SYNOPSIS: A lottery winning destroys the lives of three people in 1910 California
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Almost every human emotion and experience summed up in two and a half hours. Death Valley is a bitch….and then you die.
PROS AND CONS: An absolutely stellar film. I have seen it numerous times and after each viewing it just gets better and better.
The history and folklore around this work are legendary and indeed it is one of the films that gave Hollywood its persona. Every time I see Erich Von Stroheim as ‘Max’ in “Sunset Boulevard”, you realize that he had directed this only 30 years prior. If you don’t know about this film, just Google it.
This particular copy contains an orchestrated soundtrack by Carl Davis which greatly enhances the work and give a whole new layer to the film. Definitely on my top 10 list of all time and possibly the greatest American film ever created.
SYNOPSIS: A young muppet aides the disbanded troupe in reuniting to save their theater.
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Wholesome family values and plot intermixed with sly adult humor.
PROS AND CONS: An entertaining film done well. Once you get past the idea of puppets interacting with humans it actually becomes a bit of an adult inside joke.
While the plot is simplistic and easily follow-able, it is the subtle low key sight gags and dialogue that make you take notice. This is a musical, but even the song and dance numbers are done in a tongue-in-cheek fashion.
This is a “Where’s Waldo” of Hollywood films. You get to try and spot how many well known Hollywood actors make cameos in the film. There are dozens. And Chris Cooper as the evil antagonist is hilarious, especially when he does his rap-number song.
That look. I recall it so many times. In all my old photographs from Highs School. Those years where you realize you are going to be an adult and think to yourself, jeez this isn’t going to be easy. The look of angst, boredom, frustration, fatigue and knowing it probably isn’t going to get any easier. The universal look. At this age we don’t have enough experience to understand that we have all been there at that point in our lives. It isn’t a singular experience that only you can relate to. The secret key to obtaining the final key to adult status is learning how to ‘cheerfully’ attack all those hard knocks and come out somewhat improved. Otherwise you will just be a bitter disenfranchised adult that nobody wants to be around.
CONCEPT IN RELATION TO THE VIEWER: Skit comedy strung together in a promotional video for cannabis consumption in Denmark during the 1990s.
PROS AND CONS: Not a great film. It appears to be a series of skits and concert performances strung together on a loose theme that goes from flashback to fantasy to flashback indefinitely.
The humor here isn’t funny, but it is cutting edge for it’s day. It is an interesting film to watch from the historical perspective. The morals, attitudes and behaviors of society have fundamentally shifted. Leaving films such as this as a documentary of their time.
This film, and I suppose all of the other films by the duo, was financed, written and directed by Cheech and Chong. Some of the skits that they perform here show writing talent and acting that you wouldn’t expect. Which leads me to believe the Tommy and Cheech are pretty smart…..like foxes.
Creative minds think alike, and when they do they are sometimes too creative. We oftentimes don’t see the ripples that we leave in our wake and how they affect others and ourselves. Frank Capra was right, we can’t always see how we affect the lives of others and vice versa. I wouldn’t be a better person if I had not met my wife. I shudder to think what I might have become without her. We would not have the dream castle we always wanted if we hadn’t move next door to our contractor. A contractor that, shall we say has his own ‘flair’. Here are the happy artisans after ripping out a wall and about to lay up a new ceiling before the new flooring goes in. Sometimes, the will to create can be a bit overpowering, like a narcotic. There must be that bug for excess in all of us, only it takes different forms. What drives each of us, the drive to succeed, to be the fastest, the one with the most toys, the one with the most influence, the one with the most experiences. When is enough enough? To the artist, I suppose this is a stupid question. When you stop creating, you die.