May 26, 2009

That 70's Film

We love Netflix.

Got the Roku player for the TV so we can watch anything on our Instant queue anytime. Got our regular DVD queue for newer flicks and anything that isn't available instantly.

And a lot of our queue space is being used for the greatest of decades when it comes to American film, the 70's. Don't even argue that point. You would be wrong and you would sound stupid. The best decade for movies was the 1970's. Period.

Today (Monday) we watched William Friedkin's follow-up to The Exorcist. A nifty little ball of tenseness called Sorcerer. It was an ambitious project. Filmed on four continents with an international cast headed by Roy Scheider. It ultimately failed at the box office, but fans of the 70's and Friedkin are enjoying it to this day. I know we did.

It's a tale of four men running from something in their criminal pasts.  They each wind up in a small oil town in some third world country in South America.  Each man volunteers to transport leaky boxes of dynamite across the jungle so that the oil company can use it to stop an oil well fire.  But the dynamite has been sitting around for awhile and it is "sweating" nitroglycerin.  Any little jiggle or wiggle could cause the whole batch to go ka-blooey.  Lucky they only have to transport the stuff 218 miles over rugged terrain.  In big ole clunky trucks.

And so begins the dance.  Little sub-plots galore, including the back stories of why each man is running and why each of them have nothing to live for anymore.  Except the paycheck. 

Franky, I can understand why it failed at the box office.  It was a bit slow and it was a bit methodical, but it was brilliant.  It did okay business the first week in the theaters, but word-of-mouth spread pretty quickly and the audiences failed to come around after that. 

Although it was a remake itself (of a French film called Wages of Fear), I can see it being remade sometime in the near future by someone eager to tell a good story.  Hollywood is nothing if not derivative of itself.

How about you?  Got any forgotten favorite films from the 70's you love?  We are always looking for suggestions.

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Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. I don't care what Friedkin says, Roy Scheider is the fucking man!

21 comments:

mikeb302000 said...

It seems like I'm always years behind and so many slip through the cracks that there's an endless supply yet to be seen.

Last week I watched, I know it's embarrassing to admit I'd never seen it, Dr. Strangelove.

I loved every minute of it.

badgerdaddy said...

You ever seen Hickey and Boggs? Class movie. Nobody over here has really seen it, I don't know if it's more popular over there, it being Robert Culp and Bill Cosby.

You're dead right about the 1970s, couldn't agree more. It's the only decade of moviemaking where even in the mainstream, you don't know how most films are going to end.

Avitable said...

That decade is one of the most overrated decades when it comes to movies. So many movies from then are so poorly done, with long, drawn out scenes that move at a glacial pace, closeups of people's expressions without any weight or explanation to said expressions, and shit storylines.

sybil law said...

I am really trying to think of great 70's movies, but beyond Jaws, I can't come up with anything! Was Porky's a 70's movie?

2abes said...

as a kid i loved the car, i think that was the name. story about a black demon car...hey did you ever see the whoopee boys(80's movie)?

B.E. Earl said...

MikeB - Strangelove is my favorite Kubrick film, and that is saying something.

badger - Never saw it, although they did I Spy together. I'll have to check it out.

Avitable - You are completely and utterly wrong. I would go further into detail as to why, but I already said there was no point in arguing the matter. Therefore I won't. ;)

Sybil - Porky's came out in 1982, and yes...it was awesome!

B.E. Earl said...

2abes - The Car wasn't a great film, but it was a good ride. Get it? And no, I never saw The Whoopee Boys. Tried to stay away from Paul Rodgriguez (aka Pablo) during that decade.

savannah said...

monty python and the holy grail
five easy pieces
m.a.s.h.
patton
network
but y'all already know these. xoxo

Slyde said...

my fav cult 70's movie is RACE WITH THE DEVIL, but i know you've seen it....

B.E. Earl said...

Savannah - yeah, those are all great. The diner scene in Five Easy Pieces is probably the definitive Nicholson from that era. Even more so than One Flew Over...

Slyde - Yeah, but I haven't seen it in a long time. It's going on the queue. By the way, it is being remade for 2011. No clue yet about the director or actors.

Heff said...

Sounds like a classic 70's movie plot. I really must try this Netflix.

Avitable said...

Okay, looking at a list of movies from the 70s, I may have been harsh. Movies from the mid to later 70s, like Star Wars, Rocky Horror, Rocky, Superman, and Godfather from the early 70s - those were good movies. But even the "classics" were filled with this long, drawn out takes and pauses that punctuate so many movies from that era.

Taxi Driver - retarded

Apocalypse Now - some cool moments, but otherwise meandering and pointless

Jaws - more close ups that pan out as someone screams. That's not drama, that's stupid.

It's gotten to the point that I refuse to watch movies from that period now, even if they say that it's a classic because the filmmaking technique was so retarded.

B.E. Earl said...

Avitable - Now you are just being silly. Jaws and Taxi Driver? Overrated? Apoc Now has always been reviled by some and lauded by others. I liked it, but it was probably my 4th or 5th favorite Coppola film in that decade.

Nice try, but I'm still not gonna argue the point. I'll just keep repeating that you are wrong. ;)

B.E. Earl said...

Heff - yes, you must.

Always Home and Uncool said...

Let me know how that Roku works out. We were looking at getting one.

B.E. Earl said...

Uncool - I'll shoot you an email.

Callie said...

Let me see . . . the 70's, huh?

The first thought that jumps into my head is pretty much anything Mel Brooks did that decade is worth watching.

I'm sure I saw tons of good movies made in the 70's . . . I just can't think of any.

teeni said...

I have to agree with you that the 70's was the best decade for movies (I forgot some of those movies you listed came out in the 70's - nice picks). And the 80's was the best for music.

Bruce said...

I think I have this in my LaserDisc library somewhere, but have not watched it yet. I saw tihs when it first came out and recall it being pretty good, for a remake. I caught the original french version with subtitles and it was a much more subtle film.

Bruce said...

On a different note, I find it interesting that you have a Roku players. I have an older Roku that plays music that streams through iTunes on my WiFi network. I usually use it now to listen to interent radio (since broadcast radio SUCKS these days).

Didn't know they had teamed with Netflix to provide a streaming content player, but knew it was inevitable. I use the same system with my AppleTV and iTunes, downloading movies at will and watching them. Soon you will rarely be watching broadcast television or going to the cinema again. I know I don't.

B.E. Earl said...

Bruce - I am now addicted to Roku. Last night I watched The Mechanic (with Charles Bronson) and the original Assault on Precinct 13. I was in heaven!