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Miracle Mile (1988)
Hmmm, tiz been years since I have seen it. . .
It has been years since I have seen this film, but was kinda worth the time. I fine apocalyptic films interesting as a rule, but the directors over the top use of the color orange was distracting. It popped up in every thing from main character's shirt to elevator buttons, on and on. I found some of the special effect cheesy (such as when a character is suffering the effects of an explosion). Some of the hysteria was a bit overdone, all taken on the word of one guy corroborated by someone else most hardly new. Had the film taken the time to set a context by which this hysteria could have become such a driving force (as opposed to allowing the historical context of the late 1980's do it) the film would have fared better over time. I always enjoy Anthony Edwards, but again, I did have some problems with plausibility. The brief sexual tid bits are underplayed (perhaps due to the tastes of the times) but should have been made a bit stronger. There were some gaps in the plot events atop the skyscraper, and too much was left to the imagination for good continuity. This was the case when one character came back with a bloody mouth, and missing a friend, all with no explanation.
The Pursuit of Happyness (2006)
Great, Great film!
I just watched this film and have to say that it was WELL worth the time. I highly recommend it! As my wife comes from SF and we visit there many times each year, it was fun to relate to places we had been that were used in the filming. In fact, one location, Ross Alley (which has been used in many films) was a location I had taken students to during a recent field trip to the City. What engaged me the most about the film is that Will Smith brings it to life so convincingly. I totally agree with other posters that it is Oscar worthy. I also highly recommend that fellow movie buffs read the trivia section before seeing the film. I just happened to have read a certain line just as it was happening in the movie and it almost brought tears to my old eyes. I rate this movie a 10/10 and hope all will get a chance to check it out. It will definitely be added to my permanent collection. Let's hope that those involved with the production add to the trivia comments.
Great Film - I highly recommend it!
I was originally exposed to this film by another teacher. This film is highly appropriate for use in science classrooms of levels 7-12th grade. It deals with a lot of issues very well, and I would encourage any science teacher to see it and decide for his- or herself. For example, students will be exposed to a portrayal of Einstein as a very human figure. It discusses the issue of Dr. Oppenheimer's downfall and Einstein's reaction to it. It also deals with issues of racial equality. While we don't know much about Einstein's role if any in the American Civil Rights movement, his actions in the film seem plausible and will be acceptable to most teachers. While it is a fictional portrayal, it will most likely lead to some interesting discussions in your classroom. I have been using it for years for that time when either I need a backup plan, or am discussing physics.
High Time (1960)
Reflections on High Time
This movie has a special place in my heart. When I was but a young tad in Stockton, CA (about 6 years old) my mother heard that they were filming a moving with Bing Crosby a couple of miles from our house. I remember her taking me to the set and walking around fraternity row at the University of the Pacific trying to get a glimpse of Bing.
I don't recall ever seeing him, but when the film came out, I enjoyed it very much. Years later, I have seen it a few times, and have visited the campus (even took a class there and was involved in starting a new fraternity at the school. The film molded by idea of what college life was, and so in that way had a long lasting positive effect on me.
Parts of UOP still look the same if you care to check it out. (It was also used to film some of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark and Brainstorm).
My only complaint about High Time itself is that the two conflicts (needed to move along a story) are too weak for my tastes, but as another person who commented above me, it is a fun movie.
Pretty in Pink (1986)
Pretty in Pink - Missed the Mark
I am a big fan of teen movies, and was surprised that I didn't find this one engaging. I enjoy the work of all of the actors, but frequently found myself looking for the kind of moments and engaging characters I found in Sixteen Candles, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, the Last American Virgin, etc. Perhaps I am mistaking the film as one that fits in that category, but humor should be a greater part of the storyline. The film seemed slow to me, and just didn't have the memorable bits that really make a film a classic. I just wish it weren't so. I did enjoy Molly and Harry Dean, but that didn't carry the day for me. I would have liked to have seen a more memorable sound track as well.
The Californians (2005)
Nice story I connected with it
This is an unpretentious movie that offers a bit of a nice diversion from one's other interests. I enjoyed it because I live in California, and could identify with a number of characters in the film (knowing some activists, real estate developers, Bay Area residents, etc). I also realized that I had visited some of the filming locations over the years in my travels.
While it is no Citizen Kane, it is certainly not a waste of time. I would recommend it as a nice "date flick" to be enjoyed with one's significant other, some light conversation and a bottle of Napa wine. Better yet, if you are a romantic, order a dozen raw oysters and a bottle of your favorite champagne with which to woo your significant other, and connect with the film in a poly-sensorial way. (You will need to see The Californians it to understand what I am writing about.)
Gorp - One of my favs when I am in the mood for silliness
Gorp is one of those movies that is just plain silly fun. It also offers viewers the chance to enjoy some of the now established talent in their younger years. Fran Dresher, Rosanna Arquette, and several others are seen in their sophomore years.
The interplay of the waiters vs. the establishment, with the wild kitchen crew adding spice to the concoction engages the viewer and provides release from reality.
Yes, it suffers from numerous technical gliches, but as a second feature to an evening of dinner and a movie (say, beginning with Meatballs and following with Gorp) you won't go wrong.
I say view it a couple of times and look for the many little things that make it fun. Remember, not everything has to have redeeming social value. If you want depth, go screen Citizen Kane.
Blazing Saddles (1974)
Blazing Saddles - A Classic Film
I have screened this several times, seen the TV version, met one of the characters (Slim Pickins) and have several good things to say about the film.
It is classic Mel Brooks, great comedy, and deserves a place in the comedy-western genre. (Can you think of many others?) The parody of many of Hollywood's classics are easy to define throughout the production. The characters are memorable, as are many of the lines and sight gags. This movie will endure.
My only reservations are the numerous "rough spots" found in the movie, too many errors and gaffs in the acting that I think a more seasoned Mel Brooks would not have allowed. Too often my suspension of disbelief was intruded upon by something that should have been more seamless in the production. All of that aside, I still very much enjoy Blazing Saddles.