Thursday, February 25, 2010
Let's do it for Johnny!
I read The Outsiders in high school, but I never watched the movie. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started looking into seeing the movies made from the books I enjoyed when I was younger, and vice versa. This went bad quickly. See my review for the book Forrest Gump.
But my library had the new, uncut version of the movie in the library, so I decided it was time I finally watch it. I knew that Patrick Swayze and Ralph Macchio were in it, but the rest of the cast was rather lost on me. It was a shock to discover Emilio Estevez and Tom Cruise were in it. These two were favorite actors of mine growing up. This is a very, very pretty cast. They are all so young and fresh looking, despite the constant bumps, cuts, and bruises they get.
It’s a shock to see Tom Cruise in this role. It’s so easy to forget that he is a great actor, what with the batshit crazy shtick he’s had going for the past few years. As it stands now, I’m perfectly content NOT watching movies with him. So looking at the movies he made pre-Poster Boy for Scientology (and Schizophrenics Unlimited) is jarring, but refreshing.
The cast of this movie really is fantastic. I did have issue with C. Thomas Howell, but only for a handful of moments in the movie. Considering he was 14 when the movie was filmed, he does a fantastic job with the experience he had. Other than the few parts that took me out of the moment, it’s very easy to get lost in this movie. It’s also easy to forget that it was shot in the 80’s. The costuming and the format of the film lend themselves to being a real 50’s or 60’s movie, and it’s one of my favorite time frames. I would be a Greaser, or the non whoreish female equivalent. Which is funny, because I think TBF would be a Soc. Hunh.
Diane Lane is gorgeous in the movie, but her acting is questionable. Not overly in the beginning scenes, but her final scene with C Thomas was painful to watch. She was not believable at all, and it made me cranky because she’s in one of my favorite movies, Unfaithful, and she’s fantastic in it. I try to justify it with the fact that these actors are so wonderfully young here, but she’d been acting awhile before this film, so I can’t really forgive her for that.
My favorite character in the book was Two-Bit. He’s playful, and country, and cares about the other members of the gang. So when I found out Emilio Estevez was the actor who played him, I was very excited. It rather pisses me off that his career has faded out, because if you look at the work he has done, he deserves to be in a lot more projects (and better projects, hi, Loaded Weapon 1 1/2). He is amazing as Two-Bit. Whether he’s cracking wise at the drive-in, or screaming at Johnny’s mother outside his hospital room, he may be my favorite thing in the movie. Plus he’s got a butterfly knife, which is my favorite kind. I have two, and want more.
I’ve had an imaginary love affair with Ralph Macchio since the first Karate Kid. Which is bizarre, since I was extremely young when the first movie came out. But[‘p;;;;;;;;;;;]* he was one of my first imaginary boyfriends. And he is just as adorable in this movie. More so since he’s all innocent and vulnerable. I want to smoosh his face and feed him cookies. He has not aged well. This does not make me a pervert, as he is older than I am. (So there)
Matt Dillon was considered an 80’s sex icon for teenagers. I never saw the appeal until this movie. But I think it’s just because he’s such a bad boy here. I do love me some bad boys. He’s not what I would expect for the role, though. Too much vulnerability, not enough “I don’t give a shit and I will cut you if you look at me wrong.” But he’s pale, with sharp angles and loose hair. And it makes my heart flutter.
I am a big Swayze fan. 97% of that comes from Dirty Dancing. Isn’t that where every child of the 80’s love for him comes from? But he won my heart completely when he appeared as the greasy (literally and figuratively) motivational speaker in Donnie Darko. He is spot on as Darry in the movie. Protective of his brothers, and the gang, but with just the right amount of could’ve-been-a-Soc. He’s utterly believable in the role. And have you seen his arms? Those are some good arms.
Rob Lowe is another actor who has never made much of an impression on me. He was in Austin Powers 2, which was nice, but when Seth Green is in a movie, it’s very difficult for me to pay attention to anyone else. I watched the “Making of” vignettes before I started the movie (as I am wont to do), so I know that in the original version, the majority of his scenes were cut. After watching this version, I feel it was a horrible waste. The scenes between Ponyboy and Soda were some of the best, and Rob looks damn good in this movie. I’m glad this version has more of his scenes.
The battle royale between the Socs and the Greasers was incredible. It looks so very real. It doesn’t look like a battle with fake punches and stuntmen. It also doesn’t look specifically choreographed. It looks like two groups of kids seriously beating the piss out of each other the only way they knew how. The rain was not planned at first, but it added so much. Also great was the burning church. The scene was so long in the book, and painful to read. It happens so fast in the movie, and so perfectly. When Johnny goes down, your heart jumps, as it does when Dallas goes down later.
The music in this movie is so great. As mentioned before (and will be mentioned again), I love this era, and the music makes me smile. It started with Gloria by Van Morrison. Throw in some Elvis, Blue Moon, and the music that I always associate with Annette Funicello surfing movies, and it’s almost funner to listen to than it is to watch.
Beautiful film. Just wonderful. Also, any movie with surprise bunnies is a good thing.
Six Degrees of Whedon Separation: According to the Casting Vignette, Adam Baldwin auditioned for a role in this movie. Adam played Jayne in Firefly and Marcus Hamilton in Season 5 of Angel.
* My cat’s contribution to the blog entry. Say hi to Demon Cat.