Monday, February 7, 2011

Iconic Movies I Have Never Seen

"The Karate Kid" was on TV Saturday and The Wife and I were both hanging out and idly watching it and I mentioned I've never seen it before. She was sort of shocked, because I guess it's one of those iconic movies that you just think everybody's seen. I mean, she's not from this country and she's seen pretty much all the iconic movies. You know, the ones that are part of the cultural lexicon and that people refer to all the time. Like, when someone says "Go ahead, make my day," you know they're referencing "Dirty Harry," right?

[SIDE NOTE: A couple of weeks ago, I did a blog post about movie quotes that I use in real life, based on a similar piece Zoe Stagg wrote on her blog. Then on Friday, the Chronicle did a story about movie lines. This is not the first time that I have written about something and then it shows up in the Chronicle a few days later. STOP STEALING MY IDEAS, SF CHRONICLE. I KNOW YOU'RE READING THIS. CALL ME AND WE'LL WORK SOMETHING OUT.]

Anyway. I had to go to band practice about halfway through "Karate Kid" so I still haven't seen it. Based on what I saw, it's a movie about an eccentric Japanese gardener who gets a kid to clean his house for free.

But for whatever reason, I've missed a lot of what I guess are the iconic films. I don't know why! I didn't use to go to the movies much; maybe that's it. But here's some of what I've never seen that I THINK everyone else in America has seen.

- Most Will Ferrell movies. I can't stand Will Ferrell. I did watch "Elf" all the way through and laughed once. So I've never seen "Old School" or "Anchorman" and is there one where he's a racecar driver? And a figure skater? There was a dodgeball one, too, right? None of those.

- Any "Mission: Impossible" movie.

- I saw the first half of the first "Pirates of the Caribbean" but I thought it was so boring I turned it off.

- Most Ben Stiller movies. I don't think Ben Stiller's been in anything I've wanted to see since "The Royal Tenenbaums." No "Zoolander" or any of those Focker movies.

- Oh, wait, I thought "Tropic Thunder" was funny. He was in that, I guess.

- Most later Tarantino. Never saw the "Kill Bill" movies.

- "The Sound of Music."

- I've never seen "Blade Runner." I know, I know. Peeps is gonna FREAK OUT.

- Almost any musical. I've never seen "Singin' in the Rain" or "The King and I" or any of that shit.

- Any of the "Matrix" movies.

- Until recently, I'd never seen "Point Break" all the way through. I find it hilarious that "Point Break" is on The Times of London's list of The 100 Greatest Films of All Time. It was OK if you like terrible dialogue and laughable plots.

- Never seen "Schindler's List."

I'm sure there are a lot more big ones I can't think of right now. Crazy, huh?


Tamagosan said...

My better half decided to stage an intervention when he found out that I'd never seen any Back to the Future all the way through. I mean, I'd seen them in the way you describe the Karate Kid, but to sit and watch? Ugh. I was subjected to a back-to-back viewing. Luckily, I was able to be on the computer, so I didn't really have to pay attention.

I have never seen people more upset, however, then when I tell them that I've never seen an episode of Gilligan's Island, especially now that I steal character names for use as pseudonyms in my blog about this island. What can I say, Laverne and Shirley or Three's Company must have been on at the same time.

TK said...

I've actually only seen the first Back to the Future movie (which I quite enjoyed, actually). I imagine completists will scoff.

Gilligan's Island was on every day in syndication when I got home from school as a kid so I more or less saw most of the episodes and associate it strongly with apples and peanut butter.

You didn't miss much.

I'm glad you brought up Three's Company. I may have to go back and watch some of that online to see if it's as dated now as I imagine it is, like a pet rock or disco.

Rocco said...

first off, point break is fucking AWESOME, just like lost boys, and this post reminded me that i once told my dog park group (the people you see every day while you stand around awkwardly watching your dogs but don't really know) that i hated star wars and they don't really talk to me now.

Anonymous said...

Up until recently I had never seen "The Sound of Music" (yawn) and "Singin' in the Rain" (really entertaining).

But, the one that people stare blankly at me when I tell them I haven't seen it is "It's a Wonderful Life."

My sister-in-law has never seen any of the "Star Wars" movies. I don't know why my brother even married her.

Dan said...

This is a great topic. I also think that everyone has one expression that everyone else in the world knows that they don't know the meaning of. Like your sister (sic?) misusing 'touche'. Or this guy I know who didn't know the significance of the number 666.

Lots of Czech people have never seen Star Wars, which is shocking and unfathomable. My friend visited and did a guest lecture for my students on Lucas Arts. He confidently started out with, "So, you guys have all seen Star Wars... right?' and like two hands went up out of 14. Terrible start.

Stoney said...

Let's not confuse "iconic" with high quality. It's more about pop culture saturation. Tag lines and release dates. Objectively speaking, only the second Star Wars movie stands up as a decent movie for modern adults to watch. But most of us love Star Wars anyway because it reminds us of childhood.

Civic Center said...

I have not seen any of the "Rocky" movies, which makes me unreasonably proud. And I had a boyfriend who felt the same way about never having seen "The Wizard of Oz."

Never seen "Point Break" all the way through, but anything with Keanu Reeves is important. (You have seen "Bill and Ted's Bogus Journey," I assume?)

Claudia said...

I agree with being able to live without most of those movies you mentioned. I hate Will Ferrell movies, but have you seen Stranger Than Fiction? One of my all time favorites because it's not like the dodgeball figure skating movies or whatever. Also, Kill Bill movies, kinda worth it. Extremely entertaining. I've never seen the Matrix movies either. eh.

Andrea said...

What about John Cusak movies? Say Anything? Better off Dead? One Crazy Summer? Oh my gosh. You gotta have those in your back pocket.

Anonymous said...

Bill & Ted's Bogus Journey FTW! I've been quoting Death's  "vahry nace" for 20 years now and am quite certain no one has I clue what I mean literally or figuratively. (Accented "very nice" in case it wasn't clear.)

"Dude, Where's My Car" is an under appreciated classic.  Not sure if the ostrich bit or the "And then??" drive through scene is better.

So Dan, what do the Czechs think of Star Wars once they see it? And have you figured out when you will show your son Episode IV? I will be damned if my daughter sees them in the wrong order. 

Also, while we're on the subject: blowing up the second Death Star  invariably would have caused an environmental catastrophe on Endor and suggest the probable extinction of the Ewoks by nuclear winter. The number of Star Wars fan sites and their detail are sobering, but his line is classic:

"All ewoks would have been better off if the tribe which made contact with the rebels continued with their original plan of killing and eating the commando team's leaders."

TK said...

@ sfmike -

Yeah, I saw the first Bill & Ted movie. Wasn't there a sequel? For sheer incongruousness, check out Keanu in "Dangerous Liaisons." It's like a surfer wandered into 18th-century France.

@ Claudia -

Saw "Stranger than Fiction" and wasn't particularly blown away, but it was definitely better than "Elf." Thanks for the reminder.

@ Andrea -

My fave Cusack film is "High Fidelity," but I'm a guy. The Wife is a huge fan. She likes "Grosse Pointe Blank" the best, I think. I've never seen "Better Off Dead" or "One Crazy Summer." Never heard of "One Crazy Summer" until right this second.

@ burritojustice -

I LOL'd.

Anonymous said...

I've never seen Schindler's List, either. Also haven't seen Pulp Fiction or Sound of Music. Would still not have seen It's a Wonderful Life if it hadn't been homework for a film class in college (hated that movie, BTW).

Also: refused to see Titanic (or anything James Cameron touches).

Others I haven't seen:

2001: A Space Odyssey
Any of the Lord of the Rings movies
The Matrix
Rain Man
Fried Green Tomatoes

"It's like a surfer wandered into 18th-century France." Hilarious.

amy.leblanc said...

i've never been able to sit through any of "The Godfather" movies. BORING.

how about John Hughes movies? have you seen all of them?

Unknown said...

I only recently saw Deliverance, but spent many years kinda smirking and nodding when people would use it as a punchline. I assumed some kind of rural rape was involved, just based on context. And I was right!