I Love Watching a Classic Movie

I’m sure that any movie snob would criticize me for calling The Hunt for Red October a classic movie, but it is a modern classic.  The whole thing is just really great, which is why I had to watch it tonight.

I watched the movies long before I fell in love with Tom Clancy’s books and the Jack Ryan character, but they are still awesome.  If ever I were to be a character from a movie I think Jack Ryan would be it.

The guy is incredibly intelligent, has a knack for getting into, and out of, crazy situations, and he has incredible moral fiber.  For those who haven’t read the books Jack Ryan ultimately becomes president and completely changes the country in a lot of great ways.  At the heart of everything he does is a desire to do what is right for the people.

There is a scene in the movie Clear and Present Danger that really sums up the greatness of Jack Ryan.  His boss reminds him that he has sworn to serve the American people and that everything he does he should remember that in order to do what is right.  Too many politicians, not just in the US, have forgotten that most basic of principles, which is what is causing most of our problems.

My apologies for getting political, but the ability to make you think about real life is one of the biggest signs of a great movie to me.  Now let’s just hope the Russians don’t put Sean Connery in charge of a nuclear submarine.


The Princess Bride

I know it is an old, somewhat cheesy movie, but it will always be one of my favorites.  Just like the grandpa says, it is full of sports, so what’s not to love?

Sure the acting is not very good, the editing is terrible in some sections, and the writing leaves plenty to be desired, but it is still just wonderful.  

I mean Westley goes from being a farmer to becoming a bad A pirate that can hand over hand a rope all the way up thousand foot cliffs.  He can take poison no problem. He can fight off a giant and a master swordsman.  He can even have 50 years of his life sucked away, and be riding a horse a few hours later.  All for the love of a woman.  Take that Chuck Norris.

I didn’t even mention the classic dialogue.  We all know the rhyming scene well.  Then there are my two favorite lines, “I do not envy you the headache you will have when you awake, but in the meantime, rest well, and dream of large women.” and of course, “There’s a shortage of perfect breasts in the world, it would be a pity to damage yours.”

I think the real reason I still latch onto this movie so much is because it is a fond memory of my childhood.  It reminds me of the simple joys in life.  It doesn’t matter if other people like it, because I still enjoy it.

I can always go for a little more humor and adventure in my life, and that’s why tonight I am grateful for The Princess Bride.

What are you thankful for?

The Movie “A Beautiful Mind”

This is a movie that I have watched many times before, and always really enjoyed.  If you have not seen A Beautiful Mind, I highly recommend it.  The short version of the story is that it is about John Nash who was a brilliant mathematician who won the Nobel Prize for his work.  He was also a paranoid schizophrenic.

While those details would probably be enough to make a pretty decent movie, the story really is not about those aspects of his life, though they do make up most of the movie.  The real heart of the movie is that it is a love story.  I watched an interview with Ron Howard, the director, and he said as much.

When I first watched the movie, probably 15 years or so ago, I acknowledged the love story, but that was not the interesting part to me.  I was more interested in the power of this man’s mind to overcome his delusions and continue living, though it was a long hard struggle until the day he died.

I think my current situation brought the whole love story into greater relief for me when I watched it today.  Nash’s wife is the reason he was able to overcome such impossible odds and continue to do great work.  She stuck by him despite incredible challenges, and unbelievable struggles.

LYN_5965_3Living without my Queenie for the last three weeks has only deepened my love and appreciation for her.  Not to say that I wouldn’t have preferred spending that time with her, but I have come to realize just how much she does for me personally that I don’t think I ever fully appreciated before now.  Not to mention all that she does for our kids in keeping them busy, fed, educated, clean, etc.

I’m not talking about all of the cooking and cleaning she does either, though I definitely miss her cooking right now.  I’m not even talking about her efforts to keep me socially engaged, which is pretty much the only way that happens.

I am talking about the way that she has become every bit a part of me as much as any of my other body parts, and probably even more so for she has truly become a part of my heart and soul.

I received a blessing back when I was a teenager that told me to look for a wife (someday, not when I was 16) that would be congenial to my soul.  At the time I don’t think I knew what that really meant, nor do I know that I fully appreciated it when I married her.  But, it has become very clear to me in the last three weeks exactly what that means.

I am not even sure that I have the words to explain how that feels to me right now, but I guess the simplest way to describe it is that I feel like a part of me is missing.  Not a physical part of me as much as an emotional and spiritual part of me.  It really is challenging for me to describe it in words.

We have spent significant time apart before, including four months when I was deployed a few years back, and even then it didn’t hit me this bad, and I think I know why.  In every other case I knew when I would see her again.  Even though that return date got moved on occasion courtesy of broken planes or weather, there was always a day for me to look forward to.

But not this time.

I know the day will come, and I have faith that it will be sooner than later, and definitely not even the four months we endured before, but not knowing is just killing both of us inside.  It is like waiting for a package to come without any kind of tracking so who knows when it will get there, only the package is your eternal companion, and is way more important than anything you could order on Amazon.

I’m not really sure why a movie moved me as much as it did today, especially when I have seen it multiple times and knew what was going to happen, but I am glad that it did.  I am grateful for the movie A Beautiful Mind for helping me to better understand just how essential a part of my life my Queenie is.

What are you grateful for?