My all-time favorite movies.
The Departed: Leonardo DiCaprio plays a vulnerable bad boy who gets screwed up in the head trying to stay on the right side of the law as an undercover cop. Matt Damon’s character plays a latent homosexual cop who is working for the bad guys. His implied gayness is neatly hidden by his live-in girlfriend’s pregnancy…oops! DiCaprio slept with her and I believe it was his baby. Director Martin Scorsese had to finish it with lots of blood and guts, and eventually the bad guys get it in the end, along with a few good guys. And Jack Nicholson is as crazy as a pet ‘coon in this film. I think it’s a remake from the far East. The obvious symbolism is a little in-your-face, but I liked it. Lots of other high-profile actors, too.
****Update! I finally found this movie on DVD and have since watched a few more times. Yessss!
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: This 1998 film with Johnny Depp shows a freaked-out drug trip where everything happens. I believe this was based on a true story about Hunter S. Thompson, who did something like this in real life. Best to watch this with a friend and be in the right state of mind. “I was as nervous as a frog in a pond full of fire crackers.” That one made me laugh for hours. Hours. You can see early renditions of Jack Sparrow’s mannerisms in this character.
Lonesome Dove: Wow. Epic Western Show. Wow. But you’ll never appreciate the entire story if you don’t read the book. My youngest–he’s five–can watch 4 hours at a time; it’s that good.
The Knockaround Guys: I love Barry Pepper. He’s real and can play a horrible character, but in this one, he’s a gangster’s son who just can’t hack being a bad guy. He’s too nice, but he does stick up for his buddies. It’s tragic how it ends, but the empathy for him and his friend–played by Vin Diesel–is enough to satisfy a conclusion. Pepper’s character FINALLY gets the balls to do what he really wants in the end.
The Never Ending Story: I may be biased because this was my favorite movie when I was young. Our teachers let us watch it in the library. I don’t even want to watch it now because I wouldn’t want it to be ruined by adult me. Just thinking about it makes me want to analyze it. Let’s see, as a frame story, it displayed magical realism and elements of an allegory. The symbolism between the mire and the boy’s mind are obvious, but lesser symbols allow the viewer to interpret their vague meanings into a story for every individual. Ok. That’s enough. Stop it.
The Last of the Mohicans: Daniel Day-Lewis be lookin’ so fine in his tight little buckskin outfit. Youser! I show this movie to my class to demonstrate the elements of what a romantic hero does/acts like. I’ve seen it probably 16 times in 6 years and I look forward to it every year. The fights show a foreign way of battling; these kids have no idea about history and I love sharing with them anything I can.
Easy Rider: A classic movie about youngsters seeing the country on a motorcycle. Ok, maybe it’s about more than that, but it has a sweet soundtrack. Dennis Hopper (who also plays Barry Pepper’s dad in The Knockaround Guys) and Peter Fonda road trip to Mardi Gras. Not a bad bucket list. Also, Jack Nicholson is in this one, too.