There are films that I truly believe that people need to see before they die or before they end a challenge. I found one of those films that believe it or not I have never seen in Bullitt which is today’s film. Steve McQueen (The Magnificent Seven) plays no holds barred cop Bullitt who is really good at his job. That is until one day when a government witness who was put under his protection was killed. Now he’ll dive head first into the criminal underworld to try and catch the guys who did this especially with the DA (Robert Vaughn) breathing down his neck. The film also stars Jacqueline Bisset (Murder On The Orient Express) as Cathy, Don Gordon (Lethal Weapon) as Delgetti, Simon Oakland (West Side Story) as Captain Sam Bennett, Norman Fell (Three’s Company) as Captain Baker, Robert Duvall (The Godfather: Part II) as Weissberg, Georg Stanford Brown (Stir Crazy) as Dr. Willard, Felice Orlandi (Another 48 Hrs.) as Albert Renick, Pat Renella (Moonchild) as Johnny Ross, Vic Tayback (Papillon) as Pete Ross, Justin Tarr (The Rat Patrol) as Eddy, Carl Reindel (Tora! Tora! Tora!) as Carl Stanton, Ed Peck (Heaven Can Wait) as Westcott, John Aprea (The Game) as the killer, Paul Genge (The FBI Story) as Mike, and the film was directed by Peter Yates (Krull).
I am certainly glad that I get to cross this one off the list and one question for all of you. Why is it that San Francisco had all the bad ass cops from Bullitt to Dirty Harry? I am not complaining, but that is where they seem to come from back in the late 60’s and 70’s. One of the coolest sequences of the film is definitely the car chase scene with Bullitt’s 1968 Ford Mustang 390 GT 2+2 Fastback and the bad guy’s 1968 Dodge Charger 440 Magnum which is a slight bit faster than the stang. The chase scene really made you feel like you were in the car with McQueen and the camera angles from inside the vehicle with him. That definitely sets him part from everyone else and very cool to have in the film.The foot chase towards the end of the film was also pretty good and suspenseful, but not like the car chase (Obviously). It was great to see Jacqueline Bisset who was definitely the eye candy for the film and for the most part the film contained good acting. McQueen was the strong silent type who when he needs to, he’ll tell you like it is. Besides the car chase scene, the cinematography is pretty decent in the film and the writing was OK. The film is pretty bad ass, but it is what it is and you understand that going in. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
I have said this many times and I say it because it’s absolutely true. There are some instances where a film sneaks right by you and somehow later on you wonder why you’ve never seen it. That was definitely the case for today’s film which is the Los Angeles gang violence film Colors. Robert Duvall (Days Of Thunder) plays CRASH officer Bob Hodges, a man with one year left until he gets his pension from the LAPD. Sean Penn (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) plays hot shot CRASH rookie Danny McGavin who gets paired with Hodges after a gang member is murdered in a drive by. The two are on the streets as they try to investigate the murder while trying to keep gang violence between the Bloods and Crips to a low. The film also stars Maria Conchita Alonso (The Lords Of Salem) as Louisa Gomez, Randy Brooks (Reservoir Dogs) as Ron Delaney, Don Cheadle (Hotel Rwanda) as Rocket, Damon Wayans (Major Payne) as T-Bone, Trinidad Silva (UHF) as Frog, Glenn Plummer (South Central) as High Top, Grand L. Bush (Lethal Weapon) as Larry, Gerardo Mejía (Can’t Buy Me Love) as Bird, Courtney Gains (Children Of The Corn) as Whitey, and the film was directed by Dennis Hopper (Easy Rider).
I know that the film is not really a coming of age movie, but I think that it’s a point that could be legitimately argued. Think about it for a second, what is the definition of coming of age? According to Google, “a coming-of-age story is a genre of literature and film that focuses on the growth of a protagonist from youth to adulthood (“coming of age”). Coming-of-age stories tend to emphasize dialogue or internal monologue over action, and are often set in the past.” While the film isn’t set in the past, you do see Sean Penn go in a s this hot shot rookie on the CRASH force who just wants to bust heads and kick ass. Then when the going gets a little tough and something happens to his partner, he begins to realize what he was doing wrong and he changes for the better. In my opinion, that could be a coming-of-age story. This was one of those films that was trying to show you just how bad things were in Los Angeles as we would eventually see Boyz N the Hood, South Central, Menace II Society, and so many more films that focused on the issues. Robert Duvall and Sean Penn were both equally amazing in the film as they were almost the perfect pair. The cinematography in this film was superb in my opinion as they captured some amazing shots of East LA and Los Angeles. I had to get used to the fact that Damon Wayans was in this movie, but the role was perfect for him as he played T-Bone who is basically a junkie. This is definitely a film that must have opened people’s eyes to what was going on in the world and the problem that is gang violence. I definitely recommend this one and that is why I am giving the film an A- for a final grade.
I am trying to explore more and more titles from the past to watch that I have never seen that maybe had some critical acclaim. That is why I chose to watch today’s film Sling Blade which was written, directed, and stars Billy Bob Thornton (Bad Santa). Karl Childers is a mentally challenged individual who has spent most of his life inside of a metal institution because of the fact that he killed his mother and her lover when he was 12. When he is finally released because he was deemed well by the state, he is released into the real world where he befriends a child named Frank (Lucas Black) who lost his father. Watch as Karl tries to adjust to real world and all the challenges that it brings his way. The film also stars John Ritter (Bride Of Chucky) as Vaughn Cunningham, Robert Duvall (The Godfather) as Karl’s Dad, Dwight Yoakam (Panic Room) as Doyle Hargraves, J.T. Walsh (A Few Good Men) as Charles Bushman, Natalie Canerday (Walk The Line) as Linda Wheatley, James Hampton (The China Syndrome) as Jerry Woolridge, Brent Briscoe (The Dark Knight Rises) as Scooter, Christine Renee Ward (Tree) as Melinda, and Rick Dial (Crazy Heart) as Bill Cox.
This is a very interesting film and an amazing performance from Billy Bob Thornton who subsequently won an Oscar fro Best Screenplay, but did not win the Best Actor award. It was crazy to see a young Lucas Black in the film, but he deserves a nod for doing a great job playing alongside Thornton. One of the the things I liked right off the bat from the film was when a couple of girls were going in to the hospital to interview Karl. They’re talking about how he’s a murderer and there’s J.T. Walsh talking about murdering a girl to Billy Bob Thornton tricking you into thinking that J.T. is the murderer the girls are talking about. There’s no action in the film, but there is plenty of drama and great acting. John Ritter does an amazing job playing a gay man in Arkansas who battles the fact that he isn’t socially accepted. Instead of being scared of Billy Bob Thornton’s character Karl, everyone seems to open up to him instead of Dwight Yoakam’s character who is the antagonist of the film. He’s the guy that represents everything that was wrong about Karl’s childhood and what set him off then. The ending is kind of shocking, but you understand why it happened and you kind of commend him for doing it. In a way he was saving the boy from a life of agony because it was right in his mind. I absolutely loved the film and I recommend watching it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.