There are hundreds of classic movies out there that I for whatever reason have not seen. I have a long list, and believe me I’m working on them. I hope to see most of them before all the major plot points are spoiled for me. The statute of limitations on spoilers is like 6 months, I think. But it puzzles me a bit that a movie totally aimed at my demographic, stayed completely off my radar until a few years ago. I didn’t actually see the movie until two weeks ago. It’s called “The Last Starfighter”. I cannot go back in time and see how much I would have liked the movie back when it came out, but I know I would have because it’s about a kid that gets recruited by aliens to save the universe from evil. That’s been my life’s dream since I started watching movies. I wanted to be discovered by some secret agent guy who just happened to be in the same town as me . . . no wait, better yet, by someone I was related to that revealed to me that I was the next in line to continue the family tradition of being some kind of superhero. So, yeah, I would have been the number one Last Starfighter fan.
Unfortunately, though, I saw the movie when I was thirty-one, and while I am still waiting for my chance to prove to a secret society that I am humanity’s last hope for survival, I was not a fan. Too much time has passed, and the movie does not hold up. I’ll be honest, though, I didn’t really want to see the movie in the first place. I came randomly through Netflix, and I popped it in just to see why I had added it to the queue. Most likely I heard people say how they enjoyed it when they were kids, and I was not about to be left out of the loop. This movie was supposed to be a classic, and it is but not for the reasons you would think. This movie earned that status from being one of the first movies to use computer generated graphics. My guess is that’s why people hold it high regard. It was visually astounding back in 1984. But I missed the boat. It’s 2014 now, and I am full up on computer animation. In fact, I’m beginning to lean more toward movies that have just people in them being mean to each other.
If I were traveling back in time, it would be like traveling to a foreign country. Times change, movies change. We don’t want the same things in our movies that we used to 30-40 years ago. Is that good or is it bad? It’s good that we know how to more efficiently tell a story in an hour and a half than we did back then. It’s bad that we can’t be asked to sit still long enough to watch a story that doesn’t have any explosions in it. Pick whichever side you want, but I have had trouble watching older movies my whole life. I’m not opposed to it, but I don’t usually suggest it. I want to expand my library and see all the movies that people consider classics, but as I’m standing next to the open DVD player and the disc in my hand, I get sudden flashbacks of being bored out of my mind while my grandpa and great grandpa are watching black and white westerns and I’m sitting between them, restless. I didn’t feel restless watching “The Last Starfighter”. In fact, I fell asleep about 3/4 into it (thought that was probably more to do with the hour and not my disinterest). I guess my solution is to not watch any of these movies alone. Misery loves company, right? Or, I could just not watch them at all. Just because everyone loves it doesn’t mean I have to see it. But if that’s the way I’m going to do it, I have to make sure I don’t give people grief when I find out they haven’t seen a movie that I consider a classic. That sounds easy enough to me, because if this person hasn’t seen Star Wars, I probably didn’t want to talk to them anyway.