It’s not terrible.
That’s what I said to myself after viewing “The Godfather: Part III,” Francis Ford Coppola’s 1990 follow-up to his landmark films from the 1970s. “The Godfather” and “The Godfather: Part II” were the golden children of their era, and rightfully so, but what to make of their much maligned younger sibling?
After a revisit to the series (and subsequent purchase of the DVD set), and for better and for worse, I stand by my original statement.
“Hamlet” never really interested me; like most of Shakespeare’s plays, it’s fun to see it live, and after seeing Sir Laurence Oliver’s “Hamlet,” I feel I finally ‘got’ it, but still, I remain unmoved.
While watching “Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead,” written and directed by Tom Stoppard, and adapted from his 1966 play, I got the impression that he didn’t love “Hamlet” either. His play basically upends order and makes Hamlet a minor character in his own life story, but you can be the judge on that one.
What is it about a rebel (or two) that makes a movie more compelling than it should be? In “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure,” two Tinsel Town rebels, Paul Reubens and Tim Burton, meet up to update the neo-realist Italian classic “The Bicycle Thief.” I saw this once when I was kid, but after a recommendation from a co-worker (thanks Curt!), I decided to give it another chance.
So we begin; Enter Pee Wee (Reubens), a gleeful man-child perfectly content with his life and his greatest joy, his shiny red bike.
“On The Town,” the 1949 musical starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, is a charmer, an aggressive charmer. It’s filled with so much good cheer and wink-filled fun that you’ll walk away with a toothache.
The plot is simple enough; Gabey (Kelly), Chip (Sinatra) and Ozzie (Jules Munshin), three of the greenest sailors to ever grace the silver screen, are on leave for 24 hours in the Big Apple. It’s the first trip for all three, and they all have different ideas of how to spend their day in paradise.
A spunky red-head flies through the sky on a cloud and transforms into the Monkey King; a two-headed man has one head explode into a swarm of blue insects; a procession of dolls marches through a city, swallowing the souls of all it passes.
These are just some of the images that pass through “Paprika,” a Japanese animated film directed by Satoshi Kon. Being that most of the film takes place in dreamland, the images aren’t too out of place.
Timelessness is something of a rare quality in movies; some movies shoot for it but end up being generic, lacking any sort of identity. Others, like “Blow Up” or “Midnight Cowboy” are so fixed in the decade of their birth that to outsiders, they can seem irredeemably dated.
“Killer of Sheep,” a 1977 film by Charles Burnett that has just made it to DVD, is a film that could be set at any time and still be heartbreaking and poignant.
Imagine a millionaire so powerful, so influential and so controlling that he could murder a romantic rival in a jealous rage … and get away with it.
Thanks to Peter Bogdanovich’s “The Cat’s Meow,” you don’t have to imagine it, it’s up on screen. The millionaire in question is one William Randolph Hearst (“Citizen Kane” to you), newspaper mogul, and the victim … well, part of the fun is trying to figure who dies.