"Premium Rush" is the best movie. At lest this is the assertion that a friend of ours made the other night at dinner. Taken in context, during a conversation in which we were all catching up and specifics were excused for generalities, this epitome could have simply drifted into the chit chat ether. Not on my watch.
"And Citizen Kane is garbage," I shot back, snobbery ablaze.
"You know what I mean," responded our friend, somewhat taken aback with the ferocity of my return of her lob volley.
I wasn't finished. "The work of Martin Scorsese pales by comparison to this tale of a reckless bicycle messenger in New York City. Mean Streets? That was nothing. Premium Rush was the real deal."
That's when our friend's husband stepped in as the voice of reason. "Well, you know, we're talking movies more than film here, right?"
I knew exactly what he meant. I understood that he was talking about those easily digested nuggets that have no nutritional value to speak of but make us feel fat and happy. There are plenty of people who, if pressed, would describe Cheetos as "food." There are people who watch movies starring Vin Diesel more than once. On purpose. Not that they're ever going to be referred to as "film."
When I was in college, I studied film. I went to the movies. Occasionally there was some crossover. Watching George Romero's "Dawn of the Dead" in Horror Film class was one of those moments. Owning a VCR and working in a video store gave me plenty of opportunities to flip from one side to the other: this one's good for you, this one not so much. In those years I learned to speak with authority about montage and mise en scene, but learned when to turn that all off and talk about "what's new that's good that's in" to customers whose taste ran more Goldie Hawn-y Chevy Chase-y than Kurosawa.
I've probably seen more movies than film since then. I don't know what the best of either crop was, objectively. I'm just pretty darn sure that "Premium Rush" wasn't on either list. Of course, Joseph Gordon Levitt never made commercials for cheap wine.