Blast From the Past

Brendan Fraser is a treasure.

In films like George of the Jungle, and this delightfully-daffy fish-out-of-water comedy, the genial actor delighted in playing likable guys who may not get the joke, but are never the butt of said joke.

Here he’s a dude who has grown up stashed away in a bomb shelter by parents Christopher Walken and Sissy Spacek, untouched by the cynicism of modern-day life.

Sprung free into a world he doesn’t recognize, Fraser wins over everyone in sight, including melting the hardened heart of one Alicia Silverstone, by just being himself.

One really likeable lunk.

 

The Straight Story

He can’t drive 55.

Seriously, cause the old lawn mower Richard Farnsworth is gunnin’ across the American frontier tops out at about five MPH.

He’s on the machine because his brother is dying, and, despite being unable to obtain a driver’s license, he’s set on traveling 240 miles to make peace.

Beautifully-crafted by David Lynch, throwing another curveball in a career of them by going the G-rated route, it benefits immensely from a cast who seem like real people, and not movie stars.

It was the final role for Farnsworth, capping a 62-year run on the silver screen, and a beautiful farewell.

 

Carrie

She never had a chance.

Scarred from birth by a psycho mother, mocked by all around her, Carrie White simply yearned for a little peace.

When she didn’t get it, something deep inside cracked, and the world burned, hate repaid with stone-cold vengeance.

Sissy Spacek, such a strong actress, is note-perfect as the gentle, fractured soul bedeviled by anger crashing down upon her.

When Carrie kills, it’s not with anger or malice, but with sadness – a deep, never-ending well of sadness.

She’s not a villain, but a victim.

But still one who will burn the world to the ground.

 

Coal Miner’s Daughter

The lady can wail.

Few country music artists have reached the heights, or had the kind of voice, that Loretta Lynn does.

A mother of four by age 19, she overcame long odds to become one of the defining singers of the genre, the only woman to be tabbed as an Artist of the Decade by the Academy of Country Music.

You make a biopic of her, you better come with the best, and, lord, that is Sissy Spacek.

Singing for herself, she knocks it out of the park, and rightfully nabbed an Academy Award.

One legend playing a second legend.

Prime Cut

Death drives fast.

The car slices across a wide-open prairie, and, in the back seat a mob enforcer snaps together the pieces of the gun with which he will unleash Hell.

Lee Marvin, who always looked like he was two seconds away from issuing a beat-down even in films where his character was happy, is most definitely not happy in this rough-edged thriller.

He has his eyes set on slimy businessman/white slave trader Gene Hackman, and vengeance crackles in his every move.

Marvin is bringing the thunder and the lightning, and Mother Nature ain’t got nothin’ on him.