Alright, I did it. I started a blog. For those that know me, you already know what I will be writing about. For those that don’t, it’s simple: movies. I watch a ridiculous amount of movies, and as sad as it is to say, they are just about the only thing on my mind at any given time. Weird, right?
Well, I decided I might as well start writing down some of my half-baked theories, if only to keep my brain thinking the way it does. This blog will be about movies I’ve seen, as well as stuff I think about the film industry as a whole. I generally won’t just be saying whether or not I liked a movie, but I will try to look a little deeper into a movie (something that popular film criticism rarely does anymore). And since I’m a bit of a narcissist (like all good 23 year olds), I will try to throw in some personal experiences as well.
I worked in a video store for four years, and over that time I was asked the question of “so, what’s your favourite movie?” somewhere in the range of 60 to 70 thousand times. Having one favourite movie seems ludicrous to me, especially since I probably watched an average of at least one movie a day for the duration of my video store career. I was, however, able to put together a list of five movies that I still rattle off anytime somebody asks me to pick a favourite. I eventually discovered that this list says a lot about the type of movies I like in general, so for my first post I’m going to explain what it is about these movies that sticks out to me.
Out of Sight – This movie always gets written off as fluff, which I think is unfair. It’s a comedy, a romance, and a con man movie, while somehow managing to nail all three genres. Every performance works (yes, even J-Lo), and the movie is way funnier than it has any business being because of the performances. It also does the romance and con man aspects surprisingly well, dancing with clichés but never going overboard. It is standard Hollywood fare, but spiced up and made far better than it could have been with a touch of an independent sensibility. Throughout the movie, there is a lot of time shifting, which keeps the audience guessing as to characters’ motives, and the film jumps back years at times to give certain characters a more defined background. This mixing of Hollywood film and independent movies is, in my opinion, where the best movies usually come out of and Out of Sight is a great example of this.
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – Again, this movie takes a standard Hollywood practice, the romantic comedy, obliterates it and then rebuilds it. This movie uses a genre that has gotten increasingly formulaic (and a genre I really like when it’s done well) and gets its point across in a way that would be difficult to do within a Hollywood rom-com. The message of the movie, that love is worth all the heartbreak in the world, is standard Hollywood sap, but the examination of why is not. Too many movies have the former, but the latter is what makes Eternal Sunshine unique.
Cool Hand Luke – Since I’m such a pansy* and never stand up to anything, I love a good anti-hero, and Cool Hand Luke is the best one there is. This movie also represents to me that while I do generally focus more on movies from the present or recent past, I’m all for the classics as well. Plus, Paul Newman was something to see when he was on his game (which was always).
The Rock – I love a good action movie (and for that matter, a shitty one too), and The Rock is the best one I’ve seen. It has its moments of absurdity, but it is for the most part a bit more realistic than a normal action movie. The acting is great, especially the chemistry between Nicolas Cage and Sean Connery. In Cage’s Stanley Goodspeed, the Rock has a bit of the “ordinary guy in an extraordinary situation” thing I like action movies to have, and Sean Connery’s character of John Mason is pretty much James Bond at 65. Oh, and did I mention that it’s just fucking AWESOME?!!?
Rushmore – I LOVE teen movies, and under its layers and layers of style, that’s what Rushmore is. It’s also hilarious, and features what I think is Bill Murray’s best non-Ghostbusters performance. Again, this movie mixes the Hollywood with the independent, and when the curtains (literally) close on the movie, I still get shivers every time.
This list pointed to a classic, a romance, a teen movie, an action movie, and one that mixes a few of these together. This should show you that I like movies of all kinds, and don’t really discriminate against any genre of movies.
I honestly won’t be upset if nobody reads this, for I will probably continue to write anyway. But, if you’re looking for a semi-alternative type of film criticism, please do continue to read… and by all means comment on what I write (especially if you disagree). I’m always happy to engage in a conversation about movies.
*Such a pansy in fact, that I actually used the word "pansy." I apparently have the vocabulary of a 73 year-old curmudgeon.