Monthly Archives: October 2015

“I ain’t man enough to be no mother.”

Of all the live action movies that I was allowed to watch as a child, this one probably “weirded” me out the most.

I really can’t explain why.  It wasn’t violent.  It wasn’t creepy.  It was an interesting musical, and it was quite humorous.

I don’t know why, but it was just weird to me.

I did, still, decide to watch it more than once.

Thinking about back then, there was a lot of the plot that I missed for a couple of reasons.  1) I remember my parents laughing at things that I did not understand to be funny (I was freaking 4…5 at the most). 2) The make up, costumes, and sets were so well done, that I felt I was watching the cartoon come to life.

Looking back, I’m amazed at how wonderful the then young lead was at portraying a pop culture icon.  The leading lady was perfect casting too, as well as the blistering antagonist (who was so good, quite frankly he scared me a little…a lot).

Again, I know I sound like I’m writing about a movie that I kind of don’t like.  On the contrary, I watched it later and found it much more amusing (I actually got the jokes–however corny they were).

Now that I think about it, for the “look” of it and the acting…”Popeye” arguably is one of the best cast movies of all time.  Can you picture anyone other than the Robin Williams as Popeye and the underrated Shelley Duvall as Olive Oyl?

Popeye_Robin_Williamsolive

Me either…

I watched this movie before I ever watched a Popeye cartoon…I’m glad I did.  It made the cartoon (kind of a snooze) more interesting.

It wasn’t the first live action movie I ever saw, but for some reason, visuals from it resonate with me to this day unlike any other movie

Watching Popeye get “rolled” down a hill by Bluto is something I couldn’t forget if I wanted to.

Wimpy with his burgers and Poopdeck Pappy tied up in a chair is another.

Wimpypoopdeck pappy

I remember being entertained and confused at the same time…some of the dialogue is very challenging to understand/hear as Popeye tends to mumble a lot.  That is not a slight on Williams, it’s a backhanded compliment.  After I watched a few Popeye cartoons…I thought he sounded more like Popeye than Popeye…wait, what?

In the end, I feel it is a great family musical/comedy with a lot of laughs and a little bit of horror for small children…Paul L. Smith is quite haunting as Bluto and there is quite a suspenseful scene involving a child and some…tentacles.

I’m glad I got to see it…

…I think.

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“…I love you, but we only have fourteen hours to save the Earth!”

I watched this next one on HBO, almost as much as “The Beastmaster.”

It was probably my first experience with science fiction.

My first, definitely not “the best,” but it was still very memorable for me.  A big part of it was the bright colors and “enormity” that Mike Hodges decided to use for the sets and costumes.

It’s a movie whose theme song was written and performed by Queen, and has a supporting role from the most underrated James Bond ever.  Need I say more?

As always, of course I do…

Flash Gordon” was one of those movies that I watched with my cousins more than five times.  Even at four years old I knew it was a corny movie, but we enjoyed it regardless, I think because of the scope of the action.  We used to act out the scenes in our back yard with our toy guns…I was the youngest.  That meant I had to be Ming the Merciless.

ming

Pretty easy to kick a four-year-old’s ass at pretend fighting “Flash Gordon” style.

I watched “Ted” when it came out and was pleasantly surprised that Seth MacFarlane chose “Flash Gordon” as the movie of John’s (Mark Wahlberg) childhood that made the most impact on him and Ted (voiced by MacFarlane).  Watching their interaction with the real Sam J. Jones (Flash Gordon) was very amusing.  It also refreshed some of the memories that I have of the film.

Outside of Queen and Timothy Dalton, the key scenes I remember are Flash almost getting eaten by a very green plant type monster, the feat of strength where you put your hand in the base of a shrub and hope that a random little critter doesn’t poison your arm causing the need for amputation, and of course; the “hawk people.”

Looking back on some of the dialogue for a quote, it was hard not to laugh…so I did laugh a little.  It doesn’t work on just paper, but for some odd reason, as fantastic as the world is, the campy dialogue when presented the way it is, works on this movie…if you’re 4 to 8 years old.

I was visiting my parents a while back before my dad passed.  We were flipping through the channels on DirecTV and came upon “Flash Gordon” right before Flash and the “hawk people’s” assault on Ming.  We had to finish the movie and I had a smile on my face like I was 4 years old again.

One of the great memories I hope I never lose being that it was close to one of the last times I would see my father.

Another example of how movies can be so powerful…when you allow them.

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