(Part 2 of 2)
Last week I began listing my favourite movies of all time. I only got to six of them and they all tended to be “guy movies”. There’s violence and there is male bonding and all of the things we stereotypical males enjoy.
Yes, there are some excellent movies out there that didn’t make it onto my list. For instance, Cool Hand Luke and the first Indiana Jones movie and the first Star Wars movie (Episode IV, they call it).
There are no James Bond movies on the list because, even though I am a guy, I like my violence and male bonding to be intelligent. OK, the remake of Casino Royale was pretty good … but not Top-10-able.
Another omission was O Brother, Where Art Thou?, a Coen Brothers movie that clipped along so smoothly, so eloquently, you were exhausted by the end after travelling so far with them.
It will make it to the Top 10 one day, I am sure, because this is a very fluid thing. Different movies mean different things to me at different times.
For instance, the movie Carrie (not the one based on the Stephen King book; this one had Omar Sharif and Jennifer Jones) was on my list for so long, I was surprised to notice it had been bumped off at some point.
It is a love story, sure, but it shows a good man trying to do what is right even though he made one mistake that makes it all pointless.
So, with the exception of Amadeus and To Sir, With Love, my Top 10 has so far been guy movies.
But man does not live on violence alone. There is something out there that soothes our savage breasts and puts this list squarely in the category of “guilty pleasures”.
I like music. And so, I like musicals.
I really, really enjoyed Mama Mia!
(Shut up! I will have you know that I have two children, which means I was man enough at least twice in my life when it counted the most.)
Anyway, it was a fun movie and I really enjoyed watching these big stars do something that was so far out of their comfort zone: singing. And, of course, I am big fan of Abba.
Anyway, I saw Rocky Horror Picture Show when I was 17 and, even though I have never smoked pot, it remains on my Top 10 list. I’ve danced on the seats to the Time Warp until it drove me insa-a-a-ane, and I have hurled inappropriate comments at Brad and Janet … and I have watched it alone on video tape.
Either way, it is a blast.
Another Top 10 musical is Across the Universe. It was surprising to me as it forced me to listen to all of these Beatles tunes as if for the first time. It gave these treasures new context.
Ironically, this movie helped me decide that the Beatles is not my favourite band of all time. You see, every song in this movie is better than the original version performed by the Beatles. That still makes Paul, George and John wonderful, wonderful songwriters but, as a band, something a little less than the Rolling Stones and Bruce Springsteen.
Have you ever heard Bette Midler sing In My Life? And then compare it to the Beatles version? You will have no doubt that what I say is true. Even better, watch her sing it in For the Boys. She sings it with just one instrument accompanying her and it is sung like a lullaby. The sound track CD from the movie ruins it.
And, finally, my final all-time-favourite movie and one that earns its spot on the “guilty pleasure” sub-list: Grease.
Each character is perfectly cast and iconic. And the songs will … not … leave … your … head.
The next time you are on a road trip and have three hours to burn, see if you can come up with your own Top 10 list.