Serpico

Yes, they are out to get you.

Al Pacino is riddled with paranoia as a straight-arrow cop who sinks into the mire, ratting out fellow boys in blue while always expecting a bullet.

Based on real events, Sidney Lumet’s lacerating tale of good guys gone bad remains one of the seminal ’70s films, and for good reason.

As a man who refuses the offer to sell his soul, Pacino notched the second of his nine Oscar nominations.

That landed him in a Best Actor death cage match featuring Marlon Brando, Robert Redford, Jack Nicholson, and winner Jack Lemmon.

Hoo-ah, indeed.

Dazed and Confused

It was the best day of their lives.

Tracking a group of Texas teenagers as the 1976 school year winds down, director Richard Linklater helped launched careers while defining introspective comedy for a generation.

The film is all about the journey — one long, mellow, puff-puff-pass of a trip.

Lives intersect, big decisions (at least in the moment) are made, and everyone contemplates their place in the bigger universe outside their small-town setting.

You got Affleck and Milla, Parker Posey and Joey Lauren Adams, and, as the cherry on top of the sundae, McConaughey at his most McConaughey.

Alright, alright, alright.

 

Attack of the Killer Tomatoes

I’m thinking the budget was about $1.75.

But, if you’re in the right mood, this tasty comedy delivers a fair amount of bang for your buck.

It’s silly, it doesn’t have the deepest script, but it does have one of my favorite gags.

With the country trembling before an assault by little red buggers, everyone is on edge.

Then we come to a library, where, in the midst of a pack of book lovers, sits one devious hipster.

Eyeballing the crowd, he waits for a moment, then, wiggling his eyebrows, unleashes one word.

“To…ma…toe!”

Cue the stampede, and unleash my joy.

Trick Baby

The most underrated movie of 1972.

And while I wouldn’t have gotten much out of seeing it back then, when I was just a year old, by the time it finally hit my DVD player, I was better prepared.

What you get is a gnarly blast of street-wise grifters committing dirty deeds dirt cheap.

Starring the late, great Kiel Martin of Hill Street Blues fame, it pimp-slaps you for 89 sizzlin’ minutes, right down to its bleak finale.

My first try at getting it was ruined by a broken disc bearing a visible footprint.

My second try? Well worth the wait.