Posts Tagged ‘Ned Beatty’
Tuesday, May 15th, 2018
also May 1, 1998
I remember thinking of HE GOT GAME as a slightly under-the-radar Spike Lee joint, but I think it’s become pretty well known over the years. It’s just that it’s in that middle period where he still seemed to have clout but the cultural excitement around him was on a slow, inevitable decline after touching the sun in 1992 with MALCOLM X.
With CLOCKERS and GET ON THE BUS he got increasingly experimental with his style, switching between different film stocks and handheld cameras in energetic ways that I always thought were influenced by Homicide: Life on the Street. HE GOT GAME is a uniquely stylish film that seems more inspired by slick commercials and sports show intros. The story is about the ugly, exploitative side of college athletics, but the style is all about worshiping basketball as the great American sport.
Two credits give you an idea of Lee’s lofty approach: “Music: Aaron Copland. Songs: Public Enemy.” The musical score is built from the sweeping 1940s “populist” style orchestral pieces by, as Lee puts it on the commentary track, “the great American composer from Brooklyn, New York.” Pieces used include “Our Town,” “Lincoln Portrait” and “Fanfare for the Common Man.” The latter has been used in sports broadcasts and Navy ads, it has played on Space Shuttles and inspired the scores for both SUPERMAN and SAVING PRIVATE RYAN. It was originally composed upon America’s entry into WWII. Copland considered the titles “Fanfare for a Solemn Ceremony” and “Fanfare for Four Freedoms” before using a term he heard in a speech by Vice President Henry A. Wallace. These are reverent Americana anthems for the pursuit of happiness and amber waves of grain and all that. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Aaron Copland, basketball, Bill Nunn, Denzel Washington, Hill Harper, Jim Brown, John Turturro, Joseph Lyle Taylor, Lonette McKee, Malik Sayeed, Milla Jovovich, Ned Beatty, Public Enemy, Ray Allen, Rick Fox, Roger Guenveur Smith, Rosario Dawson, Spike Lee, Summer of '98, Zelda Harris
Posted in Drama, Reviews, Sport | 35 Comments »
Tuesday, June 28th, 2016
EXPLANATORY INTRODUCTION PARAGRAPH: I have noticed that some of the movies coming out this summer are based on pre-existing characters or stories. In this off and on series we’ll look at earlier versions.
I don’t know if the young people know about this now, but in 1989 Tim Burton’s BATMAN (do people even watch that anymore?) was a gigantic explosion in pop culture. This was way back when “geek” was considered an insult and “actually some comic books aren’t just for kids they call them graphic novels” was considered interesting trivia. A movie about a super hero hadn’t been popular since SUPERMAN twelve years earlier, and that had seemed like an isolated incident. Now all the sudden the world was captivated by billboards and merchandise of just the bat symbol. It was on cereal boxes and racks of bootleg t-shirts in parking lots. Batman was worn by skateboarders, celebrated in weird Prince videos on MTV, welcomed back nostalgically in reruns of the ’60s comedy series starring Adam West. Intrigued newcomers picked up paperbacks of the groundbreaking ’80s work of dark Batman that were considered sacred texts from publication until the exact moment when musclebound Zack Snyder picked up the ball (the dodge ball?) and ran with it. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Albert Pyun, Bill Mumy, Darren McGavin, Marvel Comics, Matt Salinger, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Scott Paulin
Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »
Monday, February 8th, 2016
RADIOLAND MURDERS is a retro comedy, a madcap murder mystery taking place in 1939 as a Chicago radio station has a gala live broadcast performed in front of an audience and a room full of big shot affiliates waiting to be impressed. There’s a big band and actors doing adventure shows and commercials while the writers, directors and sound engineers scramble to have something on the air after the boss just tossed out all of their scripts. Meanwhile, writer Roger (Brian Benben, I COME IN PEACE) is pathetically trying to woo back his wife Penny (Mary Stuart Masterson, GARDENS OF STONE), who thinks he cheated on her. It was a misunderstanding, but he’s too much of a doofus to make her understand.
And then he becomes the #1 suspect when people in the station start turning up dead. So he has to avoid the police, solve the mystery, convince his wife and finish some scripts. Kind of a rough day for him.
The DVD cover brags about an “All star cast!,” which is stretching it, but the huge ensemble cast does include an impressive lineup of character actors, some of them better known now than they were then. You also got Ned Beatty, Brion James (BLADE RUNNER, 48 HOURS), Michael Lerner (MANIAC COP 2), Michael McKean, Jeffrey Tambor, Stephen Tobolowsky, Christopher Lloyd, Larry Miller (FOODFIGHT!), Corbin Bernsen, Bobcat Goldthwait, Dylan Baker, Robert Klein and Harvey Korman (The Star Wars Holiday Special). Candy Clark and Bo Hopkins of the AMERICAN GRAFFITI saga show up together. Since there’s sort of a variety show going on at the center of it there are appearances by Rosemary Clooney, George Burns, Joey Lawrence (as a dreamy crooner) and even Billy Barty (WILLOW). Also Gary Anthony Williams, the voice of Uncle Ruckus on The Boondocks, made his first movie appearance. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Billy Barty, Bo Hopkins, Bobcat Goldthwait, Brian Benben, Brion James, Candy Clark, Christopher Lloyd, Corbin Bernsen, Dylan Baker, Gary Anthony Williams, George Burns, George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Harvey Korman, Jeffrey Tambor, Joey Lawrence, Larry Miller, Leighann Lord, Lucas Minus Star Wars, Mary Stuart Masterson, Mel Smith, Michael Lerner, Michael McKean, Ned Beatty, Robert Klein, Rosemary Clooney, Stephen Tobolowsky, Willar Huyck
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Mystery, Reviews | 24 Comments »
Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014
SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE (not to be confused with Superman: The Imitation Pasteurized Process Cheese Spread) is an important movie. It was the first big comic book super hero picture, and an early entry in the world of post-STAR WARS blockbusters that shaped today’s generation of filmatists. By casting Marlon Brando as Joe L. Superman (plus Gene Hackman as Lex Luthor and Glenn Ford as Pa Kent), director Richard (LETHAL WEAPON) Donner set the precedent, still in place today, that big respected actors in supporting roles can add credibility to a super hero picture. And by casting only-one-movie-under-his-belt Christopher Reeve as Kal L. “Clark Kent” Superman he showed that sometimes a fresh face is better than a familiar veteran to play an iconic character. That later worked for Wolverine (whose first movie was executive produced by Donner), Thor and two subsequent Supermen. (Other actors who were supposedly on the producers’ wish list: Al Pacino, James Caan, Steve McQueen, Clint Eastwood, Dustin Hoffman and [why not?] Muhammad Ali. Any one of those would’ve automatically been a completely different movie.)
(read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Christopher Reeve, David Newman, DC Comics, Gene Hackman, Glenn Ford, John Williams, Leslie Newman, Margot Kidder, Mario Puzo, Marlon Brando, Ned Beatty, Richard Donner, Robert Benton, Tom Mankiewicz, Valerie Perrine
Posted in Comic strips/Super heroes, Reviews | 76 Comments »
Thursday, January 5th, 2012
This movie has a reputation as kind of a mess. Admittedly it is a 2 1/2 hour broad comedy about paranoia right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. In my opinion a 2 1/2 hour broad comedy about paranoia right after the bombing of Pearl Harbor was not necessarily one of the top two or three things the world hoped for as Steven Spielberg’s followup to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. But fuck ’em. It’s what they got and they oughta fuckin appreciate it. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Christopher Lee, Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Deezen, Joe Flaherty, John Belushi, John Candy, John Williams, Mickey Rourke, Nancy Allen, Ned Beatty, Robert Stack, Sam Fuller, Slim Pickens, Steven Spielberg, Toshiro Mifune, Treat Williams, Warren Oates, WWII
Posted in Comedy/Laffs, Reviews | 69 Comments »
Sunday, April 25th, 2004
As long as I was renting ROLLING THUNDER I thought what the hell man, might as well also pick up ROLLING VENGEANCE which should be pretty fuckin good considering it’s the story of a man achieving the vengeance of the title by means of a huge monster truck with a drill on the front and flames coming off the top. I mean god damn if that isn’t a good premise right there. I am not at all surprised that somebody sunk their money into this pile of shit. Especially in 1987, when monster trucks like “Bigfoot” and what not were probaly about as close as a fucking truck could get to being a popular cultural type icon or whatever.
The one thing they failed to take into consideration, though – the killing blow that prevents this movie from being worth your time – is that they made it in 1987. I’m sorry, but 1987 was not a good year. 1980-1989, those were bad years. Sorry. I don’t care what cable television tells you about how great the ’80s were. Your mother and I have been meaning to talk to you about this, actually. The 1980s were literally the worst decade ever as far as American arts and culture. (read the rest of this shit…)
Tags: Don Michael Paul, monster trucks, Ned Beatty, revenge
Posted in Action, Drama, Reviews | 3 Comments »