Melvin and Howard

Based on a true story. Maybe.

Whether you believe germ-phobic kazillionaire Howard Hughes left 156 million to a man he met once (courts eventually did not), this remains one wild, charming film.

Director Jonathan Demme finds just the right tone by not making fun of Melvin Dummar, but instead letting his oddball life play out in all its messy glory.

Paul LeMat and Jason Robards are great, but it’s Mary Steenburgen, an Oscar winner for the role, who steals every scene.

This was only her third film in what is now a 43-year run of excellence, and dang, what a start!


The Rocketeer

Golly gee-willikers!

A throwback in the best way possible, this remains one of my favorite superhero movies, and gets there by paying homage to movie serials which packed ’em into theaters long before I was born.

Equipped with a rocket pack and lots of moxie, Billy Campbell’s hero flies high, while the supporting cast (Alan Arkin, Timothy Dalton, and, especially, Jennifer Connelly) are absolute aces.

You can have modern-day Marvel movies with their glossy, artificial special effects.

I’ll be over here hootin’ and hollerin’ as our boy scout hero squares off with his dastardly counterpart on top of a Nazi airship.