Unfiltered: The Best Movies I First Saw on Video

Derek Armstrong

Derek is a film critic, currently writing for the Australian film website ReelGood as well as his personal blog, The Audient.

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5 Responses

  1. Just out of curiosity, I decided to see how my list shook out.  My ratio of home video to theater screenings is roughly 10:1. The fact that I live in Central Nebraska where we’re extremely lucky to get movies in limited releases adds to the inflated ratio.   I actually only got to number 12 on my list before I got my top ten seen on video.  Granted of the ones I saw on video, only two were released in theaters after I was 12. So that has an effect on things.  I then decided to see how far it got until I got my top ten I saw theatrically.  I got to #70 before I got to my tenth theatrical.      Another variable may be that half the stuff I see in theaters is stuff my wife drags me to that I end up hating.  

    • Derek Armstrong says:

      Brogan – It’s true, this is so largely dependent on access. If you’re an independent film fan and the nearest theater showing independent films is 150 miles away, then you certainly have to bide your time until particular movies are available on DVD. Oh, and yeah, you can’t deny the “dragged to date movies” factor either. With your tenth favorite theatrical screening at #70, it sounds as though you, much like Jori, tend to gravitate toward older films and manage to overcome your “made in my lifetime” bias. 

  2. Funny, since I saw 19 of the 20 movies in my top 20 on video/dvd . Guess this is highly dependent on age, I’m 17 so a lot of the “classics”  were not released in the theater during my life, and I dont think Fight Club is something you should watch in the theater when you’re 5 either.

    • Derek Armstrong says:

      Jori – That’s great that you are so active in seeking out older films. I think it’s very difficult to overcome the “made in my lifetime” bias when choosing favorites, because a lot of the time we choose them for sentimental reasons related specifically to events in our lives. And an undercurrent to my argument is that part of the reason they ARE our favorites is because we DID see them in the theater, possibly on opening night with an excited crowd. It’s hard to replace that primal excitement of a packed audience full of anticipation.