Monday, October 29, 2018

Facebook Film Foolishness Part 4

There is another whole group of ten movies that are portions of my soul that didn’t meet the original requirements, or last week’s

They say the first few years of life are key for imprinting on a language. My theory is that the teen years are key for imprinting on movie quotes.  This is a series of films from the 1980’s with varying degrees of mystical or fantastic elements that in most cases I don’t remember the first time I saw them. However, as years have passed they’ve wormed into my brain to a level that most weeks will not pass without me quoting many of them.

Hysterical 1983
*Note- Mom knew I liked the comedy on the Hudson Brother's variety show, which led to to her renting this once.  My sister and I asking is once more what led to her renting it over and over again afterwards. (Oh Denville movie rental shop, you've shaped my mind.)  The repeated "Zhhhhhhhhhhh!" thumbs up thing is only the tip of the quote iceberg. But what can one expect from a movie featuring a zombie Richard Kiel, a ghost Julie Newmar, and vampire Charlie Callas cameo. (pfffrt pfffrt!) Lee, Alan, my sister and I would regularly spout, "Venitia,Venitia, Venitia...who's Venitia?"  "What difference does it make?" and "The Library is closed, all white people must leave."  My personal favorite was always Robert (Exidor) Donner's, "Youuuuu're Dooooooooooomed!"

*Note- I saw this the first time going from Up the Lake. However, my only impression was “that was funny.” That initial summer the main quote used accompanied taking a leak in the woods, "Don't cross the streams." It was over a long period where it evolved to the point where I quote it regularly without remembering the initial source of the quote. I was surprised to learn how much I could annoy my daughter by moving my lips to the whole film.

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension 1984
*Note- I own a Yoyodyne shirt that says, “Laugh while you can monkey boy!” which my Mom will say out of nowhere semi-regularly.  I also wore a Team Banzai patch on my fencing jacket.  The story has grown on my daughter over a few viewings and since her mother doesn’t wear t-shirts often, she’s taken my wife’s “Banzai Institute” Shirt, and wore it to "college apparel" day at school. Truly a multi-generational film in my family.

Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins 1985
*Note- Already a family favorite, this became a true part of me when the RPI Juggling Club sponsored three showings one Saturday night helped by input from Scott, our resident Sinaju expert.  “You juggle like a pregnant yak,” became a socially acceptable greeting.

Better off Dead 1985
*Note- My sister and I will say “I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS!” or “Sorry your mom blew up, Ricky” out of context far too often. Lee was more partial to "Now that's a real shame when folks be throwing away a perfectly good white boy like that."   Features Kim Darby, from Don’t be Afraid of the Dark, in a weird circle of odd movies thing.

*Note- The UNDISPUTED grand champion of movies three generations of my family will quote.  Anyone cleaning anything within sight of another family member will be suddenly hounded by, “Do over heah….now do over heah…I’m HELPIN’ YOU!”

Big Trouble in Little China 1986
*Note- If this wasn’t in this list and so well known, the giant monster from that “WHAT?!?!?! What will never come out again?” moment would totally be in the upcoming “non-blockbuster non-human” list.  "It's all in the reflexes," is the acceptable answer to any praise of a successful accomplishment.

The Golden Child 1986
*Note- Everyone in my family asks for silverware in a sing song, “Can I have the kniiiiiife….pleaaaaase.”  Every time I see Charles Dance in any movie, even in a crowded theater, as soon as I recognize him I yell, “NUMSIE!!!!”

*Note- Some people might be surprised how often, “There’s only one way to kill a werewolf” and "Creature stole my Twinkie," can be worked into normal conversations.  Then again, our "normal" conversations may not qualify as such in most circles.

Roadhouse 1989
*Note- Anyone who calls me a certain term of respect gets the reply, “Calling me Sir is like putting an elevator in an outhouse, it don’t belong.”

I can visualize complaints saying this last one doesn’t meet the requirements of “varying degrees of mystical or fantastic elements.” Frankly someone who cannot see how a film about Patrick Swayze and Sam Elliot playing kung fu, cowboy bouncers counts as mystical clearly missed the Eighties.  But I’ll add another to appease these imaginary complaints.

How about 1986’s The Three Amigos?  
A singing bush and invisible swordsman should qualify.  I'm pretty sure I saw this in the theater, but it’s another that built into a family staple over time.   Besides frequent references to “a plethora” any gift giving occasion is marked by someone yelling, “It’s a sweater!”

That reminds me; I missed making any references to Steve Martin’s first three films, directed by Carl Reiner that I've liked since before I saw them thanks to Danny telling me the best gags in The Jerk one afternoon Up the Lake.
This is so hard.  Speaking of missing groups, there are some franchises that need noting.

I'm sure I first saw a Planet of the Apes movie (original 1968) on the ABC 4:30 Movie during a week dedicated to them.  I couldn’t tell you which one or when, since I can’t remember a time when these movies weren’t part of me, because I was raised properly.

The same is true for giant monsters.  Whatever sequel to Godzilla (1954) I first saw is lost in the mists of time. Although it’s probably a good bet I saw King Kong (1933) first on a Thanksgiving afternoon with my Dad and Grandfather while the meal was being prepared.

Superhero movies are different though. 
I remember my parents taking me to Superman the Movie in 1978, but the impact on who I am came from the comic book source material.  From then to now the impact superhero films have on me depended on accuracies and inaccuracies.

Note: The Crow (1994) fits in here by the barest margin. It certainly had an impact on the first and all subsequent viewings, as it was amazingly done, emotionally powerful both on screen and considering the behind the scenes tragedy, and is as close to a live action Spectre film as I'm ever getting.

Starting in 1993, Jurassic Park films have been the same as superhero ones.  
Though I have recently noticed something on rewatching the original.  It’s obvious that the dinosaurs are CGI or puppets. What makes them real are the reactions of the cast, particularly Sam Neil, Laura Dern, and the kids.  It’s what some of the sequels lacked, how the new ones have stepped up again,and what led to my sister leading me out of the theater after the original saying, “Come on little boy, the dinosaurs are gone.”  Negative reactions can be just as bad or long lasting.  Pteranodon means TOOTHLESS WING, DAMMIT!

I suppose I should mention Sleepy Hollow (1999) when talking about how movies represent the source material as well. That was a good un!

Speaking of Sleepy Hollow and giant franchises I haven’t mentioned at all. Disney has guided my, and my family’s lives for quite a while. I saw most of the original ones on rereleases over the summers as a kid, mixed in with new ones.  The memories, like all of my movie memories are connected to who I saw it with. 

The infamous, “Wait don’t walk there” moment during the group Up the Lake trip to Fox and the Hound,

Seeing the Jungle Book/ Zorro double feature twice (once with parents and once with cousins, leading to Chris and I sword fighting with sticks across his swing set.) 

Sitting through Treasure Island, when they used to show movies continuously to get to the Pooh short and the animated feature,

And more recently seeing the emotional moments through my daughter’s eyes. 

I'm noticing as I do this, it’s more about who I saw the movie with, told about it, or showed it to, than the films themselves.  I truly do all of my main social connections to other people via movies.

As a preview to the next list, since it excludes blockbusters, and there should be at least one Disney Picture picture in here: Tron (1982) unquestionably wanted to be a blockbuster.
I’ll leave with a preview nonhuman character from that film…

Because I love Tron so.

Here’s bit!

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