Wednesday, February 10, 2010

My Week In Movies - They Don't Make `em Like They Used To

Fletch (1985)[PG] What a great movie! It's been a while since I'd watched this classic comedy and it was so much fun to see Chevy Chase in his prime. The one-liners are so quick in this movie as Chevy dons disguises and alter-egos to get to the bottom of two intertwining stories. There's a great supporting cast here including Joe Don Baker, M. Emmet Walsh, Tim Matheson, George Wendt and Geena Davis. This was probably the 30th time I've seen this film but only the first time that I actually was able to follow the plot.

Jaws 3 (1983)[PG] One of my all-time favorite movies! First off, it was filmed at Sea World in Orlando...any movie that takes place at an amusement park automatically has something going for it. It's nice to have a record of early 80's Sea World, even if it's not a park I'm particularly fond of. The best thing about this movie is that it was released theatrically in 3-D, as so of course there are tons of unnecessary 3-D shots just to utilize the 3-D gimmick. The film probably played for a few months in theatres and then has spent the last 27 years on television and home video where it is not in 3-D. (In fact, the actual name of the movie is Jaws 3-D, when it's on TV or video the title card says Jaws III.) Anywho, the absence of 3-D makes this one goofy movie because there are so many odd shots that linger on for no reason at all, except that in theatres it was a 3-D shot. In the opening, Jaws attacks a school of fish and in the aftermath a large fish head floats by the screen for at least 30 seconds. In 3-D I can only assume the fish head was floating about the audience, but in a living room the fish head scene is just puzzling. There's another shot later in the movie where I guess it's supposed to look like Jaws is coming right at ya, but in 2-D it just looks like one of the world's worst special effects. The story here is pretty silly too, as Bess Armstrong (what ever happened to her?), Dennis Quaid, Louis Gossett Jr. and a very young Lea Thompson all scramble to save Sea World from one angry, two dimensional mommy shark.

Seems Like Old Times (1980)[PG] One thing is for sure, they certainly don't make them like this anymore. This type of "epic sitcom" or farce used to be standard fare from the likes of Neil Simon and Blake Edwards, but you just don't see this kind of situational comedy on the big screen anymore. This is also one of Chevy Chase's early under appreciated roles. Chevy gets framed for a bank robbery, he seeks the help of his ex-wife, Goldie Hawn. Hawn is now married to Charles Grodin who happens to be up for District Attorney. Then the comedy ensues! There is a stellar supporting cast including Harold Gould, Robert Guillaume (Benson!), and T.K. Carter. I watched it on a DVD I recorded a while back, but it's currently playing on Encore and TCM often shows the letterboxed version.

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