1980 Continued: Movies July 27, 2010Posted by Matt in movies, top ten.
Tags: 1980 movies, airplane, Blues Brothers, Caddyshack, Raging Bull, The Empire Strikes Back, The Shining, top 5
We continue our journey back to the dawn of the 1980’s with this look at some great films released that year. Granted, there are probably several great movies I haven’t seen from that year since I was only three at the time and have had to catch up over the ensuing 30 years, but these are the six that I consider to be favorites.
5. (tie) Airplane! and Blues Brothers
Truth be told, I haven’t seen either one of these in years so I’m not sure how they have held up, but I still feel pretty confident about including them. One is a classic spoof and the other stars the late, great John Belushi – I can think of few characteristics that would be better.
When I was a kid my favorite part of the movie was the gopher, but as an adult, I can recognize that there are few movies with better comedic dialogue than this one. Chevy Chase (as Ty Webb) and Bill Murray (as Carl Spackler), in particular, crack me up every time they open their mouths. Spackler’s story about meeting the Dali Lama is priceless.
3. Raging Bull
This biographical film about boxer Jake LaMotta (played by the great Robert De Niro) is without a doubt one of Martin Scorsese’s masterpieces. It’s an affecting and sometimes even painful picture to watch, but one that everyone should see.
2. The Shining
I love Stanley Kubrick and in this retelling of Stephen King’s great novel, he proves that his books can actually be made into great films. There are few horror films that are as psychologically gripping as this one and most of that is due to Jack Nicholson’s incredible performance and Kubrick’s spooky camera shots. This one still scares me every time I think about it.
1. The Empire Strikes Back
I’m a huge fan of the original Star Wars trilogy and Empire is probably my favorite of the three films. It’s darker than the first chapter and doesn’t have the kiddie marketing campaign of the last one, and both of those things suit it well. From the Icy world of Hoth to the Dagobah swamp to the Cloud City, this film takes viewers on an incredible ride – and they get to learn that the innards of a Tauntaun are ideal to keep one from freezing to death.
Waiting on a Plane August 27, 2007Posted by Matt in random.
Tags: airplane, Atlanta, Boston, work
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Originally Posted 8/27/07
As promised in last night’s entry, here are the journal entries I wrote last night as I awaited my flight home. To set the stage, our plane was to fly away at 7:30, but stormy weather in Hot’lanta held us up at Logan for about at hour before our plane could take off. My writing picks up after we landed in Atlanta.
We have finally landed in the ATL, our hulking bundle of flying metal has come to a stop on the vast asphalt plain, of which I can’t help but feel some sadness at the fields of God’s green earth covered up with this ugly mixture of crude petroleum products, but, for some seemingly inexplicable reason, we are not at a terminal, the door is shut, and the passengers are still seated with a slight sense of unease at the peculiar situation. Finally, after a few agonizingly slow moments, the Captain’s soft, reasurring voice came over the loudspeaker like an unearthly vocalization emitting from a fiery shrub, apologizing profusely for the work of Thor’s mighty divine hammer crashing in the heavens with anger and effectively shutting down all air travel. To make matters worse, there is no room at the looming terminal for our flying apparatus to unload due to the large number of planes waiting in front of us and, with no metaphorical manger to rest our weary souls, we must abide patiently.
T he passengers are becoming quite restless on the unmoving aeronautical vehicle despite the Captain’s assurances of zen-like serenity from on high that our time will surely come. Due to the seemingly deaf and mute stranger on my left and the talkative lady on my right who obviously speaks very little English, I am understandably bored. My flight to Memphis was scheduled to leave at this very moment, but alas, the tarmac continues to hold us hostage, so I dug up a phone number for AirTran and called, hoping for some small bit of information to soothe my troubled mind. The answer, while not exactly optimal, is certainly not as terrible as it could be – my flight has been pushed to depart at 2:40am, with an arrival in Memphis at nearly 3:00am (they are in different time zones). Ouch, this will be a long night.
Finally, the somewhat consoling sound of the gasoline-fueled apparatus kicking on, causing dual thoughts of salvation by the wonder of combustion powered engines and the slow asphyxiation of our atmosphere becoming more polluted than it was seconds earlier quickly dash through my brain like a crack-smoking rabbit, causes my heart to leap with momentary joy. Soon we begin slowly rolling toward the terminal and the waiting utopia of sticky plastic-seated benches and chairs. The agitation of my fellow flyers has calmed a bit as we move forward, slowly approaching our final destinations.
The rolling momentum ended at last and the multitude of people aboard the flying vessel suddenly cram their tired bodies into the narrow walkway between the rows of seating as if they are fighting for a sip of water after a 10 mile hike in the desert, jostling to reach the outside world first.
After walking the blandly tiled corridors for what seemed like an eternity, we finally came to the realization that must ride aboard the airport train to reach the correct terminal. Soon we board the rather slow moving vessel which carries us directly to our fated dwelling place. The overly crowded waiting area is teeming with sweaty, tired human souls, the quiet desperation of late or cancelled flightly permeating the air with a distint atmosphere trepidation. And the time rolls on…
The line across from our open vestibule, populated with those poor souls who will unexpectedly be spending the night in Atlanta while waiting for another escape from the madness that is an airport in the wee hours of the morning, has steadily gotten longer and longer, snaking around corners and posts and completely filling one side of the rather large walkway. A departing flight to Richmond that was originally scheduled to leave at 8:30 just vacated the overflowing airport for their destination, thinning the stifling thick crowd somewhat. The thin pad underneath the clingy blue plastic stretched taut across the chair I have been residing in for the past 45 minutes has begun to lose what little effectiveness it had, leaving with a sore rear end as I take regular glances at the bright blue (what is it with that color and airports anyway?) clock on the wall. People are laying across the tortuously uncomfortable seating, futilely attempting to rest amid the bustle and bright lights, but I can’t see the effectiveness in such a venture, so I grab a caffeine-laden carbonated beverage in my attempt to stay awake and alert as long as needed.
At long last a voice from on high again comes over the loudspeakers, but this time speaking those desired words that som many of us have been waiting so terribly long to hear, “Atlanta to Memphis, now boarding.” The crowd moved together as one, like a single organism with only one purpose in mind. The plane loaded quickly amid the constant consternations to hurry up and beat the storm and soon the pilot began preparations to take off. Prior to giving everyone safety instructions that noone actually ever listens to, the flight attendant greeted us in her overly-sweet faux-friendly voice, “Good morning…”
I don’t recall the last time I was purposefully awake to this depth of nightfall and my only hope at this time is that it won’t happen again anytime soon. But, at least we are finally on our way home to beautiful, glorious (well, maybe not) Memphis.
With no lights on and barely any words spoken for the entire hour in the air, the final leg of our voyage home was quckly ending. The lights of home are spread out under us like a blanket of stars, twinkling with the tranquil light of home, beckoning us to our beds and to that gloriously blissful few hours of sleep that await before dawn and screaming children. Oh, but those heavenly moments of peace will be worth it…