Tag Archives: Dick Cavett

The Set of 400: #36 – My Favorite Million Dollar Wound

Today! Because we was always taking long walks, and we was always looking for a guy named Charlie –

Forrest Gump (1994)

Directed by Robert Zemeckis (x5)

Starring Tom Hanks (x7), Robin Wright (x3), Sally Field (x3), Gary Sinese, Mykelti Williamson, Haley Joel Osment (x2), Sam Anderson, Siobhan Fallon (x3), Afemo Omilami, Michael Jace, Richard D’Alessandro, Dick Cavett (x2), Michael Conner Humphreys, Hanna Hall

To be a fan of Forrest Gump in 1994 was decidedly uncool. This was a year of pretty bad ass, cutting edge cinema – what with Speed and Pulp Fiction and The Shawshank Redemption and True Lies and that baddest ass shouting match in cinema history, #317 Blue Chips. ’94 had it all for bros and dudes alike. And then you had Forrest Gump. Everyone’s mom loved Forrest Gump. The soundtrack was straight out of 1969. It had a boatload of dopey quotes and silly cameos by Elvis and John Lennon. It boiled down all of American history and southern racism into little bite sized comedic nuggets, and then hurled AIDS into the mix just to find an ending. Dammit, Forrest Gump!

This is the same movie where he tells LBJ he got shot in the buttocks!

However, as the years went by, and the general schmaltziness of this movie dissipated once it no longer had to be directly compared to the other films of ’94, Gump sort of rose above its initial impressions. I mean, it was a massive hit in its day, and it won Best Picture against all odds, fairness, and logic, so it’s not like it needed to find an audience or acceptance or anything, but for the slightly snobby guy element, obsessed with the vanguard of exciting new cinema in the early ’90s, Gump was a sugary throwback epic, even for all its fancy special effects. I enjoyed it well enough the first time around, but ’94 was just too much cinematically for a full embrace of this movie. Continue reading

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The Set of 400: #122 – My Favorite Harry Belafonte Musical

Today! Because I lived through the Black Plague and had a pretty good time during that –

Beetlejuice (1988)

Directed by Tim Burton (x4)

Starring Alec Baldwin (x2), Geena Davis (x2), Michael Keaton (x8), Winona Ryder (x2), Catherine O’Hara (x4), Jeffrey Jones (x3), Sylvia Sidney (x2), Glenn Shadix (x3), Robert Goulet (x3), Dick Cavett, Susan Kellerman, Adelle Lutz, Tony Cox (x3)

What I’m always surprised by when watching Beetlejuice nowadays is how long it takes to get to Beetlejuice himself. Like, it’s nearly an hour into things when he finally shows up, and how much of the movie is he even in? Like twenty minutes? Did the cartoon really warp memories of this movie so much that I think of the film as the Beetle-and-Lydia show, even though they share no happy times together?

One of the oldest ticket stubs I have (I’ve got basically every movie stub since ’87, fools!), Beetlejuice thrilled nine-year-old me to no end. I doubt I knew at the time that this was the director of another young Joe favorite, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, and certainly wasn’t aware that this creative team was deep in pre-production making the transformative movie of my young life – Batman. Allegedly, it was Beetlejuice‘s box office success that got Burton’s Batman greenlit for definite, after years of it bouncing between screenwriters and directors. So thanks, Ghost with the Most!

Our hero!

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