Saturday, 23 January 2021

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Episodes

The Long Walk Home (1990)

The Color PurpleEpisode 209 is the second in our pairing of films that detail the African-American experience in the United States, as well as the second appearance of our Guest Geek, Annette, as we take a look at one of the pivotal events of the 1950s, the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott in 1990's "The Long Walk Home." Directed by Richard Pearce, the story follows Miriam (Sissy Spacek) and Odessa (Whoopi Goldberg). Miriam is the mother in a middle-class white family, while Odessa is the mother in a working-class African-American household, and Miriam's housekeeper. Shortly after the start of the film, we hear about Rosa Parks historic refusal to give up her seat on a public bus to a white person. This results in the African-American residents of Montgomery staging a complete boycott of the bus system. This does, however, cause many problems as a significant portion of those boycotting live far enough away from their workplaces as to make walking not really feasible. They do it anyway, however, and Miriam starts turning her back on the systemic racism that infects the other white adults she normally associates with. An incredibly moving film that doesn't sugarcoat anything, making it a must-see for people of any race! Plus, the trio reveal which films, released on the same day in 1984, they'll be reviewing next!



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The Color Purple (1985)

The Color PurpleWith all the unrest in the United States over the past month or so, we wanted to do our part... but we review movies. So, episode 208 begins our investigation of the African-American experience, as captured in popular film, with the first of two films starring Whoopi Goldberg, 1985's "The Color Purple!" Directed by Steven Spielberg, from a screenplay written by Menno Meyjes (based on the best-selling book by Alice Walker), the film co-stars Danny Glover, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Willard E. Pugh, Akosua Busia, Rae Dawn Chong, and Adolph Caesar. The story follows a young woman named Celie as she is married off to an older man, assigned to take care of his three poorly-behaved children, and separated from her only friend, her sister Nettie. It isn't until a juke joint singer named Shug arrives that her life begins to change for the better. This is the first on-screen appearance for both Oprah Winfrey and Whoopi Goldberg, and it's an absolute triumph for both!



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The Court Jester (1955)

maverickEpisode 207 completes our two-week look at the films of the great Danny Kaye, with a review of what is likely his best-known film, 1955's "The Court Jester." This film netted Kay a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical (this film is both). Kay plays Hubert Hawkins, a former circus performer turned bandit, part of the crew under the lead of the infamous Black Fox. Hawkins wants nothing more than to be useful in the fight against the usurper King Roderick the First. Unfortunately, the Black Fox feels he's not manly enough, and assigns him to work with his Captain, Jean (Glynis Johns), in keeping hidden the rightful king, an infant with a telltale birthmark on his... cheek. He ends up meeting Giacomo, King of Jesters and Jester of Kings, who is headed for Roderick's court. Hubert and Jean waylay Giacomo and Hubert takes his place. Arriving at the palace, he meets both the evil Sir Ravenhurst (Basil Rathbone) and the beautiful Princess Gwendolyn (Angela Lansbury). Unfortunately for Hubert/Giacomo, things are not as simple as he'd hoped, and the story takes several turns before it's over. The film contains many scenes demonstrating both Kaye's singing and dancing talent and his abilities with physical comedy. A classic for the whole family, and a look at how beautiful both Lansbury and Johns were in their heyday! Plus, the trio reveal how they're trying to help the civil unrest in their own filmic way through their next pairing.



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The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (1947)

maverickEpisode 206 begins our two-week look at the films of entertainer extraordinaire Danny Kaye. First up is the 1947 film which has been remade twice since, most recently in 2013 with Ben Stiller in the lead role, "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty!" Written by Ken Englund and Everett Freeman, based on a James Thurber short story, and directed by veteran Norman Z. McLeod, the story follows Water Mitty (Kaye), a mild-mannered, hen-pecked, editor of lurid pulp magazines. Since his real life is so hum-drum, he survives by descending into a fantasy world of daydreams, filled with damsels in distress, and heroism. But when he falls into a situation where real-life becomes too much like his daydreams, will he shrink away or rise to the occasion? Co-starring Virginia Mayo, Boris Karloff, and Reginald Denny, this is a classic film the whole family can enjoy!



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My Cousin Vinny (1992)

maverickEpisode 205 completes our "Fish Out of Water" pairing and, once again, the fishes are from New York. This time, however, they land in a small town in Alabama, in its courthouse, and dealing with one of it's old-school judges in 1992's "My Cousin Vinny!" Directed by Jonathan Lynn and written by Dale Launer, this is the film that won Marisa Tomei an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress. Bill (Ralph Macchio) and Stan (Mitchell Whitfield) are heading to college. After they stop at a store in a small town in Alabama, they are mistaken for two guys who robbed the store they stopped at and shot the clerk. In desperation, they reach out to "the lawyer in the family," Bill's cousin Vinny Gambini (Joe Pesci). Vinny arrives in NY style, complete with New York fiance Mona Lisa Vito (Tomei) in tow. But when he appears before long-time judge Chamberlain Haller (Fred Gwynne), and faces off against the town DA Jim Trotter III (Lane Smith) as well as the town's head of law enforcement, Sheriff Farley (Bruce McGill), Vinny realizes that he's out of his league, but he still has family who are innocent of the charges being levied against them! A wonderful film full of real characters (in more than one sense of the word), masterful dialogue, authentic courtroom procedure, and true genius comedy! Plus, the trio reveal which classic comedy star they're paying tribute to in the next episode!



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copyrighted, Two Geeks And a G.I.T., BY-NC-ND, 2016