My mother called me early last night. She is nestled in the wild, progressiveness of Beacon, NY while I sit, stewing in my own juices in the “bad” part of Chesapeake, VA. I moved here, to whittle away my summer, towards the end of February of this year. It is officially the longest time I have been absent from my parent’s in both of our lives. I think she kinda misses me. So, as mother’s are prone to do, she calls me every so often. After filling me in with the various going ons and going downs that I have missed since leaving my ole’ hometown, she noticed I was half paying attention to most everything she said. You see, I said “uh-huh”, when I should have said “you’re kidding”. It was a pretty juvenile slip up, but some how moms just seem to notice these things.
“What arrrre you watching?” She said in a playful, half-cackle, half scream that embodies my mom so well.
“Jaws.” I said half heartedly. I was distracted by Quint’s beautiful silhouette against the setting sun. There was an awe-inspired glaze over my eyes. Seriously, I had tears.
“How many times are you gonna watch that Jaws?!” She screamed into the phone. Then laughed a little annoyed, but still found a dollop of cuteness for her son’s love of a big, plastic, movie shark.
“Gooooodbye.” She gave up a fight she knew she’d loose, and she hung up the phone. She didn’t even give me time to say goodbye back.
Now for the record, I have watched Jaws a whole lot lately. I wouldn’t go as far to say it has been an unhealthy amount, but I will admit it is bordering. Of course in comparison to say Back to the Future or The Big Lebowski, movies I’ve watch twice or three times in a row, Jaws wouldn’t be blip on my movie viewing pie chart. Jaws wouldn’t even be a slice of pie. It’d be by itself, off to the bottom right or left, in the “other” category along with Say Anything and Roger Rabbit; seen with frequency, but not worth mentioning. I mean how atypical and cliche would it for me, to be a “self proclaimed movie geek” (who isn’t these days?), and gush to you, the movie geek public, about Jaws. I might as call up my friend, the chef, and gush to her about my love for salt and pepper. I mean… Come on!
The recent flood of Jaws viewings actually had an altruistic motive. You see, I, probably like most of you, have what I feel is a responsibility. I am here as a member of the church of Cinephiles and I want to spread my religion to all those who haven’t felt its proper touch. This means making sure people see the movies they are suppose to see. I’ve been taking the proverbial Good Luck Chuck’s off the shelves and replacing it with something with just a bit of merit. Jaws falls into this list as do any of the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Superman films as well as The Abyss, Night of the Living Dead, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Fitzcaraldo, and other flicks that have tickled me in that special, secret way. I’m sure you all must agree and feel similar pangs of responsibility in your hearts. But Jaws is different in its own right. To me Jaws is like mom’s pot roast and mashed potato nights or Grandma’s iced tea or Dad’s grossly outdated porno collection. Jaws is safe.
I had a girlfriend once, in some bizarre alternate reality where girls are attracted to insecure and mentally unstable, averagely overweight, comic book enthusiasts that drink a little more than they should. One lovely evening, this supposed girlfriend and I exited Star Wars: Episode 3: Berky Buh Doopy Da. She turned to me and said “You know I have never seen the originals?”. Words failed me. My mouth got all gooey. I guess flabbergasted would be the best of words, but it doesn’t feel like it does much justice for the overwhelming flood of emotions I had crashing through me.. I felt ashamed. I felt like a fake. I felt I had led this girl astray and tainted what could have been— something else. So I made it my mission to fix things fast. I hooked up the ole VCR and showed her the one, and only original trilogy. I watched with a perverse, vicarious joy as she saw Luke and the gang do their thing for the very first time. Honestly, I almost cried when she found out Vader was Luke’s father… I kid you not… She didn’t know!
Yet in the back of my mind I still felt like this was an Andes mint after a shit sandwich. The Trilogy after the Prequels? I should just hand in my street cred now and start using my DVR to catch up on Stargate… Life moved on, and I tried to rectify the situation; even the scales. We spent most weekends in her living room, absorbed in the journey’s of Marty McFly, Ripley, James Bond, Superman, and on one ill-fated evening Wayne and Garth (I still find them very amusing). Then she hit me with a earth shattering little piece of insanity. She has never seen Jaws.
Racing home I grabbed Jaws, a microwavable pizza, and my movie watching pants and made it back to her place before the couch even cooled. That’s when it started. That’s when I made it my mission to make sure that anyone I came in contact with knew what I knew, felt what I felt, and had the opportunity to be changed just a little by the cinematic perfection that is Jaws. I wanted them to wrap themselves in a Jaws security blanket and know… It’ll be alright.
You see, folks, Jaws is safe because, like The Sting or Citizen Kane or A Nightmare on Elm Street 4: Dream Warriors, Jaws is sequel proof. Unlike Alien or Superman which get bogged down by frivolous sequels with nonsensical plots, Jaws begins and ends in the first movie. The characters slip and slide into their necessary madness. They either succumb or they survive and come out the other side. The evil is vanquished. The beaches are safe. Roy Schneider and Richard Dreyfuss banter as they float and kick towards the distant shore. It’d be an impossible task to some how carve a sequel out of that perfect package of a film.
So Indiana Jones and the Hurky Duccca Dably Dook came out. I didn’t see it and at this point I doubt I will. Before you label me a troll or some sort of hate monger know this, it is of my own free will that I have stayed away. It is not from the horrible reviews I have read across countless movie sites. It is not the fact that the trailers looked merely like fan trailers cobbled together for some Youtube or Cocca Cola contest. Its not that fact that I might be the first person to come down with Shia fatigue (though that bitch slap video is quite classic). No, none of these things hold precedent over one mere and simple thing: I don’t care.
I never asked for more Indiana Jones. I never wanted more Indiana Jones. I was content and satisfied with the story I got. It all made sense. It fits my three DVD’s. So Indiana Jones and the Laddle Backa Doo Doo… Well I couldn’t care any less.
I’m safe. I have Jaws. They can never make a sequel to that!
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