“So, who do you like today?”
This was the tag-line for some new promotional TV and radio spots that were being aired in the New York City Metropolitan area a few years ago. They were trying to lure you to go to Belmont Park, which is the primo place for Thoroughbred Horse Racing in America. I’m not going to be writing about horse racing at Belmont Park or anyplace else today. But I do like that line, and I’m asking that question but about a different subject.
That’s Robert De Niro as the young Vito Corleone from The Godfather Part II. He’s just pumped a round into the chest of the local head of the Sicilian Black Hand, Don Fanucci, who tried to extort some money from Vito and his friends. Fanucci had said, “You should let me wet my beak a little,” because he wanted to muscle himself in on the proceeds of a high-jacking done by our boys. Corleone told his friends he’d settle the matter; “I make an offer he don’t refuse.”
What is it that we like about this scene – the gun play? Or is it the total fearlessness and ballsy attitude that we go for? How about that Al Pacino as Scarface? “Say hello to my leetle frien”. Or an even younger De Niro as The Taxi Driver.
But it isn’t just the guns that we go for. Every once in a while there’s a great fight, without guns. Here’s Tom Cruise and Hiroyuki Sanada batting each other around in The Last Samurai. Let’s not forget Russell Crowe’s bravura performance in Gladiator.
Sometimes, it’s just the look of the guy; like the Indiana Jones character, as played by Harrison Ford. Was it the fedora or the distressed leather jacket that got to us, or was it the brashness of the character?
Maybe you like what a character stands for. How about Mel Gibson as William Wallace in Braveheart? His dying word in the movie was “Freedom!”. Or Liam Neeson as Rob Roy, another boy from the country who fought against the oppressive overlords?
What about the cool and savvy guy who is able to play both ends to his advantage. That would be Bruce Willis in Last Man Standing. But sometimes the hero is conflicted, and his strengths still can’t prevent the inevitable. Recognize this?
That’s Robert De Niro as The Deer Hunter. Maybe you’ll have a better feel for the film if I show you this image…
But it isn’t always about strength and courage. People don’t have to get killed in every movie that men like. We often liked to remember the wonderment of being a child and opening a door and finding something out there that you’ve never seen before…
as in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, or E.T. Yes, these are wonderful movies, and who knows if events like these will ever happen. But maybe the future will bring something terrifying as we saw in Independence Day.
Yeah, maybe there are other beings out there. What about this bloody baby picture of this fellow from Alien. He grew up to be anything but adorable
Quite often, we have aliens in our midst, only they are aren’t from a different species. Instead they’re just from a different place on our own planet. Michael Douglas portrays a New York City cop in Osaka, Japan, in Black Rain. Arnold Schwartzenegger plays Moscow’s best detective transported to Chicago to work a case in Red Heat. Or in a different kind of movie, Tom Selleck is Mr. Baseball, who made a different kind of headline in Tokyo.
Just a few more. How about plain old man against man confrontations. Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson in A Few Good Men…,
… Al Pacino vs. Robert De Niro in Heat, Mel Gibson in the Mad Max films, Clint Eastwood vs legions of ‘Bad Guys’ in the Dirty Harry series, and our last entry in the category of Films Guys Love – The Matrix.
Is that it? Are those all of my favorites? Well no. We’ve barely scratched the surface. We’ll save some other movies that men love for another column. In the meantime, you can read some of the other articles on this site. They too represent videos that men love. From New York, this is JustMeMike, and that’s a wrap!