A transcendent commentary on free enterprise and government intervention. In this case a pimp refusing to collectivize, then getting cut down to size. Number one minus one equal zero. Plus one equal one again.
Husband vs. penis (and brain) (and Jean Harlow's ass); needless to say Myrna Loy wins.
Everyone sits for the National Anthem, and stands for "Son of Shaft."
Apotheosis of a dirty old man, written without much insight by a dirty young(er) man. But it is saved by the cramped, senescent camerawork of Haris Zambarloukos, and the authentic attachment between the elderly actors (O'Toole, Phillips, and Redgrave) whose death-fear seems all too real.
A retro meta-trifle. Funnier in theory than in practice, just like the original.
Laugh-free comedy where a chubby Yugoslavian Kevin Arnold fantasizes about Marshal Tito and eats wallpaper. You had to be there I guess.
Sanguinary political metaphors, most of them surprisingly dull.
If you hate Paris, Texas (like I do), then you'll love this sublime variation, which features an actual script, story, and reason for being. Robert Duvall earns his Oscar with a simple, stoic performance, and damn near everyone involved seems to be awed by the simple "values" they keep circling around. Moral: you can't trust happiness.
Looks like a double, but the naysayers keep flubbing the ball, so now it's an inside-the-park home run. Sinatra and Gene Kelly at their best, plus Esther Williams (!) as manager, love interest, and coach. Dirtier than you remember, with great songs and horrendous baseball. "You bad boy, I've got a good notion to take you on my knee." "You mean over your knee, don't you?" "I know what I mean."
Two bankrupt moral centers cancel each other out in an astonishing demolition of capitalism, love, and heroism. Perverse, angry, and beautiful: imagine Pulp Fiction with a grudge and an ideology.
Go figure, fifty years on, the film itself starts behaving like Norma Desmond: confident of its importance, its beauty, its fan base (now mostly fogeys and film-school wastrels). But really, it has aged horribly, and offers us nothing in 2007: Hollywood "dark side" scab-picking (circa anytime, but especially 1949) ain't exactly eternal, and Billy Wilder's misanthropy is most wearisome here.
Bravely tackles Erikson's infantile stage of psychosocial development (trust vs. mistrust), featuring Huey Lewis pissing on a corpse and Julianne Moore's pubes.
Tagline: "Relationships don't always fit like a glove." Or Steve Martin's elaborate network of trusses. Or the paper tray on the Lost in Translation Xerox machine. Or a forefinger at the back of my tongue.
With witty camerawork, a script that walks on water, and memorable performances from Ray Winstone, Ian McShane, and (cussing a blue-streak into immortality) Ben Kingsley, this might be the greatest heist flick ever made. If only the unsurpassed Asphalt Jungle didn't exist.
What a weird ending: Travolta literally walks away from a combination gang rape and suicide in order to form a platonic "friendship" with some dull golddigger-putting-on-airs.
Or, The Fatal Glass Leg of Beer. Despite an occasionally hilarious script, and the fact that it's filmed in glorious retro-vision, the film only lodges itself in your brain as a flabby incoherent dream, with not much to offer in the saddest-music (or beer!) department.
Ignore Peter O'Toole and you will see one of the finest comedic ensembles of the early seventies: even Mel Brooks would have offered up his soul for at least four of these weirdo geniuses. Pay attention to Peter O'Toole (or the vengeful God) and you will see one of the angriest, most eloquent Tourette's-inspired skewerings of class arrogance before Peter Greenaway invented Mr. Spica's restaurant.
It's everybody's non-pollutionary, anti-evolutionary, pro-convulsionary factory of visual hyperbole! (Say No to Drugs!)
"You murderers! There's not only beer in that jug. There's beer and blood - blood of men!"
Quintessential Judy -- twitchy, hyperventilating, warm -- straddling her lost childhood (an old memory by 1943 I bet) and her beckoning camp adulthood. Musically, it runs from "Tom Tom the Piper's Son" to Verdi played for comedy (the best bit, says me) to, y'know, "Broadway Rhythm" underneath Tommy Dorsey's UFO-style stage.
Cheap effects, bad acting, incoherent plot, stoopid scares: clearly Coscarelli made this shit up as he went along. Still I enjoy it for its groovy randomness and humid seventies drive-in vibe. Also essential for fans of watching a 1971 Plymouth Barracuda getting repaired (by two dorks), then driving slowly back and forth between dreary locations.
The most astonishing disconnect between reputation and reality I've ever experienced in watching flicks. Loads of silence punctuated by hollow, banal dialogue, and I've yet to encounter a coherent explanation of what this tedium actually Says About America.
Thoughtful disobedience results in a slow descent to Utopia. The best parts are the potent metaphors about power, capital, and greed: the Giant Toad vomits itself up and the spindly baby-eating Pale Man wields very visible hands (and teeth) in vain.
"Well, the weather outside is frightful / My blind noir dame's so insightful / No more human-garbage dog show / Let it snow let it snow let it snow."
Bette Davis wasn't a great actress: she was a weird actress. Unattractive, never seductive (even when "performing" seduction), and always with a sense of aristocratic entitlement encasing her performances, she was only truly great when playing the shrew or the insufferable brat. Sympathetic roles always betrayed her, as here, where she plays an ugly duckling who is granted not the moon, the stars, an extra cigarette.
A perceptive battle-axe (Judi Dench) slowly emerges as an emotional toddler, engaging in the tawdriest blackmail just to rope in the skinny waif with short-eyes (Cate Blanchett). She's a sick twist all right, but I dig her acid cynicism for the first hour.
In which a Highlander beardo infects Queen Victoria with affection if not lust. Billy Connolly strives to churn this thin gruel into something thicker, and pulls it off. Even if you ignore the many historical holes and gaps so wide you could toss fourteen bowling balls through 'em, you still end up rooting for the wrong side (Disraeli, as opposed to Gladstone). Entertaining, but dangerous for the benighted.
Crack an egg in your whiskey jar and let the snow fall upon your bordello.
A more subtle and potent flick than you'd figure. Watch it as an epic about twentieth century black America (the well-armed, self-reliant bits especially), and you'll gain something. Think of it as a tragedy about organizational coherence, message control, and rigid separatism, and you'll want to watch it again. Pay attention to Malcolm's "strikingly upright" right forefinger throughout
Gloria Steinem's stepson emerges from corpsepile and solves his own stoopid mystery.