"When an old and distinguished person speaks to you, listen to him carefully and with respect – but do not believe him. Never put your trust in anything but your own intellect. Your elder, no matter whether he has gray hair or lost his hair, no matter whether he is a Nobel Laureate, may be wrong... So you must always be skeptical – always think for yourself." --Linus Pauling

6.01.2005

DVDs I have bought and loved...

I waltzed into my Level 3 Improv class last night walking a bit taller. I was inordinately satisfied with a DVD purchase I had just made on the way to class and I fairly glowed from the experience. Dear Reader, I offer my list of purchases:

Moonlighting, Seasons 1 and 2 -There have been various tv shows that I've been obsessed with over the years, but this was the first. Detectives + Screwball Comedy - the Banal Car Chases that infected just about every other show of the period. For a change, the mysteries they solved were actually compelling as well, occasionally even slightly perverse. If Moonlighting broke the fourth wall a little too often, well hell, even that was unique and different at the time.

(Incidentally, when I mention Banal Car Chases above I am not speaking out against ALL car chases, just lame ones. In particular the cookie-cutter-here-we-go-again exercises in stupid repetitiveness that earmarked most of the adventure shows of the 1980s. We're talking mostly of the Stephen J. Cannell and Glen Larson stable here I think.)

St. Ives -This is one of my favorite Bronson movies, based on one of my favorite Ross Thomas novels (The Procane Chronicle by Ross Thomas writing under his Oliver Bleeck pseudonym). Bronson plays Raymond St. Ives, a professional go-between hired by an aging millionaire to get back his stolen diary. Said diary is important because it contains within its pages plans for the perfect robbery. The book is better than the movie as I recall, but Bronson gets to offset his crude appearance with a bit of class (His St. Ives has expensive tastes you see). Jacqueline Bissett also stars, and sexier than her is difficult to imagine.

The Essential Steve McQueen Collection -Woo hoo! Bullitt, Papillon, The Cincinatti Kid, and The Getaway. Combined with The Great Escape 2-Disc Collector's Edition you might have Man Movie Awesomeness to turn boys into men. As it is, the mere contemplation of the set makes this man geek out like a boy all over again. Oh, and Tom Horn and Never So Few are just gravy combined with the others in the set.

Ong Bak -I confess I've never seen this one before and can't even find the Special Uncut DVD version I bought. Anyway it looked cool, and at $13.95 was very affordable.

When I got to class everyone was interested in what I had bought. I showed them and discovered to my horror that excepting one other guy in class NO ONE HAD EVER SEEN A STEVE MCQUEEN MOVIE. They kind of knew who he was, sure, but that was it.

I was shocked. These are all straight men in their mid-twenties to early thirties. None of them are what you would call ignorant or uninformed. They all ran to see the new Star Wars, etc. Did these men not have fathers? Were they all the products of broken homes? I was about to venture a few questions about Clint Eastwood but was more than a little afraid of what I'd find out.

The Great Escape, The Magnificent Seven, The Good, The Bad & The Ugly: These are rites of passage for any American boy of a certain age, aren't they? The watching and appreciation of these movies is as American as baseball.

What happened?

5 comments:

Mark said...

Before you accuse me of missing out on a manly boyhood, I did see my first Steve McQueen movie as a 7-year old when my grandparents (clearly not understanding movie ratings) took me to a double feature of Papillon and The Sting. Don't remember much besides my grandmother's hand clamped over my eyes for most of both movies.

Secret Mojo said...

I watched many of those movies, yet still listen to Carly Simon and James Taylor.

Your "rite of passage" theory is bunk!

Jack said...

First of all, Mark, you spent a summer in Africa when you were a teenager, right? That pretty much trumps any "Have you seen this movie?" you care to name.

Jack said...

Perhaps that choice of music serves to calm the savage beast within, eh? Or maybe, Jeremy, you just want to be dainty? Who's to say?

A wise man once said to me, "Admitting that you have a problem is the first step toward real change." He couldn't hold his liquor though, so take what he said with a grain of salt.

It is true my theory has gotten a severe hammering over the last day or so. However, upon hearing that the guys in class had not seen a Steve McQueen movie, fellow improv classmate Mary Forrest said they were all girls.

Anonymous said...

Video games is what happened.
This is why these dudes haven't seen the films that they should've.
The great thing about DVD is that they can now do so with ease. Will they? If there is a video game version of it they will.