I'm not exactly sure what it is, but there's something special about male bonding. Some of the greatest times of my life have been spent sharing a pitcher of beer with my best buddies, telling stories and poking fun at one another's stupidity. Unlike women, while guys are extremely competitive in nature, they rarely let it get too personal. If a man is upset with another man, they tend to confront one another and lay all the cards out on the table, instead of pretending and whispering behind each others' back. But that's guys. And that's what guys do.
This is not to say that male bonding is better or more fulfilling than female bonding. The two are just different. Probably because men are less emotional than women. They don't need as much. Guys tend to connect through their history together and not over a similar taste in shoes. Heck, I wouldn't even wear shoes if the ground weren't so dirty.
The following films all feature the different ways in which men bond -- whether on the battlefield or the playing field, inside the home or outside at the bar. The characters here are all men being men, sharing their hopes, their dreams and bonding just like one of the guys. Welcome to this week's Trailer Park:
- It's always been hard for me to really love an Ed Burns film. I think it's because all of them seem to be about the same thing (relationships in New York) and he always seems to play the same character (a guy in a relationship who is confused about his life). The Groomsmen picks up where every other Burns film left off. It tells of a man (Burns) who is three days away from getting married. Within those next three days, he will meet up with his friends (who all have their own personal stuff going on) to discuss relationships and what it means to make another boring film.
- If it's done right, every now and then I can get real into an old school fighter pilot flick. Flyboys follows a group of young Americans who volunteer for the French military prior to the United States' involvement in World War I. Subsequently, these boys wind up becoming the country's first fighter pilots. I'd imagine this would be somewhat like Memphis Belle, except further back in time and with no real stars attached.
- If you don't know by now, I'm not the biggest Viggo Mortenson fan. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised to knock on any part of his body and find it hollow. In Alatriste, Viggo goes all 17th century Spain on us as a Spanish soldier-turned-mercenary. Apparently, Viggo speaks perfect Spanish in the film, so here's hoping the change in language makes his acting somewhat more tolerable.
- Are you one of those people who simply hate your name and wish it were different? The Namesake tells of American-born Gogol; a boy suffering to fit into a country where his Indian roots consistently mark him as different from everyone else. Upon deciding that he would like to change his name to something a little bit more, well, American, his father uses the opportunity to show him, in an attempt to sway his decision, how much meaning is behind the name Gogol.
- With the World Cup now in full swing, it's only right that a kick-ass soccer pic hits the screen to help get us in the mood to watch a bunch of boys kick a ball. One of Martha's absolute favorite films from Tribeca, Once in a Lifetime, is a documentary that tells the true story of the New York Cosmos; an unbeatable American soccer team from the 70's who took a big turn toward superstardom after signing soccer great Pele. Through interviews and old footage, doc shows us exactly how a primarily international sport exploded with a team that sold out Giants Stadium, made up of some of the greatest celebrities of their time.