Movies as a Teaching Tool

Last night we were discussing our favorite movies, and the reasons why they were our favorites. This led me, as a recovering engineer, to look for a way to at least qualify, if not quantify, what makes a movie my favorite.

I thought about ways to classify my favorite movies. One way was whether I owned it on DVD. The problem here is that I own a lot of movies I don’t necessarily like a whole lot, and there are a lot of movies I love that I don’t own. (Take note, Hollywood.)

After some thought, I arrived at three categories of movies that define my favorites.

Class 1 – any time this movie is on TV, and I come across it, I stop looking for something to watch, and I put down the remote. It doesn’t matter much if I’ve seen it recently, or if I come in half way through.

Class 2 – if see this movie is going to be shown on TV, I will watch it from the beginning, provided I haven’t seen it in a few days at least.

Class 3 – I want to watch these movies at least once a year, from the beginning.

I will list my favorites in another post, soon.

So, you ask, why is this in a gun blog?

Because there is a fourth class.

Class 4 – these are movies I find are worth watching for their portrayal of firearms or firearms owners.

I use Class 4 movies as teaching tools as well. Well, let’s be honest – I criticize a lot of movie gun handling, and turn that into “you kids don’t do that!” If the gun handling is good, I point it out, too, but positive examples are not as common as negative ones.

Just like using the movies to teach us about anything else, learning gun safety or gun handling from them requires someone who knows what they’re doing, because there are a lot of bad habits to be learned if you’re not careful.

So, here are my Class 4 movies, in alphabetical order:

3:10 to Yuma (2007)
Bonnie and Clyde
Buckaroo Banzai and His Adventures Across the 8th Dimension
Die Hard
Full Metal Jacket
Last Man Standing
Miller’s Crossing
Pulp Fiction
Saving Private Ryan
The Big Red One
The Longest Day
The Outlaw Josey Wales
The Shootist

The discussion on each one is different. For instance, 3:10 to Yuma is on the list because of the varied types of guns used, from 1871 Single Action Army revolvers, to break top Schofields. Buckaroo Banzai is on there because it turns out that just about every character in the movie is carrying concealed.

Over time I figure I’ll talk about my favorite movies, and you’re welcome to comment or email me. If you follow me on Twitter (@FillYerHands) then you already know my favorite movie on the list. In fact, you may have already unfollowed me because you’re tired of reading the dialog every time it comes on, since it’s also a Class 1.

If so, well, bye.