Bob Rafelson

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The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) Review


Very Good
This remake of the original Postman Always Rings Twice has long been touted as the tougher, sexier, and steamier version of the film -- but other than showing a little more blood and a lot more skin, the movies are virtually identical. Both are good movies, but the remake still feels a little unnecessary. Lana Turner did a better femme fatale than Jessica Lange, and Jack Nicholson is at least John Garfield's equal. But director Bob Rafelson doesn't do much different here at all (think Gus Van Sant's version of Psycho), which ends up leaving the original to shine all the brighter.

Stay Hungry Review


Good
Jeff Bridges plays a wealthy real estate magnate tasked with evicting the employees of a local gym so he and his pals can raze the city block. This setup doesn't sound like much -- but Bob Rafelson's quirky production is difficult to resist, thanks to lively performances by Sally Field and a young Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Rafelson, who's lately been making films with titles like Tales of Erotica and Porn.com (the latter starring himself), knows how to put the right amount of oddball perversion into his movie. Bridges and Field (she's the manager of the gym) quickly start a torrid affair, which distracts from Bridges' ability to foreclose on the property. When Arnie appears, the setting morphs into the "Mr. Universe" competition as backdrop; the final scene of bodybuilders posing to homeless people on the street is priceless and worth the cost of a rental alone.

Continue reading: Stay Hungry Review

The King Of Marvin Gardens Review


Good
Frequent Jack Nicholson director Bob Rafelson turns in this oddball -- and sad -- movie about two brothers, one a radio DJ (Nicholson) and one a drifting low-level mobster (Bruce Dern). Nicholson's character gets reluctantly drawn into his scheme in Atlantic City, where Dern is trying to finance the purchase of an island off the coast of Hawaii, where he plans to build a dream resort. Don't bet on it. Depressingly set along Atlantic City's infamous boardwalk, the movie closely resembles, oddly enough, Louis Malle's Atlantic City. Memorable performances from the players, including Ellen Burstyn as a psychotic girlfriend of Dern's.
Bob Rafelson

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