Saturday, December 15, 2007

Movies, Movies, Movies

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In the last couple of weeks, I have watched two movies, and enjoyed them both thoroughly, although they couldn't have been any different.

The first one was "The Long Riders". In my opinion, this was one of the best Westerns ever made. And, it was historically correct, especially in its costumes.

The movie features four sets of brothers in real life, playing four sets of brothers:

David Carradine: Cole Younger
Keith Carradine: Jim Younger
Robert Carradine: Bob Younger

Dennis Quaid: Ed Miller
Randy Quaid: Clell Miller

Christopher Guest: Charlie Ford
Nicholas Guest: Bob Ford

James Keach: Jessie James
Stacey Keach: Frank James

Whoever had the idea of hiring all those brothers to play brothers was brilliant. Since there is some resemblance in each of the four families, it lends credence to the story.

The film also featured Pamela Reed as Belle Starr. You might remember her from "The Right Stuff". She played Gordo Cooper's wife.

"The Long Riders" tells the stories of four outlaw bands of brothers that took up robbing banks after the Civil War. It tells the story of the killing of Jessie James by Bob Ford.

Jessie James once said, "All the world likes an outlaw. For some reason, they remember 'em."

You'll remember these particular outlaws.
I recommend this movie - highly.

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The second movie I watched is "Hairspray". Talk about going from the sublime to the ridiculous. Or, in this case, to the hilarious. This movie had me laughing out loud. The lyrics and dialoge were a scream, and you had to listen closely.

John Travolta was great as Edna Turnblad. His characterization was never over the top. He didn't turn Edna into a caracature at all, which would have been easy to do. And Christopher Walken was superb as Mr. Turnblad. I thought he was kind of overlooked in the midst of all of the other wonderful actors, but he was very funny, too.

Queen Latifah kept things real as Motormouth Maybelle, as did Zac Efron, as Link . Allison Janney was a real scene stealer, but John Travolta and Christopher Walken stopped the entire show with their song and dance number duet.

Nikki Blonsky was great as Tracy Turnblad and Michelle Pfeiffer was hilarious as Velma Van Tussle.

The theme of the movie was all about tolerance, integration and acceptance of others (i.e. fat people). The setting was 1962, and if you think you saw a couple of 1963 model cars, well, you did, but no matter.

Don't miss this one, either.


Kell said...

I love both those movies! Interesting viewing for your weekend.

Annie said...

Those both sound like movies I would enjoy.

Tonight I watched Notes on a Scandal with Judy Densch and Cate Blanchett. A psychological study of a predatory woman, it left me feeling rather sad and hopeless in regard to the life of a desperate, lonely, controlling character.

Betty said...

kell: Re Hairspray. You and I finally agree on a movie! Yay!

annie: I saw Notes on a Scandal and felt sorry for Judi Dench's character, too. But, I also didn't like her very much. Such a good actress.

katy said...

how good is that that they had 4 sets of brothers to play 4 sets of brothers.
hubby would love this film, i might even give it a go.
Hairspray I am so looking forward to watching this one.

Nancy said...


I would never want to try to put one over on YOU....

Imagine being able to spot the fact that a car was a 1963 Model and the picture was taking place in 1962...

You certainly do have an eye for detail.

Kay Dennison said...

Both sound great! I will be taking a look at both!

Joy Des Jardins said...

I've seen The Longriders...and really liked it. I love the whole 'brother thing' going on in it. I haven't seen Hairspray yet...but it's in my Netflix queue...can't wait. Thanks for the reviews Betty.

Betty said...

katy: I hope you enjoy both movies.

nancy: Well, I wouldn't lie to you. I didn't really notice this on my own. I read it on the movie database website. Sorry to disappoint you.

kay: I think you'll like them.

joy des jardins: I'm going to watch Hairspray again, before I send it back.

CarmenSinCity said...

I never saw either one3 of these movies, but they look good!

I've seen like 5 in the past two days.

Fast and Furious Tokyo Drift
The Notebook

and two others that I can't think of right now!

Nancy said...


Well, you certainly are honest. I enjoyed reading the reviews and although I don't usually enjoy Westerns, I will put the one you recommended on my Netflix queue.. My husband will thank you because I know he will like it.

I will also get Hairspray because you say it is funny and I love to laugh.

Thanks for taking the time to tell us about good movies.

jusdealem said...

The Longriders has been one of my favorite movies since I was a teen. I recently bought the DVD for my hubby and he hated it...he has no taste obviously. :)

Lena said...

My hubby adores the Long Riders. Watched it often. I try to get into westerns but often lose track.

Hairsray was fabulous. I saw it at the cinema recently, although I did prefer John Water's original with Debbie Harry. All very kitsch, mind you!

Betty said...

carmensincity: I think you'd especially like Hairspray. John Travolta is a real hoot.

nancy and lena: Actually, The Long Riders isn't a Western in the manner of Roy Rogers or those old movies. It's a real masterpiece of authenticity and history.

jusdealem: What's the matter with your husband, anyway? Doesn't he know good movies when he sees them? LOL

Newt said...

.........................................................................................................................sorry, I was adding those movies to my list.