Larissa’s list of top favorite movies:
∟ ROCKY III (1982)
“You gotta want to do it for the right reasons. Not for the guilt over Mickey, not for the people, not for the title, not for money or me, but for you. Just you. Just you alone.”
It Happened One Night (1934) Dir. Frank Capra - Hilarious and entertaining screwball comedy with great performances and incredibly sharp dialogue. Fast paced and still very emotional. I loved the use of the “Walls of Jericho” to humorously represent their dichotomy perfectly. Strongly recommended, 10/10
Basic Instinct (1992) Dir. Paul Verhoeven - Interesting though flawed take on the murder mystery genre, I was thoroughly entertained by the entirety of this film. Michael Douglas does a fine job as the leading protagonist, but it’s Sharon Stone who really steals the show. The movie diverts expectations so much that even when you understand that this is the intention, it still manages to deliver something you might not see coming, and still it does feel warranted. Like any other Paul Verhoeven film, Basic Instinct has its fair share of tongue and cheek humor. The reason it doesn’t work as well here as it does in, say, RoboCop or Starship Troopers, is that it seems reliant on you to be in on the joke rather than allowing you to accept what’s on the surface. Still, I had a fun time with this one. I’d recommend it immediately to any fan of Paul Verhoeven, but to anyone else I’d say make sure the premise already interests you going into it. 8/10
Rocky III (1982) Dir. Sylvester Stallone - Definitely not as good as the first two in the series. While Rocky’s character has developed in a believable enough way from the first film, Paulie has been given a 10 minute subplot that goes absolutely nowhere in the rest of the film, and Adrian stays static and bland until she has a sudden artificial burst of assertiveness that just came out of left field. It doesn’t help that Talia Shire isn’t very good at acting aggressive. Though the film is still decent. What elevates this film to an entertaining enough experience is the newfound relationship between Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed. To see the two work together and finally build a friendship was both refreshing and incredibly enjoyable, and it made the movie. 7/10
Rocky IV (1985) Dir. Sylvester Stallone - A better film for sure. DEFINITELY not deserving of all those razzies it won in 1986. This is a genuinely good movie. Though it starts out very clunky, and way too campy for the Rocky franchise, by the 30 minute mark it really changes for the better. What initially seems like another half assed way to raise the stakes is soon transformed into something much more emotionally profound, and I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t moved by it. Where this film falls apart for me is its ham fisted message at the end, and some over the top campiness during certain scenes that just totally took me out of it. But the good parts absolutely outweigh the bad. 8/10
O Lucky man! (1973) Dir. Lindsay Anderson - When I saw If…. many months ago, I liked it enough despite some major flaws I felt worked heavily against the film. O Lucky Man! is a different story. Despite its much longer run time, I was significantly more entertained through this film. Malcolm McDowell does a fantastic job as Mick Travis once again, and his character is more interesting than ever in my opinion. I loved this epic tale about a bright eyed young man exploring every tier of capitalistic lifestyle, from the very rich to the dirt poor, and still he cannot seem to grasp where it is true happiness can be found. The soundtrack by Alan Price is so catchy and fits the movie so well that I had to download it immediately after I finished watching it. There are plenty of callbacks to A Clockwork Orange but they never take away from this films own unique voice. This movie gets downright disturbing at times, in ways I cannot spoil. Lets just say I’ll never look at sheep the same way again. I genuinely loved the mixing of emotions in this film, it’s a giant amalgam of joyful and depressing feelings, mixed in with hilarious comedy and thoughtful satire. For the most part the outlandish style complimented the film just fine, but there were times when its presentation became a bit distracting. Its editing techniques make the changing of film reels a little more apparent (clearly on purpose, as the film establishes multiple times) and at some points it adopts silent film techniques seemingly out of the blue (Though to be fair, the second time it’s used felt much more warranted than the first). At times the casting of actors for multiple roles worked just fine, adding to that stage play feel it is (sometimes) going for, but I wouldn’t say that this films presentation mixed stage and screen quite as well as a Julie Taymor film would. (Oh, and having Warren Clarke play multiple roles and NOT having him dress up in a constable uniform? Why would you ever miss such a golden opportunity?) Also one particular scene involving a presentation drags on for far too long. But overall, I really loved this film, I found it to be far better than If…. and if it’s ever released on blu ray I’ll be the first to pre-order it. 9/10
Summary: He always knew Dicky was different. Not bad different, just not like the rest of the boys in the neighborhood. A glimpse into the relationship of Coach and Bitty, and how Coach comes to terms with it all. Also on AO3…
“So, Dicky. Do you want to watch a movie?”
Coach was happy to have Dicky at home. His visits had become far and few between, a rare thing, ever since… well, recently. Suzanne was out with her bowling league, so it was just the two of them for the evening.
“Sure, Coach. What do you wanna see? I think Predator is about to start,” Bitty replied as he grabbed a bag of Brother Kane potato chips from the kitchen and settled into the couch.
He then took the remote and was browsing through the channel guide.
“Also Rocky III is on, uh… Casino. What else…”
Coach watched his son and smiled listening to the movie choices being offered to him.
He always knew Dicky was different.
Not bad different, just not like the rest of the boys in the neighborhood. When he was younger and the other coaches had their boys in pee wee leagues (already drilling the eye on the prize mentality into their heads: “One day you’ll be the star quarterback, son!”) he would look at Dicky and sigh knowing that wouldn’t be his son’s fate.
And he made peace with it, for Dicky was always kind, always helpful, always wore a smile on his face and a smudge of flour on his cheek.