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Found 24 results

  1. Remembering the wonderful Burt Reynolds, I watched "Deliverance" last night for about the fifth time - I can't get enough of this movie, which is about the ultimate in "guy buddy movies." All four actors have comparably important roles, and both Ronny Cox and Ned Beatty made their major film debuts with "Deliverance" (both of those links should be of interest to you). James Dickey is an outstanding author, and made an important cameo in this film towards the end. I've always enjoyed this poem by Dickey, entitled "Falling" - you can read it in several minutes, and it will leave an im
  2. I didn't realize that I'd only seen "The Shining" start-to-finish one time, but I saw it again yesterday. Disclosures: I'm very much of a Stanley Kubrick fan, and I think Stephen King is "good but not great," as he writes a little too much for the masses, for my taste. "The Shining" is a long film, with some very good moments, but it's also a drawn-out film, with some very bad moments. I wonder if there's anyone out there who truly loves this film, and everything about it. I could list probably a dozen things about this movie that I strongly disliked, but taken as a whole, it's a goo
  3. A Clockwork Orange is great but I can only see it once, I'm afraid. I read the book first in a Lit class in college. The movie is a chilling adaptation! For Kubrick I prefer Dr Strangelove, Spartacus, Paths of Glory, Barry Lyndon. You wouldn't believe it but I have never seen Full Metal Jacket or 2001: A Space Odyssey! I don't know HOW but I haven't! I am sure I will, and it won't be on a cell phone!
  4. I wasn't sure what to think about "Cobb" going into it: It was a box office flop, that was mildly acclaimed by critics, which is generally right up my alley; in this case, I think I knew *too* much about baseball to enjoy it as a "regular" film critic would - it was just not a good film. The film focuses on Ty Cobb's final year of life, during which a famous sportswriter (Al Stump) is writing a biography of him. After the film, I still don't know what to believe about Cobb: Was he *that* much of a hateful man, or was this overplayed? I don't know, but if this story was true, then Cobb was
  5. I saw this fine biography for the first time last night, and can recommend it wholeheartedly. Parts of it are dramatized (Pee Wee Reese's hug, Enos Slaughter's spiking, etc.), but for the most part, it's accurate and absolutely based in truth. There's something I've been meaning to write here for the past ten-or-so years, and this is as good a place as any (although I may have written it before). When the Rickey was named as DC's "official" drink in 2008, I wrote Chantal Tseng, and encouraged her to make a classic Rickey with a twig in it (perhaps a twig of Rosemary, or Thyme, or maybe ju
  6. "Strangers on a Train," is regarded by many critics as one of the top five or six films by Alfred Hitchcock. Roger Ebert, in this review, says only three or four Hitchcock films are superior to it. Having seen most of the other films lauded as his "best," as well as some more obscure Hitchcock movies from his earlier days, I wanted to see for myself how this film stacked up against the others. The movie, based on the 1950 novel of the same name by Patricia Highsmith, tells the story of two strangers who meet on a train and discuss "swapping" murders. While I found this film flawed, there
  7. I'm watching "Firefox" for the first time since it was released in 1982. I distinctly remember the opening scene, with Clint Eastwood jogging (although, for some reason, I thought I remembered him jogging without a shirt). When I was 21 years old, I thought to myself, 'My *God*, he looks old' (he was 52). Now, my impression when I just saw that same scene was, 'My *God*, he looks young.' Unfortunately, other than seeing the movie in the theater vs. on Amazon, there's only one variable in this equation. (Actually, in a later scene, Eastwood was standing around without a shirt - he rea
  8. Well, it looks like right now, I'm in a minority of one. I did some research into the 'Best Westerns of All-Time," and "Rio Bravo" is on many, if not most, lists. I love John Wayne as an actor in Westerns, and have enjoyed several films by Howard Hawks, notably "His Girl Friday" and "Bringing Up Baby" - two screwball comedies that are archetypes for "rapid-fire dialogue" - a technique that was employed around 1940. After one viewing, this is my least favorite of the five John Wayne films I've written about here on donrockwell.com, but I just can't reconcile my views of this film
  9. *** SPOILER ALERT *** After watching the indescribably wonderful documentary, "Hitchcock/Truffaut," last night, I leapt into the film "The Wrong Man," which is the one film by Alfred Hitchcock about which then-critic Jean-Luc Godard wrote his longest-ever piece of criticism - Both Godard and François Truffaut, pioneers of the "French New Wave" of Directors, were then working as critics for the legendary French publication, "Cahiers du Cinéma." so this film fits right in with the Hitchcock/Truffaut documentary, and was mentioned in it as well. This is the only Hitchcock film where Hit
  10. I never knew that Al Pacino told Sidney Lumet, before the filming of "Dog Day Afternoon" began, that he was too exhausted and depressed to take the role - he had just finished filming "The Godfather Part II." Lumet accepted his decision, and offered the part to Dustin Hoffman, whom Pacino considered to be "his rival" - and that was enough for Pacino to secrete enough adrenaline to do the part after all. Funny - while I think of Pacino and Hoffman as "contemporaries," I've never once thought of them as "rivals." I wonder if Lumet knew what he was doing, psychologically, when he made
  11. For all the La La Land die-hard fans: You Can Visit the Café From La La Land in Real Life It's only through March 6, but for the Friends fans, Central Perk is there all the time. I've taken the Warner Brothers studio tour and it's really interesting. Can't compare with other studio tours since I haven't done any, but we enjoyed the glimpses into both the indoor studio sets - Ellen, Big Bang - and also the incredible magic they can make with the most ordinary-seeming of outdoor spaces a la Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls. Plus there is a ton of Harry Potter paraphernalia in the museum
  12. *** SPOILERS FOLLOW *** The only thing I'd ever seen about "Chariots of Fire" is the opening song, the run along the beach (both of which take place at the very beginning of the film), and parodies thereof - it was hard not to be roused by the classic combination, worn out though it may be. I didn't realize the film took place in 1924; I thought it was a World War II movie - I know virtually nothing about it, so I'm looking forward to it very much. Okay, 25-minutes in, I'm a "wee bit" worried that this is going to be a "message movie" (the message of brotherhood), but I'm bankin
  13. Yet another film that I've always wanted to watch, but never have, "Rebel without a Cause" is such an American icon that even the title alone breeds familiarity. I'm not sure I've ever seen a film with James Dean in it before, either. Dean stars as Jim Stark, Natalie Wood co-stars as Judy, and Sal Mineo is in a supporting role as John "Plato" Crawford. Other famous names include Jim "Mr. Magoo" Backus as Frank Stark, Dennis "Blue Velvet" Hopper as Goon, and Edward "Sorry About That, Chief" Platt as Ray Fremick - what an all-star cast this was! And there was plenty more talent in this pict
  14. I watched "The Man Who Knew Infinity" yesterday, and liked it very much (without loving it). I knew of Srinivasa Ramanujan, because he kept popping up on these listicles of 'Uneducated Minds That Changed the World' - I knew him as 'some uneducated genius from India with an IQ through the ceiling, and a gift for math that was nearly savant-like,' but that's all I knew of him. For the education alone, I have to give this film personal points. Two films that came to mind - very quickly - when I first started watching this were (surprisingly *not* "Good Will Hunting," even though Ramanu
  15. I'd never seen a Rat Pack movie before, and only knew of "Ocean's 11" by name (this 1960 film was remade as "Ocean's Eleven" with an ensemble cast of mega-stars in 2001. This is a "heist" film taking place in Las Vegas, where Danny Ocean (Frank Sinatra) reassembles his WWII 82nd Airborne Division buddies for "one more mission." The number of recognizable faces (Henry Silva, for example) in Ocean's 11 is remarkable (the same can be said for the 2001 remake, although I've never seen it - when Andy Garcia is the 5th-most famous actor/actress in a movie, you know you've spent some money on sa
  16. This is either the perfect time, or the perfectly wrong time, for you to watch this wonderfully innovative, groundbreaking, "death-by-a-thousand-cuts" movie, lambasting the media's involvement in our political elections - I'd seen it twice, most recently about a year ago, and decided I wanted to watch it again this evening. Robert Redford does a wonderful job in this film, and so does Don Porter, masterfully portraying the hilariously named Crocker Jarmon, the opposing candidate (who sounds just like Walter Cronkite - the kind of voice that can put the public at ease while he's spewing co
  17. Let me address this first: There is overt racism in "The Searchers," manifesting itself the most in the lead character, Ethan Edwards, portrayed by John Wayne. If you can't look past Wayne's hatred of the Comanche nation, you will not enjoy this film - for you to watch "The Searchers," you *must* look at the Comanches as "a bear" (you can pick your own bear, but you absolutely must be able to think of them as, simply, "the bad guy"). If you are able to do that, then you're faced with one of the greatest Westerns I've ever seen in my life. You know, maybe I've gotten lucky, because the fir
  18. It's amazing how little I know about Malcolm X, considering how concerned I am about civil rights, and how ticked off I am at my forefathers for the crimes against humanity they committed. I've never read "The Autobiography of Malcolm X," and don't have time to do it right now, so I figured this was a good, next-best thing, although being filtered through the lens of Spike Lee - who, as much as I like him, clearly has an agenda - you really don't know if you're getting the genuine product. It is with that large grain of salt in mind that I begin Lee's 1992 film, "Malcolm X." "Conk" is a w
  19. I'm going to watch "Arthur" again soon, and was just watching a highlight clip from it - one particular scene recalled a *hilarious* story that happened over thirty years ago. I used to (lovingly) call my mom "Eva," and one day I was sitting at the kitchen table having some sort of family meal - my young niece (probably 3 or 4 years old) was there, and my mom said something - I can't remember what - that was most likely a combination of amusing and annoying (she was probably trying to force food on me as she was wont to do). Putting on my absolute best "Arthur-style" English accent,
  20. I watched "The Departed" today, and while I loved the film, I'm a little surprised it won the 2007 Academy Award for Best Picture. It was an excellent, thrilling, double-twisting, head-scratching, mess-with-your-mind, crime thriller involving mirror-image good-and-evil juxtapositions that make you thankful you're watching it on video, since you're camped on the rewind button for half the movie. A great picture with mega, mega-stars? Yes! Best Picture of the year? Boy this must have been a very lean year, not that the Academy Awards are any arbiter of truth; still, I just don't see this as ev
  21. Thank you for posting that. I never saw that cartoon before, and it made me supernaturally happy to watch it. I don't think I've grinned so much since 2012. To return the favor, here's what is probably my favorite animated cartoon of all time, "Sinkin' in the Bathtub", released as a Looney Tune in 1930, when they were making it up as they went along.
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