Published on July 27th, 2012 | by Fred Betzner0
Movie Anniversaries No One Thought to Celebrate
Anniversaries are happening all the time. For instance, right now it’s the three-second anniversary of you reading that first sentence. In general, anniversaries are great! They let us remember a point of common reference and give us an occasion to celebrate important events. Your wedding, your second wedding, the time you first saw Air Force One in theaters.
Hmmm? Oh! You didn’t know that this year–specifically July 25,2012–marks the 15-year anniversary of the release of Air Force One? Well, neither did I until the fine folks at MovieFone reminded me! If you were wondering, this is the appropriate facial expression for you to have upon hearing this news:
I, for one, am eternally grateful that MovieFone has ended its years of silence and is finally celebrating this Harrison Ford “classic” — a film described by Roger Ebert upon its release as a “fairly competent recycling of familiar ingredients.” And you can imagine how I, a lover of cinema, felt when I found out that I hadn’t even known about this monumental occasion.
Well, NEVER AGAIN! I dug through IMDb for six or seven hours today and memorized the release dates of every movie released in the past 25 years. Here are a few movie anniversaries that you should be aware of, because–as MovieFone has shown us–yesterday’s “mediocre cliché pile” is tomorrow’s “indispensable classic.”
Five Years Ago: National Treasure: Book of Secrets
The second film in the moderately popular National Treasure series sees Nic Cage’s Benjamin Hamilton Washington Adams Franklin Gates seeking the legendary golden city of Cibola (presumably to recover their excellent bread recipe), which apparently John Wilkes-Booth had a map to for some reason. But in order to complete the map, he must break into Buckingham Palace and the White House, lure the President to Mount Vernon on his birthday, trick him into leaving his Secret Service guards behind, and follow him into a set of disused tunnels where Cage can trap him and get him to reveal the truth about the titular Book of Secrets (which contains the real story about every conspiracy ever).
Whoo! That’s quite a plan. Well, I don’t know about you, but if someone needs to lure the President into disused tunnels, I want that someone to be Nic Cage! He just radiates “trustworthy.”
The service that the National Treasure series is providing this country is invaluable: revealing the secret history of this great nation in a straight forward, no-nonsense, educational way is enough to permanently add this film to the short list of True American Classics.
Fred Rating: Don’t just watch, memorize to quote at fancy dinner parties.
Ten Years Ago: Boat Trip
When Boat Trip was released in 2002, the world was a different place. The idea of being in the same room with a gay man was enough to throw any straight man into hysterical fits. The number of straight men lost to beating their heads against a wall at the barest indication of a suggestive smile from a gay man was staggering. Because if there’s anything straight men are more afraid of than butt sex…well, you’d better pray that the terrorists never figure out what it is.
But after this comic romp starring Oscar winner Cuba Gooding, Jr. and Horatio Sanz came out, all that changed! Following the release of this story of two straight men accidentally booked on a gay cruise who still manage to get with at least three women, gays have been given the right to marry in some states and can now serve openly in the military.
Think that none of these things can be attributed to a one-and-a-half star comedy that 45 people saw? PROVE ME WRONG, SMART GUY!!!
Fred Rating: YESYESYESYESYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSS!
Fifteen Years Ago: McHale’s Navy
McHale’s Navy is the kind of movie that should be screened in every high school in the country, because upon seeing the zany antics of Captain McHale, no 17-year-old will be able to resist signing their lives away to a military recruiter! “Deborah Messing? David Allen Greer? FRENCH STEWART!? Sign me up, sir!”
This big-screen remake of the 60s television program tells the story of a rag-tag bunch of seamen spending their time skipping from one Pacific island to another running an illicit gambling operation, selling homemade booze, and using all the proceeds to fund a Little League baseball team. Just what every kid dreams of!
Of course, it’s not all fun and games. When a super bad guy played by Tim Curry has a missile or something and threatens to blow up the Little League team, McHale and his team go on the offensive in a roller coaster ride of action adventure and…honestly I’m not sure how it ends. Every time I try to watch it, I get distracted by my dog licking his balls. Hey, it’s more entertaining than anything Tom Arnold has ever done.
Fred Rating: Must Sea!
Twenty Years Ago: Beethoven
Oh, Beethoven! King of all Comically Destructive Dogs! Your slobbering antics have entertained millions of children who are now investment bankers, coffee shop clerks, gardeners, and crack heads. Sometimes all at once. You and your taste for food not intended for your mouth is truly what unites us, the common thread running through our lives.
It’s hard to believe that it’s been 20 whole years since you first tracked mud through the hallways of our hearts. I have to wonder that if we sat the Israelis and Palestinians down in a room with you, maybe all their differences would be forgotten. Maybe Beethoven can finally bring about world peace.
I heard that Magic Johnson had a private screening of Beethoven, and it cured him of AIDS.
I heard they found a tribe of people on an island in the Pacific who had never before come in contact with the outside world and had no idea what a dog was, and they had carved a statue of a Saint Bernard with a turkey leg in his mouth. It has been speculated that Beethoven is actually God.
Fred Rating: ALL PRAISE BEETHOVEN!
Twenty-Five Years Ago: Stakeout
I’ve never actually seen Stakeout, and I’m running headlong into a deadline, so I’ve decided to infer the plot of the film from the poster.
Richard Dreyfuss is a down on his luck sex addict who also happens to be one of the finest detectives in the world. When he is assigned a rookie partner, played by Emilio Estevez, they are forced to go undercover as a pair of women’s shoes. From their vantage point under the bed of a mob hit-man’s wife, they stake out (yeah, I know that’s the name of the movie) their bedroom to get information that ultimately leads them to the top boss: Richard Dreyfuss’ twin brother, Morty Dreyfuss.
The film overcomes its ridiculous premise thanks in large part to a brilliant soundtrack by Queen and Leslie Uggams, who also co-stars as a tough as nails undercover cop who is disguised as an easy chair in the same bedroom. The film won an Oscar for Best Sound Editing in a Police Officer-Themed Comedy, Musical, or Snuff Film.
Fred Rating: Well, it’s 25 years old, so it HAS to be good, right?
Well, kiddies, make sure you remember to celebrate these films this year. There are tons more anniversaries happening. If you’ve got one you think people should remember, put it in the comments section below!