Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

chewbacca and c3 po

Believe it or not, I had not seen Star Wars (1977) [or Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)], until a few months ago, in between Christmas and New Year’s. I knew I had been wanting to see it for a while now, given how lasting the entire storyline and often-referenced characters, quotes, and scenes have been.

To state the obvious, the entire series and brand have turned into an enormous industry with a fiercely loyal following.

But I was pleasantly surprised while watching it, even with a critical eye, to see how the film, itself, was truly an underdog, not in terms of the storyline, though, which, of course, is good versus evil and underdog versus the the big bad, Vader.

Instead, what I liked most about Star Wars was the sense that George Lucas and the now-famous cast of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, among others, did not have an inkling that the movie and series would turn into what it has. They were having fun with it, winging it a bit, and hoping for the best.  This stands in stark contrast to the shallow, over-budget and too-cocky Hollywood “blockbusters” we see too often these days.

The movie itself is an underdog which won the Super Bowl many times over. And I can identify with that on many levels, given my own life and experiences.

For that reason, and a few others, it will always be a special one for me.

From imdb.com:

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the universe from the Empire’s world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

hoosiersintroteam

I have a repeat recommendation tonight.

College basketball’s March Madness is underway Of all the places in America, the three most basketball-dominated states are Kentucky, Kansas, and Indiana.

Hoosiers (1986) is arguably the best sports film ever made and, in addition, is a great film regardless of genre. The plot is based on the true story of a small-town Indiana high school basketball team from 1954 that made the state finals, against all odds. There is also a clear homage paid by the stern coach (Gene Hackman at his best), to long-time Indiana University basketball legend Coach Bob Knight.

Special performances by Dennis Hopper and Barbary Hershey are not to be missed

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

still-of-daniel-day-lewis-and-brenda-fricker-in-my-left-foot-(1989)-large-picture-1

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a great Irish film to see is My Left Foot (1989), starring the legendary Daniel Day-Lewis. Day-Lewis won the Oscar for Best Actor.

Via imdb.com

The story of Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy. He learned to paint and write with his only controllable limb – his left foot.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

bicycle-thief

Bicycle Thieves (1948) [oppure "Ladri di biciclette" (original title)] is as classic a piece of Italian cinema as you will find.

Like most of the great Italian films, we see the elements of tragedy and comedy blended together brilliantly.

Via Wikipedia:

Bicycle Thieves (ItalianLadri di biciclette), also known as The Bicycle Thief, is director Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 story of a poor father searching post-World War II Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the job which was to be the salvation of his young family.

Adapted for the screen by Cesare Zavattini from a novel by Luigi Bartolini, and starring Lamberto Maggiorani as the desperate father and Enzo Staiola as his plucky young son, Bicycle Thieves is one of the masterpieces of Italian neorealism. It received an Academy Honorary Award in 1950 and, just four years after its release, was deemed the greatest film of all time by Sight & Sound magazine’s poll of filmmakers and critics;[3] fifty years later the same poll ranked it sixth among greatest-ever films.[4] It is also one of the top ten among theBritish Film Institute’s list of films you should see by the age of 14.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

the_italian_job_background_wallpaper-HD

The Italian Job (2003) is an entertaining and gripping caper worth checking out.

The cast is loaded, starring Donald Sutherland, Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, among others.

 

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

clinton_clemons

Regardless of your politics, The War Room (1993) is a fascinating and very well done documentary about the behind-the-scenes workings of the 1992 Bill Clinton presidential campaign. The documentary stars James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, and Heather Beckel.

via YouTube:

The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Bill Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House—and changed the face of politics in the process. For this thrilling, behind-closed-doors account of that campaign, renowned cinema verité filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker captured the brainstorming and bull sessions of Clinton’s crack team of consultants—especially James Carville and George Stephanopoulos, who became media stars in their own right as they injected a savvy, youthful spirit and spontaneity into the process of campaigning. Fleet-footed and entertaining, The War Room is a vivid document of a political moment whose truths (“It’s the economy, stupid!”) still ring in our ears.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

chewbacca and c3 po

Believe it or not, I had not seen Star Wars (1977) [or Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977)], until a few months ago, in between Christmas and New Year’s. I knew I had been wanting to see it for a while now, given how lasting the entire storyline and often-referenced characters, quotes, and scenes have been.

To state the obvious, the entire series and brand have turned into an enormous industry with a fiercely loyal following.

But I was pleasantly surprised while watching it, even with a critical eye, to see how the film, itself, was truly an underdog, not in terms of the storyline, though, which, of course, is good versus evil and underdog versus the the big bad, Vader.

Instead, what I liked most about Star Wars was the sense that George Lucas and the now-famous cast of Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, among others, did not have an inkling that the movie and series would turn into what it has. They were having fun with it, winging it a bit, and hoping for the best.  This stands in stark contrast to the shallow, over-budget and too-cocky Hollywood “blockbusters” we see too often these days.

The movie itself is an underdog which won the Super Bowl many times over. And I can identify with that on many levels, given my own life and experiences.

For that reason, and a few others, it will always be a special one for me.

From imdb.com:

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the universe from the Empire’s world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

hoosiersintroteam

I have a repeat recommendation tonight.

College basketball’s March Madness is underway Of all the places in America, the three most basketball-dominated states are Kentucky, Kansas, and Indiana.

Hoosiers (1986) is arguably the best sports film ever made and, in addition, is a great film regardless of genre. The plot is based on the true story of a small-town Indiana high school basketball team from 1954 that made the state finals, against all odds. There is also a clear homage paid by the stern coach (Gene Hackman at his best), to long-time Indiana University basketball legend Coach Bob Knight.

Special performances by Dennis Hopper and Barbary Hershey are not to be missed

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

still-of-daniel-day-lewis-and-brenda-fricker-in-my-left-foot-(1989)-large-picture-1

In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, a great Irish film to see is My Left Foot (1989), starring the legendary Daniel Day-Lewis. Day-Lewis won the Oscar for Best Actor.

Via imdb.com

The story of Christy Brown, who was born with cerebral palsy. He learned to paint and write with his only controllable limb – his left foot.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

bicycle-thief

Bicycle Thieves (1948) [oppure "Ladri di biciclette" (original title)] is as classic a piece of Italian cinema as you will find.

Like most of the great Italian films, we see the elements of tragedy and comedy blended together brilliantly.

Via Wikipedia:

Bicycle Thieves (ItalianLadri di biciclette), also known as The Bicycle Thief, is director Vittorio De Sica’s 1948 story of a poor father searching post-World War II Rome for his stolen bicycle, without which he will lose the job which was to be the salvation of his young family.

Adapted for the screen by Cesare Zavattini from a novel by Luigi Bartolini, and starring Lamberto Maggiorani as the desperate father and Enzo Staiola as his plucky young son, Bicycle Thieves is one of the masterpieces of Italian neorealism. It received an Academy Honorary Award in 1950 and, just four years after its release, was deemed the greatest film of all time by Sight & Sound magazine’s poll of filmmakers and critics;[3] fifty years later the same poll ranked it sixth among greatest-ever films.[4] It is also one of the top ten among theBritish Film Institute’s list of films you should see by the age of 14.

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

the_italian_job_background_wallpaper-HD

The Italian Job (2003) is an entertaining and gripping caper worth checking out.

The cast is loaded, starring Donald Sutherland, Mark Wahlberg, Edward Norton, among others.

 

Saturday Night at Chess Cinemas

clinton_clemons

Regardless of your politics, The War Room (1993) is a fascinating and very well done documentary about the behind-the-scenes workings of the 1992 Bill Clinton presidential campaign. The documentary stars James Carville, George Stephanopoulos, and Heather Beckel.

via YouTube:

The 1992 presidential election was a triumph not only for Bill Clinton but also for the new breed of strategists who guided him to the White House—and changed the face of politics in the process. For this thrilling, behind-closed-doors account of that campaign, renowned cinema verité filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D. A. Pennebaker captured the brainstorming and bull sessions of Clinton’s crack team of consultants—especially James Carville and George Stephanopoulos, who became media stars in their own right as they injected a savvy, youthful spirit and spontaneity into the process of campaigning. Fleet-footed and entertaining, The War Room is a vivid document of a political moment whose truths (“It’s the economy, stupid!”) still ring in our ears.

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