I can’t believe that out 52 Sundays in year that after today there is only one Sunday left in the whole entire year. So for this week’s Sunday At The Classics, I decided to check out the pool hall classic from Paul Newman (Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kid) in The Hustler. Fast Eddie Felson (Newman) is one of the best pool hall hustlers around that is looking for that match up that could make him the big money. One match with the best around in Minnesota Fats (Jackie Gleason) sends Eddie into a downward spiral that leaves him broke with no manager. A chance meeting with a girl (Piper Laurie) at the bus station begins to show him that there is more to life then just winning and losing and Eddie then begins his comeback. The film also stars George C. Scott (Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) as Bert Gordon, Myron McCormick (The Fight For Life) as Charlie, Murray Hamilton (Jaws) as Findley, Michael Constantine (My Big Fat Greek Wedding 2) as Big John, Stefan Gierasch (High Plains Drifter) as Preacher, Jake LaMotta (Raging Bull) as Bartender, Vincent Gardenia (Little Shop Of Horrors) as Bartender, and the film was directed by Robert Rossen (The Roaring Twenties).
There is definitely a reason why this is a must see film and a absolute classic. The sequence in the beginning of the film between Fast Eddie and Minnesota Fats was absolutely amazing and it kept you hooked because you wanted to see who would quit first. The relationship between Piper Laurie’s character Sarah and Fast Eddie was also a fascinating aspect of the film because they were theoretically not made for each other, but then again maybe they were. There’s the old adage that women love the bad boys and maybe she was experiencing that, but she was such a benefit for him more than he was for her. The acting in the film was phenomenal and you have to love the camera work in this film because the shots always looked so full and they painted the various settings just right. You felt like you were in an actual dingy smoke infested pool hall the whole time you were watching. In a way in this film, you were hopeful of Eddie, but he could definitely frustrate you which is why I loved the story of the film. They had all the right conflicts and sub plots to keep you hooked from beginning to end. One of the other things I loved about this film is the very end during the credit sequence when everyone except George C. Scott leaves the pool hall by the end of the credits. You’ll find out why for yourself, but I thought it was poetic justice. I need to check out The Color Of Money (which is the sequel), but give this one a watch while you are it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
Including today there are only three more days left of Shark Week and we are definitely still going strong and we made a great choice for today. So, it is some time later and things seem to finally be coming back to order in the summer vacation resort island of Amity in the film Jaws 2. Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) is kind of looked at like a hero in this small community, but the chief begins to have suspicions once again after they find a ship with no crew. Accidents start happening on the beaches of Amity again and Chief thinks that it’s another great white that has come to extract some revenge. Despite all the skeptics that are on the island, the chief will have to set out to protect the island once again from the killer shark. The film also stars Lorraine Gary (Jaws) as Ellen Brody, Murray Hamilton (The Graduate) as Mayor Larry Vaughn, Joseph Mascolo (Shafts Big Score!) as Len Petersen, Jeffrey Kramer (Jaws) as Deputy Jeff Hendricks, Collin Wilcox Paxton (To Kill A Mockingbird) as Dr. Lureen Elkins, Ann Dusenberry (Basic Training) as Tina Wilcox, Mark Gruner (A Little Game) as Mike Brody, Donna Wilkes (Angel) as Jackie Peters, Keith Gordon (The Legend Of Billie Jean) as Doug Fettermen, and the film was directed by Jeannot Szwarc (Supergirl).
There is always this stigma around Hollywood that no matter what, sequels are never better or as good as the originals. That is kind of true when it comes to this film because Jaws had a magic of it’s own that made it iconic in the first place. While the sequel is a very good film on it’s own, it is not however better than the original. The original had a mystery to it where because the shark wasn’t working properly, they depended on the suspense. This film had it’s own kind of suspense to it, it just had a lot more shark in it than the original and that sort of took away from that mystery. This Jaws however had more personality than the original because it looked as if he was out for vengeance. He looked like he had a purpose to him and he was a little more diabolical than the original. It was just the way he continuously stalked the same boats for a while and if anyone tried to save them, he stepped in and intervened. There was really nothing else really wrong for the film because the acting was great, the cinematography was great, and it featured Roy Scheider again. What more could you possibly ask for? It’s films like this one that made me happy to dedicate a whole week to Shark Week, but not all of them can be as good as this. That is why I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
We are once again continuing our theme of Shark Week here on our blog and we are proud to bring you a review of a classic. For today’s film, we are exploring the godfather of all shark movies, the one that made sharks a big hit, the film Jaws. It’s just another summer on the tourist summer island of Amity, but this one isn’t exactly like the rest of the ones in the past as the town is about to find out. One night, a girl is eaten by a shark and the new sheriff in town Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close down the beach before it gets too out of hand. The only problem is that the mayor of the town doesn’t want to close the beach cause they’ll lose money, but too many deaths and close class leave them no choice but to hire the shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw). The film also stars Richard Dreyfuss (Mr. Holland’s Opus) as Hooper, Lorraine Gary (1941) as Ellen Brody, Murray Hamilton (The Graduate) as Vaughn, Carl Gottlieb (The Jerk) as Meadows, Jeffrey Kramer (Halloween II) as Hendricks, Susan Backlinie (The Great Muppet Caper) as Chrissie, and the film was directed by Stephen Spielberg (E.T.: The Extra Terrestrial).
It was crazy to watch this movie and realize that I had never really seen this film because I didn’t recognize a lot of it. Then again, it was back in the 80’s, I was a little kid, and probably didn’t pay attention to most of it. I can definitely see why people hold this film in such high regard because it is that awesome of a film. Even though for most of the film, the robotic shark they had didn’t work it didn’t take away from the film because the suspense is amazing. You’re kind of seeing the action like a beach goer would and what I mean by that is you don’t see the shark, but you see people go under and lots of blood. That would scare the crap out of anyone not being able to see what is going on. The film has some iconic scenes in it like the sequence where the dog goes missing to the scene where Brody is dumping the chum and the shark pops out of nowhere, but my favorite is the scene where they’re sitting around. They’re getting drunk and they are telling war stories to each other, showing off each other’s scars too. The thing I love about the scene is that it seems so natural that it doesn’t look fake or rehearsed. It just seems natural to see these guys finally bond while on the hunt. Robert Shaw to me is an absolute highlight of the film, he is the bad ass shark hunter who kind of laughs at the town when they finally come to him. The battle sequence alone between the three and the shark alone is worth watching the film so I suggest checking this one out for sure. I am going to give the film an A+ for a final grade.