Remember When Movies Used To Be Good? by Justin Geldzahler
Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I remember when the movies used to mean something. When you saw a film, it was about something. It said things. Made ya think. About things. Like The Big Chill. Now that was a film. It had laughs, it had tears, and it really said something, you know? You don’t? Well, let me tell you. It was about people, mostly/all white people, and how even if you’re the champions of the world, life can never live up to expectations. Not like that navel-gazing crap you kids have.
I know you Millennials just want to see Thor fight ice Nazis and flirt with his brother, but I prefer a film that has a little thing called substance. Take The Big Chill, for instance. That was a movie with more on its mind. Like when William Hurt talks about Vietnam…that hit home. I mean, I never served, but, you know, I could have. Anyone of us could have.
And the soundtracks! Today they all sound like every horn got together and went BRANNNNG at once. How can you listen to that stuff? Now The Big Chill, that had a soundtrack. I feel bad for you kids, I really do. You haven’t listened to Motown until you’ve listened to it while disaffected Baby Boomers complain about their lives. That music, it was of an era. I tell you, every time I hear the Temptations sing “Ain’t Too Proud To Beg,” it’s like I’m back in 1983.
Worse, you have those “independent films.” They’re all about the director showing how smart he is and all the big words he knows. What the hell is a “Secaucus 7”? I remember when movies didn’t need three-syllable words to show off. They were fine with single syllables, words like “the” and “big” and “chill.”
Audiences must be getting dumber. Every movie has to feature a dozen fights and half a dozen chases, and maybe three quarters of foxy boxing. I remember when a movie could just show people talking. No special effects, no green screen, no Channing Tatum. Just regular, good old-fashioned white people talking. Regular people holed up in a Michigan summer home following the funeral of their mutual friend who committed suicide, leading to their having a reunion of sorts where they talk about themselves and their failings far more than the deceased friend they’re ostensibly there to remember. I guess you’d call it a “big chill.” You don’t need CGI for that.
You know what, cancel your plans. Tonight you’re getting educated in cinema history. We’re gonna chill – big time. I know I’ve got my Betamax around here somewhere. Maybe in the box with all my Steely Dan LPs. Hey speaking of which, you kids checked out Can’t Buy A Thrill yet? Oh man, Donald Fagen’s the greatest.
The Humor Section features a piece of original humor writing each week. To submit, send an email to Brian Boone.