Tag Archives: HBO

I’ve written about some of these…and my family… #Clintington on Film

Just another way to keep all of them in one place…his vanity knows no bounds…

Growing up movies…

Disney’s “The Jungle Book

E. T.

The Return of the Jedi

Ghostbusters

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Gremlins

Poltergeist

Clash of the Titans

The Dark Crystal

Krull

The Goonies

The Neverending Story

Jaws

Superman

The Last Unicorn

Lucas

The Lord of the Rings” (1978)

War Games

Back to the Future

Ladyhawke

Little Shop of Horrors

The Guns of Navarone

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

The Blues Brothers

The Great Escape

Hitchcock 1

Hitchcock 2

Stand by Me

Cloak & Dagger

Explorers

Tootsie

The Bridge on the River Kwai

Mr. Mom

James Bond movies

Fright Night

The Princess Bride

The Terminator

Big Trouble in Little China

Dirty Harry

The Golden Child

Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid

Silverado

Splash

The Karate Kid

Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome

Roxanne

Lethal Weapon

Beetlejuice

The Naked Gun

Blind Fury

Teen Wolf

The Cowboys

Short Circuit

Romancing the Stone

Raising Arizona

Innerspace

The Beast Master

Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

Big

Vice Versa

Peggy Sue Got Married

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Alien/Aliens

Hoosiers

Major League

The Secret of NIMH

Clintington’s Best of John Wayne

Blazing Saddles

Bull Durham

Commando

The World According to Garp

Field of Dreams

Father Goose

Growing Up Disney

Cat’s Eye

Predator

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Bite the Bullet

Best of Cary Grant

The Gods Must be Crazy

The Frisco Kid

Uncle Buck

Flash Gordon

Popeye

American Graffiti

Troll

No Way Out

The Godfather

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Dances with Wolves

When Harry Met Sally

Glory

Batman

Worthy unmentionables.

Total Recall

The Silence of the Lambs

Quigley Down Under

Tremors

JFK

Point Break

Terminator 2: Judgement Day

Boyz n the Hood

Hot Shots!

Aladdin

Quick Change

Wayne’s World

The Man Who Would Be King

Cape Fear

The Fisher King

Kindergarten Cop

Memphis Belle

The Freshman

Sleeping with the Enemy

Flatliners

Dick Tracy

The City Slickers

Defending Your Life

The Hard Way

Grand Canyon

My Cousin Vinny

Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”

Unforgiven

Signs

Fight Club

Army of Darkness

A League of Their Own

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Growing Up Movies… The Compilation…

This will be a very quick announcement…

I wanted to get the word out that my compilation of this blog (and all its glory *wink, wink*) is now available as a nonfiction book on Kobo.

I cannot thank all of you enough for joining me on this journey and would love to invite you all to enjoy this free book as my gift to you. (You will only need the free Kobo e-reader application available on PC, Mac, Apple & Android).

This “thank you” also has a “please” attached.

Please–if you have already taken the time to enjoy my blog or if you plan on downloading and reading my book–take the time to write a quick honest review.

Again, thank you for your support.  I would be nowhere without it.

“It’s not exactly a normal world, is it?”

In the 80s, my exposure to Batman looked something like this:

batman super friends

In 1988, they started rerunning “Batman” in syndication on our local CBS affiliate.  Adam West and Burt Ward were the leads as the dynamic duo, and I didn’t tell any of my friends that I made sure I watched EVERY episode.

I remember every villain was given two episodes each.  The first always left our heroes in peril.  As you can imagine, Friday on the first run was the worst, I had to wait until Monday to find out how they were going to escape.

The point?

Batman stories on film and television were effing campy.  That all changed in 1989.

Tim Burton was fresh off his early success with “Beetlejuice” and was building momentum with his adaptation of the Caped Crusader.

Michael Keaton brought us a very different Bruce Wayne/Batman.  Batman used to race to the scene, jump in the middle, and thump the villain with his fists.  He’d also announce every “bat-weapon” before he used it.  Keaton’s portrayal was elusive and in the shadows.  Burton and Keaton knew that less would be more when he wore the Bat-suit and it worked.

I enjoyed how intimidating the look of Batman was.  There had to be a realistic discussion about how a man could be the Batman and the creators of this version had to agree that the psychological power of the legend of Batman was how a man could be Batman.  The look had to be scary opposed to the “friendly neighborhood bat” that we were all used to, since he was going to be someone that had to scare, frightening street thugs and villains.

Joker

Speaking of…Jack is still my favorite Joker.  I have nothing against Heath LedgerCesar Romero, and I am excited to see what Jared Leto is going to bring, but Jack made me laugh out loud when he was doing terrible things.  That might speak to my personal “issues,” however, I find that thrilling.

Jack’s Joker for me is up there with Jerry Dandridge and Darth Vader…villains that you root for a little bit.  Villains, that when they die at the end of a movie, you realize that the amusement ride has just ended and now you have to unbuckle and stumble out of the cart.

The soundtrack also features music from the one and only Prince (RIP).  His track “Trust” that plays when the Joker comes out on his float throwing out trash bags of money to the masses is perfect and still one of my favorite “movie-moment” songs.

I was dropped off at the theater with my cousin to see this movie.  We went on the second weekend and arrived 15 minutes early.  After we got our tickets and entered the theater, we had to sit 4th row back from the screen.  On its second run, theaters were still packed.  Like it or not, this new version of Batman was a hit and audiences loved Burton’s vision of what Gotham’s lonely hero could become.

Batman” would be the last movie I would see in theaters from the 1980s.  I couldn’t be sure what to expect from the 90s in film, but”Batman” has become my bridge between those decades.  You’d think I’m a 1980s homer when it comes to movie viewing, but just wait.  I’m going to love sharing some of the movies that inspired me through the 1990s, which turned out to be my favorite decade.

——

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“Where about you from?”

There are movies that make you say, “Who’s that?”

You look them up on the back of a movie case in a rental store and attempt to find every movie that they have made prior and all of those movies that will follow.

That movie for me was “Glory.”

That person was Denzel.

Denzel

I was unprepared for the pure power and emotion of the performance he put forth.  He came from out of nowhere for me and he seemed like a seasoned movie star that stole every scene he was in, leaving all of us to wish that he was in every frame.

It was the first movie I’d seen him in and I later rented “The Mighty Quinn.” He was in every frame of that great thriller and the film love affair began.

Thank God for “Glory.”

Not only was it my intro to Denzel, it had Ferris Bueller and Westley in it too.  It was unlike any other movie I’d seen about war.  The first battle doesn’t even take place until well over an hour into the movie.  It had a very “All Quiet on the Western Front” feel to it.  It was about the soldiers “boots” on the ground versus the two sided perspectives you’d see in a war.  The confederate soldiers were ominous, almost ghost-like when they appear out of the smoke and fog during the first battle.  It is one of the most eerie scenes depicted in a war movie that I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing.  The confederates don’t really have faces or perspectives for us to draw from.  Their purpose is opposition and nothing more.

Labeling “Glory” as a Civil War drama is misguided.  It is that, but it is also a story about brotherhood on a very interesting and dysfunctional level.  Part of the journey we take with this story is watching the growth of a unit of men by the films end.

When I think of the movie–outside of it being my thankful introduction to Denzel–I remember the unexpected, deep true power I felt of those last few frames of the soldiers being bundled together in the ground.

Much like there are moments of struggle and choices that we learn from in life, in the end we have the people that stick through it with us in the toughest of times.

Yes, friends fight; and if they can see it through, they become best friends or the brothers that we get to choose.  We all have mentors that teach us.  Some of them become the fathers that we have always wanted to respect and love.

——

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“Someone is staring at you in ‘personal growth’.”

This next one is similar to “Roxanne” and “Splash.”

No, Daryl Hannah isn’t in it, but it is considered a comedy romance.

A pretty good comedy romance.  Some people’d say great and I wouldn’t disagree with them.

Personally, it’s not a “go to” genre for me.  Most guys that I know don’t have that as their favorite genre either, but I do like a well written, witty, comedy romance, and this one delivers.

At that stage in my life, a lot of the comedy romance movies that I’d seen and enjoyed had one of two things–slapstick/screwball (“Roxanne,” “Bringing up Baby“) or goofy fantasy (“Splash“).

This one was different.  It was mostly dialogue between two people at a time (sometimes 3 or 4 people at most).  I found that I really had to pay attention to what people were saying to each other in order to gain an interest and an understanding of the story that the writers were trying to tell.  There was little movement or action unless people were walking and talking.

It was unlike any type of movie that I was used to or had viewed, yet I found myself surprisingly captivated.

I remember watching it with my mom and sister for the first time and I began understanding what “adult” humor was:  wit, sarcasm, timing, and circumstance.  It was the first time I started laughing at the same time they laughed instead of just laughing because they laughed, like I had learned to do when I was seven or eight.  I actually understood the jokes and found it funny like they did.

In those other comedies I was learning when to laugh.  By the time I had seen this one, I was ready to laugh.

And laugh I did when I watched “When Harry Met Sally” for the first time.

harry sally

I found that as I watched it, my mom and sister enjoyed Sally’s point of view and I was of course fond of Harry’s cynicism (take in mind I didn’t know what cynicism was at that time but I was learning quickly that I enjoyed his “mood.”)

Sally was cute and annoying (it takes her 5 minutes to order lunch and she is an unapologetic optimist).  Harry was short, goofy looking, and didn’t like anyone or anything.  Perfect matches right?

Looking back, I should’ve known better (SPOILER-of course they will end up together-IT’S A COMEDY ROMANCE!!!).  Again, this was one of the first CRs that I’d actually sat through and I wasn’t jaded at this point with all of the formulaic CRs to follow.  I think that is why I enjoyed it so much.  I view it as my first true Rom-Com and I was young enough for it to be a surprise for me as the story and conflict developed.

I’m stretching a grin across my face as I write this, remembering how naive I was when Harry trudges over to Sally on New Year’s Eve and berates her at the party like he wants to start another war and then it turns into one of the greatest “I love you speeches” ever written.  I seriously remember thinking, “Oh yeah, so they are going to get together.  Huh…look at that.”

This might be the Comedy Romance that ruined the genre for me, actually, because it is the one that I compare the rest to and you can never have a surprise after you have seen your first formula Rom-Com.

Apologies to anyone that has read this before seeing it.  I know that I haven’t been my usual cryptic self while writing about a movie I enjoyed, but it was exciting for me to finally give something away.

Almost as exciting as watching a well written Comedy Romance for the first–as a naive youth–time.

——

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“Hey, Bogey… who died and made you referee?”

This next movie has to be mentioned.  Even if only for the purpose of an interesting crossroads that I will explain in a future post.

This is the second movie that I got to go to on opening night that my parents dropped me off at in the theater and left me to go with every other kid in my junior high…and I’m talking every other kid in my class was there.

I was 12.

The last time that I got to go to the theater without my parents was in 1985 when “The Goonies” premiered and I went with my friends that were a few years older than me at the time.  They were more like older brothers watching out for me as opposed to being equals.

I was on equal ground with everyone at this movie.

I remember feeling somewhat alone.

In the “Goonies situation,” a group of us decided to go together to a movie I had not heard of, but my peers were excited to see it, so I became excited.

In this situation, I wanted to go by myself, not knowing that everyone in my class had the same inkling.  Looking back, I probably should’ve known better, but all I was thinking was that I wanted to go.

I had a strange sense of longing, yet I noticed that a lot of people trickling in were people I went to school with; making it feel like I was attending class in a weird way.  I felt odd excitement and I had a little bit of adrenaline flowing through me as I was in a situation that was foreign.  When I got excited, I didn’t stop talking.  I said hello to everyone that I knew and I moved from one person to the next so quickly that they rarely had a chance to respond to my initial greeting.

Every seat in the theater was filled, and it was thrilling to experience a movie with that large of a crowd that were my peers.

We all laughed together at the same jokes.  We were all sitting in awe when the heroes were in peril.  I like to believe that we all had a sense of relief at the climax of the film as well.

Before we’re jaded, we like to be right alongside the heroes following them through their conflict.  I need to believe this.

I know…I’m neglecting to give away the title.  I don’t know why it is so embarrassing.  I was 12!

It was “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” okay!

Yes, there was a period in my life when I was excited to see silly movies.

Yes, I couldn’t stop talking about it with all of my friends at school when we watched it together.

Yes, we recited the movie line-for-line multiple times throughout a given day.

Yes, we acted out scenes from the movie on the playground at recess.

Yes, Michelangelo was my favorite turtle.

Yes, I went to the movie in the theater more than once (wasting good allowance money).

Yes, I tried to talk everyone that I knew into going to the theater with me (including adults), because it was the greatest movie I had ever seen!

I feel your judgement.

I get it…

Experiencing a movie like that with so many of my classmates on opening night added to the enjoyment of the movie.  If I had decided to go to that movie for the first time on a weeknight when there might have been 10-15 people there, I probably wouldn’t have liked it as much.

I learned that the atmosphere of the people around you can affect the movie experience for you.  We always remember the jackhole who can’t shut up during the movie.

Think back.

Do you subconsciously hold a grudge against that movie because of that jerk?

Something to ponder…

At the end of the day, I feel we all have a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle phase in our life, and that is okay.

I’m jaded now and would never get caught attending a TMNT movie by myself…

*Pish posh*

…but…

I do have a 3 year old that might give me a great reason to experience my youth again when we watch it together some day.

That’ll be worth more than a million bucks.

——

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“Women and children can afford to be careless, but not men.”

I have a confession.

I love this next movie.  From time to time in my life I have told people that it is my favorite movie.

…and…

I have avoided writing about it.

I mean, how do you write about your favorite movie?  It has to be perfect, right?  You have to know everything about it–inside and out–and you have to have seen it at least 10 times.  I feel that I have accomplished that, but I found myself having a difficult time putting into words all of the reasons that I love it…and there are many.  I thought I’d do what I always do.

Talk about my family.

So there are two phases with this movie.  There is the first time that I’ve heard about it and the first time that I watched it.

I’ll start with the first time that I heard about it.

I had a friend named Rob that used to play “jam ball” with me when we were in junior high.  For those of you that don’t know what “jam ball” is, it’s when a bunch of short people that will never be able to “jam” a basketball on a 10′ hoop decide to go to an elementary school play ground and “jam” on an 8′ hoop.

If you haven’t tried it, don’t judge.  It’s fun to feel like a real basketball player sometimes.

Any way, on a Friday, we ended up going to my house and Rob was going to stay overnight.  When we walked to my house mom had rented a movie and she was so excited to sit and watch it.  I could tell by the way she said the title.  It was like it changed the atmosphere of the room when she spoke it, and everyone knew what she was talking about when she said it…everyone…except me.

“What’s ‘The Godfather,'” I asked with a raised eyebrow.

Without hesitation Rob said, “It’s about the mafia.”

I looked at him like he was speaking Aramaic.

“What’s the mafia?”

“Organized crime,” my mom said.

It was a brief conversation that I ignored at the time as Rob and I ended up playing out in the yard for most of the evening after dinner.

I do remember pausing with Rob at the tv as we watched the movie briefly on our walk to my bedroom for bed.

There was a car that exploded…

Awesome. (I found out later that it wasn’t so awesome…)

My curiosity was peaked and a week later I was asking my mom if she would let me rent that again.  I wanted to know what everyone else knew….

…and the car bomb was pretty cool.

Mom agreed as long as she could watch it with me again.  I didn’t care, I was glad to.

I learned a lot of things about the movie watching it with my mom for the first time.  Number one, it was a book.  A book that my mom owned, read a couple of times, and loved.  I also learned a lot of “inside book reader” information that my mom had and shared with me throughout the movie, in particular, there is a scene where Michael takes out a handkerchief and wipes his nose when he is in Sicily talking with his bodyguards and sees his future first wife Apollonia for the first time.  Mom would pause the movie and explain to me that Michael had chronic nose bleeds ever since Captain McCluskey punched him in the face breaking his eye socket bone, outside of the hospital the night he saved the Don’s life.  These are the kind of details that you get in the book and the movie made subtle decisions to keep those details in it without using dialogue to explain everything.

That’s just one example.  Mom had many throughout.

I remember the tension the movie had starting with the first monologue.  It took a little break to get through the wedding, then each scene after the next felt like it was slowly clenching a fist and after the first jab when Luca Brasi gets viciously murdered, the movie is a series of plots, political discussions and brutal murders during wartime in an organized crime underground that seeps out into the front page of the newspapers.

…and that’s just the tone of the movie.

The cast became legends after this movie.  Brando first, then Caan, Pacino, Duvall, and Keaton.

The story has many different levels to it.  Really it is about one generation keeping what they have and making sure that the future of the next generation is secure.  Along the way there are choices made by many characters that have extreme consequences in their world. It is a world full of danger, confidence, bravado, tragedy, horror, and triumph.

I really feel that I would’ve loved this movie regardless, but there was something about watching it with my mother and her commentary that made it mean more.  Her love for the story and the characters made it a deeper viewing experience for me.  This added to the enjoyment of a great story and had an influence on how I viewed stories thereafter.

My dad liked the car bombs.

——

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“Are you one of them?” — “One of What?”

I was 11 and I was a good listener.

My mom used to talk about movies with my “adopted aunt” Jo Lynn and I’d drop some eaves (thank you Samwise for one of my favorite phrases).

I should mention, my family was a huge Kevin Costner fan…

Okay…my mom was a huge Kevin Costner fan so my family was a huge Kevin Costner fan, right?

So there was a period of time where all we rented was another Costner movie after another Kevin Costner movie…not complaining. This was when they were good.

Yes. There was a period of time when that happened. It’s called the late 80s circa early 90s…then he made “Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves” (as if we didn’t know that green hooded asshole was the “prince of thieves”)

Colons don’t belong in movie titles.  They belong in three places:

  1. Before a list (See the irony here?)
  2. Between the hour and the minutes, and
  3. Between our cecum and our rectum (toilet joke, you’re welcome!)

Where the hell am I?

Oh, yeah…so I overheard my mom talking to my aunt about this movie and she went on and on and on about how, “wonderful” it was and, “what a great story,” and how it “forced her to pay attention,” and that she was glad that she did pay attention.

I was intrigued.

So I asked my mom later about it.

“What was that movie you were talking about?”

Mom: “Huh?”

“With Jo Lynn.  You said it was a great movie.”

*Looked at me like she might need me to get tested for a mental illness.*

I sighed and rolled my eyes.  I didn’t want to say it but, “It had Kevin Costner in it.”

Mom: “OH!  It’s called No Way Out…you can’t watch it.”

Typical.

I expected this reaction (I was used to it) so I had to keep it cool and work on her.

This was the first movie that mom REALLY caved on.  By the end of that day with my nagging, she made it happen and we watched it that weekend. I secretly think she really wanted to watch it again with me and get my opinion.  If you think about it, she got to watch a great movie again, and she got see my reaction to a very intelligent twister of a movie. Sometimes watching a movie with your kids for the first time and hoping that they’ll share in your joy and reaction is better than your first viewing.

I think that happened with mom on this one.

I sincerely remember having my first “WHAAAAAAAAAT” moment by the end of that tense movie.

I learned about “plot.” How important it really is and how interesting “plot” can be.

I think I watched it three times that year.

08 No Way Out

I also learned a little more about the female anatomy (thank you younger Sean Young)…the first time I watched it with mom those scenes were fastforwarded.  In a weird way the fastforwarding made the sex scenes more awkward to watch with your mother if you can imagine that.  It makes it look way more painful than anything and sometimes you cut off the beginning of a crucial scene and you had to rewind and then you were in the middle of the sex scene again and you had to fastforward and mom got stressed out and pushed the buttons harder than she needed to….

It amused me.

No Way Out” is another one of those movies that I don’t want to mention regarding the story because that would be taking away a very good moment for you if you have never heard of it or seen it.

Go watch it.  It’ll deliver.

Oh, except the very cheesy 80s electric piano score…try and block that out.

Other than that distraction, #Great movie!

——

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“Honey? Did you do a lot of drugs before we were married?”

Prior to conducting the business that is this blog, I would like to take a moment and thank all of my followers.  I have engaged with many people over the last year on both WordPress and the Twits and I have to tell all of you, I have genuinely enjoyed corresponding with ALL of you.  I hope that you have enjoyed your holiday season and I wish you all a happy new year.  2016 will be ours!

Back to it…

This next one is the guiltiest of guilty pleasures.  I have seen it way more than any human being should ever have.  I don’t know why…but I still like this damn cheesy horror/adventure movie.

It starts out simple enough with a family moving into a new apartment downtown.  They meet the grumpy neighbor downstairs, the little person down the hall, the grumpy old lady upstairs, and the nice single lady, all very quickly and briefly at first…but we get to know them all better as the story goes on.

In the family we have the wacky-fun dad, the ditsy mom, the cute little “goldie locks” younger sister, and Atreyu.

Innocently enough, yeah?

Of course the little girl has to lose that damn hypnotic ball down the dark laundry room stairway…

FullSizeRender (1)

…which leads to her abduction by an apocalypse wielding troll.

Troll,” as ridiculous as it sounds–is much better than the description I just gave it.  It’s campy, humorous, suspenseful, and…did I mention campy?

My favorite story about this movie comes from a conversation that my mother and her best friend were having over coffee.  My mother’s best friend’s daughter was my best friend…wait what?

Anyways…my best friend and I were playing under feet as my mom and her friend (I called her my adoptive aunt–the best kind) were talking about a strange movie my dad made my mom watch the other day.

Mom: It had Sonny Bono in it.

MBF: Sonny Bono?

Mom: Yes, he’s not in it very long, and he’s terrible…

MBF: Oh! … Is that the one where they turn Sonny Bono into a pickle?

I had to watch this movie after a question like that.

My mother was reluctant…

She let me watch the movie, only after the scene I really wanted to see…she felt it would be too traumatic for me.  Mind you, she didn’t know at this point that I had already watched “Poltergeist.”  I kept that a secret for decades.

So mom wouldn’t let me watch that one crucial scene.  What was I to do?  Who could I turn to?

Yeah, no surprise.  I watched it with Dad one night.  He let me watch the whole thing.  The epic Bono “pickle” scene?   #Unforgettable

After you watch it once and mom finds out about it, she can be mad, but you get to watch it again…you’ve already seen it.

This movie had a ton of the fantasy elements that I was already exposed to in other movies.  Monsters, magic, forests, elves, prophecies, villains, heroes, damsels, and self sacrifice.

Basically, Torok the Troll kidnaps the daughter of the family to use her as his future bride.  He uses magic to take her shape and disguise himself  so that he can terrorize everybody in the apartment by turning them and their environments into his magical minions.

Torok is not the only magical being at the complex.  Eunice St. Clair, Torok’s ex lover is there to stop him and grabs Atreyu as an ally.

Shenanigans ensue, jungles grow, there’s a climactic battle, I think you get the picture.

At the end of the day, it’s a silly little B-Movie with lame special effects, cool costumes, and a very decent score by Richard Band.

I’m really glad my dad let me watch that scene…the movie didn’t make any sense until I saw what sprang from that Bono pickle…wink wink.


——

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“Hey, man, are you all right?” — “Yeah, I’ll die soon, then it’ll all be over…”

My father passed away over a year ago this last August.  There have been a few of these posts that have been difficult for me.  “The Cowboys” and “Blues Brothers” come to mind.

This one will be another challenge.

Every time I think of this next movie, I think of my dad.  We were only able to watch it together one time, unfortunately. I think that the reason being was that it was hard for him to watch it with other people.

He was a man that had a hard time letting go of his past self.  I might be reading into this (I’m sure I’m going to hear it from my sister if she happens upon this), but it is how I feel.

Make no mistake, even though we only saw it one time together, my father L-O-V-E-D this movie.

67 GTO

My mom and my uncles used to tell me stories about my dad’s 67 cherry red GTO that he used to “rod” and race when he was in high school.  It had a 400 in it and he had a pair of brass knuckles for the handle of the manual gear shift.

I was told he loved it.

My father was a man of few words and if someone else was willing to talk about it while he was in the room, he’d let them.  I used to look over at him when other people were telling his stories.  He always had a mischievous grin under his big beard as he listened sitting in his chair with his arms crossed.

He used to talk about what a mistake it was to ever let that GTO go.

“Man, I could kick myself,” he’d say.

As it pertains to “American Graffiti” I always felt that my dad was reliving his own life when that VHS was spooling through the machine that projected those images of the cars driving around that town in that movie.

AG cars

It wasn’t just the racing that brought him back (there’s really only one quick scene).  It was the culture that was relived in that movie. I can’t think of a movie off hand that knew it’s own tone better than this one, and it never surrenders that message throughout.

The dialogue alone gave my dad flashbacks:

“Oh, rats.”

“Don’t you think the Beach Boys are boss?”

“Hey, man, who cut the cheese?”

“…it only took me one night to realize if brains were dynamite you couldn’t blow your nose.”

People don’t talk like that any more.  The “assumed innocence” that oozed from the 1960s bled out all over the screen after George Lucas created “American Graffiti.”

For my father, this was as nostalgic for him as “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” “War Games,”Back to the Future,” etc. (you all know where to find the list) 😉 were for me.

I think that as much as he enjoyed it, he wanted to watch it alone where he could reminisce in his own mind.

I remember randomly taking some looks back at my father as he would watch on and he had some tears in his eyes, in moments through the film that seemed out of place.  I think that the movie just moved him very closely and “took him back”…and he knew he really couldn’t “go back.”

Later I remembered asking my dad why he got rid of his red GTO.

“Well son, I wanted to get married and have a family.  That wasn’t a family car and as much as I miss it, I’d never keep that damn thing if it meant I couldn’t have you guys.”

As I sit writing this and choking back some tears, I remember thinking how corny that sounded to me when I was in junior high.  All it does is make me want to cry now. Looking back, it was a rare moment where my father was trying to have an honest conversation with me about how he felt.  Now that I have a son of my own, I understand it.

At the end of the day, “American Graffiti” is a great movie that I will watch hopefully many more times before I pass.

I love the atmosphere, the dialogue, and the “young” actors (Ron Howard, Richard Dreyfuss, Cindy Williams, Charles Martin Smith, and Harrison Ford) that had the energy and zeal that this 1960s portrayal needed.

Trying to explain scenes and plot points in this movie would not only do it injustice, it would confuse the hell out of everyone.

I remember when my parents first rented it.  I asked them what it was about and they couldn’t really explain it.  They just kept saying, “It’s about the 60s,” and “You’ll just have to watch it.”

We did watch it…

…and they were right.

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