Change Your Image
Upload An Image
Crop And Save
The Local Stigmatic (1990)
Looking for Al
I like Pacino a lot. I feel he is one of the last centuries' finest actors. But I believe something happened to him during the mid-80's which made him forget how to act, and instead immerse himself in craziness. We began to glimpse this bizarre, slivered transformation in the over-bloated, highly overrated SCARFACE. He had ceased to act and began to perform. The camera became the audience. Not the people constituting an audience. With the exception of a couple roles (GLENGARRY GLEN ROSS, THE INSIDER), poor Al has literally become one of his inventions (Big Boy Caprice of DICK TRACY springs to mind) and has come full circle in his transcendence...he has become a parody of his former self, and unlike some actors who embrace this fact and make a lucrative career (Christopher Walken, William Shatner), Pacino continues to blindly lampoon himself. It is a known fact that Al Pacino loves rehearsal, almost to the point of despising the performance aspect. This is highly interesting, and an extremely creative slant in any area of art...but the art is not in creation of art, but in the result. Some may argue this against me...but, if I can filter my point exclusively into the realm of cinema, indulge me please; unless a film calls for the fact a fourth wall is to be penetrated, who wants to see a camera cable, a boom microphone, or a reflection of a crew person? These mistakes cannot be made and the film to be considered an artistic work. Whatever...I am off the point somewhat. I guess what I'm trying to say is that where Pacino prefers to rehearse is marring his result. He has become too opaque...and when a viewer is left alienated by characters time and time again, the actor ceases to be validated, and instead violated. Pacino is violating his talent. Not all material calls for complete comprehension...I am aware of this fact. But THE LOCAL STIGMATIC is directed and performed NOT for an audience...but for the directors and performers. It is self-centered, self-involved, indulgent, and ultimately tiring. There is a reason this was Pacino's hidden child...one to show off only to friends and artists. Like his rehearsal style, this film is over rehearsed and under achieved. That is simply my view. I still like Pacino...and THE LOCAL STIGMATIC may be important in it's own way. It just struck me as very, very Al.
Love at First Bite (1979)
Never a Quickie...Always a Longie
I saw this movie in 1979 when I was all of 8 years old...my parents and I stocked the station wagon with soda, popcorn, and candy and trucked it to the local drive-in. I knew nothing of George Hamilton at that age, and what I did know of Dracula was Bela, Christopher, Saturday morning TV horror showcases, and the image of that same years' release with Frank Langella. Well, at 8, Love At First Bite was a little advanced for me, and my few recollections included the opening with Hamilton telling the 'Children of the Night' to "shut up" so he could play his piano, an annoying Richard Benjamin setting fire to Dracula's casket, and the disco scene.
Somehow, these scenes have stayed with me for well over a quarter of a century.
I rented it last night out of nostalgic curiosity, and I'm glad I did. Not only were the aforementioned sequences seared correctly into my memory, but the rest of the movie latently flooded my recall...however, at 35, it was much more accessible for obvious reasons.
George Hamilton has an acute sense of grand comic flair and timing...right up there with Leslie Nielson, or dare I say, a hinged Jim Carrey. He was absolutely funny, charming, dapper, convincing, committed, airheaded, and Transylvanian! The particular line which had me in stitches the 10 times I rewound and watched repeatedly was, as he is hurrying to leave Susan Saint James apartment when she requested he stay for a 'quickie' was:
"With you, NEVER a...quickie. ALWAYS...a longie."
Too funny. The only reservation I have with the film was, as I stated before, Richard Benjamin. He tried to hard, and although he was on the right track, he just missed the station. In my opinion, of course.
Anyhow, just wanted to share my delight in rediscovering this little gem.
A Mighty Wind (2003)
The most inspiring facet of Christopher Guest's latest mockumentary opus is the fact that it utilizes the SAME formula as it's predecessors (Waiting for Guffman, Best in Show) and manages to still work brilliantly without a hint of mold.
A Mighty Wind is as funny as it is sweet. Guest's staple players (Eugene Levy, Bob Balaban, Catherine O'Hara, Michael McKeon, Parker Posie, etc.) are finely tuned crafts-folk who have three- dimensionalized characters others could only create cartoonish caricatures of...and Mr. Guest has full confidence in his rogue's gallery of comedy.
Perhaps the most awe inspiring element is that of the three Guest tales, A Mighty Wind reaches a sublime plane of heart, soul, and poignancy that most films in general fail to reach...and I attribute this to the fact that Guest genuinely loves his subject matter. His keen satire and sweet wit never poke fun out of malice or baseness...but of genuine respect. This movie's life force of love emanates from it's core...that revolving around the universal language of music.
A brilliant comedy, and a touching parable. A true rarity that no doubt will become a minor classic.
In Search of Noah's Ark (1976)
"Go forth and build an ark, Noah...and fill it with pillows."
My dad took me to see this film in 1976. I was 5, and bored to tears. You know a movie is bad when at 5 one can differentiate a toy boat in a disturbed bathtub from an ark on an angry ocean.
My dad was responsible for a lot of awful movies as a young child. It is amazing I grew up to love films after some of the things he dragged me to. Runners up include Pete's Dragon, and Popeye.
Curiously, I have kept an eye out for In Search of Noah's Ark, hoping to catch it out of the blue on television over the years. But, alas, no luck. I'm surprised there are so many people who remember this movie. Wow. Now I don't feel so alone.