Archives for posts with tag: Jack Nicholson

If two big spoilers in “The Shining” weren’t two significant and oft-revisited moments in cinematic history (“redrum” and “here’s johnny!”) you could sit down and watch this film today and be just as scared as when it came out in 1980. Director Stanley Kubrick’s adaptation of the Stephen King novel puts suspense on a slow boil (the film clocks in at two hours, 20 minutes-plus), bubbling with every twitch of Jack Nicholson’s demonically raised eyebrows. Shelly Duvall is the perfect designated screamer as Nicholson’s wife and Danny Lloyd does a remarkable job conveying a scared (and sometimes possessed) little boy.

“The Witches of Eastwick” (1987) is an ugly little troll of a movie hiding behind a trio of screen hotties (Cher, Pfeiffer, Sarandon). It’s Jack Nicholson at his worst. He’s a sweet-talking stranger who rolls into town and starts sweeping women off their feet (hijinks ensue). It’s not hard to figure out the secret he’s hiding. It’s also not hard to imagine this being a cinematic parody of Nicholson’s actual, real-life romantic relationships. I mean, the dude is gross looking, but he’s talented and rich and can seemingly get laid whenever he wants. I sympathized with all the on-screen vomiting.

It’s amazing how relevant “Broadcast News” remains nearly 20 years after its release. It’s a witty menage a trois with id-ego-superego undertones played against the backdrop of an existential crisis within journalism. Although the Internet (the word “blog” didn’t exist in 1987) now drives the argument, journalism continues to struggle with the issue of style versus substance. (They shouldn’t have to be mutually exclusive. By accepting the argument as binary, we perpetuate it.) When it came out, I was a too-cynical-for-his-years broadcasting student on his way to a short-lived career in TV news. “Broadcast News” still hits close to home.