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Paths of Glory (1957)
I saw this film for the second time when I lived in France on an exchange. I had seen it in High School, and I honestly paid no attention to it. It was a whole different scene when I saw it the second time. It is really amazing how relevant this film is to today. I was absolutely amazed that this film was made in the glory days of the Hayes system, because the ending is not a happy one. It isn't violent, but it is disturbing. That is the great thing about Kubrick's films. I find it unbelievable that the story takes place almost a century ago, but the story is exactly the same. There will always be highly placed authority figures who make huge mistakes, and there will always be someone else who will pay dearly for it.
Change of Habit (1969)
A little weird....
I thought that this movie was completely bizarre the first time I saw it, and I still kind of think it's weird, but it really isn't as bad as everyone says it is. Yes, I always crack up when I hear the phrase "undercover nuns," but honestly, it is refreshing to see him in a role where he doesn't get the girl. He is still a "ladykiller," but the film-makers really did try to put a little altruism in to the mix. They may not have been as successful as Bonnie and Clyde, but the fact that they even tried to do this in an Elvis movie is admirable. You also get to see him sing gospel music, which is nice when you know that doing that was his favorite thing to do. And I'm sorry, but whenever I hear Runbberneckin' playing on the 'pod, the volume gets turned way, way up and I end up looking like an idiot with a comb for a microphone.
Frankie and Johnny (1966)
I give this three stars just because it's a boring movie. I don't think it's bad. It's just really uneventful. I saw this on television once, and I switched over to the Food Network. I kind of remember what it was about, and that's about it. I have sat through probably everyone of his films, and while this isn't as bad as others (Harem Scarem!), it is pretty close. You can really tell that he was have less fun than the viewers. He looks really good (of course), but that's about it. It isn't even a fun bad movie, where you would see him as an Arabian Prince, or a race car driver. Instead of wasting time on this, watch Jailhouse Rock (the best), King Creole and even Blue Hawaii. You'll thank yourself later.
This is an okay movie if you haven't seen it on stage or listened to the original recording. It most certainly isn't a "bad" film, and I didn't not like it, but I much prefer the original. The story is completely different, and as a result, the music is put in a totally different context. I love Treat Williams and Beverly D'Angelo, but it seems lacking. It's what I would call a good "starter film," in that it introduces you to the content, but really doesn't actually show just how shocking this musical really was when it was first shown on Broadway. The best advice for this film is to take it with a grain of salt, and then go see the real thing.
High School (1968)
The first time I saw this movie was when I was in High School, and needless to say, I felt a great affinity towards these kids. It doesn't matter what era or place that you've grown up in, high school is the same old oppressive grind. My friends and I went to a special showing, and we stood up and cheered when the guy on the phone pointedly covers his ear and turns his back to the teacher trying to discipline him. This is pretty much the only scene in which we see a student really blatantly showing his complete contempt towards an authority figure. It is so rude, it's thrilling. It gives you hope for the future, to see that there are actually people who refuse to become one of the automatons that the public school systems are determined to produce. It's good so see that at least some of them have slipped through the cracks.
Science of Star Wars (2005)
I just caught this on TV a few nights ago, and was absolutely amazed. Of course, the title made me want to watch, and the show made me want to stay. A lot of those "spinoff" shows just have the name, and then some crappy shorts on pretty lame subjects, and often don't have anything to do with the actual subject. But this was cool, because it really opens your mind to the realisation that the world of Star Wars is now becoming our own world. Now, it seems as if there are new wonders everyday. And to realize that children are doing this absolutely makes it even more amazing. George Lucas was right when he said that children are able to think outside the box, because there is no box for them. Out of the mouths of babes...
Reno 911! (2003)
I was so excited when I heard about this show. I was an avid "The State" fan, and I really missed them. Whenever I heard someone yelling about putting balls in something, I would get a pang of times lost. Suffice it to say, I managed to stay home from work, just to watch the first episode. It was worth it. I don't think I even stopped laughing until the end of the show. Everything these guys touch just goes to pot(sometimes literally). And though all the characters are totally flawed and possibly dangerous to themselves and others, you really can't help but feel a little sorry for them. I still wouldn't want to have them around trying to keep the peace, or some semblance of it.... If you don't watch it now, catch up! You'll love yourself for it. Go Reno!
Les guignols de l'info (1988)
Every Sunday afternoon, my host sisters and I would tune into Canal 2 to watch "les guignols de l'info." We would get our aperitifs and camp out for an hour, and almost die laughing. Even when I watch it, I am constantly blown away with the accuracy of the voices. Bill Clinton is Bill Clinton. They didn't even miss his Southern inflections, which are hard to duplicate, even by another American. They always had something that made you laugh, of not from the verbal cues, but from the pure silliness of it. One of the scenes I remember from almost ten years ago was during the presidential elections. They had a spot of Leonard Josephin and Jacques Chirac on a date out in the countryside. They were frolicking by the water, and having a picnic. If that doesn't make you at least giggle then you're dead. FYI, these same guys did the Genesis video... Ronald Reagan deploying the nukes, Mikael Gorbechev, etc.
The weather? Sunny!
I have a feeling that there will be only a few who would recognise this line, but that's good. It means the rest of you are going to have to see it. I first saw this movie in my 10th grade World History class and have loved it ever since. The story is solid, and it realistically represents all the crazy things that can happen when outside interests become fanatic. Every character in the cast adds to this realism, despite the fact that on the outside they are broadly portrayed. You don't really realise any of this when you are falling over from laughing. You can't beat a two-man revolutionary army, and Baxter's sleazy wife. And when they get invaded? More joy! It is frankly impossible to explain it...so I won't. My question is, where in the hell did Baxter actually meet this woman?