Updates! Updates! Busy Movie Week!

“All That Jazz” – 1979. Dir. Bob Fosse.  With Roy Scheider, Jessica Lange, Leland Palmer, and John Lithgow.

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this film.  The only other Bob Fosse film I have ever seen is “Lenny” staring Dustin Hoffman as Lenny Bruce.  I knew this was a “fictionalized” autobiography with Roy Scheider playing Joe Gideon (Bob Fosse).  I thought this was going to be a musical about a flamboyant musical director.  Holy shit was I wrong.

The film runs a little over two hours but it flies by, and leaves you wanting more, much much more.  Roy Scheider gives the performance of his career and gives one of my personal favorite acting performances I have ever seen.  To sum it up, Roy Scheider is the man!  Joe Gideon is trying to balance the rehearsals of his much anticipated Broadway musical, along with his ex-wife who is the star of the musical, his girlfriend, his daughter, a new girl he’s seducing, his film about a cutting edge stand-up comedian (referencing “Lenny”), and juggling the producers.  It does have similar themes to “8 1/2” and it homages it well.

Gideon is nothing less then a pill popping, chain smoking workaholic and sexaholic.  It’s beautiful to watch Scheider maneuver and dance his way through each scene – showing us his life.  The film cuts between Scheider’s production and him speaking to a mystical woman (Lange) which almost seems angelic.  The editing to this film ranks up with that of “The Graduate” and “Ed Wood”, and by that I mean flawless.  The film has a very Stanley Kubrick feel to it, in a good way.  It has an editting flow similar to “A Clockwork Orange” and “The Shinning”.

This film is very unique in its narrative, cutting between Scheider talking to Lange about his life, and then showing us his life.  One of the major highlights of the film is the recuring montage of Gideon waking up, putting in Visine in his eyes, popping pills, showering, and looking in the mirror and saying “Its showtime folks!”

Review: 10/10

I leave you with the opening scene of the film:

“Smokin’ Aces 2: Assassins Ball” Dir. P.J. Pesce. With Vinnie Jones, Michael Parks and Tom Berenger.

I’ll be honest here, my main attracting to watching this was Tom Berenger and Michael Parks.  I didn’t expect anything out of this film, I didn’t really care that much for the first film.  I believe films like this and the original, “Boondock Saints” are the price we are paying for Quentin Tarantino.  These films would not have been made without “Pulp Fiction”.  These quick cutting, snappy dialogue, shots that last less then ten seconds on average would not exists.

With that said, I enjoyed the shit out of “Smokin’ Aces 2”.  It’s a nice little quick film where Tom Berenger plays a FBI analyst who has a contract out on his life for 3 Million dollars.  Every hitman in the world is after him.  Vinne Jones plays his normal slick talking ice cold killer, Tommy Flanagan reprises his role from the original film and Michael Parks plays the father and leader of a white power clan.

This is a trashy, quick cutting whirlwind of a movie that uses split-screen (which I am a HUGE sucker for), different color hues and saturation for different scenes.  We’ve seen this style of filmmaking again and again, the film is so fast paced it feels like a commercial, but it holds your interest well – as outlandish and corny as it may be.

Review: 7/10.

TRON” – 1982. Dir Steven Lisberger.  With Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleiter, Cindy Morgan and David Warner.

I’m 25 years old and I’ve never seen “TRON”.  Wow.  I was in for a treat.  My main reason to see this was one: it’s one of the few Bridges films I haven’t seen, and two: the sequel is coming out this year and Bridges is back for it.  The film is just trippy.  The neon colors of the characters inside of the “computer” is so retro.  The special effects of the film are great, even though they are really corny – they work perfectly and don’t feel flat.

The film is very hard to describe, and I don’t want to spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but I would recommend seeing it asap.  The film feels like “The Matrix” of the late 70’s, early 80’s.  A man who enters into a computer that can now think for itself and is about to hack into the Kremlin and Pentagon because the information it would gain would give it more knowledge and power.  And it’s up to Jeff Bridges, and his two friends to stop it!

If that doesn’t sound like a great way to spend your Sunday afternoon on Valentines Day alone.  I don’t know is.  Movies are my Valentine.  And Peyton Sloat.

Review:  9/10.


Author: Frank Mengarelli

Everybody relax, Frank's here. After going to film school at Columbia College Chicago, Frank decided to underachieve with his vast knowledge of film into a career in civil service. Frank had a brief stint as a film blogger, and then he met the heterosexual love of his life, Nick Clement. The two instantly bonded over their love from everything to Terence Malick to THE EXPENDABLES films. Some of Frank's favorite filmmakers are Terence Malick, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Sylvester Stallone, Oliver Stone and Spike Lee. Some of his favorite films are THE TREE OF LIFE, STAR WARS (all of them), BAD LIEUTENANT, THE THING and ALL THAT JAZZ. Frank spends his free time with his dog Roger, collecting any Star Wars collectible he can find and trying to finish his pretentious, first person narrative novel(la), LARGE MEN IN SMALL CARS..

3 thoughts on “Updates! Updates! Busy Movie Week!”

  1. I still don’t really know what to think of TRON, but I’ve come to one conclusion. TRON was a bigger advancement in 1982 than Avatar was in 2009.

    We have seen motion-capture, CD, and CGI technology before. Avatar just took it to the extreme and used the technology to its fullest potential. I haven’t seen anything before (or even since) TRON that was anything like it.

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