Friday, April 30, 2010

Now Voyager (1942)

Self-effacing woman goes to therapy and finds confidence and love.  One of Bette Davis' defining roles, which she executes perfectly.  Claude Rains is slick and lovable.  Gladys Cooper gives you chills as the bitter controlling mother.  And of course the famous scene where Claude lights 2 cigarettes, who can forget that.  One of the excellent melodramas coming out of the WWII era.  When you hear the term, "They don't make em like that anymore", this is the one they're talking about.  Don't miss it.

Quickie Synopsis

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Best Years of Our Lives (1946)

The story of 3 WWII servicemen adjusting to coming back home.  This won a truckload of Oscars, but if you haven't seen this one you're missing out.  Top notch cast including Frederic March, Myrna Loy (!), Dana Andrews and Teresa Wright.  Dana Andrews is a good, standup guy returning to a slutty wife.  Frederic March is a banker with a grown daughter trying to fit into his old slot in life.  Harold Russell is an ordinary guy who tries to adjust to having lost both his arms.  Brilliant story, dialogue, and characters all the way round.  And sadly still relevant today.  See it!

Oscar winner Harold Russell had actually lost both his arms in the service and was chosen for the part after appearing in an Army documentary on wounded soldiers.

Quickie Synopsis

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

After Hours (1985)

A word processor in Manhattan gets trapped in Soho overnight with crazed artists and weirdos.  A marvelous twisted Scorsese dark comedy.  Griffin Dunne does it just right as normal everyman Paul who just wants to get home.  Rosanna Arquette is the troubled object of his desire; the pretty girl-next-door with issues.  Teri Garr is a special treat as a neurotic bar waitress.  Scorsese piles up the tension so remarkably.  Paul losing his cab fare would seem innocuous enough, but with Marty directing, it seems so huge and devastating. The whole movie builds this way, so get ready for a ride.  Awesome cast as well, including John Heard, Catherine O'Hara, Cheech n Chong; Linda Fiorentino and Will Patton.  Dark and funny.

Quickie Synopsis
Get Me

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Boondock Saints (1999)

Irish twins become vigilantes to rid Boston of the Russian mob.   You're gonna love this one or hate it.  Smartish, fast-moving, innovative action movie.  Interesting plot thingy going on here...first comes twisted FBI agent (Willem Dafoe) describing the events of the crime scene, then you see how it all went down.  Cheeky dialogue, fun characters -- all around good time.  And check out Bill Connolly in a juicy role.  Excellent soundtrack too.  Part of what throws this dark comedy into cult status is a brief appearance by Ron Jeremy.  Get past that, and you'll enjoy a couple hours of mucho fun.

Quickie Synopsis

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Primal Fear (1996)

A hotshot lawyer defends a shy kid accused of murdering a Chicago priest.   Great on so many levels.  One of Richard Gere's best.  Standing most excellently toe to toe with him is Laura Linney.  Beautifully crafted courtroom thriller.  Edward Norton won a truckload of awards for his part, and if you want to see a primo example of Norton's talent, this is the one to see.  Also a nice visit by Steven Bauer and the always spot-on John Mahoney.  One of the best endings ever.  With Alfre Woodard as the Judge and Frances McDormand as the psychiatrist, you absolutely positively no-way can go wrong with this awesome film.

Quickie Synopsis
And Lawyers

Friday, April 9, 2010

The New Centurions (1972)

An idealistic L.A. rookie cop teams up with an old veteran. Based on the book by master policeman/novelist Joseph Wambaugh. This movie is thought to be an extremely accurate look at life as a cop in LA in the 70's. Stacey Keach is great as the rookie cop, but its George C. Scott who steals it as the lifer who turns policing into an art form. Instead of busting hookers, he'll drive them around in a truck and get them drunk to get them off the street for a night. Keep an eye peeled for Erik Estrada (Pre-CHIPS). This movie shows the toll that being a cop takes on a person. Very serious and very good.

Quickie Synopsis
Old Cop
New Cop

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Enter The Dragon (1973)

A kung fu expert goes undercover to a martial arts tournament run by an evil fiend.  This movie is Bruce Lee all the way.  This was the first major Kung Fu movie to hit the US, and it made Lee a international superstar.  Great characters as well by John Saxon and Jim Kelly.  Kien Shih is the evil Han, who can put spikes, claws or blades on the end of his severed arm.  Bruce's nunchuk virtuosity is epic here.  Keep an eye peeled for a Jackie Chan cameo and Sammo Hung, the gargantuan kung fu gorilla.  This one is classic with a capital C.

Quickie Synopsis
You know the rest...