Friday, June 15, 2012

I Never Claimed to be Siskel OR Ebert by Amanda Elder Silvers

I have always been a fan of movies.  There is just something about retreating to a dark, cavernous space, sliding back in a chair which hopefully reclines a bit, and getting lost for two or more hours in whichever world your movie transports you to.  I relish every element about the experience- the smell of the popcorn, the rattle of the secret bag of M&M's I've most likely smuggled into the theater inside my gigantic purse, the coolness of the air conditioner which usually requires that I remember to bring a sweater, and the tell-tale suction of the bottom of your shoes to the inevitable stickiness of the floor.  What's not to love?

As a general rule of thumb I don't have just one genre of movie that I enjoy.  Frankly I like them all.  I love a comedy which makes me laugh until tears are rolling down my face.  I always like a good drama as well as a sappy love story.  Much to the chagrin of my mother I even enjoy some horror- SOME.  A good movie, in my opinion, will take the viewer on an emotional journey.  Which emotion isn't nearly as important to me as the simple fact that the movie will make me feel something

From childhood I have very fond memories of being home one summer and watching a week-long marathon of old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies.  The dancing and the costumes were just magical to me.  I love the old black and whites and the classics like "Holiday Inn", "Meet Me in St. Louis", and "From Here to Eternity".  Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Rock Hudson, and the old Barbara Streisand and Ryan O'Neal movies made up a large part of my movie viewing from my childhood to teenage years.  Movies from those eras were fun and light and innocent.  Something you'd be hard pressed to find today.

My mother introduced me to the 1967 version of "Camelot" starring Vanessa Redgrave and Richard Harris when I was in high school.  The first time I saw it I specifically remember thinking I would most likely hyperventilate from the immense amount of crying I was doing.  This feeling was only matched by one other movie- my first viewing of James Cameron's "Titanic".  I literally sat in my theater seat a weepy, snotty, mascara-smeared mess and waited until the last person left the room before I even dared to rear my head. 

I agreed with many of the movies the other Kingdom Bloggers have mentioned this week.  I loved "The Sound of Music".  I have that soundtrack downloaded on my iPod.  No really... I do.  "Beaches", "Steel Magnolias", "Top Gun", "St. Elmo's Fire", and "The Breakfast Club" will always be classics to me from my generation.  These movies shot to popularity when I was in my teens and quotes from these movies easily squeezed their way into the daily dialogue between me and my friends: "You know I love you more than my luggage" has been uttered in my circle of friends since 1989.

At the risk of sounding like an old fogie I will close with this opinion.  I firmly believe the movies of today lack much of what was found in the movies of my youth.  I agree that the advances in computer technology have made movies much more visually stimulating, but I think sometimes the storyline comes in second place to the special effects.  Perhaps as a female I just have a different perspective on that.  Sometimes they do get the mixture right, though.  As much as I don't like to admit this outloud I actually liked "Avatar".  I like for my movies to have heart and a message.  That message doesn't always have to be sweet and flowery.  I just have to feel something, to learn something.  I see so much of "the world" in today's movies.  The number of movies I can't take my children to see FAR outweighs those which I can.  I'd like to see a large dose of morality put back into our movies and for my children not to grow up in a world which just assumes that premarital sex, cursing, and partying are the norm.  Okay, I'll now remove myself from my soapbox which is most likely permanently stuck onto this coke-encrusted theater floor. Would you mind to please reach into my massive purse and hand me my M&M's?  ;)

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. 

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