Last week, I did two episodes of a new series for REELZ channel called "Everything I needed to know about ____ I learned from the movies."
It's a cute series, similar to the Best Week Ever format, and I'm happy for REELZ to have the series running, because I helped with the pilot, Everything I needed to know about high school, I learned from the movies.
This week, we did Everything I needed to know about weddings I learned from the movies and Everything I needed to know about dancing I learned from the movies.
To prepare for both episodes, I watched a ton of movies I otherwise wouldn't watch, or missed when they first came around.
Some of them, like Honey, My Best Friend's Wedding and Wedding Crashers were just painful, while others, like Footloose and Dirty Dancing were first class tickets on the Nostalgia Train. You Got Served was so awesomely awful, it's begging like John Turturo in Miller's Crossing to be given the MST3K treatment.
But nothing could have prepared me for Kill Bill Volumes I and II. I missed them both the first time around, and I can't believe I didn't see them in a theater when they were released, because I freaking loved both movies so much, together they earned a spot in my top 20, and maybe even in my top 10.
I liked them so much, I decided that I would go see Grindhouse while it was still in theaters, even though I knew it was over three hours long, and the only showing near our house started at 9 (well, 8:40, but you know they have to give us 20 minutes of bullshit before they start the goddamn movie. Not that I hate that so much I have to mention it in a parenthetical statement or anything.)
Ryan liked Kill Bill, so I took him and his friend with me to watch Grindhouse Friday night. On the way to the theater, I told him what I knew about the grindhouse cinemas of the 70s that the film was based on, so he could put the movie into that context.
We really liked the experience, though we both agreed that Planet Terror was vastly superior to Death Proof, which needed about 40% fewer rambling dialog sequences. All the trailers and announcements from the theater were awesome, too, and reminded me of stuff I saw when I was in my teens, going to watch scratched prints of old movies in crummy little theaters in Glendale and Eagle Rock, which are sadly long gone by now, replaced with cookie-cutter chain stores like Subway and Starbucks.
When the movie was over, as we watched the credits, Ryan leaned over and said to me, "Dude, that was awesome! It was so different than anything else I've ever seen, and I'm really glad that I saw it. Thank you for bringing me with you."
I was really happy to hear him say that, and really glad that he appreciated the movie on more than one level. It was one of those times where I felt like a little bit of me had been passed on to him.
It was sort of a bittersweet moment, because over the last six months or so, I've watched him grow and mature from a teenage pod person into an awesome young adult whose company I really, really enjoy. I'm constantly proud of his intellect, sensitivity, insight, and kindness. I know he's at an age where he'd rather hang out with his friends than his lame parents, but he has grown into a person who I would want to be around even if he wasn't part of my family. I'm really going to miss him when he leaves for school in August.
Oh, and if you have about 4 hours to spend any way you want, you may want to consider Grindhouse. If you only have 2 hours, think about Hot Fuzz.