Bride of Blurbians

Misery (1990) ***1/2 Electrifying, shocking (at the time) drama about a once-popular novelist who’s just killed off his main character – and who is now trapped in a snowbound cabin with his number-one fan, who’s none too pleased. Grisly at times, but taut direction and strong performances by James Caan and Kathy Bates are huge assets. One of the few adaptations of Stephen King stories to succeed on the big screen.

M*A*S*H (1970) ***1/2 Acerbic, knowing satire of war in general, this one centering on the conflict in Korea. Decidedly non-PC – can you imagine a character named Spearchucker in a movie from today? – Robert Altman succeeds in skewering the hypocrisy of armed conflict. Stellar ensemble cast, including Donald Sutherland, Robert Duvall, Elliot Gould, and Tom Skerrit.

Beverly Hills Cop (1984) ***1/2 Eddie Murphy’s iconic Axel Foley travels from the mean streets of Detroit to solve a buddy’s murder out in the titular town, running into bad guys and dumb, clean cops galore. Film notable for Murphy’s commanding performance, including his rousting of a redneck bar. Excellent soundtrack.

Pump Up The Volume (1990) *** Rebellious teen runs a pirate radio station from the back of his car, raises rabble (students) against The Man (teachers, admins). Christian Slater brings a cocky nihilism to the proceedings in an underrated performance. Great soundtrack.

Major League (1989) *** The Cleveland Indians stink and play to empty stadiums at home, so their new owner wants them to stink even more so she can justify moving them to Florida. Guess what happens. Great baseball scenes, and the cast – including Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, and Charlie Sheen has a good time. Yes, it’s true; Wild Thing makes our heart sing.

A Hard Day’s Night (1964) **** A day in the life of the Fab Four as imagined by director Richard Lester. Plenty of hit Beatles tunes; free-form plot serves the free spirits of the group very well.

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