American Graffiti

amgrafdvdWhere were you in ’62……

Fans of George Lucas and his Star Wars fantasy films often overlook this small masterpiece. I doubt George knew what a great film he had going, filming in a very quick 29 days and casting virtually unknown actors. This may be the ultimate cruising movie, powered with a who’s who of soundtracks, it is almost like you are taking a ride yourself for two hours.

This film follows a group of teenagers for one night, that have just graduated high school, and the dilemmas they face about school, relationships and growing up. Curt, played by Richard Dreyfuss (Jaws, Mr Holland’s Opus), and Steve, played by Ron Howard (Music Man, Happy Days), are supposed to go off to college the next morning and Curt is having second thoughts. Steve is working on finalizing leaving town, getting Terry the Toad to watch his car and having the relationship talk with Curt’s sister, Laurie, played by Cindy Williams (Laverne & Shirley). Harrison Ford (Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark), plays Bob Falfa, who spends the evening tracking down John Milner to challenge him in a drag race. All of this teenage drama is pulled together by the voice over the radio, their idol, Wolfman Jack, the common thread for everyone in the film.

This film, nominated for 5 Oscars in 1973 including Best Picture, is a great ride to take. Having never lived in 62, cruised in those cars, danced to that music, this movie will leave you feeling you have lived it all. I highly recommend this film to everyone.

“Get your bugaloos out baby! The Wolfman is everywhere. ”  –Wolfman Jack

Angels and Demons

angels_and_demons

This film was interesting throughout, and thought it was just as good as The Da Vinci Code. If course working in an art field, it doesn’t hurt that they are darting from church to church in Rome looking at ancient statues doesn’t hurt a thing for me.

The only thing that really did bother me in the movie was that Ewan McGregor’s character jumped into the helicopter and took off as if he were a flying ace with hours of flight time. Yet, in a high position in the Catholic church, something that I think would take years of dedication, I really doubt he could have spent enough time flying to react like that. Oh well, we are talking about movies here. And my wife pointed out that there was mention in a line about the character doing something in aeronautics, an obvious line to justify his later actions.

Tom Hanks (Philadelphia, Forrest Gump) was his usual inquisitive bookworm type character already developed in the previous film, and his performance was good, but nothing groundbreaking. Armin Mueller-Stahl (Eastern Promises, X-Files: Fight the Future) and Stellan Skarsgård (Good Will Hunting) had the most interesting characters since their stance on the mystery at hand is not really as it seems.

This might be a movie that I will enjoy even more a second time, knowing the outcome, might pick up on more interesting details. To me this is a very entertaining film. Worth checking out.