"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


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?