The Smackdown We can probably all agree that children should be protected from seeing and hearing and thinking about sexual contacts in the world around them and yet, sometimes they aren’t, sometimes they get a […]
The Smackdown It’s easy to admire virtue and nobility.Â Possessing either can be difficult. Maybe that’s why our movies seem to feature five Norman Bates and ten Gordon Gekkos for every George Bailey or Atticus Finch. […]
I got a lot of good advice from good friends on this one, before I ever saw Julie Taymor’s homage to the Beatles and the Counterculture era, “Across the Universe.” Some thought it could be smacked down against “Tommy” or “Hair,” for obvious reasons. Or “I Am Sam,” because both films share a Moptop soundtrack. (Remember when mags like “Teen” and “Tiger Beat” called the Beatles “The Four Moptops?”) And I was sorely tempted, as I love that story of a retarded man’s struggle to retain custody of his young daughter, and count it as one of my all time favorite films. Even Forrest Gump” got a mention, because “Universe” resembles it in the way it offers snapshot glimpses of the same period in American culture.
But shortly into the viewing, I found myself recalling the movie version of “Rent,” because both films are ambitious yet flawed stories of a polyglot group of young people meeting during an explosive time in our history, easily becoming friends, and bursting into song at the slightest provocation. […]
Thirty Years of Dancing Travolta! The Smackdown It was three decades ago that a charismatic sitcom star named John Travolta crossed over into feature film fame with the cultural sensation Saturday Night Fever. In the […]
The Smackdown It can’t be easy being a young criminal crime boss and drug lord, coming from a struggling underclass, living in the shadow of an even more powerful criminal. Both Frank Lucas and Michael […]