Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
High School Confidential! (1958)
I just finished watching "High School Confidential" on TCM, and it's even worse than I remembered it was when I first watched it 50 years ago at a Drive-In theater. I knew how misguided the plot was even back in 1958. Being a 16 year old teenager at the time, it bugged me, because the movie in no way represented my generation. Like the guys I hung around with, we all felt that it was just an older adult's impression of what they thought it was like, to be a teenager at the time! Talking' jive, Beatnik poetry, grown adults playing the part of teenagers, using expressions like, "Crazy man", "I dig it the most", and "weed-head!" Hot Rods and Roadsters were popular at the time, but no teenager trying to be cool, would be caught dead driving a Chrysler Imperial Convertable as his car of choice. Even worse, the film promotes the false impression that smoking a joint is highly addictive and causes one to become totally drug-crazed, ala "Refer Madness." And that those who do smoke a joint, automatically move right on up to heroin afterward. I think movies like this one, did little in trying to persuade teenagers in the 1950s to be good, because they failed to keep it real. It was so over the top in every way, that it ended up being a comedic parody of itself.
The Court Jester (1955)
Exterior Location Used In The Court Jester, Very Familiar
While seen only briefly on the screen, the California coastline shows up in some background shots of this movie. There's something very familiar about the location they used. It looks a lot like the seaside cliffs in and around the little town of Mendicino, a small community up in northern California. It was this area that they used to simulate the little fishing village known as Cabot Cove, home of Authorist Jessica Fletcher in the TV Series, Murder She Wrote. Coincidentally, the show's main star Angela Lansbury, also appears in this film, The Court Jester. It wouldn't be much of a stretch, since Mendicino has been used in other movies such as East Of Eden, and Summer of 42.
Back to the Future (1985)
One Small Error
"Back To The Future" is one of 3 of my favorite movies of all times. I have the Trilogy on DVD and I've played the movie so many times, I know all the dialog. I also have the "Honeymooners" Classic 39 on DVD as well, so I couldn't help noticing one small error in the first "Back To The Future."
As Marty sits at the dinner table on the Saturday evening of November 5th 1955, they're watching the Honeymooners episode, "The Man From Space." However, that episode didn't air until December 31st. of that year. The actual episode that aired on November 5th 1955, was "The Sleepwalker." An episode which I think would have worked just as well. I know,...Who Cares, right? Right!!!
Now, Voyager (1942)
Max Steiner's Score Absolutely Makes This Film Work
The other day I turned on TCM and "Now Voyager" was playing. After taking some aspirin for a headache, I leaned back and closed my eyes waiting for the aspirin to work. I began to listen to the soundtrack of this movie like I had never done before the two dozen or more times I've watched this Film Classic. I was always impressed by the music, but this time I listened with much greater intensity. My God, what a BEAUTIFUL score! The emotional dialog is so enhanced by the music, that I found myself welling up as I listened. Particularly as "Janis Wilson", (The uncredited actress who played Tina, the emotionally disturbed little girl Davis befriends at the funny farm) begins to share her feelings about seeing herself as ugly, unwanted, and unloved. Unless you're totally hard-hearted, I can't imagine anyone getting through that scene, without brushing away a tear or two. Max Steiner,...what an outstanding talent!
Body Heat (1981)
"Body Heat II" is in order!
There's little I can add to what has already been said about this outstanding film noir classic, and I also agree with all the afore mentioned praise of this movie with one exception,...Ted Danson's performance. With all that fairy-dancing on the pier,...yes, okay Ted we get it,...your character is a little light in the loafers and loves show tunes.
Now some 26 years later, a sequel is definitely in order. Ned, (William Hurt) was given 25-to-life for murder, and is now eligible for release from prison. Obsessed by betrayal, once released Ned's first order at hand is to find Matty, (Kathleen Turner) and seek some kind of revenge. A year after Ned's conviction, Matty got married to another wealthy man and had a daughter with him. Now 25 years later, finds Matty to be a widow after the very mysterious death of her late husband. With a daughter as beautiful, seductive, and ruthless as her mother, knows Matty is responsible for the death of her father, but can't prove it. Once Ned appears back on the scene, the daughter uses her feminine guile to seduce Ned and help him plot the death of her mother, get married, and share all of her mother's millions with him. Sweet revenge, but will Ned once again be sucked in by an irresistible Matty-like clone? Or, will Matty intervene to turn things around, or will Ned pull a fast one on both Matty and her daughter?...It's fun to think about, because I know this plot line would work!
It's a better movie if you watch it with Closed Captioned and the sound muted
Since I was a Sound Recordist for many years working at three major Motion Picture Studios, to me a film's soundtrack is just as important as the images being seen on the screen. It's been said that when the soundtrack of a movie is good, nobody notices. However, when the soundtrack is bad, it's the first thing EVERYBODY notices, and "Faces" is no exception. I think Cassavetes was so focused on the actors, the story, and the camera angles being used, he totally forgot about that pesky ol' thing called, "Sound Quality." I guess he just figured, you go down to Radio Shack, buy yourself an inexpensive microphone, place it in the corner of a room, and start shooting,...NOT! My God, I've heard better sound quality in home videos shot by amateurs. Since I can't get past the hollow-squeaky soundtrack of "Faces", I'm afraid any of it's good qualities are lost on me. That's why I'm giving it a big THUMBS DOWN!
Groundhog Day (1993)
To my mind, the most enjoyable Bill Murry movie of all.
Owning this film - "Groundhog Day" - has allowed me the opportunity to view it many times. And with each additional viewing, I gain an ever-increasing appreciation for it's genius. After a hundred years of film-making, it's hard to find a life-situation or story-premise that hasn't been done adnauseam.
But this wonderfully original script deals with a whole new arena of comedy, that of living the same day over and over again,..."Groundhog Day". Once he, (Bill Murry) discovers his life has become a continuous replay of the same 24 hour period, it eventually allows him to grow, and learn to perfect his talents and skills to the Benefit of all, and ultimately in the end, to himself. A truly delightful film, one you'll enjoy viewing repeatedly, reliving the same day over and over again, just like the main character in the film.
Casino Royale (1967)
CASINO ROYALE,...What A Total WASTE!
Despite a huge budget, despite a stellar cast, despite an endless array of beautiful babes, despite the outstanding Sets, Costumes, and a great Musical Score,..."CASINO ROYALE" was, and is even some 40 years later, a Total Flop and a Complete Waste! If you're a dedicated "James Bond" Fan, you'll instinctively resent the over-the-top schmaltz in the production of this film. The storyline is so disjointed and so lacking in continuity, it's extremely difficult to follow the plot. Add to that, Cowboys riding their horses through a Gambling Casino, as well as the insertion of the Keystone Cops,...and what you end up with in my opinion, is little more than a big pile of film sewage. I kept looking for something funny to laugh at, but this film is so "Stuck On Stupid", it's a difficult task, indeed!
American Graffiti (1973)
What makes "American Graffiti" a true American film classic, is that it accurately represents the teen experience of the era in which it represents. To those of us who grew up as teenagers during the late 50's and early 60's, are able to relive our youth again while watching the many antics surrounding the different characters in the film. Everyone of us knew a "Toad" in High School. That, along with a soundtrack containing all the music that so dominated the airwaves at that time, all contribute to making this movie a truly warm and nostalgic trip down memory-lane. After seeing the two-blocks of old town Petaluma California where most of the street scenes were shot, gave me an even greater respect for Lucas' film-making talents.