BORN TO BE MILD 08/24/2008
 

i'm a movie lover.  i've watched and worked on them for a lot of years.  most people who know me already know this.

despite my love of film there are quite a few "classic" movies i haven't seen, so recently i decided to start renting the ones i [somewhat shockingly] have never seen.  movies like On The Waterfront, Lawrence of Arabia, Easy Rider and every single James Bond movie (no, despite the fact that i worked on "Die Another Day" i've never had to sit through the entire movie -- not that it qualifies as classic Bond anyway).

well, this past week my picks were "Easy Rider" and "Goldfinger" -- one distinctly American and one [sort of] British classic (the nationality balance was entirely unintentional).

anyway, i have to admit (at the risk of sounding uncool) that i was terribly let-down by Easy Rider.  i thought it was supposed to be this landmark, generation-defining piece of film about American youth, self-exploration and freedom.  but really, the movie was just fucking boring.  in fact, i fell asleep during my first attempt to watch it.  but in keeping with my goal, i got up the next day and finished the DVD.  to me the only interesting part of the whole film was Jack Nicholson's brief monologue after he got high for the first time.  i've done a lot of the stuff the characters in the movie do -- road tripped across America, smoked a lot of weed, dropped acid, rode a motorcycle, snorted cocaine and felt disenfranchised -- and Easy Rider is quite possibly the most UNexciting depiction of those things ever created.

good grief.

on the other hand, Goldfinger was awesome.  it was everything i hoped a classic Bond flick would be.  outdated, sexist and full of things that later became major pop-culture references.  there were Q, MoneyPenny, Pussy Galore and Oddjob in all their 1964 glory -- what more could a viewer ask for?  a hysterically equipped Aston-Martin, martinis (shaken, not stirred), a completely bizarre theme song belted out by Shirley Bassey and a glorious hero whose suit never wrinkled even after he spent all day in a Kentucky jail cell.  oh, the willing suspension of disbelief was delicious!

i've got a lot more classic movies on my list waiting to be watched, and i plan to get to all of them sooner or later.  all i can say is i'm pretty sure no matter how many movies i see, Easy Rider will remain near the bottom of the list.

i still can't believe what a let-down it was.

if anyone out there has seen Easy Rider lately and digs it, please leave a comment here explaining what you like about it.  i don't mean fond memories of seeing it back in 1969 -- i mean watch it in 2008 and tell me what (if anything) you find so great about it -- i'm truly curious.  perhaps i missed something.

p.s.
my favorite thing in Easy Rider (if i had to find one) might have been Peter Fonda's sunglasses.  they were pretty stylin'.