Friday, December 27, 2019


Three 80's Films I haven't seen for sometime...

A Fish Called Wanda

When a heist movie is done well, it can be an awful lot of fun to watch. A Fish Called Wanda boasts a quartet of stars: seductive Jamie Lee Curtis, hysterically psycho Kevin Kline, and ex-Pythoners Michael Palin and John Cleese at the top of their game. I'm glad to say that this one is still as funny as ever three decades later. This movie also defies my you should never kill a dog rule. If it is done by Michael Palin as an animal lover, it's okay and pretty funny.

Whatever happened to...But whatever happened to the movie Fierce Creatures which reunited the four stars of Wanda? Has anyone actually seen it?

 Raising Arizona

I saw Raising Arizona at the theater when it first came out and was my introduction to a Coen Brothers comedy film (Blood Simple was more film noir). I'm happy to say that Raising Arizona is still quite funny after all this time. I like that the Coen's characters are broad, but human and even the criminals have a soft side to them...Everyone seems to love that baby, even the crooks! Holly Hunter, John Goodman, William Forsythe and Trey Wilson round out the fine cast. And has Nicholas Cage ever been funnier? (In a comedy, I mean).

The M. Emmet Walsh factor...It seemed for awhile in the late 80's, character actor M. Emmet Walsh popped up in almost every movie I watched, either in a new one or with something I happened to pop into my new VCR...Raising Arizona, Blood Simple, The Jerk, Straight Time, Fletch, Harry and the Hendersons, and of course his two appearances as a swim coach, in Ordinary People and Back to School.

M. Emmet Walsh in Raising Arizona

The Accidental Tourist

The first two movies lived up to my expectations, but it was harder to judge with The Accidental Tourist. You see, I've seen it but I remember very little about it. Seeing it again, it's a hard film to warm up to (Just like William Hurt's main character is a tough nut to crack). The thing to keep in mind is that Hurt's character Macon has gone through a tragedy (his son being killed) that is hard if not impossible to ever get past. It causes irreparable harm to his relationship with his wife Sarah (Kathleen Turner). He only finds any degree of getting past anything when he starts a relationship with a quirky dog trainer named Muriel (Geena Davis). Quirky is a good way to describe this whole movie, but I did warm to it eventually, as Macon warmed up to Muriel. I liked the emotional payoffs at the end of the film as well. I'm not sure what to make of the strangely possessive relationships between Macon's brothers and sister. Maybe this is delved into more in the original novel.  

Have I read Anne Tyler's original novel? No, but maybe I should.

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