Well, it’s December 31ST and if you are still with me it could only mean one thing and that is that not only is it the end of 2016, but it is also the end of the challenge. To finish up the challenge, I wanted to check out a film from Carrie Fisher (Star Wars: Episode IV-A New Hope) as I had done for so many others that passed in 2016. So, I chose The Man With One Red Shoe for today’s film. A major screw up in Morocco puts a CIA director (Charles Durning) in a very bad spot as his rival Cooper (Dabney Coleman) looks to take advantage of the situation during a senate hearing. To keep Cooper busy, he has one of his men set up a poor unknowing violinist named Richard (Tom Hanks) in the middle of it all. The film also stars Lori Singer (Footloose) as Maddy, Carrie Fisher as Paula, Edward Herrmann (The Town That Dreaded Sundown) as Brown, Jim Belushi (Home Sweet Hell) as Morris, Tom Noonan (Last Action Hero) as Reese, Gerrit Graham (Child’s Play 2) as Carson, David L. Lander (Titan A.E.) as Stemple, Irving Metzman (WarGames) as Virdon, Dortha Duckworth (The Honeymoon Killers) as Natalie, and the film was directed by Stan Dragoti (Necessary Roughness).
I never thought that when I started this challenge 366 days ago that I was actually going to finish only because I had tried before and failed a couple of times. Tom Hanks is one of those guys that you can depend on when watching a film because he is money. That is why when I was searching for a Carrie Fisher film and I saw that he was in this, I jumped on the opportunity. The film is listed as a thriller, but it’s mostly a comedy as you watch these CIA agents struggle to get an angle on Tom Hanks character. One of my favorite scenes in the film involves Jim Belushi who goes over to Hanks’s apartment to confront him about an affair that he is having with Carrie. As soon as he sees bodies on the floor in the apartment, he leaves only to see Hanks on the streets. As he tells Tom all about it, they go inside the apartment and the bodies are gone. Belushi goes to the fridge to grab a drink and sees a body, but when Hanks does, he grabs him a drink and now Belushi believes he is going crazy. It’s the kind of comedy I love and there is plentiful in the film as there are some great names of comedy in this film. Carrie kind of had a minor role in the film, but she makes an impact with her scenes. This is one of those early Tom Hanks comedies that he always did before he got serious in the acting game. The cinematography was pretty good in the film especially with scenes like the train stopping scene which was part of a cool chase scene. As we say goodbye to Carrie Fisher, we also say goodbye to the challenge which has been completed. I am going to give the film an B+ for a final grade.
2016 has truly been one of the worst years for celebrity deaths as so many legends of music, sports, and the silver screen have passed away. Well, 2016 has claimed another legend of the silver screen. Some of you may remember her as Princess Leia in Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope all the way through Episode VII- The Force Awakens which was released last year. Of course, I am talking about Carrie Fisher who passed away today at the age of 60 from the effects of a heart attack she suffered when trying to travel last week from London to Los Angeles. They grounded the plane and took her to a nearby hospital for treatment, but she has passed away. The terrible news was confirmed by her daughter Billie Lourd as a statement was read saying, “It is with a very deep sadness that Billie Lourd confirms that her beloved mother Carrie Fisher passed away at 8:55 this morning.” The statement Lourd wrote also said, “She was loved by the world and she will be missed profoundly. Our entire family thanks you for your thoughts and prayers.”
Carrie Fisher was born on October 21, 1956 in Beverly Hills, CA to entertainers Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds. After escaping Hollywood in 19973, she would enroll at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London where she spent her time studying to be an actress. Carrie would return to Hollywood in 1975 where she made her debut in the Warren Beatty film Shampoo before making her jump to play the iconic Princess Leia in the Star Wars films. Besides the Sci-Fi classic franchise, she would star in films like The Burbs, Hannah And Her Sisters, The Blues Brothers, When Harry Met Sally, The Man with One Red Shoe, Wonderland, Jay And Silent Bob Strike Back, Scream 3, Loverboy, and so many more. In 1983, she would marry musician Paul Simon to which the marriage is often described as explosive (according to People.com), but the couple would ultimately divorce in 1984. She was also very open about her drug addiction in the past which was talked about in a book by her called Postcards From The Edge which was later turned into a film that starred Meryl Streep. No matter what, she will be surely missed by all who loved her work whether it be the films or the one person Broadway stage show Wishful Drinking. She is survived by her daughter Billie Lourd from a relationship she had with talent agent Bryan Lourd. R.I.P. Carrie Fisher (1956-2016).
There are movies for this challenge that I promised myself that I was going to watch before it was over and today’s film is one of those said films. One of the greatest composers of the 18TH century was the virtuoso Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and for today’s film I decided to watch the 1984 film Amadeus. Antonio Salieri (F. Murray Abraham) likes to believe that he is a great composer and writer of classical music, but he had to work hard for it. Unlike his counterpart Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (Tom Hulce) who was born with a natural talent and ability that it drives Salieri mad with jealousy. The film is Salieri’s take on what drove him to the point that he would actually murder the young prodigy. The film also stars Elizabeth Berridge (The Funhouse) as Constanze Mozart, Roy Dotrice (Hellboy II: The Golden Army) as Leopold Mozart, Christine Ebersole (The Wolf Of Wall Street) as Katerina Cavalieri, Jeffrey Jones (The Crucible) as Emperor Joseph II, Kenneth McMillan (Dune) as Michael Schlumberg, Charles Kay (Henry V) as Count Orsini-Rosenberg, Cynthia Nixon (Sex And The City) as Lorl, Kenny Baker (Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope) as Parody Commendatore, Simon Callow (James And The Giant Peach) as Emanuel Schikaneder, and the film was directed by Milos Forman (The People Vs Larry Flynt).
I just want to warn all of you with short attention spans that this film is a little over three hours long so if you can handle it then proceed. Amadeus is definitely one of those films that they went all out for because it has an amazing score, amazing set designs, amazing costumes, and most importantly great acting that makes it complete. The soundtrack features so much as far as amazing 18TH century classical music and amazing opera music that should satisfy any fan of that genre. The set designs and costumes were so amazing that it actually makes you feel like you are walking and living in 18TH Century Austria which is what a time period piece is supposed to do in the first place. One thing I do know is that this is actually a fictionalized look at the life of Mozart or at least the idea of Salieri killing Mozart. Mozart died of an illness that is often debated as to what it was exactly. When he was working on his Requiem, it said that he dictated in bed to one of his proteges and not Salieri (although this is not proven either). F. Murray Abraham was absolutely brilliant in his portrayal of a man driven with jealousy and hatred toward God and Mozart. Tom Hulce is brilliant as the virtuoso who if he was a lead singer he would have had LSD (Lead Singers Disease). He knew he was amazing and he wasn’t afraid to show it. I was a little skeptical of Jeffrey Jones playing an Austrian Emperor, but he does a pretty good job at it. You really have to love classical music and Mozart to want to watch this film, but I am a fan of music so I loved it. I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.
I was inspired today by a simple conversation and there was an animated film that I had never seen that I wanted to. I chose to watch the 1993 animated film Batman: Mask Of The Phantasm which featured the voice of Kevin Conroy (Batman: The Animated Series) as Batman. In the film, a mysterious figure is murdering all of the crime bosses of Gotham City and it’s getting blamed on Batman. All of these things are starting to happen as soon as an old flame (Dana Delany) from Batman’s past re-enters his life. Now it’s up to Batman to find out just who is killing these men before anyone else is taken out for good, but he’ll have to dig deep to figure it out. The film also stars Mark Hamill (Star Wars: Episode IV- A New Hope) as The Joker, Hart Bochner (Die Hard) as Arthur Reeves, Stacey Keach (American History X) as Phantasm, Abe Vigoda (The Godfather) as Sal Valestra, Dick Miller (Gremlins) as Chuckie Sol, Efrem Zimbalist Jr (Hot Shots!) as Alfred, Bob Hastings (General Hospital) as Commissioner Gordon, John P. Ryan (It’s Alive) as Buzz Bronski, and the film was directed by Eric Radomski and Bruce W. Timm.
I want to start this by saying that I absolutely loved this film and if you were a fan of that Batman: The Animated Series (which was the best) then you will love this one. You can’t have a Batman film without The Joker and he makes an appearance in this one. Mark Hamill created an iconic voice for The Joker that is absolutely untouchable in my opinion. The great thing is that both Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill are returning for the rated R animated film The Killing Joke and that has me excited. The film has all the aesthetics that you loved about the animated series where it’s dark and it takes place in the 50’s so the clothing and styles are amazing. The film kind of goes an explains a little about Batman’s past through some flashbacks that we get about his relationship with Andrea and how he got started as Batman. I also love the hints of comedy that they throw into the film as well with Alfred and his untimely entrances into a room when Bruce is busy with the ladies. The film is amazing, the story is great, and the kids can certainly watch it and I suggest you educate them on this series as it’s still untouchable in my opinion. I am going to give Batman: The Mask Of Phantasm an A- for a final grade.