Tag Archives: James Caan

Movie Wisdom – James Caan Edition

3 May

Yesterday, I was flipping through the channels and came upon a movie that I had never seen. In The Killer Elite, James Caan, Burt Young and Bo Hopkins are trying to protect Mako from Robert Duvall. This thing has 1070s written all over it. The action takes place in San Francisco, and I kept wondering if they would run into Dirty Harry Callahan. They looked like the kind of guys he would go after.

Anyway, this started me thinking about all of the James Caan movies that I have watched. In turn, that started me thinking about all of the wisdom that can be found in James Caan movies. At least, that started me thinking about all of the wisdom that can be found in James Caan movies that I have watched.Rollerball

Here we go.

From El Dorado

A man can’t shoot good when his horse is jumping.

Faith can move mountains, but it can’t beat a faster draw.

From Brian’s Song

Every true story ends in death.

From The Godfather

A man who doesn’t spend time with his family can never be a real man.

Women are more dangerous than shotguns.

Don’t discuss business at the table.

Times have changed.

From The Godfather: Part II

Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer.

Good health is the most important thing. More than success, more than money, more than power.

From Rollerball

Comfort is freedom.

Four or five little things make one big thing.

From The Killer Elite

It’s in the manner of living and of dying one finds relevance.

Every country needs at least one voice raised in opposition.

From Dick Tracy

There’s a big world out there, and it’s up for sale.

All’s fair in love and business.

A big boss must have a vision.

From Honeymoon in Vegas

Always remember to have good words come out of your mouth.

 

Movie Wisdom – John Mitchum Edition

24 Nov

It is probably too soon for another edition of Movie Wisdom, but I have been inspired by one of my favorite movies, which is on television at this very moment. El Dorado stars John Wayne, James Caan, Robert Mitchum and a ton of character actors. One of those actors is Robert Mitchum’s brother, John.

John Mitchum was never a leading man like his brother, but he was in a bunch of good movies. In honor of finding this gem deep in the heart of my satellite dish, this is the Movie Wisdom that can be found in the movies of John Mitchum.John Mitchum

From Stalag 17

Just because they are dumb doesn’t mean that they’re stupid.

From My Fair Lady

The difference between a lady and a flower girl is not how she behaves, but how she is treated.

The French don’t care what they do actually, as long as they pronounce it properly.

There even are places where English completely disappears; in America they haven’t used it for years.

Women are irrational, that’s all there is to that!

From El Dorado

Next time you shoot somebody, don’t go near ’em till you’re… sure they’re dead!

Faith can move mountains, but it can’t beat a faster draw.

From Bandolero!

There things a man ought never do – spit in church, scratch his self in front of his ma, and pick his nose.

From Chisum

Because no matter where people go, sooner or later there’s the law. And sooner or later they find God’s already been there.

We may have to be neighbors, but I don’t have to be neighborly.

From High Plains Drifter

It’s what people know about themselves inside that makes ’em afraid.

They say the dead don’t rest without a marker of some kind.

From Magnum Force

A man’s got to know his limitations.

From The Outlaw Josey Wales

Dyin’ ain’t much of a livin’.

Now remember, when things look bad and it looks like you’re not gonna make it, then you gotta get mean.

It’s sad that governments are chiefed by the double tongues.

Buzzards gotta eat, same as worms.

Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

Without a doubt, those are wise words.

 

A Rollerball of Our Own

11 Nov

Today, I went down the road to watch the Tennessee Titans play the Jacksonville Jaguars. The game wasn’t very exciting, so I started taking in the surroundings. I watched the fans as they cheered for their team. I watched the video boards and the highlights from other games. I listened to the music. I heard the announcer try to rile up the crowd. I watched the players and coaches on the sidelines. All of that made me think of…James Caan.James Caan

In 1975, he starred in Rollerball, a movie about a violent sport in the future. Caan is Jonathan, the greatest and most famous player. The fans of his team love him while the fans of opposing teams feel the opposite. However, everyone recognizes that he is the best.

Rollerball has many themes, but one is overwhelmingly obvious. Corporate and government leaders use the game to distract the masses from the real issues and get them to focus on the game. This is an old story that goes back to the ancient civilizations, but, while sitting at an NFL game, I began to wonder if it is relevent today.

How many people know about the stats of their favorite player but know nothing about the false start of Obamacare? How many people are more concerned about the ups and downs of their fantasy team than about the ups and downs of the economy?

I am as guilty as anyone. When I get on the Internet, I head straight to the articles about my teams. I follow more sports writers on Twitter than news writers. When I talk to my friends about current events, it is about the state of the team rather than the state of the nation.

Has Rollerball come true? To a certain extent, I think it has. The scenes in the arena feel a lot like the scene in a football stadium. Is the NFL a conspiracy by our leaders to distract us from what is going on in the world? I doubt that, but it is a distraction. As we yell at the officials for being terrible, we forget about our politicians being terrible.

I guess it all comes down to this. We need to show as much passion toward the real world as we do sports. If we don’t get distracted from the real issues, then we can make the world with a great highlight reel.

The Horror of It All

15 Feb

Recently, my nephew and I saw The Woman in Black, the horror movie starring Daniel Radcliffe. When I told my girlfriend that we were going, she immediately started in on the “I Hate Horror Movies” conversation. She went on about how she doesn’t understand why they are enjoyable and how she can’t sleep if she watches one. Of course, she has become a pro at watching movies through her fingers. After we saw the movie, she asked if I had to lock my bedroom door and sleep with the covers over my head.

Well, nothing like that happened. In fact, the only thing that scared me about The Woman in Black was the future prospect of Radcliffe’s acting career. The audience consisted mostly of mothers with their Tween daughters, and I reckon they thought it was going to be Harry Potter versus Valdemort’s younger sister. With that being said, I must admit that there were a few times when I thought he should just pull out his wand and get rid of the bitch. That’s unfortunate for Radcliffe because I am afraid that he is heading down the path that Sean Connery took after James Bond. Although Connery made some good films, people did not accept his new roles, and his career stagnated until it recovered with The Untouchables. The one thing I fear more than Radcliffe’s future is being forced to watch a screening of Zardoz.

This is probably a good time to get back to my original point. The Woman in Black did its best to scare me, but no “scary” movie has ever accomplished that. It’s just a movie. I have never understood why people fear something on a screen and jump at every noise when they get home. I say again that it’s just a movie. However, my girlfriend’s comments did make me think. Have I ever locked my bedroom door after a movie? No. Have I ever slept with my head under the covers? No. But, I have had a few movies that stayed with me for a while. They did not make me afraid, but they did give me the creeps and made me think. These are the ones that will never get a second viewing by me.

Misery – The idea of being trapped or held prisoner has always bothered me, but a lot of movies play off that theme. This one really hit the cringe quotient when Kathy Bates took a sledge-hammer to James Caan’s legs. He got massacred as Sonny Corleone and played the toughest sport ever in Rollerball, but nothing compared to this. It took days to get the sound of bone crunching out of my head.

Pet Sematary – My friends and I saw this one at the old multiplex in town. The details have faded, but I know shit starts getting up and walking out of a cemetery good things will not happen. This is not a very scary movie on any scale, so I don’t know what hit me wrong. It was just creepy. (Oh, one more thing. I suppose the kid could be considered a zombie since he is the living dead, and that brings up a pet peeve of mine. When did voodoo lose the monopoly on zombies? Now, it’s always a disease that causes it.)

The Ring – This was a cool movie in every way. Cool concept. Cool filming. I was thoroughly entertained until the epilogue. When the girl crawled out of the television, I got creeped to the max. Of all the films, I carried this one the longest and didn’t watch television in my bedroom for a long time.

Paranormal Activity – This is one of the best horror concepts in a long time, and it scares me to think they will mess it up with continuous sequels. The latter ones a weaker than the first, but that could be because it was so great. It increased my creep factor by placing the story in an everyday setting about everyday people. There are no weird priests or spooky fog in this one. It’s in a suburban house that could be down the street. Or could be the one you live in.

The Grudge – I don’t remember much about his one, but I can never forget the creepy ghost kid that looked like Mikey from those old cereal commercials. The only difference is that after he ate anything – the anything turned out to be rat poison. And, that black blob thing was kind of strange as well. It was the scariest blob since James Arness in The Blob.

Twelve Monkeys – This movie is not really part of the genre. It is more of a desolate future kind of story. However, it stayed with me for a while. As I wrote earlier, I am not big on movies that show people being trapped, and I am sure my therapist would say there is some deep psychological reason for this. And, this movie is about being trapped in a time loop. We don’t know it until the end when Bruce Willis realizes it. It was a great movie until I figured out that the story was going to keep going and going like some evil Energizer bunny in Groundhog Day.

There you have it. The movies that stayed with me even though they didn’t scare me. I promise they didn’t, and I didn’t cover my eyes once.