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Remember the Titans (2000)
One of the best relationship movies ever.
It's not unusual to see stories of common men overcoming obstacles to become heros. Nor is it that unusual to see the same in young men or women. Here we have a great, true story of several people who overcome tough things in life such as racial prejudice, severe accidents, misunderstanding, and disloyalty. I was a high school student during the time of this story and remember the daily tension as our school was forced to bus kids from inner city schools to the upper middle class schools and vice versa. In most cases, the kids adjusted well but the adults hung on selfishly to the traditional values of separate but equal.
I don't know of a better film that portrays the actual struggles of that time period with regard to integration of sports programs. The coaches of the story and the kids who played the game made it work. To see them singing, "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" in the locker room was extremely inspirational to me and to my family as well.
We purchased the DVD the very day it was available so that we could see the special features and hear the actual coaches talk of the times and struggles and the ultimate victories that came from such a time as forged many male heroes out of scared and frightened young men.
I recommend the movie to all who care about the integrity of a victorious life that cares enough to be involved in changing lives and communities for the better.
What acting is all about.
Although John Huston's directing is absolutely equal to the screenplay, winning Oscars for both, it is the performance level of the actors that makes "Treasure of The Sierra Madre" the classic film that it is. Beginning and ending with Walter Huston's award winning role of the worn-out old miner who is looking for one last big score, Humphrey Bogart and Tim Holt are equal to the task and draw us in to this tale of need and greed. So convincing is Walter's portrayal of the seasoned old prospector, we come to believe that he is a gold digger by trade who only acts in movies so that he can dig and pan for gold again and again. His knowledge of mining and the lifestyle it demands and forces upon those who partake, is so thorough that Bogart and Holt seem like school kids in awe of a new hero. Of course, we know that his son John, did much research in preparation for writing the screenplay; but we are nevertheless plunged into a sure belief that this old miner must surely have been there age upon age, mine upon mine, and has therefore, a thousand tales to tell.
When, in the course of the story, Walter is taken away, somewhat without choice, to work the magic of a healer for a Mexican village, we are again convinced that he is a medical doctor hiding out as a prospector. This is the acting craft in full bloom. Walter becomes whatever is called for in the story. However, if one views his other films, the effect is the same. He is one of Hollywood's most under rated actors of all time. Those who have not seen this film have a joyous experience awaiting them. Great story, great screenplay, great acting. This is why we love movies the way we do.
Begin the Beguine (2003)
Highly interesting special feature
Viewing this special feature hosted by Ann Miller sets up the greatest musical finale ever filmed and features a breathtaking tap duo by Eleanor Powell and Fred Astaire. It is clear from the outset that Mrs. Miller, perhaps a near match of Mrs. Powell in screen appeal as well as talent, absolutely adores the presentations by Eleanor Powell in this and other films. As she recounts, Eleanor's dazzling ability is ever the match to Fred's matchless skills and tap technique. If there was ever an exact eveness of of dancing abilities and showmanship, it is highlighted in this wonderful finale to "Broadway Melody of 1940". Although there are ample examples of this duo's other dance skills in the movie, all lead to the finale. It is highly doubtful if there will ever be another tap couple who make impossible moves so much fun to watch over and over again. Lovers of musicals and dancing must add this new DVD offering to their libraries as a selection that will never be duplicated.