Faxon and Rash, Kasdan, Lloyd, Lord and Miller, Snyder

Darling Companion (Lawrence Kasdan, 2012). I’ve got loads of residual affection for writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, but he sure doesn’t make it easy to be one of his defenders these days. Darling Companion was his first film in nearly decade, following the appallingly bad Stephen King adaptation Dreamcatcher. It doesn’t make an argument that he used his creative downtime wisely. As wispy of a film concept as anyone’s likely to come across, Kasdan’s story (co-written with his wife, Meg Kasdan) concerns an older couple who adopt a stray dog and then lose that new furry family member in the woods around … Continue reading Faxon and Rash, Kasdan, Lloyd, Lord and Miller, Snyder

Spectrum Check

Considering it was a short week, I had a lot of material up at Spectrum Culture. The most challenging piece to write was my “Revisit” on Lawrence Kasdan’s The Big Chill, part of my ongoing attempt to exhaust all of my pop culture touchstones for the site. I suspect the result reads as a little more unkind towards the film than my actual, official stance on it, but I went where the writing took me. The other film I wrote on was a new documentary on Bettie Page. I picked it up because of the promise that the famously private … Continue reading Spectrum Check

Top Fifty Films of the 80s — Number Seven

#7 — The Big Chill (Lawrence Kasdan, 1983) All through this process, I’ve deliberately avoided treating the countdown too much like a countdown. What I mean by that is that I didn’t want to go too hung up on where the films ranked, particularly in consideration of where I probably would have placed the individuals titles had I gone through this process, say, over the course of 1990 when my opinions hadn’t yet gone through a couple decades or marination and adjustment. The progression of any list of this nature is going to be fairly arbitrary, anyway, so why get … Continue reading Top Fifty Films of the 80s — Number Seven

Top Fifty Films of the 80s — Number Thirty-Two

#32 — Body Heat (Lawrence Kasdan, 1981) No genre belongs so decisively and completely to the era of its greatest heyday like film noir. Even westerns, the exemplar of movie genres that evolved from ubiquitous to scarce, still work fine produced in more modern eras. If anything, the advances in the art of cinematography benefit the genre. Film noir, though, seems a little askew when it’s not in black-and-white and populated by fedora-topped men built like cinder blocks and smoky-eyed women with lithe curves like a shifting snake. Even if a film is set in the nineteen-forties or fifties, it’s … Continue reading Top Fifty Films of the 80s — Number Thirty-Two

Top 50 Films of the 80s — Number Forty

#40 — The Accidental Tourist (Lawrence Kasdan, 1988) Life moves at the same speed for everyone. It makes no adjustments for hardship or elation. It marches on with oblivious indifference to individual confusion and worry, allowing for no extra time to ponder the most complicated of decisions. This, perhaps more than any other idea, is the thread that carries through the various Anne Tyler novels that I’ve read. She mines out the tragic and the comic in the mundane, the opposite ores glittering with indiscernibly similar vibrancy. In doing so, she creates remarkably full-blown characters. The messy business of complicated … Continue reading Top 50 Films of the 80s — Number Forty