Dave LeCompte (really) (tsmaster) wrote,
Dave LeCompte (really)

Spot the unifying characteristic

  • Jake Gyllenhaal
  • Robert De Niro
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Cybill Shepherd
  • Mary McDonnell
  • Peter Boyle
  • Patrick Swayze
  • Jodie Foster
  • Jena Malone
  • Harvey Keitel
  • Noah Wyle
  • Albert Brooks
  • Drew Barrymore
  • Martin Scorsese

Trick question: these actors appear in two separate movies, but with a strong alienation theme. Donnie Darko and Taxi Driver. Each of which I hadn't seen before last night.

I enjoyed DD a great deal more than TD, and I'm beginning to wonder if I've lost my appreciation for older movies. TD had some fine actors in it, and some memorable lines. (Well, the "You talkin' to me?" quote.) But the pacing just was not what I was looking for. Blah blah blah, De Niro's character is on the outside of society. Blah blah, he's having trouble sleeping (a nice thematic link to Fight Club, which I saw for the first time recently, too). There's a plot with Cybill Shepherd that takes seemingly forever to unfold, and while it's nice to see her in a pre-Moonlighting role (which isn't anything more than a personal landmark - it's the first role I remember seeing her in), it takes too long and isn't satisfying at the end of the trip. Much in the same way, it's nice to see the rest of the cast a lot earlier on in their careers. I know Peter Boyle from Young Frankenstein, and a part of me also recognizes him from his X-Files appearance.

Donnie Darko, on the other hand, was enjoyable - I'll admit, I popped out of the fiction pretty frequently. In part, this may have been due to the recognizable cast. I was comparing Mary McDonnell's character to her BSG role. Jena Malone's to her Saved! role. Drew Barrymore to... oh, everything from E.T. to Bad Girls to Never Been Kissed. But still, I had fun. I watched the DVD extras, which helped me sort out a lot of what the Writer/Director had in mind before the movie was edited down to less than 2 hours. Seems like a movie that I'd appreciate seeing a second time, and that's a rare category for me.

A while ago, I went to IMDB's list of the top rated 250 movies (as decided by users of the site) and discovered to my surprise that I had seen only around 50 of the top 250. The list shifts around over time, but I've been keeping that list around, deleting movies as I see them. A while ago, I asked TiVo to record some of them for me, but that's a pain. When I got NetFlix, I went through and added those that remained to my queue, and that's why I'm catching up on so many well-known films of late. Indeed, I'm down to 129 movies (or less, if I've missed some as I delete). And I'm glad to check off the ones that I've missed, but I'm troubled that I'm not enjoying the classics as much as I wish I was.

I frequently hear people complain about the quality of movies that Hollywood is turning out, and perhaps those that make those complaints are looking at different films than I have been (in which case they need more discernment). But what I'm afraid of is that I'm not appreciating the good parts of the old movies. I've got a friend who has no sense of smell. I can't imagine how he enjoys food. In the same way, I wonder if I've lost, or never developed, the dimension of sensation that makes classic films worth seeing.

Hm. I threatened spoilers. In DD, everything's significant, in TD, nothing is. There.
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