Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics (2020)

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Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics, is a 2020  documentary directed by Donick Cary. It features many different types of celebrities talking about experiences taking psychedelic drugs. Some of the stories are funny, some are serious and some a mixture of both. Each story is different from the others and is reenacted by actors, animation, or a combination of both. Nick Offerman is main star of the film, who plays the scientist, explaining who different hallucinogenic drugs affect the mind and body.

The science behind the drugs is the most interesting part of this film. The celebs mostly talk about what it’s like to on particular drugs, a few actually tell stories of being on them. Many of the tales are like being in Wonderland or My Little Pony World and are not interesting, probably unless you have experienced it for yourself as well. Other tales have seriousness combined with humor, like having fun until something bad happens to someone or something or both. Maybe this film would be enjoyable under the influence of a hallucinogenic or alcohol.

 

There are celebrities from actors, musicians, comedians, television show hosts, writers, etc., so you get a variety of different people, many whom you wouldn’t think would ever do drugs. This documentary takes a deep nose dive into a serious subject and the majority of it feels more like a comedy film rather than something to learn from.

Grateful Dead drummer Bill Kreutzmann and hippie singer Donovan do appear in the movie and talk not just about their experiences on psychedelics but also how drugs shaped the 1960s and 70s. They provide their encounter with more seriousness than the rest of the guests, also providing historical facts with their happenings.

The film does go into a brief segment about the history of psychedelic drugs and another segment talks about Timothy Leary the clinical psychologist that helped form the Harvard Psilocybin Project from 1960-62 and is considered a pioneer in psychedelic drugs research. This is one of the few interesting parts of this movie, because you actually learn, unlike the majority of the famous guests’ stories.

If you want to learn watch a real documentary on drugs, not this where you learn some, but not enough. If you want to know what it’s like to be on hallucinogenic antidotes, than you will likely enjoy this one.  If you already know what it’s like to live in a yellow submarine, you definitely will be entertained. Major documentary fans, may want to steer clear of this one

The drug tales are entertaining but many are too silly to be in a documentary movie, even though they’re factual, you’re not actually learning about what the drugs do to you only what someone has done under the influence of it, although Nick Offerman explains it.

Not the best documentary I’ve ever seen, but definitely not the worst. At times it feels bad to laugh at someone whacked out on an illegal substance where they’re frying their brain cells. You think they’re stupid for doing it, but you end up laughing anyway, which isn’t exactly a good thing, since the substances are an addictive.

Bottom line, you learn some, but not enough from this movie. More science and history is definitely what this film needs to be an excellent one. It feels like a few of the celebrities interviewed are endorsing hallucinatory drug usage. I know the famous people’s stories are the main point of the film, but it needed more facts and history, to be considered a document style film. Adults only. 3/5

Classic of the Week: Animal Crackers (1930)

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Animal Crackers is a 1930 American pre-code comedy and musical film directed by Victor Heerman and stars the Marx Brothers, Groucho, Chico, Harpo and Zeppo with Lillian Roth and Margaret DuPont. It was based on their Broadway musical of the same name. The film follows the story of how a valuable painting goes missing during a party in honor of famous African explorer Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding.

This is not only a Marx Brothers and comedy classic, but it is truly one of the funniest films of all time. It is clever and funny. There musical numbers and Groucho and Zeppo sing as well and Harpo and Chico both play the piano, Harpo also plays the harp. Like most of the Marx Brothers’ films, Groucho is the ringleader. There is lots of cheesy, yet fun songs (except for one love song), slapstick fighting, clever humor, tricks and flirting.

Groucho is fantastic as Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding, Harpo is great as the professor, Chico is also great as Signor Emanuel Ravelli and Zeppo does a fine job as Horacio Jamison. Margaret Dumont does a fine job in her role as Mrs. Rittenhouse, owner of the house (on Long Island) and Lillian Roth does equally god as her daughter Arabella.

There are many fun musical numbers in this film such as, “Hello, I Must Be Going,” “Hooray For Captain Spaulding” and “He’s One of Those Men.” There’s also the love song, “Why. Am I So Romantic?” The songs give this film the right amount cheese and excitement.

There is also a lot of jokes, some that have become famous with the brothers like Groucho saying, “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don’t know” and when the party guests are giving three cheers to Captain Spaulding, Harpo brings in three chairs. Harpo is the only Marx brother that doesn’t speak in their films, although he occasionally laughs and whistles, he is also very gullible and naive.

This movie will have you laughing, cheering and dancing. There is mild sexual innuendo and flirting and slapstick violence, but no one is seriously injured. There is drinking and smoking throughout, Groucho is seen with his trademark cigar. But other than that, it is very mild and okay for older children, as younger ones won’t understand the jokes.

Never once is this film boring. It is truly hilarious and entertaining and gets that way more and more after viewing. The Marx Brothers were and still are some of not just the funniest, but greatest actors and movie makers of all time. They, to this day, can put a smile on a person’s face and brighten a day with laughter. This is a wonderful movie that is just as quick-witted as it an enjoyment. With music, dancing, humor, peril and romance, this one will never disappoint. 8 & up 5/5

The Night Clerk (2020)

The Night Clerk is a 2020 American crime drama film written and directed by Michael Cristofer. It stars Tye Sheridan, Ana de Armas, John Leguizamo Abdul Helen Hunt. The film follows the story of front desk clerk at a hotel that is suspected of a murder that happens after his shift.

Bart Bromley is a twenty- three year old man with Aspergers Syndrome who lives with his mom, Ethel. He works as a front desk clerk at night at a local hotel. He studies guests staying at the hotel with hidden cameras to help with his social skills. At home in his room, he has several screens set up to watch what he records from work. The videos start out innocent, but take a dark turn when he witnesses a man hit a woman and the murder of another female guest.

He meets a young lady, Andrea Rivera, who is a guest at the hotel and after spending hanging with her for the next few days, he becomes infatuated with her, even going the length to buy a new a car, get a haircut and dress clothes. But his work goes down the drain when he sees her with another man and becomes jealous. He soon forgives her after she cones to him at the front desk saying it was over with the man. She leads him, first acting a friend, then flirts with him and leaves with another man, that Bart knows is the murderer of the other lady.

Bart is found sitting on the bed of crime scene room when his coworker finds him and tells him not to touch anything, he’s going to call the police. Bart disobeys him, touching the blood of the dead woman, taking the chip out of his hidden camera and other things, leaving his fingerprints as evidence, as wel as the blood on his shirt. Because of this, police consider him a likely suspect.

Bart loses his job, confronts the man Andrea has been seeing, after catching him hurt her in her hotel room. Andrea and Bart escape to his house, where he shows her the hidden camera footage. She decides to play it safe and stay the night with Bart. Bart awakes to find her gone.

There have been many films involving autistic characters, some better than others. Some hit the nail on the head as far as mannerisms, lifestyle, etc., but many stereotype. This film gets Aspergers almost perfectly. Tye Sheridan is outstanding as Bart Bromely, portraying a socially awkward, autistic young man so well, making him seem like a real person. Helen Hunt is great as his mother Ethel Bromely, who is a little bit of sheltering mother, but also protective and loving. Ana de Armas is also great as Andrea Rivera, who plays with Bart’s mind throughout the film. John Leguizamo is fantastic as Detective Espada, who at first is iffy about making Bart a likely suspect, because of his disability, but is forced to do it.

Autistic people have trouble reading people’s emotions and the often have trouble understanding what a person has said. The often act or say inappropriately as well. Bart is prime example of that. He knew it was wrong to tamper with the evidence, but he wanted to get the camera and the footage out. He didn’t realize that Andrea was just playing him and trying to frame him until closer to the end of the film.

While the acting is superb in this movie, it does focus a little too much on Bart, his condition and him being likely guilty by police, rather than trying to find more evidence and reasons to arrest or not arrest him. This film starts out rather slow, but does pick up, other scenes are pretty slow too. You want Bart to get over Andrea, but he can’t, that’’s the way he thinks. He tries so hard to be more social, but it doesn’t always work.This isn’t action packed, but some scenes are pretty intense, some disturbing

You don’t have to relate to Bart or know anyone with Aspergers to enjoy this film. Although I don’t think is movie is fantastic, it is pretty good. It makes you wonder about howe disabled people get accused of crimes they didn’t commit. The acting is great, but there could have been a little less Andrea and Bart’s crush on her, could’ve been focused on less, it’s a crime drama, not a romance. I didn’t love this film, nor did I hate it. It was only petty good, because it did need some changes to be excellent. 18 & up 3.5/5

Classic of the Week: Alfie (1966)

 

Alfie is a 1966 British romantic comedy drama film directed by Lewis Gilbert. It is an adaptation by Bill Naughton of his own play of the same name. It says Michael Caine. The film tells the story of a young womanizing man who lives a self centered life, for own enjoyment, until things force him to ask himself about his selfishness, loneliness and his priorities. He cheats on numerous women through the film, treats them with disrespect and calls them each “It.” He uses them purely for sex and private occasions. The Film breaks the forth wall with Alfie talking directly at the camera and arguing about his actions.

This was the first film to receive the “suggest for mature audiences” rating in the United States by the Motion Picture Association of America, which turned into PG or “Parental Guidance.”

Alfie Elkins is a good looking Cockney chauffeur that enjoys women just a little too much, but refuses commitment to all of them. He has an affair with a married woman, gets his girlfriend pregnant, but refuses to marry her and bans him from seeing their son after he is born. Alfie becomes attached to his son, but his refusal to marry his son’s mother Gilda, causes her to break up with him and marry an older man named Humphrey, a bus conductor who is willing to call Malcolm his own son.

After spending a period of time at a rehabilitation house for tubular shadows on his lugs, depressed he becomes friends with another patient, Harry and his wife Lily. He then begins an affair with her while her husband is away, after be released from the center. Drives her home and has a one night stand.

Later, Alfie stops and picks up Annie, a young hitchhiker, who wants to turn her life around in London and moves in with him. She is still in love with a man she left behind. Shen ends up doing all his chores. He gets mad and kicks her out, but the regrets it. Around the same time, Lily informs him that she is pregnant from the one night stand and she plans on having an illegal abortion.

He encounters many misfortunes like these throughout the entire film. He leaves a woman, finds another, over and over, gets two pregnant, leaves both and finds he is in love with one woman, only to find out she has been seeing a younger man. After all the women abandon Alfie, he left wonder about his life decisions.

This was a very adult film for time period and certainly for the “suggested for mature audiences” classification, although it still has a PG rating today, much like other that should be PG-13 like The Graduate and Annie Hall, but that was before the birth of PG-13. They aren’t too mature for an adult rating, but certainly for a family type rating. Lots of adult subjects throughout the film from, affairs, sex, abortion, sleeping around, drinking , smoking and mild violence. So this is certainly not a film for young children.

Michael Caine is outstanding as Allie Elkins, far better than Jude Law in the 2004 remake (although that version is far more adult). His cockney accent and and how he portrays all the main female actresses are great to, all unique but all lead on by Alfie.

This is certainly not a date movie, because the lead character doesn’t find true. He sleeps around because he can’t commit to one woman. Unlike in The Graduate, where even though Benjamin Braddock has an affair with a much older married woman, he gets forgiven and gets love in the end. This one doesn’t start or end happily. Both films have excellent soundtracks, this one being jazz musician Sonny Rollins and the theme sung by Cher in the US version and Millicent Martin in the UK release. Cilla Black and Dionne Warwick also recorded the song right after Cher did.

Sure a film about a womanizing young man may not sound like a good motion picture, but Lewis Gilbert directed this story so well, making it both pleasant and unpleasant, with sexy jazz music and sad theme song and beautiful London. It’s not laugh out loud funny, but more sassy and tongue in cheek humor, some that only people that watch a lot of British stuff or just Brits may get, since Caine talks in a cockney accent. This not just one of the best British films, but best ever. Clever and fantastic. I say watch this one first before you watch the remake. 13 & up 4.5/5

Classic of the Week: Diner (1982)

Diner is a 1982 American comedy drama film written and directed by Barry Levinson, in his film directorial debut. It stars Mickey Rourke, Steven Guttenberg, Daniel Stern, Paul Reiser, Kevin Bacon, Timothy Daly and Ellen Barkin.

The semi-autobiographical film is set in the northwest section of Baltimore, Maryland during the last week of 1959 and tells the story of a circle of friends, now in their twenties, who reunite for the wedding of one of the friends in the group and the title makes reference to their late night hang out, the fictional Fell’s Point Diner in Baltimore’s Fell’s Point neighborhood. The film follows the changing relationships among these friends as they become adults.

This is a film with a simple plot, that most group of friends can relate to. The friends in this movie share a celebration of one getting married. They reunite at the diner they hung out at as kids over food, coffee, music and laughs, they party, dance, drink until they’re drunk, talk about life growing up and as adults, go to the wedding, share tears, hugs and toasts and dance some more. They drink lots of coffee and smoke lots of cigarettes, but nearly everyone smoked back then.

Each character is unique one is getting married, one fears marriage, one has a semi-pregnant girlfriend and one has a high paying job he hates. This film might have inspired other movies as well as television shows featuring groups of friends at their favorite hangout like the films The Big Chill and Grosse Point Blank and television shows Seinfeld and Friends. There are laugh out loud and touching moments in this film.

For such a simple plot, with such simple, (yet relatable) characters, you’d think this film would be completely boring, but it is far from it. It shows a group of buddies getting together again to be there for a member of their circle’s wedding. After being apart, (though they kept in touch), for so long, they still shared a close bond, a brother type relationship that so many, even today, don’t have. It was great how they seemed like they hadn’t been apart for a long time.

Yes, this is pretty much a “guy” comedy, but me, being female, thoroughly enjoyed it. It is very entertaining for the most part, because several scenes are a bit slow, but I know that is for dramatic effect, so can’t really complain when it’s necessary to the plot. This is both a happy and not so happy film. There is a wedding for one character , but their is also the other character who is too afraid to propose to his longtime girlfriend and the one guy who complains about his job. You don’t have to be male, or even in your twenties to relate to any of the main dudes. You don’t have to like football, or even sports, or 50s music, to enjoy this movie, nor do you have to be a fella.

This both a happy and a not so happy film. Some parts are pretty slow, but that’s for dramatic effect, so can’t complain if it’s necessary to the plot. Although the guys are young, many times in the movie they seem much older, because the screenplay is smartly written, making each character have a sense of maturity, unlike most twenty something characters from today, who act more like wasted immature junior or high school students. The guys in Diner are wise beyond their years. A great motion picture from beginning to end. 18+ 4.5/5

Greatest LGBT Films of All Time

  1. Black, White and Gray: A Portrait of Sam Waggstaff and Robert Maplethorpe – 2007
  2. AWOL – 2017
  3. Taboo- 2000
  4. Emporte-Moi (Set Me Free) – 1999
  5. Head On – 1999
  6. Edge of Seventeen – 1999
  7. Parting Glances – 1986
  8. Suddenly (Tan De Repente) – 2003
  9. Boy Culture – 2007
  10. Shortbus – 2006
  11. I Killed My Mother – 2013
  12. The Watermelon Woman – 1997
  13. Heartbeats – 2011
  14. Priest – 1995
  15. Torch Song Trilogy – 1988
  16. Bent – 1997
  17. The Killing of Sister George – 1968
  18. Wilde – 1998
  19. Personal Best – 1982
  20. This Misandrists – 2018
  21. Sebastiane – 1976
  22. The Runaways – 2010
  23. I, You, He, She – 1975
  24. In & Out – 1997
  25. The Danish Girl – 2015
  26. I Love You Phillip Morris – 2010
  27. Margarita with a Straw – 2016
  28. Beforre Night Falls – 2001
  29. Concussion – 2013
  30. Billy’s Hollywood Screen Kiss – 1998
  31. High Art – 1998
  32. The Happy Prince – 2018
  33. Tropical Malady – 2005
  34. Trickfilme – 1999
  35. Brother to Brother – 2004
  36. Water Lilies – 2008
  37. Burnt Money – 2001
  38. The Gospel of Eureka – 2019
  39. Wild Reeds – 1995
  40. Closet Monster – 2016
  41. From Afar – 2016
  42. Get Real – 1999
  43. The Intervention – 2016
  44. Holding the Man – 2015
  45. Born in Flames – 1983
  46. Transamerica- 2006
  47. Noordzee, Texas (North Sea Texas) – 2012
  48. Happy Together (Chun Gwon Cha Sit) – 1997
  49. Beau Travail – 2000
  50. Sorry angel – 2019
  51. The Birdcage – 1996
  52. Go Fish – 1995
  53. Strawberry and Chocolate – 1994
  54. Kiki – 2017
  55. Philadelphia – 1993
  56. Lovesong- 2017
  57. Handsome Devil – 2017
  58. Signature Move – 2017
  59. Beautiful Boxer – 2005
  60. Alex Strangelove – 2018
  61. Lilting – 2014
  62. My Own Private Idaho – 1991
  63. Girl – 2019
  64. Laurence Anyways – 2013
  65. The Hours – 2002
  66. XXY – 2007
  67. All Over Me – 1997
  68. Kiss of the Spider Woman – 1985
  69. I Don’t Want to Sleep Alone – 2007
  70. The Color Purple – 1985
  71. Old Joy – 2006
  72. Monster – 2004
  73. Yossi & Jagger – 2003
  74. Other People – 2016
  75. I’ve Heard the Mermaids Sing – 1987
  76. Chuck & Buck – 2000
  77. Circumstance – 2011
  78. Mysterious Skin – 2005
  79. Beach Rats – 2017
  80. Orlando – 1993
  81. Beginners – 2011
  82. Mulholland Drive – 2001
  83. Farewell My Concubine – 1993
  84. Fire – 1996
  85. Bound – 1996
  86. 52 Tuesdays – 2015
  87. First Girl I Ever Loved – 2016
  88. A Single man – 2009
  89. Undertow – 2010
  90. The Wound (Inxeba) – 2017
  91. Keep the Lights on – 2012
  92. Scotty and the Secret History of Hollywood – 2018
  93. Teorema (Theorem) – 1968
  94. Show Me Love – 1999
  95. Aimee & Jaguar – 2000
  96. Maurice – 1987
  97. Boy Erased – 2018
  98. Bad Education – 2004
  99. My Life in Pink (Ma Vie En Rose) – 1997
  100. My Summer of Love – 2004
  101. Beautiful Thing – 1996
  102. Disobedience – 2018
  103. The Way He Looks – 2014 ‘
  104. Summertime (La Belle Saison) – 2016
  105. Saturday Church – 2018
  106. We the Animals – 2018
  107. Professor Marston & the Wonder Women – 2017
  108. Wild Nights with Emily – 2019
  109. Sunday Bloody Sunday – 1971
  110. The Hanging Garden – 1998
  111. Chris & Don – 2007
  112. Giant Little Ones – 2019
  113. Rocketman – 2019
  114. The Miseducation of Cameron Post – 2018
  115. Brokeback Mountain – 2005
  116. Princess Cyd – 2017
  117. Longtime Companion – 1990
  118. Rafiki – 2019
  119. Farewell, My Queen – 2012
  120. Heavenly Creatures – 1994
  121. Blue is the Warmest Color – 2013
  122. The Boys in the Band – 1970
  123. Boys Don’t Cry – 1999
  124. Being 17 – 2016
  125. Hedwig and the Angry Inch – 2001
  126. Stranger by the Lake – 2014
  127. Pride – 2014
  128. Grandma – 2015
  129. The Celluloid Closet – 1996
  130. The Death and Life of Marsha P. Johnson – 2017
  131. In the Family – 2012
  132. 1985 – 2018
  133. The Duke of Burgundy – 2015
  134. The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – 1994
  135. Pariah – 2011
  136. Appropriate Behavior – 2015
  137. Weekend – 2011
  138. The Wedding Banquet – 1993
  139. Gods and Monsters – 1998
  140. Tomboy – 2011
  141. Ladybird – 2017
  142. Victor Victoria – 1982
  143. Dog Day Afternoon – 1975
  144. My Beautiful Launderette – 1985
  145. The Crying Game – 1992
  146. Cabaret – 1972
  147. The Heiresses – 2019
  148. The Kids Are Alright – 2010
  149. C.R.A.Z.Y. – 2005
  150. Love, Simon – 2018
  151. Love is Strange – 2014
  152. The Imitation Game – 2014
  153. Law of Desire – 1987
  154. La Cage Aux Folles – 1979
  155. God’s Own Country – 2017
  156. Tangerine – 2015
  157. Girls in Uniform – 1931
  158. Funeral Parade of Roses – 1970
  159. Dallas Buyers Club – 2013
  160. Victim – 1961
  161. Milk – 2008
  162. Paris is Burning – 1991
  163. All About My Mother – 1999
  164. A Fantastic Woman – 2018
  165. The Handmaiden – 2016
  166. McQueen – 2018
  167. BPM (Beats Per Minute) – 2017
  168. Carol – 2015
  169. Call Me By Your Name – 2017
  170. Moonlight – 2016
  171. Can You Ever Forgive Me? – 2018
  172. The Times of Harvey Milk – 1984
  173. Scorpio Rising – 1964
  174. Trash – 1970
  175. Female Trouble – 1974
  176. Fox and His Friends – 1975
  177. In a Year of 13 Moons – 1978
  178. Nighthawks – 1978
  179. Desert Hearts – 1985
  180. Mala Noche – 1986
  181. Looking for Langston – 1989
  182. Poison – 1991
  183. The Long Day Closes – 1992
  184. Blue – 1993
  185. Gerry – 2002
  186. Goodbye, Dragon Inn – 2003
  187. Son Frere – 2003
  188. Two Drifters – 2005
  189. Before I Forget – 2007
  190. Eastern Boys – 2013
  191. Far From Heaven – 2002
  192. Pick up Your Ears – 1987
  193. Torch Song Trilogy – 1988
  194. Tongues Untied – 1998
  195. Hair – 1979
  196. Midnight Cowboy – 1969
  197. The Children’s Hour – 1961
  198. Velvet Goldmine – 1998
  199. Some Like It Hot – 1959
  200. Howl – 2010

Classic of the Week: Baby Doll (1956)

Baby Doll is a 1956 American black comedy film directed by Elia Kazan, starring Carroll Baker, Karl Malden and Eli Wallach. It was adapted from the Tennessee Williams play 27 Wagons Full of Cotton. The film centers on a feud between two rival cotton gin owners in rural Mississippi; after one of the men burns the other’s gin down. The owner fights back by trying to woo the arsonist’s nineteen-year-old virgin bride hoping to receive an acknowledgment of her husband’s guilt.

This film was highly controversial upon its release, largely due to its overly sexual themes. The Roman Catholic National League of Decency, tried to get the film banned, though the responses to the church’s disapproval of the film were varied with Catholic Church and other religious organizations. Despite moral opposition of the film, it was vastly well received by critics and many movie goers. Culturally, the film has been credited with the conceiving the name and making popular of the babydoll nightgown, which derives from the costume worn by Baker’s character.

Although this film was and still is very controversial, it still stands as one of the best “Lolita” type films, where a much older man falls for or becomes infatuated with a much younger girl, tricking by at first asking her to do kind things for him, then he starts to be kind, often fatherly or husbandly, them eventually becomes abusive to her.

Baby Doll ends up being forced to marry Archie Lee Meighan, but he makes an agreement with Baby’s father to wait until her 20th birthday to be consummated. But in the meantime, she sleeps in a crib, wearing short childish nightgowns and sucking her thumb, while Archie, an alcoholic spies on her through a hole in the wall of their dilapidated antebellum house, Tiger Tail. Baby Doll’s crazy Aunt Rose Comfort also lives in the house and is tortured by Archie Lee.

During the era and setting of this film, young girls getting married to wealthy older men was quite common. Some as girls as young as fifteen got married to men in thirties, forties, fifties, maybe even older than that. Young girls getting pregnant was also quite common. Men during this time in the early 20th century (1910’s-30’s), had higher power in most aspects of living, from marriage, to better jobs, higher pay, parenting, etc. Women (or girls in this case), were mostly either schoolteachers, seamstresses, secretaries, or housewives or stay at home mothers. This film shows how life was then in a real southern town.

Sadly, this kind of story really did happen quite a lot during that time in south, especially in small towns. Females, normally didn’t go college unless they were wealthy, lots didn’t even have a high school education. Baby Doll in this film was manipulated by her father and her husband. Her husband forces her to act like a nineteen year old baby and frequently ignores her. Her Aunt Rose is of no help to her because she is senile, so she is oblivious to what is going on with Baby and Archie. Baby and aunt Rose eventually escape from Tiger Tail and Archie is taken to jail, but their lives before that is a living nightmare.

This controversial story is much like a southern version of Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” although much less humor in my opinion than Stanley Kubrick’s film version of the Nabokov book. Even though this movie is called a black comedy, it’s far too serious to be called that. The film deals with underage marriage, terrible living conditions, mental illness, alcoholism, vandalism, money issues and abuse, none of which is a laughing matter. Not once did I laugh out loud, so this is really a drama film one hundred percent.

The acting is superb from the main stars. Though this film is really slow and drawn out in some scenes, it is still very well done. Not an exciting film at all, in fact, the majority of it, is extremely depressing, like the way Baby Doll is treated throughout. The only real happy moment is when she and Aunt Rose escape Archie Lee and the police pick him up.

There is no nudity. There is lots of sexual moments though, like Silva making Baby horny and she wears childlike “lingerie” during the majority of the movie. There is some pretty violent scenes, lots of smoking and drinking, but not a whole lot foul language, just the “n-word” used a few times, but that fits the time period and location. Some things in this movie might make a more modest or conservative person overly uncomfortable. This isn’t a film that could be watched over and over because of the theme and adult segments. It is still a work of art despite it causing feather ruffling even today. 18 & up 4/5

Classic of the Week: American Graffiti (1973)

American Graffiti is a 1973 American coming of age comedy film directed by George Lucas starring Richard Dreyfuss, Ron HOward, Paul Le Mat, Harrison Ford, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy WIlliams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips, Bo Hopkins and Wolfman Jack. The film is set in Modesto, California in 1962 and follows the story of the early rock ‘n’ roll and crushing cultures that were poplar among teenagers at the time over the course of a single night.

This film shows how cars, music, friendship, cruising and hooking up were popular among teenagers during the early days of rock ‘n’ roll. You see the different types of vehicles, hear the popular songs, see the types of hangouts and the fashion from that era. This is fun filled film. The teenagers are out passed their curfews, cruising around with their buddies, and/or their boyfriend or girlfriend, or they’re looking for a hookup.

Some of the characters are supposed to be at a school dance, but have skipped out on it. Others are shown hanging out at Mel’s Drive-In. Other ones are shown making out, a few playing pranks on a car of bullies and few more in another scene steal a car from a dealership. There are a few slapstick type fights, lots of mischief, flirting, driving around and rock ‘n’ roll and Doo-wop music from the mid 50’s – to early 60’s.

Each character in this film is unique, yet several of the boys are trying to find a girlfriend, just like serval girls are looking for a boy. Some of the older characters try to flirt with the younger one. A couple of girls in particular are much younger and are inappropriately hanging out with ones much older, who try to kiss them, have sex with them, or get them to drink or smoke, in one scene, all that occurs.

This is a simple film, but not one that is so simple, it’s boring, it’s far from that. It is fantastic from the car chases, to the laugh out loud humor, the vehicles, the characters and the great soundtrack filled with golden oldies to sing along to. Though this film takes place in just one night, it seems so much longer, because so much goes on. Not one time in this movie is it slow. It takes you back in time on rockin’ and rollin’ rides from beginning too end

This movie is one that can make you laugh, cry, angry and sing and tap your foot. It’ll have you wishing you were at Mel’s in the days of soda fountains, checkered floors, jukeboxes and Doo-wop playing DJ’s. A fun, yet naughty and music filled film that didn’t need anymore than it had to be perfect, it was just aa it was. Lucas drew inspiration from his own youth during that era in California.

This film has become a cult classic in the U.S. as well as other countries like France. Fantastic, entertaining, hilarious and clever film with one of the greatest soundtracks of all time. 13 & up 5/5

Classic of the Week: 12 Angry Men (1957)

12 Angry Men is a 1957 American courtroom drama film directed by Sidney Lument, adapted from a teleplay of the same name by Reginald Rose. The film tells the story of a jury of 12 men as they debate on the conviction or acquittal of an 18 year old defendant on the basis of reasonable doubt, forcing the jurors to question their own values and principles.

This film is almost completely filmed in the jury room, with the jurors debating, getting angry, bickering, pounding table, yelling, pacing and getting in each other’s faces. They take breaks, then go back to deliberating. The acting is great. Some may find the it boring that the film is filmed in one room and the jurors just get mad and debate for an hour and thirty-six minutes. They may also find the plot not very unique or gripping. Younger people especially, may not appreciate this movie much, if at all and will probably find it very boring.

This film isn’t exactly exciting. It’s a bit boring at times. There are moments when the movie is getting very slow, then suddenly it gets interesting when a juror yells or pounds his fist on the table. This film would have been more compelling if it had been filmed in more than one room, wasn’t just about the jurors but the other people in the court during this case. But then again, it wouldn’t be called 12 Angry Men.

This isn’t the most boring movie, but it isn’t the most moving either. Hearing the men debate and their take on the conviction is the most intriguing thing about this film. This is a simple film with a deep storyline, that just needs to be simple, but not so lackluster set.

The men get angry from being cooped up for hours at a time in one room together having one big debacle over whether the defendant is guilty or not of stabbing his father. If the boy is found guilty, he will receive a death penalty. Many jurors argue against whether that is ethical or not.

I can’t say this movie is well done, because it’s so basic the way it was filmed, but it’s not awful. Good, not great is all I can say about it. If had been filmed more detailed, as in sets, not just a set, maybe seen the actual trial going on, then it would have probably been outstanding. Just because the acting is great, doesn’t always mean the film is excellent too. You have to have a balance of everything being really good and this motion picture maybe an oldie, but it’s definitely not a goldie. 17+ 3.5/5

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