Friday, May 27, 2011

I've never actually played Pong...

While I was on the treadmill yesterday, I watched Airport '77, which happened to be on one of my movie channels. And even though it's been around since 1977 (what a coincidence!) I had never seen it before. It was, at times, unintentionally hilarious -- as many movies from the 70s tend to be. At least I think they can be hilarious sometimes... I mean, let's face it, clothing in the 70s was just crazy funny -- why on earth did people wear some of that stuff??

Airport '77, in case you've never seen it, is about a group of art thieves who hijack a big, private 747 -- so it's outfitted with couches and various rooms and a bar with a piano... and a super cool, state-of-the-art computerized tabletop where kids can play Pong. This resulted in Hilarious Moment #1, when the two kids on board the plane were playing Pong and acting like it was the most action-packed game ever invented. (Although maybe in 1977 Pong WAS the most action-packed game ever invented??)

As I watched, I realized that many of the actors were younger versions of actors I've seen many times before. (Hey, it's Saruman from Lord of the Rings! Hey, it's the dad from A Christmas Story! Hey, it's that guy from the Naked Gun movies who ISN'T Leslie Nielsen! And is that Jimmy Stewart??) Which was part of Hilarious Moment #2 -- a very young Kathleen Quinlan made an appearance, but it took me a while to realize who she was. I had a hard time tearing my eyes away from her huge, fuzzy eyebrows, which looked like two caterpillars resting above her eyes. These days, a stylist or makeup artist would enthusiastically attack those things with a pair of tweezers... but again -- it was the 70s...

Once the plane hijacking begins, the art thieves subdue the passengers by hooking up a canister of some sort of gas to the ventilation system... meanwhile, the co-pilot, who is in on the hijacking (and, apparently, the worst pilot in the history of flying), flies the plane low toward the water (in the Bermuda Triangle, no less). But he fails to notice the huge oil rig out in the middle of the water until it's too late -- he clips the rig with a wing, and then is forced to crash land in the ocean. And of course at this point, all the passengers begin to wake from their gas-induced stupor, and realize the plane is crashing. This resulted in Hilarious Moment #3 (and I will mention that I literally laughed out loud at this scene) -- this was before all the various special effects we've come to know and love... so as the plane was "crashing," I have to imagine the director told the actors something along the lines of, "just start throwing yourselves onto the furniture." Because that's exactly what it looked like. Someone jumped over the bar onto the piano... another person jumped onto the couch... another person threw themselves against a wall, as another person off screen threw a chair at them... that was pretty much the extent of it...

Basically, the movie was "The Poseidon Adventure" but with a plane instead of a boat. The plane is trapped under 100 feet of water, chaos ensues, a small group is brave enough to attempt to swim to the surface to find help, the navy comes and rescues them... But I have to admit I was interested enough to watch the whole thing...

And now I'm off to the airport to fly back to Buffalo... I probably shouldn't have watched a movie yesterday about a plane trapped underwater when I'm about to fly over two great lakes, but oh well... :)

3 comments:

LL Cool Joe said...

The thought of a plane trapped under water made me shudder. Great film to watch before a flight! :D

Bulldog said...

What? No spoiler alert? Now you've ruined the plot for me. ;o)

I shudder when I see some of the clothes I wore in the 70's. I actually had a "Stayin' Alive" white linen suit that went well with a black shirt with small blue flowers on it. My Lord, what were we thinking?

Yes, I played Pong, and Asteroids and Space Invaders. Sigh . . . I'll never get those hours back.

Lisa said...

Joe -- Yeah, probably not the best film selection to watch before boarding a plane. Kinda like watching "Titanic" before going on a cruise... :) But I made it back in one piece!

Bulldog -- I can never help but laugh when I see old pictures of the first house I lived in back in the 70s -- orange carpet, dark wood paneling, an ornately printed couch -- why would anyone ever think ORANGE carpet was a good idea?? :) That linen suit sounds like quite the fashion statement! ;)