Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Second Looks


What was I thinking? In my flurry of cleaning and finding that book from 1987-89 that listed books and movies I read, I couldn't help but notice how my opinion of some of the entries had changed over time. When I saw Moonstruck in 1988, I gave it an 8. An 8 is very high for me. I've only ever given one movie a 10.

Anyway, I saw Moonstruck recently and was struck by how false all of the performances seemed-how Hollywoodish. Maybe my opinion of Cher and Nic Cage has changed over time, but they seemed laughable in their roles. Although it was a comedy, they were supposed to seem like real working class people. But she was Cher and he was Nic Cage, very Hollywoodish actors.

What have you seen recently that was either much worse or better than your original assessment?

25 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

No movies come to mind but I recently reread The Great Gatsby and although I wasn't impressed when forced to read it in high school I enjoyed it this time.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Now that's a book you need to be older to appreciate. A real mistake to make kids read it because they won't get Gatsby at all.

Todd Mason said...

Nothing much comes to mind that has needed reassessment, but you do remind me of those fine Italian-Americans John Patrick Shanley, Cher Sarkisian, Olympia Dukakis, and token actual Son of Italy Nick Coppola "Cage" in the bad sitcom that we around my partially Italo-American household referred to as MOONSUCK from its first pastafazool ad campaign. Now, "Todd Mason" is no more Neopolitan nor Milanese a name than Shanley's, but...any contumely expended on mob movies by the anti-descrimination agencies should've been turned on this insult.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I guess I was momentarily swept away in my youthful late thirties. Now I am a callous old crone and nothing touches my heart that way.

Randy Johnson said...

I saw the movie The Last Man on Earth on television when I was a young man and enjoyed it. It starred Vincent Price. Then I read the novel on which it was based, I Am Legend, much later. When I watched the movie a couple of years ago, I was struck by how bad it seemed now. Same movie mind you. I have yet to see the Will Smith vehicle or the Charlton Heston version, The Omega Man, but I've heard they don't do the Matheson novel justice either.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We saw 45 minutes of the Will Smith version but had to leave because the level of audience interaction with the film was ruining it completely. Because he wasn't speaking, they felt they had to fill the void, I guess.Have to try it again on video.

Lisa said...

I had a similar experience with Moonstruck, Cher and Nicholas Cage, although I still loved the old man and the dogs and "Cosmo's moon."

Scott and I were looking for a movie to watch "on demand" recently and saw "Black Rain" listed. We both remembered seeing it when it first came out and thinking it was a good movie. We had to turn it off after a few minutes when we tried to watch it now...it was terrible!

pattinase (abbott) said...

I know and I think it's because Michael Douglas also seems too Hollywood now. Performances continue to naturalize. I wonder what Wall Street would be like. I did like him in The Wonder Boys, but have steered away from a second view.

r2 said...

I used to think Miami Vice was the hippest show on TV. I thought Don Johnson was the deepest actor ever.

So...I bought the boxed set and can barely watch it.
The editing looks old-fashioned and the actors are comical. Even some of the stories seem pretty lame.

I hope it's not just because I'm getting old.

pattinase (abbott) said...

We're all hoping that, R2. The eighties idea of hip was based on clothes, music, attitude. The entire decade seems about hair and big shoulders.
Luckily we sixties people relied on societal change to define us. Ha, ha, ha. Not bloody likely.

Lisa said...

The Wonder Boys really is a great movie and I think what made Michael Douglas so good in the part was that he was just a sloppy, schleppy, middle-aged guy. My absolute favorite part is in the workshop when the first student to offer critique says, "his stories make me want to kill myself". :)

pattinase (abbott) said...

Probably was relaxing to not play the movie star for once. A good director too.

Josephine Damian said...

TE: I still have my HS copy of GATSBY - loved it enough to keep my first copy which is now 30 years old!

Grad school's kept me away from flicks but I just saw THE LIVES OF OTHERS - watched it twice back-to-back- and it held up.

LOVE IN THE TIME OF CHOLERA (book) was a past fave that did not hold up the second time around.

Right now I'm reading a book so good I just may read it again the very second that I finish it. But you'll have to wait till 6/25 and my guest blog spot on Moonrat's to find out which book it is.

pattinase (abbott) said...

The Lives of Others was brilliant. Just amazing. Don't know if I can wait that long to find out. Want to blog on my blog tomorrow?

Keith Raffel said...

In re Moonstruck. I'll bet Dean Martin still sounded good singing about what happens when "the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie."

pattinase (abbott) said...

I bet you're right. Maybe the best thing about the movie was the music.

Chuck said...

Here is my test for rating a movie that I have seen before. When I surf my way through the TV channes and I hit on a movie, I either decide to watch it or keep surfing. Moonstruck is one of the movie that I stop and watch.

I think it also says something about the quality of the movie by what we take from it and remember and from reading all of these comments, we all seem to remember a lot, even Cosmo's moon.

Sandra Scoppettone said...

I completely agree with Todd Mason. A really insulting movie. Perhaps you have to be an American-Italian to understand.

Deborah said...

Hi, I just discovered your blog. I think there are probably a few but one that comes to mind is "Signs." The first time I saw it I enjoyed it but after watching it recently I realized it's really pretty dumb.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I think I understood by the second viewing when I wasn't swept away by Dean Martin.
Oh, Signs is a good example. Gimmicky movies don't usually work twice, do they?
How about Blair Witch Project?

Deborah said...

Oh, definitely Blair Witch! The second time I watched it was on TV (maybe that made a difference) but I couldn't believe how phony it was. If I reviewed movies for a living, I'd have to watch them several times to see it objectively.

Andi said...

Oh Patti, I NEVER got that movie and partly, yeah, because it felt very "stagy". i didn't buy the relationship, I didn't buy HIM at all. And not that Cher can't act, I thought she was very good in "Silkwood" and even better in "Mask". So maybe it was Cage, whose appeal really goes past my head.
I recently got the first couple seasons of a sitcom on DVD. I am so not a sitcom fan so this was a big IF but I was pleased to discover that I still found "Anything But Love" (Richard Lewis, Jamie Lee Curtis were the 2 leads) to be quite warm and funny and worth watching. That's probably not the case with almost any other series sitcom.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I remember that one. I love Richard Lewis on Curb Your Enthusiasm too.
He still has that same head of hair.

Todd Mason said...

I see I misspelled "discrimination"...ah, well. Andi, Patti, ANYTHING BUT LOVE was a rare good sitcom in its time, albeit the second season definitely was worse than the first, and there was no third...and it did have a vibe that's pretty rare in sitcoms, though the superior dramatic serial ONCE AND AGAIN (and its predecessor RELATIVITY) had a similar feel, and to some extent so did GILMORE GIRLS. I'm afraid SIGNS struck me as intolerably stupid at first viewing, and in so many ways that I've refused to waste any time with Shyamalan's work since (these one-punch Serling-style ideas of his aren't too enticing, anyway). BLAIR WITCH's gimmick wasn't all that well-executed at first viewing for me, though I did like the ending.

pattinase (abbott) said...

Once and Again was terrific. Best child actors ever. And Sela Ward is ethereal, of course. Think we've agreed on it before. Gilmore Girls-missed the first five years. What can I say. Right now I'm trying Buffy, books in hand telling me why I should love it.