The Joy of Old Movies
When I look back at the past seven months of movie watching, several experience pop up as being the most enjoyable:
- Watching Evil Dead on VHS.
- Watching Speed for the first time years.
- Revisiting some old Kevin Smith films.
I watch a mix bag of new movies and old movies all the time, but this year I've take a chance on revisiting some of the movies I watched a lot as a child/teen/young adult. Movies that I liked but just watched so much I was sick of them, or movies that I thought my tastes had evolved past. Every single time that I've reluctantly turned on a movie from years past, I've found myself riveted to the seat and having an absolute blast.
It makes me wonder if anything has changed or if enough time has past that I feel like I approach the movies with a fresh set of eyes. I also realize now that revisiting these films at 37 vs 17 sometimes opens entire new worlds, thoughts, and theories about the film. For example, just earlier today I watched Dogma for the first time at least fifteen years. Prior to that, I've seen the film over twenty times. Still, as an older man whose gone through a rollercoaster of spiritual beliefs and thoughts in those fifteen years, I found the movie to be thought provoking and relatable in ways that it wasn't so many years ago.
So far, I think the highlight of my year was watching Speed. I loved Speed when it was first released and I wore out the copy of Speed I made with two VCRs after renting the tape. I had developed a pretty mean teenage crush on Sandra Bullock and the music and intensity just enthralled me. I watched Speed a lot and I remember first being alerted to the film's release after watching one of HBO's Making Of thirty minute documentaries they would air prior to some big budgeted releases.
I haven't seen Speed since the mid 90's. I watched it quite a few times, but by the time *Speed 2**came out I was done. The jokes were being made about bombs on a bus and I wrote it off as some goofy 90's action film. Then, a few weeks back, I saw it streaming on HBO. From the first few moments, I was captured by the music and intensity and it never let up until the credits rolled. It was a fun movie watching experience and I didn't find myself aggravated by terrible CGI, political messages, or poor attempts at being “woke.” It was just a fun time and that is what made me fall in love with movies oh so long ago.
My enjoyment of Speed, led me to Amazon where I bought blu-ray copies of The Rock, Gone in 60 Seconds, Demolition Man, and Daylight. A few weeks later, Amazon price matched Barnes and Noble's Criterion and Arrow Video fifty percent off sale, so I bought the new blu-ray of Mallrats. Similar to my watching of Dogma and Speed, I wasn't really sure if I was going to enjoy the film so many years removed from the person I was when I fell in love with it. But once again, I was wrong. It was one of my favorite Mallrats viewings and I found myself enamored with the characters and the jokes.
2021 has not been my year that's for sure, but if there is one highlight that I can really lean into it's rediscovering my love for some of these movies. These two hour escapes are what brought me peace during a rocky childhood/teenage years and once again, they are bringing me peace. It reminds me of why I love movies to begin with and it's a lot of fun to pick up on small phrases I didn't realize I lifted or even thoughts and ideas.
I bought a copy of Speed on 4k today and I have an Arrow release of Tremors arriving on Monday. I'm going to be on the lookout for more films from my past that have been collecting dust and hopefully keep this good thing going.