Monday, January 14, 2013

A Few Good Movies

I watched a few movies on Netflix over the last few days, and although they are genre-wise about as far apart as you can get, they all had a few things in common.

And of course, they were all good stories, competently told.

Sunday a week we watched Chitty-Chitty Bang-Bang. Yeah, I know what your thinking. But why do we classify some movies as 'Kids Movies', even though they tell a good, watchable story? Just because they fail to include bare breasts and profanity? Two things that very seldom add anything to the scene or the story.

Of course there are occasions when profanity adds to the story. Yesterday we sat down and watched Planes Trains and Automobiles. Again, a good story, competently- and hilariously- told. There is one scene that, as described by Wikipedia, Steve Martin drops the 'F'- bomb 18 times in one minute. The plot of the movie and the preceding action absolutely required the profanity. In real life, in a similar situation I think the Pope himself would have dropped an 'F'-bomb or two. And the Rental Car Agent's response; simply classic. One of the best scenes of the movie. And, it was the ONLY profanity in the movie, adding to its effect.

Saturday night I sat down and watched McLintock!, an old John Wayne Western. Maybe not as politically correct as some might require- the various scenes of men spanking their women come to mind immediately, along with the frequent drunkenness- a very funny story results. Along with a little commentary on the worth of the political class. A fist fight or two, including a long brawl at the mud pit of a mine, a few minutes of rodeo action, and it all culminates in a 10 minutes chase scene through the entire town.

And last night I was searching Netflix for some thing to watch and saw Force Ten from Navarone. Another good story. How can you beat Harrison Ford fighting Nazis?

Perfect relaxation movies. No demanding plots to follow; no twists and turns to keep track of; no hidden agendas to be mindful of. Just a good story, competently told. And, except for the prior noted exception, no nudity or profanity. you can gather the whole family together for a couple of hours, and the plot and dialogue don't preclude some conversation while your at it.

Like a little action? Check. Comedy? Check. A little suspense? Check. Why is it most modern movies seem to think they can't do several things at once? A suspense drama can't have a few comedy bits; a comedy can 't have a suspenseful section or a action flick has to be all action, all the time. Maybe the directors today aren't as competent as their predecessors, who could move from directing a comedy this year to an action movie the next.

Maybe that's why Hollywood is going into the tank. First they can't find a good story, and then they can't find anyone who can competently tell it.

No comments: