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Xy and I are continuing our alphacinematic odyssey, at a much reduced pace. I don’t have as many evenings to watch movies as I once did. Nevertheless, it remains a welcome distraction, and we’ve finally made it through the letter R. It took us five weeks to watch eleven movies. They were mostly pretty good, but nothing really blew me away like Raising Arizona or Raiders of the Lost Ark or Real Life. If you’ve never seen Real Life, Albert Brooks’ 1979 directorial debut, I highly recommend checking it out. It’s the best.

I really enjoyed these:

  • Ray (2004) — Good story, great soundtrack. Especially fun to spot all the New Orleans locations.
  • The Right Stuff (1983) — Entertaining. The humor keep this from descending into grotesque nationalistic chest-thumping.
  • Room at the Top (1959) — A good old-fashioned melodrama, laden with class tension. But the version of the DVD that I got was one of the worst film transfers I’ve seen.
  • Red Beard (1965) — Akira Kurosawa does a film about dedicated doctors. Masterful, but too long and melodramatic to be a masterpiece.

These were decent:

  • Revolution OS (2002) — A doucumentary about open source/free software. If you can get past the geekery, there are some revolutionary ideas here.
  • Rear Window (1954) — I saw this Hitchcock film in the theater when it was re-released — early 80s, I guess. I think I was in high school at the time. I didn’t remember too many details except that I thought it was good. Upon watching it again I found it to be slow-paced and a bit of a yawn. It’s classic stuff, but I wasn’t really feeling it.
  • Ruthless People (1986) — Delightfully silly.
  • The Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming (1966) — More silliness, but entertaining.
  • Richard III (1955) — Highbrow historical stuff.
  • Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1955) — His impression of a deer in the woods is priceless.

There was only one R movie that I didn’t care for:

  • Ran (1985) — This is the first Akira Kurosawa flick that didn’t blow me away. In fact, I found it kind of tedious. (It didn’t help that I got the lousy Fox Lorber version of the DVD.)
Published inFilm & Video


  1. Always enjoy these updates –

    I vaguely remember watching the Christopher Reeve remake of Rear Window a great many years back and preferring it because the whol “I may be beautiful but I am still worthy of you and have one bag to prove it” aspect had been removed.

  2. I love Albert Brooks, although I can’t remember if I’ve seen Real Life (old – losing brain cells fast). I do remember Raising Arizona though. Great movie. Ought to put that on my favs list.

    I’ve been catching up. Way to go on the quest to get the store cleaned up! Hearty congratulations. Excellent use of local media. I hope the guy comes through. Did you get his contact info, so you can keep the one on one pressure on him (including the offers to help)?

  3. Albert Brooks is da bomb. Have you ever seen Lost in America?

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