Since 1998, I have been maintaining a list of movies that I wanted to see. Sometimes these are all-time classics that passed me by, sometimes they’re genre classics that interest me. The list grows regularly and is currently more than 1800 movies long. Fogs has gone through and hand-picked several classic films for me to “fast-track” and review here. This is one of those films.
Among the films that Fogs picked out as classics from my watchlist, he also included a handful of films that — while not necessarily the film-school shoo-ins — he felt were still worthy of inclusion due to being cultural touchstones, or popular films, or ones he simply felt I would enjoy. Kung Fu Panda was one of them, and while I recall him getting some gentle teasing from a few of his readers when he selected it as a Movie That Everyone Should See, I was happy to check it out. I’ve never stopped liking animation, and it looked like a fun one.
Benjamin: Oh my God! Mrs. Robinson: Pardon? Benjamin: Oh no, Mrs. Robinson. Oh no. Mrs. Robinson: What’s wrong? Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you didn’t… I mean, you didn’t expect… Mrs. Robinson: What? Benjamin: I mean, you didn’t really think I’d do something like that. Mrs. Robinson: Like what? Benjamin: What do you think? Mrs. Robinson: Well, I don’t know. Benjamin: For god’s sake, Mrs. Robinson. Here we are. You got me into your house. You give me a drink. You… put on music. Now you start opening up your personal life to me and tell me your husband won’t be home for hours. Mrs. Robinson: So? Benjamin: Mrs. Robinson, you’re trying to seduce me. Mrs. Robinson: [laughs] Huh? Benjamin: Aren’t you?
Kung Fu Panda is the story of Po (voiced by Jack Black), a portly panda who lives in a village at the foot of a mountain, atop which is a legendary Kung Fu temple. Po dreams of being able to learn Kung Fu, and of joining the exploits of the temples famous martial arts warriors, The Furious Five.
But being a Panda, and thus… a large individual to put it kindly, Po seems destined to a common life serving the customers at his father’s noodle shop.
Little does he realize the greatness he’s destined for.
When I first watched this film, I had no idea about any of the details of Watergate whatsoever. I mean, I was a burnout in high school, I barely paid attention. I knew the broad strokes, and that was it. Richard Nixon was impeached for spying on and sabotaging his political rivals and it all came to light because a handful of burglars got caught breaking in to National Democratic Headquarters, which were located in an apartment complex known as “Watergate”. The story was revealed due to a couple of reporters at the Washington Post, Woodward and Bernstein. That’s it, that’s all I knew. I didn’t even know Woodward and Bernstein’s first names. Just the bare minimum (I mean, I think ANY American should know that much, no?).
Now, of course, I know more than your average person. Eventually my love for this movie would lead me to read the book, and I’m a sucker nowadays for anything related to Watergate on PBS or the History Channel or wherever. Which is a nice compliment to the flick in and of itself, right? That my love for the movie led me to explore its subject more deeply, yada yada. But that’s not where I’m going with this.
What I’m saying is, I fell in love with this movie without having any idea what the %#$& was going on.