Wednesday, December 06, 2006

The test of time

Emmet Otter's Jugband Christmas.

Dungeons and Dragons: The Cartoon.

Swamp Thing: The Movie.

Disco Duck, as performed by Rick Dees.

Question: What do those five things have in common?

Answer: They're all things I loved when I was a kid that I cringe at when seeing/hearing now. Too often, our childhood memories don't stand the test of time. I could go on and on almost endlessly, listing examples, but instead I'm going to point out one that I still think is just as good as ever.

Popeye: The Movie. Directed by Robert Altman, with Robin Williams and Shelly Duvall.

Although I didn't know it when it was first released, Popeye was a critical and commercial failure. It got horrible reviews and did lousy business. I remember seeing it with my father and two brothers at the Cinema Six in Groton and then watching it an infinite number of times on HBO the following summer. I still watch it every now and again if I catch it while channel flipping. I caught the second half of it tonight while inking backgrounds before bed and, like a visit with an old friend, it just made me warm and happy.

I thought--and still think--that Robin Williams is terrific as Popeye and Shelly Duvall is an absolutely perfect Olive Oil. She steals the whole movie. The songs are great, the entire cast is terrific, from Wimpy to Brutus to Oxblood freakin' Oxheart and his crooked old mom. The entire movie is filled with character and charm. I still buy into it, even after all these years and to me, that's the ultimate test of time.

Out of all of Robert Altman's movies, how bizarre that this one is my favorite. I would never be taken seriously as a movie critic but... I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam.


Reel Fanatic said...

I remember seeing the Popeye movie once and not liking it much at all, but i was probably just being a snob .. I need to go back and watch it again

MrNinja said...

'I'd gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.'
These magic words instantly transport me to a place where babies can predict the winner of the race without fail and the power of a heroes is always a can opener away.Truly one of my favorites!
(I still secretly enjoy the Riverbottom Nightmare band's winning performance,puppet strings and all)

Anonymous said...

I just want to point out that I counted only four things in that list.