By Cormac McCarthy
As we are all settling back into college, the jolting memories of timetables and citations will hit us all like a brick wall. In these few starting weeks, we all need something to just take our mind off everything. However, before you watch The Office for the 10th time why not dip into something else that you have definitely already seen; a long lost film from your very early childhood.
Now I don’t mean a timeless film that has not yet superseded the generational gap such as The Lord of the Rings or The Matrix. I very much mean a film that you nor I have heard of in a very long time.
These kinds of films came out only on DVD and wouldn’t be seen dead on a Netflix selection. These are the kinds of films that have the music of the “You wouldn’t steal a car” DVD Piracy ads permanently embedded into the backs of everyone’s minds.
These are the kind of films that you may have watched once at a cousin’s house on a rainy afternoon or perhaps in primary school when your teacher may have gone a little out a little bit too hard the night before
Let’s have a few examples that I’m sure are bound to get the memories jogging.
Do you remember Chicken Little? Mr. Bean’s Holiday? What about the DreamWorks classic, Over the Hedge? Anyone for Marmaduke or Ratatouille? If we dig a little bit deeper, we get films such as Dr. Dolittle starring Eddie Murphy, or maybe even the sequel Dr. Dolittle 2, also starring Eddie Murphy where he tries to rehabilitate a dancing bear after a disastrous accident occurs at a show, leaving him out of a job. The bear, not Eddie.
Oh, the things that passed for children’s entertainment in the early noughties. I’ll bet you remember Garfield. You know? The 2003 film about the strikingly orange cat voiced by Bill Murray? I’ll bet you don’t remember the fact that the main plot of the film involves a television personality putting an electric shock collar on a dachshund in order to get onto primetime tv. I’m not making this up.
Why not give Matilda a go? I’m sure you remember the precocious little girl who defeats the wicked principal in a satisfying finale. But do you also remember that Danny Devito has Blonde hair for a large part of the film and that there is a six-minute long scene in the middle where we watch a ten-year-old boy eat a grotesquely large chocolate cake? There was no reason at all to make the scene that long but it’s there and it’s certainly not going away any time soon.
Why not dip into the most bizarre sub-genre of films to ever emerge from Hollywood; films about colonies of ants fighting for survival against a powerful enemy. And there are a lot of them.
There’s Antz, a film about a weedy but ambitious ant who realizes that the colony is stronger when they work together. But if that’s not to your taste there’s also A Bug’s Life, a film about a weedy but ambitious ant who realizes that the colony is stronger when they work together. There’s also The Ant Bully which is completely different to the other two because it is about a weedy but ambitious ant-sized CHILD who realizes that the colony is stronger when they work together. Completely different films.
It seems someone in the marketing department in Hollywood couldn’t be bothered to work one day and simply wrote “Ants” on the board in a meeting and accidentally made upwards of 300 million dollars as a result.
It’s only a matter of time before the studios see this article and realize that there are still a few more franchises that they haven’t yet revived.
A few that I hope they keep well away from modern audiences are the myriad of live-action films starring child actors that have inevitably ended up on internet lists with titles such as “You won’t believe what the girl from Bridge to Terabithia looks like now.” Spoiler alert: She looks like an older version of herself.
Films included on this list that are definitely worth the watch include Holes, which such timeless characters as Madame Zeroni, Stanley Yelnats and Zero. Also worth a watch is Charlotte’s Web, where Oprah Winfrey and Andre 3000 provide the voices for a goose and a crow respectively.
The reason I suggest that these films is a good one. In a time in our lives when many of us are experiencing the highs and lows that adulthood brings, there is often a tendency to yearn for a simpler time when everything was clean, bright and faultless. These films really are none of these things. They are part of a time gone by. The reason we often associate them with being of a higher quality was because of the happy state we were in when we watched them. Sit down to one of them and you will chuckle to yourself and wonder at how you could possibly be entertained by these films over and over again. I hope that at least one of these films has brought up some sense of nostalgia for the reader and that by watching them that nostalgia, flutters away.
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