Monday 14 December 2009

Greatest Movies I Ever Saw (In No Particular Order) - #1

Here at Emotionally Fourteen, we spend a lot of time focusing on the negatives, with such hilarious segments as "The Worst Games I Ever Played" or "Why your RPG Campaign sucks" serving to allow us to impart our opinions upon the world via the glorious communication tool (if that's what you consider it to represent) that is the Internet.

However, sometimes it's nice to hear about something positive every now and then, and if I can just fill the Internet with a little more positivity, then that's not such a bad thing now is it? So with that in mind, I give you the first of The Greatest Movies I Ever Saw.

High Fidelity

When I first saw this movie, it was round at a friend's house, so I didn't really take it in, but I got the gist: John Cusack's character ran a record shop, and I heard the odd bit of dialogue that made me chuckle, so I thought I'd give it a bash another time when it was on TV and I'd be able to catch the whole thing.

Thank fuck I did, I'll tell you that. The film went from "a couple of bits of dialogue that made me chuckle" to being one of the greatest films I ever saw, mainly because at the time it felt like the original book that the film was based upon had been written by a writer who truly GOT what it was to be Emotionally Fourteen.

From the outset, this film ticks all the boxes of what it is to be a guy: the one hobby you're that little bit more into than everyone else seems to be able to understand (except of course, those who are into the hobby themselves), the vague attempts at philosophical discourse from what essentially is an everyman character, albeit one with his own business. The constant evaluation and re-evaluation of past mistakes is another one, but of course it's always key to integrate them with something you find comforting.

What struck a chord with me in this movie was the feeling that there are people who do this on a slow day at a shop. It made me feel like less of a square:

Face it, if you're Emotionally Fourteen, building top 5's of different things is EXACTLY the kind of thing you do on a regular basis. Hell, I opened up my input on this site with two of them in the space of the first couple of months! Granted, one of them was about Dot Cotton from Eastenders and the other one went into great depth about punching off a robot's face and the satisfying feeling that gives, but nonetheless the implication is clear.

Another plus point to this movie is that it's an adaptation of a novel that doesn't become a shitter version of the novel. All too often you'll hear people lamenting whatever novel they enjoyed being turned into a film, but when it came to High Fidelity, the director's plans were sensible enough to include ways to adapt everything that might become a problem, the most notable one being the change of Marie de Salle from an indiscriminate American to a black American played by the gorgeous Lisa Bonet.

The soundtrack's bollocking awesome in this film as well, including such artists as The Beta Band, The Clash and Stevie Wonder. Although the characters give Stevie a hard time in this film, they acknowledge his place as one of the greats as well, so you can't really fault them completely. Besides which, Jack Black's version of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On" is one of the better cover versions I've heard.

Finally I'll leave you with some trivia for the film, courtesy of The Internet Movie Database:

"In the Hungarian dubbed version, Barry and Rob are discussing Reservoir Dogs instead of Evil Dead II, because that film was almost unknown in Hungary that time. Reservoir Dogs was also the film discussed in a similar scene in the novel."

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