When there are no new war or history movies at our video store, Hal gets oldies. He walks back in the house all, "Hey, look what cool movies they had at the video store!" The boys and I look, then groan, rolling our eyes.
He scored this time with The Sting. Great movie, right up there with the Ocean's series for Clever and Funny. I'd forgotten most of it, naturally, so I got to enjoy it all over again. And the boys – they watched the whole thing which means the plot still isn't predictable.
You know how sometimes you get a movie you really enjoyed back in the day, you're looking forward to it, pop it in the player… but then it just seems old? Well, not Robert Redford and Paul Newman (not to mention Robert Shaw, Charles Durning and a slew of other good actors.) Still funny, charming, suspenseful, a really good story. Like an Ocean's One.
I have a new favorite movie: Man in the Chair. Just watch it. You'll like it. Really.
An indie film starring Christopher Plummer, Robert Wagner and M. Emmet Walsh and newcomer Michael Angarano.
"Prozium – The great nepenthe. Opiate of our masses. Glue of our great
society. Salve and salvation, it has delivered us from pathos, from
sorrow, the deepest chasms of melancholy and hate. With it, we
anesthetize grief, annihilate jealousy, obliterate rage. Those sister
impulses towards joy, love, and elation are anesthetized in stride, we
accept as fair sacrifice. For we embrace Prozium in its unifying
fullness and all that it has done to make us great." – Father
Equilibrium was pretty creepy, especially if you don't trust your government… It was no Matrix, but a good story, a modern day 1984. With a chilling modern-day twist. I'd see it again. Watch it, then watch Making A Killing. Then try to sleep.
"You're 32 years old, and you've achieved nothing. Jesus Christ was dead and alive again by 33. You better get crackin'." – Jim Byrd to Chuck Barris
Confessions of a Dangerous Mind tells the life and times of Chuck Barris, game show creator (The Dating Game, Newlywed Game, many more.) Oh – and professional CIA hitman. So Chuckie Baby claims. Pretty funny movie, very odd, good acting. True? Well, it is based on his biography. You tell me.
"To me, it's really so simple, that life should be lived on the edge.
You have to exercise rebellion. To refuse to tape yourself to the
rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see
every day, every year, every idea as a true challenge. Then you will
live your life on the tightrope." – Philippe Petit
I pretend I live like this, "on the edge" but, of course, I don't. Not like Philippe. And after watching Man on Wire, I realize not even close. That's ok… living on that edge is costly. An impressive docu-movie, you can really taste what it's like for Philippe. Fascinating, amazing footage, worth every minute.
Flash of Genius got its name from a patent doctrine which held that, in order to be patentable, the inventive act had to come into the mind of the inventor in a "flash of genius", not as the result of tinkering. The movie tells the tale of one such inventor who creates a thing, has the thing stolen from him by a big rich powerful corporation, then sues to get credit. True story.
The thing is a windshield wiper, not really an item inspiring mystery and intrigue. The magical thing about this movie is Greg Kinnear. He is lovely, sweet, sad, earnest and determined. Like Philippe, he loses a lot to stay his course. Is it worth it in the end? I ask myself that on occasion.
"A lady who sets her heart upon a lad in uniform must prepare to change
lovers pretty quickly, or her life will be but a sad one. This heart of
Lischen's was like many a neighboring town and had been stormed and
occupied several times before Barry came to invest it." – Narrator
The other oldie Hal got this week was Barry Lyndon. We watched it tonight and both gasped when we saw Ryan O'Neal. Wow. No wonder the guy is a movie star. Plus, he can act.
Apparently "it has come to be regarded not only as one of Kubrick's finest films, but indeed as a classic of world cinema." I can believe that: it is rich in moment, color, costume, scenery, thought and deed. Not just complete like John Adams was complete, giving a full picture of the man. It was Stanley Kubrick complete. A little off-center, yet dead-on. (Yeah, Frank Rich I ain't.) Long, slow, thoughtful, terribly interesting. I was sorry to see Barry climb into the carriage the final frame. I wonder what happened next…
"It was in the reign of George III that the aforesaid personages lived
and quarrelled; good or bad, handsome or ugly, rich or poor, they are
all equal now."