Before there was Cliffhanger, there was The Eiger Sanction, a thrill ride of a movie that largely takes place on an icy mountaintop. The mountaineering is almost beside the point: Eiger's most curious aspect is its setup, which offers Clint Eastwood as a haughty art history professor who finances his art collection by performing contract assassinations for a shadowy group. His final assignment takes him to Eiger mountain in the Swiss Alps, where he has to figure out who on his climbing team is the villain, then dispatch him. Eastwood is at his smarmy best, and a host of memorable supporting players round out the production amiably. Great fun.
Insanely overrated, Charles Burnett's slow and melancholy drama feels like a profile of the Deep South when it's really about a family of African-Americans in central L.A. The point of the film is beyond me, involving Danny Glover's visit to his extended family's home and the havoc his presence creates. Not a lot of sleeping, not a lot of anger. Unsatisfying, and ultimately an example of overwrought yet lazy filmmaking.