Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bustin' The Block

Walking through the video store lately has been like picking my way gingerly through a minefield. I generally hate chick flicks but there are a few that I ran a contemplative finger over last weekend and then decided against it. I have a tendency to take comfort in the familiar. I will rent movies that affected me a certain way in the past because I KNOW WHAT TO EXPECT. I have my Ipod sorted by mood, not genre, because that's just how I swing.

I knew I needed something that would make me laugh last weekend and I couldn't think of any movie that I had already seen that would do the trick.

This is where I stand up and admit to horrifying deficits in my knowledge of culture and cinema. There are vast black holes out there that can be traced directly to "Oh, I was in college at the time and the nearest theater was fifty miles away and I didn't have a car" or "Those where the years of the young children...when no movie theater was visited and all DVD's were interrupted by crying...some of it from the children".

I had never seen Bull Durham. It is a fact that I am ashamed of because not only did I grow up in the bleachers of Tiger Stadium in Detroit (that's where I saw my first crack pipe!), I wrote a book while I was still in high school about the 1986 Detroit Tigers and had it published. I believe my only copy is now propping up the short leg on my table.

So I can finally say that I saw Bull Durham and just like Fight Club (which I saw last year), for one brief and shining moment, I happily swam up stream with the rest of the crowd. Only twenty-two years too late.

Yeah, that's about right for me.

This next weekend is the last weekend before the sentencing. I believe I am going to set aside another movie night. As my son has stated about other activities I set aside to do for myself "Mom, I think that would be very therapeutic."

Thanks Sigmund. Always remember, your mamma loves you. Now don't talk smack about me in twenty years when you're the one on the couch.

I'm very curious to know what movies would make your lists for "intelligent and funny". I have to admit, I'm a horrible snob when it comes to stupid funny movies. Wrapping a two hour movie around fart and poop jokes makes me cranky. Wrapping a movie around addictions to self help groups and creating anarchy, well, I am Jack's inner movie critic. (That being said, I sat through The Queen just for the four seconds of Corgi's on screen. Medicate me NOW!)

My intelligent-funny list would include Oh Brother, Where Art Thou, Raising Arizona, and Burn After Reading. Gee, Cohan Brothers much? Of course Hot Fuzz and Shaun of the Dead would be there as well.

My enjoyable chick flick movies would include Always (I have a total girl crush on Holly Hunter. She could read the phone book for me and I'd be happy), High Fidelity and Grosse Point Blank (I have a total girl crush on John Cusack in his early years. Now, not so much...), and Field of Dreams. After seeing Kevin Costner in Bull Durham, I realized one thing, he used to be somewhat good. And now????

And my totally bizarre psychotic self would have to throw in a category of disturbing movies that shouldn't have affected me in the way that they did but they did and it probably means that I need even more therapy than I first suspected: Let The Right One In.

If you're not into vampires or if you're into Twilight vampires, this is not for you. If you're into an amazing story of pain, alienation, and sweet, merciful revenge, RENT IT! It's a foreign film so be prepared for a very un-Hollywood experience.

If anyone suggests Shawshank Redemption, I will smite thee...unless it's for just one particular scene...yeah, you know what I'm talking about.


Nancy Miller said...

Tina -

When I'm in the mood for a funny-I-really-don't-have-to-concentrate-too-hard movie, I reach for My Fellow Americans. It has Jack Lemmon and James Garner (one of my favorites). Oh yeah, there's also the Fletch movies (Chevy Chase). No brain cells bruised there.

I'm also a sucker for musicals, but that's another story......


Anonymous said...

Wonder Boys with Michael Douglas, Michael Downey Jr and Frances McDormand is great. I think I'd classify it under smart comedy.

Shelly said...

I admit that my John Cusack crush has never waned. If he walked up to me today and asked me to go get a cup of coffee or something, there would be no questions asked...let me just follow you around like a puppy--it's all good. And that brings me to War, Inc. I just rented it (when it came out, I was living in the Deep South, and wouldn't you know, no theater within 500 miles would show it...). I think he's still crush-worthy, and, War, Inc. is both intelligent and funny.

Another thing I liked is Man of the Year, the Robin Williams thing about the comedic political commentator (Bill Maher-ish) who runs for, and wins, the Presidency. Lewis Black, Christopher Walken, Jeff Goldblum--all my favorite smart and funny people are there.

On that same vein (didn't mean to be All Politics, All The Time but...), the Chris Rock movie Head of State is also a very funny poke at politics. The Robin Givens character provides some of the funniest moments, for sure.