Steven Spielberg is rightly credited with being the most effective visualizer of stories working in the last forty years. He took a liability like a non-functioning mechanical shark and managed to create an extremely visceral film out of it. That “Jaws” works is largely a function of his ability to feel how a movie will play to an audience. He took the extra step when making that film, of shooting additional material in the pool of one of his collaborators, to get the audience reaction right. The opening of “Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a litany of visual and emotional elements from the Saturday serialized films of the Golden Age, but updated and intensified as only Spielberg has been able to manage. The brutality and honesty of the first half hour of “Saving Private Ryan” is a testament to being able to connect with an audience’s emotions in the strongest possible ways. Plenty of horror films have been as graphic and disturbing, but none have carried the power of those horrifying images the way that this World War II film managed to do. Continue reading
The last couple of weeks in June of 1984 contain three of the worst movies of the year and thus this project. While there are still stinkers ahead, you will not be getting a run down a set of deadly rapids like Rhinestone, Conan the Destroyer, and Bachelor Party again. We will be able to navigate around some of the pitiful films of the year one at a time from here on out. There is however this last obstacle to take care of before we move into more favorable waters. Tom Hanks is lucky he had “Splash” earlier in the year, or his career could have been over with this steaming pile.
Sex comedies were a dime a dozen in the first half of the eighties. Most of them were not any good at all, and those that were usually had the least amount of sex in them. “Bachelor Party” has a great idea for a subject, and then they tossed in the first idea anyone had on the set that day to make the movie. It is hard to believe there was an actual script. Continue reading
The romantic comedy is a much maligned genre. Too often the connect the dots storyline is a repeat of a dozen similar films that came out in the last couple of years. Every once in a while though, a rom-com has a hook and a star or two that make them irresistible. Today’s feature is one of those that cuts through the corn and gets right to the heart. It also features a fantasy theme that is in keeping with a lot of the films on my list from this glorious year of movies.
Three great starring roles, two really attractive people and a fish story that beats any tail (tale) your uncle ever told you about the one that got away. “Splash” is the perfect remedy for a dreary day or the answer to that question your wife asks when she is in a romantic mood, “What should we watch?”