Thursday, November 10, 2011

"Life Goes To The Movies"

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1The last time I went to a theater to see a movie, the showing was "Forest Gump".  I think that was about  1994.  I don't like the cracker box theaters, $7 dollar boxes of popcorn and, if I wanted to hear cell phones ringing, I could go to the nearest mall.

However the biggest reason for my non-attendance has been the dearth of good movies, or at least movies that have some interest to me.  I do not enjoy computer enhanced car chase action, massive explosions or, in another vein, movies that exploit and degrade the human condition.  Even Disney, in the aftermath of the great Walt, has sold out to purely stupfying commercialism.  I cried when Bambi lost her mother, was enchanted by Snow White, enraptured by Cinderella and mesmerized by Fantasia.  But "old Walt" would not be happy with Pochahantas or most of the other computer animated films without a soul that came after. So many Disney films these days are like wax people, attractive to look at but lacking heart.  The Harry Potter series is much more appealing.

Ironically, I absolutely love movies!  I'm sure a little of who I am emanates from models of behavior that I've seen in movies.   I love the old movies and first thing every day I turn to Turner Classic Movies to see what the fare is for the day.  TCM is pure class.  By contrast, if you watch AMC you are surely watching the sixth showing of a Stallone or Eastwood action flick...and it'll take you three hours to watch it as you wade through an hour of commercials dispersed every five minutes or so.

A good movie, to me, will have a good solid story, meaningful dialogue and plot and will touch my heart or stimulate my mind.

I learned about social justice from watching "The Ox-Bow Incident", "A Few Good Men" and "12 Angry Men" and "The Grapes of Wrath" and "The Heat of The Night"

I learned about love from "An Affair to Remember" and "Ghost" and "Rome Adventure" and "Charade" and
"Pretty Woman" and "It Happened One Night" and "Gone With The Wind" and many more.

I learned what a great teacher was by watching "Stand and Deliver" and "To Sir With Love".

I learned about history by watching "Roots" and "The Winds of War" and "The Civil War", and not a bastardized account of the Vietnam conflict with "Hamburger Hill" and "Appocalipse Now".

I learned about compassion from "The Ice is Blue" and "Philadelphia" and "Of Mice and Men" and "It's A Wonderful Life" and "Mr. Deeds Goes To Town" and "Mr. Smith Goes To Washington".

I learned to laugh by watching Oliver and Hardy and "Some Like It Hot" and "Blazing Saddles" and "Tootsie" and "The Odd Couple" and "When Harry Met Sally" and "Bull Durham" and, thankfully, many more.

The best movies provide pathos, laughter, spiritual richness, escapism and the inspiration to be just a bit better as a person. 

Gotta Go now...American Graffitti is coming on and I don't want to miss a minute!

4 comments:

ladysalesdog said...

A tad on the "I'm an eighth grader just learning about life" side.

JustCommonSense said...

Thanks for your comments. It's the weekend! And sometimes I feel like an eighth-grader! Again, thanks for reading and for taking the time to comment.

Crystal said...

@ladysalesdog, exactly how is this "I'm an eighth grader just learning about life"? Which part, exactly? Does your judgement also extend to the millions of people who will be tuning in to the Oscars tonight because they also share a passion for movies and the lessons that can be learned about human nature from them?

PammieJean said...

Turner Classic Movies is a favorite channel for me too. You mentioned Some Like it Hot which is a movie I've watched probably a dozen times. It has gotten me out of a depressed mood quite often. It was just on TCM a week or so ago.

The last movie I saw at the theatre was a few months ago. The name of it was RED, I think. Helen Mirren was in it. She's a fantastic actress.