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Flight Command (1940)
Take to the air with the Hellcats!
Flight Command is a wonderful look into a Navy Fighting Squadron a year before the U.S. entered World War 2. Starring Robert Taylor as Ensign Alan Drake, a fresh graduate of the Navy's Flight School in Pensacola, he's an eager young pilot assigned to a veteran Squadron, Fighting 8, better known as the "Hellcats". Walter Pidgeon is his CO, Lt. Commander Bill Gary and Ruth Hussey plays Pidgeon's wife, Lorna Gary. All three put in a fine performance. The supporting cast does a fine job as well, making it believable that they were a very tight knit group of fliers.
The movie had full support of the U.S. Navy and it shows. The attention to detail is excellent, giving the viewer a great inside look into what the pilots did in and out of the cockpit. The aircraft featured is the Grumman F3F-2, the last biplane fighter ever flown by the Navy on their aircraft carriers. It's great to see these pudgy fighters going through their paces. At the time this movie was filmed, Fighting Squadron 8 actually didn't exist. It wouldn't be formed for another year in the fall of 1941.
The story line is quite touching at times, especially between the three main characters. Ruth Hussey plays the outwardly tough but inwardly unsettled wife of the squadron commander very well. There isn't a bad portrayal by any of the actors in the film. Hats off to the production team for keeping this film on the level. There's a realism to Flight Command that is very well done. I can imagine that this movie had an effect on recruitment of Navy pilots just like Top Gun did back in the mid 80's.
I really couldn't recommend this movie enough, I feel it's that entertaining in so many ways. The story line, the acting and the look back at Naval Aviation at the end of its Golden Era make Flight Command a great choice.
Behind Green Lights (1946)
A night at the police station
William Gargan and Carole Landis star in Behind Green Lights, a police drama set in one night in the police station. Gargan is Lt. Sam Carson, the head officer of the night shift and Landis is Janet Bradley, the prime suspect in the murder of a shady Private Eye who is blackmailing her. Both of their performances are excellent.
Several of the supporting cast put in a good performance as well, such as Roy Roberts as Max Calvert, the owner of a newspaper who tries to influence Lt. Carson into railroading Janet Bradley into a murder conviction, whether she's actually guilty or not. Newspaper politics and corruption is well depicted here.
The only part of this movie that lacks is when they spend too much time with the newspaper reporters who work out of an office at the police station. Too often they delve into a little too much slap stick and corny behavior. That and the character of Flossie, the "nutty woman who sells flowers" who becomes a somewhat too frequent presence in the later part of the movie, although she does help the Lt. figure out who the killer is. That and they over did her use of the phrase "A dollar six bits", which got to be a little annoying. All of this happens in the last half of the film. If you keep in mind when the film was made it's easier to simply look past these few distractions.
Never the less, this is a fun, albeit short (64 minutes) movie. It was entertaining to watch Gargan and Landis, who normally got supporting roles in a lot of the movies they're in, get to be the leads. Oh, and you'll never figure out who actually killed the Private Eye until the end! Good overall, worth 7 stars for the excellent and entertaining story.
Surfer, Dude (2008)
This movie is about simplicity of life being threatened by too much greed. Our American life has decayed so far out of simplicity that there's now a whole generation that has no idea what a simple life is like. No wonder so many people don't get this movie!
I surf and have for 20 years. I know a lot more surfers who are like these guys than aren't! All these guys whining about this not "being real" in regards to surfing need to lighten up a bit. Surfing used to be a lot of fun until it became mainstream and overcrowded. That's why I usually paddle over to the next peak to get away from the crowds even if it's not as good.
This movie is more about a guy who loves his lifestyle and having it threatened by extinction than anything else.
Take example from Tyler Durdin and "just let go". Let go of expectations and you might just find a gem right under your nose.
All I want to know is did the people who thought the movie was bad actually go to high school?? Maybe they went through with blinders on?? This is one of the funniest movies I've seen in a while. They hit it perfectly when they made this movie. I'm happy that somebody got it right on the money! Kudos to the real Seth and Evan on making this happen! All the people who didn't get it need to lighten up a lot! Life's too short to take all this so seriously!! That's why they call it "entertainment" and not "this is your life"! Anybody who hasn't seen it yet and can appreciate a movie that may be at times vulgar but true to life should see it. Look beyond the surface and you'll find a really entertaining movie.