Friday, November 1, 2013
Netflix This Movie! Vol. 49
Saturday Night Fever (1977, dir. John Badham) Back in the day, the F This Movie! crew did a series on movies they were thankful for. I really loved reading those pieces, so I've decided to use my Netflix picks this month to highlight some of my own picks for which I am thankful. The first is one of my favorite movies: Saturday Night Fever. I love Saturday Night Fever for a number of reasons: a) The soundtrack is incredible and it cemented my fandom of the Bee Gees; b) The lead character Tony Manero is one of my three favorite movie characters of all time and is played by my personal favorite actor, John Travolta; c) This is one of the best movies ever made about how men relate to women and d) Saturday Night Fever has one of the most uplifting underdog messages ever put in a movie. I love this movie because it's all about a guy who survives his harmful upbringing, peer group and environment and pursues his true passion, dancing - the one thing he is really, really good at and makes him feel great. It's a character study all about how Tony Manero clumsily grows up and tries to be a better person. I found this movie when I was a confused 20-something and I'm thankful to have learned a few things from it.
Ghostbusters (1984, dir. Ivan Reitman) Scary Movie Month is over! I can't believe it. There were tears, laughter, and buckets of blood. These days the long countdown to Christmas starts November 1st (OMG, that's today) but how in the world are we supposed to switch gears from horror to warm and fuzzy? Well, Ghostbusters is on Netflix and it's a perfect melding of fun, family-safe scares and old fashioned adventure. It has ghosts in it, but it may also remind you of your childhood. And all that candy that you ate is probably going to come back up as green slime, so there's that connection too. By the time the credits roll, you'll be ready to face all that Christmas music on the radio...and in department stores...and in commercials...
Duck Soup (1933, dir. Leo McCarey) Just the thing to wash that Halloween hangover out of your mouth and brain-- one of the funniest movies ever made. This is the only Marx Brothers film that is pure, unadulterated comedy for its entire running time; no romantic subplots, fake ploys for sympathy, or musical numbers get in the way of their pure anarchic nonsense.
"This is a gala day for you…"
"Well, a gal a day is enough for me. I don't think I could handle any more."
Dark Blue (2003, dir. Ron Shelton) Great, underrated Kurt Russell movie about some L.A. cops imploding in the days leading up to the L.A. riots in 1992. Yes, we've seen this kind of movie plenty of times, but director Ron Shelton gives the movie a great sense of time and place and Kurt Russell gives what might be the performance of his career. This one got lost for some reason. I don't get it. It's a terrific movie -- one that proves the Kurt Russell rule.