4/04/2009 12:17:00 am

Kicking It Old School

Posted by Unknown |

I've been watching a lot of movies on DVD lately, with a bias towards older ones. I've been having a wonderful time. Let tell you why I've had so much fun.

1. The Matrix

I loved watching this movie again. I hadn't seen it in years. And then I watched it the other week and it brought back all the memories of the first time I saw it. People talk about films like Star Wars and about how when it first came out it was ground breaking. The Matrix is that movie for me. It changed action movies. Bullet time was a revelation. And having white people, shoot guns and do kung-fu like a Hong Kong movie... so special.

I remember paying attention to the whole production process while they were shooting it here in Sydney, and then to see the finished product, which turned out to be amazing; I was thrilled.

2. Conan the Barbarian

I had never seen the movie so I felt I should, it was Arnie's big break, and I'm feeling a great affinity for action movies at the moment.

I was totally not disappointed. Though I think it would have been difficult to disappoint me. There was plenty of a mindless violence and dumb villains.

By far my favourite bit was where Arnie punched a camel in the face. Cinema doesn't get better than that.

3. The Borne Identity and The Bourne Supremacy

What can I say? Jason Bourne is awesome. Another film that changed the action genre, Bourne took the whole good with guns and hand-to-hand combat thing that The Matrix started and took to a whole new, realistic, shaky-cam, quick cut level. You watch Bourne and you think "Yeah, that really could happen." Or at least I do, but maybe I'm gullible.

4. The Green Berets

This was the first film ever made about the Vietnam war. It was shot in 1968, had John Wayne and was pretty much just one big piece of propaganda. The whole thing was shot in the USA, it's like they thought "If we just scatter a few Asians with conical hats around no one will know we're actually in Georgia." Damn Francis Ford Coppella had to come through and ruin it all for everyone. (On a side note, did you know that Full Metal Jacket was shot entirely in England? It's true. They had much more realistic conical hats so we were all fooled.)

Also adding to the un-authentic flavour was that the Viet Cong's guerrilla tactics pretty much resembled trench warfare without the trenches. They'd just walk out of the jungle shoulder to shoulder in a line. With tactics like that it's no wonder the US lost the war.

Anyway, aside from being terribly unauthentic, I had a wonderful time watching it. Propaganda is always fun. I think my favourite moment was when a US soldier, being kind to an orphaned Vietnamese boy, let him hop in his bed and spend the night with him. In the 60's you could do anything.

5. Notes on a Scandal

The first non-action film in the list, this was great. I'd been putting off watching it for a while because everyone told me it was horrible. And it was. It was a train wreck of story. Judi and Cate are just amazing. I'm glad I watched this. I'm also glad I put off watching it for a while. I think I needed to be in the right head space.

6. Nixon

Long, but good. What is it with Oliver Stone and American Presidents?

I love DVD.