With the holiday season on, today was the first day without guests or an event to attend to since before Christmas Eve. I did have a few buddies over, including PlacesLost and SimonUK, but it was in order to eat some pizza and watch a movie.
Simon picked up the BluRay of this one recently, and I'd seen the trailer at the Alamo last winter and had been looking to see it ever since. The movie may be most infamous for opening against Star Wars in 1977 and, thusly, doing pretty poorly at the box office. Undeservedly so, as many who have seen the movie were big fans. But it's also an interesting juxtaposition as Star Wars would go on to define what Hollywood would spend the next forty years trying to recreate as blockbuster/ tentpole/ extremely profitable popular entertainment, and this was a smaller movie with precious little dialogue about men driving trucks through the jungle.
The story is about desperation and survival for men who may not deserve the third chance at life that's in reach. It's a beautifully shot and conceived movie, and the sort of movie that the studios were making in the 70's as they let filmmakers create movies that would distinguish the cinema from the television in scope and demand on the audience.
If you've enjoyed Friedkin's other work, and/ or Roy Scheider, definitely one to seek out.
It can't hurt that I was a 12 year-old boy who loved Star Wars when I went to see this one at the theater in the summer of 1987. I don't know what else to say about Spaceballs at this point that hasn't been said, but it's certainly one of those movies I've been quoting so long, I sometimes forget that this is where I got this, that or the other thing I'll say from time to time.
I still say "C'mon, Schwartz...!" every time I'm waiting to see if something on my computer will work while the computer/ internet process.
There's No Business Like Show Business (1954)
Back in September, I was looking to pick up a BluRay of The Misfits, and by the time I was done, I was able to land a Marilyn Monroe collection from Amazon for half-again what the cost of just The Misfits was going to set me back. The set contains a number of her movies I'd never seen, so I figured, rather than hope they show up on TCM, I'll just pay the extra few bucks and guarantee I can watch them.
This isn't really a Monroe movie, but she's in it a bit. She's sort of a love interest for Donald O'Conner (I know, I know...), who is the youngest of three children in a family that has made a life in the Vaudeville and mid-20th Century musical entertainment business that is all but forgotten in 2014. Music by Irving Berlin, a sentimental family story, Mitzi Gaynor and Ethel Merman... sure. It was fun. Not sure it was my favorite movie, but I'm not complaining.