Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

TMT: Being Clear. Crystal.

This is the next entry in a Theatre… a Movie… and a Time, a series that was begun here. Since I am continuing my Versus AFI: 10 Top 10 arc, this is the second of two posts on the Courtroom Dramas for February (and the only two I saw on the big screen from my top 10 list). Coincidentally, they occurred in the same month of December, 10 years apart.

“Get me the President on the phone. We’re surrendering our position in Cuba!”


Theatre

Century City 14


Movie

Time

December, 1992: what a difference ten years makes. Going from the midst of dating someone else to marrying my best friend in that span was a puzzling polar shift. I mean, at once it represents a big chunk of time in anyone’s life, especially mine, but it all seemed to occur in the wink of an eye. I can say it all happened quickly, though I know otherwise. I probably covered this better in last year’s Valentine’s Day post, but it still applies. Perhaps, the 80s had something to do with it. Or just maybe it relates back to the turbulent times from the preceding decade. The moniker of the ‘Sexy Seventies’ remains apt, and yet a misnomer in a myriad of ways.

Though she’s more likely to watch DVDs and Blu-rays nowadays at home with the kids and her grumpy husband of almost 23 years, my spouse semi-regularly went to the movies with moi in the early 90s. I’ve come to believe the film A Few Good Men was where her long-time appreciation of Aaron Sorkin’s writing had its beachhead. In fact, I think she returned to a certain movie by the same director three years later inasmuch the same guy wrote that, too. It’s also the reason Sports Night and The West Wing (heck, even Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip for that matter) became TV addictions years later.

I now know she’s nothing if not devoted to those who can produce great dialogue or courtroom drama in books, TV, or film. She doesn’t miss an episode of Justified or The Good Wife, and I can testify to that. A big fan of either Tom Cruise or Jack Nicholson she is not, however. Even so, she remains fond of this Reiner/Sorkin military courtroom piece. Heading back to the Century City 14 to see the film was a no-brainer back then. That multiplex turned into a regular movie spot for us recently hitched folk — I even took my mother-in-law there, and that’s saying something. It was all worth it though, because the experience was shared with the wife I love. And with this, I send a belated Happy Valentine’s Day to my bride.


The entire TMT series can be found here. If you’re interested how it’s put together, click here.

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14 Responses to “TMT: Being Clear. Crystal.”

  1. Naomi Johnson

    This will always be a special movie for me. My dad rarely went to the movies. For most of my life I have no memory of him having any interest in films at all. But when MATEWAN came out, he made a point of having me take him to see it, as it touched on personal history for him. A few years went by, then he had me take him to see JFK. Then one evening as I was saying goodbye, on my way to see A FEW GOOD MEN, he asked me what it was about and if it was any good. I could answer the first question but not the second. I was stunned when he said he thought he’d like to go, too. And he enjoyed the movie very much, which pleased me more than I can say. Both he and I thought Kevin Bacon all but stole the movie from Cruise and Nicholson.

    The last film he wanted to see before his death was SCHINDLER’S LIST. He didn’t see many films, but he sure knew how to pick winners.

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    • le0pard13

      Amazing. Your father certainly did see a select set of films, Naomi. I can understand why you relate to them as you do. You bring very a keen point, as well. Both of you picked out Kevin Bacon’s role in the film, something that could have been a mere support for the big names, but one that very much elevates this movie. This film has a number of small character parts in it that upon closer inspection help build it enormously.

      Not only do I want to thank you for the comment, but I want to express a gratitude to you, Naomi, for sharing that family memory here. I can see it means a lot to you, and therefore me.

      p.s., I recently picked up the Canadian DVD of MATEWAN for my collection (the U.S. version is horribly cropped and doesn’t do justice to the film). I plan on sharing that great film with my kids soon.

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  2. Castor

    That picture isn’t from 1992. I see Harry Potter posters up there. You are busted sir 😉

    Hope you had a great Valentine’s Day Michael!

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    • le0pard13

      Y’know, I didn’t realize the pic had those giant HP posters in the background. Looks like ‘Goblet of Fire’. Can’t be anything later as that multiplex closed in December of 2005. Good spot, Castor. Hope you and yours had a good Valentine’s Day, too. Thanks.

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  3. Scott Lawlor

    You know I think I have a problem. I get a little aroused by looking at images of cinemas. I spent a while going through a flickr set on british cinemas. I love to see different screening rooms. It is a problem….

    Great post matey

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  4. ruth

    I think I saw this movie on the big screen with my brother a while ago and really enjoyed it. That ‘you can’t handle the truth’ remains iconic isn’t it? I didn’t know Sorkin wrote it, kinda make sense now. Good one, Michael!

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    • le0pard13

      And you say you don’t have a memory for these kind of things ;-). Yes, that line by Nicholson’s character remains iconic. So many Aaron Sorkin lines came out with this one. Many thanks, Ruth.

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  5. Ronan

    “I want the truth! You can’t handle the truth!” Haven’t seen this since I was too young to see it 🙂 Must watch it with older eyes. One Tom Cruise’s best performances?

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  6. Claire Packer

    I’ve heard of this film but I’ve never seen it. I’ve added it to my rental list.

    By the way, TMT is a brilliant series, Michael. I’m going to go back and have a read through your earlier posts 🙂

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    • le0pard13

      Yes, it’s one that is worth a rental, especially if you’ve never seen it, Claire. Thank you very much for the kind words. It means a lot.

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