Sidney Beckerman

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Serial Review


Extraordinary
Martin Mull is a little-remembered comedian of the '70s and '80s, best known for TV's Fernwood 2-Night and the HBO series The History of White People in America (with collaborator Fred Willard, since then a fixture in Christopher Guest movies). Mull achieved greatness only with Serial, an underrated mainstream comedy with moments of Albert Brooks-like social satire.

Based on a novel by Cyra McFadden about the wacky California hot-tub culture of the late '70s, Serial expanded on the novel's Marin County setting to skewer the entire decadent nation. Mull plays a working stiff whose wife (Tuesday Weld, in an excellent performance) leaves him to find herself. His teenage daughter joins a cult, and Mull tries to adapt to a single lifestyle while wanting his family back. The supporting characters include a psychologist (Peter Bonerz) who encourages Mull's best friend to drown himself in the Bay to achieve oneness with the universe, and Tom Smothers as a hippie priest who begins a wedding by apologizing for being part of a society that "kills whales."

Continue reading: Serial Review

Red Dawn Review


Weak
I wonder if someone tossed a copy of Red Dawn into Ronald Reagan's casket before they buried the old guy. I can't imagine a movie he would have loved more. A highly absurd Gipper-era relic, it makes the "Evil Empire" days of 1984 seem like a million years ago. Anyone under the age of 35 will watch this propaganda exercise about a terrifyingly successful Soviet invasion of small-town America and say, "Huh???"

Ignoring the outrageous jingoism for a minute, it should be noted that the movie does have plenty of forward momentum, starting from the moment when a bunch of Wyoming high schoolers (all '80s A- and B-list Brat Packers) look out their classroom window and see a huge number of paratroopers dropping into town. The soldiers who don't speak Russian speak Spanish. It seems that the Soviets have made a successful nuclear first strike (hey, that's cheating!) and have joined forces with ominously swarthy Cuban and Nicaraguan troops to storm a suddenly crippled America. The kids don't know all of this yet, though. All they know is that one of the soldiers has murdered their teacher right in front of them. Godless Commies!

Continue reading: Red Dawn Review

Marathon Man Review


Extraordinary
"Is it safe?"

Brrrr... those words still chill me.

Continue reading: Marathon Man Review

Red Dawn Review


Weak
I wonder if someone tossed a copy of Red Dawn into Ronald Reagan's casket before they buried the old guy. I can't imagine a movie he would have loved more. A highly absurd Gipper-era relic, it makes the "Evil Empire" days of 1984 seem like a million years ago. Anyone under the age of 35 will watch this propaganda exercise about a terrifyingly successful Soviet invasion of small-town America and say, "Huh???"

Ignoring the outrageous jingoism for a minute, it should be noted that the movie does have plenty of forward momentum, starting from the moment when a bunch of Wyoming high schoolers (all '80s A- and B-list Brat Packers) look out their classroom window and see a huge number of paratroopers dropping into town. The soldiers who don't speak Russian speak Spanish. It seems that the Soviets have made a successful nuclear first strike (hey, that's cheating!) and have joined forces with ominously swarthy Cuban and Nicaraguan troops to storm a suddenly crippled America. The kids don't know all of this yet, though. All they know is that one of the soldiers has murdered their teacher right in front of them. Godless Commies!

Continue reading: Red Dawn Review

Marathon Man Review


Extraordinary
"Is it safe?"

Brrrr... those words still chill me.

Continue reading: Marathon Man Review

Sidney Beckerman

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Sidney Beckerman Movies

Red Dawn Movie Review

Red Dawn Movie Review

I wonder if someone tossed a copy of Red Dawn into Ronald Reagan's casket before...

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Red Dawn Movie Review

Red Dawn Movie Review

I wonder if someone tossed a copy of Red Dawn into Ronald Reagan's casket before...

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