Living in a college town, it's easy to see that back-to-school time is right around the corner. The stores are full of cheap dishes, tupperware containers, and bath towels, the fast food restaurants are more crowded than they've been in the last three months, and the Best Buy parking lot looks like the day after Thanksgiving. One thing's very certain...a lot of these wide eyed kids don't know what they're doing.
Luckily for them, The Mike once faced their predicament. Well, at least the predicament some of them are facing. "Cool" kids, sorority girls, athletes, people who are committed to their academics....I can't relate. As for you, the movie geek who plans on using college as a chance to build upon their repertoire, the dude who knows his Hitchcock and Kubrick, the dude who's seen more foreign films than Sandra Bullock films....I've got some words of wisdom for you. You need to follow these tips to build your movie empire in your new setting. Doing so will earn you instant cred as a cinematic superviewer.
(Also, I'm sure that evil Netflix device has changed the landscape of the flick fan game a little, but if you're smart enough to be reading this you're also smart enough to know that no geek is geek enough without a bit of a collection backing them up.)
1) Bring the Thunder - Any good collection has the keystone films. Back in my day these were things like Independence Day, Pulp Fiction, The Matrix, and Tommy Boy; today we're looking at The Dark Knight, Inglourious Basterds, Children of Men, and The Hangover. The good news is that a lot of the older standouts still work...The Shawshank Redemption is still The Shawshank Redemption, for example. But if you're gonna have the kind of collection that gives you power, you're gonna have to carry some of these flicks.2) Nostalgia Sells - Y'know what movie me and the movie geeks I met at college watched the most our Freshman year? Yep, The Princess Bride. The Goonies played often, Gremlins seemed to pop up a bit, and no one doubted Ferris Bueller's powers. I can't really speak for your generation...I guess you have Home Alone and the Ninja Turtles? (Man, the '90s sucked.) Anyway, my point is that you don't need to think your childhood favorites aren't cool...they're very cool. Use them.
3) Do Your Thing - Those couple of points read like I'm telling you to conform, but that's sooooo not the case. Because, when it comes to the Thunder-bringing flicks, most everyone has them. You're gonna be living around at least 40 other people that have their own copy of The Dark Knight. Really. So, if you're not a big fan of something your peers love (like Fast & Furious movies or The Hangover), strongly support your favorite alternatives (like Transporter movies and Tropic Thunder). And if you really love something that's not as accepted, like Red Eye or Observe and Report, stick with them too. What makes YOU happy is most important.4) DON'T Underestimate The Horrors - OK, here's something you probably know: Most people don't have large amounts of horror movies hanging around. But what people forget is that every once in a while...especially when October comes around...one of those girls that lives on the floor below you is gonna be hanging out with a bunch of you dudes and suggest a "scary" movie. And when that moment comes...and you're suddenly the dude who has the horrors...and you're not totally creepy...YOU'RE ACTUALLY GOING TO HAVE THE CHANCE TO HANG OUT WITH GIRLS. Sure, nothing's gonna happen. But it's a chance that doesn't come up often. HARNESS THE OPPORTUNITY. (Besides, horror flicks rock anyway.)
5) Know Your Surroundings - Dorm life is hard. You can't always get what you want in to those places. But keep your eyes open. Your neighbors will have some flicks. There might be some rental flicks hanging out at the desk downstairs. Hey, there might even be a used CD/DVD place hanging around near campus. There will be tons of resources at your disposal, you just have to find them. (Also, film classes...the kind in which you just watch and talk about movies...are an absolute must. Take 2 or 3 of them and you're 99% done with an English minor.)
6) Give in Once in a While - One of the worst (and also best) things about college is the terror that is having a roommate. Look....you're probably going to know more about movies than your roommate(s) do. But they're probably not stupid. If they want to watch Twister again, or insist on a yearly viewing of National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation...you might benefit from going along with it, for your own sanity. Who knows, they might end up having cool cinematic obsessions, like James Bond films or the works of pre-Rocky-and-Bullwinkle Robert De Niro. It'll work out, and you'll still be able to watch your copy of Flash Gordon later.
You do own Flash Gordon...don't you?