It’s been busy in and around Castle Schadenfreude, so movie watching took a bit of a hit. What we watched was good, so there’s that.
Legends of the Fall (1995). Always worth watching. Great cast, all at the top of their games. Great story,where the individual trials of every character resonate and create empathy. Well photographed. Well paced. A chick flick men can watch and not feel as if their balls are shriveling scene by scene. One hell of a movie.
The Enemy Below (1957). I saw this as a kid—read the book, too, in Reader’s Digest condensed version—and wondered how it might hold up. It’s
Glory (1989). As in the event, the white officer (Matthew Broderick) got top billing, but the black troops (notably Andre Braugher, Morgan Freeman, and Denzel Washington, in an Oscar-winning performance) do all the work. Broderick’s generally a fine actor, but he’s in over his head here, with an accent I tried to place for two hours, but couldn’t. This is a great story, about the 54th Massachusetts regiment in the Civil War, an all-black outfit led by white officers who come to see why these men need to do more than dig ditches. Glory treads a fine line between the glorification and horrors of combat. These men want to fight, and many of them die horribly, but for a while they lived as equal men, at least in their own eyes, and the eyes of their officers. One hopes that was enough for them.
Eddie Murphy: Delirious (1983). Murphy’s first HBO special, filmed at DAR Constitution Hall. Some of the topics feel uncomfortable thirty years later, but they’re still funny, even if one feels awkward laughing at them in the 21st Century. Murphy is a joy, embracing his new-found celebrity (he’s only 22 and still working onSaturday Night Live) without seeming to take himself too seriously. After the different phases of his movie career, it’s easy to forget why younger comics like Chris Rock worship at the altar or Murphy until one goes back to see him in his unvarnished original incarnation. Laughed so hard my head hurt.