Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Movies That Make Me Hot

And, by "Movies That Make Me Hot," I of course mean, "Movies That, If I Should Happen by And They Are On The T.V., I Must Watch in Their Entirety."

Casablanca This posed an interesting problem for me yesterday, given that I was on a break from my own class when I passed by my colleague's film class while he was showing this film. I contemplated pressing my face up against the glass window by the door to watch - or even sneaking inside and taking a seat in the back of the room - but I ended up dejectedly trudging back to finish teaching my own class.

The Manchurian Candidate The original, of course. The Denzel Washington version wasn't bad, but it was nowhere near as good as the original. Which reminds me of an interesting exchange that took place in a class last semester (if you are over 30 and/or a film buff, you will find this amusing). I had asked the class to cast a play we were reading. One student cast Angela Lansbury as a woman who basically helps a killer escape justice.
Me: That's a perfect fit for her.
Student: Really? Has she played an evil character?
Me: Ever see Manchurian Candidate?
Student: Was she in that?
[I mentally smack forehead with hand]
Me: Dude, she WAS the movie.
Student: The one with Denzel Washington?
[I mentally smack forehead again]
Me: No, the original. The one with Denzel is a remake.
Student: There was an original? She was in it? She played a bad guy?
[I mentally bang head against wall]

Alien A couple of Saturday mornings ago, I was coming down with the cold my kid had. I had that groggy feeling you get when you wake up and go back to sleep several times, and to help me regain my alertness, I switched on the t.v. I was just in time to see the Paramount logo. As the title credits started to roll - Tom Skerritt...Sigourney Weaver - I *knew*. This was ALIEN. One of my favorite movies, one that I can watch again and again. Of course, it's not a movie to watch with a four-year-old in the vicinity, so I reluctantly turned it off.

Evil Dead 2 Actually, I'm lying - I don't think I can watch this one endlessly anymore, only because I've seen it so many hundreds of times that it's lost its thrill. However, as it has been a few years now since I've seen it, it may be time for a little Bruce Campbell...hmmm...

All About Eve I learned recently that this classic was nominated for more Academy Awards than any other film until Titanic came along. I'm not a huge Bette Davis fan, but she really is wonderful in this. And you just know that every drag queen in the world secretly practices her Bette Davis impression in front of the mirror: "Fasten your seatbelts. We're in for a bumpy night."

Titanic No no no - I'm just kidding. In fact, I never saw the film. When I heard about James Cameron's horrible labor practices (which included my friend's brother, who worked on the film, nearly falling asleep at the wheel during his drive home after a long, hard day), I decided to boycott the film, which, as you all know, was a hugely successful strategy with a significant impact.

Tootsie OK, seriously? When I was about 12, I went to see Tootsie in the theater and became obsessed with it. I'm not really sure what that was all about, but I found Dustin Hoffman's Michael strangely compelling. It's not a movie I would probably ever watch again, so it doesn't really belong on this list, but I'm including it because I would have watched it over and over again back then. I even clipped the movie advertisements out of the paper and saved them. All right, look, it was 1982, he was a man challenging gender roles and really understanding what the world looked like from a woman's perspective, I was 12. Stop laughing.

Nightmare on Elm Street I do like to stay to see Johnny Depp get eaten by the bed and turned into tomato juice - but I'm only including this here because one time, while I was, shall we say, chemically impaired, I happened by a friend's dorm room and this was on his t.v. Naturally, I interpreted this to mean that I was actually a character in the movie, and I immediately sat down on the floor to determine what my fate would be. Hey, it was a good distraction from watching my hands go all Michael Jackson and turn into werewolf paws.

Of course, I'm leaving off a whole bunch of great films that never seem to show up on my t.v. screen, along with many that are favorites of mine but that I wouldn't necessarily watch repeatedly. I have a feeling I'll revisit this topic in another post.

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