What Do I Love?

I was thinking (♫ “a dangerous past-time” “I know” ♪). As I was saying, I was thinking today about what to write. At one point I had a good idea and was fleshing out some thoughts when, (“duhn, duhn  dhunnnnnn)”, something distracted me and it was gone. I know from experience that whatever the idea was, it was not coming back before I write this post so I sat down and thought some more when it hit me. What’s the one thing I love that I have not written about yet? (don’t get all romantic and sappy on me cuz it’s not my wife).

Movies. I love movies. Now you’re saying, “I love movies too!” Well let’s see if you do. When you buy a movie and take it home, how many times do you watch it that day? If you don’t watch it at least 3 times then you don’t love movies. Do you watch the DVD extras that talk about how the movie was made, how the cast was selected, deleted scenes etc? No? You don’t love movies. Are you constantly recognizing actors/actresses and figuring out what other movie or TV shows you’ve seen them in without Googling it? No? Then you don’t love movies. Have you ever sat up to the wee hours enjoying a serious discussion about the plot inconsistencies of worlds that don’t exist, with characters that don’t exist using technology that doesn’t exist? If not, then you don’t love movies.

Oh you like them. They provide you with entertainment as far as they go. But while you’re watching the movie I’m sitting there watching The Sting going, “Hey, that’s the judge in From the Hip with Judd Nelson, or “That’s Robert Shaw. He’s in Jaws and The battle of the Bulge.” I also know that Robert Redford and Paul Newman starred together in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and while Redford went on to greater success, Newman started a race team and a company called ‘Newman’s Own’ that made salad dressings, the profits from which he gave completely to charity. I recognize almost all the non marquis cast from other movies or character bits in TV shows and each observation brings a deeper satisfaction to my experience.

My wife thinks I’m nuts and when I tell you that I saw Chariot’s of Fire 12 times in the theatre you might just agree with her, but I was able to infect my children with the same love of movies and let me tell you that sitting around the dinner table was never dull at our house. We’d be quoting movies, singing songs from movies, and doing routines from the movies. My son loved Abbot and Costello and had the Who’s on first?  bit down pat. We went through the animation phase. Disney, Pixar and others and we still love them today.

There was the Beauty and the Beast phase. The Swan Princess phase. Toy Story, Dinosaur, The Iron Giant, Cinderella, Snow White. Christmas movies – The Bishop’s Wife, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Carol (black and white with Alistair Sim is THE  only one), Frosty the Snowman, Santa Claus is Coming to Town (the Burgermeister), Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer (Abominable, Hermie and Burl Ives as the Snowman narrator). Then there is The Polar Express and The Santa Clause with Tim Allen.

Star Trek, Star Wars, 12 Angry Men, Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, Cujo, Smokey and the Bandit, Salt, Sneakers (I actually talked about this movie so much that my son had a dream about it and he hadn’t even seen it), The Day the Earth Stood Still (both), Carrie, The Car, Grease, Saturday Night Fever, Broken Arrow, Get Shorty, The Colour of Money, Con Air, Being John Malkovic, Dangerous Liasons, The War of the Roses, Other People’s Money, Terminator, Commando, August Rush, Premium Rush, Forest Gump, Apollo 13, I Am Sam, P.S. I Love You, Law Abiding Citizen, Rambo, Gladiator, A Beautiful Mind, Master and Commander, Braveheart, Mad Max, The Passion of the Christ, Spartacus, The Ten Commandments, The Robe, Ben Hur, Samson and Delilah, The Wizard of Oz, District 9, Cast Away, Catch Me if You Can, Inception, The Gangs of New York, Taken, Dark Man, RoboCop, Titanic . . . I LOVE MOVIES!!

Don’t get me wrong, I love books as well. My reading has dropped off a bit but when I was younger I was an avid reader (Not to compare to my daughter who is a reading machine), but movies are just stories told by a different medium and if the story is good you suspend disbelief and enter into that world, and for a time our fast paced, pressure cooker, 5 minute meals lives don’t exist. All that exists for the next 2 hours is a place called Narnia with talking animals or Middle Earth with Orcs, Wizards and Elves or the Titanic and you take part in a story.

The telling of stories runs deep in the human psyche. It’s the communication of ideas, or passions, of hopes and dreams. It’s the sharing of knowledge and wisdom. It’s the ability to make someone laugh or cry. As Bell would say, it’s the ability to, “Reach out and touch someone.” But movies go one step further and allow us to see the vision inside the mind of the writers and directors and I just find that awesome.

So. Do you love movies? Maybe you do, but if you are someone who just likes movies don’t be too upset when the person you’re with reaches over and taps you on the shoulder and whispers, “You’ll never guess what movie that guy was in!”

What’s the point in owning a movie if you’re only going to watch it once?

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