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Wish I could understand why so much was changed
I loved the book, and I looked forward to the adaptation so much. I'm currently watching part 5 of 8 right now and have been moderately disappointed. I would never have imagined it could be done in a regular movie -- too much story -- so I figured an eight-part series might work.
But they have cut so much of the story, not so much essential stuff, but some of the subplots that added richness to the story. Some of the changes make little sense. One I think I can mention without it being a spoiler is the wonderful character of Miz Mimi, the school librarian.
In the book, she is an important character whose life touches on many others. In the series, she is a black woman in a position I'm not sure a black woman would hold in a 1960 Texas school.
Indeed, the town of Jodie, Texas, which in the book is a hundred miles or so south of Dallas. In the series, it becomes a small town between Dallas and Fort Worth. Why?
And I haven't even mentioned the biggest change. Making Bill Turcotte a major character and a sidekick to Jake is odd, but we'll see how that plays out.
Cheers: One for the Road (1993)
Rebecca & Woody vs. Diane and Coach
I watched Cheers from the very first episode, and the gag that told me it was going to be a great show was when Coach answered the phone, then said "Is there an Ernie Pantuso here?" Someone said, "That's you, Coach." "Speaking."
And maybe the best throwaway joke in the whole series came when Sam and Diane were heading off to the office and Sam said, "We don't want to be bothered, Coach."
The classic response?
Sorry, but Woody never compared. Coach was old and forgetful, Woody was young and dumb.
As for someone preferring Rebecca to Diane, I can't argue it, even though I preferred Diane. Both were necessary, because they could never have gotten 11 seasons out of one woman. But they got two lovely goodbyes out of Diane.
It was a great show, maybe one of the two or three best sitcoms ever, but shows that last that long don't get better as they get old.
a major complaint
I really like this movie a lot. For a few years, it looked like Greta Scacchi was really going to become a major sex symbol. I wonder what happened.
I do have one big complaint -- not about the movie itself but about the IMDb page. As of today, if you look under quotes, the very first quote completely gives away the secret of the movie. I hope something can be done about that. I'm not really giving a spoiler, just pointing one out that's already there.
Tom Berenger and Bob Hoskins are excellent. Corbin Bernsen is OK in a Corbin Bernsen sort of way. Good story, great twist. I'd recommend it to anymore, but please, get rid of that spoiler.
Man of Steel (2013)
Thanks for trashing the legend
I list this as a spoiler just in case, but I will do my best not to give away the actual plot point. For all the good things about this movie, there is one plot point that completely trashes the entire Superman ethos. I'm quite frankly surprised that DC Comics went along with it, but I suppose it's another example of $100 million for CGI and 10 cents for a script. Yes, it's an all-star cast and yes, the film looks wonderful. Larry Fishburne is an interesting Perry White and Amy Adams is always wonderful, but it is extremely difficult to imagine this film standing tall in the pantheon of Superman movies when it has so little respect for 74 years of Superman history.
Body of Evidence (1992)
A truly mediocre movie with the wrong star
"Body of Evidence" is famous mostly as being the poor man's "Basic Instinct," and it probably wouldn't have made $10 except for the fascination people have with Madonna. The problem is, the wrong actress is starring as Rebecca Carlson.
Yes, plenty of people were obsessed with Ms. Ciccone in 1993, but she isn't even close to being the sexiest actress in the film, let alone the most proficient. In fact, she's in a close battle for second sexiest.
The year 1993 marked the breakthrough to stardom for the lovely Julianne Moore, who appeared in Robert Altman's "Short Cuts" as an artist who played a long scene naked from the waist down.
Moore was 32 when "Body of Evidence" was released. Not only does she look incredible, she has the sexiest single scene in the film. Madonna looks like a teenage boy compared with the lovely Ms. Moore.
Anne Archer is plenty sexy too.
Was there ever a great movie about the '60s?
The man known as Wavy Gravy once said that if you remember the '60s, you weren't there, and it's easy to see that most of the movies done about that era had little or no idea about what it all really meant.
There was Anthony Quinn and Ann-Margret's ridiculous "RPM" (Revolutions Per Minute) and the borderline OK "Strawberry Statement." Arthur Penn's "Four Friends" came close, but it was this Sissy Spacek made-for-TV movie, originally called "Katherine: Portrait of a Terrorist," that really seemed to tell the story.
No, it wasn't Patty Hearst. If anything, the movie was based on Diana Oughton, the Weather Underground member who died while making a bomb. Spacek was only 24 or 25 when it was made, and she was really known only for "Badlands" at that time. Once we saw her in this, it was obvious she was going to be a great actress. Also, she never looked more beautiful than in this movie.
It's sort of available in DVD. I found it in a bargain bin for $1.
Well worth the time.
Better every time I see it
"Backdraft" is a movie that I saw in theaters in 1991, on cable TV later, on DVD after that and just today on Blu-Ray. It is a movie that literally moves me more each time I see it. Definitely the best Baldwin performance ever, as the younger brother whose hero firefighter brother doesn't think her can cut it. Then in the climactic fire scene, the badly injured older brother watches his younger brother perform heroically and softly says, "That's my brother, goddammit." One of Kurt Russell's best performances and one of Ron Howard's more underrated films. And for the life of me, I don't see why some of the reviewers are dissing Rebecca DeMornay, who does a wonderful job in a thankless role. Really a wonderful movie.
Baja Oklahoma (1988)
Texas in your soul
Dan Jenkins is the only person who has ever been able to make me like Texas, but every time I read this book and see this film I wish I lived there.
I too think it's a shame that they had to make Dove Christian into a bad guy. Let's face it. In those days, even HBO had to bend to the prevailing winds. But there's still a wonderful overall tone to it.
The main reason I'm writing this review is that several people said they wished they could find a version of the song "Baja Oklahoma" on CD. Well, I just downloaded one from iTunes tonight, from the CD "Karla Bonoff Live." She sings a slowed-down version of it, but it's still magic.
A truly nice little movie
I read two full pages of comments on "Hero," and I was surprised not to see any mention of Frank Capra, although one writer did mention "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town." "Hero" is pure Capra, modernized for the '90s, and Dustin Hoffman fills the Jimmy Stewart/Gary Cooper role to perfection. I'm surprised to see so many people miss the point and say they were angry at Andy Garcia's character for stealing the limelight; it was very apparent that all he really wanted to do was use the reward money to do some good for people.
I don't usually write spoilers, but this is one I can't resist. One of my favorite moments in a movie came when Geena Davis's reporter character finally gives up on getting Hoffman to confess that he was the hero.
As she turns away, she says, "Thank you for saving my life." Hoffman replies in little more than a whisper, "You're welcome." I love this movie.
Finders Keepers (1984)
This movie should be in DVD
I saw this movie on HBO in 1985, taped it and watched it again and again over the years. It's a wonderful screwball comedy, and Michael O'Keefe is great as the con man character who's trying to pass himself off as a soldier taking his dead buddy's casket home for burial.
I would have thought it would have found its way to DVD long before this, even if only because it was Jim Carrey's first real movie role. His part is small -- only a couple of scenes -- but it was easy to see he was going to be a big comic star.
Other great actors in it were Beverly D'Angelo, Louis Gossett Jr, Ed Lauter and Brian Dennehy. And who could ever forget Dennehy's great line when he says the mother of the dead soldier is "prostate with grief?" It's also the only movie I can remember that used Don McLean's "American Pie" over the closing credits.
Please, let's get this out on DVD.
Windy City (1984)
A much-underrated, almost-forgotten film
I love this movie. I'm not sure why -- there are parts that drag and a few that don't make sense. But it is a movie with tremendous heart, and the things that Danny does for his best friend when he knows things aren't going to get better are things we all wish we could do.
At the time of this movie, along with "Dreamscape," "A Little Sex" and the second Indiana Jones movie, I would have sworn Kate Capshaw was going to become a major movie star. I suppose it could possibly have happened, but she made the choice to become Mrs. Spielberg instead. As for John Shea, he showed up in other things -- I liked him as the dad in Mark Harmon's "Stealing Home" -- but he was more of a quirky leading man that a classic one.
I wish "Windy City" were out on DVD. It seems like so much garbage gets released, and movies like this are still sitting in the vaults.
Salt of the Earth (1954)
Salt of the Earth is an amazing movie
I am ashamed to say I had never heard of this movie until last week, when I finally read Danny Peary's terrific book, "Alternate Oscars." I was stunned to see that for 1954, Peary picked a movie I had never heard of ahead of the winner, "On the Waterfront." I ordered a copy from Amazon and finally was able to sit down and watch it tonight. I had read many of the comments posted here, and of course some of them talked about the "communist" propaganda in this movie.
It may have been radical for the '50s to stand up for the rights of laborers, Chicanos and women, but if it was anything, it was a little ahead of its time. All this movie is about is Mexican-American working men asking to be treated the same as Anglos, and women asking to have a voice in their families' lives.
When you realize this movie was made on a shoestring, almost completely with blacklisted people, the accomplishment is truly stunning.
As much as anything that made this movie ahead of its time, it's the feminist subplot that made this movie radical.
I'm not surprised it was banned during the McCarthy era. Its banning says far more about what was wrong with America at that time than anything about the movie itself.
Rosuara Revueltas gives an amazing performance as the miner's wife. She was deported to Mexico for starring in this film and not only did she never make another movie in the U.S., she didn't act again in Mexico until 1976.
A sad and poignant movie
I saw Hollywoodland on DVD this weekend and was very impressed by it. Probably the best work Ben Affleck has done, and a fascinating treatment of the George Reeves murder/suicide mystery.
In the end, very sad and poignant as we realize that not all the dreams come true in Hollywood are the dreams people want.
True, there is no definitive answer in the movie, but there was no definitive answer in the case itself. That's what made this a more honest movie than DePalma's "Black Dahlia," which purported to solve the case by basing the story on Ellroy's book instead of on the actual case itself.
When you see Reeves sitting there contemplating his life in the final few minutes of it, it's a very sad moment.
no comedy like it
I'm prejudiced here, because this is my favorite movie of all time. Maybe it's just that I was in a fraternity in college, although there was never a fraternity to compare to Delta Tau Chi. "Animal House" was the first of the great "slob comedies," and without it, movies like "Caddyshack" and most of the other imitations of the last 27 years could never have happened. Imagine all the things they did that couldn't be done in a movie now -- "I'm only 13," casual drug use and "the Negroes took our dates." But of course, the movie comes down to the one great philosophical line -- "You f***ed up, you trusted us." I have probably watched this movie 50 times and I hope to watch it 50 more. The funniest movie I ever saw.
Lovers and Other Strangers (1970)
what a wonderful memory
I saw this movie when it first came out, and I hadn't seen it for more than 30 years. Imagine my delight to pick it up for $8 at the DVD store and watch it again. Of course Diane Keaton was lovely in her first film, but I'll bet more people were surprised to remember how beautiful Bonnie Bedelia was at age 22. Some of the 1970 stuff wears a little thin, and of course it's sad to remember what happened to Gig Young, but all in all, this was a wonderful time capsule of a movie. And yes, "For All We Know" was part of the music the first time I got married -- in 1975. I wish I could find more movies from this time period in DVD. Of course, they are all starting to come out slowly. Too bad the DVD didn't have any extras, even the trailer.
still a scary movie
I was 20 years old when I saw "Joe," and it was one of the really important movies of that time in at least one respect. It scared the crap out of anyone who saw it who wasn't a clean-cut, Nixon-son-in-law type. For the rest of us -- the "I Ain't No Fortunate Son" types -- it was really scary when we saw there were people out there who hated us so much they would gladly kill us.
Peter Boyle is an amazing actor, but I admit I'm glad his proposed sequel to the movie never got made. Movies really were better before everything got sequelized. He WAS Joe, and finding out later that he wasn't made his portrayal all the more amazing.
Susan Sarandon, ah, one of the truly great ladies of our generation, and still lights-out gorgeous at 58. Some of the comments I've read said they didn't know she would be a star, but they couldn't take their eyes off her. Hey, that's how you know someone IS a star.
Since You Went Away (1944)
great look at the homefront
A soap opera, sure, but a really great soap opera. Claudette Colbert is tremendous as an American "Mrs. Miniver," and Jennifer Jones is equally strong in the Teresa Wright role. It's a long movie, and very dated. It's tough to imagine a modern audience understanding the horrified reaction when the immigrant woman tells Colbert that her daughter is a nurse on Corregidor. In fact, it's tough to imagine modern-day audiences enjoying this movie much. There's almost no action -- certainly no car chases -- it's entirely a character study about how people held up in a time when so much of what you needed to know was what you couldn't know. World War II America was an amazing place. I am thrilled that this movie is coming out on DVD in October.
The Human Comedy (1943)
a wonderful movie
Sure, it's probably true that this is a highly idealized version of America, but calling it "blatantly patriotic" ignores the fact that all American towns were blatantly patriotic when we fought the Last Good War. The idea that a Homer McCauley had every bit as much chance as a rich kid to make his mark might be uniquely American; he might never live in the big house on the hill, but he could become every bit as beloved in his world as a George Bailey might in Bedford Falls. One thing that makes "Human Comedy" rather unique for its time was that it was set in small-town central California back in the day when that was a long way off for most Americans. A wonderful movie; wish it was avilable on DVD.