A classic movie isn't just a popular movie. A classic movie isn't just an Oscar winner. And it's definitely not just a critical darling. For a movie to truly be a classic, it has to enter our combined moviegoing psyche; we know it and love it, and we're pretty sure our kids and their kids and their kids' kids will love it too.
I arrived at this topic after my earlier musings about my lack of excitement over the rest of the year's release slate, and after watching a PBS documentary on the history of the Warner Bros. studio. The number of truly classic films released by that studio is staggering, and many of them are of recent vintage. "Unforgiven," for example, is only 16 years old, but it feels like a movie that's been a part of the culture forever.
So what are the "new" classics? What films from the last ten years have already achieved this status? Here are five suggestions:
I wish I had this 200 MPH radio control jet when I was kid.
"They just don't make 'em like they used to."
-- every moviegoer, ever, in history
Oh, if only that were true. Technology has changed the process of filmmaking and given us spectacular things to look at, but most Hollywood movies are the same as last year and the year before that and the year before that and the decade before that.
This half-depressing, half-comforting notion has slowly dawned on me over the last few years as my attendance at the movie theater has steadily declined. I still love the movies -- very much so -- but I find I'm lacking the urge to see new movies when I'm so comfortable with the ones I already know and love. Of course, it doesn't help that September is pretty much the worst month at the movies.
Do I need to see "Eagle Eye" when I could just watch "Disturbia" on cable? Must I shell out $9.75 for "Righteous Kill" when I already have "Heat" on DVD?
In case you missed it, here are the political highlights from Saturday Night Live.
That Obama impersonation needs some work.