I almost got myself into a lot of trouble with this movie. I was a new youth pastor in Greeley, CO. One of the teen boys was talking with me about movies and he mentioned that he really wants to see Braveheart. I gave the same reaction I have given over and over again throughout my life, and every time I do I mean it. I said, “Ohhhhhh, I reeeaaallly want to see that!” He said, “We should go see it sometime,” to which I heartily agreed. But I forgot one thing. It was (and is) rated R for violence. His mom talked to me and asked if I’d made plans to take her son to see Braveheart. Luck for me she was a very understanding mom who sensed that I’d gotten ahead of myself in trying to relate to her son. Let’s not forget the deep rooted desire of all youth pastors: to be cool in the eyes of teenagers. That desire makes you say and do things without thinking.
I did see the movie, but not with any minors. I watched it with a good friend and I instantly wanted to own it. Like everyone, I loved the battle speech, the surprise defence strategy that is revealed (just after William Wallace is shouting, “Hold! HOLD! HOOOLLLD!!”), and the cry out for freedom. But I have a confession to make. By far my favourite scene is quite a violent one. No, it’s not the inspiring speech. My favourite part involves a flail to the head. It comes after Wallace realizes… oh wait. Spoiler alert. This is something that happens relatively early in the film, but in case you haven’t seen this movie and don’t want to know details yet, just skip to the next paragraph. Ok, back to the favourite scene. So, Wallace gets news that his woman has been killed and he is mad. He’s not angry. He’s not even furious. He is MAD. He is spitting nails, breathing fire and has reached the maximum level of pissivity. He’s so mad he’s like Bjork just became a sith lord and walked into an airport full of Jedi reporters. He acts like he’s about to surrender, riding slowly towards the enemy with his hands on his head. But at the last moment, he grabs a flail and swings it down hard on a guy’s skull. Yes, I am sick. But sweet hosanna that was awesome!
Braveheart is like Rocky. It stirs the warrior inside of you that wants to jump out and fight for something, someone, or yourself. It’s inspiring. Of course, Mel has really done himself in since 1995. But this movie is so incredible it will make you forget about his insanity just long enough to take in a truly epic story about a truly epic man.
Congratulations Braveheart. It’s your week.
I have to confess something else. I was hoping for Pulp Fiction to win. When I first watched it, I was disturbed. There were scenes that bothered me for days. But I couldn’t get passed the fact that this movie was so well made. The acting is excellent, the scenes are heart-pounding and gripping. The characters are wonderfully complex and the scenes are as memorable as any in the movies. Well, PF, we’ll try harder next time.
The Truman Show is one of those movies that you can bring up in a crowd and you are guaranteed to have at least one person express how this is one of their favourites. I’m not sure why I say this, but I think this is one of the most respected movies by both critics and movie goers alike. The story is highly original and Jim Carrey’s performance is outstanding. And let’s not forget that this was yet another Oscar snub for Carrey who should have a shelf full of Oscars.
And the Oscar goes to:
Best actor: Tie: Jim Carrey, though both Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta are so good we should at least give them a best supporting actor here.
Best actress: Uma Thurman. No contest there.
Best quote: “Every man dies. Not every man truly lives.”
Well, for me that was the toughest one yet. And speaking of Jim Carrey, this is one guy who is beyond excited that a sequel to Dumb and Dumber is coming out. Lloyd Christmas. He gets me every time…