Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Flicks, Movies, and Films

There's a difference, ya know.

At least for me. For me, this is a great shorthand for categorizing the various types of cinematic experiences I encounter.

First off, I never knew 'Flick' was Aussie slang. I've been using it for years. It's a great word for a certain type of motion picture.

Sounds a lot better than 'lowbrow.'

Flicks, for me, are the typical summer fare movies, encompassing a wide array of styles and genres. Children's features, Buddy films, Action-adventure, many comedies, and anything that stars a former member of Saturday Night Live all fall under the category of Flicks.

Flicks are visceral, evocative, and work on a very high level of consciousness. For the most part, you know exactly what's going to happen before it does. The bad guys are foiled, the hero gets the girl, and all that you need to do is watch it unfurl.

Movies tend to be a bit more thoughtful. There's a message to be had there. A story to be told. It doesn't have to be a great story--it can even be a simple story, but there's a premium placed on the development of characters. Movies tend to be dramas, but not always.

And films. They're the motion pictures that transcend. The ones that stay in your head. The ones that leave a lasting impression. They are often groundbreaking, and sometimes they lose their impact, but they're the ones that work on so many levels that you always get something from them when you view it.

The thing about films is that their creation is sometimes almost magical. Yes, there are some films that you just know will be in this category--shot with the "Important Film" imprimatur on every frame. But there are others, too, with much lower aspirations that also fall under--or more accurately rise into--this category.

So, without further ado, I present:

Balloon Pirate's Nowhere Near Complete Self-Conscious-But-What-the-Hell-It's-My-Blog list of Fantastic Flicks, Marvellous Movies, and Fine Films

Flicks: Raiders of the Lost Ark; Star Wars Episode IV, Big Trouble; Big Trouble in Little China; Ghostbusters; the Toy Stories; Blazing Saddles; The Matrix; Men in Black

Movies: Gladiator; The Incredibles; Local Hero; Bull Durham; Star Wars Episode VI; The Insider; Down By Law; Barry Lyndon; Animal House

Films: Saving Private Ryan; Schindler's List; High Noon; Diva; A Clockwork Orange; Finding Nemo; She's Gotta Have It; The Bicycle Thief; Star Wars Episode V

This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it will give you an idea of how my mind works. I linked a bunch of possibly lesser-known film titles to their imdb.com webpages. If you're ever stuck at the video store and don't know what to get, you could do worse than any of these.

And as a bonus: here's a quick review:

Antonio Banderas stars as an action hero who hides his true identity from his offspring, but in the end, said offspring comes to his aid and together with his wife, who also has a secret identity, destroy the bad guy.

Hey--that review works for both The Legend of Zorro and Spy Kids!

OK, let's try this again:

In The Mask of Zorro, the primary supporting male actor is Anthony Hopkins. In The Legend of Zorro, it's Adrian Alonso, born in 1994. One of the main subplots in this movie involves his wife divorcing him. His wife. Divorcing him. In 1850's California.

I'll let that sink in.

The kids loved the action sequences, and the horse smokes a pipe.

It's an OK flick. Wait to see it on HBO, though.



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