Widescreen: Nostalgia reigns supreme, with one Soldier Field-sized exception
"They don't make 'em like they used to."
I've always considered that one of the worst cliches of them all, something you don't say until you are old and out of touch, and yet I find myself thinking it a lot lately. I guess I don't think like I used to.
Just this past week, I thought it when:
• Watching "The Fugitive," Andrew Davis' 1993 Best Picture nominee in which Tommy Lee Jones chases Harrison Ford, who's chasing the truth about his wife's murder. It was shot entirely on location in Illinois and North Carolina, a luxury in a time when even green screens have been replaced by fully immersive digital volumes running on video game engines. It's a character-driven drama first, and an action movie second. It is the ultimate Chicago movie, shot in winter and spring so it looks like the city we know and love most of the year. And it's clearly made for adults, but not too adult to show to your kids. Thirty years later, it's still an essential film.
• Watching "The Ten Commandments," which my wife suggested after spotting the "Ben-Hur"/"The Ten Commandments" Blu-ray combo pack on our shelf. It will air in a nearly five-hour time slot at 6 p.m. this Saturday on ABC, but we watched an astonishing 6K remaster of Charlton Heston's Moses parting the Red Sea in two sittings. (Thank you, intermission!) The 1956 epic directed by Cecil B. DeMille is over the top in every way: hundreds (thousands?) of extras, performances so hammy you are tempted to call them bacon-y, gigantic sets depicting ancient Egypt, and a fidgety on-camera introduction from DeMille himself.
• Playing Bubble Bobble, an '80s arcade favorite whose original incarnation is available on Nintendo Switch and PlayStation. I downloaded it on a whim and have been playing it nonstop instead of buying the much-hyped Resident Evil 4 remake. It looks simple -- your little dinosaur dude blows bubbles to trap enemies and pop them -- but its 100 boards are full of secrets that no manual or on-screen tutorial will ever tell you about. There's no hand-holding, just education by way of repetition -- and some brutally difficult puzzles. Thankfully we don't have to pump quarters into our PS5 every time we kick the bucket.
• Listening to "Dark Side of the Moon." Pink Floyd's beloved album celebrated its 50th birthday on March 1, and we're still waiting for something to eclipse (wink wink) it in the "far out" department, man.
Taylor Swift performs "Miss Americana and the Heartbreak Prince" on March 17's opening date of her "Eras" tour in Glendale, Arizona.
- Associated Press
But on the other hand:
Amid all this personal nostalgia, there is one huge pop culture event from recent weeks that sets a new standard: Taylor Swift's "Eras" tour. Have you seen the setlist? Have you seen the YouTube videos? The people lucky -- or rich -- enough to see this tour are going to get their money's worth. The first show in Glendale, Arizona, went more than three hours and featured 44 songs. That puts Swift in Bruce Springsteen territory.
She'll be at Soldier Field June 2-4. I'll be outside the stadium, furiously updating StubHub until a price my wallet can (almost) handle pops up.
• Sean Stangland is a 44-year-old assistant news editor who feels both older and younger than that number.