Film appreciation with Gary Barnidge

Posted Oct 18, 2013

Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge has a passion for motion pictures, and shares that with Browns fans every Thursday.

When Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge isn’t studying video of an opponent, you can find him paying close attention to what’s on the screen in a movie theater.

Barnidge is an avid moviegoer. He owns more than 2,200 DVDs, and has a website where he offers film critiques.

Now, the first-year Brown is using his passion to thank Cleveland fans for their support.

Each week during the regular season, Barnidge hosts a Twitter contest where he will ask a movie question every Wednesday night and the first 10 people to respond with the correct answer will receive a direct message from the Browns’ tight end inviting them to join him for a movie.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Barnidge said. “In Carolina, you had a lot of fans, and it was fun. Here, as I’ve heard and seen so far, you’ve got die-hard fans, so I’m really interested with how they’re going to interact and how it’s all going to be. It’s good payback for the fans. It’s a thanks to them for the way they support us during season.”

Ten fans joined Barnidge, offensive linemen Alex Mack and Shawn Lauvao, long-snapper Christian Yount and tight end Jordan Cameron to see “Runner, Runner” on Thursday night.

“It’s pretty cool,” Cameron said. “I think it’s pretty awesome that he does this. I know the fans love it. He gives back any way that he can, and this is just one of the ways. It’s fun to do this. I like going to movies, see three to four movies a week, so this is another chance to get with the fans.”

“I look forward to Gary’s movie night because it gives us a chance to interact with the fans and go to the movies with guys from the team,” Yount said. “Everyone likes going to the movies. It’s a fun thing to do, and it’s awesome that Gary puts it on.”

Lauvao added, “This is the first time I’ve seen something like this. Gary told me about it this past week, and we always watch movies together anyways, so I was happy to come.”

The movie trivia contest puts Barnidge and other Browns’ players in touch with the fans, something those who support the team appreciate.

“It’s awesome, man,” said Tom Mangan, one of the fans who participated in Thursday’s event. “I watch the Browns every week. I live and die with those guys, and it’s just fun. He’s a cool guy, and it’s nice to see him out of his element. I love movies, and he does this every week for his fans. It’s awesome that he gives back to his fans.”

Barnidge’s passion for movies began in the mid-1990s, and developed over time. The Middleburg, Fla., native spent weekends at the movies in high school, and his love of motion pictures flourished in college.

After being drafted by the Carolina Panthers in 2008, Barnidge teamed with Dante Rosario, and on the suggestion of tight ends coach Geep Chryst, the two started a movie review website. It is through his reviews that Barnidge really looks at the technical side of filmmaking.

“The fun part about re-watching a movie is because you’re going to pick up on new things that you never saw before because you’re that focused on it at first,” Barnidge said. “I’ll notice they don’t feel comfortable together by the way they’re acting, and you can tell that sometimes in movies. If someone’s not showing emotion in a movie when they’re supposed to be, you can see that in the way their expressions are on their faces.

“Another thing a lot of people never pay attention to is the lighting in films. You can tell from the lighting, ‘Oh, that doesn’t look right or something’s glaring.’ It’s not supposed to be like that in a movie. Stuff like that can really throw off a movie if you’re really invested in it.”

Although Barnidge has seen and reviewed movies from all genres, everything from his favorite, horror, to Disney features and “click flicks,” there is one film, to him, that is more important than all others.

“My all-time favorite movie is ‘Forrest Gump,’” Barnidge said. “I don’t think you can go wrong. I think it has a little bit of everything in it. It has drama; it has your suspense; it has action, comedy, got a love-story aspect to it. It’s got everything you can tie into it. It’s the only movie that no matter when it’s on TV, I’m going to sit down and watch it. If it’s on and I see it, I’m going to stop and watch it no matter where it’s at in the movie.”

Gary Barnidge’s Top Five Movies
1.      “Forrest Gump”
2.      “Tombstone”
3.      “Braveheart”
4.      “The Silence of the Lambs”
5.      “Saving Private Ryan”

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