Timeless writing

I am now typing with one and a half hands.  I’m trying not to use the injured finger, which is my forefinger on the right hand and it’s probably the finger I use the most for typing.  Hence counting it as half my hand.  But it hurts when I type with it.  The whole hand still aches, but the healing process is definitely underway and I think I’m out of the dangers of permanent damage or hospitalization if I use it a bit.  If I’m wrong, I’ll blog about it later!  But I really want to keep up with the rest of my August Blog Challenge buddies and this week I’ve felt a bit like Randy in CHRISTMAS STORY, running after the gang in his snowsuit, whining ‘Awwww, come on, guys!  Wait up!  Wait for me!’ and then falling to the ground, only to thrash in the snow like a turtle on his back.  Now I’ve been flipped back over, have stumbled to my feet and am toddling after you all again. 

Over the last few days I’ve caught bits and pieces of movies.  CHILL has been running a Jaws-A-Thon, including all four of the Jaws movies.  I’ve watched the original Jaws (the movie that kept an entire generation of kids out of the ocean) many times, but it never fails to strike me just what a good movie it is, in all areas: acting, directing and writing.  I caught the first hour the other day and during the scene where Brody is filling out the first coroner’s report and the camera does a close-up on the paper as he types the words ‘shark attack,’ I chuckled at the old fashioned type writer he was using.  That’s right, this movie was made before PCs or cell phones.  And you know what?  I don’t miss them at all when watching this movie. It doesn’t feel dated at all, not even with the total ’70s hairstyles and clothing and that, for me, is a sign of really good writing. 

On the other end of the spectrum is Jaws 4: The Revenge, in which Brody’s widow takes on a vengeful shark that tracks anyone with Brody blood running through their veins from Amity to the Bahamas.  If you haven’t seen it…well, I’m not sure if I should recommend it or not.  If you like bad movies, bad acting, bad writing and bad FX, by all means check it out!  Even Lorraine Gary, who was quite good in the original Jaws as Mrs. Brody, is absolutely dreadful.  Her acting is forced and frenetic, and her co-star Michael Caine is just picking up a paycheck.  This movie is not timeless…unless timelessly awful counts.  

Seriously, though, good writing, be it a movie or a book, transcends the time in which it was written.  You won’t notice the hair styles or bell bottom slacks, the lack of cell phones or other modern devices which we now take for granted because you’ll be too caught up in the story and characters to care.  I use Jaws as my example.  What are some of your favorite movies or books that stand this test of time?

Er….I also saw 10 minutes of Roadhouse with Patrick Swayze.  My brain is still melting… 

Short hair and a jumpsuit do not a tough spacer chick make

For reasons still unclear, even to myself, I’m watching ALIEN RESURRECTION, the fourth in the ALIEN series. You know, the one AFTER the movie where Ripley falls to a fiery death with her arms outstretched in classic Jesus Crucified pose while alien baby bursts out of her chest. David Fincher’s dark, nihilistic, irritating and ultimately dull film, however, at least did not have seal-eyed Winona Ryder trying to portray a tough mercenary spacer gal.  I hate this movie.  Even the presence of Signourney Weaver (whom I worship as a goddess) as a semi-psychotic alien-woman mutant (half woman, half alien, half alligator!) in leather, looking as sexy and tough as any woman can look, did not save this movie for me.  And when Ripley gets teary-eyed over her alien baby…fer crissake, woman, it’s not like it’s a kitten!

I do this to myself a lot, though.  Watch movies that probably melt sections of my brain.  It’s  a disease.