1970’s

[4.0] In one of Disney Animation’s weaker efforts, a jealous butler seeks to do away with a mother cat and her three kittens before their owner can bequeath her fortunes to the furry little bastards. I can’t blame him, really. The cats are annoying, snobby little characters with sticks so far up their asses, they are incapable of exuding much charm or engendering much sympathy. …

[5.0] George C. Scott’s charisma is the best thing Patton has going for it. The film is a pastiche of the famous (and infamous) army general’s career through World War II, including his successful invasion of Sicily, media blunders resulting in military reprimand, and his eventual aid in the fall of the Third Reich. The film initially paints Patton as a hard-ass who gets the …

[7.0] A pair of New York city narcotics cops try to bust a big heroin deal being brokered between suspected mobsters and a French connection. But one of the cops, ‘Popeye’ Doyle (Gene Hackman), has a history of recklessness and threatens to lead his partner (Roy Scheider) down another dangerous rabbit hole in his obsessive pursuit of the drug dealers. Based on a true story …

[6.5] The Pom Pom Girls stands out from the grindhouse pack for me. The title is actually a misnomer, as there are precious few moments with any cheerleaders. The movie is really about two high-school boys and their girlfriends making love, participating in pranks, and enjoying the last year of their lives together before graduation. The only thing driving a conventional plot is a big …

[5.5] Steve Martin and director Carl Reiner team up for this absurdist, serendipitous comedy about a poor country boy who leaves his family to discover what the big city has to offer him. Martin’s character is an oblivious man-child whose ignorance and confusion sees him through a series of comic set-pieces that give The Jerk a skit-comedy feel for a while. Highlights include a gas …

[5.0] This dopey but harmless summer camp movie helped lead the charge of ’80s teen comedies that would follow in its wake. It’s tame by comparison, but noteworthy for being the first pairing of director Ivan Reitman and actor Bill Murray, who would later bring us Stripes and Ghostbusters. Fellow frequent collaborator Harold Ramis is even one of the screenwriters here. But there’s not a …

[7.0] A young man named Smitty (Wendell Burton) goes to prison and immediately falls into a brutal struggle for power and supremacy. He reluctantly enters into a submissive relationship with one of his roommates, a tough guy named Rocky (Zooey Hall) who promises to protect him from gang rapes in exchange for sexual servitude. He also observes how a drag queen named Queenie (Michael Greer) …

[7.5] Jack Weston stars in this gay-themed screwball comedy based on a stage play by Terrence McNally (Love! Valour! Compassion!). Weston plays a frumpy, middle-aged man hiding out in a New York bath house from a brother (Jerry Stiller) who plans to kill him so he won’t inherit the family business. At the bath house, Weston meets a handful of bizarre characters who end up …

[6.5] This American/Japanese animated venture would be the first feature-length movie journey into J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. Produced by Rankin/Bass (Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, The Last Unicorn) and animated by the studio that would later become Studio Ghibli, The Hobbit is a brisk 77-minute adaptation that features many folksy songs and a notable voice cast led by John Huston as Gandalf. While it may be …

[7.5] Documentary filmmakers Albert and David Maysles (Gimme Shelter) bring us inside the isolated world of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis’ eccentric aunt and first cousin, ‘Big’ Edie and ‘Little’ Edie Beale. The women, 79 and 57 respectively, live in squalor at the title mansion, a dilapidated house full of garbage, cats, and raccoons. As former socialites and entertainers, they spend their days reminiscing about the past, …

1 2 3 14