We talk everything movies with blogger Clint Harrington of the popular movie blog Clintington.com. Clint turned his blog into a book called Growing Up Movies where he discusses his experiences growing up with his family watching iconic movies such Ghostbusters.
The complete interview is available here:
Clint Harrington Clintington on Film Full Transcript:
I’m Joe Kane, I’m Dan Kane, I’m Sal Conca and I’m Wayne Heckler and this is the Imperfect Podcast. Don’t forget to check us out at hecklerkane.com and everywhere on social media. To the bumper!
HKC: Today we’re here with Clint Harrington, mastermind behind the well-known film blog Clintington.com where he discusses everything film. He’s a social worker at large for those that have a voice, author and creator of growing up movie and like we said blogger of Clintington on Film.
Hey Clint how are you today?
Clint Harrington: I am very good
HKC: Awesome and thanks for doing this with us and hanging out.
Clint Harrington: Thanks for having me on guys. Seriously it’s an honor and you guys are tip-top and I’m just so thankful to have the opportunity.
HKC: We’ve noticed what you’ve been doing. Your blog has blown up obviously I’d say.
Q1: How long how long have you been doing the blog?
Clint Harrington: About two years now. I started in January I think 2014 I officially started
Q2: What made you do this? What made you do the site?
Clint Harrington: I always wanted to be a writer growing up. I wanted to be Stephen King growing up actually. I really was taken by the story ‘The Body’ which as we all know and love ‘Stand By Me,” and that that really spoke to me because he was writing about a character around my age. The first time I read it that wanted to be a writer and so I always had the writer in me. Then of course, as all of us are well aware of, life kinda happens and you start getting into these different responsibilities and doing different things. There was a time where writing kind of got away from me, out my life and it was unfortunate.
Twitter in particular was a big help. I ran into a lot number of different awesome people on Twitter and there was this one in particular. His name’s Matt Russo he’s an independent author and he has a blog that’s about how to become an independent author basically and I just started reading that and a big part of it was and the most important part that I took from it was that if you’re going to start a blog and try and develop a platform you have to write about things that you love.
You have to have a passion behind the things that you love and I gotta tell you guys I love movies. There’s nothing greater to me, I have a son now so I’m gonna have to say that right, but I mean like one behind my son is movies. There’s no doubt about it. It always has been and for those of you that have read it you know that’s what our family did together. Movies are just huge
HKC: I guess on of the benefits of having a son now, you get to show him all the movies that you love. You get to watch them all and have a great excuse to do it.
Clint Harrington: Right and like he was maybe two months into the pregnancy and I’m already thinking okay, when can I show him E.T., when can we watch the trilogy. I’m probably gonna have to wait on the Godfather a little bit but not too long. That’s one of the first things that I ever thought of when I was thinking about having a child is like how excited I was to relive some of those with him again. We’ve seen ET, he loves it and he’s four years old.
HKC: That’s awesome. I saw on the cover your book you have in the ‘O’ on top you have the little ET symbol up there.
Q3: Let me hear some of the movies that he has watched with you. I’m curious. What about the Goonies?
Clint Harrington: He’s not seen Goonies yet. I kind of wanted to wait on Goonies until he kind of had a bigger group of friends. Well, you know, so he can kind of experience like, “oh yeah it’d be really cool if my friends and I….” and that’s not to say he doesn’t have friends. He’s just kind of in that young state where everybody’s your friend for a little bit and trips are like four seconds long and then it’s off to someone else. I wanted to wait til he had like a group you know what I mean.
HKC: Each movie is time-sensitive. It has to be the right age group for each movie.
Cling Harrington: Yeah and I’ve kinda got it like mapped out like, I think this one will work at this age you know that kinda stuff. I hope he likes movies as much as I do.
HKC: Out of curiosity how old is he?
Clint Harrington: He’s four years old.
HKC: I have a four-year-old son too and I’ve having the star wars debate with my wife trying to figure out what is the appropriate time to start him on that original trilogy.
Tell me about some of the movies that you love so much I want to hear details. What movies do you really love?
Clint Harrington: Oh man, I love to quote Mel Brooks when I’m asked about my favorite movies. I tell people I love like 6,000 movies but there are some more than others though obviously. I always think of the movies that impacted me and Ghostbusters was that first movie really when I was growing up that was like I finally was allowed to be an adult. I really wanted to see Ghostbusters and my parents, I come from a pretty conservative town and my parents were like, “Yeah I don’t know, should we let him watch it and there’s some adult stuff in there,” you know and they finally came around and let me.
It’s hard to match what that was for me the first time to see an adult movie, like that it’s not really an adult movie but for me and like the just the joy and the creativity of that movie. When Ghostbusters came out there was nothing like that. You have the science fiction and you have the ghosts and ghouls and you have Bill Murray. I love Bill Murray and he’s just so, like he can make a movie just by you know his showing up and in making faces I didn’t want her that whole film is iconic for a reason
HKC: I gotta ask because we’ve talked about it a couple times on here.
Q4: What did you think about the Ghostbusters reboot? Did you watch it? Did you not watch it?
Clint Harrington: I did watch it and I’ll say this. I went in because Ghostbusters is so important to me, I went in kind of with an attitude of like um it just can’t be what the original was. It’s kind of unfair to expect it to so I just went in with the attitude of like you know what? If they give me some good laughs I’m gonna be okay with it and they did.
It wasn’t even close to what the original could be and I think it’s unfair to expect it to be. I think you know for the few good laughs that you do get out of it just kind of enjoy it for that and it is what it is. I got to see it with my nephews. They loved it and they had seen the original but they loved it. They thought it was great.
HKC: None of us have seen it but we all keep ranking on it. I don’t rank on it. I really didn’t give it a fair chance yet. I’m always open really. I think Sal’s been the harshest.
Yeah I’ve been pretty harsh. I’m not a fan of the cast. A lot of them I just don’t think are that funny. There’s too many comedic movies that have been released in the recent years that it’s kind of like they’re all inthe same club and they’re all telling the same inside joke that we don’t really get. It’s just it’s not made for the masses any more. In some regards they’ve lost that general humor. Maybe it’s just me I’m getting old.
We’re also pretty sure by the box office flop that it turned out to be that they’re not going to make a sequel of this series.
Clint Harrington: Ya know,I’m kind of okay with that because it’s like they gave it a shot. It wasn’t the worst thing in the world. I’m kind of glad it didn’t do that well so I don’t have to try and convince myself to go to another one honestly.
HKC: You’re definitely gonna get a chance to hear us after we all watch ghostbusters. Now we all have to do another podcast on that once we finally give it a fair chance.
We have ripped apart Ghostbusters in at least four or five different podcasts and in different ways and now this one also. It just happens to keep coming up.
One thing I did love about the first Ghostbusters was the manifestation thld you like think of this and they think of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. That was a deep type of thought because it’s like you use your own inner thoughts to create something against you. I thought that was good twist.
Clint Harrington: And it’s so quotable. There are so many. You can just stop and think about like 10 to 15 lines that you just start smiling
Q5: We know you obviously like Ghostbusters but what genre would you call your favorite?
Clint Harrington: Oh man let’s see. I really like gangster movies but a comedy would have to be in there just because the amount of respect I have for people that attempt comedy. Comedy is so hard to do. I think we can all agree what’s dramatic. It’s kind of hard to mess up drama or horror you know, because we can all agree what’s like scary or dramatic. A child getting murdered is dramatic. We can all kind of agree that that’s a touching kind of concept.
Comedy is taste oriented and people have different levels of the kind of comedy they like. Certain people laugh at certain things but then you say the F word and can’t laugh at that. That’s my family like don’t like the F word. I love the F word.
HKC: Yeah we love it. Feel free to use it anytime you want. We’re not censored here.
Clint Harrington: Like comedy to me, taking that on and being good at it?! I don’t think and I’m not a huge awards guy. I don’t know, the Academy doesn’t hold shit for me like I think it’s just a suckfest but we don’t give comedy its due. I think part of it is because we tend not to take it seriously because it makes us giggle. It’s true art when it’s when it’s performed correctly. I have mad respect for people that are good at comedy. Kevin Smith is one my favorites.
HKC: Did you see that they’re making a documentary about ‘Clerks’ called ‘Shooting Clerks?’
Clint Harrington: No but that’s amazing.
HKC: You gotta pay closer attention to our Twitter feed man!
Clint Harrington: Yeah like what am I doing.
HKC: They just announced it so that’s kind of cool. You mentioned you’re a comedy fan and I think you mentioned Mel Brooks before.
Q6: Is Mel Brooks your big comedic hero?
Clint Harrington: Mel brooks, he’s one of them. Blazing Saddles is my favorite my favorite Mel Brooks movie. I mean he has so many. The thing about Mel is you can watch Mel when you’re young and laugh at kind of the slapstick kind of goofy stuff and the adults can watch it along with the kids too and just laughs at stuff. You know you have the kids turn around going why is Dad laughing at that one?
HKC: It’s a different level of humor. Everybody loves a good fart joke sitting around the fire eating beans you know but I can rewrite
Clint Harrington: But then then there’s you know things like “Land: See snatch” that’s a whole other level.
I love Harvey Korman you know, “Shit kicker.” It’s all good stuff you know but I love silent movies, Young Frankenstein, Mel Brooks. I like Blake Edwards. Blake Edwards was a great comedic director. I like old stuff too. Frank Capra is a great comedic director. Howard hawks, who am I thinking of, the guy that did ‘Bringing up Baby.’ Was that Howard Hawks? I can’t remember. I’m getting old.
HKC: I don’t know. Yeah we all are. We’re all kind of silent I guess we passed that one. ‘Bringing up baby’ is that the Katharine Hepburn one? See Wayne knows his stuff.
Clint Harrington: Comedy, I just have such respect for people that are able to do it and Mel Brooks was able to do it time and time again.
Look at any of his things, ‘The producers,” ‘Young Frankenstein,’ all of those things it’s like absolutely priceless.
Clint Harrington: Yeah and be able two people to make the differently you know like he doesn’t use the same gags over and over and it’s all creative and the talent that he was able to get in his movies was great too.
Q7: What was your upbringing like? You mentioned your parents a few times. Where did you grow up?
Clint Harrington: I grew up in, I call it Morman-ville USA. It’s a Southeast Idaho and its land of the Mormons. There’s a lot of LDS (Latter Day Saints) folks in Southeast Idaho. It’s as you can imagine. Very religious very conservative and we grew up Lutheran so we were kind of like the rebels of a town like that. “There’s that Lutheran Family over there,” you know.
It was very easy for us to kind of be outlandish because we wanted to be everything opposite of Mormon, which kind of led to underage drinking every now and then and those kinds of things. My parents were the kind of people that were kind of like, “I’d rather know where you are doing that than elsewhere.” So you keep it under wraps and don’t bring over too many.
HKC: So they were cooler than you let on before. I get it, they just wouldn’t let you see Ghostbusters. Drink all the beer you want just no Ghostbusters.
Clint Harrington: I used to give them so much crap about that, like how conservative they were. That’s another good thing about blogging is like it brings back all these memories and you realize like they weren’t that bad. They let me see a lot of things probably earlier than I should. I think I saw jaws at 8.
HKC: You don’t want to necessarily see that young. Did you go into the beach after that or what?
Clint Harrington: Yeah, well that’s the thing there’s not a lot of beaches in Idaho so I was okay.
HKC: Are you still in Idaho?
Clint Harrington: Yeah, I’m in Boise
HKC: I hear its booming there now. Idaho is kind of like a spot like tech companies moving in
Clint Harrington: I love it. I want more and more people to come out here. We’ve had an attitude and when I say we I mean the state of Idaho. I speak for everybody. We’ve had a lot of people that through the years are like man we don’t want anyone to know how wonderful it is over here. We kind of want them stay out and I’m not like that. The more the merrier. Come on in you know, bring in business, bring in people, bring in different cultures. There are a lot of white people over here we need to bring in some diversity.
Q8: There is one question I like to ask all film connoisseurs. Where does ‘My Cousin Vinny’ rank for you? To me I think that’s like a masterpiece.
Clint Harrington: ‘My Cousin Vinny’ is, I want you to know that’s going show up on my blog and if it’s on my blog I liked it. I gotta tell you the gentleman who played Herman Munster and the judge, his name is..
HKC: Fred Gwynne..
Clint Harrington: That is one of the greatest performances by a supporting actor that I have seen in a while and so memorable. The southern charm he puts on and his ability to be a straight man across from Joe Pesci, trying to keep it together. I love, I love ‘My Cousin Vinny.’ I hate it when people always do the thing about like Jack Palance being crazy about giving Marisa Tomei the Academy Award. She earned that damn award. It’s one of the best performances in decades for me from a woman of that nature. I mean Marisa Tomei is smoking hot anyway.
HKC: Absolutely! Still… still and their chemistry on-screen was awesome too, Pesci and Tomei.
Clint Harrington: Yeah, it’s amazing and you know I love it when Pesci goes against type like in ‘JFK’, ‘My Cousin Vinny’ ‘Lethal Weapon 2’ Joe Pesci in ‘Lethal Weapon 2’ I mean they don’t even have an Academy Award for how good that performance was. He stole the show across from Glover and Gibson. He stole the show. Every scene he’s in your like I can’t wait for Pesci to get back into the scene.
HKC: That’s awesome. Yeah I’d agree with that for sure.
I even love all your movie memorabilia that you have there. You have your ‘Save Ferris’ shirt on and you have your Star Wars mug you’re sipping out of. It’s like you live your life
Clint Harrington: I love it (Star Wars Mug) because as you can see the tops black and when it’s hot the lightsabers turn on.
HKC: I bet your kids love that one.
Clint Harrington: He loves it and what’s great is like for me in the morning, I’m not much of a morning person but that mug always puts me in a great mood. I’m like I get to see the lights come on today you know
HKC: I can’t see what’s the poster behind you? I can’t make it out.
Clint Harrington: It’s The Godfather
HKC: That’s Dan’s movie and he saw that poster back there. Yeah that is my favorite movie.
Clint Harrington: I would say Ghostbusters is 1a and The Godfather is 1b4 for me.
HKC: You’re talking to the right crowd.
Clint Harrington: We were talking about impactful movies but Godfather’s definitely impactful because for me it’s one of those movies that’s so good and it’s so captivating because you’ll be watching it and it seems like there’s just not a lot going on in bits and pieces but you’re just drawn into that massive story that they have and all the different characters. It’s Game of Thrones before Game of Thrones. You just have all these different pieces and all this political intrigue amongst that lifestyle and environment. It’s one of my favorite books have you guys all read the book.
HKC: Yes I have. I’ve read part of it like 12 times. What, you couldn’t get through it? It wasn’t that it wasn’t that it wasn’t good. Just lack of attention but I need to own it because that library thing puts me under the gun. He had to return it.
Q9: Clint, do you do your own screenwriting also?
Clint Harrington: I have written one screenplay, yes. I’m putting out a novel in November. Basically what I did was I wrote a screenplay and I couldn’t find anyone to make it and didn’t think it would ever get made so I converted into my novel that’s coming out November.
Q10: What’s the screenplay and the novel about? The guy who loves movies, we need to know what movie you would write?
Clint Harrington: Oh what movie I would write? Well you guys will probably laugh at this but it’s kind of a, I would say it’s a romantic comedy but it’s kind of a coming-of-age for like a new adult. I tell people all the time it’s about College relationship angst. You know, the lead character is a guy who has been with the same woman for about seven years and then she ups and leaves right before they’re about to graduate. She’s just out of his life like that. He’s kinda coming to terms with how to move on and those kinds of things. So it’s about loss and that the title of the novel is called ‘Get Back’ and so it’s kind of this story about how he’s going to get back on with his life basically.
HKC: ‘Get Back’ is getting released pretty soon right?
Clint Harrington: Yeah it will be out in November. I want to have it out kind of early in November so that on Cyber Monday I can put a little bit of a rebate on it for people. I have the compilation of the blog out already. It’s called ‘Growing Up Movies.’
HKC: Does that have that all of your blog posts just in book form?
Clint Harrington: Yeah, it’s a compilation of the blog. I wanted to make the book free but Amazon won’t let you do it for free. So I’m trying to get it free. I have it free on Kobo. I’m gonna try and see if there’s a way in which on Amazon, how to get it on there for free because I feel bad charging people for something that’s free on my blog. It’s a way for me to advertise my writing and stuff.
HCK: Yeah, its a great vehicle. It’s one of the ways that a lot of writers do that right? They have a blog and they were able to create these ebooks or digital books or download a book and put out all your content.
Q11: How many movies are in there? How many blog posts are we talking about?
Clint Harrington: I think I have a leg up between a hundred and 110 total but I stopped at 89 and just did the 80s and some earlier stuff like Butch Cassidy and those kinds of things that I watched with my parents but I kept it to the 80s. I’m planning on doing the 90s and that would be called ‘Growing into Movies’.
I was 13 or 14 in the early 90s and then I later went into college through the 90s. Don’t get me wrong I love the 80s but the 90s for me?! Some of my movies that I have on my top ten from the 90s they’ll always be in my top 10. I probably have 5 movies on that I just watch over and over again. Like ‘Pulp Fiction’ was in ’94 and that changed everything for me.
Q12: Are you making an income off your site? Is this your primary job?
Clint Harrington: Now, absolutely not. No. I’m a social worker by day. I work with persons diagnosed with developmental disabilities that puts the bread on the table. I would have hope at some point, you know my goal is to eventually be good enough and we’ll see how it goes. This is going to be my first novel so but eventually. I gotta keep at it with the writing and eventually see how it works out but for right now no that’s just getting the platform built.
HKC: Yeah, you’re using the blog to build your audience and create a fan base for yourself, which is smart.
Clint Harrington: Tarantino and Scorsese in terms of being able to put popular music to film?
They’re the best. I’d say Scorsese is probably the best.
HKC: Yeah and he started right away in his first movie doing that. He was one of the pioneers of doing modern music.
Clint Harrington: Yeah wasn’t it ‘Mean Streets’?
HKC: I think he had if I’m not mistaken ‘Jumpin Jack Flash’ in ‘Mean Streets’ when DeNiro walks up to Harvey Keitel and then they use the Rolling Stones a lot, but yeah I think that was in that one
Clint Harrington: My favorite is the beginning of ‘The Departed,” Jack Nicholson’s monologue
HKC: During ‘Gimme Shelter’
Clint Harrington: To ‘Gimme Shelter’ and I watch that I get chills listening to Jack. What’s crazy about that movie if you list off the cast and you’re like okay Martin Sheen, Mark Wahlberg, Matt Damon Leonardo DiCaprio, none of those guys are slouches at all right? Those guys are great! Jack Nicholson owned every one.
When has he not been the best actor in a movie? I don’t think it’s possible. It is amazing and you just didn’t see it coming and I mean ‘The Haunting’
HKC: That scene where he’s questioning Leo’s character about being a rat and he just looks like he’s losing his mind and then I’m nervous as I watch “I’m like oh my god how is he sitting in front of him?”
Clint Harrington: You guys did the Top 10 Villains. I was watching that and I was surprised Jack in that movie didn’t make the list.
HKC: We may have to go revisit the Top 10 Villains again. Yeah we had to come to a consensus. That might have been one of our battles.
Clint Harrington: I mean there’s only 10 right and there’s a lot of good villains
HKC: The problem is you root for a lot of them so I almost didn’t see Jack as a villain. I’m like “Oh he’s on my side.”
Clint Harrington: Nicholson still my favorite Joker. There’s something about the enjoyment I got out of watching him do awful things to other people and that might speak volumes about me.
HKC: And you’re a social worker??
Clint Harrington: No I mean, you just have so many different emotions when you’re watching a villain that you love. And Jack’s (Jack Nicholson is one of those guys that you just like anyway because he’s so cool.
Q12: Speaking of the Joker, how did you feel about Jared Leto as The Joker? Did you see Suicide Squad. I know we kind of trampled all over that movie.
Clint Harrington: No you know guys that i didn’t watch Suicide Squad I heard enough. I was like I can’t go to that
HKC: You have to draw the line somewhere. He saw our podcast and was like I’m not seeing that.
Clint Harrington: You guys were the ones that finally pushed me to the like, okay, I can’t do it.
HKC: It will be on amazon for free in no time.
Clint Harrington: That’s the thing it’s gonna have a short window there. The funny thing is it probably did okay because there was like nothing else to go to. There wasn’t anything that really jumped out at me.
HKC: The good news is, the best thing about that movie was Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn and they just announced she’s getting her our own spin-off. They’re going to create a Harley Quinn spin-off. They just inked the deal. She’s also going to be an executive producer on it or something like that.
Clint Harrington: Oh, that’s great, because like the snippets that you see like she seems captivating. She seems like right on and the voice her voice the inflection she uses is great.
HKC: Hmm, no, it was a little Long Island Wolf of Wall Street for me but it’s there it’s still awesome.
Do you have any advice for anybody who would want to start a blog?
Clint Harrington: It kind of goes back to the original thing on you have to love what you’re writing about. That passion is going to be that fuel for you to keep going and even I have some nights where I’m like I don’t know if I want to write about that movie just yet and it’s kind of like well I’m trying to do these in order but yeah but I’m not ready to do that one yet you know right.
I held off on the Godfather for a long time because it had to be right. That movie had to be right. But like Ghostbusters I jumped in earlier on that one. I wrote til like 4am I was like I’m doing it, I don’t care like I have to say this about this.
So you have to have that love for whatever it is and you should only blog about what you love what you have the passion for because it’s going to keep you going because you have to do a lot if you want a good blog you gotta put out a lot of stuff
HKC: That’s been a theme I think amongst are all of our guests that we’ve had over the summer. Everybody we’ve had on has been so passionate and you are as well which is why you know we were happy to have you on here and really wanted to talk about your site and find out who you are and give you a platform to talk about it.
We gotta wrap this up today so I i want to thank Clint for sticking around with us and hanging and phoning in. You can check out his books that are on Amazon and Kobo and he’s got a new book coming out November. We wish you a future success in all your endeavors and thank you very much for joining us Clint, it was great meeting you.
Clint Harrington: It was nice to meet you guys a pleasure thanks for a having me on. I don’t know if I told you this but I like talking about movies.