Classic of the Week: A Hard Day’s Night (1964)

A Hard Day’s Night is a 1964 comedy film directed by Richard Lester, starring British Invasion band The Beatles – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr- during the height of Beatlemania. The film follows the band after they are swarmed by fans while boarding a train to London. The band get into mischief running from crowds of screaming fans, they meet schoolgirls on the train and many other good and bad people.

This is fun and humorous filled film, that any fan of musicals, The Beatles, or both will enjoy. It is filled familiar songs to sing along to, a song well as an easy to follow plot that’s never boring. This is a highly entertaining film that anyone will enjoy. You’ll love the laugh out loud humor, the music, the scenery, fashion, accents, everything. It takes you on a train ride with the most famous band of all time.

The band perform live in one scene. They weren’t the best actors, because of course they were (Ringo and Paul still are) mainly musicians. They had acting teaching prior to the filming of this movie. They were only told how they should act in scenes. They weren’t horrible at acting, but that’s not that’s not really their fault.

This is such an iconic film, not just for Beatlemania, the British Invasion, but for music in general. All four members were alike in way, but different too. They had a unique style in their music, fashion sense, hairstyles and Liverpool accents. They are still loved to this day from all ages.

This movie captures the Beatles outstandingly. You see the funny, silly and clever sides of The Fab Four. There is smoking, occasional drinking, flirting and a tad bit of sexual innuendos. Overall this is a fantastic film that everyone should watch at least once in their lives. 7+ 5/5

 

 

Classic of the Week: Ordinary People (1980)

Ordinary People is a 1980 American drama film directed by Robert Redford, in his directorial debut. It his based on the 1976 novel of the same name by Judith Guest. It stars Donald Sutherland, Mary Tyler Moore, Judd Hirsch and Timothy Hutton. The story follows the dissolve of an upper middle class family in Lake Forest, Illinois, after the accidental death of one of their two sons and the attempted suicide of the other.

Judging by the title of this film, it sounds like nothing more than just the story of an average American upper class family, but it’s so much more. It deals with love, tragedy, depression, suicide and marital issues. It is very slow for a good portion of the film, but some scenes are quite intense, especially when it shows how Jordan died and when Conrad is attempting suicide. This is a movie that many families, even today can relate to. So many families go through these things.

This film isn’t really heartwarming much at all, in fact, it is mostly heartbreaking. It is depressing, but truly moving and inspirational. It shows how a family copes with tragedy, how death has an impact on people and how suicide is never the answer. It also deals with marital problems, realizing that sometimes a person falls out f love with their spouse and that separation may the key for two people to be truly happy again. This movie also deals with mental illness, not just someone wanting to kill themselves, because of guilt, but also depression, anger issues, anxiety and insomnia.

This is a film that not just psychiatrists should watch, but anyone who has gone through any like the family portrayed in this story. At times this movie is very slow, almost boring, but it is still very good. All the main stars do equally outstanding in their roles, making it seem like their characters are real and you’re watching a biopic , rather than a fictional movie. So well done, even if some parts are very slow, it does get to the point of making you think of how you’d feel in their situation. Robert Redford did great on this one. 18 & up 4/5

Most Bizarre Films of All Time Part III (Finale)

101. House – 1977

102. Carnival of Souls – 1962

103. Cronos – 1993

104. The Lighthouse – 2019

105. In Order of Disappearance- 2014

106. Midsommar – 2019

107. Us – 2019

108. Requiem for a Dream – 2000

109. Silent Hill – 2006

110. I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK – 2006

111. Archangel – 1990

112. Donnie Darko – 2001

113. Jacob’s Ladder – 1990

114. Tideland – 2005

115. Tommy – 1974

116. Naked Lunch – 1991

117. Valerie and Her Week of Wonders – 1979

118. The Lair of the White Worm – 1988

119. The Wicker Man – 1973

120. The Reflecting Skin – 1990

121. The Milky Way – 1969

122. The Rocky Horror Picture Show – 1975

123. The City of Lost Children – 1985

124. Phantasm – 1979

125. Delicatessen- 1991

126. Time Bandits – 1981

127. Cowards Bend the Knee – 2003

128. Lisztomania – 1975

129. Pan’s Labyrinth- 2006

130. Johnny Got His Gun – 1971

131. I Can See You – 2008

132. Waking Life’s – 2001

133. Ink – 2009

134. Greaser’s Palace – 1972

135. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind – 2004

136. Santa Sangre – 1989

137. You, the Living – 2007

138. Maniac – 1934

139. The Science of Sleep – 2006

140. Kontrol – 2003

141. Zardoz – 1974

142. Alice in Wonderland – 1966

143. Songs from the Second Floor – 2000

144. Doggiewoggiez! Poochiewoovhiez! – 2012

145. Paprika- 2006

146. Dead Man – 1995

147. Maelström- 2000

148. Final Flesh – 2009

149. Pink Floyd the Wall – 1982

150. Black Swan – 2010

151. Solaris – 1972

152. Mulholland Drive – 2001

153. The Tree of Life – 2011

154. Idiots and Angels – 2008

155. Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives – 2010

156. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory- 1971

157. Blood Tea and Red String – 2006

158. Belle De Jour – 1967

159. Hedwig and the Angry Inch – 2001

160. The Big Feast – 1973

161. Fellini Satyricon – 1969

162. Fantastic Planet – 1973

163. Barbarella – 1968

164. The Americans Astronaut – 2001

165. Dead Ringers – 1988W

166. Little Otik – 2000

167. Howl’s Moving Castle – 2004

168. Keyhole – 2011

169. Labyrinth – 1986

170. The Dark Crystal- 1970

171. The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. – 1953

172. 3 Women – 1977

173. Tales from the Quadead Zone – 1987

174. Mr. Nobody- 2009

175. Escape from Tomorrow- 2013

176. The Dance of Reality – 2013

177. Spider Baby – 1967

178. Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny – 1972

179. Mood Indigo – 2013

180. The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover – 1989

181. 2001: A Space Odyssey- 1968

182. Society- 1989

183. Inherent Vice – 2014

184. Beauty and the Beast- 1946

185. Metropolis- 1927

186. The Beast – 1975

187. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead – 1990

188. Fellini’s Roma – 1972

189. Teeth – 2007

190. Cloud Atlas – 2012

191. Hour of the Wolf – 1968

192. Alphaville – 1965

193. Parasite- 2019

194. Irreversible – 2002

195. True Stories – 1986

196. The Testament of Orpheus – 1960

197. Multiple Maniacs – 1970

198. Playtime – 1967

199. La Strada – 1954

200. The Ruling Class – 1972

Most Bizarre Films of All Time Part II

53. Brand Upon the Brain – 2006

54. Kin-dza-dza! – 1986

55. Mother! – 2017

56. Santa Claus – 1959

57. Twin Peaks: Walk With Me – 1992

58. Funeral Parade of Roses – 1969

59. The Abominable Dr. Phibes – 1971

60. The Love Witch – 2016

61. The Lure – 2015

62. Under the Skin – 2013

63. The Tenant – 1976

64. Innocence – 2004

65. Perfect Blue – 1997

66. Meet the Feebles – 1989

67. Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song – 1971

68. Skins – 2017

69. Wool 100% – 2006

70. L’Inhumaine – 1924

71. Audition- 1999

72. The Tingler – 1959

73. Desperate Living – 1977

74. The Man Who Fell to Earth – 1976

75. City of Women – 1980

76. The Hourglass Sanitarium- 1973

77. Female Trouble – 1974

78. Braindead – 1992

79. 200 Motels – 1971

80. The Saragossa Manuscript – 1965

81. The Telephone Book – 1971

82. The Greasy Strangler – 2016

83. The Exterminating Angel – 1962

84. The Ninth Configuration- 1980

85. Swisscom Army Man- 2016

86. Amarcord – 1973

87. The Face of Another – 1966

88. Possession- 1981

89. Blancanieves – 2012

90. Woman in the Dunes – 1964

91. Belladonna of Sadness – 1973

92. Pierrot Le Fou – 1965

93. Persona – 1966

94. The Forbidden Room – 2015

95. Christmas on Mars – 2008

96. Spirited Away – 2001

97. The Seventh Seal – 1957

98. Eyes Without a Face – 1960

99. Susperia – 1977

100. Diabolique – 1955

Most Bizarre Films of All Time Part I

  1. Being John Malkovich – 1999
  2. The City of Lost Children – 1995
  3. Alice – 1988
  4. Big Fish – 2003
  5. A Clockwork Orange- 1971
  6. Get Out – 2017
  7. Antichrist – 2009
  8. Pink Flamingos – 1972
  9. Funky Forest – 2005
  10. Even Dwarves Started Small – 1970
  11. Dogtooth – 2009
  12. Holy Motors – 2012
  13. Tetsuo: The Iron Man – 1989
  14. The Lobster- 2015
  15. Pi – 1998
  16. Taxidermia – 2006
  17. On the Silver Globe – 1988
  18. WR: Mysteries of the Organism – 1971
  19. Gummo – 1997
  20. Videodrome – 1983
  21. Enter the Void – 2009
  22. Conspirators of Pleasure- 1996
  23. Weekend – 1967
  24. Inland Empire- 2006
  25. The Holy Mountain – 1973
  26. Un Chien Adalou – 1929
  27. Celine and Julie Go Boating – 1974
  28. The Happiness of the Katakuris – 2001
  29. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari – 1920
  30. The Devils – 1971
  31. True Stories- 1986
  32. Come and See 1985
  33. Lunacy – 2005
  34. Theorem – 1968
  35. Mind Game – 2004
  36. Liquid Sky – 1982
  37. The Taste of Tea – 2004
  38. A Zed and Two Noughts- 1985
  39. Freaks – 1932
  40. Street of Crocodiles – 1986
  41. It’s Such a Beautiful Day- 2011
  42. Dark City – 1998
  43. The Testament of Orpheus – 1960
  44. A Page of Madnesses – 1926
  45. Cube – 1997
  46. Millennium Actress – 2001
  47. Eraserhead – 1977
  48. The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie – 1972
  49. The Triplets of Belleville – 2003
  50. Head – 1968
  51. If… – 1968
  52. Yellow Submarine- 1968

Classic of the Week: The Big Chill (1983)

The Big Chill is a 1983 American drama and comedy film directed by Lawrence Kasdan, starring Tom Berenger, Glenn Close, Jeff Goldblum, William Hurt, Kevin Kline, Mary Kay Place, Meg Tilley and JoBeth Williams. The story follows a group of baby boomers who attended the University of Michigan, reuniting after 15 years when their friend Alex commits suicide. It was filmed in Beaufort, South Carolina.

Despite coming together for a funeral, the friends still manage to share, laughter, memories, tears, music, love, friendship, food and drinks, anger, happiness and sadness. They cook, they eat, drink, dance and still have a good time. Maybe they should be mourning more the loss of their friend who was like a brother to them in college. A suicide is not something to celebrate, but maybe they are celebrating the good things about Alex.

All the acting by every lead star is equally outstanding. Every single character is unique in their own ways, making this movie better with every viewing. The fantastic soundtrack features R&B, soul, pop and rock from the 1960s and 70s . This film is equal parts sad, dramatic, funny and moving. You want friends like these.

This film is about friendship, love, death, music, emotions and life. One character is recently divorced, another has never been married, but wants a baby, another talks about how much he hates his job, despite its high pay. Despite it being 15 years after their college graduation, they group had still kept in touch. A couple of characters fall in love. One female character asks her husband to have sex with the female character that wants a baby, because she doesn’t think she’ll ever get married. He does it. There is lots of drinking, conversation, a few scenes of fighting, some making out, some sex, but lots of music.

This film teaches that family and friends are important, suicide is a serious issue, and music and coming together can heal. This movie is as striking as it is comedic, without being over the top. Wonderful throughout. 18+ 4.5/5

Classic of the Week: Midnight Cowboy (1969)

Midnight Cowboy is a 1969 American buddy drama film directed by John Schlesinger, based on the 1965 novel of the same name by James Leo Herlihy. It stars Jon Voight as Joe Buck, a young Texan dishwasher, who quits his job and heads to New York City to become a male prostitute and Dustin Hoffman as Enrico Salvatore “Ratso” Rizzo, a poor con man, with whom Joe becomes friends and roommates with.

This film got an X rating, the equivalent of NC-17 or R today. It is the only adult film to win Best Picture at the Oscars. It has somewhat happy moments, but overall, it isn’t an uplifting film. That doesn’t make it bad. Voight and Hoffman are equally fantastic in their roles.

This film is filled with adult and controversial content, sex, drugs, stealing, prostitution, strip tease, homosexual moments, drinking and smoking and nudity and violence. Even today, it still shocks With it’s powerful and controversial moments. You see everything, nothing is covered up, complete nudity (at times up close), drugs up close, extreme violence, in your face, but it is all well done.

This film is one that, though extremely adult, is done tastefully, though certain sex scenes that are full on, seem a bit porn like. This film is not for everyone. Most conservatives don’t like it. But it still has its fans and still disturbs and amazes people today. It is quite slow at times, but does pick up. Many scenes are unsettling, the sex and drugs are over the top, but that’s the point of the movie.

This film has gone down to be an adult film, that is both disturbing and wonderful at the same time. Not many movies are like that. This story of a young male hustler in the Big Apple and a con man that become friends, doing illegal things, may not seem exciting and it isn’t supposed to be. It is not one that most people will flock to a theater or television screen to watch, but it is still great. It has gone done in history as one of the greatest films of all time.

From the theme song, “Everybody’s Talkin” by Harry Nilsson, to Ratso’s famous line spoken in a New York accent, “I’m walkin’ here,” this such an iconic film. One that should be on every movie lover’s must watch bucket list. This is a film that is so obscene, but yet, so powerful in the way it was portrayed. Many mature films are all sex or drugs, or both, this one has a lot of that too, but a lot of other things that make it special. This is shocked the world win it won Best Picture and deserved it. – Adults Only 4.5/5

Classic of the Week: The Graduate (1967)

The Graduate is a 1967 American romantic comedy drama film directed by Mike Nichols, based on the 1963 novel of the same name by Charles Webb, who wrote it shortly after graduating from Williams College. The film tells the story of 21 year old Benjamin Braddock (Dustin Hoffman), a recent college graduate with no established focus in life, who is seduced by Mrs. Robinson (Anne Bancroft), an older woman, then falls in love with her daughter Elaine (Katherine Ross).

There have been many films about younger characters having flings with much older ones like, Alfie, Harold and Maude and Pretty Woman and all are special in their own ways, but none are as special as The Graduate. The story of a college grad with no direction in life, who had probably never had a girlfriend, seduced by a much older housewife, may not seem too original to some, but the way the story is written and the film version is directed, make it unique. With the soundtrack of Simon and Garfunkel and a secret affair becoming not a secret, it is truly a scandalous story.

Dustin Hoffman is outstanding as Benjamin Braddock, his breakout role. Playing such a naive, lustful young man, fresh out of college, he is absolutely perfectly imperfect. Anne Bancroft is equally fantastic as Mrs. Robinson. She plays the bored, lonely, sexually deprived and heavy drinking housewife, whose husband is a workaholic.

Katherine Ross is great as Elaine, Mrs. Robinson’s daughter, who finds out about the affair and refuses to have any contact with Benjamin until she forgives him and eventually falls in love with him. She is beautiful, smart, hard-headed, but kind at times too. Elaine isn’t full of sexual desire like her mother, making her a more likable character.

You start out hating Benjamin, but towards the end of the film, you end up liking him. But Mrs. Robinson, you can’t stand her the entire time, even after Benjamin forgives her and she forgives him.

The inappropriate fling, turns into one of the most iconic love stories of all time, with one of the most iconic soundtracks of all time. It has been parodied many times, but that doesn’t make this an awful film, in fact, it is wonderful, despite being scandalous.

It was given a PG rating then and shockingly still has the same today. It is very unsuitable for that rating. With the the inappropriate affair, talk of sex and rape, the drinking, seducing, smoking, obvious nudity (no body parts shown) and revealing clothing, it deserves a PG-13 or NC-17. No way would I let my seven or eight year old watch this.

Despite the controversy, it is still a remarkable film, one that shocks you, makes you angry, sad and then warms your heart. Still one of the greatest love stories of all time. It’s hard to believe the theme song wasn’t originally written for the movie, since it is one best themes of all time. 13-17 5/5

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood (2019)

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood is a 2019 American biographical drama directed by Mariel’s Heller, inspired by the 1998 article “Can You Say… Hero?” by Tom Junod, published in Esquire. The film stars Tom Hanks, Matthew Rhys, Susan Kelechi Watson and Chris Cooper. It tells the story of Lloyd Vogel (Rhys), a journalist for Esquire who is assigned to interview beloved television star Fred a Rogers (Hanks).

This film tells of Lloyd Vogel’s life with his wife Andrea, their son Gavin, his sister Lorraine and their ill father Jerry. It also tells of the friendship that is formed between Lloyd and Fred. You also learn a lot about what made Mr. Rogers so special. Lloyd starts out selfish and work obsessed, but after becoming friends with Fred Rogers, he learns that family and friends are important, to put others first, not be judgmental and to be positive. He becomes a better husband, father, son, worker and overall person thanks to Rogers. He also learns there are good people in the world. Fred becomes a family friend of the Vogels.

Mr. Rogers was a wonderful man, always helping others, not judging, educating children and just making the world a better place. He was probably the most positive person on television that not just children loved, but people of all ages. Tom Hanks is outstanding as Rogers, as this role was tailor made for him. He is nearly perfect in looks, voice and mannerisms. I think Fred is looking down proudly at Hanks and how his legacy is portrayed and how he lives on.

Matthew Rhys is excellent as Lloyd Vogel, who’s loosely based on journalist Tom Junod, whose meeting with Rogers was adapted into the film. Susan Kelechi Watson is very good as Andrea Vogel, Lloyd’s wife and fan of Rogers. She at first puts her career on hold when their son is born, but after the Rogers article is published, Lloyd decides to cut back on his job to stay home more with Gavin.

Chris Cooper is great as Jerry Vogel, Lloyd’s estranged father and a womanizer who cheated on his Lila and abandoned Lloyd and Lorraine when they were kids. Cooper plays the character so well, a fantastic role for him. He is a jerk at first, but he asks his children and their spouses for forgiveness and after suffering a heart attack, Lloyd realizes, he should forgive his father and be there for him.

Though this film was inspired by a true story, it still shows how special Mr. Rogers was, that you should forgive others and how to deal with tragedy and emotions. Some parts of this movie may be fictional or changed up a bit, but that doesn’t make it bad at all. In fact, this is an overall terrific film, with powerful messages. You will be deeply inspired and affected by this movie. So emotional that you won’t be able to hold back your tears. Though some parts are really slow, it I should still superb and any fan of Hanks, Rogers, or both will enjoy this one tremendously. 13+ 4.5/5

Judy (2019)

Judy is a 2019 biographical film directed by Rupert Goold and stars Renée Zellweger, Jessie Buckley, Finn Wittrock, Rufus Sewell and Michael Gambon. The film follows Judy Garland’s career during the last year of her life when she moved her stage career to England and worsening of her health.

Though the film is about the last year of her life, it does make flashbacks to her start out in Hollywood as a child star under her boss Louis B. Mayer and the abuse she received from him, his wife and her mother. The film goes into detail about her weight issues that started when she landed her first film role as a child, her drug and alcohol abuse, her five marriages, her depression, insomnia, chain smoking, bankruptcy, homelessness and parental rights. You learn about how her growing up played a part in her health as an adult and how it had an affect on her daughter Liza Minnelli, who has struggled with drugs and alcohol and been married several times herself (but has gotten help).

Although Renee Zellweger is too tall to be Judy, since Garland was only 4’11,” and whether she actually sings or not, she still, along with her acting, portrays her outstandingly. At first I was skeptical about Zellweger playing Judy, but this film proved me completely wrong. Maybe the director could have found a 4’11” actress or someone around that height, but they probably wouldn’t have been nearly as good as Renée, who deserved every award she has won for this film.

Jessie Buckley is very good as Rosalyn Wilder, Judy’s production assistant in London. Finn Wittrock is excellent as Mickey Deans, Judy’s fifth and final husband, who was much younger than her and they were married less than a year, although they had known each other for years. Rufus Sewell is great as Sidney Luft, Garland’s third husband and father of their kids Lorna and Johnny. Michael Gambon is equally great as Bernard Delfont, a Russian born British theatrical impresario.

Although Judy Garland, like many celebrities, had an extremely troubled life, she is still an icon and still loved to this day. This film chronicles her life during the filming of The Wizard of Oz and the final year before her death at 47. She lives on in her films and music.

This fantastic movie shows the abuse such an iconic celebrity experiences as a child and their addictions they go through as a teenager and adult and the downward spiral of their life that leads to accidental young death. Despite all of the darkness of Judy Garland’s life and how she sometimes seemed like a mean, selfish person, it was her harsh childhood and drug and alcohol dependency that her made her that way. She wanted to stop, wanted to change, tried to, but was far too addicted and affected by her youth.

Though some elements of this biopic may be fictional, it is still an exceptional film. Zellweger shines throughout, though I would have liked to have seen more of Judy as a child and her early acting career under Louis B. Mayer. I also would liked there have been more of adult Judy in America, but I know that’s not what this film is about. Other than that is a 4/5 18+