Archive for May, 2012

Tuesday With Morrie (1999, television film) Review

Posted in Movie reviews - 1990s, Movies with tags , , , , , , , on May 16, 2012 by They call me "Mephy"

Tuesday With Morrie (1999, television film)

Oprah Winfrey presents:

Guys, the exam week for my high school senior year is approaching in about 2 weeks and I may have postpone until the exams are over. If that’s the case, I’ll have to make up for about 3 entries I haven’t gotten up which I’ll have more time to do so during summer break.

Watched this one with my English class; half of them couldn’t care less and talked amongst themselves…pity. For those who’ve enjoyed the book (including this blogger), this television film adaptation was as good as the book. Directed by Mick Jackson, this one won an Emmy award for Jack Lemmon for his role as Morrie.

Morrie Schwartz (Jack Lemmon) is a retired college professor who loves to dance, despite his age. One day, his body succumbs to a terminal case of ALS (or Lou Gehrig’s disease). Instead of living his final months in grief and regret, Meanwhile, Mitch (Hank Azaria, also known for his role in America’s Sweethearts and the 1998 Godzilla film), a former student of Morrie’s and currently a sports journalist and commentator, hears of his friend’s (or professor’s; Morrie’s sort of both) condition and decides to give Morrie a visit. He also has trouble in keeping a steady relationship with his fiance, Janine, due being rather occupied with his job when both want to talk to each other. Morrie decides to make this his last class session with Mitch; his main topic: life.

The book’s theme and plot was plain and simple enough for a nice little television film, but the casting proved to be suitable for the roles. When Lemmon is bedridden as Morrie and talks of his past, we can feel the uneasiness from Mitch, as Morrie could be gasping for air at any time; this was also Lemmon’s last credited television film role (his last film role being The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000) ). The film focused mostly on Mitch’s private life rather than from Morrie’s, compared to the book, taking out the plot about Mitch’s brother and his estranged relationship with Mitch, being a cancer victim pursuing a cure in Spain. The book also mentioned a writer’s strike, whereas the film does not mention or show this, with Mitch working regularly. The quality isn’t too bad, after all being adapted for television and would probably have limited funding, but then there was nothing too extravagant to work with like special effects (most of the shots use whatever is there at the filming location and seems to only have to focus on music selection). I would recommend anyone to watch this (and read the book, if you’re not too lazy), it’s a beautiful story of someone you can learn from that could be used for everyday life.

Airplane! (1980)

Posted in Movie reviews - 1980s, Movies with tags , , , , , , on May 4, 2012 by They call me "Mephy"

Airplane! (1980)

 

Promotional movie poster

 

Folks, this marks the last entry for Journalism class of my high school senior year. However, this is not the last entry of the blog! More will come as promised: weekly updates. If something gets in the way, an entry will be made up for later on (most likely the week after).

One of the first parody films of the time, it parodies at disaster movies, mainly the film Zero Hour (1957)’s plot. It’s no wonder this is still a classic for parody films!

The plot is about an ex-fighter pilot and taxi driver named Ted Striker (Robert Hays) who pursues his lover, Elaine Dickinson (Julie Hagerty) in hopes of convincing her to stay with him; she plans to move to Chicago and start anew because he lives in the past and can’t move on from his traumatic experience on a mission in some war (not even the stock footage of avian dogfights helped identify it). He follows her onto the trans-American flight she works as an air hostess on, headed for Chicago. The passengers on the plane include: A girl whose on her way to have heart transplant, Dr. Barry Rumack (played by the late Leslie Nielsen, known for his lead role in the Naked Gun series), two jive-talkers, and others. Things go smooth until after the in-flight meal of choice between steak and fish; the people who ate fish succumb to becoming very ill due to food poisoning, which included the navigator, co-pilot Roger Murdock (Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and Captain Clarence Oveur (Peter Graves). Flying without a pilot on board (besides an inflatable pilot named Otto “piloting” the plane) and with the aid of tower supervisor, Steve McCroskey (Lloyd Bridges, father of Jeff Bridges) and Rex Kramer (Robert Stack), who has a bad history with Ted during the war; Ted must battle his post-traumatic disorder and save the people on board.

Well-timed humor, irrelevant or not to the story, makes this a laugh-a-minute film. Some of the humor is understandably dated (jive talk with captions…see if anyone even does jive talk anymore…) and others are borderline dodgy (mild topless nudity and drug usage). This would later be followed by a less-successful sequel and have its format copied by numerous people which spawned the Scary Movies series, Not Another [genre] Movie series, and other parodies poking fun at cliches in each genre. Taste may vary between people but for this blogger, this film is not bad and likable for its pacing between scenes (doesn’t milk it dry until it becomes unfunny) and for putting together the wrong cliches in the wrong situation, which ensues hilarity and chaos. Why not give this a watch?

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