Tag Archives: Randy Quaid

My 12 Favorite Christmas Movies

We’re one week away from Christmas and everybody’s making lists of their favorite movies. As always, some are debating whether or not Die Hard belongs on the list. Don’t be silly, of course it does. What says Christmas more than “Now I have a machine gun, ho, ho ho”…? Here are my 12 favorites, a mix … Continue reading My 12 Favorite Christmas Movies

Last Picture Show: Small-Town Decay

ANARENE, TEXAS, 1951. NOTHING MUCH HAS CHANGED… The most famous film Peter Bogdanovich ever made didn’t come from a complete beginner. In the 1960s, he had worked as a film programmer for the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and critic for Esquire. After deciding to become a director, he went to work … Continue reading Last Picture Show: Small-Town Decay

Independence Day

EARTH. TAKE A GOOD LOOK. IT COULD BE YOUR LAST. An inflated and patriotic throwback to those grand space movies and disaster flicks of the 1950s and ‘70s, this story, where Earth is attacked by huge space ships and must retaliate, could be described as the ultimate invasion matinee. Stirring in the beginning, with special … Continue reading Independence Day

Midnight Express: Trapped in Turkey

A STORY OF TRIUMPH. When Barack Obama became president, Republicans accused him of embarking on an apology tour. Well, here’s an example of a cultural event that did lead to what might be called an apology tour. Oliver Stone won an Oscar for adapting Billy Hayes’s account of his time in Turkish prison, but in … Continue reading Midnight Express: Trapped in Turkey

The Ice Harvest

THICK THIEVES. THIN ICE. It’s Christmas in Wichita and a lawyer and a businessman (John Cusack, Billy Bob Thornton) are preparing to leave town after having stolen $2 million of a gangster’s money. A lot of talented people gathered for this violent, bloody comedy. The cast is excellent, with very appropriate roles for Cusack, Thornton, Randy … Continue reading The Ice Harvest

National Lampoon’s Vacation

EVERY SUMMER CHEVY CHASE TAKES HIS FAMILY ON A LITTLE TRIP. THIS YEAR HE WENT TOO FAR. The Griswolds leave Chicago for a road trip to the West Coast and Walley World, a popular theme park, but their journey quickly descends into chaos. One of Chevy Chase’s most popular (and funniest) comedies is not for families; … Continue reading National Lampoon’s Vacation

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

YULE CRACK UP!  As Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) waits for the all-important Christmas bonus, he starts planning for the best Christmas ever with his family. Of course, disaster looms in this third chapter of the series, which is one of Chase’s funniest movies and a modern Yuletide classic. The one ingredient that always works to perfection … Continue reading National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

The Adventures of Pluto Nash

THE MAN ON THE MOON. Some time in the future, a successful night club on the moon is blown up and the owner (Eddie Murphy) tries to find whoever is responsible. Murphy’s venture into space moves reasonably fast, some of the design looks pretty good and the music is better than most things. But this … Continue reading The Adventures of Pluto Nash

Brokeback Mountain: Love Hurts

Love is a force of nature.   This movie must be a nightmare to bigots everywhere. It would have been easy to dismiss it as hype if only it was poorly made, but this is one of the best films ever to deal with homosexuality, much because it makes us recognize it as something that … Continue reading Brokeback Mountain: Love Hurts

Hard Rain

A SIMPLE PLAN. AN INSTANT FORTUNE. JUST ADD WATER.  Heavy rain causes a river to flood a town in Indiana; as a security guard (Christian Slater) tries to evacuate a money transport, Jim (Morgan Freeman) and his gang see an opportunity to seize it. Cinematographer Mikael Salomon’s directing debut is a disaster/action movie hybrid that … Continue reading Hard Rain