Late night paper grading rules my wife’s world these days. End of semester workloads are just mind blowing for teachers. If you have a teacher near by you right now, give them a hug.
The other night my wife is grading papers and I’m writing something, what I do not remember, but that’s not important. Background noise is needed to drown out the sound of plastic on plastic from either of our laptops. We turn to the most trusted name in background noise creation; Netflix.
The Roku fires to life, the Netflix app/channel whatever opens and the first shiny cover image that pops up is the big winner of the night.
We were going to watch Big Trouble in Little China.
This was not my first rodeo with Big Jack, but my wife is quite unfamiliar with this particular style of 80s cinema.
There are moments when our the differences in our upbringings are astounding. I grew up on the films that were obviously written in weekend long coke fueled rages. The weirder 80s sci-fi stuff. Cloak and Dagger, Gremlins, Tremors, House 2: The Second Story (which I think instilled my love of puns), any of the dinosaur related films where kids and extinct creatures must come together to save the world. These were the films of my youth.
My wife was exposed to more of the mainstream stuff including other John Carpenter films, but I think Overboard is her only exposure to 80s Kurt Russell. Big Trouble in Little China is an entirely different animal.
The film is beyond dated. It is offensive to every thing and every one by now. Lighting bolt riding bad guys, imperialism overtones, stereotypes out the wazoo, not one but two damsels in distress for some reason; just total cinematic garbage by today’s standards. But it was made an era of machismo and excess. Plus the whole post-Vietnam, Cold War thing, so a movie about an ordinary American trucker saving the world from dark magic and then just riding off to the sunset is forgivable. Art reflects its time.
There is a joy in watching, or half-watching, a classic movie with someone for the first time. Especially a classic movie that makes no dang sense. The night was mostly a bunch of “whaaaaaaaaat?” and sarcastic “well, that’s a thing.” I spent the viewing laughing and having a blast as she tried to make sense of the experience. It was amazing.
I am very much looking forward to more 80s movies with her. There’s no shortage on Netflix either. Suggestions are welcome!
Also, you can download my book People on the Highway free this week http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VUE2OQS