Lost in the Movies: Pulp and Popcorn 1993 - 1995 • "32 Days of Movies" Day 28

Pulp and Popcorn 1993 - 1995 • "32 Days of Movies" Day 28

Twenty-eighth chapter in "32 Days of Movies", an audiovisual tour through 366 films
(2015 update: included Vimeo embed after the jump)

View "Chapter 28: Pulp and Popcorn"

Pulp and Popcorn

Here is where the history of the movies truly begins to coincide with my own personal movie history. I was ten years old in the fall of 1993, and already an avid movie buff, combing the weekly listings to see what was coming out, studying the box office reports as if they contained esoteric messages from the beyond, and wandering down the hallway of coming attractions at the local movie theater to study the teaser posters. That said, I think I only saw one of these films in theaters at the time - however, I was aware of the presence of all of them, and it was only a few years later that I would see them on video as a teenager.

(continued below, along with NSFW warnings)

In a dramatic turnaround from yesterday, these are not deep, dark meditations on the human soul or society, they are - including the best of them (and there are definitely some here that could qualify as "great") - exciting, escapist entertainments (one documentary clip, startling and bracing in its isolation, serves as a compelling counterpoint). Initially, I was a bit uneasy about this chapter since it would shatter any lingering conceptions about the series being canonical and perhaps confuse some people who thought, despite my consistent warnings, that it attempted to be. But after watching the uploaded video, and grinning ear to ear, I'm not embarrassed anymore - this is sheer fun, and that's an important part of the cinematic experience.

NSFW: profanity 1:00 - 1:10; violence 2:20 - 2:45; profanity 3:45 - 4:00; profanity & racial slurs 4:30 - 5:00; violence 5:50 - 6:25

I have covered today's films here, here, and here.

Yesterday: A Dark Dawn

Visit the Video Gallery for a complete list of the chapters so far.


Shubhajit said...

Yet another collection comprising of a number of movies I've watched (including some which I've watched quite a long time back ) :)

Groundhog Day - What a lovely idea this movie was based on, and nearly as wonderfully executed.

The Fugitive - Though a pretty much populist thriller, it nonetheless was an entertaining ride.

Carlito's Way - Among the final few memorable works of Pacino.

Pulp Fiction - My favourite Tarantino film, along with Reservoir Dogs. This remains one of the most iconic & landmark films of the 90's.

Forest Gump - Though not a darling of the critics, I love this film and have watched it countless times.

Braveheart - Saw it long time back, and remember having loved it then. However, that said, I'm not sure how I'll react to it if I see it now.

The Usual Suspects - A deliciously wicked, intelligent & entertaining thriller.

Heat - The much awaited "showdown" between Al Pacino & Robert De Niro, two of the most eminent & much loved American actors of their generations, took place here. That in itself was a reason to watch this movie. That said, not as great a movie as its fans make it out to be though, in my opinion.

Joel Bocko said...

Agreed on GD, just one of the all-time great high-concept movies. And how often does the execution live up to the concept in those? Makes it even rarer.

Fugitive captured my imagination when I was about 9 or 10 though I didn't see it until a few years later. The idea of the guy constantly on the move, always hiding out, just really appealed to me - I remember turning it into a game on the elementary school playground which was basically a more elaborate, violent version of Hide & Seek but we kind of dressed it up with overtones from the movie.

Yeah, I think PF will always be what Tarantino is remembered for, however interesting his other films. He says it all there, first and best (well, second, but I much prefer this to Reservoir Dogs).

Gump is a funny animal - some critics DO love it I think, but definitely not the majority of cinephiles! But if I tune into it on TV, I'll probably watch it till the end and like you I find it very rewatchable. I think it's because it's a great example of one of my favorite storytelling styles - "the wandering narrative" where you never know where characters and situations will go next. I'm sort of indifferent to the sentimental aspect - doesn't bother me or appeal to me, really, but find much of it pretty humorous (I like the fact that the scene I chose somewhat deflates the pretensions of "this guy is a wise man who can teach America a lesson" which is where some of the movie and definitely the marketing of the time took it). Intellectually I can see the criticism against it - I do think it's kind of a hypocritical slime job on the 60s, grokking on the music while lampooning it in sometimes on-target, sometimes easy and smug ways, though I'm not sure it even intends to do this - the commentary seems kind of unconscious, which might make it worse. But I don't really care. As I've reiterated on Wonders numerous times, I don't have to agree with a movie's message (or all of its message, or whatever) to enjoy it. I think Gump is a lot of fun.

Braveheart I bought this summer and haven't watched again yet. I'm not sure if it will hold up or not - sure to still be a blast actionwise, but dramatically it seems harder to take Gibson's sadomasochist inclinations seriously given the context we now see them in. Then again, Best Picture aside (or maybe front & center, given Oscar history), I think the picture was always more of a grand epic bloodfest than anything too profound.

Usual Suspects, I was down on the last time I saw it. Just seemed to full of itself & cocky, yet skin-deep - I mean, the Keyser Soze thing makes no sense when you scratch the surface, either the flashbacks are bullshit (as the Kobayashi on the coffee cup indicates) or they aren't (as Postelthwaite's appearance in the car suggests) but they can't be both! That said, watching this particular scene again incorporating it into the chapter, I was impressed with Singer's stylish direction, it is a pretty cool execution. I think the next time I watch it I can probably move past the initial impression and later disappointment, and just enjoy it as a fun popcorn flick.

Heat - I like it a lot, and think it may even be one of the "greats" I mentioned fleetingly in my intro. It's certainly Mann's most archetypal picture. I actually think, in retrospect, the conversation with De Niro & Pacino is kind of a letdown because Mann shoots it all in back-and-forth close-ups rather than let them share the screen. I feel like a while back I read a rationale for this, but can't remember it. Seems a bit like a wasted opportunity. Otherwise though, dynamite stuff, really atmospheric use of L.A.

Search This Blog