Monday, February 28, 2005

Oscars Now and Then

I have to be an old timer from the way I continue to compare the newer movie “picks” with some of the older ones. I avoided the whole Oscar ceremony gig and opted to watch some real movies. I did take in one of the best films ever made on TCM, “Bridge On the River Kwai”. Now that was an Oscar quality movie in almost every regard. I think it may actually improve with age, knowing the importance of that scene where they take Colonel Nicholson,
Alec Guinness, out of the “cooker box” in the middle of the night to have a “meet and confer” with Col. Saito, Sessue Hayakawa. Starved as he was he declined the portion of meat, thirsty he also declined the offered drink; knowing that the other fellow had run out of options. Followed closely by the scene where the English officers were now running things, the Japanese Commandant acting as a mere puppet, “The order has already been given.”. There was so much power created for the viewer and today’s blockbusters can only offer special effects, great special effects to cover the lack of depth. Then the following of the detonator wire after the river went down, “Madness!”. That was an Oscar movie worth the film it was made on.

I have the movie in my Laser Disc collection, for you young folks these were the forerunners of the current DVD format, large silver discs, the size of the old 33rpm records, with improved quality both in picture and certainly in audio output compared to VHS. Laser Discs fall somewhere between antediluvian and Jurassic on the techno scale of today. I’m just now getting over the Flu, a really nasty last 6 days, so that may be good medicine. This movie is gut wrenching, just what I need to get rid of what ever might be left of the Flu. “Be happy in your work!”

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