Some movies are as good as I remember. Sometimes they're better. There's nothing more rewarding than discovering a movie is even better than you remember it. Or means something different today than it did several years ago. I am always amazed at how much richer The Royal Tenenbaums becomes with each new viewing. I suppose those movies would move into the classic category for their ability to capture a storyline or emotions that are timeless.
Then there are movies that aren't as good as you remember. For instance, I recently re-watched Brian DePalma's The Fury. When it comes to old-school Brian DePalma, I'm unapologetic. I love Phantom of the Paradise. Dressed To Kill. Body Double. I feel that Blow Out is not only a good movie, but a masterful one.
Up until a couple of weeks ago, I would have added The Fury to that list. My memory of the movie was of brilliant snippets. Of the opening scene at the beach. Of Amy Irving walking the beach with her red locks of hair and girl-next-door innocence. Of the beautiful slow-motion mayhem towards the end of the movie. My memory sort of glossed over the other parts. The awkward conversations about nothing that involved strange camera angles as if DePalma was saying "yeah I know this scene sucks, but I have to have it so at least I'll make it interesting looking." The idiotic attack on the middle-easterners. And the random and unnecessary car chase between Kirk Douglas and the police.
Truth be told, seeing The Fury again really bummed me out. Seeing it again reminded me of why I avoid his more recent movies because they are without a nucleus. Of random sometimes brilliant scenes that are somehow not related. To me, DePalma is the essence of that film movement. Self-indulgent, sometimes brilliant with a slight chance of implosion. Seeing The Fury again made me wish I left well enough alone. To just remember it as being a much better movie than it is and to recommend it right up there with all the others. Stupid memory.