Skip to main content

Life Lessons I Should Probably Learn From Movies: Fearless

In case you've just met me, I was perhaps raised a bit too much on movies. Part of it was certainly my mom's passion for watching movies, and it was something we could do together. I also lived pretty far from my school, so I didn't have any friends who lived close by. The cherry on top might be that my mom worked nights for a large part of my childhood, so I spent a lot of time at home.

We didn't have cable, and I spent a long time in between functional videogame systems. I remember swapping between three different 8 bit Nintendo consoles, hoping to find the one that would actually work and let me play Zelda or Duck Hunt. What we did have was a LOT of VHS tapes. Some purchased, some recorded off of broadcasts, or from someone's house that had cable, and ones that were pirated by daisy chaining VCRs together. I should mention that I also had a pretty abysmal attendance rate at school, and there's a lot of weird stuff that used to be played during daytime television.

So, yeah, if you ever wondered about the nurture aspect of my origins, aside from my absolutely lovely mother, that's the brunt of it.

This was a particularly long winded introduction to the fact that I woke up this morning replaying a scene in my head from the 1993 movie Fearless. I remember at the time it seemed like a really big deal, but it's definitely not been remembered as a particularly influential movie.

I think you should probably watch it, especially if you're trying to process any kind of grief or trauma. Which is rich, because I don't think I've watched it during my entire adult life, and I certainly suffer from enough of those.

So, the basic story: Jeff Bridges plays a man who was on a passenger flight when it crashed, and walked away without a scratch. He helps a couple of people after the crash, and then when the EMTs show up, he says he wasn't on the plane and walks away. Most of the movie follows his wanderings and interaction with his old life, with his radically different mental state.

The scene in particular, comes when he meets up with another survivor of the crash, played by Rosie Perez. She had an infant on the flight, and when the plane started to go down, she couldn't get the seatbuckle to clasp, and the stewardess tells her to buckle herself in and hold onto her child. Spoiler, the kid doesn't make it.

Of course, she feels guilt about this, she should have been able to hold on, she's a mother, it's her whole meaning in life to be strong when her child's life is on the line. Bridges' character tries to reassure her that she did everything she could, but she just can't hear it.

This is the scene, that's stuck with me for 25 years, and I woke up this morning replaying it over and over again: In the middle of her having a breakdown, he buckles her into the backseat of his car, pulls a toolbox out of the trunk, puts it in her arms and says "this is your baby, you have to save it, don't you dare let go!" he then gets in the drivers seat, and accelerates the length of a parking lot and rams the car into a concrete wall. The toolbox slips out of her arms and sails through the windshield, smashing against the wall. Then he tells her, this was at 25 miles per hour, how much faster was the plane travelling when it suddenly hit the ground? There is no possible way that anyone could have held on in those conditions.

As much as I like to say that I'm happy with the person that I am, I still spend a lot of time thinking about the events of my past. I should have seen that coming. Of course that person would react that way. Why wasn't I smarter, stronger, paying more attention to this other thing that was going on? I assume that I do this about the same amount as most other people. I wish there was a car crash test that we could perform for this more ephemeral doubts. It's easy to get bogged down in thinking about how I could have done something differently and made out better, instead of realizing that I did the best I could, and that I should just try and be aware of similar situations in the future, but ultimately, you can't be ready for anything, no matter what they say in the movies.


  1. I know I've said it before, but I think you're an excellent writer. This is at least as good as most of the stuff I see on the professional blogs I read.


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Lemme Tell You About The Transformer, Astrotrain, And Why He's My Favorite

       I am, quite obviously, a massive fan of Transformers, but I grew up in kind of a weird time for being a fan. Really, I'm just a LITTLE too young. I remember seeing my brother, who was six years older than I, get all of the coolest Transformers, and then by the time that I started being able to ask for Transformers for myself, the nature of Transformers had greatly changed. I have a great anecdotal story about him clipping Soundwave (arguably one of the coolest Transformers toys ever, which turned into a microcassette player) to his shorts and climbing a tree. He then proceeded to fall 30 feet out of that tree, and land on Soundwave, which poked him right in the kidney, and he peed blood for a week.        While I still have a great deal of fondness for them, Powermaster Optimus Prime is just not as cool of a toy as the original Optimus Prime. Notably, if you landed on Powermaster Optimus Prime, he probably wouldn't puncture your kidney, but the original Optimus Prime mig

Naked Heat: Reviewing this book makes my brain hurt

I finished the latest book by Richard Castle a few days ago, and I've been thinking about how I want to write this review ever since. You see, Richard Castle is a rock star amongst murder mystery novelists, he struck it big with his series of Derek Storm novels, but shocked the world by killing the character at the end of the last book in the series. After that, he found inspiration in NYPD detective Kate Beckett, and based his new character, Nikki Heat, off of her. Naked Heat is the second book in the Nikki Heat series. What's so weird about that? I'm sure all three of my regular readers already know, but none of these people are real, Rick Castle and Det. Beckett are both characters on ABC's crime/drama/comedy series Castle. Haven't watched Castle? For shame, I highly recommend it, it's a perfect guilty pleasure movie, a series of one and done murder mysteries, that are fairly light hearted, with a great comedy dynamic between the characters of Castle, Becket

What It's Like To Get Pipebombed

Well, I'm going to break with my rule of not actually mentioning anything about having a pipe thrown at you, but in celebration of the 6 month anniversary, I really wanted to write it up. So, without further ado, here's what happened on my Fourth of July 2009, and the six months since: So, it's the Fourth of July, 2009, about ten-ish or so at night. Being that we live in a condo, and our homeowner's association has prohibited fireworks being let off in our complex, we decided to take a walk around the neighborhood in order to better see the fireworks everyone else was letting off. We walked straight out the front gate, got about maybe 50 feet down the street, and a dark car with it's headlights on pulled out onto the street, about a block ahead of us a man with a white shirt was walking in the same direction as us, nothing noteworthy about either of those. However, upon passing us, something was tossed out of the passenger window and bounced off my chest, upon the g