September 14, 2009


He was physicality personified for children of the blockbuster. Shirtless, tousled, he proclaimed Baby eternally free from the proverbial corner and, in coining another eternal phrase from the Me Generation, declared that pain didn’t hurt. I didn’t reassess Patrick Swayze until his appearance on SNL convinced me that he had a sense of humor about himself. I always liked Road House, but after that, I began to appreciate it as something a little more than just a camp curiosity. It’s a little self-awareness that found Swayze as the pederast in Donnie Darko towards the end; that this embodiment of meat and mimic motion was also the dancer; the devoted husband that spent the last 20 months of his life penning a memoir with his wife of almost forty years. Obits today are almost universal in identifying the two key Swayze pictures as the two most successful: Dirty Dancing and Ghost. But my favorite is his big brother turn in Francis Coppola’s The Outsiders – his Bodhi from Point Break a close second. As big brother/mentor his physicality makes sense: imposing, the avatar of some order – it comes clear why he was cast notably as a philosopher who happened to kick ass along the way. Of course he did, look at him. Dirty Dancing and Ghost exploited his physicality: one obviously, the other by mining the film’s only pathos from the denial of it. The Outsiders honored it. And so it goes.

Here's a link to
One Swayze Summer for the curious.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Fuck, Gamer is a bad movie. It fails as a coherent film, it fails (who would've thought?) as any kind of social commentary – it even fails as a film for gamers, because it fucking hates gamers and makes them snobby rich kids, women with a beard or naked sweaty guys so fat they have to use a wheelchair.

The whole setup just doesn't work, either. It's a ridiculous and casually sadistic film.

My favorite moment: The good guys find out the hidden truth (tm), and the reporter is chastised because "it's not just a story." Um, yes it is. Broadcast it and you've won. Which they don't do, in the end, but instead opt for plot twist upon plot twist, so that the final confrontation happens with the bad guy doing a lip-synch musical of "I've got you under my skin", and then a basketball court encounter that makes me wish for Escape from LA, and then... bah.

If only it had Megan Fox in it.

And my secret word verification is: "warbible". huh.