Remember that time you saw ‘The Notebook’ and wondered *SPOILERS AHEAD* why, oh why, the fuck, would this guy deal with all this bullshit to get a girlfriend? What kind of tail-tucking simpleton would let the girl they want date some other dude so she could ‘find herself?’
It was smart of you not to articulate this with your girl, but we were all thinking it. Trust me. We simply just don’t get it. However, we do get that she does. And that she loves it. And that she wants to watch it while all hugged up with us on the couch. Often. Ugh.
Likewise, we have or own movies that we can’t get enough of. Why? Because they’re violent? Sure. Because they have titties? Perhaps. But mainly because we’re just bros and these films tap into that deep, central manly instinct to watch, roar and pump your fist to the sky. And eat beef jerky.
Yeah, Tyler Durden is a criminal mastermind intent on founding a new world order based on anarchy, murder and pronounced disaffection. But there was lots of fighting and sarcasm and questioning of contemporary standards of behavior. Every time Tyler opened his mouth you could feel like he was talking to you, explaining why you were frustrated with a government that robs the poor to feed the rich while sacking you with student loans you can’t afford working the job your degree barely qualified you for. Damn. I need to punch someone just thinkin’ about it.
The Expendables 2 and 3 don’t count because they cut out lots of good stuff. The original Expendables however, did not. Buildings blew up. People got cut in half with guns as big as Shaquille O’Neal’s thigh. And a group of guys wise cracked and bullet-dodged through the whole of it. It’s like the return of the 80’s action movie we all desperately wanted in the 2000’s.
If someone had told you that Patrick Swayze would sell you as an ass-kickin’ bouncer after just making Dirty Dancing you would have punched him in the mouth for his arrogance. Road House was a masterpiece of life lessons, bar fights, martial arts and titties. Google Julie Michaels and thank me later.
Every year the ratio of girls to guys in college tips further in favor of guys. And every year a new group of fellas wish they never had to graduate and start paying back those ever-lovin’ student loans. If only we could take the knowledge we have now and apply it to a college campus. Old School is that dream. The 30-something male’s dream of what it would be like to get a collegiate ‘do-over’ without having to be the same collegiate nimbus you were a few years ago.
Fake blood ran like a river in Scarface. Al Pacino held on to his Tony Montana character for dear life while charging through electric scene after electric scene. The life of Tony Montana showed us what it really meant to start from the bottom as an immigrant and rise to the top of the cocaine business. His story is, at its most basic, every American’s story. Well, it is if you remove those weird incestuous implications towards the end.
In the history of films, no movie has expended as many rounds into the fictitious bodies of his enemies like Chow Yun Fat’s character did in The Killer. There is a love story in there somewhere that might help chill your girl’s protests. If not, then crank the volume to drown ‘em out with the sweet, sweet rattle of gunfire that runs a cadence through the film like bass at a Drake concert.
A young De Niro playing one of the toughest boxers ever? Of course. Every inch of this movie is teeming with anger and masculinity and aggression as De Niro’s Jake LaMotta deals with being an impulse-driven man charging through careers in boxing and entertainment. What’s not to get?
Enter The Dragon
Before Chow Yun Fat, before Jet Li, before Donnie Yen, Bruce Lee was showing us how to kick the bejeezus out of legions of enemies and look good doing it. Enter The Dragon was the first movie to show the destructive power of fists and feet. In fact, Bruce was so good at it they had to slow down some of the film’s fight scenes so your eye could catch the gorgeousness of the conflict. This is one of the few times you’ll actually enjoy watching a muscular man’s oily chest do its thing.
There are hundreds of movies featuring men, and a few women, shooting lots and lots of rounds at imaginary targets. Unforgiven was one of the few movies that delved into the psyche of a man that would actually choose to do such a thing. Movies in general have you thinkin’ its easy to point a gun and put a bullet in a man. Clint Eastwood’s William Munny shows you just how difficult it is. And how scary it is when it isn’t.
The Seven Samurai
Seven sword-wielding samurai, filled with honor and purpose, commit to saving a village of farmers from a horde of thieves. There’s a little bit of romance in The Seven Samurai that might actually get you laid if your lady friend focuses on it. But at centerpiece here is the powerful sense of duty the men exhibit risking their lives for naught but the promise of food and respect.
Tears? Naw, this is just eye sweat. Happens when my brain is overwhelmed with sweet, sweet violence.
The Big Lebowski
Dude, if you don’t get The Dude then how on earth did you read this far anyway?
Animal House is a brotherhood of men united by the hatred of the man and the love of the party. If any man’s life could follow the plot of a film, it would be this one. Lots of bros. Lots of brews. And boobs, sweet boobs.
Porky’s is like Animal House’s older, more experienced cousin that drives a motorcycle and smokes lots of weed. Where Animal House sneaks up on nudity, Porky’s expects it and chases it relentlessly. The themes of honor and revenge resonate strongly throughout, but mainly serve as connective tissue for all the sexy talk and nudity.
Now I’m gonna go work on a list of chick flicks that don’t make you wanna puke. If you have any suggestions, let me know on my twitter (@mightyspan).