the theatre had I seen a spinning head.

I have great excuses for my slim film watch-o-graphy. I grew in rural Alabama and not only did we have limited means in our household but the nearest theatre was about 20 miles away, my father died when I was a mere tyke and my moms didn’t drive. Heck, when I was falling in love with early hip hop back then and mostly because that shit was flowing through my radio all day for free! I did see Saturday Night Fever first run at the movies and not surprisingly those tired-ass polyester suits still bring me so much pleasure as one of my all-time top five flicks.

But more importantly as a reason I didn’t see much cinematic fare back then: my moms was fundamentalist, fire and brimstone, and stricter than welfare benefits in Kansas! Yes, I didn’t see The Godfather at the theatre but even when the edited version was shown on the thin lineup of networks back, I didn’t dare watch such a violent flick anywhere near her.

Sheeeeit! Try showing something conflicted with her personal Jesus — that TV woulda been thrown s-o-o-o far out the door and me not too far behind it! Mama didn’t play – that TV woulda made it back in the house before I did!

et1So I missed out on a lot. Even for years when I said I was gonna do a make-up and watch some of these classics, wine, women and song have been bigger pulls on my time as I have flowed into middle age. I read voraciously and partied just as much and didn’t have time to watch a dated E.T. character trying to call home on what’s likely not an iPhone and no Google Maps to get back home.

But let’s just say right now I have downtime. A divorce that’s not quite final but still certain. And I’m in between jobs as I do freelance writing.

So I’m compiling a list of movies I need to see. I’m sure seeing them now as jaded, life-weary 40-something self will be way different from the little kid who was so frightened by that made-for-TV schlock Dark Night of the Scarecrow 30 years ago that I didn’t sleep alone for days!

Now, surely some of these movies I have about as much interest in seeing them now as I do in One Direction staying together or Sarah Palin becoming First Lady Dude or whatever she calls the presidency. Not. Gonna. Happen.

Poltergeist and The Exorcist? You didn’t scare me witless back then and you won’t interfere with my Comedy Central and Adult Swim viewing time now. The Breakfast Club and Sixteen Candles? Hope y’all worked all that teenage angst out by now on your own. (Shhh…I’m still working on mine!)

But here’s a shortlist of long-in-the-tooth movies I have never seen that will perhaps draw me away from the NBA playoffs now, and — God forbid I still have that much free time four months from now — the football season of Alabama (my alma mater):


The Godfather – there have been entire books written and college classes taught about this movie. A horse head in bed? I guess I’m gonna get an offer – and an education! — I can’t refuse soon.


E.T. – Some overgrown alien hanging out with an adolescent child? What priest/child molester wrote this script? But yeah, guess I gotta see it and besides, I hear that that Barrymore girl grew up real well!


The Shining – It’s been called scariest movie of all time. But seeing Jack Nicholson and my Los Angeles Lakers the past two seasons has given me a new definition of scary. I’ll be alright with just Jack swinging an axe minus the Lakers killing the game of basketball!


Top Gun and A Few Good Men – Linking them together like this sounds like the Republican presidential field at an NRA convention. I’m not too keen normally on action flicks – TV has had plenty of similar empty fare and heck it’s free! But as much as Tom Cruise aka Mr. Scientology irks the heck out of adult me these days, he probably was not as slick back then and won’t ruin the movies for me.

So, wish me luck! I ain’t afraid  of no ghosts (Ghostbusters theme)…

Kelvin Sims