Thanksgiving is next week and I’m all prepared. We’ll sit down, eat a huge meal and then watch that classic, tear-jerker Thanksgiving movie Alien. The scene where the creature comes out of the guy’s chest always reminds me of an incident a few years ago—you really can put too much stuffing in a turkey.
No seriously, we are going to watch Alien because my youngest daughter has never seen it. (Don’t worry she laughed through most of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.) There are just a few movies I think everyone should see. I made my older kids sit through Casablanca when they were younger. My son watched with rapt attention through all the famous scenes and lines from “Of all the gin joints, in all the towns…” all the way to “Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.” When it was over I asked him what he thought. He looked at me for a moment and said philosophically, “It’s not in color,” and then he went off to play Nintendo. I guess maybe he was too young, or maybe Bogart is good with the babes but just can’t compete with Mario and Luigi.
The only movie I have paid to see four times at a theater is Billy Jack. I was seventeen at the time, and I thought it was the greatest movie ever made. I could quote most of the dialogue word for word. In a time before DVDs or even VCRs, where you can run the movie over and over, that’s saying something. A couple of years ago I saw Billie Jack again on TV. I watched the fight scenes and the skits, and the same nagging question kept going through my mind, “What was I thinking?” The movie is awful, the acting is awful and the whole thing seems as if it was shot with a hand-held 8mm camera. Some things just don’t age well, or maybe I don’t age well. Maybe I’ve become too old and serious to enjoy the simplicity of the film. Maybe I’ve lost the free-spirit it takes to get the inner meanings… No, the movie sucks.
There are still some movies I will watch for at least a little bit if I’m flipping through the TV and see they’re on. These include: Forest Gump (Even though I don’t like the ending. I seem to see it differently than most people.), The Unforgiven, A Few Good Men, the Lonesome Dove series and—because I’m a guy—Top Gun. I’m sure you won’t like some of my picks, and I wouldn’t like some of yours. Just remember, “We’ll always have Paris.”
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