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King Kong (1976)
The only live action special effects version of King Kong!
I love this film, especially the live action special effects!
The 1933 version, although great for its time, has stop action effects.
The 2005 version relies much too heavily on video game style CGI rendering. Most of the special effects look extremely improbable. I suppose it is quite good, though, if you consider it primarily a cartoon.
Of course, the special effects in this 1976 version are not perfect, but they mostly look real. And they are presented in a credible and civilized manner.
The John Barry score is unforgettably wonderful. I sure wish iTunes sold the soundtrack!
The casting and acting are superb. The performances by Jeff Bridges, Jessica Lange, Charles Grodin, and John Randolph are practically flawless.
The editing is mostly good, although the last part of the film seems a little chopped. I have seen a special 3-hour version compiled for television premiere that was much better in this respect.
I saw this film on the big screen in a large theater when it was first released. It is as good as any action/adventure movie I have ever seen.
Sordid Lives (2000)
This is one box of Cracker Jack that comes with a really nice prize!
There seem to be quite a few people who absolutely hate this video/film. As Olivia Newton-John's character Bitsy Mae Harling says at the funeral, "Tough crowd!" However, there are quite a few people who absolutely worship it. That, I would argue, should give it undeniable cult status. It seems to be tailor-made for a crowd though. I highly recommend it for a packed house or a sizable video party.
Sordid Lives was shot using high quality video and was transcribed to film for theatrical release. This, and the fact that it started out as a stage play, causes it to have much more in common with live theater than it does with a Hollywood movie. If you get it, you REALLY get it. However, if you don't get it within the first ten minutes, give up and watch something else.
I was fortunate enough to see Sordid Lives for the first time shortly after it was made during a sold-out screening at Out On Film, Atlanta's annual gay and lesbian film festival http://www.outonfilm.org. Not even at a Rocky Horror screening have I ever witnessed an audience so engaged and animated with the show. It seemed as though everyone in the place was reacting with relish to every single gesture of comedy and drama. What an experience! That was the most entertaining non-live show I have ever seen -- not bad for a total production cost at only around half a million dollars!
The Living Daylights (1987)
Passionate and vulnerable Bond, set in the Cold War era
My favorite Bond flick of them all. Timothy Dalton plays a passionate and vulnerable Bond, giving the character much more depth than previously portrayed. It was the last Bond film dealing with the Cold War before it ended, giving younger audiences a feel for the special intrigue of that era. The film also has one of the best Bond soundtracks.