Monday, September 04, 2017

How We Remember Bad Movies

Courtesy of my friend Ian.....

"It's amazing that Austin Powers was a major, multi-million dollar film franchise that was released within the last 20 years, but the only enduring reference from those movies is when you're trying to maneuver your car out of a tight spot. If you say 'Shagadelic, baby!', people will laugh at you for being dated as hell, but if you're trying to parallel park and you say, 'Oh, I'm going to have to try an Austin Powers move here,' people instantly know what you're talking about and laugh at the reference."

It’s very true, and a prime example about how you never know what bits of pop culture will stick in people’s memory.  As Ian points out, Austin Powers was actually a good movie* and a big franchise, but it’s stranger than a bad movie somehow retains a spot as a go-to reference.

* = having not seen the original Austin Powers in some years, I’ll stick with teenage Mark’s memories and impressions rather than give into my suspicion that the film has aged hella-poorly.  As in, aged worst than using “hella-“ as a prefix.

To name just a few examples, hence the entire point of this post…

* Junior is still the go-to reference for the idea of a man giving birth
* Jack is still the go-to reference for the idea of someone who looks much older than they actually are, or someone who’s a veritable manchild
* Groovin’ 2 is still a go-to reference whenever someone wants to mock the idea of a goofy or unnecessary sequel, since they just refer to it as “___ 2: Electric Boogaloo”
* Pay It Forward introduced the concept of, well, paying it forward as an act of social kindness
* The Bucket List introduced the concept of, well, a bucket list.
* Master Of Disguise, based on the “turtle turtle!” gimmick in the trailer, is still the go-to reference when you see someone that looks like, or is dressed like, a turtle.
* Sliding Door is still the go-to reference for alternate realities based on one minor decision
* Powder is still a chief go-to reference for bald people.  I was actually recently described in a roast-like fantasy sports messageboard thread as looking like “Sean Patrick Flanery’s character in Powder.”  Dude, just say I look like Powder.  I watch a hundred movies a year; trust me, I’ll get the reference.  ‘Powder’ is even the character’s name.  It’s like saying someone looks like “Tom Hanks’ character in Forrest Gump.”

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