While I've been lately filling this blog with movies that I've watched for the first time, that doesn't mean that I don't watch movies that I've previously seen. For example, this past weekend, I re-watched 3 movies.
Even though I'm a snob, not everything I watch is highbrow. Take, for example, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I doubt that I've seen this movie in more than 20 years, although my brother owned both the video cassette and soundtrack. To be honest, I cannot remember liking this movie when it was new, watching it in a theater in Lithonia, GA. Re-watching the other day brought back mostly bad memories of my high school years. Nineteen-ninety was not a good year for me.
TMNT was clearly intended to be a kids' movie — it represents "big, dumb summer action" at its worst, and the soundtrack is so dated it ought to be wearing Hammer pants — but the puppetry is still captivating, especially when you think that these days there is NO WAY that a studio would do the turtles in anything other than CGI. While I suspect that next summer's remake will look better, I doubt it will have half as much heart. It seems to me that the remake is missing an opportunity if it doesn't find a way to include Sam Rockwell, who I was flabbergasted to see had a speaking part in the original.
Everyone who knows me knows that occasionally I open my mouth when I should really know better. In 1996, I vociferously complained that there was no way that a movie about a talking pig could be worth a Best Picture Oscar nomination. My girlfriend at the time told me I should withhold my opinion about Babe until I had seen it, so we watched it on limited re-released at the now-defunct Lefont Toco Hills Theater. I was wrong; Babe is a timeless classic. She was right about a lot of things. That's probably why I broke up with her.
(Not every movie decision she made was right, though. She realized that she had made a mistake talking me into seeing Nine Months. There is a scene in that movie in which commitment-phobe Hugh Grant fantasizes that Julianne Moore has become a giant praying mantis who plans to eat him after coitus. Upon seeing that, I swore off sex, and that proved to be a bit of a problem for her.)
I was channel surfing after lunch and caught the beginning of Grosse Point Blank, so I went ahead watched it. I have no memory of the first time I saw this film; I suspect that it was watched at the AMC North Dekalb Mall 16, which was the theater my friends and I attended the most often around that time. (Side note: I applied to be one of the inaugural employees when they were constructing that theater and was hired, but I didn't make it through training. As I recall, the management team didn't quite have its act together yet, and I decided that I didn't want to wait for them to figure it out because I needed a paycheck asap. I went to work selling calendars for the bookstore inside the mall instead.)
About the time that John Cusack's character screws up the courage to approach Minnie Driver for the first time in 10 years, Mom came into the room. We discovered that we both liked the movie but for different reasons. I liked the comedy and action, mom liked the nostalgia and romance. I credit this multifaceted awesomeness for the film's enduring popularity. It probably remains my favorite John Cusack film (although I do love One Crazy Summer). It's definitely my favorite Joan Cusack film.