Archive for 'FILMS – 2006+'

The Big Sleep

February 17, 2013 by , under Films, FILMS - 2006+.




For someone who doesn’t get paid, I see and write about a lot of films.  I see them because I love them.  I write about them so I can later look them up and review my thoughts.  Let’s face it – not all movies are memorable or worth a second viewing, and, my memory sucks.

As in the past, I again watched “The Big Sleep” (1945 & 1946), starring who-else-but pop culture icons Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall.  My previous viewings left me with mixed, unenthusiastic feelings.  It’s not a stand-out film… at least not the 1946 version I’d always seen released to the public.  However, recently I purchased a dvd that held a 1945 version.  My wife and I decided to watch 1945 one night, and 1946 the next.  Stick with me on this…

“The Big Sleep” was made during the war and sent first to our soldiers overseas.  Whether this shipment was a gesture of Patriotism by Hollywood or merely an easy way to test market a movie without getting critics involved, you decide.  Either way, the studio learned a few things related to their investment: 1) the story was complex but sufficiently clear, and Bacall, the female they wanted to sell as the Star, had serious competition in Martha Vickers who played her lovely, flirtatious, out-in-left field sister.  I agree with what must have been the soldiers responses: Vickers is much better.  Bacall was neither equal in looks or acting dynamics… but, she had Bogart.

In 1945, at age 46, Bogart was a big star.  Bacall, at age 23, had a couple films on her resume - box office bombs.  Investors were afraid one more flop would kill her with the public.  Bogart had other big issues in his life: he was alcoholic, married, and had the hots for Bacall.  He was becoming known for unreliable behavior and costing Warner Brothers more money through delays.  In 1945 Hollywood, neither of these as-is people were a solid investment.

This is where it becomes easy to say “I’m going to stop reading about Hollywood and its machinations, and stick to watching films.”  But, like driving by the proverbial car wreck and seeing damaged people getting loaded into ambulances or hearses, I admit my wife and I look on.  There’s a “tabloid history” angle hard to ignore… now made even easier with a tablet computer next to us on the sofa for immediate research after the film.

“The Big Sleep” needed to be “re-vamped”.  Literally.  Most everyone had a vested interest in getting Bogey and Bacall into the limelight without unnecessary delays.  This would require editing out the “problems” and shooting additional scenes to be inserted.  Removal of film footage focused on Martha Vickers.  The studio wanted Bacall as the marketable Star, and Bogart wanted Bacall as… well, for the time being anyhow, his mistress.  Bacall no doubt saw the scrawls on the walls – she was on her way out and other women could out-dazzle her.  But, now she had a big star who would fight for her in ways she could not.  Vickers, too good to be removed entirely, was snipped out until no longer a screen “distraction”, and with the newly created open spots in the film, additional Bogart/Bacall scenes were created – scenes with plenty of Hollywood Heat.  The people who needed to make money would make more money.  The people with careers on the line would ally in ways necessary for self-defense and power.  A product would be altered, careers would be sculpted, people would be built up or torn down, and the public would be none the wiser while happily paying their twenty five cents at the box office window to see Their Stars.  Only later would they debate a confusing, incomplete-feeling plot.

All is Glorious in Hollywood… just don’t wander into the back lots.



(PS: Martha Vickers’ career and life would flail about unsuccessfully up to her death at age 46 in 1971.)  




January 17, 2012 by , under Films, FILMS - 2006+, Films 2012.



What films have you seen at least THIRTY times, and, WHY?


Leave your answers here!  (Many were originally posted on Facebook):



  • Dave JoachimBlues Brothers……….. good movie, great music.

    8 hours ago · · 1
  • Stu BechtelNemo…. love the grandbabies & seen it plenty of times.

    8 hours ago · · 1
  • Sonya HarmonJaws. I know, I know … but it’s not about the shark. The cinematography is gorgeous, and I love the relationship between Brody and his wife, as well as his camaraderie with Quint and Hooper. Go ahead. Judge away. LOLAlso? The Color Purple. No explanation necessary.

    8 hours ago · · 3
  • Pat Schoff GraggThe Wizard Of Oz. Brings back childhood memories from when we couldn’t watch it whenever we wanted, it was on once a year (signaling the start of the Christmas season). My sister, brother, and I would get soooo excited! Freshly bathed, in our pj’s, laying on the floor in front of the tv. My family was fond of Brach’s Malted Milk Balls (not the imposter, Whoppers), and as the music started we would hear mom dividing the bag into 5 bowls. Plink, plink, plink, plink, plink, pause, repeat. Goosebumps!

    7 hours ago · · 1
  • Eric HauseI’m with Sonya. Best adventure flick ever made.

    6 hours ago · · 1
  • Nancy Noll KolinskiThe Fifth Element: great writing + acting, so creative, amazing design – so much to look at!

    6 hours ago · · 1
  • FUTURES AntiquesI am LOVING this!! Go go go!!! Now I’ll add one of mine: “Eraserhead” by David Lynch.

    4 hours ago · · 1
  • FUTURES AntiquesOkay, Pat is right about “The Wizard of Oz”, and yes, I’m right there with the malted milk balls, too!

    4 hours ago ·
  • FUTURES AntiquesLet me think… a THIRD would be… “Metropolis” by Fritz Lang.

    4 hours ago ·
  • FUTURES AntiquesA FOURTH would be “It’s a Wonderful Life”.

    4 hours ago ·
  • FUTURES AntiquesA FIFTH would be… “National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation”.

    4 hours ago ·
  • FUTURES AntiquesSixth, and in NO particular order by the way, “A Christmas Story”.

    4 hours ago · · 1
  • FUTURES Antiques‎”Little Fugitive”.

    4 hours ago ·
  • FUTURES AntiquesI’m working my way towards 3-0 with “Napolean Dynamite” I think…

    4 hours ago ·
  • FUTURES Antiques‎”Lolita” – second version, 1997.

    4 hours ago ·
  • FUTURES Antiques‎”The Last Picture Show”.

    4 hours ago ·
  • FUTURES Antiques‎”Hud”.

    4 hours ago ·
  • FUTURES Antiques‎”Harold and Maude”.

    4 hours ago ·
  • Andrew RobertsGood movies are like great comfort food, evocative of time, place and memories of friends and family.

    3 hours ago · · 1
  • Lisa MerninAnimal House, pure stupid fun!

    2 hours ago · · 1
  • Lisa MerninAlso, It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, Wizard of Oz

    2 hours ago ·
  • Lisa MerninGroundhog Day – duh!

    2 hours ago ·
  • Lisa MerninThe Sound of Music – yeah, a musical

    2 hours ago ·
  • Lisa MerninThe Shawshank Redemption

    2 hours ago ·
  • Lisa MerninPlatoon

    2 hours ago ·


Oh yes!  “Animal House”!

Yes!  “Groundhog Day”!

And, “The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser”.

And, “The Long, Long Trailer”.

And, “Fistful of Dollars”.

And, “Annie Hall”.

And, “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”,

And, “The Bridge on the River Kwai”,

And, “Lord of the Flies” (1963),

And, “Fail Safe”,

And, “Aguirre, the Wrath of God”,

And, “Waiting for Guffman”,

And, “Come Back Little Sheba”,

And, “The Grapes of Wrath”,

And, “Avalon”,

And, “Blow Up”,

And, “The Elephant Man”,

And, “The Life of Brian”,

And, “Anchoress”,

And, “Shane”,

And, “To Kill a Mockingbird”,

And, “Platoon”,

And, “On the Waterfront”,

And, “The Thin Red Line” (1998),

And, “Midnight Cowboy”,

And, “Anchorman – the Legend of Ron Burgandy”,

And, “Apocalypse Now”,

And, “The Miracle Worker” (1962),

And, “Dr. Strangelove”,

And, “Exotica”,

And, “The Secret of Roan Inish”,

And, “Tender Mercies”,

And, “Manhattan”,

And, “Schindler’s List”,

And, “The Last Temptation of Christ”,

And, “Lawrence of Arabia”,

And, “Edward Scissorhands”,

And, “Big Fish”,

And, “Flirting with Disaster”,

And, “Taxi Driver”,

And, “High Fidelity”,

And, “2001: A Space Odyssey”,

And, “Summer of ’42″,

And, …

  • Pat Schoff GraggCool Hand Luke. Cuz Paul Newman was HOT!!!

    8 hours ago ·







I gotcher Top One Hundred ri’chere, Pally!!!

August 6, 2011 by , under Films, FILMS - 2006+.


So, the first list below is the New York Times “Top 100 Films of All Time”.  I have issues with it, but let’s start there…

Marked in red are ones I own.  I italicized those I agree should be in the Top 100:

A – C

* Aguirre: The Wrath of God (1972)
* The Apu Trilogy (1955, 1956, 1959)

* The Awful Truth (1937)

* Baby Face (1933)
* Bande à part (1964)
* Barry Lyndon (1975)
* Berlin Alexanderplatz (1980)
* Blade Runner (1982)
* Bonnie and Clyde (1967)
* Brazil (1985)

* Bride of Frankenstein (1935)
* Camille (1936)
* Casablanca (1942)
* Charade (1963)

* Children of Paradise (1945)
* Chinatown (1974)
* Chungking Express (1994)
* Citizen Kane (1941)
* City Lights (1931)
* City of God (2002)
* Closely Watched Trains (1966)
* The Crime of Monsieur Lange (1936)
* The Crowd (1928)

D – F

* Day for Night (1973)
* The Decalogue (1989)
* Detour (1945)
* The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972)
* Dodsworth (1936)
* Double Indemnity (1944)
* Dr. Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)
* Drunken Master II (1994)
* E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
* 8 1/2 (1963)
* The 400 Blows (1959)
* Farewell My Concubine (1993)
* Finding Nemo (2003)

* The Fly (1986)

G – J

* The Godfather, Parts I and II (1972, 1974)
* The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (1966)
* Goodfellas (1990)

* A Hard Day’s Night (1964)
* His Girl Friday (1940)
* Ikiru (1952)
* In A Lonely Place (1950)
* Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
* It’s A Gift (1934)
* It’s a Wonderful Life (1946)

K – M

* Kandahar (2001)
* Kind Hearts and Coronets (1949)
* King Kong (1933)
* The Lady Eve (1941)
* The Last Command (1928)
* Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
* Léolo (1992)
* The Lord of the Rings (2001-03)
* The Man With a Camera (1929)
* The Manchurian Candidate (1962)
* Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)
* Metropolis (1927)
* Miller’s Crossing (1990)

* Mon oncle d’Amérique (1980)
* Mouchette (1967)

N – P

* Nayakan (1987)
* Ninotchka (1939)
* Notorious (1946)
* Olympia, Parts 1 and 2 (1938)
* On the Waterfront (1954)
* Once Upon a Time in the West (1968)

* Out of the Past (1947)
* Persona (1966)
* Pinocchio (1940)

* Psycho (1960)
* Pulp Fiction (1994)
* The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

* Pyaasa (1957)

Q – S

* Raging Bull (1980)
* Schindler’s List (1993)

* The Searchers (1956)
* Sherlock, Jr. (1924)
* The Shop Around the Corner (1940)
* Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
* The Singing Detective (1986)
* Smiles of a Summer Night (1955)
* Some Like It Hot (1959)
* Star Wars (1977)
* A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)
* Sunrise (1927)
* Sweet Smell of Success (1957)
* Swing Time (1936)

T – Z

* Talk to Her (2002)
* Taxi Driver (1976)
* Tokyo Story (1953)

* A Touch of Zen (1971)
* Ugetsu (1953)
* Ulysses’ Gaze (1995)
* Umberto D (1952)
* Unforgiven (1992)

* White Heat (1949)
* Wings of Desire (1987)
* Yojimbo (1961)

Did anyone ask “Hey, WHERE’S … ????”  Well I DID!  So I’m adding to the list (in no particular order!):

Taxi Driver
The Thin Red Line (1998)
The Endurance
Tender Mercies
The Best Years of our Lives
The March of the Penguins
Apollo 13
Woman in the Dunes
Dersu Uzala
The Prize Winner of Defiance Ohio
Bicycle Thieves
Being There
Girl on a Bridge
The Cider House Rules
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
Brief Encounter
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Wrestling Ernest Hemmingway
Little Fugitive
All the Real Girls
Lord of the Flies (1963)
Lolita (1997)
The Pianist
The Sweet Hereafter
A Man for All Seasons
All or Nothing
John Adams
Waiting for Guffman
A Mighty Wind
Come Back Little Sheba
Paths of Glory
The Ice Storm
The Grapes of Wrath
Grand Canyon
The Human Stain
Trilogy: Blue, White, Red
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring
Mr. Smith Goes to Washington
The Last Picture Show
All Quiet on the Western Front
Big Fish
Into the Arms of Strangers
The Elephant Man
Touching the Void
The Life of Brian
To End all Wars
The Field
Little Dieter Needs to Fly
The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser
The Color Purple
Sansho the Baliff
The Burmese Harp
Grizzly Man
Tae Guk Gi
The House of Sand and Fog
Crimes and Misdemeanors
An Angel at my Table
Mystic River
Hart’s War
The Deer Hunter
The Pawnbroker
My Left Foot
Forbidden Games
Au Revoir Les Enfants
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Zorba the Greek
All the Real Girls
Of Mice and Men (1992)
Cinema Paradiso
Annie Hall
IL Postino
The Count of Monte Christo
Monster’s Ball
Band of Brothers
The Safety of Objects
A Song for Martin
Personal Velocity
The Believer
Sophie’s Choice
Moll Flanders
The Straight Story
A Beautiful Mind
To Kill a Mockingbird
Fail Safe
Apocalypse Now
Midnight Cowboy
The Crucible
Days of Wine and Roses
Brave Heart
Hilary and Jackie
The Miracle Worker (1962)
Hope and Glory
Leaving Las Vegas
The Last Temptation of Christ
Another Woman
Autumn Sonata
Dominick and Eugene
Unstrung Heroes
Under the Domin Tree
Europa Europe
Pelle the Conqueror
The Secret of Roan Inish
The Joy Luck Club
Life of Brian
Breaking the Waves
The Last Days
The Old Man and the Sea
Career Girls
Freedom Song
The Hairdresser’s Husband
Hoop Dreams

and more.  So there.





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FILMS – Year 2006

October 20, 2007 by , under FILMS - 2006+.

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