We woke up mostly in time to hear WLAV-FM's annual Thanksgiving broadcast of Alice's Restaurant. Hey -- it's seasonal! Then hit the road before noon to make it down to Celebration Rivertown.
American Gangster [R]
How can a movie with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe not be good? Much as we love Denzel being the good guy, following up his bad boy in Training Day with Frank Lucas is riveting. And Ruby Dee playing his mom was quite the bonus treat. Russell Crowe's character is yet another misfit, this one a cop going to night law school while unable to meet his ex-wife's expectations as a father and pissing off the 1970s cops who surround him because he's not on the take -- did I get enough of this? The skanky partner he's with in the beginning -- not going to end well.
If the story of drug kingpins taking over the territory and getting drugs direct from Southeast Asia with the help of some U.S. military personnel sounds familiar, it should. This is based on a true story, which has been endlessly copied elsewhere. I didn't know much about this film beforehand except of Denzel and Russell. Having grown up through the 70s, they faithfully paraded the cars, the clothes, the hair, the phones and the background of news and sporting events. If I were to call it slickly done, that would imply a problem. Instead, let me call this one of the best films I've seen in years.
Blade Runner - The Final Cut [R]
The 25th Anniversary of Blade Runner? How can it be? 1982? I'm getting old. (grin) The Director's Cut of the 90s excised the narration by Harrison Ford with many of the cut scenes with nearly the same lines. The Final Cut cleans up the film to more contemporary standards. I have to say, the old girl looks and sounds great, terrific, as dark and moody as ever.
If I don't sit around and list all the things they've changed from the other released versions, there are plenty of others who will. What I will say is that we saw this on modern DLP digital projection and it holds up perfectly. The original was beautifully filmed and what they've done to update it -- since this was our second film of the day -- has almost no feeling of being dated or obsolete. I know I read someone carping about the green computer screens. After watching plenty of stylized modern tech in things like Max Headroom, I prefer to think of the green screens as being retro for 2019.
Sean Young's unusual high fashion beauty is still striking after 25 years. But I do have to say, the scene of her first kiss with Harrison has made me uncomfortable every time I see it. Is it love in the face of adversity or charismatic manly allure? Or just a little bit too much "No Means Yes"? Seems a little creepy in light of the subtext of replicants as property. Made creepier by the dual issues of whether Deckard (a) is going to have to retire Rachael and (b) whether he is a replicant assassin himself. Sorry.
I've heard that the upcoming DVD release will include all three versions of Blade Runner. You may need all three to really appreciate the story. And for the most part, reading the original Philip K. Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? doesn't really answer the questions.
Popcorn. Hot dogs and nachos during the "Intermission". And on the way home, we saw that Stromboli's in Allendale MI had their OPEN sign lit. So when we got in the door we called in an order and I picked up some Old World Sicilian salad and lasagna about ten minutes before they closed. Ah... mmm!
Turkey tomorrow, folks. Or rather, as we like to call it around here -- the stuffing delivery system. (GRIN)