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The first time I ever saw a film by David Lynch was in Manhattan, during the summer of 1981, and it was a re-release of "Eraserhead" on the big screen. I haven't seen this movie in almost 36 years, yet there are images which remain as plain as day in my mind. It was perhaps the creepiest film I'd ever seen at that point in my life. "Mulholland Drive" may not be as creepy - on absolute terms - until, that is, the final 40 minutes, when all sense of logic and reality become distorted: No matter how hard you try and understand what's going on, the film will demand a second watching (at least a second watching). The performances, the direction, the story, the shifting in-and-out of reality, the cinematography, and the music (even the simple doo-wop music (*)) is just so compelling that Lynch was working on a higher plane than mere human existence. I can't describe the movie, but I suggest watching it in parts - perhaps the first 50 minutes twice, then the second 50 minutes twice, and then the final 40 minutes as many times as you need in order to make some sense of things. This is a work of art that is clearly the work of genius; and yet, I can't tell you *why* it's such a great work of art. But it is. Now, I have to go back and watch "Eraserhead" again. Man, what a ride Mulholland Drive is. (*) Just in case you thought it was original:
You may be asking yourselves: 'What in God's name are you doing watching, much less writing about, 'Airport '77,' Don?' And you'd be wise to ask both questions - watching this God-forsaken movie was an accident: I thought it was a sequel to "Airplane!," the uproariously funny parody of "Airport" (1970), but Airplane! came out in 1980, and was a parody of the entire, four-film Airport franchise, "Airport '77" being the third of four. Before watching it, we took a quick peak at Wikipedia, and noticed in one section Roger Ebert's comment that "The movie’s a big, slick entertainment, relentlessly ridiculous and therefore never boring for long," and took that to mean that although there may be moments of downtime, the yucks won't let up for long - hoo, boy, what a mistaken interpretation that was! About 45 minutes into the film, my friend and I commented about how this film was taking an awfully long time to build up to some laughs, and I made an off-the-cuff comment about it being the wrong movie before we realized, about five-minutes later, that I was (despite my random, clueless comment) correct: We weren't watching a comedy; we were watching a disaster movie in the same vein as "The Poseidon Adventure," only worse - much worse ... there *is* no sequel to "Airplane!" So not only were we watching a crummy disaster film, which was so bad we thought we were watching a comedy for nearly 45 minutes, we were watching the third of four in a franchise, not even having the dignity of context (I believe I saw the original, long, long ago, but never saw any sequels). It only made sense, looking at the absurdly rich cast of characters, that they all got together and agreed to make a slapstick for one last, goofy hurrah together on the screen: Joseph Cotten, Olivia de Havilland, Jimmy Stewart, Jack Lemmon, George Kennedy, Lee Grant, Christopher Lee, Brenda Vaccaro ... that is one seriously famous group of older actors, but instead of going down in a barrel of laughs, they crash-landed in a giant ball of flame and shame: Airport '77 is one of the worst movies I've seen in my adult life. How could this troupe have agreed to sully their reputations by appearing together in this dreadful affair? Even if they were all on the verge of bankruptcy, is there nothing sacred anymore? This movie has nothing worth discussing, with the one exception of the rescue scene at the end, which is interesting because it uses actual Navy rescue techniques. Unless you're OCD, and have a mental requirement to watch films in their entirety (as I do), you're better off skipping to the last scene, to the rescue effort (which, admittedly, is interesting), and eschewing the rest of this awful, awful excuse for cinema.