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2. This Is...Spinal Tap
3. Raiders of the Lost Ark
4. The Empire Strikes Back
5. It Happened One Night
6. L.A. Confidential
7. Animal House
8. A Fish Called Wanda
9. Fahren-hype 9/11
10. Rear Window
Wanted so badly to give 10 out of 10...
...but a late innings entry to the film made it impossible. I realize Jim Ladd was the inspiration behind the title of Petty's pretty decent but still flawed The Last DJ concept album, but Ladd's hippie-drippy whining about Ronald Reagan's deregulation of the airwaves in the 80s not only offered erroneous information (gee, want the (un-)Fairness Doctrine reinstated Jimmy-boy?), but took up film-time that would have been better served discussing Petty's power-to-the-people embracing of the internet for music distribution and yet another battle with his record label over it. Allowing this victim-minded commentary into the movie totally plays opposite to the outstanding portrayal of Petty as a fighter, rebel and survivor throughout the rest of Running..., definitely not to any benefit, either.
Otherwise, pheeee-flippin'-nomenal portrait of one of America's greatest rock bands. Extra props for including so much about Damn the Torpedoes and all the hell Petty went through in order to get it released. Second only to Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll for rock documentaries.
Early to Bet (1951)
I'm typically all for dogs getting the better of cats, but can't help but wish the cat would somehow avoid spinning the wheel, regardless of how many times I watch this one.However, sweet justice prevails in the end and reaching for a newspaper to swat a bug has never been the same for me.
Apparently too violent for the ADD-pill addicted generation who's been lulled into a stupor, but sheer brilliance for those who realize it's just a cartoon. Who knows, maybe if kids these days didn't have clips like this one censored or banned, for "their safety," they wouldn't be taking guns to school and blowing away their classmates.
United 93 (2006)
upping the ante
Some refreshing news that Universal is planning on donating more money to the Shanksville memorial...
Friday, June 30, 2006 11:34 a.m. EDT Universal Increases Flight 93 Memorial Gift Universal Pictures has donated an additional $250,000 to support the Flight 93 Memorial.
Universal produced "United 93," a film depicting the fate of the passengers of the hijacked plane. The donation accompanied an announcement about the upcoming release of "United 93" on DVD.
Universal had already donated more than $1 million to support the memorial.
"We are extremely grateful for Universal Pictures' continued generosity and efforts to raise awareness of the story of Flight 93," said Hamilton Peterson, president of Families of Flight 93, in a statement Thursday. Families of Flight 93 is a nonprofit group that is assisting in efforts to establish the memorial.
Organizers hope to raise $30 million in private funding to build the memorial on a 1,700-acre site outside Shanksville. The total cost is estimated to be $58 million.
Congress four years ago passed the Flight 93 Memorial Act, which established a new national park to honor the victims of the hijacked plane.
Flight 93 was en route from Newark, N.J., to San Francisco when it was hijacked. The official 9/11 Commission report said hijackers crashed the plane into a field near Shanksville as passengers rushed the cockpit.
© 2006 Associated Press.
Close Call (2004)
struggles with its expectations
Above-average to talented performances are marred by a repetitive script and ponderous pacing and editing. What could have been an interesting hour long after-school special (or, considering its occasionally graphic sex and violence scenes, hour-long cable movie) gets padded with too many of the same reminders that Jenny is a troubled teenager or that David really wants his daughter to succeed in school. Kudos to writer/director Jimmy Lee and his vision to bring his story to the screen, but ninety-four minutes feels a hundred minutes longer. Maybe changes can be made before DVD release to better realize the story.
Shining spot: Annie Lee's engaging portrayal of a girl with no sense of direction or goals.