Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Deuce Loves...Movies.

While I'm in love with the universe ( a rare event so get it while the getting is good) I'd like to continue the Kumbaya fest I began with my last post, The Deuce Loves...TV, with another discussion of an artistic medium that I love...MOVIES!

Do you remember the first movie you ever saw in a theater? I do. It was The Blob, starring a young Steve McQueen. It was my birthday, so my mom took me into town to an air conditioned theater (that was a big selling point for theaters back in the day as most homes were not yet air conditioned...remember that scene in Back To The Future where the theater's marquee advertised air conditioning?) and I got my first tastes both of theaters and Science Fiction. I've been a Sci-Fi fan ever since. The Blob had been released a few years earlier, so I assume this was a Sci-Fi triple-header, though I don't remember the other movies shown that day. I was so young it's doubtful my mom actually thought I'd pay much attention once I had a bag of popcorn in my hands, but as the fates would have it I was mesmerized by the movie. I've loved movies ever since.

In my early years I was severly limited to movies shown on TV or that were being shown at the local drive-in theater ( an experience that is sadly disapearing from the American scene) that my folks wanted to see. Hence I was enthralled by Dracula, The Invisible Man, Jason And The Argonauts, Robin Hood, Ivanhoe, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, The Guns Of Navarone, Where Eagles Dare, A Fist Full Of Dollars, The Searchers, Cleopatra and The Vikings. Clearly my parents tastes ran to westerns and adventure and so do this day.

As I got a little older my tastes expanded to epics, or what the Hollywood insiders called "swords and sandles" movies. Ben-Hur, Sparticus, Lawerence Of Arabia, El-Cid, and The Ten Commandments. This love of epics would continue thoughout my life time. There's much to be said for movies that trumpet heros and what makes heros what they are...physical courage, moral courage, perseverence, confidence, intrepidity and leadership. Films like Brave Heart, The Patriot, Star Wars (hey, you don't think Yoda was a leader?), Gladiator and The Lord Of The Rings trilogy continue the genre. Just as history is writ large by heros, so are movies. Alexander the Great becomes Aragorn; Achilles becomes the Road Warrior; Sparticus becomes Tyler Durden; Jesus Christ becomes Neo. Think about it.

As I grow older my tastes in movies hasn't changed much. Some may think that makes me inmature, or "lacking in artistic growth." So be it. I like what I like, and I don't really give a rat's ass what others may think of my tastes. I'm a little more open to "exotic" ideas though, like those found in Fight Club ( the alienation of young blue collar men), V ( facism versus anarchy), The Matrix (reality versus the subjucation by an artificial reality) or The Terminator ( man versus man's machine creation). It's all good! Just don't bore me or depress me.

"Serious movies", like Schindler's List or Crash depress me and bore me ( though I've seen both of them). I don't watch movies to wallow in the evil that some people revel in. Graphic depictions of human suffering, factual or fictional, do not entertain me. I may learn about such suffering watching the news, or in history books or contemporary fiction, but I don't really want to see such dispicable behavior on a thirty foot screen while I'm trying to enjoy the company of my children and my popcorn . Reality is real enough...I don't go to matinees to get the artistic version of it.

Sadly, I rarely go to the movies now. As much as I love them, the expense and the rudeness of other movie goers inhibits me. When I first started paying for my own movie ticket a weekend matinee cost me $ it's $6.50. But as we all know, it's the concessions that really get you. A popcorn and soda will cost you more than the ticket to get in. Oh, and the movie going public! Those clueless morons that kick the back of my seat and talk throughout the movie and make calls on their cell phones...ARGH! I gave up trying to enforce theater courtesy years ago after almost coming to blows with some idiot who refused to turn his cell phone off after taking two calls after the movie had begun. After he took the second call I told him if it rang again I was going to take his phone away from him and shove it up his ass. My date knew I meant it and begged me to leave before I got arrested for assault. The miscreant was convinced and he moved to another seat far away from me. Well, I don't really want to do the perp walk over some schmuck's lack of etiquette, so I don't go near a theater unless the movie I'm seeing has been out for at least two weeks and I'm pretty much guaranteed a sparsely attended showing that gives me plenty of room that keeps the mouth breathers far away. Curmudgeoness does not lend itself to rubbing elbows with dip-shits.

But God bless the silver screen. From The Blob to Flash Gordon serials to a dubbed Godzilla crushing Tokyo to the Duke taming the West and the 300 saving Greece...God I love the movies.

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