Film Review: Donald Cried

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Some things will never change. Some things will always be the same. Lean down your ear upon the earth and listen. ― Thomas Wolfe, You Can’t Go Home Again

Well, sometimes reverent listening isn’t all it’s cracked up to be when you go home and find things not only unchanged, but unhinged. Kris Avedisian’s excellent Donald Cried is a great, gloriously uncomfortable can’t-miss classic, a bleak comedy (it’s not for the kids!) with a sentimental side that will get under your skin if you identify with any of the characters portrayed here. Even if you don’t, you’ll be laughing one moment and reflecting the next. A sort of love child of Chuck and Buck, The Odd Couple and Curb Your Enthusiasm, the film serves up a perfect trip to hell for its poor protagonist, Peter Latang (Jesse Wakeman) after he heads up to Rhode Island to take care of his late grandmother’s affairs. Continue reading

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The 1984-a-Thon Is Coming! Are Your Ready To Go Back In Time To The Movies?

1984-a-thonSo, thesquonk calls and many have answered! However, there’s still a call out for writers for the upcoming 1984-a-Thon over at Forgotten Films, so if you’re feeling nostalgic and have a favorite film from that year of SO many great films from all over the world, go bug the man and see if you can participate!

I’m tackling a tough-love choice that’s gotten more love over the decades, Sergio Leone’s final (and in its original US theatrical release, VERY flawed) epic, Once Upon A Time In America, a film that I didn’t like at all when I first saw it, but it wasn’t due to the director or cast. I’ll not spoil my impressions because I still haven’t written anything about the film other than a nice opening segment. Hey, I have a good long time to complete that post, as the blogathon isn’t for another two months! Don’t rush me, grrrr. Anyway, if you think you’ve got time to scribble out a decent review, pick three flicks you think you’d like to cover (check the list on the site as well as the links, as there are no duplicate posts allowed, but a bunch of great films still need to be reviewed), zap out an e-mail and get that party started!

Random Film Of The Week: A Face In The Crowd


 

While most Americans will be remembering the late, great Andy Griffith from his lengthy stints on two hugely popular CBS TV shows The Andy Griffith Show and Matlock, (both in perpetual reruns somewhere around the country) I’ll always be more fond of his much more compelling movie debut, A Face In The Crowd.

In this classic 1957 Elia Kazan film (which was Griffith’s big-screen debut), his character of Larry “Lonesome” Rhodes explodes onto the scene in a still amazing performance that makes the movie even more enthralling to watch today. What makes the film so important is how precisely it nails Rhodes’ rise from vagrant jailbird to media superstar with his own national TV show (with help from a small town news reporter played by the great Patricia Neal) and later, his fall from fame’s grace are so compelling that for me, nearly all of Griffith’s later TV work pales in comparison.

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It’s Nice To See Cable Getting Wiser About The Movies They Run. Keep it Up.

I’ve started to notice that a lot of cable movie channels are FINALLY starting to present most or all of their movies in their original screen formats. This is a damn good thing, as TV edit “pan & scan” versions or VHS-era full screen cuts are pretty lame and hell, just don’t cut it in an age where download services get it right by preserving the true aspect ratio of the films they show. For those out there who still don’t get it, Turner Classic Movies did a wonderful video explanation of “letterboxing” a few years ago featuring some top Hollywood directors that’s required viewing for those confused about those black bars on the top and bottom of their TV screens. If you don’t have or watch TCM (shame on you!), well… courtesy of Guillotinepost.com (and of course, TCM) here you go – and you’re welcome.