Great Movies

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Alright, I’ve been catching up lately on some of the great movies I never saw the first time around, so that I can be kool. Here are three reviews for movies I recently saw for the first time.

Blue Velvet. I loved Twin Peaks, so it should come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Velvet. Sexy, scary, and surreal (often in the same scene), the movie was a pure buzz from start to finish. I enjoyed the characters, the dialogue, the plot, everything. Dennis Hopper is downright amazing, as is Isabella Rossellini. And though I didn’t like Maclachlan’s character as much as I did in Twin Peaks (possibly my favorite tv character of all time.), he was still very solid. This one gets an A-
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The Magnificent Seven. A fun movie, really good Western soundtrack, some really great actors. Still, certainly not my favorite Western of all time. A little too cheesy (if that’s at all possible for a 60s Western) and all of the deaths were as melodramatic as possible, with essentially every character getting off some famous last words. I did, however, thoroughly enjoy Eli Wallach as the head of the bandits, and I liked the fact that they had their reasons for ransacking the village (they were starving, and hey, a bandit’s gotta eat.) All in all, an enjoyable movie (and one that will make my next viewing of Three Amigos much more enjoyable), but not an epic one. (Keep in mind I am grading in comparison to other great movies, not to regular movies). C+
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Blow Out. This 1981 Brian de Palma film is a joyride for most of the flick, though it gets a little silly at the end. Great storyline. A presidential candidate has his car tire blown out, car plunges into creek, and he dies but the hooker with him lives. A sound guy for a lowgrade slasher films (John Travolta) happens to be recording nearby and picks up the gunshot on his microphone. The government is trying to cover this up, and a maniacal John Lithgow (the shooter) is trying to kill the hooker to make sure she stays quiet. Travolta develops a crush on the hooker, played by de Palma’s wife at the time, Nancy Allen. Convoluted, but de Palma makes it tie together nicely, and it is gripping until the closing chase, which is melodramatic and ridiculous to the point of being laugh out loud funny (super-slow motion, giant American flag, fireworks, etc.) . But the little tie in to slasher films at the end is a nice touch. The reason to watch this film in the first place, though, is that the whole thing takes place in 1980 Philadelphia, with a special cameo by the Forum Theatre. Lots of good city scenes, and the car driving through City Hall is fun. It is worth checking out for the Philly stuff, the plot is fast and fun, and Travolta is actually pretty damn good in this. B