Monday, July 6, 2009

Not a Criterion in site, but I did watch SNEAKERS twice.

This might be the first time in the entire time I've been putting together Criterion Quest that there hasn't been a DVD, wrapped in the plastic shell of the video store, staring at me from my desk. I dropped off I Know Where I'm Going (94) at the local video store on Thursday night, and for the first time in a long time, just didn't pick up anything else. Just plunked that film down in the drop-box and walked out in to the warm July night, sans movie of any kind.

Thus, I've spent my holiday weekend (goooooooo America!) without the looming fear of a film to watch ... and it was kind of nice. Spent the weekend instead working and relaxing in a the sort of stay-cation I've rarely been allowed in my life.

And instead of immersing myself in British classics or other films from countries far away from me, I lay in bed with Alex and watched Sneakers (yes, Sneakers) for the second time in two weeks. Quite honestly, I was impressed, stupified at how much I enjoyed this movie.

In bullet form fashion, why I think this:

1. This has to be the mid-1990s film that has been dated the least. I watched this movie the other night, thinking it would probably be silly and shitty and just sort of a crappy stroll down nostalgia lane, but shit-storms, this movie was actually pretty awesome. If you look at the directors and the actors who participate in this film you can tell this was a semi-big budget film for the year. Redford, Poitier, Akroyd, Phoenix, Kingsley, all in a big cyber-thriller directed by Phil Alden Robinson? This is a huge fucking movie! I can remember, just barely, sitting wide-eyed in a theater with my parents enjoying the shit out of every second of this film, and now, years later, I watched it twice in two weeks and I enjoyed it just as much.

2. Look at at that cast. This is an all-star cast. An Oscar-nominated, classically trained, just fucking elephant of a cast. Redford and Poitier? Akroyd and Phoenix? Kingsley as the pony-tailed bad guy? Jesus, this is the Ocean's 11 of early Nineties spy flicks.

3. Be shocked at how well this film is written. Sure, there's a few plot smudges in the end of the film that give some serious lee-way to the more moral aspects, but all in all this is a seriously entertaining, twisted plot bit of thriller that I can truly endorse. I laughed at loud, at least a few times while watching this movie and that's saying a lot.

4. There's a James Earl Jones cameo in this film and all it made me think was - what happened to this guy? Did he die and no one told me? Did he die and I'm an insensitive prick and just completely missed out? Or is he done with acting and has just drifted to the edge and we will hear about his passing in a few sad years? I don't know, but criminy, the man had some serious gravitas.

And that's all I've got to say.

I'll snatch my next Criterion flick in the next few days. I am almost back, I promise.

1 comment:

wescoat said...

And don't forget David Strathairn as the bad-ass blind guy who saves the day not once, but twice! No great '90s-era film is complete without a bas-ass blind guy.

I remember seeing this film when we were little too. What I remember most is coming out and mom turning to us, all glossy-eyed and filled with adoration for this fine cinematic experience we'd just shared, and opening her arms and exclaiming, and I quote: "I think that was the best film I've ever seen." True story.