My sister is a reluctant moviegoer.
She wasn’t always like this. Going to the theater with my father used to be a weekly thing when we were children. That all changed when we saw Dragon Wars.
If I’m being one hundred percent honest, it was my idea to go see Dragon Wars.
But come on! It looked like an epic fight between dragons in a city, Godzilla-style. I was and am very partial to big monster movies.
However, what we ended up watching was a massively disappointing film with terrible writing and acting that barely scratched the surface of what a monster movie could be. It was corny, cringe-worthy…in short, it was a bad-movie-night movie.
And my sister hated it.
Seriously, I got more enjoyment from watching her disgusted and disbelieving expression than I got from watching the movie itself.
But ever since then, Alya has distrusted my taste in movies. No matter how much I tell her that I’m aware they are bad movies and that I think they’re funny, she thinks I have terrible taste when it comes to film-watching.
This means that I frequently have to drag her to see movies with me. And while it does pain me to have to cajole my own sister to have a good time in a theater with me, it does come with its perks.
I get to witness my sister’s sudden reversal of opinion when I take her to a good movie. This has happened on more than one occasion, and it’s especially enjoyable the more my sister thinks the movie will be bad.
So for today, I thought I’d run you through the top five movies I had to force my sister to watch and that she ended up appreciating.
Let’s do this.
Rise of the Planet of the Apes
To be fair to my sister, she wasn’t entirely against watching Rise of the Planet of the Apes. We both had a fondness for the original Apes film with Charlton Heston, so there was precedent for her enjoying this type of genre.
It was a late night though, and my asking her to come with me was a spur of the moment decision. After a few oh-I-don’t-knows and are-you-sure-this-will-be-goods, the two of us went to see it.
The big crowd in the theater surprised the two of us, but what was even more surprising was how much we enjoyed the movie. It wasn’t just fun, it was good. The two of us shared shocked glances when Caesar first spoke, and we were riveted the entire time.
While my sister remembers this as that one time I convinced her to see a late-night movie she enjoyed, I remember it as a rejuvenation of my love for the Apes movies. I watched every subsequent film more than once in theaters, with the trilogy becoming some of my favorite movies.
Alya seriously thought that District 9 would be a dumb little sci-fi movie. Don’t blame her though. She had not paid a single ounce of attention to any of the trailers or marketing schemes for the film. So she went into this one blind.
I on the other hand had been watching this movie’s progress for a while, knowing it was the kind of science fiction I could really bite my teeth into.
The movie horrified us, but it also engaged us with its shocking portrayals of alien immigration and the connections it was unsubtly making to real-life comparisons.
Alya specifically remarked to me when we left the theater that she hadn’t expected to feel so much while watching this movie. I got a spring in my step after that comment, even though I myself had nothing to do with making the film.
All I had done was manage to convince my sister to take a break from homework to go watch it with me.
My sister thought I was a complete crazy person the day I saw Watchmen for the first time.
See, I had been a long-time fan of Alan Moore’s phenomenal graphic novel, so of course I’d take an immense interest in the film adaptation.
I was so interested in seeing the movie, I was willing to go see the midnight premiere for it even though the next day I had an exam to take in my AP World History class.
Side note: I had to fight my parents to see this movie. I basically promised them I would get an A.
I remember Alya, studying for a class of her own at night, watching open-mouthed as I left the house at 9 pm to go see the movie at midnight. And when I came back home at 3 in the morning and she had fallen asleep while studying at our dining table, her mouth fell open once more when I woke her up singing the movie’s praises.
Maybe that’s why she didn’t complain as much when I asked if she would see it with me one more time.
Afterwards, she expressed an interest in reading the comic book, and now the two of us can quote it at each other all day long.
Both my sister and I are huge Star Wars fans, but only I ever made the jump to Star Trek. My sister saw one episode of The Original Series (the one with the meatball monster) and thought it was stupid.
So I was asking a lot from her to go see the new Star Trek movie with me. She was groaning the whole time, from my pre-movie bathroom break to buying popcorn to sitting in our seats.
But then that opening sequence commenced, when Kirk’s dad saves everybody aboard the USS Kelvin in a suicide maneuver, and Alya’s eyes were glued to the screen. And when the opening title appeared on the screen with the Star Trek theme blaring in the background, she half-whispered, half-yelled, “Holy shit, that was so good!”
How To Train Your Dragon
If there is one thing my sister loathes more than any other kind of bad movie, it’s a bad kids movie. She is used to Pixar-quality kids movies, always has been, so when she watches some low-bar, DreamWorks Animation shit, with pop culture references up the wazoo, a vein pops in her temple.
So try to imagine her initial fury at my audacity in asking her to watch How To Train Your Dragon with me.
But, as those of you who have seen the movie should know, it’s not your typical DreamWorks fare. It does not strive to make itself relevant with popular trends; it just tells a sweet story about a boy and his dragon.
During the montage of Hiccup trying to train Toothless, Alya leaned over to me and said, “I want a Toothless!” with hints of a squeal in her voice.
And that was the start of never having to beg her to watch a How To Train Your Dragon movie with me again. Though she was less impressed with the sequels, she was invested in the characters enough to always give them a shot.