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Some of my Favorite Movies: Gone with the Wind, The Searchers, Cold Mountain, Frailty, North By Northwest, The Thing from Another World, The Wizard of Oz, The Sand Pebbles, Raiders of the Lost Arc, Way Out West, High Noon, The Maltese Falcon, Treasure of the Sierra Madre, Big Fish, Ed Wood
Lost in Translation (2003)
Boring and pointless disappointment
The only thing about this turkey with which I was happy was that I watched it on someone else's DVD and it did not cost me any money to be bored to death. Older washed-up movie star Bill Murray goes to Tokyo to star in an ad campaign for a liquor company. Not only is he lonely and bored (yawn), but he is disappointed in his current life. His wife and family back in the States seem to have other things on their minds than him. Scarlett Johansson is a young woman in Tokyo also lonely and bored (yawn) and disappointed in her current life. Not only is she shacked up with a guy more interested in his career than her, but he has left her alone while he goes on a job assignment without leaving her so much as a sex toy with which to amuse herself. She and Murray meet. They play grab-ass for several days. What is this strange relationship: father/daughter or a "two ships who passed in the night" romance? Who cares? Finally he goes home and leaves her to pine away. I gave this movie a 3 only because of my respect for Murray's abilities demonstrated in other movies.
The Twelve Chairs (1970)
Hilarious odyssey across Russia on search of the family jewels
As Mel Brooks films go, I rate it second only to Young Frankenstein. The action takes place in Russia 10 years after the Revolution. Ron Moody is marvelous as a low IQ and totally inept former nobleman, now hiding out as a clerk in a government office, who learns that the family jewels had been sewn into one of the 12 dining room chairs. He returns to his former residence, now an old folks home, and learns from former servant, now janitor, Mel Brooks that the chairs are gone, confiscated by the government. Con man Frank Langella threatens to turn Moody in if he does not allow him in on the quest. Of course, the chairs have been widely distributed. A major fly in the ointment is Dom Deluise, the village priest, who has also learned the secret. He relinquishes all for greed ("O, Thou who knowest all---you know.") and competes in the search. Not a perfect movie, but loaded with laughs. May be Dom's funniest role. I give it an 8 out of 10.
The Groove Tube (1974)
Bawdy spoof of television
A series of vignettes, most of them spoofing television of the 1970's, but also with some digs at the government and corporate America. One of the longest segments, "The Dealers" is not that funny to me and I don't know what it is parodying. Some of the others, though, are absolutely side-splitting. I particularly enjoy the cooking show segment. Most of the foul words I know are used in the movie, and, if you object to full frontal nudity, stay away.
Pearl Harbor (2001)
A love triangle with the attack on Pearl Harbor as a backdrop.
This movie has wonderful special effects and great attention to detail. The love-triangle plot is a bit cloying and the movie is overlong. Although generally historically accurate, there is a considerable amount of poetic license. The anti-climactic Doolittle raid on Tokyo was contrived for the purpose of resolving the love triangle, and, no, fighter pilots were not tapped to participate in a bomber raid. This segment is presented better and more accurately in "30 Seconds Over Tokyo" and Spencer Tracy is a much better Doolittle than the self absorbed Alec Baldwin. Still it is worth a watch and it is a wonderful feel good movie.