True Confession: Movies I Have Not Watched

There are some movies I need to admit to not having watched. This may be a passable offense for many, but as a previous Blockbuster Video Manager, it’s an admission that I made recommendations that were not entirely based on knowledge, but on popularity.

Not having watched these movies has allowed me to avoid “spazing out” or coming down hard on those who have not watched something like, well, any Star Wars movie (the proper order, for those keeping score, is A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, the prequels, and then Return of the Jedi followed by the most recent. It provides the original order integrity with a flash back at the right moment to understand the history of how we got here…)

I have never sat through the Godfather or the sequels. It’s true. Just this week I watched Raging Bull for the first time, meh. It has nice cinematography, but these characters are so unlikeable. Rocky, or Requiem for a Heavyweight were better alternatives in my mind.

More important, and the reason behind this post is a little movie called Flashdance. When I was young lad, I had this album. It was ordered through the Columbia House record club. I listened to it non-stop and knew every word. Little did I ever think that it would be more than thirty years before I watched the movie it came from. Yet here I was knowing every word to every song when they came on the screen.

If we were back at the Blockbuster, I would say that the Flashdance was a must pass. There is very little dialogue in this movie. Hardly a word is spoken until 12 minutes in. There are lots of songs, if you like songs, get the sound track. Hot 80’s women. If you like Mousercies (aerobics show each morning on the Disney Channel) or those attractive women on a turn table in a pure white room from the 80’s, those had more plot and dialogue than Flashdance. Three years after Flashdance was a movie with John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis (before the yogurt ads) that is so much better.

I will give you this, Flashdance did pave the way for music driven movies like The Bodyguard, Cocktail, Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop, The Lost Boys, Valley Girl, The Big Chill, Less Than Zero, Footloose, The Breakfast Club, Purple Rain, and Good Morning Vietnam. (Just last year did I watch Pretty in Pink for the first time, otherwise I would have added it to that list of good movies with great soundtracks of the 80’s that I watched in the 80’s)

So what’s the lesson here? None what-so-ever. Just the observation that a movie with no real plot, little dialogue, but hot ladies and popular music can make lots of money. Next time I get a bad review for my writing I will remind myself about the difference between quality and making money.

Paul PetersComment