See How They Run (2022)

See How They Run is a 2022 mystery comedy film directed by Tom George. It stars Saoirse Ronan, Sam Rockwell, Adrien Brody, Ruth Wilson, Reece Shearsmith, Harris Dickinson and David Oyelowo. 

In 1953 London, Agatha Christie’s play The Mousetrap celebrates its 100th performance, and the sleazy American director Leo Kopernick tries to convince the producer John Woolf to allow him to direct the film adaptation. After Kopernick’s drunken behavior toward’s the female lead Shelia Slim leads to a fight with her husband and co-star Richard Attenborough, Kopernick is killed backstage by an unknown assailant. 

Inspector Stoppard investigates the murder with inexperienced Constable Stalker. Everyone at the theater is declared a suspect and a potential victim, including the play’s producer Petula Spencer and Woolf’s wife Edana Romney. Stoppard tries to close the theater until the murder is solved, but the Metropolitan Police Commissioner Harold Scott, steps in, assigning Stalker to assist in the investigation. 

This film is pretty slow for much of its runtime, but the acting is really good and there are several laugh out loud moments. The plot is clever. There is murder, humor, tragedy and a tiny bit of romance in this movie. Three of the characters break the fourth wall, making the film more humorous, but only making it a little more entertaining. 

Sam Rockwell is outstanding as alcoholic Inspector Soppard, Saoirse Ronan is great as Constable Stalker. Adrien Brody, though his role is cut short is very good as Leo Kopernick. Ruth Wilson is great as well as Petula Spencer. Reece Shearsmith does a fine job as John Woolf. Harris Dickinson is good, not great as Richard Attenborough and David Oyelowo is excellent as Mervyn Cocker-Norris. 

Some may find the storyline of this film offsensive, as it a comedic murder mystery. It has the feel of a typical Agatha Christie story, but with added humor and clever bits. Though the acting is superb, the film lacks in entertainment value. The trailer makes the film look wildly entertaining and funny and it is only a tad engaging and only few times did actually laugh out loud. With a great cast and plotline, I was expecting so much more, instead I found myself very much bored for a good portion of this movie. I love a good murder mystery and comedy, so I thought this was going to be a winner, but I was let down. 

Several of the charaters are fictionalized versions of real people, like Richard Attenborough was a real actor, John Woolf was a real film producer who really did produce The African Queen, and Agatha Christie we all know is was the queen (still is) of murder mystery books. 

Of course this film is filled with violence, as well as adult humor, foul language, drinking and smoking. So this is not a family film. If you’re looking for a an entertaining whodunit, this isn’t it.  Though you’ll get a few gasps and laughs out of it, for the most part, you’ll probably be rather bored. 

The film is mostly slow, but comedic at times, then ends abruptly. The best things about this one are the acting, costumes, scenery and plot. Overall, it is a pretty much an  unhurried, yet comical at times, mediocre movie. If you want a better, funny murder mystery type film, try Clue from 1985 or Arsenic and Old Lace from 1944. I can’t imagine this as a stage production, it would be probably be even more less amusing. 13+ 3/5 

Greatest Summertime Movies of All Time

  1. The Seven Year itch – 1955
  2. Vicky Christina Barcelona – 2008
  3. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants – 2005
  4. Mamma Mia! – 2008
  5. Stand by Me – 1986
  6. Little Miss Sunshine – 2006
  7. The Notebook – 2004
  8. Crooklyn – 1994
  9. Real Women Have Curves – 2002
  10. Caddyshack – 1980
  11. National Lampoon’s Vacation – 1983
  12. Grease – 1978
  13. The Graduate – 1967
  14. Jaws – 1975
  15. Beaches – 1988
  16. Do the Right Thing – 1989
  17. The River Wild – 1994
  18. The Parent Trap – 1961
  19. The Parent Trap – 1998
  20. The Bridges of Madison County – 1995
  21. Summertime – 1955
  22. Summer Stock – 1950
  23. 500 Days of Summer – 2009
  24. Speed – 1994
  25. Thelma & Louise – 1991
  26. E.T. – 1982
  27. Clueless – 1995
  28. Dirty Dancing – 1987
  29. Point Break – 1991
  30. American Graffiti – 1973
  31. The Goonies – 1985
  32. What About Bob? – 1991
  33. Dazed and Confused – 1993
  34. The Endless Summer – 1966
  35. The Sandlot – 1993
  36. In the Heights – 2021
  37. Palm Springs – 2020
  38. King Richard – 2021
  39. The Talented Mr. Ripley – 1999
  40. Dope – 2015
  41. Lilo & Stitch – 2002
  42. Adventureland – 2009
  43. Sylvie’s Love – 2020
  44. Tomboy – 2011
  45. Moonrise Kingdom – 2012
  46. Everybody Wants Some! – 2016
  47. Luca – 2021
  48. Crazy Rich Asians – 2018
  49. Something’s Gotta Give – 2003
  50. Mystic Pizza – 1988
  51. Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar – 2021
  52. The Way Way Back – 2013
  53. Summer of ’42 – 1971
  54. Pauline at the Beach – 1983
  55. Breaking Away – 1979
  56. Moana – 2016
  57. Soul Surfer – 2011
  58. Muppet Treasure Island – 1996
  59. Finding Nemo – 2003
  60. Charlotte’s Web – 1973
  61. Say Anything… – 1989
  62. The Kings of Summer – 2013
  63. Miss Juneteenth – 2020
  64. From Here to Eternity – 1953
  65. Shirkers – 2019
  66. Before Sunrise – 1995
  67. Weekend at Bernie’s – 1989
  68. Monsoon Wedding – 2001
  69. My Summer of Love – 2004
  70. In the Good Old Summertime – 1949
  71. Porgy and Bess – 1959
  72. Beach Rats – 2017
  73. The Florida Project – 2017
  74. Kiss Me Kate – 1953
  75. The Little Mermaid – 1989
  76. Anything Goes – 1956
  77. Damn Yankees – 1958
  78. The Music Man – 1962
  79. Carousel – 1956
  80. An Affair to Remember – 1957
  81. King Creole – 1958
  82. The Long Hot Summer – 1958
  83. Suddenly Last Summer – 1959
  84. A Summer Place – 1959
  85. Gidget – 1959
  86. The Whales of August – 1987
  87. A League of Their Own – 1992
  88. Howard’s End – 1992
  89. Cha Cha Real Smooth – 2022
  90. Dog Day Afternoon – 1975
  91. Roman Holiday – 1953
  92. Hush… Hush, Sweet Charlotte – 1964
  93. On Golden Pond – 1981
  94. Summer With Monika – 1953
  95. Monsieur Hulot’s Holiday – 1953
  96. Smiles of a Summer Night – 1955
  97. The Talk of the Town – 1942
  98. Early Summer – 1951
  99. Almost Famous – 2000
  100. Summer Interlude – 1951

Classic of the Week: Arthur (1981)

Arthur is a 1981 American romantic comedy film written and directed by Steve Gordon. It stars Dudley Moore as Arthur Bach, a drunken New York City millionaire who is close to an arranged marriage to a wealthy heiress, but ends up falling in love with a common working-class girl from queens, played by Liza Minelli. 

Arthur Bach is a spolied alcoholic from New York City, who likes to be chauffeured around in his Rolls Royce Silver Wraith limousine through Central Park. Arthur is heir to a portion of his family’s fortune, but only marries upper class Susan Johnson, the business aquaintance of his father. He does not love Susan, but his family feels that she will finally make him grow up. On a shopping trip with his valet Hobson, he sees a young lady, Linda Marolla, shoplifting a necktie. He negotiates with the security guard on her behalf and later asks her out. Despite his feelings for Linda, Arthur remains burdened by his family to marry Susan. 

While visiting his grandmother, Martha, Arthur shares his feelings for Linda, but is warned that he will be disowned if he doesn’t marry Susan. Hobson, who has been more like a father to Arthur than his real father, realizes that he is starting grow up and secretly invites Linda to Arthur’s engagement party. Hobson tells her that he can sense Arthur’s love for her. Linda crashes the party, held at the estate of Arthur’s father, and she and Arthur get to spend time alone, which is traced by both families. Hobson is later hospitalized and Arthur runs to be by his side. Hobson dies and Arthur, who has been sober, goes on a drinking binge. At the diner where Linda works, Arthur proposes to her. 

This film is equal parts funny, sweet and romantic. Dudley Moore is fantastic as the rich, spoiled Arthur Bach, who eventually learns wealth status is really not important in order to be happy. Liza Minelli, who we are so used to as a musical star, is great as Linda Marolla, the working-class girl that doesn’t need a lavish lifestyle to be content. 

Arthur, although rich, realizes money and expensive things don’t make a person happy, as he is still lonely and has never been married. His family thinks that forcing him to marry a wealthy lady will help him grow up and be happy, but it does the complete opposite after he meets Linda. This movie shows how lavishness does not equal satisfaction,and  that oftentimes, less is more. 

Much of the humor and lines in this movie are cheesy, but not over the top. The plot of this film is very simple, but it is still entertaining and at times, laugh out loud funny and heartwarming. There is a good amount of time spent on Arthur’s booze binge after Hobson’s death, which doe make this movie a lttle less enjoyable, but at the same time, you can understand it. 

Anyone who has never experienced love, or love in a long time can sympathize Arthur, also anyone with deep depression can too. Without the character of Linda Marolla, this would have been a dud a film. She is the breath of fresh air it needed to be really good, because I would have turned this movie off after about 20 or so minutes as it would have been nothing more than a story about a lonely, depressed, spoiled man wanting love. Although this film starts out that way, it does get a lot better when she is introduced. 

Overall, this a good, not great movie. The acting is outstanding and the story is cute, but perhaps this is too simple of a motion picture, not enough action and drama, so it lacks in entertainment value. But it’s still not terrible, just not something I can watch all the time. It is rather slow and little on the cheesy side, but that may just be because of Dudley Moore, who was known for his campy characters and humor, but at the same time, I can’t imagine anyone else in the main role. This is one of the more serious, yet, still humorous roles that Liza has played and she is not campy or annoying like Dudley’s character, although they are perfect together. 

What this film lacks in entertainment, it does make up for in being inspirational, charming and funny. 10+ 3.5/5

Classic of the Week: Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Bringing Up Baby is a 1938 American screwball comedy film directed by Howard Hawks, and starring Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant. The film tells the story of a paleontologist in numerous quandries involving an absentminded heiress and a leopard named Baby. 

David Huxley (Cary Grant) is a benevolent paleontologist. For the past few years, he has been trying to assemble the skeleton of a Brontosaurus but is missing a bone. Adding to his stress, is his approaching marriage to the morose Alice Swallow (Virginia Walker) and the need to impress Elizabeth Random (Mary Robson), who is considering a million-dollar donation to his museum. 

The day before his wedding, David meets Susan Vance (Katherine Hepburn) by chance on a golf course when she hits his ball. She is a scatterbrained, eccentric young lady. These qualities soon entangle Davis in sever agonizing incidents. 

Susan’s brother Mark has sent her a leopard named Baby from Brazil. Its tameness is helped by the song “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love.” Susan thinks Davis is a zoologists and manipulates David into helping her take baby to her farm in Connecticut. Troubles arise when Susan falls in love with him and tries to keep him at her house as long as possible. 

David’s bone arrives, but Susan’s aunt’s dog George takes it and buries it somewhere. Davis founds out that the aunt is donor Elizabeth Random and that the leopard is for her, as she always wanted one. Baby and George run off and the zoo is called to help capture Baby. Susan and David run to find Baby before the zoo, mistaking a dangerous leopard from a nearby circus for Baby, they let it out of the cage. After being jailed let go after comfirming their idenities, they get Baby back to the safety of the farm. 

This a funny, cute movie that both animal and romance lovers would enjoy. It’s plot is simple enough that both older children and adults can enjoy it too. It’s equal parts, funny and romantic and has a little bit of intensity. There is some adult humor that will go over kids’ heads, but it is very mild and not to be really concerned about, unlike the fairly intense scenes involving Baby, especially the scene where Baby and George fight violently. Just because there is no blood seen, it still may frighten young children. 

This film was a commercial flop upon relaease and only made a small profit after its re-release in the 1940s. It fact, it was panned by both audiences and critics. Today it is celebrated as one of the greatest not just comedy film, but greatest films of all time. It has quite a bit of adult humor. Like a scene where Susan takes all of David’s clothes and he has nothing to wear but her negligee and her aunt walks in and sees him and asks why he is wearing it and he replies: “I just went gay all of the sudden!” Not only does this play on the two meanings of the word gay, it was the first time that gay was ever used to refer to homosexuality, even if it was being masked by the other meaning of the word. 

There are many other scenes where the literal and figurative meaning of words are used, like in the dinner with David, Mr. Applegate, Susan and Mrs. Random, Mr. Applegate is trying to get David to open up about himself, but he won’t and Mr. Applegate says: “Well at least I got a rise out of him.” Mr. Applegate was trying to get a rise out of david using the figuative meaning, but David rose out of his seat and left, using the literal meaning. This kind of play on words in the dialogue is so fast, you may miss it if you don’t pay attention, but enjoy it so much if you do. 

While this kind of writing has been around for centuries, this tounge-in-cheek kind of dialouge had limitations put on screenwriters when it came out in 1930 with the Motion Picture Production Code, which limited references to anything sexual, either audilbly, or visually in script. All of the talented writers in Hollywood had to create their dialogue to exclude sexual innuendos. Consequently, the screwball comedy was born, also known as “sex comedy without sex,” full of innuendos to cheat the code limitations and make the audience happy. Much of the punny script in this film will only appeal to adults, as young kids will not understand it. 

The acting is superb in this movie from all of the main cast, including Nissa who played Baby the leopard. It makes no sense why this film was originally panned, as it great and very entertaining from begining to end. Maybe audiences and critics were hoping for something more action packed and/or romantic. Well, to me it is the right amount of both. 

Animal lovers will likely love this movie, if they just put aside the animal abuse that ocurred. Whips and chains were used as the American Humane Association wasn’t enforced to monitor the use of animals in movies until several years later. Katherine Hepburn was pretty much fearless around the leopard, except for one time when the animal made a lunge for her and the trainer had to use a whip to calm it down. Cary Grant was less warm to the big cat and a double was used where his character and the leopard had to come in contact. 

This is not your typical rom-com, it’s not mushy gushy and laugh out loud funny throughout, which make it much more entertaining if you ask me. Had this movie been just stomach hurting funny and schmaltzy, it would have been very unenjoyable and I very likely would have turned it off or walked out of the theater had I been alive (and old enough) in 1938. 

Despite the few negatives associated with this film, it is still proably the greatest not just screwball comedies, not just comedies, but greatest movies of all time. This story feels like the screenwriter wasn’t happy with the original plot and threw it in a blender, turned it on, and decided to go with the end result, which is this chaotic masterpiece, that shouldn’t dare be remade. Sorry Peter Bagdanovich, but What’s Up Doc? is no Bringing Up Baby. 10+ 4.5/5 

Persuasion (2022)

Persuasion is a 2022 American romantic drama film directed by Carrie Cracknel and based on the novel of the same name by Jane Austen. It stars Dakota Johnson, Cosmo Jarvis, Nikki Amuka Bird, Mia McKenna Bruce, Richard E. Grant and Henry Golding. 

The story follows Anne Elliot when Frederick Wentworth – the one who got away – comes back into her life, she most choose between putting her past behind her or going with her heart for a second chance. 

Anne Elliot, an Englishwoman of 27, who family moves to lower their payments and lower their debt by renting their home to an admiral and his wife. The Captain Frederick Wentworth, was engaged to Anne in 1806, but their engagement was broken when Anne was convinced by family and friends to end the relationship. Ane and Captain  Wentworth, both single meet again after seven years of seperation, setting the scene for a second chance at love and mariage and many humorous meetings. 

Sometimes changing up well known stories works and sometimes it doesn’t. This film follows the story to extent but adds so much unnecessary stuff that it is hard to watch for the majority of the movie. It add humor and no Austen story is that humorous. There is also lots of drinking of red wine, lying around in bed and crying in the tub. She breaks the fouth in a “Fleabag” sort of style, making the character that was written as shy and introverted seem more talkative and extroverted. 

Dakota Johnson’s Anne Elliot is for prettier than character is supposed to be as Austen had written that Anne was once beautiful but at 27, her beauty is fading and she is nothing but plain at best. Dakota is anything but plain. Also many of the costumes are not 19th century British-esque, nor are many of the hairstyles. Much of this film feels rather satirical than a serious romantic drama. 

I’m not racist by any means and I understand that the director, casting director and producers didn’t want to come off as racist and such, but that just goes against everything Austen wrote and untrue to actual history. There were no black or half black, Asian or half Asian characters in any of her books and maybe she was racist (who knows), also her books were written as romantic dramas with very little humor. 

Captain Wentworth tries to win Anne back many times and she rebuffs him until he gives up until the end. Charles Mugrove Jr., heir to the Musgrove estate, first proposes to Anne and the tells him she doesn’t truly love him. He ends up marrying Anne’s sister Mary. After learning that Anne turned Charles down, Wentworth tries to win her over again. 

Mia McKenna Bruce is great as Anne’s dull and vain sister Mary. Newcomer Nia Towle brings a liveliness to the role to Anne’s sister in law Louisa, making the film seem more like a really long episode of Bridgerton than an adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. Henry Golding does a really good job as Mr. William Elliot, though it’s hard to get past the fact he’s Malaysian-British and hard to get past his good looks. Cosmo Jarvis is excellent as Captain Wentworth and probably the only realistic portrayal in the whole film. 

This like a  “Bridgerton” and “Fleabag” style retelling of an Austen work. It also feels like Shonda Rhimes wrote and directed it after reading just the Cliff Notes of the book. There is far too many differences from the real story and  too much comedy and drinking. The film is far too focused on romance and not enough on the lives of the character like in book. The movie also has a very sexual feel, though there is no sex, closest thing being kissing, one character grabbing a female character by her waist and quite a bit of flirting. 

Overall, this is not only the worst adaptation of a Jane Austen novel, but also a fiasco of a film that should’ve never been made. It is boring, hardly romantic and not the least bit funny. It seems like Netflix will greenlight just about anything these days. 10+ 2.5/5

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

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a 2022 American comedy film directed by Tom Gormican. The film stars Nicolas Cage as a fictionalized version of himself. It also stars Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Neil Patrick Harris and Tiffany Haddish. 

Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage is struggling with his career after being passed over for several big movie roles and is constantly annoyed by “Nicky” who appears as his youunger and more successful self. His relationship with his ex-wife Olivia and daughter Addy is also ruined by years of emotional neglect. Following a humiliating event at Addy’s sixteenth birthday party and losing another big film role, Cage plans to retire from acting. He decides to accept a hazy offer of $1 million from his agent Richard Fink that involves going to Majorca to meet billionaire womanizer Javi Gutierrez and to be the guest of honor at his birthday. 

Upon meeting Javi, Cage is at first irritated by his neediness and insistance that they create an improv type movie based on a cript he wrote, but quickly inspired by Javi’s determination, and the two bond over their shared love the same movies. Shortly after, Cage is confronted by CIA agents Vivian and Martin. They suspect that Javi, who they claim made is fortune through dealing weapons, is behind the kidnapping of Maria the daughter of an anti-crime politician, with the hope that he will drop out of the upcoming election. Despite his insistance, Cage decides to help the CIA with the case. 

After successfully rigging the cameras on Javi’s compound, Cage goes to a party where he announces his work with Javi on a new movie, an excuse to stay on the compound long enough to find Maria. After a disaster involving LSD, Cage discovers that Javi has a shrine room dedicated to all his movies, including a wax figure of his character Caster Troy from his movie, Face/Off, complete with identical golden guns. Cage finds it hard to work with Javi, but Vivian convinces him to work the kidnapping into their screenplay so the he could actually reveal where Maria is. 

Cage explains tells his new idea to Javi, who believes that Cage is artistically bankrupt, and like has problems he needs to work out. Javi bring Olivia and Addy to his villa from Los Angeles; they are scared and angry over what is happening. Cage tries to make amends with them, but they reject his words and accuse of prioritizining his his film career over his family. Javi sneaks away and sees his cousin Lucas, who is revealed to be the real weapons dealer and the one who kidnapped Maria. Lucas warns him that Cage is working with the CIA and threatens him to kill cage, or else Lucas will kill Javi. Cage begins to rethink his friendship with Javi. 

After a stand-off between Javi and Cage, where neither can bering themselves to kill each other, Lucas sends men to after both of them, and the run back to the house and dscover that Addy has been kidnapped. 

This film has laugh out loud moments throughout. There are lots of references to other Cage films, which make this pretty enjoyable, but the one downfall is all the cheesiness and unoriginl part of the plot with the kidnapping and weapon dealing, which has been done to death. The entire thing about Cage, playing himself is just plain silly, but he does a very good job at it, making the film enjoyable, but still not great. Nothing against the acting, which is very good from all the main stars, but I couldn’t get past the terrible plot, also the beautiful scenery of Majorca, only helped much either. Being a Cage fan, I wanted to like this film more, but it was so hard to get past the negative aspects and I only enjoyed the film some, but not a lot. 

At a run time of nearly two hours, I could hardly wait for the film to end by about the second half it. It jumps from funny and cheesy scenes to action secens so much and so fast, it’s not as entertaining as it should be. It’s definitely not Nicolas Cage’s best or worst work and definitely won’t kill his career given the rave reviews and upcoming projects his has. This film has the Cage his fans love, which make it an pretty entertaining film, but that still doesn’t make it great. 

Yes this film is laugh out lod funny at times, but it is is also overly corny. It does however have a few heartwarming scenes, that make it a good bit better. This is not a movie that has to be seen in theater, in fact, it has the feel of a straight to streaming type. Would I watch it again? Maybe if it came on TV and there was nothing else on. Sorry plot, somewhat funny, but mostly dowdy humor and lots of action. 18+ 3/5