Classic of the Week: The Apartment (1960)

The Apartment is a 1960 American romantic comedy-drama film directed and produced by Billy Wilder. It stars Jack Lemmon, Shirley MacLaine, Fred MacMurray, Tay Weston, Jack Kruschen, David Lewis, Willard Waterman, David White, Hope Holiday and Edie Adams. 

The story follows an insurance clerk (Lemmon) who, in the hope of climbing the corporate ladder, lets more superior coworkers use his Upper West Side apartment to carry out extramarital affairs. He is attracted to to an elevator operator (MacLaine) in his office building, unaware that she is having an affair with his boss (MacMurray). 

C.C. “Bud” Baxter is a lonely office worker at an insurance corporation in New York City. To climb the corporate ladder, he allows for company managers to take turns borrowing his apartment for extramartital relations. Bud carefully balances the “booking” schedule, but the continuous stream of women in and out of the office convinces his neighbors that he is a playboy, bringing someone home every night. 

Bud solicits great performance reviews from the four managers and gives them to personnel director Jeff Sheldrake, who then promises to promote him – but Sheldrake also demands to use the apartment for his own affairs, starting that night. As compensation for his short notice, he gives Baxter two theater tickets fot that evening. Bud asks his secret crush, Fran Kubelik, an elevator operator in the office building, to join him. She agrees, but first meets up with a “former fling,” who turns out to be Sheldrake. Sheldrake discourages her from breaking up with him, promising to divorce his wife, they go to Bud’s apartment, as Bud waits, stood up outside the theater. 

Later, at the company’s terrible Christmas part, Sheldrake’s secretary, Miss Olsen, tells Fran that her boss has had affairs with other female employees., including herself. Later, at Bud’s apartment, Fran confronts Sheldrake. He confesses true love for her, but then leaves, going back to his family in the suburbs, as usual. 

Bud – having realized that Fran is the woman Sheldrake has been taking to his apartment – let’s himself be picked up bya married lady at a local bar. However, when they arrive at his apartment he finds Fran, passed out from an an apparent suicidal overdose of his sleeping pills. He sends away the woman from the bar and calls Dr. Dreyfuss, a medical doctor living in the next-door apartment, to save Fran. Bud at first makes Dr. Dreyfuss believe that he was the cause of the incident. The doctor scolds Bud for this and instructs him to “be a mensch.” 

While Fran spends two days getting well in the apartrment, Bud cares for her and a bond grows between them, especially after he confesses his own suicice attempt over unrequited feelings for a woman who now sends him a fruitcake every Christmas. When Sheldrake learns that Miss Olsen told Fran about his affairs, he fires her, but she fights back by telling it all to Sheldrake’s wife, who quickly throws her husband out. Sheldrake believes this situation makes it easier to persue his affair with Fran. After promoting Bud to higher position at the firm, Sheldrake expects Bud to loan out his apartment again, be instead, but gives him back the key to executive washroom and quits the firm. After learning about Bud quitting the firm, Fran realizes she is in love with Bud and runs to his apartment. 

This was a controversial film upon it’s release, for depictions of infidelity. The film does seem at times to act like that is no big deal by making light of the issue, but later in the movie, the main characters having the affairs, realize what they’re doing is wrong and do eventually end it. This movie is partly a comedy and adultry is no laughing matter, which makes some of the humor a bit uncomfortable, but some of it is laugh out funny. 

Jack Lemmon plays C.C.Baxter, a lonely man who loans out his apartment to executives of his company who string him along with hopes of promotions and raises. His neighbor Dr. Dreyfuss (Jack Kruschen) hears the nightly sounds of affection through the wall and thinks Baxter is a steadfast lover, when in fact, Baxter is pacing  out front, looking up woefully at his own window because he can’t even go home to peace to and quiet. 

Baxter starts out as an unlikable character who will do anything to climb up the corporate ladder, even if it makes him even more lonely. He then turns into a more likable character when he starts to care for Fran after her overdose and he realizes he needs to a better person and cuts off all the liasons at his apartment. Fran is a rather dull character that for some reason several employees go after. Perhaps it’s because she was an easy nab and was easily persuaded. 

Jack Lemmon is outstanding in this movie as C.C. Baxter. Fred Mac Murray is great as Sheldrake and Shirley MacLaine is also great as Fran. This film is equal parts awkward, funny, dramatic, romantic and heartwarming. Some might be uncomfortable with the infidelity in this one, and yes, it is a bit much for much of the movie, but this is still a wonderful film regardless. It is a motion picture that doesn’t rely on heavy costumes and makeup, CGI or a really strange or very unrealistic plot and many movies today are not like this. The storyline is just simple enough that it is not boring but will make you laugh and cry and it will warm your heart as well. This is what you call not just a classic but a truly spectacular film! 4.5

Classic of the Week: Harold and Maude (1971)

Harold and Maude is an American black-comedy drama film directed by Hal Ashby. It incorporates themes of dark humor and existentialst drama. The story follows the adventures of Harold Chasen (Bud Court), a young man who is obsessed with death, and who rejects the life his disconnected mother (Vivian Pickles) gives to him. Harold develops a friendship and then romatic relationship, with 79 year old Maude (Ruth Gordon) who teaches Harold about the importance of living life gto the fullest. 

Harold is so intrigued with death, he reenacts suicides, drives a hearse, reads obituaries and goes to funerals of random people, most of whom he doesn’t know. Maude is elderly, but doesn’t act like it all. She loves funerals too, but also steals, drives too fast, breaks the law by speeding, running stop signs and red lights and blasting music. She is young at heart, which is why Harold falls in love with her. Harold wants to marry her, but his mother refuses to allow him, given Harold and Maude’s 60 year age gap and the fact she doesn’t have many years left in her life, despite her seemingly perfect health. 

This is film is billed as a dark comedy, but I see almost no humor. I don’t think suicide is something to laugh at, real or not. I also don’t think someone’s loved one dying is funny either. I see this movie as more of a drama with romance thrown in. The scene where Maude coaxes Harold into them stealing a car and she speeding away is pretty funny, but other than that, no humor. 

This movie is a bit disturbing. Just the fact the lead character is obsessed with dying and ways to die is unsettling and the fact he falls for an elderly woman. This silm is far too dark for a PG rating. I can’t imagine letting an eight year old watch it and them understanding and enjoying it. Too dark, or really just plain inappropriate for kids. 

Harold should have been institutionalized, as his love for death is deeply disturbing. Maude should not have been allowed to drive, or even let outside, since she likes to prey on much younger fellows. The acting is great throughout. But this film is far too dark. Had there had been more light, more sun, it would likely been  at least a little more enjoyable. I just don’t understand all the hoopla with this movie and why it is a film school staple. It has hardly any redeeming qualities aside from the excellent acting and Cat Stevens soundtrack. It is slow, dark, boring and depressing. No wonder it was a box-office bomb when it was first released. 

The movie’s soundtrack is by singer-songwriter Cat Stevens. The theme song is the feel good “If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out” by Stevens and after seeing this film, one will never hear this song the same way again. They will only associate this song with the film and it dark themes and sad scenes. 

Great acting and music doesn’t help in the enjoyment department, as this is one of the worst movies I have ever seen. I found myself feeling so uneasy and so bored, I was glad when it was over.  

Don’t waste your time on this movie. It may be a classic, but it is far from being a masterpiece. 13+ 1.5/5 

120 Greatest Teen Films

  1. Clueless – 1995
  2. Rushmore – 1998
  3. Dirty Dancing – 1987
  4. Heathers – 1988
  5. Grease – 1978
  6. Superbad – 2007
  7. The Hate U Give – 2018
  8. Juno – 2007
  9. Mean Girls – 2004
  10. The Breakfast Club – 1985
  11. Love, Simon – 2018
  12. The Last Picture Show – 1971
  13. Dazed and Confused – 1993
  14. Dead Poets Society – 1989
  15. Rebel Without a Cause – 1955
  16. Fast Times at Ridgemont Hight – 1982
  17. Lady Bird – 2017
  18. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – 1986
  19. Blinded by the Light – 2019
  20. The Harry Potter Series – 2001-2011
  21. The Edge of Seventeen – 2016
  22. Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure – 1989
  23. Easy A – 2010
  24. Say Anything – 1989
  25. American Graffiti – 1973
  26. 10 Things I Hate About You – 1999
  27. Back to the Future – 1985
  28. Moonlight – 2016
  29. Freaky Friday – 2003
  30. Welcome to the Dollhouse – 1995
  31. Pariah – 2011
  32. Stuck in Love – 2012
  33. 13 Going on 30 – 2004
  34. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants – 2005
  35. The Perks of Being a Wallflower – 2012
  36. Cry-Baby – 1990
  37. High Scool Confidential – 1958
  38. Submarine – 2010
  39. Yes, God, Yes – 2019
  40. The Lost Boys – 1987
  41. Anna and the Apocalypse – 2017
  42. Cooley High – 1975
  43. Some Kind of Wonderful – 1987
  44. If… – 1968
  45. Pretty in Pink – 1986
  46. Bend it Like Beckham – 2002
  47. Real Women Have Curves – 2002
  48. Love & Basketball – 2000
  49. To Sir, WIth Love – 1967
  50. Boyz n the Hood – 1991
  51. Sing Street – 2016
  52. Almost Fmous – 2000
  53. Juice – 1992
  54. Friday Night Lights – 2004
  55. Bring It On – 2000
  56. The Kings of Summer – 2013
  57. Dope – 2015
  58. The Half of It – 2020
  59. National Lampoon’s Animal House – 1978
  60. The Sure Thing – 1985
  61. See You Yesterday – 2019
  62. Divines – 2016
  63. Brick – 2005
  64. The Karate Kid – 1984
  65. Better Off Dead… – 1985
  66. Carrie – 1976
  67. Sixteen Candles – 1984
  68. Real Genius – 1985
  69. The Outsiders – 1983
  70. Ghost World – 2001
  71. Risky Business – 1983
  72. River’s Edge – 1986
  73. Rumble Fish – 1983
  74. Show Me Love – 1998
  75. Blackboard Jungle – 1955
  76. Hairspray – 1988
  77. West Side Story – 2021
  78. Prcious – 2009
  79. The Man in the Moon – 1991
  80. The Fault in Our Stars – 2014
  81. Holes – 2003
  82. My Bodyguard – 1980
  83. Less Than Zero – 1987
  84. Over the Edge – 1979
  85. Center Stage – 2000
  86. Peyton Place – 1957
  87. Little Women – 1933
  88. The Flamingo Kid – 1984
  89. West Side Story – 1961
  90. Lord Love a Duck – 1966
  91. Cruel Story of Youth – 1960
  92. Absolute Beginners – 1986
  93. Where the Boys Are – 1960
  94. A Summer Place – 1959
  95. Little Women – 1949
  96. Foxes – 1980
  97. The Miseducation of Cameron Post – 2018
  98. Boy Erased – 2018
  99. Speak – 2004
  100. Edge of Seventeen – 1998
  101. Little Women – 1994
  102. The Way He Looks – 2014
  103. East of Eden – 1955
  104. Palo Alto – 2013
  105. Little Women – 2019
  106. The Virgin Suicides – 1999
  107. Back to the Future – 1985-1990
  108. Scream – 1996
  109. Breaking Away – 1979
  110. Valley Girl – 1983
  111. The Way Way Back – 2013
  112. Skate Kitchen – 2018
  113. Maidentrip – 2013
  114. Whiplash – 2014
  115. The Blind Side – 2009
  116. Bowling for Columbine – 2002
  117. An Education – 2009
  118. Persepolis – 2007
  119. American Honey – 2016
  120. Licorice Pizza – 2021

70 Years Later: “Singin’ in the Rain” — Keith & the Movies

(CLICK HERE to read my full piece in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette) In their heyday studio musicals brought with them an entirely new philosophy of moviemaking as colorful and vibrant music-driven set-pieces often trumped more dramatic storytelling. While these light and frothy concoctions did little to showcase what the burgeoning medium would soon become, they did […]

70 Years Later: “Singin’ in the Rain” — Keith & the Movies

Is Cinderella Weak or Strong?

Cinderella or The Glass Slipper is a folk tale with thousands of adaptations and no one really knows where the story comes from or when it was first written. The protagonist is a young woman living in poor circumstances that are suddenly changed to surprising serendipity. There are many different origin stories about this story, all claming to be the real one. 

The story is often said to be a folk tale for children, though many versions are anything but child friendly. In many versions of the tale, Cinderella is a teenager with fairly wealthy parents. First her mother dies of an illness, then her father remarries and suddenly he dies, but we are left questioning whether he died of a disease or if his second wife murdered him. In the Grimm Brothers’ Aschenputtel, which came out in their fairytale compilation  in 1812, Cinderella goes to her mother’s grave every day and weeps, but remains pious and good, despite her circumstances. It has the same story of her stepsisters ripping her homemade ball gown to shreds and her godmother giving her a new one and telling her to go and have fun at the ball, but the spell is broken at midnight, but with darker parts. 

In one scene, one stepsister cuts off her toes to make the glass sipper fit. Also the stepsisters and stepmother are more than just verbally abusive to Cinderella, they are also physically abusive and only feed her enough to keep her alive enough to abuse more. In the scene where Cinderella marries the prince after the slipper fits her, she rides off in the carriage to the castle with her new husband and though the stepsisters and stepmother are invited to the wedding, the birds claw their eyes out, pull their hair and rip up their clothes and scratch their faces bloody as well. How is this a children’s story? 

In the Chinese version, the godmother is replaced by a fish and Cinderella doesn’t mope around waiting for her happily ever after, she is actually a witch who can disappear. Charles Perrault’s Cinderella, is the closest to what we know and what Disney used as the basis for the 1950 animated movie. But Grimms read his tale and added their own twists of Germanic folktale tradition and came up with an equally weird and more disturbing version. 

But there have been arguments for decades and centuries about whether Cinderella is weak, strong, a feminist character, or not. In the Perrault version of the story and Disney films, she is nineteen years old and maybe that was still considered a child in that day and age, but by today’s standards, that’s legally an adult. Actually eighteen means you are finally legally an adult in today’s society (at least in America). So if that had been case and she were legally a grown up, why didn’t she get her share of her parents’ money and get her own place? Why did she choose to stay behind with her evil stepmother and stepsisters? Why did she allow them to abuse her? Why didn’t she stand up for herself? Why didn’t she run away when she had the chance? 

If she was legally still a child, I guess she didn’t legally have a choice, orphanages didn’t exist then, so she couldn’t have just gone and gotten adopted by a hopefully loving family. I guess living with her steps was better than being homeless, at least she got a roof over her head, a bed, food and water. But even if she was rightfully a woman, women in her time had little to no rights. Only men could be lawyers, judges, rulers of kingdoms and oftentimes married first. Women usually did whatever men told to them do without question. Men also made more money. Women seemed to only be there to be wives and mothers, maids, seamstresses or governesses. Cinderella maybe valued herself more or just had no choice but to stay at home with the three devils. 

Oftentimes Cinderella is said to be strong and a role model character for females. But how is she a role model if she doesn’t even stand up herself and/or fight back or go get herself some help? What screams heroine about her? She just stands there taking all their mistreatment of her, she is pretty much a human punching bag. Either she was weak, stupid or both. She doesn’t enjoy the treatment she goes through, but does nothing about it. It makes no sense at all, because a real hero doesn’t take crap from anyone, but she does. 

She accepts sleeping in a cold dirty attic without a bed, no soap, only freezing cold water to bathe with, eating scraps and doing chores all the time and being taken advantage of badly. I’m sure, had she gotten out of that situatuation, someone would have taken her in and given her a better life. But I guess the strong can come from how she takes all the abuse and still remains strong, nice and hopeful. But can she be both fierce and weak? In my opinion she is. She remains tough through the daily bullying she receives, but doesn’t do a damn thing to stop it at the same time. 

Cinderella isn’t exactly a positive role model, especially for girls and young ladies, but she isn’t exactly the worst either. She’s not one that I would want my daughter, granddaughter, niece or even friend’s daughter to be like. I’d want them to not take any crap from anyone. I’d want them try and avoid abuse and if they can’t to get help immediately. There are positive messages that come from the story we know of Cinderella, like being positive and staying strong, but there are negative ones too like, it’s okay to be miserable and do nothing about it and you can only find true love when you’re dolled up, because they won’t love you any other way. 

Overall, this story is not one that should be used as a teaching lesson in staying strong, feminism or finding your soulmate, but can be used cautiously to teach being positive. Don’t use her full blast since she does let herself get hurt 24/7, until her fairy godmother comes along. But why then, why wasn’t the godmother there earlier? Why just for the ball and why just until midnight? Who knows. This is another twisted folktale that makes little sense. Is Cinderella strong, weak, or both? What’s your opinion? 

Classic of the Week: Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights is a 1997 American period comedy-drama film written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. It stars Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Burt Reynolds, Don Cheadle, William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Heather Graham. It is set in Los Angeles’s San Fernando Valley and follows a young nightclub dishwasher who becomes a popular star in pornographic films, documenting his rise in the Golden Age of Porn of the 1970’s to his downfall into the 1980’s. The film is an expansion of the director’s mockumentary short film The Dirk Diggler Story (1988).

In 1977, high school dropout Eddie Adams is living with his father and emotionally abusive mother in Torrance, California. He works at a Reseda nightclub owned by Maurice Rodriguez, where he meets porno director Jack Horner. Interested in starting Eddie in porn, Jaxk auditions him by watching him have sex with Rollergirl, a porn actress who loves to roller skate. After arguing with his mother about his girlfriend and sex life, Eddie moves in with Horner at his San Fernando Valley house. Eddie gives himself the screen name “Dirk Diggler” and becomes a star because of his good looks, young presence and unusually large penis. His success allows him to buy a new house, a large wardrobe and a 1977 Chevrolet Corvette. With his friend and co-star Reed Rothchild, Dirk pitches several successful action themed porn films. While his is at a New Year’s Eve party at Horner’s for the year of 1980, assistant director Little Bill Thompson finds out his wife is having sex with another man. Bill, tired of the adultry, shoots them both dead.

Dirk and Reed begin using cocaine on a regular basis and because of this, finds it very difficult to have an erection and falls into violent mood swings and beomes aggrivated by Johnny Doe, a new leading actor Jack has recruited. In 1983, after fighting with Jack, Dirk is fired and takes off with Reed to start a music career with Scotty, a boom operator, who is in love with Dirk.

This is a film you either love, hate, or have a love-hate relationship with. It is awkward to the max, not a film one would want to watch with your parents, or anyone super conservative. There is still to this day, controversy with this film. The fact Eddie Adams is a teenager working in the porn industry and using drugs, is highly inappropriate and can make some viewers very uncomfortable, but this is not Paul Thomas Anderson’s first film like this, he does these kind of things again in 2021’s Licorice Pizza. PTA is known for pushing the bounderies and causing controversy with his works.

The film also

This would have been a really good movie if it weren’t about a teen porn star and druggy. The film focuses far too much on Eddie in the porn film industry and not enough on his life outisde that ot the other manin characters. Though this film recieved tons of rave reviews, I was left unimpressed. The acting is outstanding, the costumes are period perfect and the soundtrack is great is as well, but the story lacks in quality. Adding great talent does not always make for a great movie.

The film also talks far too much about the size of the star character’s pecker and focuses a bit much on him trying to get erections. If I want to watch teen porn, I’ll go on porn website. This movie is considered a dramedy, but I didn’t find it funny much at all. The sexual jokes were all throughout, giving the film a pretty sleazy feel, which I guess is what PTA was going for just like in Licorice Pizza, where a fifteen year old boy tries to woo a twenty-five year old woman.

Overall, a decent film, but the runtime of two hours and thrity-five mintutes is had me wishing it could’ve been over sooner. Fantastic acting and a great soundtrack is really the best thing about this one. Not Paul Thomas Anderson’s best work, but not his worst. 18+ 3.5/5

Classic of the Week: Steamboat Bill Jr. (1928)

Steamboat Bill Jr. is a 1928 silent comedy film starring Buster Keaton and directed by Charles Reisner. The film is known for what may be Keaton’s most famous film stunt: The exterior of a whole house falls around him while he stands in the ideal spot to pass through the open attic window instead of being crushed. The film inspired Disney’s Steamboat Willie, Mickey Mouse’s 128 film debut.

The film follows William “Steamoat Bill” Canfield, who is the owner and captain of a paddle steamer that has seen better days. He impatiently awaits for his college student son to arrive, whom he hasn’t since the boy was a baby. Expecting a big man like himself to help him compete with businessman John James King and his brand new, expensive riverboat, William is sorely disappointed with his awkward son, who arrives with a beret, a pencil mustache and a ukulele. He gets enraged when he finds out that his son and King’s daughter Kitty, also visiting her father, are in love. Both business opponents are determined to break up the relationship.

When Canfield’s ship is said to be unsafe, he accuses King of plotting it. He beats him up and is put in jail. His son tries to set him free by bringing him a loaf of bread with tools hidden inside, but his plan is dicovered. The sheriff hits the son on the head, sending him to the hospital. A cyclone then hits, tearing down buildings and jeopardizing this ships. As Canfield Jr. is making his way through town, a build front falls around him.

Although this film was a box office failure and received mixed reviews upon its release, it has since gone down as one of Keaton’s best movies and one of the greatest films of all time. It has many laugh out moments, lots of slapstick and special effects that were ahead of its time and still impress to this day. It has romance, drama and a few heartwarming and instense scenes.

This iconic film has inspired so many movies and televisions shows, especially the house falling scene. This is a movie with a simple plot and that was so brilliantly executed in every way, I don’t understand how this did so poorly in theaters and had such mediocre reviews. It is a wonderful, fun-filled and very entertaining film from begining to end. There is not one dull moment and it is Keaton at his best.

There is no nudity, no profanity (of course) and no drinking or smoking. There is slapstick violence. The father’s rejection of his vain son and the cyclone scene may be disturbing to some children, but other than that this is a pretty family friendly film. This is one movie that can be watched over and over again. This film has definitely stood the test of time. Truly a masterpiece that will continue to entertain and inspire. 7+ 5/5

Classic of the Week: Weird Science (1985)

Weird Science is a 1985 American teen science fiction Comedy film written and directed by John Hughes and stars Anthony Michael Hall, Mitchell Smith and Kelly LeBrock. The title is take from a pre-Comics Code Authority 1950s EC Comics magazine of the same name.

The film is about nerds and social outcasts Gary Wallace and Wyatt Donnelly who use a computer program to create the perfect woman, she turns the lives topsy turvy. Both Wyatt and Gary are bullied by senior jocks for drooling aver their cheerleader girlfriends. Turned down and disappointed at their lives and wanting more, Gary tells Wyatt they need shove in popularity in order to get their crushes away from the bullying jocks. Alone for the weekend, Gary is inspired by the 1930 film Frankenstein to create a virtual woman using Wyatt’s computer, making her with everything they can imagine to make the lady of their dreams. After attaching electrodes to a doll and hacking into a government computer system for more power, a power surge constructs Lisa, a gorgeous and smart woman with unlimited magical powers.

Weird Science is not only weird but it is filled with vulgar and tasteless humor. John Hughes wrote and directed a story that seems like the two actors and maybe a high school drama produced. Only teens (boys mostly) will really enjoy this this disaster of a film. It is a film that teen boys will likely want to masturbate to, since there are lady’s undergarments and full frontal nudity shown. Once a teen (boy mainly) reaches adulthood, they are likely to either stop liking the film, forget about it, or only find it to be an okay movie.

This film is not even okay, it is tasteless and seems like a horny teenaged boy wrote the screenplay. It screams drooling adolescent males that have just discovered how to self pleasure and seeing a naked female for the first time. Only a few times did I actually laugh. I really don’t understand the cult status of this movie, as it’s really not very good. It is a tad entertaining, yes only a little bit. It is not one that I can watch over and over again. It is a once or twice and never again type.

From such a great director and the cult classic-ness of this film, I wasn’t expecting anything spectacular (judging by the plot), but something at least good. This is John Hughes’s worst film. A piece of trash that should remain in a garbage can or burned. Normally I don’t give such awful reviews for movies, but this one definitely deserves it. There really isn’t much I enjoy about this movie, maybe how gorgeous Kelly LeBrock was and how she was the best actor in the entire production.

Weak, typical bad teen film, unoriginal plot from a renowned director and too much vulgarity. I’ll be sticking to his Brat Pack and other better films from now on. Did he use a computer and turn himself back into a teenager to produce this? Sure seems like it. 14+ 1.5/5

Classic of the Week: Broadcast News (1987)

Broadcast News is a 1987 American romantic-drama film written, produced and directed by James L. Brooks. It stars William Hurt, Albert Brooks and Holly Hunter. The film follows the story of a television news reporter who has emotional breakdowns every day, a picky yet genius reporter and their charming but significantly inexperienced rival.

This film is does a great job at showing how the daily life of a TV news station. It doesn’t shy away from showing the good and not so good of being in the TV news world. It does it so deeply, letting learn all about different the professions, but it also has many other elements too. It has drama, humor and romance. Although this is considered a romantic comedy as well as drama, it isn’t super mushy gushy like so many romantic films. The different elements are all executed with the right amount of each genre.

This movie shows how life throws curve-balls sometimes and that sometimes life can be great. Although the story is about a news station, they don’t focus too much on the reporting, because they reveal not just their working world, but the main characters life outside the studio, how they live, their love lives, etc. Jane is portrayed as a spunky and socially awkward, yet assertive in her work type character, a female warrior type that was rarely seen in movies and still rarely seen today.

This film is serious at time but not too serious serious like other movies about TV news stations (Network). It has drama and depth as well as charm and humor, though much of the latter. All of the acting fantastic. This isn’t the most exciting movie, but it’s far from boring. Each character is unique and they are intertwined in some ways until the end.

The ending may or may not turn out the way you want it too, but is the beauty of film making, to leave it up to viewers to have their own opinions. You’ll laugh, cry, cheer and get angry, because this movie bring out all emotions and does it so brilliantly, not many films today can do that. The casting is perfect, the cinematography is excellent, as well the story. This is motion picture has many different things going on, which may confuse some viewers.

This is a story of not just a news station, not just the reporters lives, but of working life, love and friendship. The characters may get mad at each other but they always have each other’s backs. You also really feel like you are there at the station in those scenes. Some critics may say this film has a bit of a sitcom feel to it, but they are wrong in my opinion.

The character of Tom Grunick (Hurt) can be a tad stiff and self absorbed with being successful. Jane Craig and her breakdowns from stress do get a bit old and make you want to tell her to get a therapist. But that doesn’t make them bad characters, just a a bit annoying, but it doesn’t make the film less enjoyable. With it’s drama, it’s small percentage of humor and romance, it is one that can enjoyed over and over.

This film is so smartly written and directed, that so many news related films haven’t come close to the brilliance of this one. A truly fantastic movie with different stories that make it truly one of a kind. 18+ 4/5

Classic of the Week: Jaws (1975)

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg based on Peter Benchley’s 1975 novel of the same name. It stars Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Murray Hamilton and Lorraine Gary. It follows the story of a man eating great white shark attacking beachgoers at a summer resort town, coaxing police chief Martin Brody (Scheider) to hunt it down with the help of a marine biologist (Dreyfuss) and a professional shark hunter (Shaw). Murray Hamilton plays the mayor and Lorraine Gary plays Martin’s wife.

This film has the feel of Alfred Hitchcock’s The Birds, which Spielberg was going for. For the time period of this film’s release it was considered revolutionary in film-making and many still regard it as that, although some viewers have or do point out the “fakenes” of the effects particularly of the shark. Yes, at times, you can tell the shark is fake and a few times that the attacks are fake as well. But the film was still ahead of it’s time and still just as scary today as it was then.

This film is beyond shocking and nail-biting no matter how many times you watch it. It is also extremely gory, so not good for children under the age of ten. The intensity of this movie makes it both exciting and frightening. Despite what some call “fake” about this film, it is still very well done and makes you not want to get in the ocean, not to surf, swim, or go out on a boat, so don’t watch this before going to the beach or on a cruise.

Roy Scheider is outstanding as police chief Martin Brody, although the character could’ve drank, smoked and cursed less, especially around his kids. Murray Hamilton is equally great as the mayor of Amity Island, so is Richard Dreyfuss as Martin Hooper the marine biologist. Robert Shaw does a fine job as Quint the shark hunter and Lorraine Gary is good, not great as Ellen Brody.

Somehow a fake giant shark killing beachgoers fell into place, because this film brings an astonishingly effective shock factor and is legendary for that. It is so brilliantly executed that it deserves it own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. It is one that any film lover must see to believe. There is not one bad moment, not one boring scene. It sends you on a terrifying ride throughout, sends your heart racing the moment you hear the famous music, that has become synonymous with sharks. It is one of Spielberg’s finest films. A true masterpiece, so don’t let the nit-picky critical reviews turn you off of watching this.

This like I said is not for young kids, it is violent to the max, lots of smoking and drinking and quite a bit of cursing. Also, if you don’t like lots of gore, this may not be for you. 13+ 4.5/5