Category Archives: LBoM: Movie Overviews

Back to the Future

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Little Bit of History: Produced by Steven Spielberg written by Bob Gale & Robert Zemeckis and directed by Robert Zemeckis. Back to the Future is a time traveling adventure that mixes action/comedy and even romance into one great package. Released on July 3rd 1985.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Marty McFly is accidentally sent to 1955 via his friend, Doc Brown’s time machine. While in 1955 Marty inadvertently prevents his own mother and father form ever meeting, putting his own existence into jeopardy. Marty then spends a week in 1955 trying to get his mother and father back together so he can exist in the future.

Little Bit of Character: Along with Marty McFly, played by Michael J. Fox there is also Christopher Lloyd as Doc Brown, Crispin Glover and Lea Thompson in the roles of Marty’s Father (George) and Mother (Lorraine) as well as all round bad guy Biff Tannen played by Thomas F. Wilson.

Little Bit of Influence: The film went on to spawn 2 sequels, various video games, an animated TV show and even it’s own motion based ride at Universal Theme Parks (since sadly replaced). Back to the Future has also been copied and parodied countless times over the years.

Little Bit of Memories: The first time I ever saw this was one Christmas on TV in the 80’s before the release of the first sequel. I recall being blown away by the film, the plot was amazing, the characters were lively and of course there was that kick-ass car.

Little Bit of Watchability: Still one of the best…if not THE best time travel film made. Very much still watchable today. While it does have a bit of that 80’s cheese factor to it, at the same time it’s almost timeless and seems appropriate no matter which decade you watch it in.

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Dr. Emmett Brown:Things have certainly changed around here. I remember when this was all farmland as far the eye could see. Old man Peabody owned all of this. He had this crazy idea about breeding pine trees.

Back to the Future turned 30 years old today. Please also check out my insight into some the of behind the scenes trivia of the film too.

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Unforgiven

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Little Bit of History: Directed, produced by and starring Clint Eastwood. Released in 1992 the film won four Academy Awards: Best Picture and Best Director for Clint Eastwood, Best Supporting Actor for Gene Hackman and Best Film Editing for editor Joel Cox. Eastwood was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor for his performance, but he lost to Al Pacino for Scent of a Woman.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Set in 1880, two cowboys, disfigure prostitute Delilah Fitzgerald after she laughs at the small size of one of the men’s penis. Instead of punishing the cowboys, Lawman Little Bill allows them to pay compensation to the brothel owner. The prostitutes, led by Strawberry Alice, are infuriated by this leniency and offer a $1,000 reward to whoever can kill the cowboys.

Little Bit of Character: Clint Eastwood plays William “Will” Munny, a retired gunslinger turned farmworker. Morgan Freeman as Ned Logan who is Will’s oldest friend and ex-partner. With Jaimz Woolvett playing The Schofield Kid, a young an over enthusiastic man who is not as experienced in killing as he claims and Gene Hackman as “Little” Bill Daggett, a lawman with a zero tolerance to lawbreaking and outlaws.

Little Bit of Influence: This film was made and released when the western genre was all but dead on it’s legs. The success of the film paved the way for many, many other modern westerns that would follow over the years. The film even inspired a Japanese remake directed by Lee Sang-il and starring Ken Watanabe was released in 2013.

Little Bit of Memories: I recall seeing this for the first time and just being blown away by it. Everything from it’s directing to acting was top notch. While being a throwback to Clint’s earlier work and a loving homage to the man that made Clint a star (Sergio Leone) it was also a fresh take on an old genre and revitalised the western.

Little Bit of Watchability: I caught this being shown on TV as it was being shown on Clint’s 85th Birthday…noticed it was edited slightly. So dug out my DVD copy and watched that instead. This is still a great film with amazing performances from Clint, Morgan and Gene as well as an impressive supporting cast. A simple story of revenge, but done with such panache and style. This is a film everyone should watch at least once.

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Will Munny:It’s a hell of a thing, killing a man. Take away all he’s got and all he’s ever gonna have.

This is just one part of my 85th Birthday celebration of Clint Eastwood. Please also read my overview of The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and my Happy Birthday Clint editorial.

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Il buono, il brutto, il cattivo (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

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Little Bit of History: The third film in the “Dollars Trilogy”, originally released 1966 and directed by Sergio Leone. Starring Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef, and Eli Wallach in the title roles. The film was a financial success, grossing over $25 million at the box office.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: During the American Civil War, three men set off to find $200,000 in buried gold coins. Blondie (The Good), Angel Eyes (The Bad) and Tuco (The Ugly). The Good & The Ugly team up in an attempt to find the gold, but neither man trusts each other. While The Bad uses more nefarious means to find the gold.

Little Bit of Character: The stars of the show really are the main three; Blondie (The Good) who is a fairly quiet but deadly gunslinger with a strong sense of honour, played by Clint Eastwood. Angel Eyes (The Bad) is a cruel cold-blooded murderer played by Lee Van Cleef with Tuco (The Ugly) is a greedy and fast-tempered man played by Eli Wallach.

Little Bit of Influence: One of the films that shaped and changed the American western forever. This film would also go on to influence film directors such as Quentin Tarantino, who calls this film “the best film ever made.”. Even the film’s star Clint Eastwood would be influenced by this film when he made Unforgiven and even dedicated that film to Sergio Leone. The film also influenced video games such as Red Dead Redemption.

Little Bit of Memories: I’ll always remember my older brother introducing me to this film when I was younger. Also how this film made me such a fan of Clint Eastwood and even Sergio Leone. That Ennio Morricone’s musical score is iconic and instantly recognisable, especially the main theme.

Little Bit of Watchability: Very much still watchable…in fact I have this film on as I’m writing this overview. One of the best and defining films of it’s genre and one can see how impactful and influential it was even to this day.

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Tuco:When you have to shoot, shoot. Don’t talk.

This is just one part of my 85th Birthday celebration of Clint Eastwood. Please also read my overview of Unforgiven and my Happy Birthday Clint editorial.

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Die Hard

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Little Bit of History: Directed by John McTiernan and starring Bruce Willis launching his movie career and cementing him as a genuine Hollywood star. Distributed by 20th Century Fox and originally released on July 15 (my birthday), 1988. Die Hard was an action/thriller like no other before it and changed Hollywood action cinema forever. Based on the novel: Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp, which itself was a sequel to his: The Detective novel that was also turned into a film starring Frank Sinatra in 1968.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: Bruce Willis plays everyday New York cop, John McClane. On a visit to Los Angeles to see his estranged wife, Holly and their children. John McClane goes to meet his wife at her work in the Nakatomi Plaza building during a Christmas party. The party is prematurely cut short by the arrival of Hans Gruber and his heavily armed group of henchmen, where they seize the building and secure all inside as hostages, except for John McClane who manages to slip away undetected and fights back to free the hostages and take down Hans and his men.

Little Bit of Character: With Bruce Willis playing the now iconic action hero, John Mcclane. There was the brilliantly charismatic bad guy, Hans Gruber played by Alan Rickman. Holly McClane the no nonsense estranged wife played by Bonnie Bedelia. Hans henchmen such as Karl, Franco, Tony, Theo, Alexander, Marco, Kristoff, Eddie, Uli, Heinrich, Fritz, and James.

Little Bit of Influence: For years after the release of Die Hard, most action movies were labeled as “Die Hard on/in a…” with films such as Speed (Die Hard on a bus), Under Siege (Die Hard on a ship), Passenger 57 (Die Hard on a plane) and even the cringeworthy, Anna Nicole Smith starring Skyscraper (Die Hard in a…well building). Die Hard influenced action cinema for decades with many production companies churning out similar films with similar plots and themes. But Die Hard went on to be a very successful franchise in itself spawning four cinematic sequels (with another one rumored), various video games and even a comic book series called Die Hard: Year One which served as a prequel to the original movie.

Little Bit of Memories: I remember my older brother coming home with a copy of this film when I was younger and we sat down to watch it, which was the first time I ever saw this film. I also recall the amazing, twisting plot where nothing was what it seems. Even to the point where the writing makes you think the hero could die.

Little Bit of Watchability: Still one of the very best films made in any genre and while it shows some ageing and is very 80’s in many respects. It also manages to avoid many of the action cliches of the time and brings something refreshing to the table. I most definitely recommend this to anyone that wants a good slice of action/thriller cinema which does pretty much everything perfectly. The film has become one of my alternative Christmas classics and gets watched every Christmas without fail.

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John McClane: Was always kinda partial to Roy Rogers actually. I really like those sequined shirts.

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Harvey

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Little Bit of History: Based on the play of the same name by Mary Chase. Released in 1950 by Universal International, directed by Henry Koster and starring James Stewart, Josephine Hull, Peggy Dow and Charles Drake. James Stewart’s performance earned him a Best Actor Oscar nomination while Josephine Hull’s performance won her an Academy Award as Best Supporting Actress.

Little Bit of Plot/Story: James Stewart plays Elwood P. Dowd, a simple man with simple pleasures who just so happens to have a best friend…that is a six-foot three and a half inch tall invisible rabbit, the titular Harvey. Harvey is a pooka, a mischievous creature from Celtic mythology. Elwood has driven his sister and niece to worry about him due to his obsession over his invisible friend, Harvey. His family seems to be unsure whether Elwood’s obsession with Harvey is a product of his over enjoyment of drink or perhaps even a genuine mental illness. So is Harvey real or is Elwood mentally ill?

Little Bit of Character: Along with James Stewart’s Elwood P. Dowd are Josephine Hull as Veta Louise Simmons, Peggy Dow playing Miss Kelly the Nurse with Charles Drake as Dr. Lyman Sanderson. Oh and a six-foot three and a half inch tall invisible rabbit.

Little Bit of Influence: The film was based on the play by Mary Chase that is still performed on stage to this day. The play has also been turned into a TV play several times from 1958 – 1996.
Several attempts have been made to remake the film including by Universal Pictures in the late 90’s with Jim Carrey starring. Even Steven Spielberg was interested in having a go at remaking the film with Tom Hanks in the Elwood P. Dowd role.
The first episode of 1975 TV series The Invisible Man featured a scene with an invisible rabbit named “Harvey” in a cage in a laboratory.
A scene in the film: Who Framed Roger Rabbit has a barfly confessing, “I seen the rabbit”. He then puts his arm around an invisible presence and says, “Say hello…Harvey”

Little Bit of Memories: The first time I recall seeing this film was when staying with my Nan and Grandad as it was shown on TV. One of my all time favourite films ever, it’s just such an endearing story and James Stewart give a stunning and believable performance as the carefree Elwood. This film has become one of my yearly watches.

Little Bit of Watchability: Very much still watchable today and a great way to cheer yourself up. James Stewart is masterful in his role as Elwood P. Dowd (probably my favourite role of his) and really comes off as a caring, yet slightly confused man, along with an amazing supporting cast. The film is just so “magical” with the right amount of fantasy added to quite a serious story about a man with drinking problems and possible mental illness. Everyone should watch this uplifting film.

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Elwood P. Dowd: I always have a wonderful time, wherever I am, whomever I’m with.

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