Spring Break – the First Four Days

Hofstra’s Spring Break is finally upon us and I’m spending the week with my uncle and I’m continuing to raid his movie collection and go through his DVR. Here’s what I’ve made it through just since Friday.

  • Tangled – 2010, Nathan Geno & Byron Howard  – DVD – I have to say, I enjoyed this much more than I expected and I’ll say even more so than I did The Princess and the Frog. Very good and enjoyable.
  • The French Connection – 1971, William Friedkin – DVD – Wow. Brilliant crime thriller and I think it might just be in my top 10 of favorite Best Pictures.
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice – 1946, Tay Garnett – DVD – I kind of think that this is what Double Indemnity would have turned out to be if Billy Wilder and Raymond Chandler didn’t make that movie. Of course, this is a knock on Postman. It was enjoyable, but it’s helmed by a no-name director and the acting – aside from John Garfield – isn’t that great.
  • The Best Years of Our Lives – 1946, William Wyler – VHS – Spread across two tapes, this 170 minute film is about the troubles returning vets were having in re-adjusting back into society. It’s a story that is always relevant because this is something that happens after every war and is happening today. I really didn’t think I was going to like this, figuring that it must be overly sentimental, but I enjoyed it all the way through.
  • Straw Dogs – 1971, Sam Peckinpah – Criterion DVD – Great film that just freaked me out. I think that might be my favorite Dustin Hoffman performance.
  • On Dangerous Ground – 1951, Nicholas Ray – TCM OnDemand – I had a lot of fun watching this breezy, 86 minute noir  by Nick Ray. Fine acting all around and great cinematography. You also have to love the Bernard Hermann score.
  • The Seven Year Itch – 1955, Billy Wilder – VHS – How do you watch a Cinemascope film in full-screen on VHS?  The answer is you don’t. Unfortunately, I did and I really feel like I didn’t watch it. Still, I did enjoy what little of the film I actually did see.
  • Band of Outsiders – 1964, Jean-Luc Godard – TCM – TCM had this on a long time ago, but we DVR’d it and I finally got to watch it. It’s a lot of fun and even though I like Godard, even I have to admit that having fun is something one rarely has while watching his films.
  • The Treasure of Sierra Madre – 1948, John Huston – DVD – Now, that’s a perfect film.
"A Couple of Swells"
  • Easter Parade – 1948, Charles Walters – DVD – As a Jew, I probably shouldn’t have watched this on Passover, but how can anyone turn down Fred Astaire and Judy Garland? Plus, all the songs were written by Irving Berlin, so we did honor someone Jewish by watching it.
  • Midnight Cowboy – 1969, John Schlesinger – VHS – Oh, man, what an experience to have right before you go to bed. Fantastic. A Best Picture well deserved.

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