1. “Bull Durham”
I love Susan Sarandon. (And she eventually got a real-life husband out of it, Mr. Tim Robbins. Yay!) But I’m not a fan of Kevin Costner. For me, he just comes across as a smarmy jock with no charisma, no matter what role he is playing, and I had far too much of that mess during my formative years in Oklahoma. Ergo, a whole movie about him being a smarmy jock is just far too much for me to process.
But I did like him in “The Big Chill”. Mainly because almost all of his scenes were cut from the final print, resulting in him essentially playing a dead body. He nailed it.
2. “Field of Dreams”
Same as above. Rinse and repeat.
3. “Pulp Fiction”
To be fair, I did try to watch this one. Equally fair, I may or may not have partaken of a certain festive, plant-based recreational opportunity just prior to shoving the VHS into the player. This is not a movie that plays well with plant-based recreational opportunities that may or may not have been taken. And when I got to that scene with the big-ass needle? Yeah, I was done.
But, I am quite enamored of the soundtrack, which is stuffed with great songs. I’ve babbled about this track before on one of my posts, somewhere, but Maria McKee belting out “If Love Is a Red Dress Hang Me in Rags” is exquisite. When I envision myself as a torch singer in the 1940s, which happens more often than it should, I am often singing this song. In a red dress. (If you feel so moved, here’s a link.)
4. “The Godfather”
Yes, I know this is a supreme failure on my part, especially since I’m Italian and one would think I would at least be interested in my ancestral folklore, criminal or otherwise. I just never got around to perusing this one or, consequentially, the two sequels. (Although the word on the street is that I can be forgiven for skipping the third movie, if the critics are to be believed. Luckily, Sofia Coppola survived the pivotal miscasting by her daddy, Francis Ford, and she went on to direct some great movies of her own.) In my defense, I should offer that I did read Mario Puzo’s book but, as we all know, the book and the movie are often very different animals.
5. “The Lord of the Rings”
The shame is deep (multiplied by three, if you include the sequels) and I have nothing to offer as redemption. I’m not even going to pretend otherwise.
6. “Die Hard”
I actually liked Bruce Willis at one point. (His star dimmed a bit for me with certain things he did later in life, but that doesn’t really apply to this movie and its endless sequels.) I thought he was terrific on the “Moonlighting” TV series, although it’s fair to say my appreciation might have been more for the series itself, which was quite clever, and he got swept up in the mix. I’m just not a fan of movies where we have lots of noisy explosions, over-the-top violence, and thoroughly improbable situations that are resolved by a scriptwriter imagining things that simply don’t happen in the real world.
With that confession, I’m sure it’s clear why I don’t watch half the movies that come out these days. Sure, movie magic is often about the suspension of belief, and there are many fantastic movies who get us there. But in order to reach that suspension you have to be creative in the process and not force the situation. There are too many production executives who don’t understand that “just fill the thing with special effects” is a far cry from “let’s take the viewer on a special journey”.
I’m all about the special journeys. My life has been filled with them. I hope yours has been as well.
I seem to be stuck in a rut with movies that have begat sequels, none of which I’ve seen, so I’ll try to work away from that with the next few entries. In this case, I’m talking about Tim Burton’s version, released in 1989, starring Michael Keaton. I think Tim is swell, and he’s managed to make several mesmerizing movies that have been highly-popular despite his unique and quirky approach to things.
We need much more uniqueness and quirkiness in the world. A major aspect of the cultural divides many countries are seeing these days is based on a vengeful lack of appreciation for differentness. We should celebrate such, not denigrate. I fail to understand why some folks can’t grasp that. Unless they are just assholes, which is most likely the underlying basis of their sociopathy.
Still and all, this is another moment where I don’t have a valid excuse for not seeing a movie. I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Whoops. In trying to work myself away from movies with sequels I’ve managed to fall back into another rut, one wherein I started this little diatribe missive. I can’t stand Mel Gibson. I know he is loved by many, but he just irks me to no end. He is a misogynistic, racist homophobe. Granted, this was not immediately clear back when this movie was released and he was huge, but there were already warning signs, dutifully reported in the obscure but objective news sources that I have always followed. (When society is against you, you tend to seek out the reporting of those who are also facing the walls of oppression. Birds of a feather.)
I think it’s clear by now that I don’t support those who don’t support me. You can be a fabulous actor, writer, director, whatever. But once I learn that you hold views that contradict and, more importantly, affect my life path, I’m done. And my money stays in my wallet.
9. “Weird Science”
This one may not seem like an obvious entry, and it’s not, but I have to include it, as one of my closest besties is still stunned to this day that I have never seen it, and I am lessened in her eyes because of such. I just never felt the inclination. Perhaps someday I will peruse it, and I may achieve some sort of epiphany in doing so, but that day is not today.
10. “Dead Poets Society”
Another unobvious entry. Yet the non-viewing of this movie is perhaps at the top of my list of celluloid faux pas. It involves a prep school, something I yearned to attend during my formative years in Oklahoma, but financial matters made this an impossibility, never mind the fact that the Oklahoma address on my application would have inspired derision and laughter. It involves, from what I hear, a nearly-orgasmic scene in which the students are inspired to “seize the day”, a trite but valid adage which rules my life to this very moment. And it involves Robin Williams who, we now know, dealt with the personal demons many of us battle every day. (May you finally rest in peace, kind sir.)
This is a movie that I should have seen by now.
What movies have you not seen?
More importantly, are you making your movie choices for the right reasons?