Saturday, November 21, 2009

Murder and Mayhem

This is way off the leukemia topic, which I'm taking as a good sign.

When I was younger, I loved movies. I took a film class in college and got hooked on watching films not so much for entertainment but for the rich details the director offered up. Of course, I was an Ingmar Bergman fan.

Then I stopped going to the movies. Some of this had to do with the change in direction my life took when I started a family. Going into Manhattan for a movie and a night of clubbing became a quaint memory. Walt Disney films became a staple, and then I just stopped going. Sure, I saw a few films in the theater, a few on TV, but I lost my taste for the medium and didn't miss it at all. Even Woody Allen became stale. I haven't watched a film on the big screen since The Hours.

Part of my reluctance to see anything rated R is the level of graphic violence that completely ruins the experience for me. Blood and gore is not my sport. Chick flicks leave me cold. Special effects don't wow me. I prefer quirky: A Fish Called Wanda, Raising Arizona, The Motorcycle Diaries. You get the picture.

Marty has talked me into watching Netflix films with him of late, some old, some new. I enjoyed Witness for the Prosecution, and we watched The Thin Man for the umpteenth time. Then we received The Taking of Pelham 123, which I thought was the old version but it turned out to be the recent remake. The remake featured good actors and the obligatory special effects. Modern technology played a big part in the movie, and the characters displayed complicated psychological motivations. We watched the movie over a pizza and it was a fun way to spend a Friday evening.

But the original version, which we watched last night, was the better movie. Made 35 years ago, it captures New York and New Yorkers brilliantly. Parts of it were hilarious. The other thing that bothers me about contemporary films is the unnerving number of plot twists. I don't mind complex and complicated, but I don't like being jerked around either. So, other than the annoying James Bondian music, the original wins my vote hands down. Apologies to John Travolta and Denzel Washington.


judy said...

I agree with you, blood and gore turn my head and now that we know they can do them, special effects aren't so special. But if you're interested in a recent movie that is not R rated,that's kind of quirky and didn't do well in the theaters (that means it's good), check out The Great Buck Howard with John Malkovich and Colin Hanks, Tom's son. I got a kick out of it. Brought it with me to Syracuse and watched it 3 times with various groupings at various times and everyone loved it. That 's one way I keep the unpredictable family dynamics at a minimum! Plop in a movie. Watch some of it with the director's commentary afterwards too if you can.

I'm glad to see you seem to be feeling better little by little. Happy Thanksgiving!


George Jempty said...

My favorite part in the original is when the Japanese men on tour reveal that they know English, right after I think Walter Matthau referred to them as monkeys