Sunday, July 1, 2018



Adrienne Shelley and Martin Donovan 
learn to Trust each other

Trust is Hal Hartley's low-budget romance about a pregnant high schooler named Maria that accidentally kills her dad, gets banished by her mother, dumped by her boyfriend, survives an attempted rape in a store...before hooking up with a electronics repairman named Matthew whose main character flaw is that he is too ethical to hold a job. Matthew has parental problems of his own with his oddly controlling father. The characters of Maria and Matthew grew on me after awhile (especially Adrienne Shelley as the girl) and the film has some nice touches of dark humor and some poignancy as well.

Natasha Richardson as a gussied up Offred
in The Handmaid's Tale

We've heard a lot about The Handmaid's Tale lately. I guess living in something beginning to resemble a Dystopian society will do that to you. Margaret Atwood's 1986 book featured a society with fertile women known as handmaids used for mostly breeding purposes (and sometimes a Scrabble game or two) and servitude. The acclaimed current Hulu series of the same name stayed with the book for awhile, but going into its second season, it has wildly veered off on its own. We'll see how that plays out...but it is interesting so far.

Lost in the handmaid shuffle is the 1990 movie version of the book, which I watched because my wife recommended it (It is not on the 1001 movie list). It sticks to the book for the most part, though it too strays more that a bit away from the source material towards the end. Fans of the book may find fault with issues like not enough of Aunt Lydia or other scenes that had to be omitted because of the limitations of feature film length, but I found the movie a good adaptation for the most part. Natasha Richardson plays the handmaid Offred, Robert Duvall plays the Commander and Faye Dunaway plays Mrs. Commander.

Here are thirty other movies released in 1990 I have seen at some point in the past that did not make the 1001 movie list.

One of the odder of the Woody Allen/Mia Farrow collaborations from what I remember. Took me a while to get used to seeing Joe Mantegna not playing a gangster.
Mantegna asking Alice something
in Alice
Another 48 Hours
The problem with sequels to good movies (Part I)...
Nolte and Murphy spend 
Another 48 Hours together
Effective film with unusual roles for De Niro and Robin Williams from what I recall. Definitely one for a revisit.
De Niro and Williams experience Awakenings

Back to the Future III
The problem with sequels to good movies (Part II)...Not my favorite of the series as it seemed a little weird for them to be actually going back in time (Even though it is in the Huey Lewis theme song).  However, the third movie is entertaining enough and it certainly is a fun trilogy overall.
Christopher Lloyd going back
in Back to the Future III
Betsy’s Wedding
Alan Alda's career as a director never quite went the way people seemed to expect...and not necessarily in a good way. I still like seeing him as an actor in about anything...except maybe Betsy's Wedding.
Alda, Molly Ringwald and Madeline Kahn
attend Betsy's Wedding

Bird on a Wire
One of those teaming up of big stars action romance that is entertaining enough, I guess...but you try to remember anything about it years later! (At least I can't)
Goldie and Mel and...sorry, I can't think
of anything but their hair right now
in Bird on a Wire
Cry Baby
John Waters (Maybe the king of low budget quirky films) directed this slight comedy about a teeny-bop idol played by Johnny Depp. The off-beat supporting cast features Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Polly Bergen, Troy Donahue, Joey Heatherton and many others!
Patty Hearst and David Nelson (yep, that's them)
in Cry-Baby

Dick Tracy
Warren Beatty's fairly disappointing film about the comic book detective did offer a wide gallery of classic villains.
The best Dick Tracy villain to me was always
Flat Top (William Forsythe)

Die Hard II
The problem with sequels to good movies (Part III)...
Bruce Willis perishes with difficulty again
in Die Hard II
The Freshman
How can you resist a movie where Marlon Brando comically recreates Don Corleone?
Brando makes Matthew Broderick an offer
he can't refuse in The Freshman
Yes, I do like this drama/comedy/supernatural/romance. Somebody cue up The Righteous Brothers already!
Vincent Schiavelli shows Patrick Swayze
the ropes of being an apparition in Ghost 
Franco Zeffirelli's Hamlet (sometimes know as "The Mel Gibson Hamlet") does have its moments...primarily Helena Bonham Carter as Ophelia
"There's rosemary...that's for remembrance.."
Helena Bonham-Carter in Hamlet
Hard to Kill
Steven Segal's career proved to be very Hard to Kill as he went on to make scads of movies during the 90's!
Segal and the "Don't Hate Me Because I'm Beautiful"
woman in Hard to Kill

Home Alone
The second biggest hit of 1990 (behind Ghost) is the John Hughes comedy about a kid that continually thwarts two burglars with funny results...and has probably been watched over and over on you or your kids TV screens in some form ever since. I thought it would be interesting to make another Home Alone today with the forty-year old MacCaulay Culkin terrorized by the geriatric Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci. At least I'd go to see that.
Culkin, Stern, Pesci in Home Alone I

The Hunt for Red October
Not sure why I stopped watching the film adaptations of Tom Clancy's books after The Hunt for Red October because I did like this one.
Connery and his sporty beard and hair
in The Hunt for Red October
Kindergarten Cop
Everybody say it with me..."IT'S NOT A TUMAH." I actually like when Arnold tries his hand at comedy.
Arnold mad he can't find Turbo Man...
Wait, that's a different one. This is
Kindergarten Cop.

Look Who’s Talking Too
The problem with sequels to good movies (Part IV)...actually in this case, the first one
was kind of cheesy, too.
Still talking...Travolta and Kirstie Alley
probably about to discuss plans for upcoming
Battlefield: Earth movies

Lord of the Flies
The problem with remakes of good movies (Part I)
Not that this Americanized remake is particularly bad...Just check out the 1963 Peter Brook version if you want to skip going over all the Cliff Notes.
Watch this version of Lord of the Flies
if you have the conch.

Memphis Belle
I dated a girl whose favorite movie was Memphis Belle. We rented it and watched it.
Pretty good WWII movie. Nice girl.
The crew of Memphis Belle
William Goldman adapted Stephen King's book into an effective film featuring one helluva role for Kathy Bates as a fanatical fan.
You aren't still planning to kill Misery, are you?
Nuns on the Run
Eric Idol and Robbie Coltrane as criminals disguised as nuns. That's got to be good for some laughs.
Idle and Coltrane as Nuns on the Run

Postcards from the Edge
I got to be honest here. I remember very little about this movie based on the book by Carrie Fisher, but I know I watched it! I'm glad I could offer such great insight into this one.
Meryl Streep and Shirley MacLaine in...
what was the name of this one again?
Oh, yeah. Postcards from the Edge.

Problem Child
I know I had kids in the early 90's if I watched Problem Child.
Problem Child...
A film I'm most unlikely to revisit

The Rescuers Down Under
The problem with sequels to good movies (Part V)...Hold on there! This Rescuers sequel is actually better than the original and features the wonderfully gravelly voice of George C. Scott as the villain. 
George C. Scott offers his distinctive voice
in The Rescuers Down Under

Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
What goes on with the supporting characters off-stage while the main action is going on?
Gary Oldman and Tim Roth have a field day in this fun adaptation of Tom Stoppard's play.
Heads...Heads...Heads....Oldman and Roth in
Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead

Robocop 2
The problem with sequels to good movies (Part VI)...
The 2014 remake of Robocop was definitely
better than this sequel to Robocop

Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
The anthology show gets the feature film treatment with some interesting results. The one I remember the most is the one about the hitman hired to kill a black cat.
Blondie gets the point in
Tales from the Darkside: The Movie
The problem with sequels to good movies (Part VII)...Though The Last Picture Show does set a pretty high bar.
Jeff Brides and Cybill Shepherd aging pretty well
in Texasville

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Yes I remember that era when The Ninja Turtles was popular. Someone recently told me they were popular again, but I ignored them.

As a point of here with 
my son at Disney World in 1991
visiting with Donatello..or is it Leonardo?

Wild at Heart
David Lynch at his wildest..Nicholas Cage was in some pretty good movies once upon a time...Need to revisit this one.
Cage with Laura Dern in Wild at Heart
Somebody cue that Chris Isaak song already

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