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I'm currently rewatching The Rocky Horror Picture Show as I type this, and it's really hard not to type the dialogue I'm hearing. Damn it, Janet.

114. (1768.) The Women (1939)
This will be remade in the 50s as a musical called The Opposite Sex (which I did not care for). Talk about a time warp! The sexual politics involved here are practically paleolithic, but by taking all the men off screen, the film makes a more subtle — and frankly unflattering — commentary about the patriarchy's domination of American society. Much, much better than the musical.

115. (1769.) The Hustle (2019)
A gender-swapped remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (which was itself also a remake). I generally think con/heist movies work best when they play bait-and-switch with "reality," building the antici-pation before the reveal. Sadly, here you see the ending coming almost from the beginning. The spy training montage is the highlight. That Rebel Wilson really goes for it.

116. (1770.) Peeper (1975)
From the beginning, this movie presents itself as a parody of noir detective films from decades past. That ain't no crime. What is a crime is that it then proceeds to take itself far too seriously, as though it forgot it was supposed to be in on the joke. (I have to admit that my bias against Natalie Wood, here in the role of the femme fatale, may have played some part in my dissatisfaction. I just don't believe her.)

117. (1771.) The Swimmer (1968)
Burt Lancaster often *acts* too hard here, often calling attention to the very unreality of events. But as this existential nightmare of a warped American Dream gets more surreal, that works to its favor. I liked it a lot.

Drink Coke! (The Swimmer)
Dynamic tension must be hard work. Cool off with Coke!

118. (1772.) Hardcore (1979)
Written by the writer of Taxi Driver, this somehow fails to have any of that movie's depth, which I'd say owes more to Martin Scorsese's true talent as a director than any comparative value between George C. Scott and Robert DeNiro. Other than a very funny scene with Hal Williams as angry pornstar Big Dick Blaque (and a brief cameo by Reb Brown!), I'd say the rest should be avoided when possible.

Drink Coke! (Hardcore)
There's no crime in giving yourself over to pleasure. And yes, I'm talking about Coke.

119. (1773.) The Private Files of J. Edgar Hoover (1977)
When Eddie said he didn't like his teddy, you knew he was a no-good kid. Equal parts salacious and sympathetic, I suspect your enjoyment of this movie will be based largely on your preconceived notion of Hoover and his manipulations to maintain his place in — and his conception of — history. What a guy. Makes you cry. And I did.

Planet, Schmanet, Janet.

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I've been running this here blog for years, and while doing some housecleaning the other day, I discovered that one of my all-time favorite movie clips somehow got lost in one of several server relocations over the years. So I uploaded it to YouTube (which is 3 years younger than this blog) for all to enjoy!

Reb Brown will always be my Captain America!

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This holiday season, take some time to review the things that really matter. Ponder the big questions in life: If Jesus had been a postman, would he have been mailed to the cross? Do you ruin Santa's schedule if you put laxative in his milk and cookies? If I dream of a white christmas, will I be considered a racist by Morgan Freeman?

I was watching one of my favorite movies the other day, the 1979 TV pilot for Captain America. It features one of my favorite actors, Reb Brown. Reb's acting was never very good, but his great physique, good natured delivery, and unintentionally comic timing always made his onscreen performances memorable. (He had quite a bit of work for nearly 2 decades beginning in the mid-seventies, everything from Fantasy Island to Flight of the Intruder.)

To get a better sense of Reb's style, take a look at this clip from the movie. (Check out Simon's double-take to Steve's final statement.) If you've never seen the movie, there are a lot of great moments where it seems that scientist and spy Simon is talking to Steve as though Steve were a special education student. It's great. And it has a big part for Lance LeGault, a member of Elvis' Memphis Mafia and prolific actor who played, among other roles, the A-Team's Col. Decker. Don't worry, you'll recognize him as "that guy with the gravelly voice who always plays assholes."

It's a long way from "Do you think this letter on my head stands for France?" but it's a lot of clean, old-fashioned fun anyway.

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To be continued...


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