Thursday, January 29, 2009

Scenes I Loved In So-So Movies.

I am of the opinion that no movie should be called great until it is at least 10 to 15 years old, if not 20. I think of movies like Titanic, Forrest Gump, and a few others that were declared classics while they were still in the theaters. Now granted they were good movies but do they cultural impact of Casablanca, The African Queen, Ben Hur, or even The Wizard of Oz? I don't think they really do. On the other hand the Star Wars trilogy has endured I would consider them true classics worthy of the name.

Of course different people expect different things from movies. There are those so-called art theaters where limited viewing movies are released and most people wouldn't like them. Those that do consider it proof that they are superior to the unwashed masses but I'll take over Star Wars over Hedwig and The Angry Inch any day (trust me, you don't want to know.) I think that the only reason that some viewers actually pretend to like those movies is because they offend ordinary people and thus prove how unenlightened the masses are and how sophisticated they themselves are.

The majority of movies are mediocre at best but a lot of them have scenes in them that make the movie almost worthwhile. A Very Brady Sequel was probably one of the dumbest movies ever made, yet I laughed hard at Alice making spaghetti and unwittingly using hallucinogenic mushrooms or Greg and Marcia suddenly becoming sexually aware of each other. Of course it didn't make a stupid movie a good movie but it did provide a few laughs.

Here scenes I love from mediocre movies.

The 10th Kingdom is a very long (@7 hr) movie of an unlikely fantasy crossing between the real world and fairy tale kingdoms. It's not a bad movie but it's much too long (primarily because it was Hallmark mini-series). One of the main characters was a fairy tale wolf in human form who starts out as a villain but winds up one of the heroes. (How a wolf wound up in human form is never adequately explained.) This scene is while he is a villain and he has his first encounter with the girl who will ultimately be the chief heroine of the movie and what he is up to when they meet for the first time.

I have spoken before of my love for the movie They Call Me Trinity, being the first of a short series of western comedies staring Terrence Hill and Bud Spencer as two brothers who are goodhearted outlaws of unbelievable (and unlikely) strength and skill. Again the movie is good but hardly what I'd call great. The plot involves a villain trying to remove a settlement of extremely pacifistic Mormons from their land. This scene involves a secondary villain, a Mexican bandito (admittedly stereotyped) who just likes to bully the settlers. Sadly this video is in Italian but it is the action that is comical. The bandit and his gang are slapping up the settlers while laughing and yelling "Please forgive me!" and "Turn the other cheek!" What they do not know is that the settlers have two visitors who are not so pacifistic with them.

Of course there is the great Poker game scene from Trinity is Still My Name which was just as memorable.

Those who saw the movie Superman starring Christopher Reeve were largely disappointed with Supergirl starring Helen Slater. It was not a well written movie and it was also a poorly thought out plot, but nonetheless it had its redeeming features, the most obvious was that as a young man in his twenties I appreciated the fact that Helen Slater looked great in a miniskirt. There were also some highly enjoyable scenes including one where two amoral truckers come across an obviously lost teenage girl in a weird costume and decide she would be an easy target. It was a big mistake on their part.

I guess most movies have enjoyable and memorable scenes even if they were dumb and pointless.


Blogger Pasadena Closet Conservative said...

I'm still trying to catch up with this year's films before Oscar night!

You're absolutely right -- modern movies from the past three or four years being compared to true classics of 50 years is absurd.

Let the new ones settle in for a few years and then see if anyone remembers them. That's the true test.

11:41 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

There are a number of dumb movies that have scenes I like. Right now, Three Amigos comes to mind; I love the scene in Highlander with the Queen song "Who Wants to Live Forever" and his wife asks him, dying of old age, why did he stay with her all these years; and he tells her because he loves her now just as much as the first day they met. Quite different from what I hear about the love story in Benjamin Button where he goes on to have sex with other women when the woman he loves gets older. And I heard that when he's born, he looks like an old man but is the size of a baby; but when he gets older, and looks like a baby, he doesn't stay adult-sized. What's up with that? I hate lack of continuity like that.

Love Showdown in Little Tokyo and Rapid Fire. Brandon Lee could have gone on to be a movie star, I think, had he lived. Those were good starts for him.

The music from Excalibur stands out.

12:04 AM  
Blogger Z said...

Black/ least 50 years old.........preferably 60, and I'm VERY happy!
Haven't even HEARD of these films here...I'm so bad on new films!

11:56 AM  
Blogger Gayle said...

I really enjoyed the 10th Kingdom, even though I agree it was too long. I've forgotten most of it, so will probably order it again from NetFlix. The scene from the Italian movie was hyesterical, but I doubt I want to watch an entire movie in Italian without subtitles.

12:45 PM  
Blogger Always On Watch said...

I love the film Forrest Gump, though. Having worked with so many children and adults on the autism spectrum, I admit a certain bias toward that film, although I didn't particularly care for Rain Man.

I do agree that most films nowadays aren't much and don't hold up well over time.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

I don't know, if it were a scene picked for just the pure joy of it I imagine it would have to be from Godard's "Band of Outsiders"

The run through the Louvre

The Madison

The minute of silence

The "death of Billy the Kid"

Le narrateur: My story ends here like a dime novel. At a superb moment, when everything is going right. Our next episode, this time in Cinemascope and Technicolor: Odile and Franz in the tropics.

Well it was and he called it Pierrot la Fou -

"Hey watch, I learned this trick in a Laurel and Hardy movie."

"Put a tiger in my tank."

That one was a pure joy also.

You should try the "art house" sometime, shoprat if there's one near you. Most of the old art houses are gone. I never really understood the term. But I hope the Brattle lives forever.

In heaven they have art houses everywhere and some of them are playing a 60's Godard retrospective 24/7/365

4:17 PM  
Blogger Ducky's here said...

I think that the only reason that some viewers actually pretend to like those movies is because they offend ordinary people and thus prove how unenlightened the masses are and how sophisticated they themselves are.
You know, that's a very bizarre statement. Offensive?

The last "art house" film I took in was "The Grocer's Son".
Story of a guy who doesn't get o with his dad but the father takes sick and the boy leaves Paris for the country to help by driving the family grocery van to neighboring small villages.
It's a marginal operation but the only source of shopping for a lot of folks on the route and they are a rather comic bunch.
A female friend (non romantic) comes to visit and she decides the van is a little dull so she gives it the "magic bus" treatment. Hilarious scene.

You can probably guess they get together and decide to stay.

Very well done and I'm not sure what was offensive.

Shoprat, my guess is you don't watch a lot of so called "art house" films (dumb term), if any. But it is a subject the right likes to dump on just as they dump on abstract art. I don't know why, but I sense they feel threatened for some reason.

5:02 PM  
Blogger dmarks said...

There are some scenes I love in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure", but it is probably overall a so-so movie.

Make sure to check out my new photo quiz

4:30 PM  
Blogger Bob said...

those two fellows really need to work on their approach.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I bet none of your other readers know "Hedwig and The Angry Inch." I tried watching but gave up after 20 minutes. It was not only disgusting but boring as well.

2:47 PM  

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