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First, I can't imagine this can even be found anymore. I saw it one time, in the mid 80s when I was a kid, on T.V. I think it was orginally made for cable. Anyway, my expectations were zero, and instead I enjoyed a great "bad" movie, if you know what I mean. Fun way to spend an afternoon. Why do I even remember it? Because it is so obscure, it is one of those movies I use to test whether a film book (like Maltin) is really comprehensive. Glad to find it on imdb.com.
Casino Royale (1967)
Elements of the WHAT'S NEW, PUSSYCAT? gang return for another fiasco: a spoof of James Bond spy films. An illustration of the dangers of breaking a movie into sequences, with various directors. So many big names involved in this project, and there are occasional fascinating moments. Take the use of German Expressionistic scenery during the Berlin episode. I pity the person who had to edit this mess together. Long sections are unwatchable. 1/2 of 4 stars on a tough scale.
Chariots of Fire (1981)
Great period piece
Epic telling of the group of British athletes and their road to the 1924 Paris Olympics won't appeal to everyone. But those who revel in competition, who recall fondly their youthful athletic triumphs, and who can appreciate the historical and geographical settings will count this a favorite. Great period piece, some fine photography, and of course a memorable score. 2 stars of 4 on a tough scale.
Many great laughs
Classic Eighties fare built around the happenings on a country club golf course. Great roles played to perfection for Chase, Murray, Dangerfield, and Knight, who occupy half the movie and all the good scenes. Many great laughs. Plug through the so-so main story line concerning a caddy's quest to win the Caddy Scholarship. Dangerfield is at his best. 2 1/2 of 4 stars.
Cross of Iron (1977)
One of the greatest war movies ever
Powerful war film told from the German point of view, circa the Eastern front toward the end of WWII. Great roles for Coburn, Schell, and James Mason. Perfect ending. Peckinpah creates one of the greatest war movies ever. 3 of 4 stars on a tough scale.
Heckerling defines another decade of teens
A rich "daddy's girl" takes on the challenge of matchmaking for the new girl in town, but alas finds love lacking for her own deserving self. A tremendously pleasant surprise. A very 90s film from the director who helped define teendom in the 80s as well. Fans of Jane Austen's EMMA will boost this rating at least a half star, as they watch in awe as Heckerling (so faithfully somehow) updates the early 19th century novel. Especially fine performance by Silverstone, and one of the best scripts of the decade. 2 1/2 of 4 stars on a tough scale.
The Candidate (1972)
A must for cynics
Robert Redford, the idealistic son of a former party machine governor, gets encouraged into running for the U.S. Senate by a coterie of professional handlers. Fascinating film, alternately satiric, cynical, subtle, and ironic. Shot mostly in a documentary style. A must for cynics and/or political junkies; others won't care. A good performance by Redford is complimented by fine work by Boyle and Garfield. Douglas is also great as the candidate's father. One of filmdom's classic closing lines. 2 stars of 4 on a tough scale.
The Caller (1987)
A chilling movie where nothing is what it seems
Fascinating (and undiscovered) mystery/suspense/ thriller concerns a strange woman and her (even stranger?) guest in an isolated cabin in the woods. That's the entire cast, and basically there is only one set. A chilling movie where nothing is what it seems. You spend the entire film trying to discern who the "villain" is. This sort of thing must have impeccable acting to succeed, and does. McDowell is exquisite, the perfect choice.
Subsequent viewings are also rewarding, but you watch the movie from a complete different perspective. 2 1/2 of 4 stars on a tough scale.
Brewster McCloud (1970)
An execrable film
Very strange movie about a boy working on wings and planning to fly away. Or at least about the Houston Astrodome. Oh yeah, there's some murder and sex. And some sort of Oedipal thing. Also, Margaret Hamilton (the Wicked Witch) appears in a cameo, sounding like her character from 1939. And there's some sort of Wizard of Oz statement being made. Ruby slippers, girls dressed up like Dorothy. Whatever. A waste of time. Some will pretend to like this eccentric mess, I suppose, but trust me, nobody is popping this in the VCR after seeing it once.
The Accidental Tourist (1988)
Wonderful character study
Wonderful character study of a man (Hurt) who writes travel books for the "accidental tourist," which becomes a metaphor for his approach to life. Slowly paced, both moving and funny, with a great performance by Geena Davis as the eccentric woman who helps him cope with the death of his son. A nice touch was making the wife (Turner) a sympathetic figure.