Notorious for being expensive, unsuccessful, and killing the relationship between producer Robert Evans and Director Francis Ford Coppola, “The Cotton Club” was also a feature player in a real life murder case where one of the financiers was murdered by contract killer and a former drug associate. With all the bad publicity surrounding the film, it is surprising how good it actually is. There are many faults with the film but the subject matter and the ambitious goals of the film makers were not among them.
I actually own a copy of this beautiful poster
Welcome back to the continuation of the “30 Years on Project” with this dazzling film that doesn’t quite work but comes close enough to be entertaining and worth your time. It features performances from a wide range of actors, a production design that is outstanding and Francis Ford Coppola’s return to gangster movies a decade after his masterpiece “The Godfather Part 2”.
This project did not get finished two years ago for all kinds of reasons. I haven’t posted a new entry in almost a year, but I have not forgotten it. I have some time this summer and I am going to get it done. I’ve got seven more to polish. There ain’t no mountain high enough to keep me from finishing. [At Least Eventually]
30 Years On A Great Year For Movies
The 1980s were full of creative science fiction films. Some of them became influential classics like “The Terminator“, some of them ended up in bargain bins on VHS and may never see the light of DVD day or Blu ray. This one ends up as a well remembered cult film that was done on a very limited budget but it engendered a clever and warm feeling at the end of the experience. It’s alternate title summarizes it well:
“Teenage Mutant Horror Comet Zombies“
This is a delightfully wry sci/fi horror movie that never takes itself too seriously but is surprisingly well acted and scripted. It is full of clever quotes, fun twists, and references to the time period that will make the horror of fashion in 1984 haunt you almost as much as the zombies do. Like most films with a limited budget, it has to make up for a lack of special effects with creative set design and storytelling.
This film is not only 30 Years On, it may be closer to 50 years on. In other words, it may only be tolerable to those who are old enough to remember when movies were stories and character rather than spectacle and visuals. There is not a special effects shot, a digital insert, or any type of sound effect worth noting anywhere in this film. Based on a play by the same title, it features two characters and for the most part, they are the only people to attend to. On stage, there were only two parts, in adapting for the screen a couple of other roles were created but they are mostly superfluous. This is an actors piece, paced a a glacial rate that will bore anyone born after 1970. If you have a older persons sensibility, there is probably enough here to be interesting, as long as listening to people talk will entertain you.
The two stars are veteran Jack Lemmon and newcomer Zeljko Ivanek. Mr. Lemmon was a movie star for thirty years before this came out and remained one until his death in 2001. Mr. Ivanek is not a star but he has worked consistently since this came out and he is one of those faces you will recognize from a dozen movies and hundreds of TV episodes. Together they do justice to a piece that is small scale, and very clearly theatrical in it’s roots.
Yes, I’m back. I never really left, I have just been going through a lot of adjustments in my life (including a new puppy and a retired spouse), so I have not gotten to the dozen or so films on my original list as quickly as I had hoped to. There is a little more time available here in the summer, so I’m going to continue to stretch out the project and hope that it will not be six months between posts in the future. I return to 30 Years On with a movie that should have been a summer release but actually debuted at Christmas time.
The Flamingo Kid” is a coming of age story set in the Summer of 1963. Jeffery Willis is a recent high school graduate, very smart but from a working class background and unsure of where he is headed in life. His father, played by Hector Elizando when he still had some hair, wants him to go to college, preferably Columbia, and become an engineer. Like most teens, Jeffery resists doing the thing his father wants and explores some other options. His friends from the old neighborhood take him to their beach club one day and things begin to change right there.
Let’s get this out of the way right up front, we are Dune Geeks at this house. I read all of the Frank Herbert Novels but stopped after the material passed on to his son. My oldest daughter has a tattoo based on the poster image for this movie on her back (don’t ask for a picture, I try not to acknowledge it but this one time I will make an exception) and she has the fear mantra for sale on an etsy product that she created. As you will see in a few paragraphs, I also collected a bit of movie memorabilia for the film. It pains me to say that the movie is not all that I could have hoped for. There are some drawbacks for us to discuss, BUT, it is still a movie that I love and will defend on a number of counts. Director David Lynch is maybe the perfect choice for visualizing the film, and the worst choice for animating the action.
I hope you like posters because I’m planning on sharing all four versions that I own in this post. The first one above was the teaser poster that came out a year before the movie did. I had it framed and on the wall of my bedroom for ten years. As excited as everyone is now for “Jurassic World”, “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”, “The Avengers” and “SPECTRE”, that is how I felt about this movie. I could hardly stand the wait and I consumed any data I could find, but remember this was 1984, no internet, so I relied on publications like Starlog and The Hollywood Reporter to get me up to speed. The first inkling of trouble came after a preview screening that was not well received. David Lynch went on Entertainment Tonight to deny that there were any negative reactions and to share a clip featuring a Sandworm. Since the worms were part of the stories surprise, the fact that we were seeing something early worried me. Mary Hart tried to talk it up but I got a sinking feeling in my stomach.