Family and Film: An Origin Story

My name is Matt and I love movies.

I love to watch movies. I love to quote movies. I love to allude to movies in daily conversation.

I blame my mom.


I watched my first movie in a theater at the ideal movie-watching age of three months old. My mom took me to see Clear and Present Danger starring Harrison Ford as Jack Ryan. While I slept through the entire movie, I enjoyed the experience (from what I can remember).

When I grew a little bit older, my family purchased a VCR. We owned a few movies on VHS, including my favorite film as a child — Jurassic Park. I had two favorite parts of Jurassic Park. First, I loved when the Dilophosaurus ate Wayne Knight’s character Dennis Nedry. I would run to my mom, saying “Mommy, Mommy, come watch the dinosaur eat the big-headed man!” My second favorite part was the two different beginnings. Or at least I thought there were…

See, my little sister could be impatient. As a result, she didn’t always rewind the movie all the way. So my young mind, having started the movie at two different spots, thought the movie had two different beginnings. Oops.

A few years later, we finally upgraded to a DVD player. Bringing home our first DVD, my mom made us feel like it was Christmas. The DVD was another film starring Wayne Knight: Space Jam. Michael’s “Secret Stuff” and (spoiler!) Billy Murray’s game-saving appearance solidified my love for movies.

Over the years, I’ve enjoyed some really terrible films. I’ll go ahead and confess I used to think Batman & Robin was good. (OK, I loved it. We all make mistakes.) The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones were big hits to my younger self. I even thought The Mask was the funniest movie ever made.

The good news is I think I’ve learned some things along the way. I’ve learned a few things about what makes a movie good — and what makes a movie flop. I am always looking to learn more and I hope viewing and reviewing movies affords me opportunities to do so. I hope you’re just as excited for the journey as I am.

Now a couple tidbits about my current taste in films. I love Wes Anderson. I think J. J. Abrams is legit too. I enjoy classic, high-rated films (e.g., Shawshank Redemption, Good Will Hunting, and Dead Poets Society). I like my comedies dry. Rom-coms are often my guilty pleasure. Animated features are often dear to my heart, and dramas work me through the whole beautiful range of human emotion.

I’m going to go watch a movie now.

P.S. Here’s my Top 10, which changes more often than the phases of the moon.

  1. The Martian (2015) – Ridley Scott
  2. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) – Ben Stiller
  3. The Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009) – Wes Anderson
  4. The LEGO Movie (2014) – Phil Lord and Christopher Miller
  5. Back to the Future (1985) – Robert Zemeckis
  6. Monsters Inc. (2001) – Pete Docter, David Silverman, and Lee Unkrich
  7. Dead Poets Society (1989) – Peter Weir
  8. Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (2003) – Peter Jackson
  9. How To Train Your Dragon (2010) – Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders
  10. 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) – Dan Trachtenberg

P.P.S. I love reading too. I blame my mother for that also.

Author: Matt Welborn

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