My 100th Review!!!

by Jef Cliber. 0 Comments


Can you believe it???  I was taken aback when I realized not long ago that I was in fact closing in on 100 reviews.  Granted, if you ask anyone that knows me, they will tell you that they wouldn’t be surprised by this news.  I love movies.  I mean I REALLY love movies.  I also talk quite a bit.  Blogging here is a little of both tied together.  Movies hold a special place in my heart. They take you places, and really great movies seem more than just simple entertainment.  I don’t know what I would call that feeling, but it is powerful. 

I even love the smell of a movie theater.  Maybe that’s just buttered popcorn that I smell, but I like it!  Strangely, I am not so much a popcorn fan when it comes to my snack food of choice while in the comfortable confines of a movie house.  No, I prefer Raisinets.  Those chocolate covered raisins are heaven to me!  I don’t know about all of you, but I think everybody should have their own snack food choice.  I know that choice has become a part of my identity, like when someone asks you the question of “which do you prefer: hotdogs or hamburgers?”

When it comes to sitting in a darkened theater, waiting for the previews to start, I always remember certain films I saw for the 1st time on the big screen.  Oh, I’m not old enough to talk about some of the masterpieces like “Gone with the Wind” or “Citizen Kane”.  No, I prefer to talk about the feeling you get out a movie the 1st time with specific films.  When I saw “Terminator” for the 1st time, it was on a military base with my best friend and his older brother.  When I saw “the Karate Kid” I was in New York with my family – and I always get this feeling of the ’80s when I hear the song “Cruel Summer” playing in the part when Daniel goes off to his 1st day of school.  I remember being absolutely enthralled by “Empire Strikes Back” after waiting an eternity outside of “the Rocking Chair” (aka. the Holiday Inn Cinema)  here in Frederick with my mom and sister.  Or even better, going with my brothers to see Chuck Norris in “Force of One” over at the old movie theater on Route 40 – before there was a Westridge (and not the Holiday Inn either).  I can’t remember the name of that spot though…

What memories! 

Of even more recent times, there was the movie theater out at the FSK mall where I worked forever and oh the hype around “Jurassic Park”!  That was awesome!  A midnight show just for us Mall employees? How cool is that?! And of course, there was my three-peater at that same theater for “Braveheart” 3 nights in a row!  Heck, I even remember which showing I went to for “Predator” – and thanks to Chris and one of his many cars (& licenses), I can prove that warp speed does exist.  Of course, there was also the return of “Star Wars” to the big screen and staying up all night over at Fredericktown Mall.  This one ranks as one of my all-time favorite memories.  Aaaah….good times! 

So you may ask “where is my review?”  Here I am making a big to-do about reaching this awesome goal and yet I have reviewed nothing.  Okay, so this isn’t actually a review, but more of an in-depth statement.  I thought of films I could choose to review for this auspicious number, but really there is no way to clearly chose just ONE film.  It’s like when people ask me “what’s your favorite movie of all time?”  I usually respond with the answer: “what genre?”  Okay, so I do have one but that’s a review for another time…far, far away. 

Truth be told, I wanted to write this blog about my love of movies and ask all of you who care to read my reviews if you share this passion for film?  I know several of you do read what I write – and some of you do so on a regular basis, which I am rather thankful for – and I thought maybe I could ask for your opinions.  I mean, I know I remember a bit more than some people, but just think for a moment about seeing a specific film of the 1st time.  Now, see if you can answer some of these questions:

Do you remember where it was?

Do you remember when it was?  Not just the year, but the season – or even the month!

Who were you with when you saw the movie?

Do you remember anything else important that happened that day?


Now, you have just taken this little journey back down Memory Lane, so now you can answer one last question: what feeling do you recall most when you think of that movie? 

I’ll give you an example.  When I 1st saw “Back to the Future”, I went with my brother and his then-girlfriend-now wife.  I saw it at the later show (I think it was around 9 PM) at the Fredericktowne Mall (before they revamped it entirely).  It was the summer of 1985, probably late July but I can’t recall specifically.  I know it was summer because Summer of 1985 was right after my brother graduated high school and we were running around a lot together back then.  I guess what I remember most about that day was that my brother asked me if I wanted to go to the movies with him & his girlfriend.  As any younger sibling will tell you, this was a big deal to me.  It reminded me of how life changes – because I was not such a little brother any more, and yet I would always be that to my siblings (which was totally okay because as proven here, my brother was accepting me as an older version of myself).

So…what feeling do I remember most when I think of that movie?  Change.  Is that a feeling?  I guess that’s what I remember most.  I was changing.  Marty McFly wanted to change.  Marty had to face adversity in his own time and accidentally wound up facing it in his parent’s past.  That’s what I remember thinking of.  “Will I ever be accepted for being me?”  (I felt pretty weird back then, but somehow I was perfectly normal.)  Here I am a married man more than 2 decades later, and I remember feeling worried about how teenagers will ALWAYS be the same, no matter what time period you are talking about.  So, to all teenagers out there, here’s a message: never quit on yourself.

Speaking of which, I feel a bit of explanation is in order – and to a specific audience.  To members of CHS (a little louder) Class of 1988 (and those of ’89, ’90, and ’91) who may have read a message in my senior entry under Message.  Message read “Stand up for what you believe in and the world will tell you to sit down”.  My explanation to all of you is this: I believe the world can be narrow-minded and unforgiving, but I also believe you should ALWAYS stand up for whatever you believe!  And right now, I believe that people should honestly speak for themselves – from movie reviews to criticizing the government.  You must ALWAYS be yourself and you should ALWAYS speak your mind.

I am happy to have shared 100 reviews with all of you – whoever you may be.  I am glad my wife convinced me to begin this blog.  Thank you, my beautiful Suzabella!  I hope that I can write 1,000 more such reviews because my love for movies will never go away.  Thanks for reading and look forward to many more exciting reviews in the near future.  I have some great ideas of how to bring these reviews more “life”.

…and that’s it for the 100th edition of THE REEL VOICE.


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