Running Scared (1986)

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I was looking for a movie to watch this afternoon when I came across Running Scared, a film from the 1980s starring Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines as a couple of hard-boiled cops from Chicago.  I remember seeing this movie in the theater and being a big fan of it so it was the perfect choice for this afternoon.

Problem was, on this viewing, I hated it.

I suppose it was the difference of viewing this movie as a 50-year old man compared to viewing it as a 17-year old kid.  Much of the stuff in this movie was much more aligned for the kid, because it did not ask much of me mentally and I had to suspend all kinds of intelligence for the story to come even close to working.  There are no cops like this in the country and, if there were, they would not be cops for very long.

Positives:  Billy Crystal and Gregory Hines are good together and they have all kinds of witty banter.  The dialogue between them was strong and their friendship was heart-warming.

After that, nothing else was worth my time.

Jimmy Smits was the bad guy, Julio Gonzales, and this guy had zero realism to him.  He was a cartoon villain who could somehow keep getting released after clear criminal acts.  The third act showdown is so unbelievable and made no sense whatsoever.

This makes me wonder what other films from my childhood that I loved would be crap in my eyes today.

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Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

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Earlier this week, Collider Live brought up Harry and the Hendersons and Josh Macuga stated how much he liked that movie. So when I came across it on Netflix tonight, I thought I would watch it.  I had seen pieces of the film before, but never the whole thing.

It is very much an 80s movie.  It is an action/comedy similar to many of the movies we saw during the 1980s.  There is some definite silliness and the plot is fairly formulaic, but there is a charm and a heart that takes the film to a higher level than it might have been.

Coming home from their camping trip, George Henderson (John Lithgow) and his family hit a legendary Bigfoot with his car.  Believing that they had killed the beast, they put the corpse on the roof of the car and took it back to Seattle, Washington with them.

However, turns out, the Bigfoot was not dead and a late night ransacking of their kitchen looking for food was in line for the Sasquatch.

As the family tried to determine exactly what they were going to do, they discovered that the Bigfoot, nicknamed Harry, was more than just an animal.

John Lithgow was solid in the role of George Henderson, the man who at first tried to get rid of the Bigfoot, but eventually came around to love the creature.  Don Ameche played Bigfoot museum manager Dr. Wallace Wrightwood and David Suchet (who played Hercule Poirot) was big game hunter Jacques LaFleur, who had been chasing Bigfoot for decades.  These are both fairly typical characters that fit into the 1980s films like this one.

Harry was the fish out of water type character here as the Hendersons struggled to re-find Harry and then get him safely back into the woods.  Harry, played by Kevin Peter Hall (who was also the Predator in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film), is very lovable in a realistic way.  No CGI here, only practical effects and they help give Harry his charm.

There is not much to the movie beyond the message of family and respecting life, even animal life, but it is an enjoyable watch with some cute comedic moments.

While it may not be an all-time classic, it is certainly worth a lazy Saturday night watch on Netflix.

funtime

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The Godfather Part II (1974)

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I had only seen the original Godfather once before I watched it earlier today, but I had never seen The Godfather Part II at all.  I can see why some people believe that the movie is one of the greatest sequels ever made.

To be honest, though, I found the original to be my favorite of the two.

The Godfather Part II tells two stories concurrently.  One was the ongoing events in the life of Michael Corleone (Al Pacino) as he continues his ascension into the position of head of the Corleone crime family.  The second story gave us the background of a young Vito Corleone (Robert DeNiro) growing up in Corleone, Italy and how he started moving up the ranks to become the Godfather.

Pacino and DeNiro are at the peak of their skills in this movie as their performances are amazing.  The film feels like a continuation of the story started in The Godfather and seamlessly flows on.  There are some shocking moments that I could not believe were happening.  I am impressed that, despite over 30 years since its release, I had not heard the details of a couple of the story points (in particular, the one dealing with Diane Keaton.

I must say there were two problems I had with the film.  It did feel a little long, especially in the first hour or so.  The film picked up in the second half as many things happened that I did not see coming.

The second issue is that Michael Corleone has become such an unlikable character that I found it harder to support him as the protagonist.  I know the theme is how life choices can be unavoidable and can take someone down a bad path, but he is almost unrecognizable from the first film.   While that is a fascinating development for a character, I wanted someone to root for and that was lacking.

However, as a character piece on the development of a villain, The Godfather Part II is harrowing.  Al Pacino deserved to have won the Oscar for this performance, though he did not.

I feel like a major gap in my movie viewing has now been filled as I cannot say any more that I have not seen Godfather Part II.  I do not plan on watching Godfather Part III any time soon though.

vintage

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The Godfather (1972)

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I wanted to do something special for the 200th Doc’s Classic Movie Review and so I chose one of the great movies in cinematic history, The Godfather.

I had actually only seen The Godfather once and it was just a few years ago on the big screen at a Fathom Event so it fits right into the idea for #200.

Francis Ford Coppola directed the film and co-wrote the screenplay with Mario Puzo, who wrote the original novel that the film was based upon, that told the story of the five families of organized crime in New York, specifically about the Corleone family, led by Don Vito Corleone (Marlon Brando).  Corleone was aging and a failed assassination attempt slowed him down even more.  His son Sonny (James Caan) initially would make decisions, but  eventually, the power of the family would fall down to Michael Corleone (Al Pacino), war hero who wanted to stay out of the family business but only found himself pulled back in.

The film is beautifully shot and the imagery we get is as iconic as it comes.  The music is a perfect blend with what we see on the screen.  The music paints us a picture of the family and its continuous growth.

Michael Corleone changes dramatically as the film progresses, starting as the young man back from war who wanted to stay free of the family business to the vicious, cold-blooded Don at the end, taking steps that even his father would not take.

Marlon Brando and Al Pacino are revolutionary in their performances.  Both men are simply astounding and deserve every accolade that they received.

The remainder of the cast is spectacular as well.  We have James Caan, Abe Vigoda, Diane Keaton, Sterling Hayden, Robert DuVall, Talia Shire, Richard Castellano among others.  There is not one misstep among the cast.

The Godfather was nominated for 11 Academy Awards and won for Best Picture, Best Actor (Marlon Brando), and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The Godfather is one of the greatest movies ever made.

Next up is a movie that I have never seen… The Godfather 2.

paragon

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Train to Busan (2016)

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Holy cow.

I have never been much on foreign films where I have to read the subtitles, but I had heard enough of the online community rave about this movie (from Collider’s Perri Nemeroff to the Top 10 Show) that I had it on my queue over at Netflix.  Looking though for Doc’s Classic Movies Reviewed #199, I came across Train to Busan and thought I’d give it a chance.

Holy cow.

I am so glad that I chose to watch this.  You become so invested in the characters and the story unfolding here that you forget that you are reading the movie.

A group of passengers boarded a train in an attempt to escape the sudden outbreak of zombies plaguing South Korea.  The word was that the city of Busan had been a safe haven so far, or so they heard.  The train was not free from the monsters and the uninfected passengers struggles to remain one step ahead of the horde.

This just well may be the best zombie genre movie that I have ever seen.  I loved those comedic zombie movies such as Zombieland and Shaun of the Dead, and there has not been a dramatic zombie film that I would put on their level.  Train to Busan is the one.

Seok-woo (Yoo Gong) is a fund manager who was escorting his daughter Su-an (Kim Soo-ahn) to his estranged wife in Busan.  Seok-Woo couldn’t care less about anyone else and his work was taking him away from Su-an consistently.

Sang-hwa (Dong-seok Ma) and his pregnant wife Seong-kyeong (Yu-mi Jung) are also on the train.  Other passengers include a pair of elderly sisters, a high school baseball team, Yon-suk (Eui-sung Kim), a CEO who was out for himself and no one else, among others.

You really get connected to these characters which make it all the more difficult when they succumb to the zombie herd.  Some of the deaths are heroic and others are downright cowardly, but they all provide an emotional burst that I had not expected.

Little Kim Soo-ahn was absolutely spellbinding as Su-an.  She gave the performance of a lifetime in a role that would be challenging for any adult to pull off.  She showed us her fear, frustration, disappointment, grief, and a deep look into the heart of the little girl who showed her father, by example, just what a jerk he was being.

The action was tense and stressful.  Choreographed beautifully, the zombies were true threats inside the restrictive confines of the train cars.  You can’t help but feel claustrophobic as the film moves along.  It does have some of the same beats as Chris Evans’s sci-fi epic Snowpiercer, but the zombies provide a more threatening presence than Snowpiercer had.

Bloody, violent and chaotic, Train to Busan is on-the-edge-of-your-seat action from early on in the right up to the very end.  You’ll be holding your breath throughout the film.  It is an amazing piece of work.

paragon

 

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My Cousin Vinny (1992)

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My Cousin Vinny becomes the 198th film reviewed in the Doc’s Classic Movie Reviewed section at EYG.  I had seen a video on YouTube from a lawyer who was looking at how accurate the film was in courtroom procedures.  It did very well, with many scenes being considered great for even teaching how to do things.

Joe Pesci is Vinny, the lawyer, and his fiance is played by Marisa Tomei.  They have to go down to Alabama to be the lawyer for his cousin Bill (Ralph Macchio) who, along with his friend Stan (Mitchell Whitfield), have been incorrectly charged with murder and they need Vinny’s help.

The problem is that Vinny has never won a case and has plenty of things he had no clue about.  The judge (Fred Gwynne, famous from The Munsters) has it out for Vinny because of the way he dresses and acts.  Vinny, from New York City, has troubles around Alabama as the “fish out of water” and unable to sleep.

My Cousin Vinny is one of the best in court films you are going to find, with the lawyering that is done by Vinny is so entertaining that it is engaging and thrilling.  The film is very funny and has some of the best dialogue you are going to find.

There is a ton of chemistry between the entire cast here.  The ensemble is tremendous with the exception of the public defender with the stuttering problem.  I dislike that character and I actually fast-forwarded through his part.

Marisa Tomei won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in this movie, and her scene as the witness in the trial is one of the best scenes in the movie.

My Cousin Vinny is a fantastic movie and I love watching it any time I can.

vintage

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Singin’ In the Rain (1952)

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I found a Top 10 Show Re-list this morning and it was Top 10 musicals.  I like musicals so I was excited about doing the list.  I was also looking for a film to make #197 in the push toward 200 in the Doc’s Classic Movies Reviewed section here at EYG so I decided that Singin’ in the Rain, which I thought I had seen as a youngster, would work well.

I was completely engulfed in this movie.  I loved it from the opening until it was finished.  I do not remember anything from the film, except of course for the iconic song and dance of Gene Kelly with his umbrella, singing and dancing in the rain, spinning around on a lamppost.  That I recognized and remembered but everything else was new.

I had no idea the number of songs that I recognized that were actually in this movie.  My toe was a-tappin’ as each new song came up.

The film started with a huge surprise as well.  A voice … the first voice I heard int he movie.  It was Aunt Harriet!  Aunt Harriet, played by Madge Blake, from the 1966 Batman TV series, was there playing a reporter on the red carpet.  She was uncredited, but she was unmistakable.

Singin’ in the Rain tells the story of two movie stars of the silent film era, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), and their shaky transition from stars in silent pictures to the world of talkies.  The film also focuses on the relationship between Lockwood and a fledgling stage actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds).

My personal favorite character was Cosmo Brown, played brilliantly by Donald O’ Connor.  He was the supporting and comedic break the film needed and every time he was on screen, I was laughing out loud.  His sensational routine during the song “Make ’em Laugh” was astounding.  He had great chemistry with Gene Kelly as well as the pair’s performance of “Moses” was another highlight of the movie.

Gene Kelly practically glowed throughout much of the movie.  His face was as bright as a sun and he was clearly having a great time.

Every dance routine was breathtaking and as good as anything you could see today.  The finale production of Broadway Ballet is as extensive as ever and the fact that this was 1952 only make the accomplishment all the more amazing.

I will admit that the character of the studio head R.F. Simpson (Millard Mitchell) was not very realistic.  I expect the head of a studio to be more dispassionate of the art and more about the money.  R.F. was very supportive of his stars and of his actors and would have been a great boss to work for, if such a Hollywood exec actually existed.

But that is a minor gripe as the film was just tremendous from start to finish.  I loved this movie and I can see why it is mentioned among the greatest films, not just musicals, made in history.

paragon

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The King of Comedy (1982)

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I noticed that the Doc’s Classic Movies Reviewed section here at EYG is reaching a milestone.  This is film number 196 reviewed in the section so we are on a path to 200.  Number 196 will be Martin Scorsese’s early 80s film, The King of Comedy.

While the movie itself flopped at the box office, The King of Comedy received positive critical reviews.  The King of Comedy is a dark comedy featuring Robert DeNiro as downtrodden sad sack, Rupert Pupkin, a wannabe comedian whose start as an autograph hound put him in the orbit of famous late night talk show host Jerry Langford (Jerry Lewis).

In order to get rid of Rupert, Jerry tells him to contact his assistant and he would have him on his show.  Jerry had no intention of following through on that promise, but Rupert was fairly delusional.  Living in his mother’s basement, Rupert would fantasize about meetings with Jerry and a deep, close friendship between the two men.

After being turned away from the offices of the show, Rupert decided to abduct Jerry and use him as a bargaining chip to get everything he wanted.

DeNiro is solid here, but I really did not like Rupert.  He was a sociopath and delusional.  In the third act, you are given a window into the background of the character and you understand him more, but for most of the movie, he is an annoying man who simply would not listen to what people were telling him.

Sandra Bernhard was a co-star of the film as Rupert’s friend Masha who was an obsessed fan of Jerry.  She was downright crazy and she helped Rupert accomplish the kidnapping of Jerry.  Some of the scenes between Bernhard and Lewis are hilariously awkward.

The ending of the movie leaves the audience wondering exactly what happened as the last few scenes could either be reality or more of the delusions from Rupert.

The character of Jerry Langford feels as if he were a Johnny Carson-type, and it is known that Scorsese offered the part to Carson at first, but Johnny turned it down.  Jerry Lewis was very stoic throughout the film and I could have used a little more fire from him during parts of the movie.

But DeNiro is wonderful in a very off-putting performance.  The King of Comedy shows how the life of a celebrity is difficult and how they sometimes have to deal with the crazy fan/stalker and how they could turn to a danger in a heartbeat.

The movie holds up today and actually would work extremely well in the toxic environment of social media and the dangers of fandom.  Though it is one of Scorsese’s least successful films, The King of Comedy is a strong work that is deeper than first glance.

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Reservoir Dogs (1992)

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I filled a hole in my movie viewing list this afternoon by watching Quentin Tarantino’s classic Reservoir Dogs.

I had never seen Reservoir Dogs so when I came across it on Amazon Prime with a lazy Sunday afternoon, I figured the time was perfect.  So I turned the show on and was enthralled by the movie.  It was really great.

The dialogue, like all Tarantino movies, was just sharp and popping.  Just listening to these men interact with one another was so amazing.  You can definitely see how this led into Pulp Fiction with the dialogue.

The opening scene with the whole group sitting around did make me think of the opening scene of Pulp Fiction with Honey Bunny.  However, as soon as that scene was over, suddenly…BAM… we are in the middle of a Tarantino film.  Blood everywhere.  Screams from Tim Roth.  Me…no idea what was happening.

I have always loved Tarantino’s use of the disjointed narrative to tell his story.  For whatever reason, when other filmmakers try to copy it, it never seems to work.  For Tarantino, it works beautifully.

The interaction between Mr. White (Harvey Keitel) and Mr. Orange (Tim Roth) made me care for both characters even though I hardly knew them and I knew (or thought I knew)  that they were bad people.  When Mr. Pink (Steve Buscemi) joined the pair, things only got better.

Tarantino brought into the story an air of mystery as Mr. Pink deduces that their jewelry heist that led to the violent shoot’em up came about because they had a mole in their ranks.  This little mystery is remarkably compelling until we discover who the undercover cop among them is.

Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) was crazy as could be.  I saw him as the villain for the first part of the movie and a problem for the characters that I had connected with.

As with any Tarantino movie, there is a lot of blood and violence and swear words.  I was not a fan of the use of the N-word, which was dropped several times.  There did not seem to be any purpose for the word and, because it really did not have a reason to be in the story, it felt as if it were gratuitous.  At best, it might inform some of the traits of the characters, but those traits did not come into play at all.

There was a lot of humor and tension throughout.  There are times when you are basically holding your breath because you don’t know what is going to happen next.  And that is great storytelling.

I am glad to have finally seen Reservoir Dogs after so long.  It was worth the time.

vintage

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Disney’s Hercules (1997)

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I have always loved Greek Mythology and Hercules was one of my favorite stories as a kid.  So to see him get the big screen Disney animated treatment was exciting for me.  This came out right near the end of the 1990s when Disney animation was having its renaissance after Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King so expectations were high.  Hercules meets those expectations…sort of.

The movie is good.  It has catchy music and great animation.  The heart of the film is a classic hero’s journey that everyone can get behind.

The problem is, in comparison to what else came out from Disney in the 90s, Hercules just does not quite measure up.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy this movie.  It is solid and it features one of the best villains in Disney’s pantheon of classic villains with Hades (James Woods) and an impressive voice cast that included Danny DeVito, Bobcat Goldthwait, Rip Torn and Tate Donovan (as Hercules).

Perhaps the pacing of the film is a bit off for me.  It really is fast paced, flying from one major moment in Hercules’ life to another with very little time for reflection.  The character of Meg does not do much for me either.  She is basically a damsel in distress that has a dark secret.  Nothing here that we haven’t seen before and every aspect of the character of Meg felt false.

Still, there are tons of pop culture references (Paul Shaffer as Hermes, the Messenger God is inspired) that are fun and creative.  Hercules’ friend/pet Pegasus is fantastic.  The Gods of Olympus, for the most part, have excellent character designs.

Of ocurse, Disney had to alter Hercules’s story so Zeus and Hera were his parents.  In the actual Greek myth, Hercules was born of an earth woman, one of Zeus’s affairs and Hera hated him. Hera was the character who sent the snakes to kill baby Hercules, not Hades.  I guess Disney did not want to show the negative family values that this myth inspires.

Overall, Disney’s Hercules is a good movie and certainly worth the watch.  It is short and flies by quickly.  It just does not have the same pizzazz as some of the other Disney animated films of the decade.

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Without A Clue (1988)

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This was a film that wound up on my summer to watch list after John Rocha recommended it on a Top 10 Ben Kingsley movies episode of the classic Top 10 Show.  I had just recently seen Holmes & Watson, one of the worst movies of all-time, and this sounded like a much better comedy.  My time was not as open at that point, but I got around to that list tonight and I enjoyed the recommendation.

In Without a Clue, Dr. John Watson (Ben Kingsley) was the true driving force behind the cases of Sherlock Holmes, going as far as to hire an actor Reginald Kincaid (Michael Caine) to be the face of the role of Sherlock Holmes .

As it turned out, Reginald Kincaid/Sherlock Holmes was more of an idiot than anything else, requiring notes and lines for memorization by Dr. Watson, who would chronicle the events of their adventures for the papers.

However, a case that became an extremely dangerous one, featuring the arrival of arch nemesis Moriarty (Paul Freeman) led to some dramatic switching of roles once again.

Michael Caine and Ben Kingsley appear to be having a lot of fun with this comedy, filled with witty banter and slapstick humor.  Their performances are easily the best part of the movie, and bring in the audience to care for these people.  The role swap works exceedingly well.

The movie has a lot of fun with the Sherlock Holmes mythos and it feels like one of the feel good action/adventures from the 1980s.  The twist of Holmes being a fraud and a drunk that gets on Watson’s nerves is a bit that works well throughout the entire film.  Sure the third act works out pretty much the way you expect it would, but that should not take away from the strength of the pairing of Kingsley and Caine.

Jeffrey Jones, who made several films as the villain in the 1980s (including Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Howard the Duck, Amadeus, Beetlejuice) appears as Inspector Lestrade, Scotland Yard’s contribution to the Holmes stories.  Jones brought his typical put-upon role to this character.

Without A Clue was a fun time and I am glad to have had the chance to finally see it.  Thanks Outlaw!

funtime

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The Dark Crystal (1982)

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I loved the Muppets and Jim Henson growing up, but I must say, that my memory of The Dark Crystal was that I was not a huge fan.  So I wanted to take another look at it, as it is a classic film from Henson and because of the announcement that there would be a Netflix series called The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance debuting this year.

After watching The Dark Crystal again, I feel much the same way.  I was not a fan of the movie.

Wow.  Is this thing dark.  I did not remember it being as dark and scary as it is.  I cannot imagine showing this movie to a little kid.  It is nothing like the Muppets.

That is not a big deal, but there is such a huge exposition dump right off the bat and then the characters take too long to connect to the audience.  There are too many characters that are more annoying than anything else (Fizzgig for example).

The visuals are stunning and make the film special.  The creatures are interesting and always have that flair from the Henson workshop.

I did like the villainous Chamberlain, exiled from the Skeksis after his attempt to grab the power of the throne after the last leader died.  Chamberlain was manipulative and a giant backstabber.  He had desire for power himself.  He reminds me a bit of the Transformers and Starscream.

The Dark Crystal was a mixed bag for me, because there were some lovely visuals and parts that were fine, but I had some major issues with characterization and narrative format.

overrated

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Shaft (2000)

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Here is the second Shaft.  From the year 2000, Samuel L. Jackson takes his turn as “the black private dick who’s a sex machine with the chicks.”  Shut your Mutha @#$%^#$@ mouth.

Samuel L. Jackson’s John Shaft is a nephew to the Richard Roundtree John Shaft from the 1970s (as we see Richard Roundtree make some cameos in this movie).  He starts as a police officer until the system allows rich boy Christian Bale to get away with a murder and jump bail.

Samuel L. Jackson is great as Shaft (can you dig it?).  He embodies the feelings of the original with every F-bomb he drops.  The cast has some top flight actors here.  Not only do we have Sam Jackson and Christian Bale, but there is Toni Collette, Vanessa Williams, Jeffrey Wright, Busta Rhymes, Lynn Thigpen, and Dan Hedaya.  Now, the performances may not be the highlight from any of these stars’ career, but they clearly look to be having a blast with the film.

Samuel L. Jackson carries this movie with the force of his personality and the cut of his tongue.  He is the perfect person to have brought the return of Shaft to the big screen.

Of course, I have watched this Shaft (2000) along with the original blaxploitation Shaft (1971) because of the upcoming Shaft (2019) that will feature not only Richard Roundtree and Samuel L. Jackson, but Jesse T. Usher as John Shaft Jr.  The trailers look good for the newest Shaft and I am looking forward to seeing how the film changes tones once again.  The original Shaft was more serious (at least as serious as the blaxploitation genre could be) while Jackson’s Shaft was more of an action/adventure with the typical Samuel L. Jackson quips.  The new trailers make the next Shaft seem almost like a comedy, and I am excited to see what they do.

As for this Shaft, I liked the film.  It is not the greatest thing ever to see the big screen, but it made for a fun Saturday night.

funtime

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Shaft (1971)

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Who’s the black private dick
That’s a sex machine to all the chicks?

Shaft.

In just over a week and a half, there will be a third Shaft movie, starring three generations of the bad mother…  Shut your mouth.

The trailers look interesting with appearances by Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Roundtree.  I knew of Shaft, part of the blaxploitation genre in the early 1970s but I had never seen the film.  Nor had I see the Samuel L Jackson version from the early 2000s.  So I figured the time was right for a Shaft watch.

Can you dig it?

Richard Roundtree was the first John Shaft and he was a private detective hired to rescue the kidnapped daughter of a black mob boss.

The Shaft comparison to James Bond is fairly accurate as he is a womanizer, yet very suave.  Shaft is a jerk to be fair, but he had a certain charm and he gave his word, and it meant something.  Plus, he can be shot point blank and survive without any trouble.

The racial tones were apparent from the 1970s but the white police officer was shown to be a good guy.  The villains from the mafia were underdeveloped for sure.  The other black men from the black mob were not well used either, except for Ben (Christopher St. John).

The film was okay.  The music was tremendous.  The Shaft theme, which I already referenced, is just perfect for the film and the character.

Next up will be Samuel L. Jackson’s Shaft (2000).

funtime

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Major League (1989)

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In discussion about the greatest baseball movie off all times, there are a handful of movies that would fall into consideration:  Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, A League of Their Own, The Natural, and The Sandlot to name a few.  One of the films that would need to be in the discussion for that slot is the 1989 classic Major League.

Major League is the story of the Cleveland Indians, whose owner wants to put together a team so bad that attendance drops to a point where she could move them to Miami.  So she signed a group of has-beens and never-weres to tank the season.

However, she did not expect the team to bond together and to become a competitive force.

The movie stars Tom Berenger as broken down catcher Jake Taylor, Corbin Bernsen as over-price veteran Roger Dorn, Wesley Snipes as speedster rookie Willie Mays Hayes, Charlie Sheen as jailbird bad boy “Wild Thing” Rick Vaughn, Dennis Haysbert as the voodoo-worshiping Pedro Cerrano, and James Gammon as manager Lou Brown.

The movie has some of the best baseball scenes in any film, including the 20-minute ending sequence in the third act where the Cleveland Indians take on the New York Yankees that never fails but to bring goosebumps to me.

There is plenty of humor in the movie too, led by current Milwaukee Brewer broadcaster and former major league baseball catcher Bob Uecker as Indians broadcaster Harry Doyle.  Uecker is witty and funny, doing amazing work as the play-by-play guy.  His calls in the final act do a great job of setting the tone for the “game.”

There is a love story in the film as well, between Tom Berenger’s Jake and his former flame Lynn Wells (Rene Russo).  It sounded as if Jake had treated Lynn terrible when the pair were originally together and Jake had to convince her that he was looking to make it up to her.  Honestly, my least favorite part of the movie was the love story between these two.

The charismatic characters and their interactions are what really fill up the screen.  The baseball highlights are well done, looking more realistic than a lot of other baseball movies.

The movie shows what is great about the game of baseball.  The fact is that you do not have to be the best in the world and you can still win.  The Cleveland Indians in this movie are put together with the expressed intent of losing, but despite that, the group comes together and are able to scrape their way through.  A top notch underdog story, Major League is funny, dramatic and filled with wild characters.

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