I have a confession to make. Since graduating from college and being on the job hunt I have used my extreme extra hours of time to watch movies.
But not just any movies. Movies that I’ve been meaning to watch for a long time, but four years of school kind of held me back from doing so. I usually make a list of things to tackle in a week’s time. I like to set goals because I’m crazy like that. And another reason I need a job.
But it’s easier to make a week’s movie goals if I center it around a common theme. Once it was simply “Star Wars.” I had a whole summer that was devoted to Dustin Hoffman once. It’s a dark hole that you can go down. A few weeks ago I focused all my energy between job applications on Judd Apatow movies. Because I can never decide if I like “Knocked Up” or not. Last week it was Cameron Crowe movies because “Aloha” was coming out.
But this week I went down a rabbit hole that I’ve always meant to go down, but have never had the time or the patience. My mom talks about Kevin Costner a lot. Remember the mom test? Yeah, she doesn’t like much when it comes to film and TV but she loves Kevin Costner. I’ve seen a few Kevo movies here and there and my bio is built around an antidote about him, but I’ve always wondered about his filmography.
He hasn’t done as many films as you may think. And I like that about him. He’s the type of actor that cares about what he does. I was always fond of Kevin Costner before this week. But now I know. I like him a lot.
“Bull Durham” was a movie I never understood. It’s kind of silly really. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins? I think that whole thing always overshadowed it for me. But I doubted Costner’s baseball movie abilities and apparently his comedy chops. I mean, who doesn’t love his big speech in Annie’s house? Never underestimate a dramatic actor that can be funny.
But then I moved on to “The Bodyguard.” What a terribly strange movie. First, it’s very dark and was hard to concentrate on. And I mean the film was literally dark. It had lots of darting in and out of places and flashes of light and darkness all at once. It was like a disco. And Whitney Huston was a pop singer/actress that was bipolar with emotions. It seemed like such a strange choice of movie for Costner to me but then again I suppose that’s what makes him so fascinating to me at the same time. He does films that are different. “Field of Dreams” kind of proves that.
A very underrated Costner movie is “The Upside of Anger.” It’s a delightfully dark comedy about a housewife that thinks her husband left her to raise their four daughters alone only to find him dead in a well outside their house three years later. Super weird concept until you enter the housewife’s former baseball star neighbor who she, I guess, starts dating and then everything gets better or whatever. The point is Costner sticks to what he does best: unlikely film plots and baseball. “Moneyball” says, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?” How can you not be romantic about Kevin Costner movies?
Then comes the big one. Do you know that “Dances With Wolves” is almost four hours long? Yet it’s not sickening like “Titanic.” Nor is it self-indulgent like “Titanic.” There’s something about it that’s very fulfilling if you bring yourself to sit through the whole thing. And maybe it’s that brilliant and wonderful because Costner also produced it and directed it. One of my favorite things is an actor that does more than act. Call it the James Franco complex if you will. And then I happened to watch a wonderful interview with Costner where he talked about paying for some of the production of “Dances” because he believed in it. He wanted to tell the story. And that, as with many things, fuels my love of movies.
So, yesterday as I was in Target (as I often am), I came across a movie that my brother really loves called “Draft Day.” And it happens to star Kevin Costner. And it happens to be about football (shh don’t tell the baseball gods). I had to buy it for him. I know my brother loves the movie because it’s about draft day in the NFL, but I love it because it has that special Costner touch. Call me a romantic.
I’ll try to update as much as possible about what I’m watching this summer. Have any ideas for next week’s movie theme? Leave your suggestions in the comments or contact me!