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Showing posts from March, 2020

The Way Back

So where have we seen this movie before? Oh yeah, in 1986 a little film called  Hoosiers  chronicled the true story of a team coached by a man with a checkered past, assisted by a town drunk who loves basketball. Combine both of those characters into Jack Cunningham, played by Ben Affleck, and the result could be  The Way Back . The number of similarities between the two films is noteworthy: a player who is ejected from the team for bad behavior but is later allowed to return, a team with only five players, one of whom is small in stature, a coach with anger issues who is ejected from a critical game, the need to keep alcoholic adults away from the players, and an unlikely come-from-behind championship win. This movie is actually two films in one. The first is the above mentioned basketball story, an exciting sports movie that has you cheering for the awakening underdogs. The second is the overarching personal drama of Jack Cunningham, the best player from the best team ever to

Star Wars: Episode IX - The Rise of Skywalker

In one of the early scenes in the latest  Star Wars  movie, a lively and colorful festival is in progress. It is a festival that happens once only every 42 years. Well, that’s interesting, since 1977 is 42 years ago and that’s when the original entry into this space opera debuted. I’m sure there are tons of hidden gems like this for hardcore fans. I’m one of the rare individuals who was disappointed by the original film,  Star Wars: Episode IV: A New Hope.  I found it to be less cerebral than I’d anticipated, with more of a  Flash Gordon  feel, which was actually writer and producer George Lucas’s intent. It was certainly not  THX 1138  or  Dune , but both of those bombed at the box office, so I am clearly in the minority. The  Star Wars  franchise began with a blockbuster movie and spun film, merchandising and theme park gold ever since. In preparation for seeing this final chapter in Lucas’s planned trilogy of trilogies, I watched all eight of the previous episodes on Disney P

Fantasy Island

Ultimately, this is the “Tattoo” origin story. It just takes far too long to find that out. This is a low budget reimagining of the 1978 TV show by the same name that ran for an unbelievable six years. Launching off of the even more unbelievable success of  The Love Boat’s  eventual ten years at sea, this represents a dry period in the history of television, despite the vast waters that surrounded each show. Both ran concurrently with the long-running comedy game show  Hollywood Squares . These were simpler times, and the shows all provided a home for minor celebrities of the day.   Mister Roarke is back, but instead of the suave and sophisticated Ricardo Montalban, we now have the rather sleepy and thuggish looking Michael Peña who has played Ponch in the movie version of CHIPS and Enrique 'Kiki' Camarena in the Netflix series Narcos. He does an adequate job with the script but is unconvincing as the docent of a living island with magical powers. He is clearly bored and