Films

Gunslinging Dentist?

Doc Holliday, gunslinger, deputy marshal, gambler and forever connected, through his friendship with Wyatt Earp, to the famous gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Before I go on…if you are looking for historical accuracy, you won’t find it here. Just a look at Doc Holliday in Tombstone (1993). So, where was I?

Oh yes. So…having watched him in Tombstone played by Val Kilmer, you probably know that he was suffering from tuberculosis. You’ll also know that he was an avid gambler (which I believe was a respectable profession back in the day). Doc Holliday, born John Henry Holliday, continues gambling and drinking despite his illness.

oie_yqU5SVcKigzSWhat never fails to amaze me (and, I really admire him for it), is that, no matter how ill he is, he is there for his friend Wyatt. As for Val Kilmer, to me he is the star in this movie portraying the sickly, and later dying, Doc so convincingly. What a fabulous character both externally and internally. A man, who claims he wasn’t as ill as he looked so he could face Johnny Ringo rather than have Wyatt take the risk. Or, who got out there to ride posse and did what needed doing despite feeling dreadful. “I’m in my prime” he proudly announces when Johnny Ringo questions if he has also retired from the law despite his obvious suffering.

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“I’m in my prime”

What I appreciate is that he doesn’t rely on the excuse that he is sick and therefore has no need to put himself out there…quite the contrary, I think he knows his days are numbered and therefore makes sure he puts himself out there. What does he have to lose, after all? I think his last scene emphasises this in that he asks Wyatt to leave before he dies – the Doc Holliday doesn’t want to be seen as vulnerable.

But, can you imagine him treating your pearly whites? Didn’t think so. Yes, he was also a dentist, having been admitted to the degree at the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery. He even worked in a dental practice before heading to a warmer climate because of his tuberculosis. While Tombstone doesn’t mention this directly, there is reference to the fact that he is an educated man in the wonderful bar-scene “duel” with him and Johnny Ringo (Michael Biehn, also fantastic in this role) showing off their Latin and gun-spinning talents.

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Quite an interesting character this Doc Holliday. Isn’t he? And perfect for this Medicine in the Movies Blogathon as he is both a patient and doctor.

As for Tombstone, if you haven’t watched this one, it’s high time you do. A wonderful movie narrated by Robert Mitchum and starring a host of well known actors including Kurt Russell, Sam Elliot, Bill Paxton, Powers Booth and many, many more.

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The Lake House (2 Reel Quirky Cats (P)reviews No 2)

(A Random Trailer (P)review)

My guilty pleasure selection for our 2 Reel Quirky Cats collaboration is The Lake House (2006). With so many choices, it was realweegiemidget‘s guilty pleasure Point Break (1991) that reminded me of Keanu Reeves and voila! my selection:

The Lake House has Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves both living in a lake house 2 years apart yet at the same time (if that makes sense). They discover a method of communicating by means of letters left in the postbox. Gradually they fall in love despite the time gap.

Tagline: What if you found the one you were meant for… but you lived 2 years apart?

I’d originally found out about this one from my mother who out of the blue (and to my surprise) had a conversation with me along the lines of “There’s a movie coming out I want to watch. Will you come along?”, “Oh, ok? Which one? You don’t normally know what is showing”, “Keanu Reeves is in it. I like him”…well, I never…

Despite having watched this movie a number of times, this is the first time I’ve actually seen the trailer. It has been cut together really beautifully and gives a good idea as to what the story is about but, thank goodness, without giving away anything (or too much). What it does do, is give me the shivers (the good ones) because I love watching the snippets showing the communication between the two and their relationship forming. And all in an “unrushed” pace, taking its time. Who wouldn’t be curious as to how a love with a time gap could feel more real than one experienced in the same time sphere? How will this all turn out? When you finally get to watching it in full, it will be just as lovely.

In fact, when I’ve finished writing up this post, I’m going to pull out the DVD for a watch. I’ve been tempted 😉 Perfect winter watching (yes, it is just about winter here) with a cup of hot chocolate.

Despite the many criticisms and potential plot holes (which I don’t look out for), I love this movie purely for the tale. Not being a fan of time-travel movies, this one was different. Enjoyable. Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves once again work well together and I almost enjoy them more here than in Speed. I’ve just read that the dog Jack was named after Keanu‘s character in Speed in honour of the two leads. How true this is, I don’t know. But hey…sounds fun. Oh, and the music is courtesy of Rachel Portman who always gives us wonderful soundtracks.

realweegiemidget has her thoughts on this one here. If you’re up to adding your few tweets’ worth then head over to @2ReelQuirkyCats on Twitter.

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The Search for Screwball…

So, it is only thanks to this wonderful world of blogging (more specifically, a certain blogger) that I’ve come to understand the term “Screwball Comedy”. Ok, so, maybe not understand, but rather encounter the term. For me, romantic comedies were just romantic comedies. Yes, I’ve seen many of those which are classified as screwball but didn’t think much of the definition. Only when this Addicted to Screwball Blogathon came up, did I decide to look a bit deeper into this sub-genre…a search for screwball.

What is a screwball comedy and which one of the “modern” or “new-ish” movies I enjoy can be placed into this genre? Let’s have a look:

Obviously, it is a comedy (and strictly speaking, I think, comes from the 1930s and 40s) but the emphasis is funny/farce/slapstick which results in a bit of a goofy courtship, so, sorry but no prince charming approach. And, definitely some agony and pain involved but not the emotional, romantic type, no, the less theatrical more physical not-to-be-taken-too-seriously type. I’ve also read that often, the poor guy in the relationship has not an inkling that he is even in this warped courtship. The leading lady, wacky and offbeat, drives the relationship and often encounters a rival for affection for the poor bloke in question. There tend to be exaggerated situations coming from bantering battles between the “leads”. Oh dear, screwball life really is oddball, isn’t it?

Now that I think I know what Screwball Comedy is, time to find some movies that might fit the bill. Being a techie, out comes Excel and a list of the recent-ish movies I’ve seen that are “comedy” or “romantic comedy” is made. Zero in on wacky leading ladies, followed by a battle of the genders/comic courtship. Finally, gut-feel to discard what doesn’t feel right. Here are a few that I came up with…apologies if I’m way off the mark but I tried:

The Truth About Cats and Dogs

Addicted to Love

Mr. and Mrs. Smith

I’m with Lucy

New in Town

Watching the Detectives

One Fine Day

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Once again, apologies if I’m totally off the mark or left any out. Not such an easy thing to classify, I’ve discovered.

References:
Gehring, Wes D, “Romantic vs. Screwball Comedy: Charting the Difference”, 16 Oct 2002, Scarecrow Press

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The Lost Boys (1987) – Decades Blogathon

We’re onto Day 3 of the Decades Blogathon – ‘7’ edition – hosted by myself and Tom from the brilliant blog Thomas J. The blogathon focuses on movies that were released in the seventh year of the decade. Tom and I are running a different entry each day (we’ll also reblog the other’s post) and […]

via Decades Blogathon – The Lost Boys (1987) — three rows back

Or read it here: (more…)

Point Break (2 Reel Quirky Cats (P)reviews No 1)

(A Random Trailer (P)review)

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Finally I can reveal realweegiemidget‘s guilty pleasure: Point Break (1991). If you haven’t seen it yet (like me), then here’s the trailer:

From what I’ve seen and read, an FBI agent goes undercover amongst a group of surfers he thinks are behind a number of bank robberies.

I’ve been meaning to watch this one for years because I enjoy watching Keanu Reeves. Having said this, the strange thing is that I’d never watched the trailer until now. It comes across as a great fun 90s movie with all the action, romance, drama and sport rolled into one.

Rookie agent Johnny Utah (Reeves) and his senior/mentor/partner Angelo Pappas (Gary Busey) appear to make a fine team with some comic moments. Bodhi (Patrick Swayze) heads up the suspect gang (well, I think it is the suspect gang). From the look of things, our two leads form a friendship that ultimately has Johnny Utah questioning his loyalties. Might be a bit of the cliché situation but hey…looks fun regardless.

The trailer breaks up sections nicely…there’s the whole action/police type setup which then totally changes pace to all the mushy romantic bits and ends with all the extreme sports shots. Going to be interesting to find out how these all tie up.

I’m off to give it a watch…in the meantime, why don’t you head over to @2ReelQuirkyCats for your thoughts on this guilty pleasure? I’ll pop in there too. Have fun!

Or, click on the image below to head over to realweegiemidget and her thoughts (she’s seen the movie after all)

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First Impressions of…Spellbound

I’ve been anticipating Spellbound (1945) for quite a while now pretty much for Gregory Peck but also because I’ve been wanting to see who Ingrid Bergman is (soooorrrrryyy if you are in shock that I’d never seen her. And yes, that means I’ve haven’t seen Casablanca either but that will change soon). You’ll most likely be shocked to know that I’ve never seen an Alfred Hitchcock movie either. Shaking your head in disbelief?

I’ve rectified all that as of yesterday evening.

For those of you who don’t know the story, here you go: Dr Constance Petersen (Ingrid Bergman) is a psychiatrist who falls in love with the new Doctor “Dr Edwards” (Gregory Peck). However, she soon learns that things are not what they seem and that the new doctor is actually an amnesiac imposter who has periodic “attacks” triggered by certain visual cues. Determined to get to the bottom of this and convinced that he is not a murderer or dangerous, she risks her career and safety until the truth comes out.

So, what are my first impressions? Well, I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. Not sure what I was expecting but, as is usually the case, not this. I think I may have expected this high-tension thriller with (subconsciously) some birds thrown in together with some screaming shower scene. Instead, I got a suspense movie that had just enough tension and a great story (including some romance). Despite anticipating the ending, or at least, the outcome, it wasn’t all that obvious and I was kept wondering the whole way through as to how it would unravel.

I’m biased when it comes to Gregory Peck whom I always enjoy watching, but I really like/d Ingrid Bergman. Can’t believe I’d never watched her before. I’m going to give more of her roles a go and definitely more Alfred Hitchcock too.

Nominated for 6 Oscars, the only win went to Miklós Rózsa for Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic or Comedy Picture. This is definitely deserving because the music was actually one thing that stood out for me while watching. Yes, it built up tension (as it usually does), but it was also a comfort mechanism for me because it noticeably preempted the upcoming scenes. This meant I could relax a bit, knowing this wasn’t the end of Constance.

A great movie. Definitely one I’ll watch again.

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Tissues and Tears with a Walk to Remember

What list of tearjerker movies would be complete without a Nicholas Sparks adaptation? OK, OK…give me a chance here…I know not everyone likes the multitude of books-turned-movies….however, I must admit there are some that aren’t bad. But, there is only one that I really find good, very good…and one that has me watching through tears every single time. A Walk to Remember (2002).

The story seems very cliché…bad boy falls in love with good girl…but so what? It’s the emotional experience that counts. The fact that you end up caring so much for these two characters that  you cry! And, for the readers amongst you, the book achieves the same…I remember reading from beginning to end one night and going to bed in the early hours of the morning with bloodshot eyes from crying. I barely managed to see the last few chapters so teary-eyed was I. Three guesses as to what I looked like the next morning…

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The story is very simple yet sweet. Due to some silly teenage initiation/prank gone wrong, Landon Carter (Shane West), the school’s bad boy and cool dude is forced to join the drama club, give extra lessons and other community services rather than get expelled from the school. Jamie Sullivan (Mandy Moore), the school’s good girl who doesn’t care that she gets teased, is voluntarily and happily part of these extra-curricular activities. Through these circumstances, Landon is forced to set aside his pride (or arrogance) and interact with Jamie. Gradually, his preconceived ideas and perceptions of her start changing and he becomes a more likeable guy by being around a positive influence. Of course our two characters are jinxed when she says “You have to promise you won’t fall in love with me” when Landon asks her for help. His arrogant reply is “That’s not a problem”…but need I go further with this? Of course they will! And how lovely their love is. It is so tender and sweet. Genuine. Heart-breaking. Beautiful. True. I get all emotional just thinking of some of the beautiful scenes and dialogue they share. My favourite being one where he is there to “catch” her as his former cool friends play a nasty joke on her.

These two people are perfect for each other. Each one having a profound and everlasting effect on the other, present and future.

So, if you want a good cry…put your judgement of Nicholas Sparks adaptions away and give this one a go.

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