Monday, March 15, 2010

Movie musings

When Ken and I were in high school he worked at the old Uintah Theater in downtown Provo where he pretty much saw everything made in the late sixties and early seventies. One of his fave old movies was M*A*S*H, the iconic Robert Altman film. Anyhoo. He wanted to watch it again.

So here's the part where I interrupt with the following pertinent 411. Ken often wants to revisit old movies that he once loved. And in fact, he wants to revisit them with our grownup sons. He's sure they'll love (fill in the blank) as much as he did. Invariably the evening turns out to be disappointing. Turns out our kids don't think "The In-Laws" was that funny, that "The Three Musketeers" with Michael York was that thrilling, or "The Seven Percent Solution" with Alan Arkin was that clever. To them (and even to us) the movies look stagey, dated--as though they'd been shot with a home movie camera in someone's overlit garage. The only exception has been "Butch Cassidy," which holds up remarkably well.

Anyway. We got M*A*S*H and attempted to watch it this weekend. Within 30 minutes even Ken was going "why did I ever love this movie?" It was all attitude and posturing with not much narrative arc and no one to really root for. Yet at the time it was groundbreaking and Altman went on to have a brilliant, quirky career and my husband loved that movie with all his rebellious hippie adolescent heart.

Which broke last night because another movie failed to live up to his expectations.

Which brings me to this point. Is it ever a good idea to revisit a movie (or even a book) you once adored? Would you mind providing me with titles that disappointed? Or that didn't? I'm interested.

12 comments:

LucindaF said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LucindaF said...

The Dark Crystal
Labrynth
Grease
Grease 2(I wanna C.O.O.L R.I.D.E.R)
Pretty in Pink
Sixteen Candles
Buehler? Buehler? Buehler?
Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure
Wayne's World (the movie)
All 80's horror movies

Can I add a t.v. show? I think it deserves recognition.
A.L.F.

LucindaF said...

sorry, double post. had to erase it.

Lisa B. said...

I love Altman. That said, I think it's very hard to want a movie to be lovable to others. It puts so much pressure on the movie! How can it be its best self when there is so much pressure on it. I ask you.

Gosford Park is one of my favorite movies of all time.

My husband loves A Thousand Clowns and we watched it, and it was pretty durn good.

My favorite thing is to get to see a movie, an old one that I loved, in the theater like the first time I saw it. I think sometimes what you're dealing with is the diminishment of the original experience, twice over: once, because you've already seen it and you've changed; twice, because now it's tiny. Unless you have a bigger television than I do, in which case, now it's medium-sized. I loved seeing Taxi Driver in the big theater a few years ago. It held up pretty darn well, I thought.

(I am a huge re-viewer of movies, in case you can't tell.)

Louise Plummer said...

Cape Fear with Robert DeNiro never disappoints.

Valynne said...

That happened to me recently with a book I loved in the third grade: No Flying in the House. It was incredibly, incredibly disappointing.

Andria said...

When I was in high school, I read a book called The Silver Kiss and I thought it was amazing. It made me want to write about teenage vampires long before Bella and Edward were even imagined.

I told a friend about it and its amazingness. She read it and said she didn't think it was that great. I was floored, shocked, until I actually picked up the book again and discovered that it so wasn't what I had remembered it being. It was very disappointing.

BBB said...

I don't like to admit this, but... A Wrinkle in Time. I absolutely loved it when I read it in grade school. I picked up while I was in college and couldn't get through even half of it!!!

I've recently been revisiting The Dark is Rising series though and it's made me want to pick up A Wrinkle in Time again. Maybe it was some dumb guy I was dating or some torturous science class that was really the problem?? I hope so.

Speaking of A Wrinkle in Time, have you read When You Reach Me, this year's Newbery? I thought it was just average.

donnette perkins said...

Hans Christian Andersen with Danny Kaye. I loved that movie and watched it every year when it came on t.v. Twenty years later I saw it again and couldn't believe it wasn't nearly as good as I remembered, but I still love Danny Kaye. I also loved Cinderella with Leslie Ann Warren, but my love for her has not endured.

thesixthseason said...

Too funny that you should write about this. Last Sunday night was my oldest son's 38th birthday, and I gave him a copy of the original CLASH OF THE TITANS. I couldn't believe how excited he was about that gift! "I'm going to watch it tonight!" he exclaimed more than once. AND his 2 brothers wanted to stay and watch it with him - so enthused they were, and so UNimpressed were their wives! renae

Donna Tagliaferri said...

This is easy...Exodus. I loved this book, I first read it in 7th grade, do you know what a cool 7th grader I must have been to read Exodus? I immediately began to inform everyone of the Holocaust, then I saw the movie they made from that incredible book and realized what a terrible mistake Paul Newman made.

Hadley Hintze said...

I once read the Fairy Rebel in the 2nd Grade. Delightful then and just as delightful now! :)