Rankings (The It’s-All-Good-Until-The-Final-Two Division)
About a million reasons why this film is firmly in the top spot for the week, but, right now, let’s go with guacamole dip.
Sweet Revenge (1976)
As not the biggest Grease fan you’re likely to come across, I was blown away by Stockard Channing here. It’s a bravura performance, and she’s solely responsible for twisting one of my least favorite subgenres (car/car chase films) into something quirky and endearing.
Another early ’90s film doing its part to win me over, and, sans its paint-by-numbers score, almost a perfect popcorn film. If you don’t get gut-pangs for good, glossy ’90s cinema with this, you’ll want to check your pulse. Seeing it alongside Smile made me–for about the seventh time–reconsider my assessment of Michael Ritchie. I guess I really like him, though The Candidate still makes my eye twitch when I think of skipping it on election night at the New Beverly because the doomsday stats had already oozed in during the first feature, Shampoo, and I instead decided to drive home in miserable rage.
Rancho Notorious (1952)
Fritz Lang goes West. (And gets kinky…er…kinkier.)
He Ran All the Way (1951)
The film that killed John Garfield!*
*That’s sensationalistic, I realize, but not entirely untrue.
One Crowded Night (1940)
Live Like Line (2017?)
Maudlin, maudlin, maudlin, saccharine, and maudlin. And, yet, I enjoyed myself–seeing it in sneak preview form with some of the good-natured and wholly innocuous cast at the Grove.
Punk Vacation (1990)
What you see, definitely not what you get.