Is there another film that can match the rat-a-tat volley of wit in The Philadelphia Story (USA, 1940, MGM)? This is best-in-show for director George Cukor, and the unimprovable trio of Katherine Hepburn, Cary Grant, and James Stewart. No one has played a better drunk since Stewart, and it’s futile to seek Hepburn’s equal in portraying a mind unable to outrun the heart. Available on iTunes and YouTube.
Lola has 20 minutes to repay 100,000 mafia bucks that her dimwitted boyfriend accidentally left on the train. After the events play out, Run Lola Run (Germany, 1998, Sony Pictures Classics) does something wondrous: it clocks back to the start and respools those events, two more times!
This kinetic breath-stopper from Tom Tykwer comments on coincidence, fate, and small differences in actions leading to variant outcomes. Available on Amazon Video and YouTube.
- Yazdi K. Pithavala
- Moviewallas reviewer and podcaster
Warriors, come out and play-ee-ayy!
When a New York City street gang is framed for the murder of a respected gangland boss, they find themselves on the run from every cop and thug in the city. Will they make it back to their home turf? Shot entirely on location, Andrew Lazlo’s remarkable nighttime cinematography makes The Warriors (USA, 1979, Paramount Pictures) compelling viewing. A very young James Remar (Sex and the City, 48hrs) also makes an appearance here as gang member Ajax. Directed by Walter Hill. Available on iTunes and Amazon Video.
John Carpenter’s Assault on Precinct 13 (USA, 1976, Turtle Releasing) is a slice of low-budget filmmaking at its best. To describe it as under-plotted would be missing the point entirely. The expertly choreographed siege on the abandoned Los Angeles police station is what made the film a cult classic. A memorable synth-heavy score by director Carpenter only adds to the fun. Available on Vudu and Amazon Video.
Another delicious serving from Nick Park, Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (England, 2005) brings us eccentric inventor Wallace with his delightful dog, Gromit, as they come to the rescue of residents in a quintessential English village plagued by a mutant rabbit before an annual vegetable competition. The movie makes my heart leap with joy because it not only depicts the wonderful relationship we have with our four-legged friends but manages to do it in a silly, funny, thoughtful, and adorable way. Available on Netflix and Amazon Video.
It doesn’t matter how bad a day you’ve had, because if you are a fan of romantic comedy, When Harry Met Sally (USA,1989, Columbia Pictures) will flip your mood on its head. Watching the ultimate will they/won’t they story play over a period of time is both endearing and enjoyable as we watch Harry and Sally realize what’s important. Oh, yes and “that” scene “on the side” is always a bonus. Available on Google Play and Vudu.