Old movies seen from fresh perspective

The Academy Awards have arrived, and with them come the typical array of film critics describing what made the nominees “poignant” or “wholesomely fruitful.” Don’t get me wrong, I love the Oscar nominees as much as the next guy. But I can’t help but thinking that the critics consistently fail to understand the underlying importance and lessons of the movies upon their release. Thus, I have made it my mission to analyze the important lessons every Patriot should take away from some old American classics in an effort to pick up on what the film critics missed and hopefully teach you a thing or two about life in the process.
The Silence of the Lambs (1991) – Life lesson #1: Nothing good comes from helping others. That’s right, folks, forget all that “be nice unto others” crap you learned in church and start becoming a hermit. In the film, the daughter of a U.S. senator, Catherine Martin, is taken hostage by a man who fakes a disability after helping him load a couch into his truck. Moral of the story? Essentially, you really shouldn’t trust anyone because they’re probably a liar. Director Jonathan Demme clearly made this film to shape a society with few acts of kindness and no smiles.
Fargo (1996) – Life lesson #2: Be careful when you hire a hitman to kill your significant other. The Coen brothers make an excellent point in this film – if you’re going to hire a hitman, do it right. In the movie, Jerry Lundegaard, a car salesman, hires two hitmen to kill his wife. But Joel and Ethan Coen make Jerry fail to remind us how distracting money can be when getting this important business taken care of. Eyes on the prize, Jerry! Focus on how much you hate your loved one and try not to let money blind your vision of a beautiful and free future.
Up (2009) – Life lesson #3: If you see talking animals, get help. Up is a beautiful story, but surely not because of the blossoming friendship between Russell and Carl Fredrickson. It’s a touching story about mental illness and the stigma with which it is associated. Russell is clearly a victim of a terrible mental condition – one that results in flying houses and talking animals. By no means was this film meant to be a family comedy. It is, in fact, a reminder of the importance of seeking mental help when things out of the ordinary suddenly become normal.
127 Hours (2010) – Life lesson #4: Be prepared to part with a limb just in case something goes wrong on a hike. In the film, hiker Aron Ralston is forced to make a horrific decision – life or limb? Like most people, Ralston chose life, but the time it took for him to make this move nearly cost his life. If you think you may want to go out on a hike, just make sure you’re ready to saw off an arm or a leg, so that when they make a movie based on you, it’s called 15 Minutes instead of 127 Hours.

Matthew Klein

Features Editor

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