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Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982)
Disturbing - but is it relevant for today's audience?
A film made in the 80's for children of the 60's.
Pink Floyd's The Wall is arguably the best `rock opera' ever. But the angst and societal issues that the album addresses only seem aged now.
The film, by blending the original music plus skilful re-mixes and new tracks tells a simple story, but the imagery used is dark and disturbing and relates to the social issues of the time. The film was made when the fears expressed in the novel 1984 were still a threat, (as an aside, while the film was being made in England there was a political campaign comparing the then conservative government of M. Thatcher to the Orwellian fascist world of 1984.)
But, as much as I and other members of my generation can relate to this film, does it have a message for today's youth. I think that it definitely does. The issues today may be different from those of the late 70's, but, the sentiment and the dangers are the same. We have huge segments of alienated people, we have bigotry and hate, and we have governments which operate in secret. We have movements that preach rigid conformity and hate, we have religions that have lost the message of caring and we have schools that only want to turn out mindless corporate robots.
In fact, I think that this film, and therefore the message behind the music, is MORE important today. The issues we as a society face now are far more dangerous to personal freedoms than when it was first released.
Belushi, Ramis and Landis - In their prime and at their best
Summer 1978, and there is a great new movie running around. It's subversive, funny and has a great soundtrack. The trailer was funny and everyone I know wants to see it. Problem, the film is restricted, we are all underage, and there is no-way one of our parents would 'accompany' us to the movie.
So, me and a couple of pals sneak to the theater, and sneak in - and are treated to an amazing film.
Now although seamingly dated with the yearly barrage of teenager aimed 'coming of age' picks it is hard to remember that in 1978 this film was new. It was the original that set the tone for the barrage of immitators that followed. It is also note remembering that this film was not aimed at teenagers, rather at young adults. The comedy and situations were original, adult in tone and they deliver.
Belushi - in his second motion picture and at his prime, Ramis with his first screenplay, and Landis - only his third time at the helm, deliver.
The rest of the - relatively - unknown cast are fresh and deliver.
All in all a great film, and worth watching again - not the butchered for TV versions, but if possible in a repretory theater or on DVD.
My Stepmother Is an Alien (1988)
Enjoyable light fluff
Ok, I admit to a guilty pleasure at 1)enjoying and 2) recommending this movie.
The plot is weak, the situation implausible and the secondary characters are weak. So why do I give this movie a 7/10?
Dan Aykroyd and Kim Basinger, who have some of the funniest lines in any movie.
They are both excellent as 'fish out of water' he as a nerdy social misfit and she as the space travelling investigator who has to find out how Dan Aykroyd's character was able to contact her planet from a primitive Earth.
It is a movie that definitely grows on you with repeated viewings.
Left Luggage (1998)
A nice study in personal conflict
I initially balked at watching this movie. However, after being persuaded to do so I was happily surprised.
Laura Fraser has done an excellent job in portraying a young woman who is a bridge between cultures.
Isabella Rossellini also does an good job as the mother.
All in all, a very good movie, and a nice surprise.
The Hole (2001)
Not a run of the mill mystery
A very 'staged' movie. Although I enjoyed it very much, I think that it would have been better presented as a stage production.
Thora Birch shines as the confused protagonist who lets use see the mystery unravel step by step as she herself comes to terms with what happens. She is especially effective in the last act.
This is not a 'teen-slasher' movie, rather it should be classed as a closed room mystery. Unlike many other 'closed room' mysteries, however, most of this movie, and where we need to pay close attention, happens away from the room.
An excellent examination of young-adult concerns with self, lack of understanding of the world around them and total disregard for their own actions.
Love at First Bite (1979)
Great spoof, with some great lines.
A great comedic version of the story, with a tanned vampire Hamilton looking for his lost love to give her the bite. Several very funny moments, especially once Dracula and Renfield reach New York. Slightly dated with several 70's era references, but still a very funny movie. Can't get over the tan.
Most likely the best bond film ever.
The darkest bond, and the only film that is close to the original material. The film follows a tortured bond as he questions his life, his job and his values. It shows bond apart from his "family" the people in his job, as he turns to the underworld for help in tracking down his enemy. In return, he takes under-wing another tortured soul, who turns out to be his one true, tragic, love. In the end, bond loses everything, his enemies remain, his life is still tortured and his only true love dead. This book set up the later bond as a darker, unforgiving soul, regretfully, the movies retreated to a lighter, more comical bond.