Still unable to get enough time to read and take notes. Though now that Gus is sleeping five hours at a stretch most nights, I’m starting to feel a little more well-rested and can actually consider picking up a book soon. Maybe. Anyway, here’s another general nostalgia post. Also, if anyone wants to guest blog, email me at email@example.com.
My four year old son got the movie Toy Story 3 for Christmas, and we’ve watched it a good two dozen times since. I try hard not to be too annoyed with him, because re-watching movies is a trait he inherited from me. My obsessive watching and re-watching of movies culminated in my teenage years when I pretty much exclusively watched the same four movies over and over and over again:
1. Pump Up the Volume:
Christian Slater stars as a quiet new kid in high school who starts a pirate radio show, which begins as a pervy little lark (he called himself Happy Harry Hard-on) and eventually exposes school corruption. A perfect teenage movie, because what teenager doesn’t want REAL corruption to rebel against? And what girl in the early 90’s didn’t want to dress exactly like Samantha Mathis’ Nora? It also has a great soundtrack featuring, among others, The Pixies, Black Flag and Was Not Was.
My first introduction to the art of the black comedy, and I doubt I’ve seen it done as skillfully since. Winona Ryder is Veronica, who is (for reasons unknown even to herself) trying to ingratiate herself into the cool girls group all of whom are named Heather. She meets Christian Slater’s JD and the two end up going on a riotous murder spree of all the school’s most popular kids, including the Heathers, and staging them to look like suicides. I know, it’s great. If you don’t think so, you can fuck me gently with a chainsaw.
3. Young Guns II :
Clearly I had a thing for Christian Slater back then, eh? Emilio Estevez stars as Billy the Kid in this sequel, which is far and away better than the first. William Bonny, aka Billy the Kid’s two friends, Chavez (Lou Diamond Phillips) and Doc (Keifer Sutherland), have been captured and the gang must save them while avoiding capture by their former partner-in-crime and current lawman, Pat Garrett. It’s totally historically inaccurate, but who cares when it’s a hell of a good time? Watch this an wonder why of the two Estevez brothers, serial misogynist and drug addict Charlie Sheen ended up with the career. Wonders never cease.
4. La Bamba:
I have no idea why I loved this movie so much, I was a little young for it when it first came out, but within three years, it was definitely in my constant rotation. La Bamba is a biopic of the life of Ritchie Valens, from his days as a teenager up to his death in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper, which technically was still when he was a teenager. I always found the sibling rivalry scenes between Valens and his older brother (Esai Morales) to be heartbreakingly realistic. This whole movie has me wondering why Lou Diamond Phillips didn’t have a better career. I stand by my choice when I say this is a greater musical biopic than either Ray or Walk the Line. Of course, I haven’t seen the movie in over a decade and I recognize that things can change…. Fun fact! Ritchie Valens is the youngest member elected into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He was only 17 when he died, and is therefore elected as a seventeen year old.
I know I just completely aged myself by admitting to watching these movies. This was well before DVDs and Netflix streaming, so I actually had to haul my ass to the video store to rent these movies. My mother was a very good sport about it. (Eventually, I did own Pump Up the Volume on video and my sister recorded Young Guns II off HBO).
How about you all? Any favorites that you watched obsessively until you could quote them line by line?