Crocodile Dundee

“What I think was my third trip to the video store, I had a new strategy. I’d already picked thru the inventory for stuff on my wish list. There was still far too much to really dig into everything, and the majority was still $5. I knew that’d be knocked down soon. So after chasing down a couple movies that I had added to my list in the past week, I noticed a rack of their “”previously viewed DVDs””. For those of you who are too young to remember how these things work, when a new DVD hit, the stores would have a whole bunch of copies. You’d see entire shelves with the latest blockbuster. Then, as the new release became less new, they’d sell off the excess, (hence previously viewed) until they only had one or two copies, which fit better into their shelves.

So when a store is selling off everything, there isn’t really a whole lot of difference which ones you’re getting (although their actual new releases were still priced a little higher). But this particular rack had them for $2 instead of $5. For the most part, these were the bottom of the barrel. I hadn’t heard of most of them, which didn’t stop me from grabbing a couple wild cards that at least had someone in the cast that I liked. Once in a while, if you’re patient, you’ll find a real gem in these bargain bins (To date, Frailty is probably my favorite bargain bin buy. $5 for the movie I hafta watch every Halloween). This time, the hidden gem was Crocodile Dundee, classic 80s comedy.

This was one of the times that the owner guy (I think his name was Joe) rang me up. Those were always the best (and not just because he often knocked off a couple bucks or rounded down) because he’d have commentary about different DVDs. I always tried to guess which ones he’d have something to say about, and I usually guessed wrong. When he got to this one, he exclaimed about how great it was. I admitted that I had somehow never managed to see it. He reiterated its greatness.

And yeah, it’s a pretty fun movie. Paul Hogan plays the titular Michael J “”Crocodile”” Dundee, a native Australian who thrives in the outback. He’s brought to the wilds of NYC by a reporter, and this fish out of water discovers what life is like for the big game in the big city.

It was equally refreshing and offsetting that most of his stranger in a stranger world reactions were mostly realistic. Given the similarities in the basic plot (minus the character framework), I was comparing most of his experiences to Elf’s Buddy’s first adventures in the big city. I’m so used to that kind of Will Ferrell comedy, where the interactions and reactions are exaggerated for comedic effect. I kept expecting Dundee to do something really crazy, and his only slightly strange actions always caught me off balance.

I can see why this movie is so beloved. Its fun and heartfelt. I couldn’t help but think of the episode of How I Met Your Mother, where Marshall realizes that his father’s last words to him were that he should rent Crocodile Dundee 3. Well, I don’t know about 3, but I did find 2 still on the shelves at my final trip to the video store. That’s currently waiting in the watch queue!”

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