I just shrugged and replied "Naw, I've never seen any of em', actually."
"Really?" he said with sincere surprise, "I figured you would have seen those by now, they're pretty good"
And so I explained the way watching films works in my world...
"Look man, it's like this, I can only see but so many movies in my lifetime. I have to make choices, and if I have to choose between Matt Damon jumping around rooftops and a 1970's Japanese nunspoiltation pinky-violence flick, the movie with the crazy nuns is going to win."
With only a limited amount of time in my life, it's become clear that I have no time to waste on movies that don't mean anything to me. I have to be picky and seek out films that will deliver what I want. So what movies do I want to see?
I want to see films that challenge me and the way the world looks to me. I want to see films that take me to places far away, from small towns in America, to small towns in China. I enjoy movies that take me back into a time before I was born and give me a peek into a context I've never understood, and I enjoy movies that are happening right now in the moment.
I look for movies that are overlooked and neglected, that barely saw the inside of a theater and wound up being passed around on badly dubbed videotapes.
I want to see movies that are funny, sometimes laughing at the subtleties of life, and sometimes finding humor in low-brow places. I want to see movies that were made by the seat of the pants, and movies that were works of self-indulgent love.
I want to see films that are heralded as classics. Some of these classics are wonderful examples of what the medium can do, but some are classics because they do everything wrong. I love films that are beautiful and uplifting, and yet feel drawn to pathos and sadness.
Seeing a film is somewhat like going on a trip, seeing things you've always wanted to see, and discovering things that never occurred to you. Often this takes you to far away places, and sometimes right next door. All that matters to is that I go somewhere.
As I said, I have to get a little picky about what movies I watch, I have so many to see and so little time to see them. This doesn't mean that somebody else's choices are below mine, if Transformers does that for you, that's okay. We all need to decide what's right for us.
So what you look for in a film, and what do you want it to do for you?