List of Four — #1

I had a playwriting instructor during my second year of college who was accused of playing favorites with his students who were adept with comedy. There was probably some truth to this accusation, but it didn’t bother me much as I was one of his students who specialized in humor. This professor was clearly a man who appreciated comedy. Most of the peer examples that he used in class were by those of us with considerable skill with comedic dialogue, and a good number of the well-known professional examples that we were required to view or read the scripts to for grades were comedies. He once said something during lecture (in re: comedy) that I have never forgotten. I’m paraphrasing: It’s easy to make an audience cry. He told us that there are universal things that just about everybody on the planet finds traumatizing or sad (having a child die or killing an animal were the two examples he gave in class), but that there was no way of knowing what might make every single person in an audience laugh. Our individual senses of humor, according to this professor, are like snowflakes or fingerprints.

I will be honest and admit that I haven’t done a whole lot of movie watching lately. My work schedule has been just to the left of insane, and I spend most of my free time sleeping. There has been little time for television and even less time for writing. I’ve spent the hour or two before I retire in the morning (I work third shift) reading comic books or a novel because it honestly helps me sleep. When I do take the opportunity to watch some television, it is usually in the evening, in the hour-and-a-half or so that falls between putting the children to bed and heading out the door to drive to work. During this time, I watch Star Trek reruns, get caught up on the most recent season of Superstore, or get lost in reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond (don’t judge me– the cast is top notch). I watch these things because I have seen them before and they are comforting to me.

Comforting. That’s the operative word for me right now. I need the comfort of familiarity. I’m struggling with day to day. I was anxious most of the time about the recent presidential election. I am still feeling lost and adrift, surrounded by co-workers and family who are ardent supporters or vehement apologists for a President who has, for the first time in my life, made me ashamed to be an American. The pandemic looms over everything. It’s not a great time for my mental health right now, but I am trying to find positivity in the aspects of my life that I can control. My wife and kids. A handful of close confidantes. Comic books. And reruns of old comedies that make me laugh every time.

As I’ve mentioned, the time that I have available to write has been sadly lacking, but I do find it important that I keep the blog rolling. I appreciate that I have a good number of readers that are following my writings. To that end, I find it important to keep the content fresh, even if I don’t necessarily have a new entry for an individual film. I also wanted to keep things positive as well.

There’s a new feature at Cinematic Rabbit Hole, friends. You may see a few of these entries over the next few months. They will be easier for me to write. They will provide readers with new content while I work on the longer entries (I have three entries still in process, one of which that may be capable of getting my inter-connected labyrinth back on track). These entries are not intended to replace normal content. They are intended to invite discussion. I hope you enjoy it.

In the spirit of remaining positive, our first List of Four (which is what I am intending to call this feature) is Four Comedies That Make Me Laugh Every Single Time:

Continue reading “List of Four — #1”

Eastwood Reviews — #9

Kelly's Heroes Poster

“This isn’t Geneva, Colonel.”

Kelly’s Heroes (1970)
Directed by Brian G. Hutton
Written by Troy Kennedy Martin
144 minutes, rated GP

It should be noted that while I do believe very strongly in the wonderment of an audience experiencing a movie’s twists and turns on their own, these reviews will not shy away from spoilers if they are necessary to discussion of the film.

Quick rating: 2/5

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“Be excellent to each other!”

Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure Poster

Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure  (1989)
Directed by Stephen Herek
Written by Christian Matheson and Ed Solomon
Starring Keanu Reeves, Alex Winter, George Carlin, Terry Camilleri, Dan Shor, Tony Steedman, Rod Loomis, Al Leong, Jane Wiedlin, Robert V. Barron, Clifford David, and Hal Landon, Jr.
90 minutes, Rated PG

Continue reading ““Be excellent to each other!””

Eastwood reviews — #7

Paint Your Wagon Poster“The one sacred thing, even to low scuff like me, is a man’s pardner.”

Paint your Wagon (1969)
Directed by Joshua Logan
Written by Alan Jay Lerner and Paddy Chayefsky
164 minutes, Rated M (rated PG-13 as of 2001)

It should be noted that while I do believe very strongly in the wonderment of an audience experiencing a movie’s twists and turns on their own, these reviews will not shy away from spoilers if they are necessary to discussion of the film.

Quick rating: 1/5

Continue reading “Eastwood reviews — #7”

“Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.”

Previous Entry: Forrest Gump
Connection: director (Robert Zemeckis)
Current Entry:

Back to the Future Poster

Back to the Future (1985)
Directed by Robert Zemeckis
Written by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale
Starring Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Crispin Glover, and Thomas F. Wilson
116 minutes, rated PG

Continue reading ““Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.””

“Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand. It’s a tale of good and evil.”

Previous Entry: Jacob’s Ladder
Connection: actor (Danny Aiello)
Current Entry:

Do the Right Thing Poster

Do The Right Thing (1989)
Directed by Spike Lee
Written by Spike Lee
Starring Danny Aiello, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Richard Edson, Giancarlo Esposito, Bill Nunn, John Turturro, and Spike Lee
120 minutes, rated R

Continue reading ““Let me tell you the story of Right Hand, Left Hand. It’s a tale of good and evil.””

“I named the littlest guys. Flotsam and Jetsam. Isn’t that cute?”

Previous Entry: Tremors
Connection: screenwriter (Brent Maddock & S. S. Wilson)
Current Entry:

*batteries not included Poster

*batteries not included (1987)
Directed by Matthew Robbins
Written by Brad Bird & Matthew Robbins and Brent Maddock & S. S. Wilson
Starring Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Frank McRae, Elizabeth Pena, Michael Carmine, and Dennis Boutsikaris
106 minutes, rated PG

Continue reading ““I named the littlest guys. Flotsam and Jetsam. Isn’t that cute?””

“I vote for outer space. No way these are local boys.”

Previous Entry: Angus
Connection: cinematographer (Alexander Gruszynski)
Current Entry:

Tremors Poster
Tremors (1990)
Directed by Ron Underwood
Written by S. S. Wilson & Brent Maddock
Starring Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Finn Carter, Michael Gross, Reba McEntire, Victor Wong, Bobby Jacoby, and Ariana Richards
96 minutes, rated PG-13

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“Do not open if you are Superman.”

Previous Entry: Three O’Clock High
Connection: setting (high school)
Current Entry:

Angus Poster

Angus (1995)
Directed by Patrick Read Johnson
Written by Jill Gordon
Starring Charlie Talbert, George C. Scott, Kathy Bates, Chris Owen, Ariana Richards, Rita Moreno, and James Van Der Beek
90 minutes, rated PG-13

Continue reading ““Do not open if you are Superman.””