13
Feb
09

Deacon’s DVDs: Flicks I Never Tire of Watching

There are certain videos in my possession that I can watch over and over. Maybe not every week, but I could easily whip them out every month or two and never, ever tire of watching them. So, which ones? Let’s go…

Aliens

I think the predecessor to this sequel, Alien, is perhaps a technically superior movie. In terms of atmopshere, cultural impact, direction and acting, it is a better movie. But it aliens-moviedoesn’t bear watching more than once every year or so. That movie is, essentially, a haunted house/monster in the basement kind of movie set in space. As such, without the thrill of mystery, and slow revelations of the creature, the mounting terror loses something on multiple viewings.

But the sequel, Aliens? Totally different story. One of the best action films ever made (Lethal Weapon, Die Hard and Terminator 2 are also among that pantheon; I would include many of the modern Chinese martial arts epics, but I consider them a whole other class of movie), Aliens is a roller coaster ride that keeps your interest without overwhelming you with unnecessary over-the-top action. There is emotional depth and characterization in the midst of the mayhem, and a wide array of diverse personalities, even among the colonial space marines, who could have easily been turned into a bunch of same-minded jarheads.

There’s even a motherhood/child angle that is played out both for the humans and the aliens, commentary on corporate ruthlessness, and how one can always find a way to be honorable and brave, no matter how long you’ve been a dipshit or a coward previously.

And Sigourney Weaver kicks total ass in this movie, without being some invincible person. She can be hurt, emotionally and physically, and you see that (This is also what makes Die Hard so watchable for me; for all the testosterone and manly trash-talk, Bruce Willis’ character get the shit knocked out of him and pays for every bit of progress he makes against the bad guys)

 

The Princess Bride

move-poster_princess-brideI love fantasy/swords-and-sorcery fiction and movies. Good ones, anyway. I love me a good comedy. But rarely, I think, do the two genres mix well. The Princess Bride is the exception to that “rule.”

It is one of the funniest movies ever, because the jokes rely more on presentation and the characterization the actors bring to their roles than they do on punchlines. It is a great swashbuckling fantasy with blades flashing and a little bit of magic and epic betrayals.

And behind it all, the premise that this story is being read to a sick child by his grandfather, and that in itself, as the child occasionally interrupts the story, brings such emotional wallops of the love and wisdom that a grandparent can bring that the grandfather’s final words to his grandson still move me to tears.

 

Pulp Fiction

Hands down, in my opinion (and that of Mrs. Blue and Son of Blue) the most re-watchable movie of all time. This flick manages to have pop culture references that movie-poster_pulp_fiction1seem to bear the test of time, and such colorful, sometimes insane scenes and characters that it never fails to entertain.

I seriously think I could watch this once a week and probably never burn out on it, though I try to respect the film by not risking that I might turn it into mere background noise, and make it just an every-few-months thing.

For those who don’t know about this movie, I don’t know how to begin to describe it adequately. For those of you who’ve seen it and hated it, I don’t know what to tell you or how to explain how wrong you are.

This movie is a genius piece of non-linear storytelling. Of intersecting lives. Of violence for good reason and violence for the sake of violence. Of eloquent yet foul-mouthed hit men. Of honor among thieves. Of love. Of choosing the right path in life. Of losers who make good. Of the difference between a Whopper and a Royale with cheese. Of bad people who sometimes get what they deserve. Quentin Tarantino pulled out all the stops on this movie while still keeping an interally coherent tale (Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs was a strong and good movie for his first effort, and Jackie Brown was a good post-Pulp Fiction film that I really enjoy too, but Quentin will never top his sophomore effort.)

With dialogue that almost never, ever slacks; a killer soundtrack with such eclectic music and songs that it make my ears celebrate; and with top-notch acting and direction, this movie is a pure joy. Violent, yes. Bad language, oh yeah. Sex and drugs, you betcha. But one of the best…movies…EVER.

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6 Responses to “Deacon’s DVDs: Flicks I Never Tire of Watching”


  1. February 13, 2009 at 6:04 pm

    Aliens is scary. I don’t like scary that much.

  2. 2 Deacon Blue
    February 13, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    The original Alien came out when I was a kid. I don’t know, maybe 10 or something; I can’t recall. My mom never had any problem taking me to R-rated movies and neither did I.

    Until then.

    I went and cowered against the wall with eyes shut and ears covered. My mom took me home.

    Only time that has ever happened in a movie for me.

    Aliens, on the other hand, never struck me as scary (granted, I was also older when it came out). I always see it more as an actioner than a scarefest.

  3. 3 CokeSupply
    March 15, 2009 at 5:18 pm

    I saw the first Alien film at home with my parents when I was about 7 years old. I’m not sure why, maybe I’m wierd, but movies never did scare me when I was a kid, probably because I grew up watching the old classic black and white Hammer House horror movies. The thing that really gripped me about Alien was the suspense – few Hammer films held the tense atmosphere that Alien had, and few films have done it since. Indeed, there is only one film that I can recall that scared me more (Vengeance the Demon, more commonly known in America as Pumpkinhead).

    The sequel, Aliens, was probably one of the best action movies I have ever seen. It might not have had the same measure of suspense as the original, but the shortfall was made up by the superb direction of the various action scenes that carried main segments of the film. I particularly enjoyed the scene in the air vents, which I found to be one of the most exciting movie sequences I have ever had the pleasure of witnessing.

    Obviously, the other sequels were nowhere near as good as these first two films, and I can only pray that Ridley Scott or James Cameron will be at the helm if Fox ever decides to release another Alien film!

  4. 4 Deacon Blue
    March 15, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Like you, I watched a LOT of old Hammer horror films and the like as a kid. In general, few horror flicks freaked me out either, which is why I knew Alien was something special. The only other horror flicks I recall truly freaking me out were Night of the Living Dead, which gave me major heebie jeebies…and Halloween, which actually caused me to flee the theater the first time I saw it, before it had gotten 10 minutes into things.

  5. 5 Twoflower Two
    June 10, 2009 at 11:08 am

    Oh yeah, Aliens 2 is the best. In fact, Im watching it again right now and was just searching the Net to share it with someone. At the moment, ‘don’t be gone long, Ellen’ is riding down the elevator, putting on the gun belt, and getting ready to fry some Alien ass. No one seems to have mentioned Aliens 3. I liked that one alot too. It’s the best ‘fuck’ said on screen – you know, when the Aline has just grabbed the manager of the penal colony up the shaft in the refectory.

    Anybody ever watched The Relic. Too dark to see stuff at times, but a great monster in the dark story. Oh oh, Newt it screaming. Go rescue her Ripley!

  6. 6 Deacon Blue
    June 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    Many people revile Alien 3 but I liked it. I particularly appreciated in after a few viewings. In addition to being a decent action flick, I think it carried Ripley’s emotional development well.

    Frankly, I don’t think Alien: Resurrection was too bad either, except for casting that goof as the station’s general, and the disappointing final monster. But I think it had some emotional weight and some good performances. And, once again, a clear set of changes and evolutionary development for Ripley, one of the best characters in cinema, to my mind.

    I haven’t seen The Relic. I think our local library has it, so perhaps I’ll check it out.


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Deacon Blue is the blogging persona of editor and writer Jeffrey Bouley. The opinions of Jeff himself on this blog, and those expressed as Deacon Blue, in NO WAY should be construed as the opinions of anyone with whom he has worked, currently works, or will work with in the future. They are personal opinions and views, and are sometimes, frankly, expressed in more outrageous terms than I truly feel most days.

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