Two Cents: DVD Binge

I watch a lot of movies and my tastes are divergent. Here is my two cents on what I’ve recently watched.

Dick Tracy. This was one of the few movies that I remember seeing at the theater. I’ve been studying comic book movies. Dick Tracy was one of the first. I remember how excited I was to see it because Madonna is in it. The film has not aged well. Most of the character portrayals are over the top. Warren Beatty was too old to play Dick Tracy. Al Pacino and all the rest of the rogues gallery are hidden under tons of makeup that look like cheap Halloween masks. Madonna gets a bad rap as an actress but she really sells it as Breathless Mahoney. Madonna and Mandy Patinkin make the movie enjoyable because the music still holds up.

Shane. My dad is a huge Western fan so I vaguely remember watching Shane when I was a kid. I wanted to watch it because Logan is heavily influenced by Shane. I know that Shane is a well regarded film but it’s too slow for me. I found it boring.

The Searchers. Another Western, this time courtesy of my film class. It’s a John Wayne classic and it has Natalie Wood in it. I enjoyed it but I think it’s probably over hyped. The American Film Institute ranked it #12 of the 100 greatest American films. There’s no way that’s possible in my opinion.

Trainspotting. There was a period of manic depression around 1995/1996 that lasted almost a year and a half where I probably watched almost every movie released in theaters. Trainspotting fell in this era and I remember watching it. The sequel comes out in a few weeks so I wanted to reacquaint myself. I’ll be honest and admit I’m surprised how well this film has held up. It’s probably because the tragedy of heroin use is universal. And my crush on Ewen Bremner (Spud) is still strong after all this time.

The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. I recently bought this on Blu-ray and I’ve been waiting for the opportunity to watch it. It’s probably in my top 5 of all-time favorite films. If I had a dollar for ever time I have watched this movie I’d be a millionaire. As much as I love this movie I don’t know what my mom was thinking when she let me watch it the first time or the fourth time or the twentieth time. The subject matter flew over my innocent seven year old head but, essentially, the movie is about prostitutes and their Madame, Miss Mona (played by Dolly Parton). A television watchdog reporter turns the camera on Miss Mona and the Chicken Ranch. The sheriff, Ed Earl (played by Burt Reynolds) asks Miss Mona to lay low until things cool off and she agrees until she remembers that the Chicken Ranch traditionally plays host to the winner of the Texas A & M and the University Of Texas Thanksgiving game. I have to talk about the post-game locker room scene. There’s often a discussion among LGBT folk around the subject of when we knew. The fact that I was watching a movie about a whorehouse went over my head because I wasn’t even sure what a whorehouse was but that locker room scene was the definite moment when I knew. I didn’t have a name for it and I wasn’t sure what it was but those athletic guys in their football jerseys and jockstraps stirred something within me. We didn’t even have the unedited version. We had a recorded from ABC version complete with classic 80’s commercials. We had a crappy VHS version of the film that I wore out with multiple viewings. I wasn’t able to see the really good stuff until I turned 13. And here’s the thing about The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas. I know the plot by heart. I can quote dialogue when I’m watching. I should be impervious to the emotional wreckage this movie causes but I cry like a baby each viewing. When the girls start singing “Hard Candy Christmas” and the bus turns down the road I lose it. Fuck, I’m tearing up writing about it.


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