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ANDRE'S
MOVIE PICKS

We all love movies, don't we? There are so many types to choose from. I can watch most of them, from the mindless comedies to the mindless fast action thrillers, but there is little to be gained by talking about the Dumb and Dumber, Die Hard or the Terminator films here. I want to hip you to some that you may have missed, some that are silly, and some that may challenge your senses. Of course, I have no problem giving you my reasons for choosing them. Look for them in your video store. Most are also available at the usual online video vendors. Oh, and if you are in one of those households where everybody is moving around as it's playing, talking on the phone or doing the laundry, these are just not for you. Most of these need your full time attention. I'm not a maniac about it, but I like to view a movie at home the way I would in the theater, from front to back with out pausing...and for us, a childless household still allows that. If at all possible, put the phone on recorder, and settle in with all the snacks you need to get through the experience. That's what it is, an experience. For two hours or so, you should forget where you are and go into the fictional world that millions of dollars have painstakingly created for you. Give the film a chance to capture you, and don't let the appearance of an actor that is well known distract you into comparing this role with his/her last one. It has nothing to do with it. The downside of that though, is that I keep throwing money away on Kevin Costner movies! Its Okay to say a few words here and there, but people who talk constantly should be politely told to SHUT THE HELL UP!!

Anything else? Yes... Not everyone can have a big screen TV, but just about everyone can run the audio from the separate "audio out" connections in the back of their VCR into their stereo system. The improvement in audio really helps the viewing.

I saw this again recently on cable TV. Its been about 25 years and this spoof of Westerns is still as funny as hell. Mel Brooks misses big time in some of his movies, but when he hits, he hits big. A small town in the Old West, terrorized by bandits, sends to the Govenor for a new sherriff. The late Cleavon Little plays the sherriff, and the scene when he arrives in town for the first time still makes me laugh loud and hard. An all time favorite scene is when they are welcoming the new sheriff.... "Excuse me while I whip this out".

BROTHER FROM ANOTHER PLANET This was one of director John Sayles earliest films. It's a very low budget independent film that also introduced actor Joe Morton to the world. He plays an alien that escaped captivity, and fled to Earth, pursued by his captors. There's no special effects flash here, this film makes more of a social statement. The "brother" moves around Harlem experiencing life and trying to find his place in this new world. The people he meets take him as just being slow. The scene in the bar the first time the bad guys come looking for the "brother" makes me cry with laughter. It's the last line of that scene that gets me every time.

If you are not familiar with the style of director Jim Jarmursh, you will have some adjusting to do. This film is set in the Louisiana bayou, with people that time forgot. No heros, no sunny days. Be well rested, and have no distractions going on when you view this. The pacing of this film is it's charm. It moves so slow, it feels like it is running in real time. It could qualify as an "art film", but it really doesn't try that hard to get arty. I think it defies classification. John Waite and John Lurie are so good, so natural, it seems they're not acting at all, just two bums caught up in their separate messes and end up "down by law". You could easily hate it, and some people I know think it's the cure for insomnia. But if you love it, you'll really love it. You may not even know why. The better films are like that. See for yourself.

This foreign-produced film has a collection segments that are independent of each other except for taxicabs as a common thread. It shows the people that interact as they pass through that cab ride. Two of the segments are in the U.S.A., but the most interesting segment to me takes place in France. Excellent dialogue throughout. Like a Woody Allen film without the old pervert. In the L.A. segment, Gena Rowlands is a modeling agent that "discovers" some untapped talent. Winona Ryder is a serious "Diamond in the Rough", and plays it very well. In the NYC segment, Giancarlo Esposito tries to get a cab home, and meets a likeable, if not stereotyped cabbie (Hans Mueller). Rosie Perez comes on the scene and the profanity explodes in classic "new Yawk" style. It's not for when the kids are up.


These two films are visual masterpieces.
Not a single word is said in either of them, and it doesn't need to. The cinematography has a life of it's own. I'll refer to them as "koy" and "pow", because its going to drive me nuts to type each name every time. First, "Koy". It was made in the late 70's. The film takes you on a journey from the purest, natural places on earth, and takes you along on a journey through the increasing intrusion of technology that comes with modern man's progress. Philip Glass provides the soundtrack. Glass does test your sense of what's considered music, and it lends itself more to sound effects than medlody. If you are familiar with his style, it gets you far. I can't even do much to prepare you for these two films. You just have to watch.
Pow is the so called sequel. To call it that is to identify it as being from the same filmmaking collective as those of Koy, but it is so much more. Pow shows the human side of the world. The film goes heavily into the third world cultures, and they are like other worlds. Developed countries take so much for granted. POW shows life as its lived in places we know very little about. It's a real eye opener. Try to catch them both, and if you can, watch KOY first. Both films may be impossible to find for rent. Try W.W.W.Blockbusters.com because you might need to buy both on tape to see them.




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